Marathon Training 2.0 BEGINS (and some other running updates!)



It’s heeeeeeeeeeeere!!! Welcome to my life for the next 18 weeks!



EEEEEEK!! After weeks of waiting it is finally here – this is week 1 of training for my second marathon! Tomorrow evening when I press the START button on my Garmin, training for Grandma’s Marathon will officially be underway! It’s about time.

Once marathon training is underway, I’ll be back to updating you on my running with weekly training recap posts. A week from today I’ll be posting my first one!! I’ll continue to write Versus posts, and I’m sorry I know I owe you all one of those from last week. As a side note: I’m beginning to think posting those weekly might not have been a realistic goal.

Today’s post is mostly just tying up some loose ends, forecasting the coming week and thinking ahead to some other running things this Spring.



I was signed up to run a 5K this weekend and I decided to skip it. I’m never proud of myself when I do this, but I was just tired from what turned out to be a busy 3-day weekend, plus it was FREEZING and since I didn’t give two hoots about my time, it didn’t seem worth it to drive 30 minutes out to the suburbs in freezing weather to run a 5K I didn’t even care about it. After some thought – and, okay, laziness – I decided it would be better to rest up and save the energy for my first week of marathon training. So this morning I slept in super late and had chips and salsa and guac for brunch and have just been chillaxing inside my apartment that’s not 9 degrees and it’s been so nice.


The Decision

Thank you everyone for you supportive words and advice on my last post, about whether or not I should do the Brew City Marathon Challenge (run both the Lakefront Marathon on October 4 and the Milwaukee Marathon on November 1). I’ve chewed on it some more, and I’ve decided I’m not going to do it. I’ll only be doing the Milwaukee Marathon this fall.

I want big PRs this year. That is most valuable to me right now. I’m a quality over quantity runner, fo sho. As you alluded to in your comments, doing this challenge would mean finding a delicate balance between which races to run fast and which ones to hold back. But I don’t want to have to hold back on any races. That’s not why I do them. As a runner who is still fairly new, I am continually growing and improving and I want to capitalize on that now. Later in my running career when I’m not so concerned about time, I might be willing to do more marathons and run them easy just for the experience. But right now, I’m not comfortable with spending my time, money, and energy on a race that just to be a glorified training run. I’m getting ready to go for a BQ soon (hoping to be ready to try for it in fall 2016), and I just can’t afford to throw away any chances to improve my marathon time.

Plus, I’m worried that running mania is starting to take over my life. I love racing and I always want to do ALL THE THINGS running, but I need to rein it in and remember that I have a life outside running. I’m already doing a lot this year and I need to make sure I am balancing running with other things in my life.

So, sorry about that burst of excitement but I’m going to be sticking to the schedule after all. Thank you all for listening and giving advice.


Week 1 Training Forecast


Last week I shared my training schedule for Week 1. All the workouts will remain the same, but it looks like the weather is going to force me to move some things around. Mother Nature decided to put us into a deep freeze JUST IN TIME for me to start marathon training. And, I’m sorry, but I am just not in the mood for all that. Last week I went for a 4 mile run on Thursday evening, and even though I was only out for 33 minutes I couldn’t feel my legs by the end. I’m so over this.

So I’m going to be doing this week’s easy, long, and pace running inside at the Y and the Pettit Center. The only workout I really want to do outside is my hill repeats, which are scheduled for Thursday. Thursday just happens to be the coldest day forecasted this week. So I’m moving my hill repeats to Tuesday and making them the first workout of marathon training. I’ll do my easy 4 and 5 milers in the morning at the Y indoor track (yay for the transition to AM running!), and I’ll likely take my 10 miler to the Pettit. I was planning to do 1 or 2 of my long runs there anyway as part of my mental toughness training, so I’ll have to take my originally scheduled 10 mile route and add a couple more miles to it for next week. Let’s hope it warms up a little by then. And stays that way.


