Back to the grind, as they say.
I kicked off the first week of my 16-week Boston Marathon training cycle last week, and I got straight to work with one good workout and a good chunk of my long run at goal marathon pace.
The conclusion after week one: You sure can lose fitness fast.
Both the workout and the long run were HARD. Right now, I’m choosing to believe that is because I’m jumping right back in after five solid weeks of nothing but easy running, but if it remains this hard, I might be forced to reassess my goals later.
First, a look at the week:
As you can see, I kicked this off in a big way with 10 miles at general aerobic pace (faster than easy, just a smidge slower than long run-pace, or generally about 7:50-8:10 for me). I ended up averaging 7:53, so on the faster end of things.
Monday night, I got a surprise in the mail:
I finally got my age-group award for the Staten Island Half Marathon! This was my first AG award since moving up to the more competitive 25-29 age group, so I’m quite proud.
Anyway, I followed my long Monday kickoff run on Tuesday with some easy, heart rate-based miles, during which—I have to admit—my plantar fascia wasn’t feeling great. I’m still focusing on that.
I planned ahead to ensure I wouldn’t have to run or workout on Wednesday morning, because on Tuesday night, I took my boyfriend out to Peter Luger for a birthday feast.
Peter Luger is a 128-year-old steakhouse under the Williamsburg Bridge. It is a New York City institution, and it was delicious. I also don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much red meat in one sitting in my life. The waiter shamed us into finishing.
“I don’t serve dessert until every piece is gone,” he said.
Anyway, after all that steak, I knew I wouldn’t be up for a workout in the morning, but I couldn’t very well do nothing, so I went hard at my first spin class in three months. I went to FlyWheel, and for all you FlyWheel fans out there, I finished with 296 on the Torq Board, which is pretty good for me, considering I have only broken 300 five times before. And I sure did feel it. My heart rate averaged 168 bpm and maxed out at 186 bpm—about 95% of my max!
But Thursday morning, I quickly come to regret that spin class…It probably wasn’t the smartest idea in the world to do my first spin class in months just 12 hours before my first run faster than marathon pace in seven weeks.
The goal on Thursday was to run 8 miles total with the middle four miles at 15k to half marathon pace (roughly 6:25 to 6:33). In reality I clocked in: 6:34 – 6:31 – 6:35 – 6:36. And that felt impossible. There is no way I could have held that pace for another 5.3 miles, let alone another 9.1 miles!
I tried to channel Taylor and shake it off on Friday with a recovery run before heading into the weekend and the long run. I woke up on Saturday to the coldest weather of the season by far. I ran 5 easy miles solo into Manhattan to meet up with my running team, and then, after one easy mile with some friends, picked it up for 8 miles at goal marathon pace. And those miles nearly did me in. I probably shouldn’t have done them on the route we ran, which included two huge bridges. I think it was a bit much so early in the cycle.
Anyway, here is how it shook out:
That last full mile was up the Williamsburg Bridge from the Brooklyn side, which is quite steep. I’m just happy I survived. And after making it to the top, I decided I just had to finish the run hammering it down the other side to start conditioning my quads for Boston.
I averaged 6:58, which overall wasn’t bad, since I wanted to stick to 6:55-7:00. My heart rate, however, was….not good. It was WAY too high during that marathon-pace segment.
Here’s to hoping things get better from here!
Total Mileage: 47
Average pace: 7:45
Do you find the first week of training to be really hard? How long does it take you to get into the grove? Do you have any week one rituals?
PS – I started an Instagram. I’m still trying to figure out how to get it on the blog (widget recommendations appreciated!), but in the meantime, you can follow me here.