Highs and Lows of The Last 7 Weeks of Marathon Training

In 3 days I’ll be running a marathon.


Scratch that – 3 days from now I’ll be done running a marathon, cuddling on the couch with my sweet 2-year-old and double-fisting a mimosa and a chocolate milkshake from Steak’n’Shake.


No matter what happens on Saturday, I feel really good about this training cycle. I was flexible, I didn’t beat myself up, and I enjoyed running while not letting it interfere with my life.


I won’t bore you with 7 weeks of training logs. Or maybe that interests you? I doubt it. Let’s just cover the highs and the lows of the second half of Indianapolis Marathon – Home Page training, shall we?

The Lows

Injury Scare-I wore ridiculously high wedges to my brother’s wedding Labor Day weekend—this after 13 consecutive days of running because I’m a moron. I woke up the next morning with so much achiness in my shin that I thought it was a stress fracture. I’m also a tad bit dramatic when I think I’m injured. I took a few days off, and realized that it was getting steadily better. Then I put two and two together and figured it was the damn shoes. I swore I would not wear wedges or heels until after the marathon.

Hubs and I at the wedding, I couldn't find any good picks of the offending shoes. They have since been burned.
Hubs and I at the wedding, I couldn’t find any good picks of the offending shoes. They have since been burned.

A Week of Treadmill Running-I traveled to Boulder, CO the second week of September for work. I was in BOULDER. Ya know, running mecca? I didn’t get to run outside once the whole time I was there. Thanks to work all day everyday from 8:30 to 6:30, followed by dinners out, the only time I had to run was early. I didn’t want to run in the dark somewhere I don’t know, so I made friends with the treadmill. #travelingrunnerfail

It stinks that I didn’t get to enjoy the beautiful Boulder trails, but on the plus side, I did some killer speedwork.

Long Run Fail– I got home from said trip to Boulder late Friday night and planned to do a 20-miler early Saturday morning before I picked Max up at the in-laws. The run started at 5 and I felt like death. Maybe it was due to lack of sleep all week, a little too much alcohol 5 days straight and some serious humidity, but that was a sad attempt. I capped it at 17-miles and tried not to stress too much about my craptastic performance. My overall pace was fine, but I felt like I was barely moving and that I could never, ever run 26.2 miles.


The Highs

Long Run Success- After my failed attempt, I went for another 20-miler a week later. I managed to drag my butt out of bed at 4 and was outside and moving by 4:15. I was motivated by the fact that I won’t have to get up that early again for a long, long time.


It was pretty much a perfect long run. It felt nice and comfortable, and I actually enjoyed that the majority of the run was in the dark. I also listened to an excellent book, which made the time fly by—The Admissions by Meg Mitchell Moore. I’ve had to run super early this whole training cycle in order to be home when Max wakes up, and for some of my runs I’ve done the first part on the treadmill and the second half outside. This saves me from running in the dark the whole time, but also makes for a more painful second half. Something about the treadmill kicks my butt, which is why I just wanted to do this whole run outside.

Early Morning Runs-I’ve successfully made the transition to a morning runner. I was able to get in so many more runs because I’ve stuck to the morning plan. At this point, I actually wake-up a few minutes before my alarm goes off. WHO AM I?


Must run in the morning so I have time to play drums with this guy!
Must run in the morning so I have time to play drums with this guy!

No Stress-I’ve had a cool as a cucumber approach to this training cycle and I feel a lot less beaten down. Usually, by the time my taper comes around I feel physically and mentally drained. And then I spend three weeks obsessing over whether I did enough. Not this time. Life is so full these days that running is not the main thing on my mind—and I love that. I get up, I do my run and get my “me-time” and then it’s on to my day. I’ve found when I don’t expend so much mental energy on my running that I actually run a lot stronger.

Unrelated...but cute
Unrelated…but cute

The Outcome

Well, we’ll find out on Saturday, right? I will say that overall, I think that I am in shape to run close to a BQ, but it’s going to have to be a perfect day. I strongly believe that a PR is in reach, as long as I take the first few miles SLOW. I’m guessing I’ll end up somewhere in the 3:40s possible upper 3:30s. I know, that’s a big range. But I’ve run enough marathons to know that ANYTHING can happen.

