Race Recap: Marine Corps Marathon

So happy at mile 18.

So happy at mile 18.

Marathon Magic

Before I ran my first marathon last April at Big Sur, one of my coworkers told me about something she called “marathon magic.” I was freaking out and anxious about the seemingly impending doom that was running 26.2 miles along Highway 1 and I told her I wasn’t feeling good and my legs felt slow and sore. She told me that come race day, undoubtedly, something called “marathon magic” would kick in and all of the pieces would fall into place.

I ended up finishing Big Sur (with some walking) in 4:33:41, not terrible for my first marathon and the challenging course. Leading up to Marine Corps last weekend I was feeling the same way. My left calf muscle had been irritable for weeks, I was starting to come down with a cold, and my hips (which had been fine all throughout training) were feeling oddly sore. I was nervous about my time goal of breaking 4:15, and even more nervous about my secret goal of breaking 4:10, and my “dream big” goal seemed completely out of reach.

But like clock work, come early Sunday morning, when I lined up with my pace group, the “marathon magic” set in. I finished Marine Corps in 4:07:06, a 26 minute, 35 second PR.

Finish200

The Race

I got to the starting line early to get settled into my corral and be there in time to watch the Wounded Warrior Project paratroopers jump from the sky with flags attached to land at the start. It was pretty inspiring to watch them floating through the sky as someone sang the national anthem just outside of Arlington National Cemetery. (Pro tip: if you run MCM get to the start early to see all of this!)

I also wanted to get to the start early because MCM has you self-corral based on what you think you’re finishing time would be. I trained for a 4:15 but decided to line up a little closer to the 4:00 group. The start was very congested and when the howitzer went off to signal the start, it ended up being more of a slow crawl than a run. After about two miles and the first set of hills, the pack thinned out a bit.

My plan going into the race was to focus on 5-mile increments. I typically go on 5-mile runs during lunch so in my mind, breaking 26.2 miles down to 5-mile increments helped (I also fuel every 5 miles). Then I figured I’d give it my all in the last 1.2 miles to go with my mantra – Last mile, strong mile, kick it in.

I was lucky to see my parents really early on in the race around the mile 2 marker, which gave me the surge I needed in the very beginning. My boyfriend had also gone to the start but since there were so many runners, it was tough to find him in the crowd while focusing on not tripping over the runner in front of me.

Once the field thinned out, I focused on staying steady and consistent. I was trying my hardest to run even splits but between the spectators, the inspiring runners running alongside me, the military presence, and my own personal cheer squad, my paces darted around a bit. I joked after that every time I saw my parents or my boyfriend, I ran my fastest miles – I guess I got a little excited.

My cheer squad :)

My cheer squad :)

Takeaways

The race itself is all still a bit of a blur to me. I’m terrible at really breaking down races, mile by mile for recaps but there were some incredible highlights:

  • Seeing my family at the very beginning of the race and then again around mile 18/19.
  • Seeing my boyfriend at mile 10, 16 (he even ran with me a bit then!), and the finish.
  • Seeing Bart Yasso twice and having him yell my name!
  • Running the Run to Remember mile out on Hains Point in honor of fallen veterans.
  • Running alongside those running for their loved ones who have served, are active duty, or who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
  • All of the Marines who were genuinely cheering for all of us. It seemed odd because we really should be the ones cheering for them.
  • Surprising myself and running a huge PR.

The best part about my second marathon, besides my cheer squad, though was being able to run the entire 26.2 without walking and feeling like it was actually comfortable. It makes me wonder, and dream, about what I could do once I get more experience under my belt with the distance. I think the whole “marathon magic” thing happens for different reasons. At Big Sur, the marathon magic came to me because it was my first marathon. At MCM it came because I knew I had my family there cheering me on.

When my co-worker first told me about “marathon magic” I didn’t believe her. After Big Sur, I was still a little cynical about it but MCM confirmed it for me. Marathon magic is real, and I believe it.

