Category Archives: Marathon

Boston Marathon Preview Run

Heartbreak Hill |

You guys, I ran up Heartbreak Hill.

For those who said it wasn’t even really a noticeable hill…you lied. Big time.

It most definitely is a long, gradual hill. Not the most horrible ever in the existence of hills. But it most definitely is a hill that you will feel especially after running up two right before it and it’s the last of four in Newton.

Saturday I got the marvelous opportunity to do a Boston Marathon Preview Run. Every year, one of our local running groups, Coastal Athletic Association, organizes a group run near the end of Boston training. I was so thankful my friend Dana mentioned it to me so I could tag along. There were 11 of us running. Of that, six of us will actually be running on Marathon Monday, but the remaining 5 tagged along for support along the course (water, GU’s, Gatorade, whatever you needed) in addition to keeping us company and to share their knowledge of the course. I was the lone person who has never run the course before!

Boston training run  happyfitmama.comPhoto courtesy of Kim.

I thought we were going to luck out for the run with gray skies and warm temps (30 degrees!!!). But no, it started to snow at some point. And not just little snow flakes, but big fat wet ones that stuck to your eyelashes, soaked everything from head to toe and made the sidewalks a slippery, snow packed mess.

What’s this Spring thing everyone is talking about?

We started in Needham and picked up the course (around mile 13-14). At mile 15-16 there’s a HUGE downhill. It didn’t feel so bad going down. But since we did an out and back loop, it really, really sucked going up. Especially since we were following Dana’s lead of 2:00 pick ups the last 5 miles. After the hill, we cruised along past the Newton Firehouse onto Comm Ave (or Commonwealth Ave if you don’t know the lingo) where the series of hills begins. BTW – there was a fireman in full gear outside the station manning a water station and cheering. So awesome.

It was crazy how many people were out for training runs. The carriage road was nothing but 100s of runners and water stops. While it was fun to see so many others running, it was also kind of annoying having to stop for foot and car traffic over and over. With the snowy conditions, it caused for having to work at least 3x harder to get good footing with each step. There were also little dips around the street lights that caused me to roll my ankle a couple of times. Thankfully it was nothing serious.

At the base of Heartbreak Hill, we had to stop for a mandatory photo opp with Johnny Kelley, the man who ran 61 Boston Marathons!

Young At Heart Heartbreak Hill

Once we got to the top of Heartbreak, Molly was there waiting for us with water, Gatorade or whatever else we needed. We then turned around and headed back the way we came. So not only did we get to run UP all the hills, we got to run DOWN the hills. No wonder my legs were feeling quite fatigued at the end. I had contemplated doing the full 20, but decided to call it at 18. My tummy wasn’t feeling the greatest and I’m not sure my injury prone body would appreciate three 20 milers in a row.

This coming weekend is my last long, long run of training. I’m doing Eastern States 20 Miler and hope to add a mile on at the beginning and at the end for 22 total. I still haven’t determined what my goal will be for the race – training run/race/part race?

28 days to go!

Have you ever run up Heartbreak Hill? What did you think?

Boston Marathon Training {Week 9 & 10}

Boston Marathon Training Week 9 & 10 |

Holy cow!!!!

35 days till Marathon Monday! Excuse me while I freak out. A LOT!

This training cycle has gone by so fast. I swear it seems like it was just week 1. If you’ve missed the previous Boston Marathon training weeks, here you go: Week 1 & 2, Week 3 & 4, Week 5 & 6, Week 7 & 8.

The past two weeks have been difficult with traveling (hello no luggage and 99 laps!) and just feeling rather tired and achy last week. By the middle of the week, I made myself get into bed by 9 p.m. Some nights I actually did fall asleep right then and there. Others, I stayed up reading or catching up on TV shows. I even managed a couple of naps. I’m feeling a little more rested and less achy. Although as I’m typing this my legs are fatigued from the mornings 20 miler – which is to be expected!

Week 9 (March 2 – 8) – 41 miles

Monday – travel day

Tuesday – no luggage/FIL funeral

Wednesday – 9 miles (99 laps. Similar to 99 problems). 2 mile warm up easy pace, 7 Yasso 800s (3:39, 3:35, 3:33, 4:20 (helped an old lady set up a bike and forgot to stop my watch), 3:30,3:23,3:36), 2 mile easy cool down

Thursday – 5 miles (55 laps yo!). Supposed to be easy but turned into a progressive run as I got a little too competitive with a girl on the track. Full body weights.

Post run strength |

Friday – 9 miles, blustery, hilly and snow covered roads with Yak Tracks in the Yoop.

Saturday – travel day

Sunday – 18 miles, average pace 8:43. Entertained Sarah with my trip from hell. It made the miles fly by at least!

