Weekly Recap 1/5-1/11

Another week in the books! This was the last week of “freedom” before 16 weeks of marathon training kicks in, and I stuck to the plan of relaxing and taking things nice and easy – I only totaled 14 miles for the week! Jennifer and I were talking at the race yesterday and we both agreed that while there was a smidge of guilt over the lack of miles, it was really our last opportunity to do whatever we wanted and I took full advantage. It also happened to be the first “real” week of winter with subzero temperatures, ice, and snow so that made my decisions much easier! Having said that, I am READY to start marathon training!

Here’s a peek into last week:

Monday: You guessed it – REST.

Tuesday – This was a double workout day. I ran 4 miles on the treadmill first thing in the morning, and then did my weights when I got home from work.  I am still trying to figure out how I want to balance my strength work during this training cycle. If I stick to only doing weights 2x a week, I could pull doubles and run in the morning, then lift when I get home. This would give me a few extra rest days during the week, which would be lovely. I could also lift on the days when I don’t run…this would mean less rest days but also less work each day, if that makes sense.  If I bump it up to 3 days a week, this all goes out the window and I will have to double up on some days. I can’t make up my mind, so I think I’m just going to have to try them both and see what works best for me.

My trainer. He just lays around and barks orders at me. Jerk.

My trainer. He just lays around and barks orders at me. Jerk.

Wednesday – Rest.

Thursday – AM Weights + a quick 15 minute incline walk on the treadmill. I’m not crazy about hauling my buns out of bed at 4:30 in the morning, but I do LOVE getting a workout in first thing. I always feel energized and ready to KA-POW  the shit out of my day!

Friday – More rest. I could get used to this.

Saturday – Holy $%# was it cold!! Even before the Marathon kick off run was cancelled, I decided that I would be hitting up the basement for a date with my treadmill. Originally I wanted Saturday to be my long run of about 8-9 miles but once I realized I wouldn’t be able to run outside I readjusted my expectations. I’ve never run  more than 4 miles on a treadmill so I set a realistic goal of 5 miles. Might not sound like much to some (like Steffany, who knocked out SIXTEEN miles on her treadmill this past weekend…SO awesome) but this was a big deal for me. I covered the screen with a towel, turned on my beloved Law and Order and went to work. I’m always slower on the treadmill than I am outside, so I knew that it would take me a while. I always play games with myself when I’m running, so I told myself to not look at the timer until after the episode ended (I started running at about 7:30, so it was already halfway over). Then I challenged myself to not look until after the opening credits played…and I just kept doing that until it had been almost 45 minutes or so. When I finally got to take the towel away I was past the 4 mile mark and pretty proud of myself. I very briefly thought about pushing it to 6 miles, but I figured there will be plenty of opportunities to try that out this winter! I started cranking the speed up every .2-.25 miles until the last quarter mile when I made it an all-out sprint to the end.  That sort of salvaged my pace to make 5 miles in 57:46 (11:33 pace).


It doesn’t seem like much, but that was big for me. I called it a TDR – treadmill distance record! Hopefully I don’t have to do this often, but knowing that I can is huge! I just pray that I don’t have to do my long run on that thing…

Also, as I’m writing/editing this I was contacted via the Pittsburgh Marathon that my entry on Instagram was one of the winners of their Treadmill Challenge! I won a VIP Package for race weekend – I NEVER win anything so I am soooo excited about this!! Wahoo!!

Sunday – Frigid Five Miler! Full recap is here.  Overall, I really enjoyed this race and had a great time! I did mention in my recap that I had some issues with our pacer…maybe it’s just me and I’m ultra sensitive to being a slower runner, but some of the comments he made seriously irritated me. It’s actually one of the reasons I decided to pull away from the group…I just couldn’t listen to him anymore! If I’m in the wrong, please tell me…I will shout an apology from the rooftops! I can’t tell if I’m being too sensitive or not.

Exhibit A:

As we were waiting for the start, someone in our group asked if 11:00 was his normal pace and he answered with a “ohhhh NO! I normally run an 8 or 9 minute pace. I ran a lot this weekend, so I asked for the slowest group they had.” Ohhh kay? There was also a good bit of attitude in his answer that made it seem like he was doing US this huuuuge favor of gracing us with his pacing presence.

Exhibit B:

We were talking about upcoming races, and I said that I was running the Pittsburgh Marathon and that 11:00 is my goal pace. He asked if I had run a marathon before and I said yes, and that going out too fast in that race cost me dearly in the end and added a good 20 minutes to my time. When he asked what my time was, and I told him “5:23” he replied with a “Huh. Well. Like I ALWAYS say….anyone can finish a marathon.” Again, with the attitude and making it seem like my time made this less of an accomplishment or… something. This is the point where I started to move a few steps ahead of him.

Exhibit C:

This is the last comment I heard, because we dropped him soon after so I don’t know (and don’t think I want to know) if any other comments were made.  We were still just ahead of the group, and some other girls were asking him about pace groups and if tucking into a group like this is beneficial because it can block some of the wind/elements, etc. He answered with a “Sure, but at this pace it’s not like you’re going fast enough for it to make a difference”.