Stats

Ran: 26.62 miles in 4:07:06 at 9:17/mile average

Splits:
(1)10:15 (2) 9:40 (3) 9:38 (4) 9:05 (5) 9:26 (6) 9:00 (7) 9:23 (8) 9:28 (9) 9:11 (10) 9:00

(11) 9:07 (12) 8:56 (13) 9:02 (14) 9:12 (15) 9:08 (16) 9:15 (17) 9:09 (18) 9:18 (19) 9:13

(20) 9:26 (21) 9:05 (22) 9:14 (23) 9:12 (24) 9:12 (25) 9:39 (26) 9:34 (27) 5:28 (for 0.60)

Marine Corps Marathon Training: Week 15

Post-race at the RW Half

Post-race at the RW Half

My second to last week of training went surprisingly well! It was a very busy week at work leading up to the Runner’s World Half but I was able to fit most of my runs in. It was a taper week though so my legs are really starting to feel antsy and ready to run. Also, shout out to my boyfriend who ran a PR at the Columbus Marathon on Sunday #proudgirlfriend!

Monday – Yoga

Tuesday – 3 miles, easy

I felt really good on this run. It was only 3 miles but I felt like I got some of the speed back into my legs. I know I should take it easy since I’m at the beginning of my taper but I couldn’t help myself!

Plan: 3 miles, easy
Actual: 3 miles in 25:05 at 8:21/mile pace
Splits:
(1) 8:50 (2) 8:12 (3) 7:59

Shoes: Saucony Mirage 4
Conditions: 69 degrees, sunny

Wednesday – 6 miles with 4x800m

This was my final Yasso 800 workout and it went really well. I did it after work and although I was kind of tired, my legs felt pretty good.

Plan: 2 mile warmup, 4×800 in 4:15 with 400m recovery, 1 mile cool down
Actual:
2-mile warmup at 9:06/mile pace (Mile 1: 9:12; Mile 2: 8:57)
4×800 with 400 recovery in between each set
(1) 3:54 (7:48/mile pace)
(2) 3:41 (7:23/mile pace)
(3) 3:40 (7:20/mile pace)
(4) 3:30 (7:04/mile pace)
1-mile cool down at 9:08/mile pace

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19

Thursday – REST

Friday – 3 miles RW Half shakeout run

Saturday – REST

Sunday – 13.2 miles at the RW Half

I ran this race with Ashley and we had a great time! We took it very easy and it was a great substitute for a final long run before Marine Corps! Hoping to do an actual recap very soon!

Weekly Mileage Total: 25 miles

{Monday Motivation} Decide You Want It

Well, here I am, less than a week away from running my second marathon at the Marine Corps Marathon. The taper is starting to get at me a little bit but after a successful showing at yesterday’s Runner’s World Half Marathon I’m feeling ready to run. Since I started having some tweaky overtraining related injuries a few weeks ago I decided to let go of my secret time goal for Marine Corps. I shifted focus and decided I want to just PR and have a good race. I’m going to stick to that but I still want (hope) I might have it in me to go for that secret goal. It’s ambitious and I don’t think it’s completely realistic at this point but if I don’t try, I’ll never know, right? Good luck to everyone else who’s tapering this week!

(Source: Pinterest)

(Source: Pinterest)

Marine Corps Training: Week 13 and 14

(Source: Pinterest)

(Source: Pinterest)

Totally slacking on posting my workouts here! (If you want real-time update, be sure to add me on Daily Mile!) But training has been going well and it’s (FINALLY) starting to wind down. I’ve had a few bumps in the road with some IT band and lower leg soreness on my left leg but I was able to readjust my training schedule and work through it. I also had a major bump in the road this past week with some GI issues during my long run, not fun at all. But I’m feeling ready and looking forward to starting my taper this week. I’m also really looking forward to the Runner’s World Half this weekend which I’ll be running as my final training run. Will I see you there?

Week 13 – Sept. 30-Oct. 6

Monday: Yoga

45 minutes of Vinyasa Flow Yoga

Tuesday: 6 miles, easy

My IT Band was acting up again on this run. I really thought about stopping the run short and walking back to the office. I was able to power through but it definitely gave me some pause. I’m going to re-evaluate my training plan and cut back some of the mileage. I think I may have been a little too ambitious with a higher mileage training plan.

Plan: 6 miles, easy
Actual: 6 miles in 57:38 at 9:36/mile pace
Splits:
(1) 9:35 (2) 9:30 (3) 9:48 (4) 9:37 (5) 9:43 (6) 9:24

Shoes: Asics Gel Flux
Conditions: Way too hot!

Wednesday: 8 miles with 5x800m at 4:15

Run one of the day went well. It was so dreadfully hot outside though that it was pretty slow going. I ran with a coworker which was really nice because sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation to do a shorter run.

