Signing up for the Boston Marathon in 2015 happened by chance. I got lucky. I was working with Adidas in the fall of 2014 and had been asked the previous year a little too late if I’d be interested in running with them. I said, “Maybe next year…”
After a successful Chicago Marathon in October, I told them, “Hey, if you still are interested, I’m in!”
I didn’t get confirmation until about 10 days ago that I was officially registered to run but I’ve been training since the first week of December. People keep asking me, “How are you training in the weather?” so I figured I’d do a quick post on what it has been like.
The Dreaded Indoor Long Run…
Never one to run on a treadmill, I’ve done 7 total runs on one. The worst was a long 15 mile run. That was boring and rough. I watched a few episodes of Downton Abbey on my iPad and played my favorite songs. The indoor runs are much more mental than physical in my opinion, making them more challenging. I wanted to stop at every mile because I could. I didn’t have to run “home.” I stopped and got got water, played with my iPad and walked to eat a chia bar half way through. I finished but it took longer than it should have and quit with just .25 to go.
“For once, I found a treadmill better than running outdoors for my training.”
I completed one hill workout on the treadmill that actually made the time fly by! Intervals are the only way to go on a treadmill. Steady state is death.
Last week, after a quick warm up, I ran 3 miles on a treadmill at an 8:20 pace. This is out of my comfort zone. I was shocked that I was able to do it without huffing and puffing. My heart rate remained stable in a zone that allowed me to run fast and finish strong. It was a total confidence booster. When I run outdoors, I find tempo runs very hard. I just can’t maintain a steady pace. For once, I found a treadmill better than running outdoors for my training.
Running In The Cold Actually Isn’t That Bad
I was scheduled to complete my long run on Friday last week but I moved it to Saturday because the weather was going to be 10 degree warmer. It feels 20 degrees warmer when running than it really is – so it felt like a balmy 44 mid run! I actually spotted a man wearing shorts on his run.
I started my run at 11am to get those few extra degrees. I ran 17 miles outdoors along the actual course. I’m lucky to have this hometown advantage. I’ve conquered heart break hill a total of 3 times now on long runs. There were water stations set up by charities and the roads were clear! If you bring water on your run, it freezes so this was really helpful. I stopped at Starbucks in Brookline to pee twice, too. Eighty percent of the side walks and roadways along the course have been shoveled to the ground for the runners. THANK YOU BOSTON/BROOKLINE/NEWTON FOR CARING ABOUT US!
I know many of the suburbs are not as fortunate so if you are running the marathon, come drive to Boston College and enjoy the course route for your long runs. I haven’t checked out the river yet, but I believe New Balance plows and shovels it every year for the crazy people like me.
I wore my Adidas ClimaHeat Boost running shoes which kept my feet warm and dry for the entire run, socks, compression tights with shorts on top, a long sleeve moisture wicking top, my aqua hoodie with the neck warmer from Adidas and my Athleta Aries Jacket with an Under Armour hat and gloves. I was warm and comfortable the entire time.
Training on the course has been special. I visualized the last 5 miles as they may feel on race day. I live about a half mile from the finish line so this is easy to do. I kept getting emotional so on race day, I’m ready to be waterworks central.
Warming up has become much more important for my runs and so have my cool downs. I’m feeling healthy and strong with 8 weeks to go until the Marathon.
To honor my achievements thus far, I went to Alden and Harlow in Harvard Square on Sunday to have a Secret Burger. It was the best burger that I have ever tasted. No idea what was in or on it, but it was amazing and worth every calorie.
I am following a program through Jessica from Race Pace Wellness again because it worked so well for me last time.
As of Sunday, most of the path along the river was mostly clear with the exception of some puddles 🙂 (which I’m sure are now frozen)
Congrats on successful training so far! I’m pretty sure 15 miles on a treadmill would kill me
You are such an inspiration. I live in NorCal and have been wussing out of my 5:30am runs because it’s too cold. Been going to a warm yoga studio instead. Running later in the day is not an option for me, so morning it is. I will lace up my shoes one morning (maybe 2) this week as a result of this post. Thank you for all your great information and sharing what works for you.
Ashley Carole says
I trained for a marathon this time last year and thankfully only had to brave 2 snowy long runs. I admire your determination to get out there in the cold icy weather. It is so amazing that supporters come out and shovel the course.
Training in the snow? You’re a brave woman, Sarah!
Emma @ Life's A Runner says
Oh my gosh, fifteen miles on a treadmill -- you are a beast! I’m currently training for a half marathon, not a full, but the weather in Vancouver is absolutely fantastic so I have zero complaints. I’m expecting some crazy snowy long runs in May when I go home though (there is usually a lot of snow until June in Alberta), so I will try to channel your strength then. 🙂
Ashley @ A Lady Goes West says
Impressive work, Sarah! I’ve never run a full marathon (only a half), but I bet this one will be an emotional one for you! You deserved that burger! 🙂
Jill @ Champagne for Everyday says
It’s interesting to read about your marathon training experience, I have never done one! I feel like I don’t have knees that can take running. But I LOVE it, and definitely do 15 mins of intervals on the treadmill a few times a week. I agree -- they are a must!!
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Stacy @ Sweating Tulipz says
I can’t run anymore, but when I did, I would always be training during the winter and it made for a stressful time because it is hard enough to fit in the long runs, then you have to also worry about the weather…I tried to do as many miles as possible outside! I swore by the rubberized spikes that you can put on your running shoes, but the amount of clothing you go through is insane! Be careful and best of luck!
Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out says
Great job! It is so hard to keep up with training in the winter, especially in a city like Boston!
I hate running on the treadmill too! I seem to have become a “fair weather” runner, but I think that it is about time for me to get back out there and run. Thanks for your post!
I’m training for a marathon right now… but I have the advantage of living in California where weather isn’t an issue. Last year it was hard keeping my milage up for half-marathons in the winter when I lived back east!