Boston 2014 Training: Week 8 of 16

Week 8

This week, I ran 45 miles: 5 runs, Core x 3, Hip Strength x 3, ART x 1, and Massage x 1. 

Week 8?! Like, when did that happen? Also, 18 miles? How the heck did that happen?

This week didn’t really go as I had planned. It was a big of a “blergh” week. I was fighting off some sore of cough/cold/virus, which made sleep more restless. I returned to a regular strength workout routine this week (which has been lacking the past few weeks—I learned that lesson last fall, thankyaverymuch!). And in general, the legs just didn’t want to GO this week.

Overall, this cycle has been unlike any other but I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing…yet. Just trying to take it day-by-day, week-by-week and see how things progress.

Monday: 6 miles, 8:10 pace + Hip Strength Routine

I watched the Olympics and listened to This American Life on the run. Made the miles go by pretty quickly. And then I did the entire Hip Strength routine that my PT and I made last fall. I’ve been neglecting that part of my training (in favor of things like spin or Bodypump) in the past few weeks and knew I should get back to it. I was a sweaty mess by the time I was done with it.

Tuesday: 7.5 miles, 7:46 pace + Core Routine

….which leads me tooooooooooo…..the fact that my quads/hips/glutes were SUPER sore on Tuesday. (Shoulda known.) I had 12 x 400 on the calendar for today, but I just knew that wasn’t going to happen—or it would be incredibly ugly if I attempted it. Resigned to 6 x 2 minute cruise intervals at 6:40 pace to replace the speed intervals. Felt like I slogged through this one a bit.

Wednesday: 1 hour easy easy spin + Hip Strength Routine

Corey and I both wanted to spin easy so we met up early — it felt good to get this done first thing in the morning so I didn’t have to think about it the rest of the day. It felt good just to spin the legs, light resistance and high cadence. The legs were definitely still feeling the burn after Monday’s hip strength routine so I figured I should hit those muscles again. Corey and I did a shortened version of the routine together.

Thursday: 8 miles, 7:48 pace + Core Routine

Another day that really didn’t go as planned. (But again, I’m not terribly worried about it.) I had originally planned to run a 5-mile tempo on the lakefront with a group of speedy people (Annabelle, Tim, and Lynton) but the weather got the best of us (hello torrential rain!!!) and it seemed the majority of us were dealing with little niggles. I had to shuffle my day a bit and went to the treadmill to attempt the tempo. I extended the warm-up to 3.5 miles (mostly because I was just delaying the pain of a workout–normally do 2 mi warm-up) before starting. I ended up running 2 miles of the tempo at 6:58/mile before calling it an easy day with a lonnngggg cooldown. The legs just wouldn’t get with the program — breathing was totally even. There will be a serious redemption tempo in the near future.

Friday: ART + Complete REST

I was so tired today. I finally realized that I should be taking meds for whatever cough/cold/virus I was fighting. I even napped for two hours after work, which never happens. So yeah, maybe this little virus thing just bombed my workouts this week and my legs aren’t to blame.

Saturday: 18 miles, 7:37/mile pace + 60 min Sports Massage

Today was just a day to get it done. Legs felt heavy from the get-go but didn’t really become heavier as the run went on (not even sure how that’s possible). I ran south for the first time in months (maybe since October?!). It was nice to have a different view–the north section of path can be so boring after awhile. Around mile 3, Ken W. and I had an epic side-5. I knew it was him because of the shades. I ran 7 miles south until the path was pretty much impassable with a huge puddle. See?!

2014-02-22 12.24.38

Felt like Forrest Gump when he just feels like going home. Wind wasn’t too bad but annoying at times. I was so happy to see Charlyn C. out there with CB! (You both looked so happy!) The sun peaked out a few times and it was 100% sunny the last few miles. This didn’t feel amazing but I’m happy I got it done.

Really missed these views!

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2014-02-22 10.22.05

2014-02-22 12.05.17Garmin shot! You’re welcome!

I had a 60 minute sports massage in the afternoon that made me so relaxed, I was practically delirious afterward. Last year, I was pretty diligent about getting a very simple, relaxing massage every 4 weeks. I definitely needed to ‘reset’ after this week. I woke up on Sunday feeling really good–think it was just what I needed.

Also, I cuddled with Corey’s monsters, Walter and Ernie that evening while we watched House of Cards. Walter, you’re so inappropriate.