I thought at first, maybe he just didn’t realize how those comments seemed but…the more he made, the more it just sounded like passive aggressive/digs to us slower runners.  Yeah, I’m not a sub 4 hour marathoner…I’ll probably never qualify for Boston; hell, I’ll be lucky if I can break 5 hours this year! It just seems to me that the last place for that kind of attitude is at a race where you are pacing these people.  If I had feelings, they would be hurt. Luckily, I can let a lot of things roll off my back but…what about other people? What if there was someone new to running in that group that was already nervous about being there, or nervous about finishing last (like I STILL am sometimes *cough* Nittany Valley *cough*)? Did those comments potentially cause someone to question whether or not to continue running?  I sincerely hope not. Luckily, it seems that for every 1 of someone with that attitude there are 100+ others that are nothing but encouraging and supportive to everyone not just the ones in their pace group. Sorry to go off on a tangent, but these kinds of things really grind my gears.

What do you think? Am I being too sensitive, or was this guy a little over the line?


8 thoughts on “Weekly Recap 1/5-1/11

  1. Woohoo! Congrats on winning the treadmill challenge! That is an awesome prize! Nice work overall on the treadmill. You’re definitely right that at least it’s nice to have it as an option as a backup during training.

    As for the pacer, I tend to look at everything through rose-colored glasses, so I interpreted his comments in more of a benign way. For example, when you were talking about your marathon time, I thought he was responding that he could see where you went out too fast, and then the “anyone can finish a marathon” comment I thought was more directed at the other woman who said she was running it for her first time, because I swear she responded “Oh, that’s good!” or something. Some of his comments *did* bother me, but I took it more as he didn’t know the effect of his words. He was also trying to be helpful…telling us about the upcoming course, where we should go easy, where we should bank time, etc., so I liked that. The biggest problem I had with him was his pacing! I think he went out too fast and then went too fast up the hill, hence the faster pace he finished with.

    • Thanks, Jennifer! I’m not sure what the VIP Package entails, exactly but I am really excited!
      Maybe you’re right. I didn’t hear one of the other girls respond, or if I did maybe I thought they were talking to each other? Even if the comments weren’t meant to be mean spirited, they were still (potentially) hurtful to a good group of people. And you’re also right that he did have good advice regarding the course, and other routes to run….I just couldn’t help but feel our pace was beneath him. Maybe it’s a good lesson for both of us: I shouldn’t take things SO personally, and he could maybe think about what he’s saying/how he’s saying it and how other people will take that.

  2. Oh. My. God. Ok, That pacer was a jerk. Sorry, but that’s my blunt honest truth of it. People (not just pacers either) like this drive me NUTS. Who wrote the book that defines slow? 11:00 is slow in reference to what? Does this guy run shoulder to shoulder with Meb regularly? I could introduce you to at least a dozen people TODAY who struggle to bang out a single mile on the treadmill in 20 minutes who would think 11/12/13-18 minute milers are speed demons.

    Don’t listen to people like this and good job for ditching him. I’ve had to ditch pacers before too – some are good and some just suck, even in the personality department. You’re not on the couch = you’re a freaking rockstar whether you can finish a marathon in 2 hours or 8.

    Sorry – kind of went on a little hissy fit of my own there, but this really gets on my nerves. Anyway, congrats on winning the treadmill challenge! And as for the weight training, here’s what I do: I lift twice a week during race training – one day on a non-running day and another on a short/easy run day. I always make running the priority, so if one thing has to go due to aches or a time crunch it’s the lifting.

    • Thanks, Nichole! I think I’m going to follow the same schedule for my weight training. I don’t mind pulling a double on my easy run days and will still have the option of other days if something comes up! I’m really excited about the Treadmill Challenge – I have no idea what’s a part of the package, but I’m sure it will be awesome. Pittsburgh never disappoints!
      Luckily, I think people (and pacers) like that are few and far between. Maybe Jennifer is right, and he just didn’t realize how his comment would sound to others? I really hope so. This was my first experience trying to run with a pacer and it was a total disappointment. 😦

  3. I would definitely say that pacer was out of line, but it really surprises me and makes me wonder who these pacers were. Because I’m running with the Elite Runners training group for the first time this year, and they are SO supportive of “slower” runners. I run in the 11:30 to 12 pace group for long runs, and there’s a 12-12:30 group as well. Even the “fast” groups cheer and wave when we pass each other on the routes. And even during the race on Sunday, some of our trainers were running up and down that final hill, encouraging group members to stick it out, all through the end of the race. I hope the pacer in question was from an outside group, because that person definitely doesn’t seem like the people I’ve worked with from Elite.

    • Hi Joanna! Thanks for stopping by, and weighing in!
      I’ve run Elite events before and have NEVER had this happen to me! To be honest, I’ve never heard anyone (especially other runners) make those kinds of comments before! In the time I’ve been running 99.9% of the people I’ve encountered have been nothing but supportive and encouraging and helpful along the way, so I shouldn’t be this upset.
      Jennifer could be 100% right in that he didn’t mean for those comments to sound the way they did, and I’m just being ultra sensitive. I think what bums me out the most is that I’d never run with a pacer before, and was hoping to get a feel for it at this race. I’m planning on signing up for a few more races during this training cycle though, and will give the other pacers (if they have them) a try! I did really appreciate the other participants encouraging and cheering for us as we made our way up the Beast!

  4. I know a lot of people who do the pacing at those races and I have come to realize most of them are jerks. Just brush it off. You had a killer weak of training. Keep it up!!!

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