Plan: 3 miles easy
Actual: 3 miles in 27:00 at 9:00/mile

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 80 degrees, full sun

This Yasso 800 workout went surprisingly well! I ran it on the treadmill because I have a habit of doing Yasso 800s WAY faster than goal pace so I wanted to see what the pace really felt like. I felt really great the whole time though and my IT band didn’t hurt too bad which was really great.

Plan: 5 miles with 5x800m Yasso 800s at 4:15 (8:30/mile)
Actual:
1-mile warmup at 9:22/mile pace
5×800 in 4:13 (8:27/mile pace)
.5-mile cool down

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: Indoors

Thursday: 50 minutes of Strength Training

Strength Workout for Runners:

Abs-
3 x 1:00 planks
3 x 0:30 side planks
3 x 0:45 supine planks
3 x 0:45 bicycles
3 x 0:45 bridge

Arms- 3 x 10 of all
Rotational Should Press (10lbs)
Alternating Dumbbell Rows (15lbs)
Tricep Pulls (15lbs)
21s (8lbs)

3 x 15 standing side leg lifts
3 x 10 calf raises

Friday: 5 miles, easy

5 miles in 45:44 at 9:08/mile pace

Saturday: 5 mile shakeout

Sunday: 20 miles, long slow distance

This was my last 20-miler of Marine Corps training and it was honestly my best training run in a long time. I felt really good during the whole run and when I got to mile 10 I decided I would try to pick it up. I ended up running a negative split with a fast finish. This was absolutely the confidence-boosting run I needed.

Plan: 20 miles, long slow distance (10:30-11:00 according to plan)
Actual: 20 miles in 3:14:34 at 9:43/mile pace
Splits:
(1) 10:25 (2) 9:42 (3) 9:49 (4) 10:00 (5) 9:50 (6) 9:56 (7) 9:58 (8) 9:57 (9) 9:42 (10) 9:33 (11) 9:41 (12) 9:43 (13) 9:44 (14) 9:43 (15) 9:53 (16) 9:33 (17) 9:33 (18) 9:24 (19) 9:33 (20) 8:49

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 68 degrees, 94 percent humidity, overcast

Week 14 – Oct. 7-Oct. 13

Monday: 25 minutes of yoga

I tried out Rebecca Pacheco’s Essential Yoga for Runners video on our website.

Tuesday: 7.2 miles

Run One: This run went well during lunch. I had to split up my mileage today because I could do it all in one run during lunch.

Plan: 5.1 miles in 47:44
Splits:
(1) 9:45 (2) 9:23 (3) 9:42 (4) 9:16 (5) 8:58

Run Two: I did this run on the treadmill after work and made sure to stretch a bunch and foam roll after.

Plan: 2 miles in 17:30

Wednesday: 7.15 miles

I ran this early in the morning and it was quite chilly! I felt good though and just took it easy.

Plan: 7 miles, easy
Actual: 7.15 miles in 1:06:11
Splits:
(1) 9:51 (2) 9:19 (3) 9:12 (4) 9:24 (5) 9:27 (6) 9:02 (7) 8:47

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 48 degrees overcast

Thursday: 6.26 miles

I felt absolutely phenomenal on this run! This was honestly the best run I’ve had in a long time and I was really excited once I finished. My left leg only hurt a little and even in the pouring rain it was my fastest pace in a few weeks which was great. I also ran with a group of ladies at work who I don’t usually get the chance to run with so that was really nice.

Plan: 5 miles, easy
Actual: 6.26 in 54:20 at 8:40/mile pace
Splits:
(1) 9:06 (2) 8:29 (3) 8:38 (4) 8:25 (5) 8:32 (6) 8:53 (7) 2:17 for .26

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 52 degrees, raining

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 4 mile shakeout

I was supposed to run a local 5K but found out they didn’t have race day registration so I ended up running around the park instead.

Plan: 3.1 miles + 1-mile cool down
Actual: 4.1 miles in 36:33 at 8:54/mile
Splits:
(1) 9:21 (2) 8:57 (3) 8:43 (4) 8:53

Sunday: 10.5 miles

This run started off so well and ended pretty terribly. It was the first time I ran with my super speedy BF and he promised to run my pace (which he did) and I actually felt really great, until about mile 7 when I started having major GI issues. It was bad. I was able to make it back to the house but had to cut 6 miles off my run (was planning to do 16) because I was really not feeling well. I think the problem was a new drink I tried before the run but who knows?