2014-02-22 19.52.14

Lady killer!

Sunday: 5 recovery miles, 8:18 pace + Core Routine

Nice and easy on the treadmill. I watched the Olympics closing ceremony and listened to the Slate Culture Gabfest. I’ve been listening to podcasts lately on my recovery runs. (Throw out some suggestions if you have any that you’re obsessed with!)


2014-02-23 11.53.05

I finally took the time to catch up on last month’s Running Times magazine. The entire issue was about recovery (which seemed super appropriate this week). The quote about spoke to me because I didn’t really feel that great this week. I might be toeing the line between feeling good and feeling good enough lately. I know what it’s like to feel bad and that’s not how I’m feeling right now. Hopefully all I needed this week was to reset, get some sleep, get some good bodywork and prepare for another week ahead.

20 Days to NYC Half and 56 days to Boston! 

Boston 2014 Training: Week 6 & 7 of 16

A belated training update!  Week 6 was a bit of a wash because of a silly foot issue that lingered from a tough 15-miler in the snow and Week 7 was spent getting back on track but being smart about monitoring my foot. I think I was able to get a decent amount of work in despite the challenges.

Note:  This is probably the longest post I’ve ever written. I started writing and this is what came out. If you read all the way to the end, I’m both confused and flattered by your interest. 🙂

Week 6: Recap

Week 6 RecapThis is somewhat depressing. But it had to happen. (I keep reminding myself we’re still early in the cycle!)

To be honest, I spent a majority of this week just holding my breathing and hoping that I didn’t have a stress fracture. {Cue classic runner dramatization of actual events} I’ve never a stress fracture and basically have no idea what one feels like but I knew that any kind of constant, localized pain in my foot was a bad sign. {I realize a lot of this stuff may sound super silly to anyone that has dealt with a stress fracture. It even sounds silly to me.}

Week 5’s training was fine, following that one snowy run. And I was even able to run 16 glorious, fast miles on Sunday Feb 2nd. My foot felt perfectly fine.  There was no sign during the run that it was struggling and I didn’t feel any pain or discomfort. It was a bit tender that night before I went to bed but seriously nothing to worry about.

Still, I was over-cautious alllllllllll week. [Corey and I have been talking about how we have “injury PTSD” because we’re really, really good at reading into every little ache and pain after minor injuries this past fall.]


50 min recovery spin 

My legs felt pretty heavy and sore after the 16 miles the day before and my foot was still a bit cranky so I hopped on the spin bike.


8 miles, 7:51 average [speed]

Took some sadness, frustration, and anger out on the treadmill today. It helped. (Don’t worry–I’m ok. Just dealing with an unexpected personal situation. And, as usual, running was my therapy.)

2 mi up, 2 x 1200 (400m RI), 4 x 800 (400m RI), 1 mi down
Splits: 4:44 for both 1200s, and consistent 3:06s for the 800 repeats

This felt surprisingly strong after heavy legs on Monday. My foot didn’t give me any problems until the cooldown, when I felt a small ache. (Noted: If I can get through 7 miles and several miles of speedwork, it’s a good sign.)


1 hr recovery spin Hip Strength Routine 

I forced myself to not be stubborn or stupid or idiotic today. (Listening to my body and all that jazz.) I woke up to a cranky foot despite it feeling fine the day before. I put compression socks on and iced it after Tuesday’s speedwork, but resigned to the spin bike for my scheduled shakeout. At this point, I’m not losing fitness by recovering on the bike as opposed to on the treadmill (or so I keep telling myself!).


Complete rest day. I had a tough tempo scheduled today, full of goal marathon, half marathon, and 10k paced miles but again, trying to be smart about this foot thing. If it’s sore upon waking, a workout isn’t happening. Taking it day by day, but Thursday was this week’s low point for sure. I convinced myself that I MUST have a stress fracture (heh) and continued to putz around the house (+ sip a beer or two that night). In general, I was a crankypants.


50 min spin class with steady climbs + Core Routine x 2  + ART! 

Ok, this is the day when things start to look up, I promise! :look it! progress!: I had a regular ART appointment scheduled with my PT and, once again, this guy proves that he’s some sort of magical healer. We talked through my foot issue and spent about 20 minutes manipulating specific parts of my foot. He’s 75% certain that I have a small ligament strain on the top of my foot. My pain pattern doesn’t seem to match a stress fracture and my foot felt noticeably better after an ‘adjustment’. (A good sign!) I agreed with him when he said that ‘something is just stuck’. That’s exactly what it feels like. His diagnosis made me relieved but I know that I have to take it with a grain of salt.

