Marathon Training Week 2

First off, I’ve now had my Instagram for a week and I am enjoying it; thanks to everyone who gave me a “follow” last week when I announced that I finally joined the bandwagon! Like I said, I’ll definitely try to keep my pics pretty for y’all πŸ™‚

And thanks to everyone who commented on my last post Marathons: A Love Story. I’m so happy that you all found value in it and that it got you excited for your own journeys. Thank you so much to everyone who read it! πŸ™‚

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Tuesday, 7/14

Repeat Splits: 3:25, 3:30, 3:25, 3:29, 3:31

Normally I love speed work, but this workout was just not fun. I wish I liked 800s more, but they’re kinda…meh.

I went into totally n00b mode today and went out too hard on my first repeats. According to McMillan pace guidelines, all of these are in the range of what I should be running based on my recent marathon time. But, I don’t know, I still think based on my race time I should probably be running them in the 3:30-3:40 range. Regardless of what McM says, they felt too fast, which means they probably were. I did keep them pretty consistent, but as you can see I did not negative split or end faster. Oh well. It happens.


Wednesday 7/15

Cross Training: 20 min elliptical, 35 min spinning

My first time cross training! It went well. That elliptical workout really made me sweat…but I was underwhelmed by the spinning. I set the bike to hill repeats, but it did not feel like a workout AT ALL. I guess I need to up the difficulty/resistance next time.


Thursday, 7/16

6 miles, 8:14 average

I decided to sleep in this morning instead of getting up for an AM run. Usually when I skip AM runs I spend the rest of the day beating myself up over it, but I didn’t regret this decision at all so I must have been exhausted. Sometimes you just need the sleep.

I did 6 miles after work and got poured on! Sometimes running in the rain is fun. I was supposed to just do an EZish run, but it’s been a weird week at work and I had a lot of stress that I just really wanted to get out. Sometimes you have those days when you just need to lace up your shoes and fly, you know?

Like usual, I kept my eyes off my watch and just ran by feel. It definitely felt faster than I could run a marathon, but not as hard as last week’s tempo run. A moderately challenging effort. I thought – was hoping – I was running in the 8:00-8:20 range for most of it. So it was a big shock when I got home, looked at my splits and saw that the last four were 8:03, 7:48, 7:55, and 8:05. Seriously, that same effort would have yielded like 8:15s a couple months ago. It’s such a confidence booster that these paces are starting to feel easier to me. I have been trying so hard for so long to break into the 7:00s for my tempo/HMP effort runs. Breaking that 8:00 min/mile barrier on a consistent basis has been (is still) the hardest and most painfully drawn-out of my big running goals. It has felt like I’m just never going to get there. I’ve been physically able to run 7:XX miles for quite some time now, and race really short distances at that pace, but I can’t run them consistently in training. I have to really push for a sub-8:00 mile, so the fact that they are starting to show up without me trying that hard is thrilling to me. It will be a long time before that can be an “easy” split for me, but that’s okay. It’s just exciting to finally reach this point.



Friday, 7/17

5.25 miles, 9:14 average

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AM shakeout and probably the most humid run I’ve done this year. Holy cannoli. It was hard to breathe out there.

I was running by feel, not pace, and it felt like I was going way slower than I was, but I still should have slowed down until it felt easier. I probably should have averaged around 9:30 to adjust for the weather.

Running philosophical question to ponder:

Is there such thing as an “easy run” in 80-97% humidity?


Saturday 7/18

6.25 miles, 8:57 average


Saturday evening run and it was hot hot hot!!! Not humid, I mean, real HEAT. But honestly, it really didn’t feel that bad. Though I was surprised the average ended that fast, I took it at an even, easy effort and felt fine the whole time.


Sunday 7/19

Long Run: 14 miles, 9:10 average

I procrastinated this run until 3:45. Not an ideal time to do a long run on an 80-something-degree day with blazing sun, but it had to get done!

I decided to shake things up and do something I haven’t done since my very first long runs over a year ago: run through the city. This would allow me to run several miles on the MKE Marathon course. I’m hoping to do as much of my training on the course as I can this summer (the benefit to running a marathon in your home city!). It was fun, but I underestimated how hilly it is. I decided that I need to start scrapping a lot of my interval work for hill repeats this summer. I’m gonna need the practice!




Fun scenery aside, it was brutal out there. I took every precaution I could think of to make sure I was being safe: put on sunscreen, brought lots of water and cash so I could stop and buy more if I needed to, took the miles at an easy, steady pace, and let myself stop for a breather whenever I needed to (the great thing about running in a city: traffic lights=built in rest breaks!). As a result, it took forever to get through that run, but I was just glad I did.


