Marathon Training – Week 15

Week 15 was my peak training week – 57 miles was on deck this week.  It is my highest mileage week, my last 16 mile long run, and after completing this, I start the “taper.”  Although for the Hanson’s method, tapering still includes close to 50 miles per week and strength and tempo runs, which is why I’m air-quoting taper as I type this.


  • Planned – 6 miles @ 10:52 – 11:38
  • Actual – 7 miles @ 10:25

I know I’m supposed to really try and stick to my easy mileage pace on my easy days, but this run was literally mostly downhill.  Normally on Mondays I workout with my trainer, so I have been running in the gym but it was really nice outside and the thought of running inside was so awful, I just decided to run TO the gym instead of in it.  I enjoyed the run so much I went an extra mile.


  • Planned – Strength workout 3 x 2 miles @ 9:40 with 800 recovery (plus 1 mile wu/cd)
  • Actual- Strength workout 3 x 2 miles @ 9:31 with 800 recovery (plus 1 mile wu/cd)

Since I do the strength workouts on the treadmill (at 1% incline) my pace is always the same because I haven’t varied it.  The Hanson method has you do all the strength workouts twice and one of my friends posted how she tried to do hers faster than last time.  Call me a little inspired, but I read her post and thought, “well..I should try that, too.”  And I did.  It was hard but not impossible and since I wasn’t following my strength workout with a gym workout, I wasn’t concerned about conserving my energy.


Happy Rest Day to MEEEEEEEE!


  • Planned – 16 mile long run @ 10:29 – 10:36
  • Actual – 16 miles @ 10:31 pace

I had a race on Sunday so I had adjusted the schedule so my long run was during the week and my tempo run would be on Sunday.  Right before I headed out for this run, I got some pretty devastating news and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get my head into a long run.  However, I think it was somewhat therapeutic.  I cried some on the run, then I was able to think and process what I was feeling and then all of a sudden I was at the steep hills up to North Arlington at mile 12 and ready to cry again (but for different reasons.)  I’m glad I didn’t have a fast run to try to dial into, but sometimes running for three hours is it’s own kind of therapy.  On a side note, running 16 miles on a work day is something that should be avoided.  Not being able to take a well deserved nap in the afternoon just felt WRONG!


  • Planned – 6 miles @ 10:52 – 11:38
  • Actual – 6.08 miles @ 11:06

This run did not feel good.  My legs were really tired even running at easy pace and it took me until almost mile 5 to feel semi-ok about running.  Normally that happens around mile 3-ish.


  • Planned – 7 miles @ 10:52 – 11:38
  • Actual – 6 miles @ 11:09

Since I’d run my 7 miles on Monday, I only had to do 6 today and I was super happy about that.  My legs were still pretty tired and since I had a race/tempo run on Sunday, I definitely tried to make this run as “easy” as possible.


  • Planned – 10 mile tempo run @ 9:50 with 1 mile wu and 2.1 mile cd
  • Actual – 10 mile tempo run @ 9:52 with 1 mile wu and 2.25 mile cd

I was running the Navy Air Force Half Marathon as my tempo run.  This is a good race route for a tempo run as it’s a nice flat course and its not overly crowded like the Cherry Blossom is.  My legs were definitely still a little tired but I was excited to run a race.  It’s been awhile!  The morning was a little more humid than I would have liked, but apparently summer is not going gently into the night here in the DC Metro area.

I started the run and was able to dial into tempo pace for the first few miles.  After my legs were fully warmed up and I got through Haines Point (also known as the most boring race stretch in DC) around mile 5ish, I started to get a little more into the race and picked up the pace for a few miles (mile 6 was 9:24.)  But then very quickly, I started to feel a little sluggish in mile 7 and by mile 8, I wasn’t sub-10 anymore.  The rest of the race  – I went from pushing to stay at tempo pace to just pushing to keep running at a respectable pace.  The good news was that I didn’t let myself get frustrated – I just kept going.  Stopping to walk or running slower was only going to irritate me later and it wasn’t going to help me run Chicago any faster.  So, I stayed in the low 10’s for the rest of the tempo run and once I got to mile 11, I was happy to go into my “cool down” miles for low to mid 10 pace.

My overall pace for the 10 tempo miles was 9:52, and while I didn’t make target pace – I’m ok with how I did considering everything.  I’m still not 100% sure if 9:50 is a realistic marathon pace for me but at this point, I might as well keep training for that pace and give it my best damn shot.  I always knew that my marathon goal was going to be a stretch for me.

My chip pace was 10:02 and my Garmin pace (which was 13.25 miles) was 9:58.  Considering that rounded out 57 miles for the week, not too shabby.


Three more weeks until Chicago!


Running for Medals. And Bacon.

3 thoughts on “Marathon Training – Week 15

  1. It’s so inspiring to read about your progress. One day I’d like to be able to successfully train for a marathon like you, keep up the great work!

  2. We are SO close! Keep up the positive mindset and I think you will have a great day in Chicago. I don’t like to make predictions about other people’s races, but I’m predicting good things for you! 🙂

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