Cruising on my way to PR city!
Running last year’s Monumental Marathon

Ultimately, all I really care about is running in the moment and enjoying the race. This is the last year that there will be a full marathon at this race (the half will continue next year- not sure if they will change the name?) and I want to savor the beautiful course. The Indianapolis Marathon was my very first full in 2007 and I’m so sad it will be gone next year. I’ve run the half or the full every year since then except for 2008 and 2014, and I want to relish running my hometown marathon one last time. Finishing this year will definitely be bittersweet.

Do you have a race that you hold near and dear?

Who’s racing this weekend? If you’ve already done a fall race, tell me about it! I’m so out of the loop!





21 thoughts on “Highs and Lows of The Last 7 Weeks of Marathon Training

  1. Honestly, based on your training before this, I would be shocked if you didn’t BQ. You are insanely fast and you were hitting that 8:07 pace in your sleep. Run a smart race and don’t get ahead of yourself, but don’t sell yourself short! Just go out there and do the best you can and be proud of whatever it gets you but honestly, I think you’ll surprise yourself!

    You have to remember that not every run in a training cycle is supposed to go well. One bad long run doesn’t really mean much in the grand scheme of things. It happens to all of us!

    And as for the treadmill? 37-year-old Chris Clark won the women’s Olympic marathon trials in 2000 with a 2:33….after doing ALL of her training on a treadmill! Treadmill running is still running, my dear 🙂 The important thing is you got it done.

    GOOD LUCK!!!!! I will be rooting for you!!!!

    1. Thank you so much, Hanna! I know that half the battle for me is believing that I can hold on to BQ pace for the entire race and not selling myself short. Your confidence in me means a lot! That’s insane that Chris Clark ran a 2:33 and did all of her training on the treadmill! She must have nerves of steel to get through her long runs on the ‘mill. But your right, treadmill running is still running!

  2. Good luck this weekend! I am just getting caught up here, but it sounds like you have a BQ coming your way. That long run looks impressive, and if you can hold back in the beginning I think you will nail it. That’s my problem – I am impatient. It might sound cliche, but Boston is the race I hold near and dear to my heart for so many reasons. I’ve run it the past five years, and I was a squeaker when registering for 4/5 of those years. It was only the last two years where I figured a few things out. It has been the biggest source of motivation, frustration, happiness, sadness, etc in my life. I was there when it was 90 degrees and humid, when it was bombed, when we took the city back in 2014 (favorite year), and when it was pouring rain and 40 degrees. Fingers crossed for you this weekend – I think everyone needs to experience the magic and joy of Boston! You got it, sister!

  3. Good lord!! I think I’m a morning person with my 5am wake up calls…but 4am?? For a long run?? WOW!! And listening to a book while running…I never thought of that!! Good luck this weekend – rock it!! Can’t wait to hear all about your success!!

    1. Thank you! Yeah, my husband thinks I’m nuts, but I have to be home by 7 – 7:15:( so 4 AM is my only choice for long runs. For regular runs I get up between 5:30 and 6 -so those ridiculous early morning wake-ups aren’t the norm for me! I love listening to books while running – it makes the time fly by!

  4. I am sure you are going to have a great race. You have done the hard work. I find that running early makes the entire day better. Have a great race.

  5. GOOD LUCK!!! I know you’ll BQ!! How exciting! And you’re so calm about it! I like your mental strategy. Also, thanks for posting that about your injury and shoe issues. I had something similar happen to me recently and I’m also freaking out. Your story gives me hope it’s the same thing. Can’t wait to hear how your race goes. 🙂

    1. I never used to think about how my everyday footwear could affect my runs! I hope you’re OK and it’s just a shoe issue! Wear comfy shoes all the time if possible! And thank you so much! I’m trying not to stress too much about the race because it’s just one day. If it’s not my day for a great race, I’ll get another chance!

  6. Good luck this weekend! WIth the BQ in reach trust your training and be sure to stick to your plan. It is so easy to get caught up in the energy of the race. I’ll be cheering for you this weekend!

  7. I think you have a BQ in you, Molly! But I also like that you’re going into this with a fresh perspective and are not so intent on that BQ. I think you’ll do your best if you get out there, start comfortably, and just run and see where it goes from there. You’ll have fun with it that way 🙂 Let your legs and lungs dictate how you run – not your watch! I’m excited to hear about your marathon this weekend though. Best of luck and have fun celebrating when it’s all said and done!!

    1. Thank you so much, Charissa! I think I have a similar mindset that you did for your race. I’m going to go with how I feel and run a pace that feels sustainable (easier said than done!) I just want to have fun! I hope you are recovering well and are proud of how well you did! You rocked it 🙂

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