2020 Boston Marathon Training: Week 3 of 12

Here is week 3 of my training for the Boston Marathon! At the end of this post I have a little story about a running route fail, which might be amusing to anyone who has ever run an unknown route for the first time.

Week 3 wasn’t initially supposed to be a down week, but after fatigue set in at the end of week 2, I decided to make it one. I only ran three times this week: a speed workout, a tempo run, and a long run at an easy pace. Plus a few strength training workouts. I’ll link to all of it below.

My disclaimer: this training plan works for me and is constantly being modified by me, and you should find what works for you!

Week 3 text

February 10 – February 16

Monday: Yoga with Adriene: Wind Down Yoga
I do this routine when I don’t have a lot of time and just need to do something.

Tuesday: Upper Body: Fitness Blender’s Compound Workout
Normally I run on Tuesdays, but not today! I decided to give myself two days off in a row.

Wednesday: Speed: 4 x 1200 @ 10KP (8.05 miles total) /// Lower Body: Fitness Blender’s Glute Activation Workout
Felt relatively strong today, but I still slowed more than I wanted to going uphill.

Thursday: Yoga with Adriene: Runners Yoga

Friday: Tempo: 20 min. @ MP (8.06 miles total)
I ran the tempo segment slightly too fast, at 8:06 pace. Faster than last week’s 8:14 pace, both faster than I’ll likely to be able to run a marathon but glad I pushed myself a bit.

Saturday: Upper Body: Fitness Blender’s Bored Easily Workout

Sunday: Long Run: 16.02 miles @ 9:42 pace
I’ll talk about this epic run below.

WEEK 3: 32.13 miles

My speed and tempo runs this week were done in my usual running spot of Central Park. For my long run, I decided to get out of the park and head to a place I had never run before: Randall’s Island.

I have no idea how I’d lived for so long in New York City and not run Randall’s Island. It’s almost embarrassing. It isn’t even far from where I live. I’d looked at maps of it from other people’s runs on Strava. There was a bridge from the east side of Manhattan and a path around the island. How hard could it be?

So on Sunday morning I headed east across Manhattan until I got to the foot bridge. I wasn’t planning on stopping a whole bunch, but I did want to take a couple photos on the bridge as well as a selfie right after I got onto the island (the header photo). I mean, it was my first time on Randall’s Island. I wanted to celebrate.


On the bridge


From the bridge

I headed counterclockwise on the path. The route around the southern part was easy enough. There were a handful of people playing ball, a couple of people walking dogs, and only a few runners. It was mostly quiet. Peaceful.

Eventually, the running path followed underneath the train tracks. I think it’s Amtrak. It’s part of the same bridge that runs through Astoria Park. I was impressed by the running surface, which looked fairly new.


This is also where the path started to get a little confusing. At one point I came to a dead end, and it wasn’t immediately clear that I had to exit by walking through some brush and past a chain link fence. Once back on the path, I continued running straight. It was hard to tell where the edge of the island was around here.

I came upon a fork in the road and assumed I should head right, as I knew I was somewhere in the middle and soon wanted to make a counterclockwise turn before heading back south.

I found myself in an industrial area with trucks parked on the side of the road, auto body shops, and one lone city worker filling in a pothole – he thankfully ignored me, which made me feel a little better because I did feel very much out of place. There was no one else in sight. It felt eerily quiet but, then again, it was Sunday morning. I figured “I guess this is what the northern end of Randall’s Island is like on a Sunday.”

I had considered stopping to look at my maps app, but my battery had drained quite a bit already and I didn’t want to lose my music.

I made a couple turns, totally guessing, and it became clear I was in the city again: cars, street lights, pedestrians, stores. Could this possibly still be Randall’s Island? People don’t… live here, do they? Had I somehow made it back into Manhattan without realizing it?

I finally stopped and opened my maps app, battery be damned. I started laughing when I saw where I was.

I was in the Bronx.

IMG_3963 Randall's Island fail

I was somewhere around mile 6.

Instead of heading right after coming out of that weird brush in the middle of the island, I’d headed directly toward a completely different borough. No wonder I hadn’t realized I ran over a bridge: the amount of water between the two land masses is hardly anything. I hadn’t even noticed it.

Fortunately, I had been in the Bronx before: the NYC Marathon runs right around where I was. I saw that the Willis Avenue Bridge was nearby – this is what we run over around mile 20 of the marathon. So I headed to the bridge and made my way down to Central Park, where I finished my 16-mile run.

It was probably dumb of me to not be 100% sure of the Randall’s Island path before I set out. I guess I had been too confident in my map-following abilities.

But I’m glad it happened the way it did. Sometimes the runs that don’t go as expected are the most fun.

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