All the workouts: NYC Marathon Training Week 11

Good morning. I conquered a 16-mile run last weekend.  (The new longest run of my life.) Regular readers know, this is my first time training for a marathon. I knew the mental part of training would be hard, but I don’t think it’s possible to truly grapple with it until you’re in it.  The physical challenge is easy enough to predict. Of course running for hours is grueling. Running for 20 minutes teaches you that. But the mind stuff? That gets exponentially tougher with increased time/distance. (You know, for me at least.)

It was so easy to write down the distances to create a training plan. Super easy – fun even – to add them to my Google calendar and to map out routes on Strava. But the night before I was slated to run 16 miles, I was in a state of disbelief. My 15-mile run was TOUGH even though it was entirely flat. The idea that I was going to run 16-miles in the Berkshires with no bathrooms and tons of hills seemed, quite frankly, preposterous.

berkshire running
running from MA to NY (and back)

On Saturday, the morning of the run, I woke up with no desire to get out the door. But I did, of course, get out the door. I committed to running the first miles at a very slow pace and that was very necessary since the first 3+ miles were straight up hill. I stopped a ton those first 3 miles.

16-mile run
16-miles in the Berkshires

But somewhere around mile 4 my route sloped downward and I started to sing along to Hamilton (yeah, that’s back in my running tune-age) and things started to feel doable. Some time around mile 8 my body felt physically fine but I was just really bored. I knew I could keep running but I wasn’t excited about the idea. I thought having some sugar might put it a little pep in my step and so I had a PowerBar Simple Fruit Gel (it has caffeine!).

berkshire run

That helped for a little bit. Then my feet started to hurt, and there wasn’t much I could do. So I just kept putting on songs that I liked, singing aloud when I had the energy and trying to appreciate my pretty running route. And then, eventually I was done.

I’m not prepared to end this anecdote with any major life lesson, but I think you’re picking up what I’m gently putting down: You can do hard stuff. 

Here’s a complete look at week 11 of marathon training:

Monday: Nothing
Tuesday: Slept through running class (whoops) and ran 3 miles by myself. I think racing the day after a 15-mile run was probably dumb. I was so burnt out that this 3-mile jaunt was a total slog.
Wednesday: Physical therapy
Thursday: 8-mile run. I ran over the Queensboro Bridge for the first time (mile 16 of the NYC marathon)

queensboro bridge
Friday: Nothing
Saturday: 16-mile run, described above
Sunday: 5.2 mile bike ride (to lunch)

berkshire bike ride


How do you motivate for an intimidating run? 


  1. Kathleen Kelly
    September 18, 2017 / 1:36 pm

    i also did my 16 miler this weekend. whew, it was TOUGH! good job!

    • Nicole
      September 18, 2017 / 1:39 pm

      Awesome!! Where do you run?

  2. Stephanie
    September 19, 2017 / 9:04 pm

    I did my longest run of my life too! Goal was 17—-check! if I felt good I wanted to get to 18–but I had horrible toe pain so I stopped at 17.6….. I tried to make it interesting so I did it in 5 mile chunks which made it seem more doable. I started at my house ran a 5 mile loop ending at my house then just started a different 5 mile loop etc. at the end I only had to do 2 more miles (or 3 depending how I felt) so it made it manageable—-

    • Nicole
      September 19, 2017 / 10:35 pm

      that’s really smart. creating small segments is a great idea. you accomplish lots of little things on the path. hope your toes feel better!

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