Anywho, I was pretty peppy after the appointment and went to spin for lunch. Which leads me to….

Question: What do you call a spin for lunch if a run over lunch is ‘runch’? After submitting this question to the Twitter world, I received some awesome answers:

  • spinch
  • spunch
  • sprunch

I think spunch works. What do you think?

Also, this happened….

2014-02-07 09.09.07Basically, you know you’ve made it when the local weatherman tweets ya.


Longish run at Morton Arboretum: 12 miles, 7:40 average.

Headed out to Morton Arboretum with Chanthana and Corey this morning. I was excited for my first run since Tuesday! I had 16-17 easy miles planned today but told myself to be happy with anything over 12 miles. Goal was just to run up until the foot became uncomfortable, if at all. I ran 10 with absolutely no problem and it started to feel sore around 10.5 so I called it quits once I finished the east loop. I’m definitely patting myself on the back for not being stupid & running the 16 miles as planned. I felt stronger on the hills this time than I did 4 weeks ago (I didn’t do any hill training for Boston 2013, so this bodes well!) Plus, as always, my motivation was ALL THE BACON at brunch with the girls post-run.


8 easy miles, 8:11 average. 

I woke up this morning and my foot felt noticeably better than it did all last week. Psyched to get to the gym for an easy shakeout. Watched the Olympics, the biathalon and cross-country skiing. 90% of those athletes collapse at the finish line because they’re so tired. Inspiration.

Totals, Week 6: 

3 runs, 28 miles; 1 x ART; 2 x Core Routine; 2 x Hip Strength Routine; 1 complete rest day; ~3 hrs spinning!

It’s hard not to look at this week and think, “what a waste”. I missed one workout and about 15 miles. Running isn’t fun when it’s painful (duh), so of course I’m glad that I rested. If it wasn’t for that ONE long run through the snow, this week would have been different! Three days off running seemed to help and I was able to let out a big sigh of relief on Sunday. I’m also pretty happy to replace running with spinning these days — it’s the closest you can come to a runner’s high while cross-training I think. As Chanthana pointed out, I was still able to run 20 miles in two days over the weekend. #brightside

Week 7: Recap

Week 7Woot! That’s more like it!

Because Week 7 was slated to be a recovery week, but that ended up happening early (ahem…Week 6!), this week included some good workouts. Still, the goal was to balance strong workouts with not being a big f***ing idiot and running through pain if it presented itself.

I wrote that at the top of my training log for this week in very bold writing: DON’T BE A F***ING IDIOT, JENNY! 


5 recovery miles, 8:18 pace. + 1 hour Bodypump

Anther good sign- woke up to a happier foot than I did last week. Just ran easy on the treadmill before going to Bodypump. Again, my neglected, sad upper body was in a bit of shock after a full hour of strength work but I know it’s good for me. Plus, you pretty much feel like you can take on the world when you do an hour of strength training on MONDAY MORNING.


9 miles (7 mile steady state at 7:13), 7:23 average pace.

First workout since last Tuesday and I have to say I’m pretty relieved about this foot  at this point. No discomfort to report (and I’ll take it as a great sign that I was able to run 4 days in a row). Ran 2 mi w/up and then settled into a steady state at 7:13 min/mile. I likely could have run this a bit faster but I started at 7:20 for steady states last cycle. Baby steps.


Cross-training: 1 hour LIVE DJ SPIN Class (REST or Cross-Training Day)

Returned to my favorite spin instructor for a live DJ class at the gym tonight. Another puddle found under the bike tonight. Success! One of the last song’s of the class was Spice Girls “Wannabe”. Not.kidding.


8.16 miles {6 x 800s speedwork}, 7ish  min/mile average

Ok, these are the fastest 800s I’ve ever run in my life. And I have no idea where this came from. I’ve never consistently run 800s at 3 min or faster before. I think it’s all because I felt like I was finally freeeeeeeee. I ditched the treadmill today in favor of warmish temps & sunshine on the lakefront in the morning and I really couldn’t have asked for a better day to get this done (especially with a dry, clear lakefront). With a half mile left in my warm-up, I glanced at my watch and it read 7:20/mi. And that felt like I was trotting. Everything really does feel easier running outside versus the treadmill to me. I extended the recovery period after each 800 from 2:30 to 3 min, which was definitely necessary. Splits: 2:56, 2:58, 2:59, 3:00, 2:58, 3:03. I felt like I was going into survival mode on the last 2 and my foot started to hurt a bit (the pain seemed to dissipate during cooldown). I seriously doubt I’ll be able to hold this pace for 8 -10 x 800s later this cycle but I guess I have something to shoot for now!


