Posted by: Ingrid | February 3, 2013

Marathon Training: Week 4

Negative Nelly ahead, folks.  Yes, I am at the end of week four (if you can actually call what I did this week marathon training) but I am probably not in a good place to be writing, which means this will either be terse or angsty.  Although seriously, Michigan in February seems like justification enough to be a little crazy.  They should just medicate everyone in our entire state right after Christmas and we would probably be better off for it.  I feel the same way about Michigan in the winter that I did about Fresno in the summer.  What kind of idiotic person really thought that living in a place incompatible with human life (without the use of extreme measures) sounded like a good idea?  Hey look guys!  If you walk outside your door and stay there without fifty layers of clothing you freeze to death.  Cool.  Let’s build a town here.  What an awesome location!

But you already knew I hated winter, right?

I made the mistake of starting the running week late because I didn’t feel properly recovered from Saturday’s long run.  But because of scheduling (Wednesday was the only day I could run a little longer and husband’s schedule changed so I had to do my long run Friday and not Saturday) that meant that between Tuesday and Friday I had to get in my fartleks, a 20 miler, and a 9 mile mid-week run.  Bad plan.  So I didn’t even have a good training for a half marathon, let alone for a full.

Miles run: 32


M: 45 minutes elliptical, 20 minutes weights,  25 minutes biking

T: 7 miles, 2×7 minute fartleks at 6:40-7:00 pace outside in the rain, 1 minute recovery in between

W:  9 miles in what ended up being a rainstorm with winds that kicked up when I was 4.5 miles from home.

R: 40 biking, 20 minutes weights (I thought I would be doing my 20 miler the next day so I took a very easy day that I now regret)

F: 9 miles (1:16)

S: Awful slow 6 miles in snow that seemed to come from every direction.  New snow on top of packed snow and since I was running in the dark it was hard to see what kind of surface I was running on.

S: 1 hour biking, abs

Long Run:  The “long” run was, in a word, awful.  We had a meeting at the preschool, then other things came up and we were having company for dinner so the day was too full.  It was probably 0 degrees with the wind chill, there was new snow and gusting winds and it was terrible outside.  I thought I would try for 13 miles but the run was just that bad.  I was angry and frustrated about many many things and while a good run on pace may have assuaged some of what I was feeling, a mediocre run that was not long enough and not on pace was not going to change how I felt about my running, my body, the church, friendships, parenting, finances, the future, etc.  I was just going to feel more aggravated and colder at the 13 mile mark than I would at 9 miles.  So I quit at 9.

Triumphs: I am not feeling triumphant about anything right now.

Fears:  That I suck at running and will continue that sucky trend.  That I will never run more than 10 miles again.  That my training plan is now shot to hell because the week was a mess.  That I will continue to feel trapped by winter.  That the snow will keep falling and the roads will never clear.  That February will never end.  That I should never have even thought about a marathon.  That I will continue getting slower and fatter and fatter and slower and never run again.  The end.

Injuries:  Nothing is sore or hurts, probably because I haven’t done anything worth mentioning.

I did take a 2.5 hour nap yesterday (though that may have been offset by being woken up 4 times between 3:30 and 5:00 this morning) but it is very obvious that I am still cranky and out of sorts.  I WARNED YOU.  Welcome to what is either a quarter of the way through or the end of marathon training.  And look!  It’s snowing again.



  1. Oh dear, sounds like a tough phase; no wonder living in a place so extreme in temperature! i hope it blows through quickly though, leaving you with some hope and light ahead…for what its worth i love reading your blog posts because you seem like a very centred, practical, multi-talented woman – cooking, reading, mothering, running, health…you’re amazing. And you’ll be back out feeling “together” soon I am sure.

    • Thank you for your kind words! I know that this will not be forever but I am this close to buying a ticket to California and moving in with my sister for three week! 🙂

  2. I used to live in Grand Rapids, and I know from experience that Michigan winter running is hard hard hard. Living in Michigan is hard. I liked it there, but the weather got to me on so many levels. (((HUGS))) Anyway–you are very gritty to keep up with it and keep going. 9 miles there requires a lot of grit.

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Tara. I know that the snow will melt and the sun will come out again, but boy does February feel long! 🙂 I will keep reminding myself that at least I am getting outside and running. That is something.

  3. Winter training can be tough and this year has been no joke, talk about brutal winter. Even I who has lived in MN all my life hates it and have been pretty moody. Hang in there this has got to end soon and remember one bad week of training won’t break the marathon. Focus on the injury free part 🙂

    • Thanks, Jen. I had a good treadmill run today, so that was encouraging. I can’t believe all the snow we have been getting today – I am sure you have it much worse in MN!

  4. Yep, winter running. So so frustrating. But I am with the others: one “bad” week (32 miles is not too shabby though!) isn’t going to derail your whole training. Just do what you can. I’m trying to concentrate on “time on feet” right now rather than hitting the exact mileage, because I’m so much slower running on the snow.

    And just think how much easier running will feel when you get to do it on dry land in decent weather. I had a glimpse of that last week on the one day it didn’t precipitate, there was no snow on the ground, and the temperature was above freezing. My average pace for the run was like 30 seconds/km faster just due to better conditions.

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