Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Marathon training update + a hill challenge

Just under 1 month until the Fox Cities Marathon! I am fairly happy with the effort I've put into this training cycle. Here's the last two weeks:
Week of 8/12:
Good mid week runs capped off by the Madison Mini Marathon. I was hoping to run marathon goal pace (9:55) and I was just under it (9:42). I don't think I could have held on at that pace for a whole lot longer that day though. I just feel slow and sluggish lately. To be fair, it was hot and a hilly course. The Fox Cities Marathon is flat for the most part and I am keeping my fingers crossed for some cool weather on race day.
Week of 8/19:
Not too good on the midweek runs this week (I lost a bit of steam), but I did complete a very challenging 21 miler on Saturday. A local running group was hosting a 'conquer the hills' 12 mile run in my town. I figured it would be perfect to run 8 miles before meeting up with them since it didn't start until 8 am. My 8 solo miles were good, although I did have to pick it up in the last two miles to make sure I met the group on time. I made it with a few minutes to spare.
Now, I run hills all the time. I like them. I  run down the road this hill challenge was held on all the time (I even ran it during my last 20 miler), but I totally underestimated how hard this dang run would be. The side roads branching off the main road were no joke. I can't even paint the right mental image of how steep and long these hills were. It was by far the hardest run of my entire life. I wanted to quit after my hamstrings started cramping up, but I walked/hobbled it in and inhaled at least 2 lbs of watermelon and oranges at the finish. I felt like I had nothing left in the tank - both physically and mentally! The finish was 1 mile from my house and instead of throwing in the towel and calling Kevin for a ride, I trudged home and collapsed on my living room floor.
I will never underestimate a run that is labeled as a 'hill challenge' again. Ever.
Today I keep reminding myself everytime my legs feel like jello that it was great mental training for the marathon. If that didn't kill me, then 5 more miles in flat Northeastern Wisconsin won't, right?


  1. Yes! Keep that in mind during the marathon - I ran those hills, I can DO THIS!!!! :)

    Were there some people in the group who run those hills all the time and could just speed right up them?

  2. Awesome job Rachel! I missed my first mid week run last week for this training cycle so my week was pretty lack luster. Saturdays training run is going to be a hot one. We might need to stash some gatorade because we wont hit the Pace Setters water stops until probably an hour and a half in, if not more and in those temps I need me some electrolytes.

  3. Great job training the past two weeks. I bet you will do amazing in the marathon with cooler weather too :). And hills are like speedwork so basically you got 3-for-1 in your long run, with endurance/distance, speed, and hill work.

    Watermelon tastes so delicious after a run too!

  4. You are going to kill the hills in Kaukana, and you can just breeze through the rest then :-)

  5. Just FYI, It looks like Marquette Trail 50 is having a black friday deal again and will probably sell out as a result. Good luck at Fox Cities!! I want to run that race eventually. :)

  6. We'll be at Fox Cities for the 20 Mile "warm-up" for Chicago. I am so, so hoping for some cooler temps. I have one more 22 miler but Fox Cities next weekend and I'm praying the weather will cool down for that one too. My last 20 miler was miserable!!

    You're training is going great! Keep it up!

  7. WOW the hill challenge sounds like it WAS quite challenging! You are awesome and Fox Cities will be a breeze. Well, maybe not a breeze, but sure looks like you are ready.

  8. Nice work! I totally agree this is great mental training for a marathon. I fell apart for my last one and each time I am wanting to quit now, I start to use it as prep. Way to conquer the challenge!


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