ART + Complete, beautiful rest day. 

Today’s highlight: punch!

2014-02-14 22.07.31


17.17 miles, 7:28 average pace long run. 

17 miles without a single twinge of silly foot pain! I drank approximately 3.7 too many punches at Punch House the night before and only slept 6ish hours so this one really could have gone down the drain fast. I’m pretty shocked I even dragged myself out of bed for this one, especially with some serious puppy cuddles happening. I kept telling myself to slow the effffffff down. 7:30/mi is feeling easy these days, but I know that I need to get some slow, steady long runs in the books in the next few weeks. I may or may not be doing myself any favors by running this a bit quicker than I normally do. Jury’s still out on that one! The HiGuy was out there riding his bike–normally don’t see him much in the winter.

I showered and headed over to Corey’s to watch the Millrose Games along with Chanthana and Tim. We ordered delivery twice, drank several beers, and put PJs on her dog. (Ahem…sorry for sticking around for over 7 hours, Corey!)

2014-02-15 17.38.24


5 easy peasey recovery TM miles, 8:20 average pace + core routine

Just an easy run while watching the Olympics at the gym.

Totals, Week 7: 

5 runs, 44 miles; Bodypump x 1, Spin x 1, ART x 1, and Core x 1 

Some general thoughts on Boston 2014 Training thus far:

:Insert tremendous relief that the foot pain dissipated by the end of the week:!  I was so happy to be able to run some pretty solid workouts this week. Now that we’re entering Week 8 of 16 (halfway!), I feel like I’ve really started to turn a corner. That said, I still have moments when I’m really worried that training will turn into a disaster because training is going so well (flashbacks to last fall).

Over dinner one night this week, I was talking with Man about my training and I told him that I’m basically scared that my body is going to breakdown like it did last fall; that just when I seem to turn a corner, my body will fail me. He had some really insightful things to say, but he said something that made everything ‘click’.

He said, “Jenny, you just need one good race.”

The more I thought about it, the more I realized how true it was. The last race that I can remember being completely satisfied was the Bastille Day 5k in July. And that was race mostly satisfying because it was an unplanned “redemption race” after the Chi Women’s 5k. I haven’t raced since then. I haven’t raced in 7 months…. (wut.) I sat out of a 10k when my left quad gave out and then Grand Rapids was out of the picture. 2013 was a rollercoaster year. Realizing that it’s been over 7 months since I’ve had a really great race experience (regardless of the outcome, PR or not), has made me even more motivated to work hard this year. I think I’ve made some smart changes to my training this time around and so far, so good.

To be honest, I’ve been hesitant to write about my training this time around because I feel like I could jinx myself. One of the hardest aspects of the last training cycle was that it seemed to be going soooooo well. Until, it just wasn’t anymore. I’m trying to keep a level head and continue to be patient & smart, to work hard, and to see where that takes me. No one likes to share their training when it’s not going as ‘planned’, but for now I’ll continue to share–in hopes that there are some strong weeks ahead.

On the bright side, my PT was encouraged by how my foot is progressing when I saw him on Friday. And I know that it’s gradually getting better. He says we should realistically allow 4-6 weeks for a slight sprain like this to return to normal. It’s been 3 weeks since that run in the snow and I’m hoping that he’s right about the timeline. If so, the New York Half might just be that one good race that I’ve been working toward (and the mental reset for Boston that could come with that would be nice too!).

Do you like sharing your training logs? Would you call a spin at lunch a ‘spunch’? When was the last time you raced and felt like a badass? Do you visualize the course of your upcoming race during your training? ALL THE QUESTIONS!

– J

Boston 2014 Training: Week 5 of 16

Boston Week 5 of 15

This week, I ran 44 miles.

5 runs (only ONE outside!)

ART x 1.

1 hour spin.

1.5 hr yoga.

