Sunday, April 2, 2017

Grandma's Marathon - Week 8

If there could be a perfect, 
textbook training week.....

This.  Was.  IT! 

Grandma's Marathon Training Week 8 was out of this world!!


34.5 miles
Speedy Gonzales
Long Run Bliss


The day started with sprints.  I actually love sprints!   Or shall I say,  I've grown to love sprints.  There is something about pushing my body out of my comfort zone that feels so good.  I finished with 7 miles at an overall pace of 8:30/mile.   I did 0.41 mile splits,  so I used the 600m. recommendation to measure my progress. 

One of these days, I'll be running in light again. :) 

My splits were consistent from 2:57-3:01 - which equates to 7:18-7:25/mile.   I completed 7 total and headed home.   These felt amazing!  I'm right on point for the run smart calculator.   I couldn't have been happier with how the day went. 


This was the only crabby wrinkle in my week.   I needed, for my personal training, to run slow and easy for recovery.  But, the group I was running with had other plans.  That's absolutely fine, but it wasn't what I needed.  I completed 5.5 miles and crabbed my way to the shower that morning.  

I didn't want to run as fast as I did,  but I didn't want to be left in the dust in the dark either.  I may have to visit Milly on my easy run days so I can be in control the entire time.   We shall see.  


Wednesday..... lovely Wednesday.  Oh -  how Tuesday evenings have become my favorite day of the week.   I know I don't have to get up in the morning. 

I did go to my weekly kick-boxing class at 6:45 pm.  I love it and so wish I could fit more classes in.  My arms were shaking. 


This was the morning I started really believing in myself!   I had lofty goals for this run,  and they paid off!  My original goal was a tempo run at 8:20's for 3 - 4 miles.  My running partners wanted no part in that,  but said they'd lag behind and keep an eye on me. 

My first mile was a warm-up at 9:19 and then I took off.  

My splits weren't consistent, but that wasn't my goal.  I truly just wanted to be able to run at or faster than 8:20's for 3-4 miles.  Mile 3 was brutally hilly - I should have known.  I know the route like the back of my hand.  I told myself,  just get through mile three and then you can slow down for the last 2 miles home.   However, when I finished with mile 3, I knew that mile 4 would be mostly downhill.  I went for it.  By the time I got to mile 4,  I said to myself - "just ONE more mile home, YOU GOT THIS!"  I went for it and freaking DID IT! 

5 tempo miles with splits of 8:03, 8:11, 8:19, 8:15, 8:16.  I ran my fastest ever 10K in 52:00 and nearly cried at the end.  To be honest, I could have gone longer!  

It was amazing.   I'm hoping to channel my inner speedy gonzales on race day!  


Rest day.  Yippee!!


My parents winter in Florida, so we don't see them for about 4 months.  Since they had just gotten back to Wisconsin, this weekend I took my boys back to La Crosse to visit them.  That meant my long run was there.  Even though I know every road in town,  I was a bit perplexed about how I was going to get my long run in.  With some careful planning,  I found the perfect route. 

I tried very hard to run slow for this run so that I would be able to go the distance.   I paid close attention to my HR as well.  For nearly 90% of the run,  I was in zone 3 and zone 4.  I ended up splitting the zones nearly half and half!  I ended with an average HR of 149.  My max heart rate is 175.  I am extremely happy about that!  I even got a kudos from Garmin! 

I ran the beautiful blue bridges across the Mississippi River into Pettibone Beach Park and ran trails all along the river.  It was a blissful and mind-clearing morning.  The temperature was about 40 and there was absolutely NO wind.   

Of course,  I had to stop to take some pictures along the way too!  Here is a highlight! 

I ran 16 miles with an average of 9:20/mile.  

Week 8 proved to be the best week of training yet.  

I took a jump to celebrate the great long run!   I'm surprised my legs let me!  

This week,  I'm looking forward to my first race of the year on Saturday!  I'll be running half marathon #10!  I've set a pretty high goal for myself for the run.  I'll keep that secret for now.  Of course,  I've already scoped out the weather and it's mostly sunny and 49 degrees at the start!  PERFECT!  

Make sure to link up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap this week! 


  1. Living in Mississippi and growing up in Vicksburg on the river's weird to me to see your picture running over the Mississippi river, but much further North! :)

    You are killing this training cycle girl! Good luck this weekend and sure hope you not only meet your goals but knock them out of the park!

    1. wow - thank you so much! I've never been to mississippi!

  2. Your training has been spot on! I'm really excited for you! Good luck on your half this weekend!

    1. Thanks Wendy! :) Is it weird you give me motivation from afar while I'm running? :)

  3. Wow, what an amazing week, especially your long run and your speed work! I will be starting some speed work (soon)...I am not a fan, so I will be doing it sporadically if (and only IF) I have ideal weather for it LOL. I don't have any lofty goals for Grandma's (other than a course PR...which should be easy peasy because I did not have a great finish time due to the numerous potty stops).Stay tuned...I may be changing that strategy as my training progresses ;-)

  4. Congrats on a great week! It sounds like you did great with your speed, long run, and tempo run. Its always nice when the Garmin recognizes our improvements, right?

  5. Are you noticing the rhythm your training has? You're challenging your body by demanding faster paces from it and some weeks are tough, and then it all comes together the way it did for you this week. That is the reward of solid, diligent training. And yes, that's where confidence is built. Well done!

  6. What an awesome week of training for you! You are nailing your paces for training and I can feel the joy that you ave for running through your writing :)

  7. Solid week, Gina. Your training is going really well!

  8. You taught me some geography today. I am ashamed to admit it but I didn't realize the Mississippi River ran through Wisconsin!
    Congrats on a solid week of training.

  9. Wednesday is my kickboxing day too love it when my arms shake. Looks like a great week for you

  10. Wow great job speedy!! You are getting faster each week! I love the bridge picture of you on your long run! Congrats to a great week of training!

    1. I'm REALLY trying to improve speed for sure!

  11. You had a really solid week and it looks like you are really improving your times each week. Hope you have another great one!

  12. You had a fabulous week of training! Those long low HR runs will pay off in a big way, especially coupled with your weekly speed sessions! Good luck with your half marathon. I suspect you will crush your goal. Thanks for linking, Gina!

  13. Glad you had a great week of training! Your picture from the run along the Mississippi are beautiful. I've never been there before but would love to make it out there sometime!

  14. Love the picture of you on the bridge! Great job with your training!

  15. Good luck with your half this coming weekend. Hopefully your successful week from last week will carry into this week, and more importantly, into your race this weekend.

  16. Great week!! Looks like you are doing really well and are training strong!

  17. You are kicking butt and taking names! I am so proud of you! That bridge is stunning, too. I love all the views my blogging friends highlight from their runs!

  18. Congrats on a fantastic week of training and good luck on your half on Saturday! Go get'em!

  19. Yay! Great job, it's so rare when I have a week go smoothly like this too, glad you enjoyed it!!

  20. Looks like you got to take in some pretty sights on your long run! I'm so excited that the sun is starting to rise earlier now. It will be awesome to not feel like a running creature of the night for a few months :)