Running, Peaking and Morphing into an Emo Crab Ass

Peak Week. You know, that one week in your marathon training program where you run ALL THE MILES you’ve ever run in your entire life in a 7 day span? That one week you have nightmares about the moment you lay eyes on it?  That one week that almost makes you bail on the entire plan before you even start the goddamn thing?

How in Merlin’s Beard am I going to manage to squeeze all this running in and work and eat and be somewhat pleasant and watch the Super Duper Blood Moon with a tumbler of wine?

Yeah. That week. That week was last week.

AND I FREAKING DID IT. holla that bitchesWell, smack my quads and call me Misery! Week 15 ain’t nothin’ but a trying, difficult memory I am choosing to repress. I would like to publicly post an apology to everyone I work with, live with, interact with, bought coffee from and may have potentially crossed paths with, either in real life or on the internets. I am sorry for being an Emo Crab Ass. Truly. It wasn’t ME last week, it was the Hansons Marathon Method talking. And swearing. And yelling. And crying. Toughest week of the whole 18 in my humble opinion. Especially emotionally. I was the Runner of the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown all week. I sort of expected it. For 4 reasons:

  1. It was a huge volume week.
  2. I had a huge volume work week.
  3. I had to run my last long run.
  4. I had officially gone through this entire marathon training program WITHOUT running longer than 16 miles. {Insert stunned emoji here} And that realization- of trusting and believing in the training- wasn’t resting easy with me.

The long and the short of it is that I managed to get it together, run ALL THE MILES, be as minimally pleasant as I could get away with, eat inhale a lobster roll with my friend Heather and had time whilst running to convince myself to trust the training. I’d better. It’s almost GO TIME! Here’s how Peak Week went. Including tears, lobster roll and big ass moon.

Monday: 8 miles. Easy. Legs felt like sausages stuffed with lead. I long for the day that I start by saying I felt FANTASTIC! LIGHT! SNAPPY! HELLAGOOD! Alas. I did not. On any front.

Tuesday: Strength Intervals. 3 x 2 mile, 800m recovery, with warm up/recovery 12 miles total. Nailed the pace. In my head I thought I would also go to yoga. But alas, that was a complete fantasy. Besides, It was Rest Day Eve. #priorities 


Wednesday: FUCKINGRESTDAY. Which I spent on my feet spectating at My Other Half’s race. Who the hell races on a school night? I mean really? In true, My Other Half Fashion, he kicked ass. I was beaming.

A night at the races.

A night at the races.

Thursday: I had every single intention of waking up at Ass O’clock and running my tempo run, but coming home at midnight, eating next to nothing for supper, and drinking a thimble full of water all day, was not conducive to a 5am 13 miler. I’m not goddamn Wonder Woman. Although, I do love her accessories. I opted instead to eat and drink like a normal human being during the day, and run it in the evening, after work. This is where Emotional Breakdown #4 begins.cleveland I worked late. I had no choice. By the time I got out, the sun was fading fast. I could not find my head lamp. I was forced to run on a treadmill. Bailing on the run WAS NOT AN OPTION, DAMMIT.  I was exhausted. It was such a struggle I shed a tear which just mixed in with the sweat pouring down my face. 10 miles at tempo pace, 3 miles warm up/cool down. 13 miles total.  And a nice chat/cry/rant afterwards with my BFF Heather. Thanks, Heath! My Tempo Run reward this week?

A pint of Stony Creek, Cranky. And a glorious Lobster Roll. Heaven.

A pint of beer. And a glorious Lobster Roll. Heaven.

Friday: 7 miles. Easy. Legs are so damn miserable. Even last night’s lobster roll and pint of Stony Creek, Cranky helped. Perfect beer for the mood, really. And delicious.

Saturday: 8 miles. Easy. Legs recovered. And felt the best they have this entire time. Which surprised me. I even ran a hilly route. Go figure?

Sunday: 16 miles. Long run. And that’s a Long Run wrap! I walked into the house, and promptly burst into tears. Emotional Breakdown #5 in full effect. I bet it was the moon.

La Bella Luna.

La Bella Luna.

Number of Miles Run: 64

Number of Emotional Breakdowns Endured By My Other Half: 3

Number of Lobster Rolls Eaten: 1. And it’s never enough.

How many miles do you max out at during marathon training? What is the absolute most miles you have ever run during the week? Last meal on earth: GO!


52 thoughts on “Running, Peaking and Morphing into an Emo Crab Ass

  1. Lobster Roll and beer-makes everything better!!

    Glad you made it through the week-breakdowns are the norm( so I hear).