(and somehow…no core?! Bad memory…)


Active recovery: 1 hour solo spin, 1.5 hour vinyasa yoga class

I opted for spin recovery today and some yoga because the top of my right foot was tender after Sunday’s sloshy run in the snow. I was fighting for my footing for at least 9 miles of that 15.5 and my foot seemed angry at me. The last thing I wanted to do was get on the treadmill and a solo spin always feels good. I’m apparently REALLY good at misreading class schedules lately because I thought yoga was an hour long until I realized we were 75 minutes in and not stopping. 🙂 It seems I’m really good at spending almost 3 hours at the gym these days.


{3 x 1 mi repeats} 7 miles, 7:54 average. Splits: 6:27, 6:31, 6:31.

Yet another treadmill run. If it wasn’t for Sunday’s long run, I think I’d have forgotten what running outside is like (ahem…glorious!). This workout went well, although the legs were heavy because of yesterday’s heavy cross-training (noted). Ran 2 up, 3 x 1 mile with 400 m RI (1 min walk, the rest recovery jog), and 1.25 down. Splits: 6:27, 6:31, 6:31. I need to look back in my training log and see what kind of recovery interval I normally do for mile repeats. (Right foot soreness 90% gone, will continue to monitor!)

2014-01-28 21.17.08-2


Lots of this lately, too.


ART appointment + 7 recovery miles, 8:10 average.

Normally run 5-6 mi on recovery days but I felt good today so I went with it. I had another ART session this morning, which seemed to open some things up. Watched Ellen while on the treadmill and giggled a bit.


{2 x 2.5 tempo at 6:58} 9 miles, 7:36 average.

Another mid-afternoon run. This felt surprisingly good! ART yesterday and a good recovery run really made the legs fresh and ready for the workout today. Ran 15 min up, 2 x 2.5 mi tempo at 6:58 (4 min RI), and 15 min down. Nice to set it and forget it on the treadmill today (and I heard the wind on the lakefront was insane). No complaints really, beyond being the sweatiest person in the gym. 🙂 Right foot didn’t seem to bother me until the last mile.


5 recovery miles, 8:11 average.

Nothing much to say about this one. Nice and easy after a full day of calls and meetings. Felt good to sweat and flush the legs a bit.

Cozied up to this bottle that night. Yummy!

2014-01-31 18.54.51-2


Complete rest day.

I had plans to head to Morton Arboretum with Chanthana, Tim, Pedro, and Kevin but I knew that snow was going to fall overnight and the footing might be tough. While I’ve been able to put in some good miles and workouts this week, the last thing I wanted to do was tweak my foot while running through the snow again. This whole resting thing takes a lot of self control — but I’m sure I’ll be happy I did it. Plenty of stretching and foam rolling to prepare the legs for the long run the next day.


16.0 miles, 7:28 average long run.

There was sun! In the sky! And it was glorious!

2014-02-02 15.13.06

Today was a bit ‘backwards’. Slept in late and went to brunch with The Man before my run, which meant that the run was either going to be amazing or horrendous. It ended up being amazing (thank goodness). I was strongly considering running on the treadmill today just so I wouldn’t be miles away from home with a sore foot but Chanthana and Declan pushed me out the door–thanks guys! I started around 2 pm while the SUN was still shining. Saw a lot of people sledding at Montrose, a few families cross-county skiing along the path, and 2 strangers asked me if I’m running Boston this year and wished me good luck. Gosh darn it, I love the running community! My foot didn’t bother me at all on the run but it’s still a bit tender after. Another rest day tomorrow and I should be good to go! Took at Salted Carmel Gu at miles 6 and 12. Didn’t really feel hungry but need to get back in the habit of regularly fueling, I think.


This little foot thing was worrying me all week. I almost feel like I have injury PTSD because I can easily focus on every little ache and pain. But this week, I think I was realistic in recovering and I didn’t feel like I needed to skip workouts because it never really hurt on the run. I iced it literally every day (some days, at least twice) and elevated it just to be safe. If I learned anything this past fall, it’s that I should always listen to my body. That’s what this week was all about. If it continues to hurt through this week, I’ll know that I need to see someone about it. I think my legs are starting to get used to full turnover again–the speed workouts and tempos on the treadmill are tough. I can’t help but think about how enjoyable these will be once I’m running outside 100% again.

What I’ve Learned:

  • Read the darn class schedule!
  • Runners are never strangers to one another.
  • Running on days when you REALLY don’t want to will always make you stronger.

11 Weeks to Gooooooo!

– J