I’m not that upset about not getting in the 16. My training plan for Big Sur had me running 13 two weeks out from the marathon, and 10 one week out (this one had me doing 16 two weeks out and 10 one week out) but I’m running the RW Half next weekend so it should all equal out.

{Monday Motivation} Sunday Mornings

Lately, I’ve been in a real funk with my training. None of my runs were feeling too great and I kept dreading the Sunday long runs. Until yesterday. I had set my alarm for 6 a.m. and woke up to darkness. Instead of wanting to roll over and go back to sleep I was oddly excited. I took it as a good omen that my last 20-miler of Marine Corps Marathon training would go well. Sure enough, it did. I took the first 10 mile super easy and then decided to pick it up for the last 10, running a perfect negative split and a 2-mile fast finish (the last mile was a 8:49!). Runs like that make me remember why I really do love running. Waking up early on a Sunday morning to go run for a few hours is total bliss when all goes well. I hope you had a great long run last weekend and more to come this week!

(Source: Nike Running on Pinterest)

(Source: Nike Running on Pinterest)

Marine Corps Training: Week 12

"I Run This Body" bracelet courtesy of Miss Dorothy Beal! (www.mile-posts.com)

“I Run This Body” bracelet courtesy of Miss Dorothy Beal! (www.mile-posts.com)

We’re getting down to the wire now and week 12 was a cutback week which gave me plenty of time to think about how close we’re getting to race day. I needed this cutback week desperately after dealing with some IT band soreness and shinsplints the week before. While the soreness is still there on my runs, I’m trying now to just focus on getting to the starting line at Marine Corps and finishing the race. My workouts went really well last week so I’m hoping this week will be successful too.

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 6 miles, easy

I felt pretty good on this run until I got the worst side stitch of my life nearly 2 miles into the run. Seriously, I’ve never had a side stitch so bad, it felt like my entire abdominal muscle was seizing up. Ouch! Thankfully it went away after I stopped to stretch it out and take some deep breathes. I also took this run super easy because my legs are still feeling the after-effects of Sunday’s 20-miler. This run also confirmed for me that my Garmin is off by about .05-mile which means my paces are probably actually a tad faster than they read.

Plan: 6 miles, easy
Actual: 6 miles in 55:35 at 9:15/mile
Splits:
(1) 9:31 (2) 9:19 (3) 9:06 (4) 9:22 (5) 9:17 (6) 8:57

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 61 degrees, sunny

Wednesday: 10 miles total (two runs)

Run One:

I felt really good on this run. I wanted to take it easy since I’d be running later on again but I felt great. My Garmin was way off though again which was frustrating.

Plan: 5 miles easy
Actual: 5.45 miles in 49:09 at 9:01/mile
Splits:
(1) 9:22 (2) 9:10 (3) 8:57 (4) 8:54 (5) 8:50

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19

Run Two:

4.55 miles in 39:00 at 8:35/mile pace

This run felt INCREDIBLE! So happy!

Thursday: 8 miles, easy

Ran 8 miles in 1:12 at 9:00/mile pace after work.

Friday: 5 miles, easy

Ran 5 miles in 44 minutes at 8:48/mile pace

It was Move at Work Day at Rodale so I joined in on the 3-mile group run and added 2 miles to the beginning.

Saturday: Rest Day (Mom came to visit!)

Sunday: 13 miles, long slow distance

I felt really good on this run. It was refreshing to have a “shorter” long run too. I ran on a rail trail with my roommate who had to run 11 miles. It was fun to just be out there with her and talk.

Plan: 13 miles, easy
Actual: 13 miles in 2:04:07 at 9:32/mile average
Splits:
(1) 9:26 (2) 9:23 (3) 9:30 (4) 9:30 (5) 9:53 (6) 9:38 (7) 9:48 (8) 9:27 (9) 9:46 (10) 9:34 (11) 9:45 (12) 9:30 (13) 8:54

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 68 degrees

Weekly Mileage Total: 42 miles

Marine Corps Training: Week Eleven

Lehigh XC course, the site of my Saturday shakeout.

Lehigh XC course, the site of my Saturday shakeout.

Eeek! I totally slacked on posting my training from last week. Well, it might be Thursday, but better late than never, right? Anyway last week was kind of tough because I was dealing with some shinsplints and IT band issues but after nixing one workout and taking it very easy on the rest I *think* I dodged an injury-bullet and am feeling much better this week. I’m continuing to ice, compress, and foam roll the crap out of my legs, especially my left one, in order to keep it healthy and strong for the last month of training.