– Remember everyone, please be safe out there!! Long runs in hot weather are dangerous, so please always put your safety before your pace/distance. You are still getting everything you need to get out of the run even if you take it slower than usual and pause more often. No workout is worth risking your health! *end PSA*



Oh, did I mention? It’s RACE WEEK! This weekend is the Cudahy Classic, my first ever 10 mile race. I’m really excited about it. It’s a small, local race that the Badgerland Striders put on, and fun fact: it is actually the oldest road race in the state of Wisconsin! It will be fun to try a new distance. 10 miles is one of my favorite distances to run, so I’m excited to race it.

This will be my first race since Grandma’s Marathon. I’m not quite sure what to expect in terms of performance, because I have had very little time to properly train following marathon recovery. It’s hard to know where I’m at in terms of racing ability; while my workouts show that my speed seems to be improving, I haven’t had enough time to build up the endurance and mileage base I want for a race this long. I’m hoping that I’ve had enough time to recover and that I should feel fine to run fast, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised if I also feel a little bit rusty since I’m just now getting back into a routine. Plus, it’s late July, so who knows what kind of weather we’ll end up with on Sunday morning.

My original goal for this race, based on my abilities and assuming I’m in good shape, was to run around 1:20. But now I’m just trying to go into it without any expectations and have fun. I know everyone says that before they race, but I really mean it. Having fun for me doesn’t mean taking it easy – it means I still go out there and push myself and race to the best of my abilities, but instead of shoehorning in on a finish time, just enjoy the experience and the sheer thrill of trying my best. I don’t know what kind of weather we’ll have or how my body will respond to racing at this point, so I’m just going to go out there and try my best and be happy with whatever that gets me.

And, despite that “behind” feeling, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t secretly glad that this race is forcing me to cut back this week πŸ™‚








32 thoughts on “Marathon Training Week 2

    1. Thank you thank you!! Good luck in your 800s! Just don’t be like me and go out too fast πŸ˜‰

  1. AWESOME job last week. Totally crushed it. And I’m pretty excited to hear your thoughts on the 10 miler. It may be one of my favorite distances to race!

    1. Thanks! I will definitely let you know, I’m sure it will go wonderfully! I love 10 milers

  2. You are working hard! Awesome week of training and high five for cross training. Up that resistance and see how it feels, I try to keep my gear up and it really works my glutes and hamstrings.
    Is there such thing as an β€œeasy run” in 80-97% humidity? for me, no I have yet to have an easy run since May. Every run I’ve done has been 90- 100% humid. I only had one run that was in the 80 range so far. Even a 5K feels crazy hard with walk breaks and 11 minutes miles lol Slowing down doesn’t make it feel better for me just prolongs the agony. SO dramatic,. but it’s hard.
    Love all the city views! very pretty πŸ™‚
    Your 10 mile race should go great!

    1. TY Karen! Yeah, I’m definitely upping the resistance when I try again this week. It’s just hard to know that on the first try, but, we’ll get there!

      Ugh, that sounds rough. I really do admire you for sticking with it even though you haven’t had a break from those conditions for months. Honestly if I lived in that humidity every day and wasn’t training for a big race I don’t know how I’d stick with it!

  3. Awesome week lady! I’m not a huge fan of 800’s either. I know where I’m supposed to be, but pacing them always feels harder then it should be. Enjoy your 10 miler! That should be a fun race!!

    1. Yeah 800s are lame. The only good thing is that they’re not as time consuming as mile repeats, lol. I will definitely enjoy my 10er!! πŸ™‚

  4. OK, so I know that I am not the best cross trainer, my husband tells me to try and keep the cadence to 90 on the bike, and up the resistance so that I am not “bouncing” in the saddle–Then maybe you, too, can grow to dislike biking!!
    Good job getting in those miles!
    I do not think there is an easy run in humidity. I have to force myself to slow down, I tend to push it to get the run over with faster! (not smart, I know). I was wishing for the cold weather today, running in sub zero temps is easier, I think.
    Have fun with the 10 miler–the weather is the biggest wildcard. You have the fitness.

    1. Yeah, I figured I probably need to up the resistance. Learning curve! Might save cadence monitoring for when I’m a little more experienced at this stuff πŸ˜‰

      I agree, I don’t think there’s such thing as an EZ run in humidity no matter how slow you go. I mean, it’s tough to just be outside in that weather, so there’s probably no easy way to run in it. I also agree that I’d rather run in freezing cold than heat. Just don’t want it around the rest of the day!

  5. Great week of training! I find the McMillan Calculator a bit too fast for 800s, at least on the higher end of its range. The Hansons method uses 5K race pace as 800 repeat pace, which still gives a good workout but makes them a bit more enjoyable.

