Vermont City Marathon Training – Week 11

Vermont City Marathon Training - Week 11. Training log with workouts, goals and hopes for the VCM on May 29, 2016! Follow along to see if this mother runner can come back strong with a PR after her second child.

The plague has lifted from our house. Just when I was back to stroller running and fitting in a regular run while Baby T napped, he came down with the latest pre-school lurgy his big brother brought home with him. But the weekend was a turning point – he was finally feeling well enough for us to leave the house and do some fun family stuff, so I should be able to reintroduce stroller runs into my life this coming week.

In the meantime, I somehow still managed to get my workouts done and even if they weren’t all pretty (more on that below), they all count. Every workout you do is building on that base, making you stronger, readying your body for your event. At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself…

Current Goal: 

My goal from last week was to have a strong long run and not hit the wall. I don’t like to use the word ‘fail’ when it comes to miles I made it through, so let’s just say I was not successful with that goal.

This week? I plan on enjoying every mile. It’s a cutback week for me, meaning my long run will be half the distance, so I foresee some trails in my near future and not even checking splits or pace.

Long Run:

Hmmm….what’s a synonym for AWFUL? This week I found myself in a pain cave. I’ve only been there once before and coincidentally it was also in a long training run before a marathon. I’ve never hit the wall or felt like I couldn’t make it through any longer in a race, but this week’s 20 mile long run was awful. Awful, awful, awful.

Vermont City Marathon Training - Week 11. Training log with workouts, goals and hopes for the VCM on May 29, 2016! Follow along to see if this mother runner can come back strong with a PR after her second child.

Even Gummi Bears couldn’t save this run…

To be fair, the first 13 miles were great. It actually stopped raining about 20 minutes before I set out, it was warm and humid, but by the time I got to the lake the wind off the water cooled me off. It was as beautiful as ever, I was fueling at the right times, drinking enough water and feeling great. And honestly, I just don’t know what happened. All I know is by mile 13, it felt like a bit of a slog. By mile 15, my quads, my calves and my feet were in pain. Then the rain came. Twice, soaking me. At this point I had pulled my phone out three times, on the verge of texting Fran to just come get me at the 17 mile mark. Then finally I called him at 16 miles. I told him my legs were in pain, I was miserable, I was having a bad run and I wasn’t sure if I could make it. “You can do it! You’re doing amazing!’ was his reply. What I wanted to hear was, “I’m on my way! See you in 5 minutes at the next parking lot!” So I changed tack slightly. “How is Tanner? Is he tired? Do you need me home right now to nurse him?” That didn’t work either. “He’s great! He had an early nap, we’re just chilling. See you in 3 miles, baby.” Dammit.

To add insult to injury, I zoned out a little in the first couple of miles from home and kept going on a road when I should have turned, adding nearly half a mile to my mileage by the time I corrected my course. And enter…Carly long run math! I can’t do it. I screw it up every single time. Here is my working, please tell me what I did wrong:

I was planning on a 10 mile out and 10 mile back. With my detour, I added a half mile to the start of the run. So in my head I thought, that’s a half mile I won’t run on the return journey, because I won’t take that detour a second time. So if I do 10.5 miles out, then it will be 9.5 miles back and will make it exactly 20 to home. Well, guess what? That didn’t work. And I found myself nearly half a mile from home, hearing my watch announce 20 miles and slowly trudging that last part in the rain, completely unable to run another step.

When I got home, crying and attempting to stretch cramped muscles, Fran took one look at me and said, “I can see why you love the marathon. It just looks so rewarding.” 

Speed Workout:

Well, at least this one was fun. I did hill repeats. Remember the hill that broke me because I didn’t believe in myself? Yeah, I owned that hill this week. It’s a nice mile and a quarter warm up to get to it, then I picked the steepest part, ran up it and walked/slow ran back down 10 times. In my head I know I should hate any kind of speed or hill workout, but there’s something about the last few steps of that last repeat, with your lungs on fire, panting like crazy, feeling every muscle working and knowing you did it. Knowing all that’s left is an easy cool down. It’s pretty magical. 🙂

Vermont City Marathon Training - Week 11. Training log with workouts, goals and hopes for the VCM on May 29, 2016! Follow along to see if this mother runner can come back strong with a PR after her second child.

Regular Run:

I snuck out for what ended up being only 6 miles (I had hoped to do 8 easy miles) in the middle of the week. I have no idea of splits or time because I deliberately didn’t want to track it. I wanted to make it super easy to give my muscles some recovery from the hill repeats, before I tackled my 20 miler.

Other Workouts:

Not so much…I find myself once again humbled by my circumstances. Do you know how many blog posts and articles I’ve written encouraging mothers to find even just 15 minutes in their day for a workout? Turns out when your baby is sick and all he wants to do is be held, nurse, or sleep ON you, that takes a backseat. I am just thankful Fran has a schedule that accommodates the training runs that are essential for me to actually make it through this 26.2.

Notes From the Week:

It sucked, but I did it. (There’s a mantra for you!) And the miles for this week will pay off in two weeks when I tackle a 22 mile long run. I feel like it’s going to be a good one – that the terrible long run this week was just that one you have to have during training, you know?

I’m sorry this week’s post is such a downer! But there are crappy weeks when marathon training. These are the kinds of weeks when non-runners definitely break out the eyebrow raise and the incredulous questions like, “So why do you do it if it’s so awful?”

Because most of the time it’s great. And sometimes – not as often as we’d like, for sure, but sometimes – it’s beyond amazing. That’s why.

Weekly Mileage:

30.53 miles

Total Mileage:

192.53 miles


  1. Oh my goodness I’ve never heard the term pain cave and I certainly never want to visit there.
    You are so resilient and possess such mental tenacity.
    You’ve got this xo
    Carla recently posted…Praying for what we do not want.My Profile

  2. Awww Carly …. I am so sorry to hear about your awful long run, but you know what? You did it!!! And pulled it off and THIS is what matters right? And I truly think Fran had the right attitude! My partner would be exactly the same… It’s like they know that if they cave in and come to our rescue then we ‘ll feel even worse that the way you felt getting back soaked and tired and in pain, purely cause we gave up! Am i right?!?! 🙂 I am sure you ‘ll nail you 22 miler!
    Ellen @ Tale of Two Runs recently posted…London Marathon from a “cheering point” of view!!My Profile

  3. This post is NOT a downer. You kept on running even though you wanted to quit. You somehow tacked on EXTRA mileage for one of the suckiest runs of your life but you made it back home. I read this and think “This is one tough mother runner!!!” It’s also encouraging because this stuff happens to everyone and, when I’m out there in the pain cave, I will think “I remember when Carly wrote about this and she made it though so I can too!”
    I’m thinking your next long run is going to be fantastic!!! xoxo
    Allie recently posted…The Rundown – Hit the BricksMy Profile

  4. Your husband is awesome. I’m guessing that he probably knew that you wanted to quit but he just didn’t give you the out. So now you get to say that you did it even though it sucked. You dug down deep and got the job done.
    Char recently posted…Racing With FriendsMy Profile

    • Definitely Not Carly's Husband says:

      Char is so right. Your husband is awesome. This is not your husband btw. Just a guy who aspires to be as amazing as he is. You should shower him with cash and craft beers. He’s an inspiration.

  5. This post is not a downer – it’s a motivator! Every runner has those awful, oh-please-end-the-misery-now, why is it raining on top of the pain long runs – fact of running. It’s the perseverance through them that matters, which is what you did! I always think there’s that one tough run in a training cycle, so now that you’ve got that out of the way, onward and upward to better long runs! 🙂
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…Jack and Jill Marathon Training Week 2My Profile


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