Gradual Progress Toward the Elusive Three-hour Mark

I’m dropping in an update on how training has been going. I’ve dealt with ups and downs, but my overall fitness is noticeably better. For most of January and February, I ran around 90 (usually 93) miles every week. I layered in two speed work sessions most weeks and a second run on Tuesdays. I also added a second longer run most weekends. My legs seemed to be able to handle the increased stress, especially if I took an easy day on Monday. In D.C. we had the coldest February in years, so my training went inside for about a quarter of the time. The roads were simply too icy to go outside some days.

The Bad

A viral infection sidelined me for longer than I’d like. I felt in a total funk for about a week. I shook the initial fever, vomiting and chills in about 36 hours, but I wasn’t able to get past the worn-down feeling for about a week.  I kept up 10-mile Tuesday with a fever and extreme nausea. It wasn’t pretty. I went to Dallas to visit my family and escape the snow-covered trails, but I was too sick to finish my second long run. In hindsight, a light week probably wasn’t the worst thing for my body. I convinced myself that I was actually dealing with overtraining symptoms. Overtraining and this nasty viral bug have the same symptoms. The doctor reassured me it would pass. It did.

I ran a sub-par marathon in Austin and had extreme stomach issues around mile 25. They persisted on my cool down run. I did make a handy map to keep track of these kinds of incidents, however. (You’re welcome.) I know I shouldn’t complain about a 3:16 marathon on a hilly course in warm weather. But I know I’m capable of running faster, and I wish my body could have cooperated that day. I also ran 84 miles that week, which amounted to a tiny taper. In reality, just a few years ago, I would have been ecstatic to put up a time like that. It just wasn’t my day.

Not my best time, but maybe my hilliest marathon.

A photo posted by amandahi (@amandahi) on

The Good

In the middle of a speed work session, my treadmill broke on what was the coldest day of the year to that point. That seems bad. I put on four layers and finished my run outside and felt entirely bad ass for doing it. Bonus: I was on day 364 of my yearlong warranty. The treadmill is fixed now.

I set a 27-second PR in the half marathon this week. The PR came on a nasty rainy day and on a hilly course, so I felt pretty good about it. My previous PR was in perfect conditions on a flat course, so this was a noticeable improvement for me. And it was a few weeks after that awful viral stomach bug, so I might have still been a little weak. Still, progress.

Finally, I settled on two goal races for 2015: the Hartford Marathon in October where I’ll try to break 3:00 and a low-key 50K in North Carolina in July. The goal of the 50K is just to finish upright.

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Amanda runs nearly every day. She likes data and avoids deer at all costs.

One thought on “Gradual Progress Toward the Elusive Three-hour Mark”

  1. I’m excited to find your blog! All those weeks of miles in the 90s – that’s impressive! I’m sorry that the virus knocked you for a loop but congrats on running that half marathon PR without a taper! That’s tremendous. I’m rooting for you to get that sub-3. I’m not sure yet what I’m running this fall but I’m shooting for that goal as well. And finally, just wanted to say congrats on finishing Austin. That darn marathon was awful – I ran it after having contracted mono and finished in a 4:27 and fought for every step. It was UG-LY. Those hills and that heat/humidity are just brutal. You are a rockstar for running a 3:16 there. Seriously.

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