Week 10 (March 9 – 15) – 50 miles

Monday – bike trainer 50 minutes, core/PT exercises

Tuesday – 10 miles – 2 mile w/u, 1:00 @ 7:20, 1:00 recovery jog x 12, 4 miles easy. p.m. yoga (oh the stiffness!)

Wednesday – Easy 5 miles, Core/PT exercises

Thursday – 10 miles – 2 miles easy pace, 8 x 1000 m @ 1k pace (guessed at it since I’ve never run a 1k before) w/ 400 m jog, 3 miles easy. p.m. yoga (hello shaky legs and arms!)

Moms kick butt | happyfitmama.comMother’s Day present to my mom from 1989. Funny that I didn’t really understand just how much they do kick butt back then!

Friday – (TGIRD) Thank God it’s a rest day!

Saturday – Backed out of a 5k race because of paranoia. Last 5k/20 miler weekend I had resulted in an injured Achilles. Didn’t want to risk it! Easy 5 miles, core/PT exercises

Sunday – 20.10 miles – Average pace of 8:45. 32 degrees and snow showers at times but I’ll take it any day it’s not in the single digits. Wasn’t feeling the most energetic for most of it, but it’s done. And it was marvelous!

I’m excited for the next two weekends – running part of the Boston course next Saturday (eeek!!!) and Eastern States 20 miler the following. And then it’s taper time.


How’s you life in running right now?

Boston Marathon Training {Week 7 & 8}

Boston Marathon Training Week 7 & 8

Boston marathon training is moving right along. Race day is less than 2 months away. How did that happen? If you missed my previous training updates, you can find them here: Week 1 & 2, Week 3 & 4, Week 5 & 6.

Last time we chatted training, I was feeling pretty good. Things changed, running wise, Week 7 and 8. It was a rough 2 weeks. The monotony of treadmill running is getting to me. I never really dread my runs, but lately I haven’t been bounding out of bed at zero dark thirty like I usually do. And then the morning of what was supposed to be my first 20 miler of this training cycle happened. It was -8 (not even sure what the real feel was). I was all prepared for -2 degrees temps NOT -8. It threw me for a loop and I started to panic and over think things. In the end, Sarah and I decided to switch the 20 miler to the following week. That meant week 8 was a mix of cut back during the week and the long run distance of week 7.

Needless to say, I was quite nervous for our 20 miler yesterday. Neither one of us has really been logging many miles outside. The forecast said it was going to be 10 at the start but it really was 1. Yay. We were frozen for the first 4 miles and then the temps finally did start to warm up. Thankfully, our 20 miler was marvelous with great conversation and finding a fire hydrant just at the right time. (I’ll let your imagination wonder what that was all about!)

Here’s the run down:

Week 7 (February 16 – 22) – 43 miles

Monday: 50 minutes bike trainer, 10 minutes sun salutations, glute/core work, strength training whole body

Tuesday:  9 miles – 2 mile w/u @9:00, 3 miles @ 8:00, 2 miles @ 7:53, 2 mile c/d @ 8:34. P.M. Yoga  @ studio

Wednesday: Easy 5 miles. Glute/core/PT work. 10 minutes sun salutations for warm up. Strength training whole body.

Thursday: 10 miles – Went into this workout feeling tired, tight and sore. 2 mi w/u, 6 x 4:00 @ 10k pace w/ 2:00 recovery, 2 mile easy pace. Yoga @ studio.

Yoga at home |

Friday: Rest! Easy yoga, core/glute work

Saturday: 2 miles w/u, 3 miles @ 8:20 on treadmill. 8.5 miles outside once it warmed up a bit. Yoga @ studio

Sunday: Easy 5 miles. Yoga @ studio. Snowshoeing w/ the fam.

Week 8 (February 23 – March 1) – 41 miles

Monday: 60 minutes bike trainer. Strength training, glute/core/PT

Tuesday: 6 miles – 2 mile w/u, 6 x 0.4 miles @ 7:20 pace, 0.2 recovery in between, 1 mile c/d. Yoga @ studio

Wednesday: Easy 5 miles. Strength training, glute/core/PT

Road running |

Thursday: 7 miles total – 2 miles w/u on treadmill and then I took it outside. I’m taking back winter! Yoga @ studio

Friday: Rest!

Saturday: Easy 3.25 mile run outside. Yoga @ studio. Glute/core work.

Sunday: 20 miles! Average 8:50 pace with rolling hills and tip toeing across lots of icy roads.

While I didn’t feel my best for the past 2 weeks, I’m feeling a little bit like myself again after the 20 miler. However, this week is going to be difficult in training. Not because of the workouts but of my options of getting it done. Fingers crossed it works out.

How’s your life in running right now?