    1. Thank you! Glad I’m not the only one to feel that way about the McMillan suggestions…it’s weird since their race time predictions tend to be on the more conservative side (at least in my experience)

    1. Sure does. But not much I can do about it, just gotta deal. Visualizing October-November weather sure does help πŸ™‚

  6. AWESOME week! You are getting so speedy. I love that you are able to see all your progress. It’s been such a scorching week and I’m so over the summer already. Kudos to you for getting out there! And enjoy your race this weekend. I think going into it with no expectations will help you out a lot. Ease into your pace and you will have a great time of it (and will probably be seeing lots of 7’s towards the end!)

    1. Thank you Charissa! I sure hope so, and I know I will need to ease into the pace for sure, so that I don’t bonk in the heat (looks like Sunday’s gonna be yet another scorcher). I’m definitely interested to see how this goes!

  7. AMAZING WEEK!!! Told you that you’d be back in action when you were ready. Can we talk about how you saved your long run for THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY. WHAT IS THAT. YOU ARE A BADASS. I would have said hellllll no, I’ll try again tomorrow thanks. You rock!! GOOD LUCK on your 10 miler – you are so going to crush that race. There’s something to be said for racing without any expectations. I did that for my past few races and man did it work out well. Even if it wasn’t getting a PR or placing (like in the open water swim, no records set there for me) I had FUN. I needed to have fun with it again! Can’t wait to hear all about it!! I think your 800s are right where they should be. Don’t back off – it’s been hot and humid which might have a lot to do with why you were having a tough time. You are straight killing it, lady!

    1. I’m no badass, just a huge procrastinator!! I was planning on saving it until the evening when temps were a little better, but at one point I realized I just needed to get it done.

      I sure hope I have fun this weekend. I can honestly say, it has been a LONG time since I went into a race with no expectation beyond “please don’t bonk in that heat!!”. I think it’s easier to not set expectations for shorter distances because there is less at stake. If I fail at a 10 miler, it’s not going to cost me a BQ or a goal I worked 4 months for…I’ll have a day of disappointment and then I’ll just go back to training and set my sights on the next big thing. Going into a marathon with no expectations is a lot harder, and I’m curious to see if I can truly do that this fall or not.

  8. Great week! Those 800’s looked pretty good. I always found 800’s to be a rather uncomfortably distance. I enjoy 400’s and mile repeats… but 800’s are just kind of awkward. Good luck on your race! I’m sure you’ll do great.

    1. Thanks! I love mile repeats. 400s, not so much, as I just don’t think they help as much with longer distance training. I thought 800s would be a good balance between the two but, ugh. I agree with you, they are awkward to pace and seem easier than they really are!

  9. WOWOWOW! Those 800 splits are incredible! Go Hanna! You are killing it in the speed department. I bow down to you! πŸ™‚

    I’m really glad you started your Instagram. All of your pictures in this post and on Insta are really pretty.

    PS: Nope, there is definitely no such thing as an easy run in 90% humidity. Almost every run I do is 75% plus humidity, but the difference between 75, 80 and 90 is huge. I can FEEL the difference between the 70s, 80s and 90s and the 90s are the worse! (Just to state the obvious, haha)

    1. Thank you Kristina!! πŸ™‚

      I agree, I don’t think it’s possible to have an easy run in humidity. I mean, if just walking/standing in humid weather is bad, how could running at any pace be easy?? That’s so interesting that you can feel the difference between 70s/80s/90s! I think I’m more sensitive to humidity in general so I basically just feel anything above 75-80% as “Bad” LOL

  10. Killer week Hanna!! I’m so impressed with your tenacity, and I really missed you during my crazy two weeks! Haha. Great photos, and you’ll crush the 10-miler! I think it’s a great distance.

    1. Thank you!! Haha I missed you too, I’m glad you are back to blogging! At least we had Strava πŸ™‚

  11. Ahh I missed that you got an Instagram! Totally following you as soon as I get back to my bedroom where my phone is charging. Your training was seriously awesome this past week for all of the heat and humidity. Good luck this weekend!!!

  12. Your running scenery is so awesome! Mine is not nearly as exciting, haha. Great job this week! And that’s exciting that you are doing a 10 miler. I’ve been trying to find one but there are literally no races near me until fall because of the heat 😦 Can’t wait to see how you do!

    1. Thank you!!

      I know what you mean, it’s like that around here in the winter/early Spring. December-March is a race desert where I live. It sucks, because I’ll be training for Pittsburgh during that time but there aren’t any half marathons to run until early April – I’ll practically be in taper by then!

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