Tag Archives: boston marathon

Week 14 of Training for the Boston Marathon

Week 14 did not go quite as planned but that ended up being by design in the end. Coming off two consecutive 90 km weeks my initial plan was to do the same in terms of mileage and workouts this week. In the end I opted for a recovery week so I could aim for my biggest week of training in week 15.

The weather had an impact on my overall mileage this week. The first half of the week was impacted by freezing rain, a very easy run home from work on Monday and a treadmill run Tuesday night. The second half of the week was impacted by cold and windy weather..

With my nephew visiting from out of town this weekend and the cold temperatures yesterday morning and this morning I opted to push my long run to tomorrow since I have the day off work. This decision meant much less mileage than planned for this week, 52 km, but an opportunity to have my biggest week in terms of mileage next week since I will be adding 20 km to my usual Monday routine.

Looking at the weather now it looks like I may have lost the gamble on waiting an extra day for better weather for my long run. However, getting in my biggest week of training with only 5 weeks to go until race day should provide a needed mental boost. 

How was your week?

Week 12 of Training for the Boston Marathon

Coming off a recovery week last week my plan for this week was to increase my mileage and aim for my biggest week of training so far in this training cycle. I was fortunate to manage that. My long run from this morning gave me just under 92 km for the week. This week I was able to pull it off due to a couple of two run days. 

I started off the week with a 12.8 km (8 mile) run on a treadmill. Again this is not my favourite form of running and I am fortunate that I do not have to do it often. I opted for the treadmill on Monday night because I found the sidewalks to be slippery due to patches of black ice when I did my long run the night before. This time I listened to a podcast to help keep me distracted as I ran. 

Tuesday was the first of my two runs days of the week. My first run of the day was an easy run through the neighbourhood around my office during my lunch hour. My second run of the day was my usual run home from work in the evening. This run featured some mileage at my tempo pace. 

Thursday was my second two run day of the week. The first run was once again an easy run during my lunch hour following the same route I covered Tuesday afternoon. My second run of the day was my weekly visit to the indoor track for intervals. Once again this week I opted for 800m repeats. I had time for 8 x 800m again this week. This time my splits were 3:08, 3:02, 3:03, 3:02, 3:05, 3:03, 3:05, 2:55. It was the second week in a row that I managed to finish with my fastest time coming in under 3:00.

This morning was time for my long run. I planned for my first 30+ km run. Compared to the weather we received earlier in the week it was actually cold when I left the house to start my run. I managed 30.5 km with the final 7 km being the fastest portion of my run. 

My plan for week 13 is to follow a similar plan to the one from this week in terms of workouts to complete and overall mileage. 

How was your week?

Week 11 of Training for the Boston Marathon

I am late writing this post because I had the intention of writing it after my long run Sunday night but I ended up finishing that later than expected. Overall week 11 ended up being a bit of a recovery week with a total of 60 km. It is not what I originally set out to achieve last week but it is not the end of the world and in the end might actually end up being a good thing for me. 

The weather did not exactly cooperate with my planned schedule this week. It has not been an especially cold winter here but we seem to have experienced more frequent thawing and freezing cycles. That was certainly the story of this week. Early in the week we received more snow, making it hard to run at a consistent pace…


Following the snowfall early in the week it got warmer in time for the weekend caused the snow to melt during the day and puddles in the roads and sidewalks to freeze at night. The state of the sidewalks ended up having an impact on my long run last night.

I left the house with the intention of doing 30-32 km (18-20 miles). My run was going fine until I started to approach 20 km. At that point I found myself slipping more, especially when going around corners, because it was hard to see the thin sheets of ice on the sidewalks left by the snow that melted earlier in the day. In addition to that my hamstrings were starting to feel tight.

I hate cutting a workout short as much as any other runner but this was a case where I truly felt that there was nothing to be gained by staying out and forcing myself to hit my mileage target. By the time it reached 20 km I was not far from home and decided to head home earlier than expected. I finished with a 25 km run. While it was short of my initial target it was still a good run and I think I made the right decision to end it when I did.

With 8 weeks to go until Boston my goal is to aim for 4-5 weeks of heavy mileage before but start to taper. The fact that I have to get in some 30-32 km runs over that period should help me increase my mileage over the next few weeks.

How did your week go?

Week 10 of Training for the Boston Marathon

This week was another decent week of training. Despite not feeling well late in the week, likely due to not enough sleep and the fact that two of my kids have been sick lately, I managed to put in 76 km this week. Along the way I ended up doing three treadmill runs which is not my favourite way to run but it allowed me to get in my mileage.

My first treadmill run was my tempo run on Tuesday. Since it was cold and windy out I opted to stay inside for my run. It might have been the first time I completed a tempo run on a treadmill. In terms of a workout I opted for an easy 15 minutes followed by 25 minutes at a hard pace and ending with an easy 15 minutes.

