Hanson’s/NYC Marathon Training: Week 16

Well, that was ugly….

Marathon Goal– 3:50
Marathon Pace/Tempo Runs– 8:45
Strength Runs–8:35

Easy Runs–9:40-10:40
Long Runs–9:30

I had mentioned in Week 15’s Sunday long run how I was sick and that continued on to this week. That, coupled with life, it was an extremely rough week.

Monday, October 17th–5 Easy Miles, 10:23 avg. pace

It was not difficult at all making sure this was done at an easy pace. I was still feeling sick–sweaty chills, stuffy/runny nose, achy body. Ugh…

Tuesday, October 18th–6.25 Miles, 9:05 pace

This was supposed to be a strength run of 1 mile WU, 4×1.5 miles (w800R), 1 Mile CD for 9 miles total. But going in I had the absolute worst migraine ever. I rarely get them and when I do, it’s brutal. Nonetheless, I met up with my run club to get the workout done. As soon as I started running though, I could feel the pounding worsen with each step I took. It was awful. After the warm up mile, I started the first the interval and felt like I was running with a hammer hitting my head with each stride.

I just felt so sick that I just threw the workout out the window and worked on just finishing the route.


Wednesday, October 19th–REST DAY

After yesterday’s awfulness and me still feeling sick, I decided I’d give myself two rest days, today and Thursday. My husband would be out of town on these days anyway which would’ve made running that much more difficult.

Thursday, October 20th–REST DAY

Early in the morning, my mom called to tell me that my aunt, her sister, had unexpectedly passed away. With my husband out of town, I wouldn’t be able to drive home til Friday.

Friday, October 21st–12 miles: 1 mile WU, 10 Tempo Miles, 1 mile CD

I knew I’d be driving home early to be with my mom so I woke up at 4 a.m. to get this run done. It was bad right from the start. My tempo pace of 8:45 that had always felt comfortably easy was just H-A-R-D. I knew I was sick, I knew that I was grieving, but I still wanted to do well so I tried, I tried. And I wasn’t completely far off pace–5 to 10 seconds on some miles-but it honestly made me feel worse, like I shouldn’t be struggling so hard with 3 weeks left of training.



Anyway, I finished and then drove 4 hours south to help my mom with funeral arrangements. My aunt had died in Mexico and it was difficult trying to organize a transport to the U.S. plus funeral arrangements in one day; we only had Friday to work with. It was very stressful as we were on a major time crunch and by the time the day ended, I had never felt so sick and exhausted in my life.

Saturday, October 22nd–REST DAY

I knew logistically it was going to be hard to squeeze a run in. The international transport was taking place early morning and the funeral immediately after. I thought maybe I could run once everything was done, but because I had been insanely busy the day before and still organizing arrangements Saturday morning, that by the time the funeral was over and my aunt was finally resting in peace, I could barely move.

And because I was crazy, I decided to drive the four hours back home instead.

Sunday, October 23rd–11 miles: 3.1 @8:15 pace and 8 miles @9:38 pace

It was my anniversary day and my run club had a 5k Halloween Run so naturally, we dressed up accordingly.

This "Runaway Bride" is never running away :D #6years

This “Runaway Bride” is never running away 😀 #6years

I have no idea how I was able to run. I had gotten into Phoenix late the night before and the run was early in the morning. But I knew I needed to get in miles so off I went…

My daughter yelling at me to "Run faster mommy!!" <3

My daughter yelling at me to “Run faster mommy!!” ❤

Then, after a LONG nap, I got in some more miles in the evening. I wasn’t going to worry about pace–this was just about getting in miles. But, after a few miles I felt warmed up and things started feeling a lot better. The last three miles felt amazing and I was on cloud 9 and so ridiculously happy that I was ending a run on a good note.


Week 16 ended with 34.7 miles. Not gonna lie, for a while I felt like all my weeks of training, all the hard worked I’ve put in, was going to be lost because of this awful week. Right now, I’m just focusing on getting better and thinking positive. I know one bad/sick week isn’t going to derail everything and I just need to make sure that I don’t let negative thoughts take over.

–Have you ever gotten sick towards the end of your training cycle? Remedies?



24 responses

  1. aw, honey I’m so sorry about your aunt 😦 my condolences to you, your mom and family. And I feel you on being sick. I was out all last week, race week and it was not fun. Of course, i’m not training for a marathon or even had a goal half in sight so I took the race easy. I’m still feeling meh today so the jury is out on whether that was a smart decision! Either way, feel better and make sure to take care of YOU!

  2. Oh, Helly, I am so sorry to hear about your aunt. My thoughts are with you and your family. Sending you lots of hugs!
    Are you feeling better now? My last two weeks before the marathon, so taper time, were really tough. I felt SO run down and exhausted and little energy on my runs. A week before my race I woke up with it feeling hard to swallow and a lot of pressure in my sinuses. The congestion & pressure continued through the week. I tried to rest as much as possible- there were a few days where I slept 10 hours at night! It was more sleep than I’d had in years. I think I wrote this on your instagram, but in case I didn’t I highly recommend getting Elderberry extract. They sell it at my CVS by Airborne & Zicam or in the cold/flu section at Whole Foods. I would take it twice a day in tea or coffee, but you could add it to juice too. If you are adding it to something with milk/cream (like in coffee) make sure you get one without any citrus/citrus acids or it will curdle your milk.
    You are so ready for NYC. You’re not going to improve your fitness (or lose it at this point) so focus on getting healthy! You got this!

    • Thank you so much Katrina! It does make me feel better knowing you felt a little sick and still managed to kick ass in your marathon, lol!I feel exactly like you felt! Hard to swallow and pressure in my sinuses. I’ll have to look into that extract! I’ve never tried it and it’ll probably add to my paranoia of trying stuff new before the marathon but I’m willing to give it a go if it’ll make me feel better, lol!

      • I kept googling “colds the week of marathon” until I found someone who said that they were sick all week and woke up feeling great the morning of the race. Lol! Same thing happened to me though and even though I was totally congested the day before I felt great the morning of my race!
        I felt the same as you about not trying something new, but I was desperate! I think I even took it the night before, although maybe not, but I definitely didn’t take it the morning of the race. I also used saline solution for my sinuses

  3. Sorry about your Aunt.

    As for getting sick in the last few weeks of training, I’ve had this happen a few times. I think they key is making sure to get enough rest. At this point in training, your body is worn down from getting all those miles in. Just rest as you need to and trust your training!

    • Yes, I’m trying to my hardest to rest as much as I can (but still run enough for it to be comparable to what the training plan says). You’re right–the important things is for me to keep reminding myself to trust the training. Thank you!

    • I always seem to get sick too. I actually remember feeling like this when I DNF’d at Phoenix last year (I had bronchitis then though..) I don’t like tea 😦 I wish I did. And I’ve never heard of the other stuff you mentioned, lol!!! I’ll have to check them out 🙂

  4. Condolences to you and your family.

    As your training, the hay, as they say, is already in the barn. You did the training and you’ve made all the fitness improvements that you will have by the time NYC Marathon rolls around.

    The important thing is to rest and get well, so you’re fit as a fiddle for running.

  5. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. It is actually pretty normal to get sick at the end of a training cycle. You’ve pushed your body and as your mileage starts to decline, your body almost let’s out a sigh of relief and protests. Keep resting and hydrating and eating well. It will get better. I hope you are feeling better soon!