Spring Half Marathon Racing Strategy

My first half marathon of the Spring season is on April 4th. That’s less than 7 weeks away now! Does that ever happen to you, when you keep thinking something seems so far away until one day you realize that time did in fact go by and now it’s actually HERE?! I’ve been so focused on Grandma’s and the Wisconsin Half that I forgot how soon my next race is. Worried? Me? Naaahhh. 7 weeks is plenty of time. But it did remind me that now, before I delve into marathon training mania, might be a good time to hash out this season’s 13.1 goals and strategy.

South Shore Half Marathon, April 4th, Milwaukee
This is actually the trickiest one to plan for. I’m not sure how I should approach it or what I should want out of it. It’s not my goal race, and I want that one to be the one that shines. So while I want to do well at South Shore, I don’t want to do so well that I have trouble bettering my time a month later at my goal race. But I don’t want to take it too easy, either. I could use it to practice my marathon goal pace, which would mean aiming for a very doable 1:54ish. Or I could aim for a very modest PR in the 1:50-1:51 range to keep my half marathon momentum going and set myself up for the sub-1:50 in May. Decisions, decisions….honestly, I think I will just play this one by ear. As I ease into marathon training the next few weeks, I really don’t want to obsess over this race.

Jumping for joy after finishing the 2014 Wisconsin Half, my first. Hoping I'll be in similar spirits after this year's race!
Jumping for joy after finishing the 2014 Wisconsin Half, my first. Hoping I’ll be in similar spirits after this year’s race!

Wisconsin Half Marathon, May 2nd, Kenosha, WI
Goal race. This is where I will finally nab the coveted sub-1:50. But I don’t just want to eke out a 1:49:something, I want to get as far south of 1:50 as I can. This was my first half marathon last year, and I’m really excited to come back 1 year later and see how far I’ve come. I want to go all out for this race and push hard. I want to commemorate my one year half marathon anniversary by knocking this one out of the park.

Green Bay Half Marathon, May 17th, Green Bay, WI
Okay, NOW is the time to exhale. A mere two weeks after a hard effort in Kenosha, this race obviously is not the place for a PR attempt. And that is fine with me. My plan is to use this race as a marathon dress rehearsal and run it at my goal marathon pace, and to just have fun running through Lambeau Field (GO PACK GO!).

The other advantage of adding this race into my schedule is that if needed, it can serve as a back-up in case things do not go well at the Wisconsin Half. If for some reason I can’t get my sub-1:50 there due to weather or just having an off day or whatever, I can always try for it at this race two weeks later.

So my goals for this race are to make it a constructive workout, to practice marathon race day strategy, and to just have a good time and soak it in and celebrate all my hard work this Spring. It will be my last half marathon until September.


Wish me luck in getting Marathon Training 2.0 off to an awesome start. The pain-in-the-ass deep freeze is only making me stronger…right??


21 thoughts on “Marathon Training 2.0 BEGINS (and some other running updates!)

  1. How exciting that training is finally kicking off! I honestly cannot imagine running in the temps that you’re dealing with. While my core was warmed up by the end of my race this weekend, I don’t think my legs ever felt warm and it was only in the 50s/60s! Training in such extreme temps must be a serious challenge.

    It sounds like you really know what you want and how you’re going to get it with regards to your races this year! I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds and how many PRs you knock out!

    1. Thanks Kristina! It is so crazy how the same temps can feel so different to people in different climates. 50s and 60s is “be careful so you don’t overheat” running weather here! Training in such cold weather IS a challenge, but I also can’t imagine having to deal with temps in the 80s almost year round like you do. That is almost intolerable to us northern runners!

    1. -30?? Oh my goodness. So not cool. Pun intended.

      THANKS! I checked next week’s forecast and it’s actually supposed to warm up a little bit so hopefully I can get back outside this week. The weekend temps are supposed to be in the 20s now, so fingers crossed it stays that way and I can do my weekend running outside!

