Marathon Training Update Weeks 13+14: I’m a Fair-Weather Runner

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Time for another marathon training update! Ever since my knee injury, its been going great. Aside from weekly long runs, I’m actually doing very little running, focusing on cross training, yoga and injury prevention. It’s turning out to be just what my body needs.

Adding to the success of my training regime is a newly lightened teaching schedule. I’m now just at Btone three mornings a week and, as bittersweet as it is to leave, taught my last classes at Burn this past Friday morning. I now have more time to focus on making this blog the great site I want it to be, and more energy to direct towards training and my own workouts.

And before we get to the recap, can we talk about how inspirational my running partner for the marathon is?! Read this. Gives me goosebumps.

WEEK 13 RECAP

MONDAY | Spin (Recycle)

TUESDAY | Run 4 Miles + Yoga

WEDNESDAY | Boxing (The Club)

THURSDAY | Run 2 Miles + Core Workout from blog + Yoga

FRIDAY | Rest

SATURDAY | Run 18 Miles

My longest run so far felt amazing! Surprisingly amazing, actually. I had so much energy afterwards and was barely sore the next day!

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I’m nicoleperr on Snapchat

I was going to take the commuter rail out to mile 8 of the marathon course and run home from there but I messed up the train schedule. Instead, I took the green line out to the Woodlawn stop (mile 17) and ran the last 9 miles of the course plus two semi-loops around the Charles River to bring the mileage up to my needed 18. post-18-mile-run-selfie

At the start of training, I opted to keep my weekends open and complete my long runs on Mondays, but I’m so glad I’ve changed that. If you’re lucky enough to train for Boston in Boston, the Saturday morning long runs are not to be missed. I can’t even believe how many runners are out along the course! Charities and local retailers even set up water and gatorade stands along the route that anyone can take advantage of–the running community here is seriously nothing short of amazing.

SUNDAY | Gentle Yoga

WEEK 14 RECAP

MONDAY | Easy Strength Training (Life in Synergy) + Run 3 Miles

TUESDAY | Strength Train (Btone) + Spin (Recycle)

WEDNESDAY | Strength Train (HIIT Workout from blog)

THURSDAY | Run 4 Miles + Yoga

FRIDAY | Rest

SATURDAY | Run 13 Miles

Soooo I’m a fair-weather runner. Also a fair-weather fan of Boston sports teams since I’m on the topic of calling myself out. I had actually registered to run the New Bedford Half Marathon on Sunday but when I saw snow in the forecast I immediately said hellz no and changed plans, doing my long run on Saturday close to home. Why make things miserable if they don’t have to be? It didn’t end up snowing yesterday but I’m still happy to have done my run in 40-degree weather rather than 30.

SUNDAY | Yoga

And here we are today with less than a month until Marathon Monday!!

Spin Class & Cocktails for a Cause

As a reminder to any local readers, I’m hosting a charity spin class followed by cocktails and raffles at Recycle Studio in the South End this Saturday to raise money for MABVI, the charity with which I’m running the marathon. Event details can be found HERE. I would love to see you there! 🙂

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Marathon Training Update + A Visit to True Runner

true-runner-purchaseDisclosure: This post is sponsored by Vocalpoint and True Runner. All opinions–as always!–are my own. I appreciate your support!

This marathon training process has been a huge learning experience for me. Every day feels like an experiment. From injury prevention to gear and nutrition supplements, it’s been fun for me to immerse myself in this expansive world of long-distance running. I went into training vowing it would be a one-and-done. Cross it off the bucket list, never put my body through a marathon again. But … I’m starting to see why people get hooked on these things. The running community is so supportive! I can’t even count how many people have reached out to me, offered me advice, shared their own experience–it’s been amazing. I am 100% sure I will cry tears of overwhelmed happiness on race day haha.

In just one such example of the amazing Boston running community, True Runner offered me a gift card to come shop their store in Chestnut Hill. It’s located in the same shopping center as Sweetgreen, Drybar, Soul Cycle and Equinox so I made a nice afternoon of the trip out to the ‘burbs.  true-runner-outside

True Runner carries a wide range of shoes, apparel and gear to support all your running needs, and their staff is super knowledgeable in finding you the right products for your body, running form/gait. Specialty running stores like this are an especially smart choice if you’re newer to running and are unsure of what shoes to buy. I’m in a committed relationship with my Nikes so I decided to use my gift card on some smaller running accessories I need for the remainder of training.

I’ve just started trying out different nutrition/energy supplements during my long runs that are over two hours. I went with the vanilla bean Gu an hour into my 16-miler and liked it, but Double Espresso sounds like the EXACT thing I want in my system at around mile 12, so I got a few Clif shots to try out this weekend. I’d love to hear what your go-to’s are for supplements during long runs! 

I’ve been running with my iPhone in my pocket, so the Nike armband is going to be a massive upgrade. The Experia socks have extra padding over the heel and ball of the foot (can’t hurt!), and with the weather in Boston nearing 70 today (!!!) I figure a pair of running shorts might come in handy as I near race day. true-runner-inside

Marathon Training: Week 12

Even though last week was technically my twelfth (just took me four tries to spell ‘twelfth’ correctly FYI) week of training, with all the time off for my knee injury and then being sick, it really doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. Here were last week’s workouts:

MONDAY |  Yoga

Having run 16 miles the day before, my body was craving some yoga. I found this YouTube video and loved it–lots of great stretches and poses for the hips and IT band. Just what the doctor ordered!