    I have and will not run a marathon-i will continue to live vicariously through you all.

    Way to get the week done and over with!

  2. Well, convert running to cycling, because I love cycling and only ran to not be fat, carry the four, then the two, my max is around 450 miles in a week, but I can’t do two in a row… Week after has to be slower 200-220 max and only two fast days (no days off – hurts more to stop).

    • Oh, Wendy. I’m so sorry. I know EXACTLY how you feel. And YES. You got that over with. It’s done. Peace out, Bad Run. You’re allowed a bad run—your training has been insane. You are strong, Friend! Don’t let one bad run ruin your jam. Release it. It’s taper time. Eye on the prize…. Xo

  3. I had an emo breakdown reading about your miles. I can’t go through this again! I will never read another training log from you. Just kidding! You know I can’t stay away.

    My longest training run was 21 miles. Max miles for the week was 34 miles. I’m fully embracing the Run Less lifestyle.

    I haven’t cried during a training run, but during a race, plenty of times and not usually tears of joy. I rather cry during the privacy of a training run than during a race where I have tons of spectators and volunteers wondering what to do with me.

    • I’m so OVER these miles. I’m emo writing this. And if I could insert a picture right now, you would see Drunk Otis planted firmly on my lap. He’s 90lbs. He’s hyperextending my knee. I am partially pinned, iPad resting on his big brown head. I think he knows I’m emotional. I dig your plan. My next plan is: Sit on my can for a week. Total miles: 0.00.

      I’m ready to wrap it up. Let’s hope my legs are too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I have never had a mileage week that would impress anyone but my mother. And everything impresses Lily.
    Last meal: perfect burger, pizza margerhita and nachos. Washed down with A Sam’s Cold Snap. Brigham’s Black & White frappe for dessert. Lactose intolerance be damned – I’m as good as dead anyway.

  5. How do we keep our prices so low and our mileage so high? Volume, Volume, Volume !
    Are these ” Hanson’s ” ( if that is their real name) related to the Marquis de Sade?

  6. Once upon a time, I thought I could do a 64 mile week. It ended up being 44.
    I did a few 50-55 mile weeks once… but each time ended up with issues the following weel. Next time I’m taking the time to build up slowly to it.
    My last marathon training maxed out at 20 miles. It’s a good distance. It’s the kind of distance I feel comfortable doing since it keeps me at the 3-hour cut-off.
    My last meal on earth would have to be ravioli with a whole lot of cheese and a tomato sauce with sausage as the main dish, and a salad on the side. Though I haven’t had lobster roll yet… who knows if my idea of a good meal is staying in contention.
    Way to kill it this week. Sounds like, even with a few meltdowns, you managed to have really good workouts, which means the training has done its job and you’re ready for the taper!

  7. Your recaps have taken ME on an emo roller coaster, lol! I seriously feel like I’ve been on this Hanson train with you โค and I can't wait for you to kick ass and BQ. You totally got this.

  8. I think I ran 49 miles during a week once and I was waking up in the middle of the night with hunger pains. I salute you and your dedication to the Hansons’ sadism. Last meal on earth? Crispy fried chicken, biscuits, and white gravy OR a lobster roll (yours looked amazing, and I had a damn good one in Boston last week). Here’s to the taper!

    • That’s so funny you should say fried chicken. I have had SUCH A CRAVING for fried chicken. And 1.) I am not Southern and 2.) I am a goddamn VEGETARIAN. Go figure? It must be my body’s way of telling me to eat some comfort food. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Amazing job! Way to finish your training cycle (peak week) strong! I usually hit about 65-70 miles three times during my training and those weeks I am a zombie. And I’m about zero fun. So that makes for a really good relationship. Haha. But honestly you crushed it – I can’t wait to see what you do at the marathon! Last meal on Earth – pizza until I exploded.

    • I am a pizza head myself Jamie! I hit mid 60s several times too. And you’re right. It does ZERO for your relationship! Although he did tell me that I wasn’t as miserable as he had anticipated.

      And the Oscar goes to…..;-)

      Thanks, Jamie! Paws are crossed! Homestretch!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Congrats on the week! Sounds like a killer. What pace do you run the strength intervals at? Is it MP? Or something faster?

    I’ll be peaking at 55 mpw this cycle, but I still have another 5 weeks until I get there :-O !! The most I’ve run during a 7 day period was 66 miles, but that was because I needed to do one week’s long run on Sunday, and the following weeks long run on Friday, so I ended up with two long runs in 6 days.