Monday: 50 minutes of Vinyasa Flow Yoga

Tuesday: 5 miles

I took it super easy on this run because my left shin and calf were still kind of bothering me. Even with the easy running they didn’t feel great. I’m hoping with some ice, ibuprofen, and compression they’ll start to feel better.

Plan: 5 miles, easy
Actual: 5 miles in 46:00 at 9:12/mile average
Splits:
(1) 9:33 (2) 9:09 (3) 9:07 (4) 9:11 (5) 9:03

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19

Wednesday: 2 miles, run fail

I knew this high mileage was going to catch up to me sooner or later. I’ve been battling a shin/calf pain for the past week and a half and today I knew the 8-miler on tap wasn’t going to happen. I consulted with my coach and she said it would be best to run a super easy 2 miles and scratch the 8-miler. I did as I was told and will take a rest day tomorrow and hope for a better Friday.

Plan: 8 miles, easy
Actual: 2 miles, easy (Garmin crapped out midrun so I estimated my time)

Thursday: 1 hour of strength training

Abs- 3 x
1:00 planks
0:30 side planks
0:45 supine planks
0:45 bicycles
0:45 bridge

Arms- 3 x 10 reps
Rotational shoulder press- 10lbs
Alternating dumbbell row- 15lbs
Tricep pulls- 15lbs
Chest press on stability ball- 10lbs
21s- 8lbs

Legs-
15 reps of bench step-ups
3 x 15 calf raises
3 x 15 side leg lifts

Friday: 6 miles

Yay! A (relatively) pain-free run! I felt a lot better on this run after taking the past two days off completely. My shin still felt a little sore but I didn’t feel the pain in my IT band like I was feeling on Tuesday and Wednesday. I think the pain is mostly due to overtraining and not being used to the higher mileage so I’m going to try to scale back a little from what my plan says. It felt good though to be running at my happy paces again!

Plan: 6 miles, easy
Actual: 6 miles in 52:00 at 8:40/mile average
Splits:
(1) 9:12/mile (2) 8:37/mile (3) 8:23/mile (4) 9:02/mile (5) 8:50/mile (6) 7:43/mile (!!)

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 80 degrees and sunny

Saturday: 5 miles

Ran an easy pre-long run shakeout run at the Lehigh Athletics Campus. I ran the first two miles around the campus and track and then found my way to the XC course. This was the first time I ever ran on a XC course and I loved it! It was so beautiful and I think running on the grass was good for my shin/IT band.

Plan: 5 miles, easy
Actual: 5 miles in 44:58 at 8:59/mile average
Splits:
(1) 9:02 (2) 9:12 (3) 9:00 (4) 8:58 (5) 8:46

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: didn’t check but it was pretty warm and really sunny

Sunday: 19-mile long run

It was a long run miracle this morning when I woke up with NO pain in my shins or IT band! I don’t know what happened but I felt great. I took it extra slow though during the run because I didn’t want to aggrevate the pain if it was still healing. I felt pretty good the whole time though. Hoping for a quicker long run next weekend!

Actual: 19 miles in 3:05:44 at 9:46/mile pace
Splits:
(1) 10:18 (2) 9:27 (3) 9:35 (4) 9:52 (5) 9:56 (6) 9:59 (7) 9:35 (8) 9:28 (9) 10:04 (10) 9:35 (11) 9:38 (12) 10:04 (13) 9:50 (14) 9:37 (15) 9:42 (16) 9:47 (17) 9:45 (18) 10:07 (19) 9:22

Weekly total: 38 miles (plan had me running 46 miles, scrapped a total of 8)

Marathon Aches and Pains

At some point while training for a marathon (or any goal race really) the mileage and workouts begin to take their toll. I was very lucky when I was training for Big Sur because I made it to the starting line injury-free, which is one of the hardest parts of training for a marathon.

However, the training plan I was using was relatively lower mileage and I had hardly any workouts. This time around my mileage is much higher and I have more speed workouts like marathon pace runs, tempos, and Yasso 800s. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE doing the speedwork and I get sadistic pleasure out of seeing my weekly mileage on Daily Mile increase and increase. But my legs have a different take on this training plan than my head.