TUESDAY | Strength Train (Btone)

WEDNESDAY | Run 4.5 Miles + Yoga

I ran a quick loop around the Charles River and then did the same yoga YouTube as Monday.

THURSDAY | Rowing Class 

I haven’t rowed since I stopped teaching it so I decided to hop in for a class at Btone. Rowing is an awesome option for marathon training if you want the cardio and lower body strength benefits of running but without the impact to your knees.

FRIDAY | Strength Train (Btone)

SATURDAY | Rest

SUNDAY | Run 10 Miles

Despite taking a rest day Saturday, my legs felt like led on this run. Rowing is a challenging leg workout (Thursday) and Friday’s Btone was also a low-body challenge, so I definitely paid the price on this 10 miler. On the bright side, I’m glad I made the mistake when the “long” run was only 10 miles. I’ve adjusted my plan this week so that my legs will (hopefully) feel fresh in time for Saturday’s 18-mile run.

Runners–what’s your go-to for race nutrition? Gu? Beans? S Caps? Gimme suggestions!

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Marathon Training Update + Big Announcement

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I know a lot of you have been enjoying seeing a daily breakdown of my workouts, and I will return to that leading up to the marathon, but since it’s been a hot minute since my last update, I’m just going to give you the general idea of what’s been happening.

I left off my last update with happy news–after spending almost two weeks nursing a knee injury, I had gone for a short run and felt great. I was back in action!

LOLZ. Nope.

No exaggeration, a mere couple hours after I hit publish on that post I was standing around with my friend watching the Super Bowl and my knee started to throb and swell back up out of nowhere. Was it from the brief run I had done earlier? Was it from standing on it for a prolonged period of time? Was it the two beers I had? Was it bad karma for all the times I hid in the woods during cross-country practice in high school? Am I now doomed to never finish a marathon because I was a corner-cutting punk during my early running career?? That must be it. Sonofabitch.

Luckily the swelling went down after some icing and elevation and didn’t return. Still, I didn’t want to risk really injuring myself so I took yet another week off from running. After some motivational self talks, I felt good about the decision because there’s a big difference between taking a week off from running and a week off from training, and I definitely was still training. I did yoga almost every single day that week. I was loving megaformer workouts because of how effectively they challenge lateral movement (good compliment to the front-back plane of running!). I did low-impact cardio on the spin bike, doing back-to-back classes some days, switching it up between Recycle, Vélo-City & Soul Cycle. I did as much as I could without putting undo stress on my knee.

I returned to running after almost three weeks off and felt great. No pain, so swelling, totally healed. My first long run post-injury was 13 miles and I even got a new PR for my half marathon by four minutes (1:54)! A couple days later I went for a short 5-mile run and felt like I was flying. I was so amped to hit the rest of my marathon training hard.

LOLZ. Nope again.

Last week I came down with the worst cold I’ve had in a long time. I think it’s the crazy weather changes we’ve been having in Boston (20 degrees one day, 60 the next) because it seems to be going around. I felt so completely drained of energy all last week I could barely get through teaching my classes. I’d finish up and then have to immediately take a four-hour nap. There was no way I could have gone on a long-distance run. Luckily, five days of being sick is more like a speed bump than the red light my knee injury was, so it didn’t throw me off too much. I started to feel better by the weekend and on Sunday I went for my longest run of training: 16 miles. charles-river-boats-skyline

I’ve never run that far in my life, and completing it gave me the best high. I actually looked down at my legs at the end and thought to myself, you have the ability to run 16 miles, how fucking cool is that?! I said it out loud, too, which would explain the weird looks …

What got me even more excited though was how good I felt after the run and today. I’m not even that sore! I take that as a good indication my body is where it needs to be regarding strength and endurance, and that I’m taking enough time to stretch and roll out after workouts. Yesterday’s run gave me the upmost confidence that despite the minor setbacks throughout my training, I will be able to run 26.2 miles on race day.

Which is a damn good thing considering the upgrade to my running status I got a few weeks ago…

I’m Running Boston as a Guide!

When Andrea Croak from Team With a Vision told me that I, along with Heather Armstrong, would be guiding athlete Simon Wheatcroft, my first reaction was actually confusion. Simon is an ULTRA MARATHONER. He ran from Boston to NYC and then completed the New York marathon. I almost wrote back to Andrea: Hey I think you have the wrong number, this is Nicole, not Shalane Flanagan. 

After being reassured that, while Simon can probably run 700 more miles than me, my projected pace for the marathon is adequate, the significance of this opportunity fully sank in, and as cliche as it is, I truly do feel honored. It gives more meaning to the whole training process and I feel a deep sense of gratitude for the experience. Not only is Simon, who started losing his vision at age 17, flat-out inspirational (watch this video), but Heather’s blog dooce has been crushing it for fifteen years, a success to which I aspire with P&I. To say I’m motivated by my team would be a flimsy understatement, but ya know what, I’ve been up since 4AM so flimsy understatement will have to do.

If you’re feeling inspired, you can donate to my fundraiser for Team With a Vision benefiting the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired HERE. All donations, regardless of size, fill me to the brim with gratitude.

Anyone else training for Boston? How’s it going for you? Biggest challenges so far? Advice to share? Let’s chat in the comments!

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