I once again made it out on to the Rideau Canal for a couple of my runs. I mentioned it here before but the hard packed snow at the edge of the plowed skate way makes for a decent running track. Running what is the world’s largest skateway and a UNESCO world heritage site is something that is unique to Ottawa and I take advantage of it when I can during the winter.


Thursday night was time once again for my intervals at the dome. Once again my workout involved 800m repeats at the dome. I ended up doing an 800 m warm up followed by 8 x 800m in 3:07, 3:04, 3:03, 3:03, 3:01, 3:01, 3:01, 2:59. Once again I finished my workout feeling pleased that my times were pretty consistent. I was also really pleased that I managed to complete my last one in under 3:00.

Yesterday I was fortunate that it was my planned day off because it was when I started to feel rough. Normally I would have planned my long run for this morning but since I did not feel much better I skipped my run thinking I would not complete a long run this week. 

Fortunately I was feeling well enough to attempt a run tonight. Since it snowed all day here I opted for the treadmill once again. I managed to do 22.4 km in 1:52. That may be my longest treadmill run to date. Fortunately I had a couple podcasts to listen to as I ran.

How did your week go?

Week 9 of Training for the Boston Marathon

After a few tough weeks of training I feel like I am now getting to where I want to be with my training. This week I able to build on the positives from last week and add more solid runs and mileage this week. After my long run this morning I finished with just over 80 km done for the week. 

While getting in my mileage this week I made it out on to the Rideau Canal a couple of times during my runs. For those who are not aware, the canal serves as the world’s largest skating rink when it freezes during the winter. The hard packed snow at the edges of the canal after it has been ploughed actually make for decent running terrain…


This week followed my usual pattern of an easy run on Monday, tempo run on Tuesday, easy run on Wednesday , speedwork  on Thursday, an easy run on Friday and a long run on Sunday. I even added an extra run at lunch on Thursday, it ended up being on a treadmill which is something I do not often do but I did not feel like getting bundled up to run outside when the time came.

Thursday I had a great speed session at the dome that I was very pleased with despite the fact that I realized when I got home and downloaded my stats from my Garmin that I had miscounted and done one less interval than I thought I had. Regardless, I still managed 7 x 800m with my splits coming in between 3:03 and 3:09…


Last week you may recall that I had to wait until later in the evening to do my long run. Today I was fortunate to be able to get it done in the morning, my preferred time for a long run. I also had a couple friends to run with for a portion of my run. I ended up doing 26 km with the first 16 km done with company and the final 9 km on my own…

As mentioned at the start of the post, I am much more pleased with where my training is at after the last two weeks than I was before that. I feel like I am ready to take on the extra mileage I will have to add later this month and next month.

How did your week go?

Week 8 of Training for the Boston Marathon

This week I managed to hit the mileage goal I set for myself. Coming off a couple disappointing weeks I was determined to get at least 70 km in this week. I managed 75 km this week.

Tuesday is usually my night for tempo runs. Once again I tried to get one in this week. Unfortunately, despite the fact it has not been a very cold winter here, the constant freezing and thawing cycles we have experienced have left the sidewalks covered either in slush and large puddles or ice. Both make it tougher to maintain a steady pace. I ran as hard as I could but the slippery footing made for a tougher run than it normally would have been.

On the other hand, my interval workout Thursday was a solid workout. This week I opted for an 800 warm up followed by 6 x 800m and an 800m cool down. I was pleased that I was able to keep my intervals consistent with them ranging from 3:01 – 3:06. Next week I am hoping to have time to add a couple intervals to my workout.

Last week I mentioned that I was planning to do extra runs during my lunch hour at work. I managed to accomplish that on Wednesday with and easy 6 km at lunch followed by an easy 9 km run home from work. I plan to continue this routine a couple times per week. It will go a long way toward helping me reach my mileage targets.

Tonight I ended the week with my long run. Later at night is not my preferred time to do a long run but it was the best time to fit it in today…

Now that I managed a 75 km week my goal for next week is to get at least 80 km.

How was your week?

Week 7 of Training for the Boston Marathon

I will try not to sound like too much of a broken record as I write this post but this post will probably sound familiar. This week was very similar to last week. Once again I fell a little short of my mileage target for the week but I am not too disappointed with how the week turned out. 

Tuesday I managed to fit in a good tempo run on my way home from work. Following a 3 km warm up I ran at my tempo pace for 5 km. That left me about 1 km from my house which I finished off at a very easy pace for a cool down. Eventually I will add more mileage to these runs but for the next 2-3 weeks I will probably continue with the same routine. 

Once again Thursday I did intervals at the dome. This week I opted for an 800m warm up followed by 5 x 800m and a 800m cool down. Once again it felt good to be able to push the pace harder than I would have been able to had I been running outside…


This morning I ended off the week with my longest run in a while with a 25 km effort. It was actually a good morning for it with the temperature sitting at 0C when I left the house. I will likely keep my mileage for my long runs in the 25 km range for the next couple of weeks before I start to aim for some runs of more than 30 km.


