Week 12 Boston Marathono 2015 Training

I can hardly believe that in less than a month I will be running my third Boston Marathon! My training has been going great, my body feels ready to go and I still have four weeks. 

This week I really wanted to work on hills, to get ready for the Newton Hills and for Heartbreak Hill. The difficult thing about the Boston Marathon course, is that the up hills come near the end of the marathon.  Plus with all the down hill running in the first half of the course, your quads are pretty much done. This is where the cross training come into play. Building up those quads for those hills!

Monday began with some pool work. I prefer to kick with a kick board and really concentrate on keeping my legs straight and engaging my hips and glutes to propel my body through the water. I can feel the burn and it really gets the heart rate up. This is excellent non impact cross training for runners. I can't tell you how great it feels to get in the pool after a long run day.

I opted out of my intervals on Tuesday and decided to do 12 hill sprints. Thankfully, we live in the hills of Southern California, so I can run out my front door and immediately choose to run up a hill or down a hill. My focus was on my form, concentrating on using my glutes and keeping my body over my feet and pumping my arms and thinking of God pulling me up the hill kind of like when you grab onto a tow rope. I asked God to get me up and over that hill.  Sprinting up hill is resistance training in and of itself. After cresting each hill, I was completely breathless and had to walk down the hill to recover. I ran a total of 7 miles and 9 different hills. Then I decided to sprint up and down the last hill 3x to finish strong. My mental focus was on staying strong on the uphill, keeping my positive thoughts and never giving up.

Thursday I had to swap my tempo run day for a long run day because I was scheduled to run the Hot Chocolate 15K in San Diego on Sunday. My body was still pretty tired from the previous long run of 20 miles and all the cross training I did on Wednesdays (PiYo and Spin Class) so it felt a little difficult to maintain a steady pace over 15 miles. Plus the fact that I again chose a very hilly route. In the end, I was able to maintain an average pace of 8:25 which was right on track with my training schedule. My body felt great, no calf pain or hamstring issues. As I began to realize how great my body felt, I was thankful to the Lord for my strong body and that my training was paying off. 

Friday I went to the gym and did 35 minutes on the row machine (5 minutes easy, 5 minutes hard, repeat). I always enjoy my non-impact cross training days. It feels so good to get my body moving and challenging my muscles in a different way. 

Saturday was my day of rest. I drove down to San Diego with my friend Heather to attend the Hot Chocolate 15K Race Expo. Sunday morning the race began at 7:40 AM. I decided to use it as a tempo run, since my schedule was to do a 10 mile tempo at race pace (8:12). The course was very hilly, a lot of rolling hills in the beginning and almost all down hill for the last 2 miles. My pace was all over the place due to the hills. I managed to finish with an average pace of 7:55 and I finished in 4th place for my age division. Not bad for a training run that I wasn't even racing! I never race when I am training for a marathon, too risky to end up pulling something.

Mental training is my focus for next week. Staying positive during the times I want to give up and remembering to use my glutes and keep my form even when I get tired. I visualize the finish line at the end of each run and mentally focus on finishing strong. As always, I want to finish Boston Strong!