Marathon training, weeks 5 & 6...and 14 miles on a treadmill

Week 5

Monday: Goal: 2 mile easy run
Actual: nothing
Ice-coated branches
Icy branches...imagine what the sidewalks were like!
Despite forecasts of the perfect snowstorm bearing down on us, I opted to sleep in ("It's only 2 miles...I'll go to the Y if I have to"). With all the Snowpocalypse/Snowmageddon doom and gloom on the radio and a light freezing rain falling, I left work early so as not to die an icy death on the interstate when the storm really kicked in. Lo and behold, the roads were just fine, so I started toying with the idea of running after I got J from school. As we left his building, though, big, slushy freezing rain drops began falling in earnest. I'll run in the cold or in the rain, but not the cold rain.

Wednesday: Goal: 6 mile tempo run
Actual: 2 mile easy run + snow-shoveling cross training

Ran on the unplowed roads of my neighborhood. the 6 degree windchill made this my coldest run yet, and the lack of a sports bra made it the most uncomfortable.

Best-plowed section of road
 Thursday: Goal: cross train
Actual: Stationary bike 12 miles/42 min

Got home from N's volleyball practice at 11:30, did laundry, finished the dishes, and sat down to watch CSI at about midnight.

Saturday: Goal: 12 mile easy run
Actual: bike ride in 5 inches of fresh idea how far, don't really care, absolute blast.
Snow bike
Week 6:

Sunday: Goal: Rest/cross-train
Actual: Saturdays long run -1

11 miles on snowy single and doubletrack. Had a blast except for starting to bonk at the end. As a result, I slept through about half of the Super Bowl (and to be honest, having no allegiance to either team I didn't really care about the result). Note to self: spending half the day running and the other half recovering from the run is NOT a way to endure your running to your husband.
Snowy singletrack

So, to recap, I was 7 miles short on week 4's running. With a very low amount of miles in the week to begin with, that's a little worrisome. Don't make a habit of slacking on your slacker plan, Kate.

Monday: Goal: 2 miles @11:15
Actual: 2.3 miles @10:52

I had hoped to run outside, but our street is way too icy. Took it to the gym. Treadmill isn't as painful for short distances. I was SORE all day Monday from Sunday's run, but this short run really helped knock the soreness out. I felt like I could've gone faster, but I made sure I was taking it easy.

Wednesday: Goal: 1 mi w/u, 3x1600 @9:06 with 800 jogs, c/d (7 mi total)
Actual: 1 mi w/u, intervals of 8:26, 8:36, 8:24 (!!!) 5.85 mi total

This is kind of like the speed of light for me. Another treadmill run, it wasn't bad at all bc I had to keep changing the pace which really broke it up. It was bad bc I'm treadmill impaired and couldn't get the time to go for any longer than 20 minutes, so I had to restate it a couple times. Guess maybe I could ask for directions or something...I mean, I'm not a guy.

Whatever. Treadmill run or not, this was a great run. I started each interval
With the speed a little under goal pace and then increased the speed every .1-.15 mile. I felt strong the first two intervals and then like I was hanging on for dear life for the last one, but I kept promising myself I could lower the speed at such-and-such a point and then speeding up instead. :) It's funny how easy an 11ish minute pace can feel as compared to an 8:45 pace, especially when it doesn't feel easy at all on my "easy run" days.

Thursday: Goal: Cross-train
Actual: 42 minutes on the stationary bike during CSI (17 mph avg.)
Saturday: Goal: 14 mile easy run
Actual: 14 miles @11:24

We're up in Chicago for another volleyball tournament, and while I didn't do my homework on trails as well as last time, I was excited to see that we were right across the street from a forest preserve and the Des Plaines River Trail. Until I started looking at all this snow. Holy cow.

I'm not afraid to run in the snow or the cold, but if the trails weren't packed down, no way was I going to be able to run 14 miles in that. I still considered it this morning, but the nail in my outdoor run's coffin was pretty well sunk last night, when I went looking for the ice machine and found this:

Still...14 miles on a treadmill? Well, I knew that Tricia of Endurance Isn't Only Physical and Jill have both touched out long treadmill runs. Armed with that shared insanity knowledge, I headed down the hall.

I had one more weapon in the arsenal for my assault on the treadmill: food.

(Yes, thats half a Luna bar i ate the other half before my first attempt to get a treadmill wednesday night.) After bonking on my last long run, I didn't want to repeat that, plus, the food gave me something to look forward to. After each of my first 3 3.5 mike intervals, I either ate a GU or had the rest of the Luna bar. Something to look forward to helped. The machine would only let me go for an hour at a time, so after the first two hours, I stretched and refilled my water bottle.

How's this for a scary picture? Yuck. I took one when I wasn't running, too, but it's nearly as unflattering but not as funny.

I passed the time by listening to music, attempting to read a magazine, and texting a friend. For the most part, I felt pretty good and strong. My knee bothered me occasionally, so I walked a couple of times, but overall I was pretty steady. I rarely know how fast I'm going while I'm running except when I get to mile markers. I'm also typically pretty inconsistent with my pace. I really didn't enjoy staying at the same pace or running so slowly bc it took forever to finish; that said, if you look at my paces you know that I'm rarely faster than that on a long run. Also, it never felt like an "easy" or "slow" pace.

The hardest part was the last three miles, but the last quarter mile was awesome. I cranked up the speed and pushed on to the end. It was a great feeling to have finished the run and know I had done it under less than my ideal circumstances. And, I now have a new distance PR! and time on my feet PR...2:39:39. Ugh.

Training for the rest of the weekend? Chicago deep dish pizza and sitting on my butt watching volleyball. Oh...and maybe a soak in the hot tub later. :)


  1. 14 on a treadmill? Wow. Props to you =)

  2. Wooohooo!! Great job on the TM run :)

  3. It is not easy to plan the workouts with such weather outside but you are making a good job.
    14 miles on a "dreadmill" is a nightmare, congrats!!!!

  4. You little over-achiever YOU! Love, the under-achiever....

  5. In my book your da' bomb running 14on a tread mill. Yikes, your "scary" picture is nothing compared to that thought! Kudos to you!

  6. 14? 6 is tops for me on a dreadmill - hate hate hate them. love the snow though, especially on the bike! freezzzzing rain - not so much.

  7. I've had a blast running in the snow this winter. The mill was definitely not my first choice, and that was officially 2 more times in a week on a treadmill than ever before. And if our weather holds (ice is melted! :D), that record will hopefully stand for a long, long time! :)

    Nice to see you back, btw. :)

  8. Nice workouts this week, specially the 14 miler! As for making the treadmill at the Y go longer than 20 minutes, switch the display off tv by pushing one of the touch screen buttons on the lower left then you'll see the workout time and where to adjust it (again on the lower left of the screen).

  9. Congrats on a great TM run! Your training seems to be on track!

    Sure hope I can start my marathon program tomorrow!!!! :) :)

  10. Lots of respect for you! Planning and maintaining a plan with weather like you have must be very difficult. You are doing great and that treadmill run is fantastic! Well done Kate!


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