  2. Yes, I admit the cold is getting a bit annoying. My phone said “-4, real feel -39*” Seriously.
    I am so excited your marathon training starts today!! Before you know it we will be complaining about the humidity :).
    You know, last year when training for my marathon, I had races 5k through 1/2, that were built into the training schedule. I found that by doing the speed work sessions of the plan, I PR’d at all of them but the 5k (It was REALLY early in training). I bet you will do the same–just stick with the speed work, which I know you will!

    1. Yes you guys have it ROUGH up there in NE! As cold as it is here, I’m grateful we’re not buried in snow. (now that I say that we’ll probably get hammered with 6 inches soon!)

      I hardly did any speed work during my last marathon training and I still PRd in the half marathon – by less than a minute, but considering it had huge hills I wasn’t prepared for, that’s actually pretty good. I’m super excited to see what will happen now that I’m actually going to be doing speed work!

    1. Thanks much!! Yeah, temps are looking better for next week and even this weekend – fingers crossed it warms up and STAYS that way!

  3. You have some exciting goals for this year! It makes more sense now why you would chose not to do the challenge. I also think that quality over quantity is a good strategy for new-ish runners. It seems like people get injured more easily when chasing lots of races and high mileage plans.

    Good luck with the start of your training! I’m looking forward to the updates. Stay warm!

    1. Thanks much! Yeah, I’m feeling much better about not doing the challenge. And staying warm is definitely goal #1 this week!

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Your blog is great!

    I definitely understand having to really reign it in sometimes. I not only need to remember that I have a life outside running (and work), but I also am in this for the long haul. Running at too high intensity for too long really taxes my body and I don’t like to risk injury just to get in another race.

    Your forecast looks a lot like mine for this week (Im in Northwest Indiana). Haha. Good luck on your first week of training. You’re gonna be awesome!

    1. Thanks much! Yes, we all need to remember to look at the bigger picture. Whenever I have some big running goal or race I want to cram in, I like to ask myself: if this gets me injured or burned out, would it be worth it? That’s always good for perspective!

  5. It’s exciting training time is here for you! You have some great time goals. Time goals are so challenging because if you have a hiccup in a run you can start feeling frustrated, it’s truly a mental battle to get through tough moments and recover and push on. It’s also the greatest feeling when you crush it!!! SO go get it 🙂

    1. Thanks Karen!! Yes, time goals are very intimidating! If you’re pushing for a goal that’s outside of your comfort zone and pace you’re not as comfortable with, you don’t really have a lot of wiggle room to mess up, especially in shorter races.

  6. Did you get an offer to be an ambassador for the new MKE race, too? I really wanted to, but it’s not a good weekend for me (we go back to IA for Halloween) and I think it’s really smart you are just focusing on the original (lol) MKE race.

    Have you run South Shore before? I have a few times! Fun race! Get ready for a few minor hills! 🙂 How was your hill work this week?

    1. No, I did not get an offer from them! I guess I just don’t have enough followers or I’m not cool enough or something? I’d totally do it though, maybe I should reach out to them.

      I have never run South Shore before, but that race is a mile from my house and I run on that course all the time. i know those trails like the back of my hand!

      Hill work last night was fine. I’m feeling a little sick this week, so I didn’t feel like I had a lot of strength in me doing the workout, but it still went well! I’m looking forward to conquering my fear of hills this training cycle!

      1. LOL, but I thought you decided NOT to do that race?! 😛

        Oh cool! You will rock that course! It was my PR for a few years and I hold it dear to my heart. LOL.

        You will conquer them, and doing them when you’re not feeling your best shows just how much you have in you!

      2. No no, I am doing the MKE Marathon. It’s Lakefront that I’m not doing.

        And it was tempting to do something easier when I wasn’t feeling my best, but I got a little boost from that first-day excitement!

Comments are closed.