    • Thank you! It sure was. In more ways than one! I run strength intervals 10 seconds faster than marathon pace. That’s what Hansons calls for. They haven’t been THAT awful. I find the Tempo Run to be the most stressful for me. Probably because IT’S THE ACTUAL PACE! GAH! I hate when you’re forced to jam long runs in resulting in an obscene amount of miles. Life sometimes gets in the way! And makes us tired. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Fuck yeah, sister – you OWNED IT! Your peak week of misery was a lot like mine – a lot of bitching, a lot of miles, angry legs coupled with a shitty ass week of busy work. But you still DID IT. That’s what I’m freaking TALKING ABOUT. And dammit, you even sucked it up and used Satan’s Sidewalk. That’s dedication. Those 3×2 miles sound boss.

    • I’m laughing. For some reason I can HEAR this post! YESSSS! Homestretch!!! Home-effen-stretch. And not a moment to soon. When that pendulum swings the other way, my ass is staying on the couch. Lobster rolls will be ordered IN.

  12. Max weeks are crazy – I hate them, am so tired I can hardly keep my eyes open all week but at the same time kinda love them and feel secretly super proud when I complete them. I think my highest weekly mileage is 56. I’m at about peak now too, with this week’s target at 52. Great stuff running 64! It’s all easier after this. Last day dinner: fillet steak, mom’s roast potatoes, carrot and parsnip mash with roast butternut squash. Chocolate fondant for dessert. Because it’s my last day, I can have dessert ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. Yeaaaah Colby! Emo breakdowns aside ( I mean heck, it’s part of being a woman. Add in peak week and LIFE?! It happens.), you killed this week!!
    Long tempos on the treadmill SUCK. Major kudos to you for getting it done after a long day at work ๐Ÿ™‚
    Highest mileage week ever = 68. 66 during Hansons – so we’re basically twins ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Last meal…can I just have a little bit of ALL THE THINGS?! No? Ok Pizza Fondue then. No one really knows what is is (family recipe), but you dunk bread in a delicious homemade cheesy, tomato sauce. YUM

  14. Way to go! (10 mile tempo, ow) I’m so intrigued by Hansons but know McMillan better. Wonder if I could blend….nah, that’s probably not a good idea. I’m going to read Fitzgerald’s 80/20 post race, as well as look at Pftiz, Daniels, read Lydiard etc – I’d LOVE to be a super high mileage person, but need strength and gait work – and probably to be younger than I am. McMillan seems to have blended a lot of the classics and has flexibility and tailoring, which helps me. (also keep wondering if I should get a coach – but I’m a cranky control freak)

    Q: How many miles do you max out at during marathon training?
    It varies. Different cycles are different, and I don’t plan max mileage. This cycle it looks like 60 will have been the max, with 5 more weeks above 50, and an average ~47.

    Q: What is the absolute most miles you have ever run during the week?
    80. That was in the summer 2013 – not yet officially on my marathon plan – when I unwisely took my mpw from 50-80 in only 3 mos, because I loved running long and slow (yes on my tmill) to podcasts and started getting into the idea of ultras. It felt pretty good, actually. (and it turned out I was doing MAF training without knowing it, got me fitter) Then an extensor tendon told me it had had enough and I DNS’d Richmond Marathon in Nov. Spent a bunch of time pool running, biking, doing core and easing back into running. Did do a 12k though. And came back in 2014, with lots of XT and my amazing chiro, to BQ 3x last year & PR twice.

    Q: Last meal on earth: GO!
    First – do I get a dispensation that I can eat all the things my body is intolerant of and they won’t hurt me? Second – we’re assuming the volume of my stomach is infinite so I can eat however much without discomfort? (and obvi the calories would no longer matter) Because then I’ve got a LONG list of items, including things from my childhood, faves from stores/restaurants, things I’ve only seen online or on TV…..

    See you in Lowell!

    • 80 miles in a week is hardcore. I could probably swing it? But I’d be miserable. And fall asleep face first in my beer. Re: Hansons, I’m anxious to see how it all shakes out. I’m hoping for the best of course, but at the end of the day, I’m super proud of my training. I think I’m stronger and mentally tougher than I was before. I hope it translates! If not, I’m stoked. And sitting the hell down. Ten days to go!!!! Yippppeeeee!!!!!

  15. Pingback: Running and Marathoning in Ten Days! | It's A Marathon AND A Sprint

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