Going through another week of falling short of my mileage goal for the week has made me realize that I am at the point where I need to start adding another couple of runs per week to my schedule. Saturday is often too busy to get in a run and if I am going to take a day off every week Saturday is my preferred choice. I will fit in the extra mileage with runs during my lunch time at work. 

How was your week?

Week 6 of Training for the Boston Marathon

Perhaps appropriately I ended off week 6 of my training with a long run over 20 km this morning followed by going to watch Patriot’s Day tonight. I was pleased with both. It felt good to get In a run of over 20 km since I had not completed one in a while. As for the movie, I found it to be better than I expected.

Overall, my week saw a slight improvement in terms of mileage over last week. Last week I finished with just under 55 km while this week I finished with just over 60 km. Ideally I would be getting in more mileage at this point in my training but given I had to take a break over the holidays I am not concerned. 

One positive for this week is that I managed to get out for my first set of indoor intervals. This week my workout involved a series of 600m repeats due to a temporary track configuration I mentioned the other night. As a result my overall mileage for the night only came to 3.6 km. It was still a positive workout since I will be continuing to add weekly intervals to my training…


As for this morning, it was cold but not as cold as I expected it would be. It actually turned out to be a great morning for a long run. I managed 21 km this time…


My goal for week 7 will of course be to add more mileage to my totals. 

How did your week go?

 

Week 5 of Training for the Boston Marathon

I missed posting a couple of these updates while I was taking time off from running to recover from shingles. Today I was able to cap off my first full week of training since I got sick. I am pleased with the week of training I managed coming off 9 days off. I managed to complete nearly 56.5 km.

I kicked off my week and got back to running with an easy 7.5 km run Monday night. Normally I would have been aimed for more mileage to start the week but coming off the layoff I mentioned I was just happy to be out running again. The key is that I felt good and I knew I would be able to get back to my regular training. 

The stoy for Tuesday and Wednesday was freezing rain and dodging large puddles along the sidewalks. Due to the conditions I kept my runs to an easy pace and tried to avoid soaked feet as much as possible. Unfortunately I was not successful in that regard. 

Thursday the conditions were good enough to push the pace again. Unfortunately I forgot my Garmin at home so when I left work I decided to do an easy 3 km warm up, since I run the route regularly I know the 3 km mark. Following that I did a series of 8 strides before I got home. 

This morning after setting up my oldest daughters with breakfast and a movie I headed out for a cold long run. I only managed 13.3 km this morning but compared to a week ago I will take it and build on it with more mileage next Sunday. 

2016 in Review

With a new addition to our family due in late June 2016 was always going to be a quieter year for me in terms of races. That said I think I managed to have a decent year although it ended on a disappointing note with me being unable to run the last week of the year, more on that later.

You may recall that I finally qualified for Boston at the 2015 Philadelphia Marathon. However, since I only beat my cutoff time by 2:31 I would have to wait until this September to find out if I would actually get to go. As a result, I planned my usual preparation for May’s Ottawa Marathon with three 10 km races and a half-marathon as part of my marathon preparation. 

My shorter races went as expected with all of the 10 km times being under 42 minutes (41:06, 41:31 and 41:09). A 1:28 finish gave me my third straight sub 1:30 result in April’s Run for Reach half-marathon. Those times had me satisfied with my preparation for the marathon in May.

Since I was not guaranteed a spot in Boston with my Philadelphia time my plan for Ottawa was to try and improve my qualifying time (3:15). Unfortunately, a heat wave hit Ottawa in the week leading up to Race Weekend. While the conditions for the marathon were better than the conditions for the other races that weekend it was still hot and humid. I went out at a 3:15 pace but ended up backing off the pace during the second half and finished in 3:26. The best part of the race was getting to see my two oldest daughters cheering for me right before the finish line.

My final scheduled race of the year was the Army Run half-marathon. Once again I volunteered to be the 1:35 pace bunny for the event. It was a lot of fun helping other runners as they tried to meet their goals. I crossed the finish line in just over 1:36 this year…


The day after the Army Run was my opportunity to finally apply for entry to Boston. Just over a week later, on the day before my birthday,  finally received an email I had been waiting a long time t receive…


As for not being able to run this past week the short version of the story is that I was on pace for just over 3000 km in 2016 then came down with shingles and had to make an unexpected trip to get a prescription on Christmas Day. I am finally feeling better now and may go for a short run tomorrow to end the year. 

Despite the past week I have to be pleased with 2016 as far as running goes. I was healthy enough to run another marathon,  successfully paced a half-marathon and had my entry for Boston accepted.

I hope your 2016 was also a good one. All the best in 2017!