Boston Virtual Marathon Training Update: Week 17 of 20

This week was peak week and I’ve survived! In the past peak week for halfs has always come right before taper time but in this plan next week is still a pretty regular training volume, just the long run is A LOT shorter! But psychologically I’m totally done ya’ll! Even though I’m okay skipping a run when my body or my life needs me to, I do like to always grind through all of peak week. It makes me feel tough and like I really did it. So I did all my runs this week even though it took some behind the scenes life compromising but that’s okay too. The timing wasn’t ideal because this weekend was honey’s birthday and we do tend to make a big deal of them around here. So that meant the 20 miler had to happen on Saturday pretty much no matter what. I actually didn’t get a lot of pictures this week because mostly I was tiered or it was raining so…This week’s running ticked along pretty well and I even had a couple of firsts along the way. First time running 32 km and first time running with a backpack. Here’s how that all played out!

Tuesday 8k: I pulled a forgotten casserole my mom made for us out of the freezer that I was saving in case of emergency after a late day of work an plunked it in the oven. I went out to my new favorite running spot along the beach which if you consider I have to walk over half a km was actually pretty fast. I remember being annoyed about something at the time but I can’t tell you what it was about. So let that be a lesson to you about letting the little stuff go. Mostly I remember that dinner was delicious.

Wednesday 6.5k: I ran on Wednesday under pretty much the same conditions as the night before. I actually ran my usual running loop for the first time in maybe a couple of months. I like this route in the off season since it’s largely protected from ocean breezes so it’s a bit of a warmer route. It was pretty cool so I decided to revisit this old standby. It’s always nice to get back to a route you love and are most familiar with. It’s kind of like slipping into your most comfortable pair of pants. I wore my new-ish race day shoes before my long, long run on the weekend and they were totally fine so that was a load off. However please take this note of foreshadowing that the cool, crisp weather lulled me into a false sense of security.

Thursday 8k: On Thursday I actually had a running first! It was the first time I ran with a backpack. When I was in grad school there was another student that lived in my old neighborhood and she used to run into school (with all her paperwork) about 12 km to school and back everyday. I know this because I would see her from my jeep when she passed me stuck in traffic. I always wondered what that would feel like… Well on Thursday evening I decided to find out but I figured I would walk most of it and pick some mushrooms. I also listened to podcasts instead of music for the first time ever running too. Well I decided that I might as well run there when it was empty. But once I got there and started poking around I found way more than I was expecting about 10 lbs or so and it was getting dark so I had to run home too. I have one of those crazy hiking backpacks now with a chest and hip strap and it wasn’t too bad but I was pretty slow. I did find I had to tie the straps ends up because they were flapping about but it wasn’t too bad at all. Because it was pretty much dark when I got home I didn’t get a picture.

Saturday 32k aka the BIG one: This run has stood large and imposing for years for me. I knew if I ever decided to run a marathon I would eventually have to run a 20 miler. It would also be the closest I would ever get to running a marathon in training. The forecast and honey’s birthday meant that Saturday was the day. We pulled the little boat out first thing in the morning so honey could clean it since I would be gone most of the day. On the way home from hauling I even considered putting it off until monday. I would be running around most of our side of the bay and the weather can really change as you go. For the first half of the distance it tends to hold the fog while the further side does not. It was already 22c at 10 am and by noon the feels like temperature was going to be closer to 30. The danger was that things would be humid but overcast and so damp it’s cool and then be just plain old steamy which was exactly happened 8 km in. So the conditions were pretty brutal for this one and it was a bit of a slog mentally and physically. Since it was such a long run with a high potential for suck I arranged a pickup on standby should I need one. That probably made it mentally tougher mentally too. I talked myself into doing one of this weeks 8 kms. Then the 12, then the 20 I usually do and then 2 more to at least get some more water. Then there were some clouds in the distance so I figured that things would improve and I might as well do the last 10.

By the last 10k I was pretty tiered so even though it was overcast which is understandable. Usually when I’m running and especially long running honey doesn’t typically call or text. I’ll sometimes text him and let him know my progress at the 50% and 75% mark. But we do share our locations and sometimes he keeps an eye on me that way. So when I got the text 2km from home that it was raining there chances are it was a biblical sort of rain. Sure enough I looked up and there was a literal wall of rain about 4 houses down. Even though I paid extra for my watch, phone and earbuds to be waterproof I still ditched the rest of my rains and put all that in their ziplock bag. I was prepared to get very, very wet. I wasn’t prepared for 4 hours of salty sweat to pour into my eyes but since I was so close to home I just laughed it off and squinted a lot. Due to intense rain at the end there I didn’t get a cute picture of this one either instead enjoy this ‘gem’ that honey snapped of me on the way to the tub. Not my best angle!

With that peak week in my first marathon training cycle is done and all the miles were run! That’s no small feat when you consider that the 32km run has been hanging over me for years and now it’s done. Now the only marathon mental barrier left to concur from my why I’ll never run a marathon post is the 10k race day distance gap. Next week is still a ‘regular volume’ training week but after that it’s all taper! You can check out the plan I’m using here.  If you want a sneak peak of my training follow me on instagram! Are you training for a marathon this year? How is your training going so far? Leave it in the comments below!

3 thoughts on “Boston Virtual Marathon Training Update: Week 17 of 20

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  1. If this is your first marathon and first marathon training taper, you may be about to experience what I call the “Taper Tantrums.” Too much time on your hands since you’re not running as much. And the constant feeling that you should be running, and you will be hungry 24×7!
    Good luck with the marathon and hopefully some day you will get to come to Boston.
    Here is my post from 2016 –


    1. thank you. I have tapered a few times before and it is crazy! For a triathalon one year I happened to redo my office during taper and it really helped. Now I always plan a bigger house project for the taper and it makes all the difference. Maybe someday I’ll get there but if not that’s okay too! happy running!


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