For the past week and a half, my lower left leg has been a bit wonky. It started off as an annoying little pain in my shin but then moved to my calf and on Tuesday’s run I was feeling the pain up and down my IT band. I decided to change my plan for the remainder of the week so I’d be able to run my first 20-miler this weekend but I’m still uneasy about how that’s going to go.

I broke the number one rule of injury prevention: If something hurts for two straight days while running, take two days off. So I took two days off, Wednesday and Thursday, and am hoping my 8-miler will go better today, especially if I take it super easy. Fingers crossed!

Marine Corps Marathon Training: Week Ten

Trying to stay consistent with strength training.

Trying to stay consistent with strength training.

Week ten of Marine Corps training presented me with a mileage PR of 44 miles. While I’ve been able to get all the miles in I feel like my legs might be starting to push back. A new pain in my left shin has me a bit concerned but I think it should subside if I take it easy on my next few runs.

As my mileage keeps increasing I’m learning the importance of post-run recovery, something I’ve almost neglected a little bit in the past.  To make sure I’m recovering properly I’m taking the five-to-ten minutes post-run to stretch out, as well as icing on a regular basis.

Monday: Yoga

Tuesday: Strength Training and 5 miles, easy

Strength Training– 50 minutes

Arms:
3×10 reps of:
Rotational Shoulder Press with 10lbs weights
Alternating Dumbell Rows with 12lbs weights
Tricep Pulls with 15lbs weights
Chest Press on Stability Ball with 10lbs weights
21s with 8lbs weights

3×15 reps Standing Side Leg Lifts
25 calf raises

Abs:
3×1:00 planks
3×0:30 side planks
3×0:45 supine planks
3×0:45 bicycles
3×0:45 bridge

Run:

It was pretty hot and humid on this run but I waited until after work in the hopes that it would be a little bit cooler. My legs were still feeling a bit sore from Sunday’s long run but once I got a mile or so into the run it felt good to be shaking them out a bit.

Plan: 5 miles, easy
Actual: 5 miles in 43:54 at 8:46/mile
Splits:
(1) 9:31
(2) 8:43
(3) 8:37
(4) 8:48
(5) 8:12

Shoes: Asics GT-1000 2
Conditions: 86 degrees, 80 percent humidity

Wednesday: Double run, 8 miles total

Run One:

Plan: 4 miles, easy
Actual: 4 miles in 36:40 at 9:10/mile average pace

I ran an easy pre-workout shakeout run on the treadmill. I had 8 miles on my schedule for today with my first Yasso 800 workout. Since I couldn’t do the whole 8 miles during my normal lunch run I decided to split up the workout with 4 miles easy at lunch and 4 miles at the track after work.

Run Two:

Plan: 4 miles with 4x800m at 4:10 with 400m recovery jog

Actual:
1-mile warmup at 8:54/mile
4x800m-
(1) 3:40
(2) 3:41
(3) 3:39
(4) 3:30
With 400m in between each 800m

Shoes: Saucony Fastwitch 6
Conditions: 90 degrees, 80 percent humidity

This was my first Yasso 800 workout of Marine Corps training and it went very well! I ran them at the track and did a 1-mile warmup to begin. It was extremely hot and humid out so I wasn’t sure they were going to go well but I was pleasantly surprised.

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 8 miles with 5 miles at marathon pace

So this run went much better than expected. I’m still having a difficult time controlling my paces though and I know I really need to work on that but I felt really, really good during this whole run.

Plan: 8 miles with 5 miles at marathon pace (9:10/mile) with 1 mi warmup and 2 mi cool down
Actual: 8 miles in 1:09:46 at an average of 8:43/mile
Splits:
(1) 9:19 (2) 8:51 (3) 8:43 (4) 8:35 (5) 8:24 (6) 8:30 (7) 8:45 (8) 8:37

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 68 degrees, sunny, low humidity, a bit windy though

Saturday: 5 mile shakeout

It took me awhile to get out the door this morning but once I did I felt really good. Something has been going on with my left shin/knee though and I’m not really sure what that’s all about. I’m going to keep stretching/foam rolling/icing to see if it starts to feel back to normal again.

Plan: 5 miles, super easy
Actual: 5 miles in 44:56 at 8:59/mile average
Splits:
(1) 9:34
(2) 8:52
(3) 8:56
(4) 8:53
(5) 8:38

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 61 degrees, overcast, windy

Sunday: 18 mile long run

This long run went really well. I ran the first 10 miles with our RW Half Training Group led by Bart Yasso. We took it super easy which was really good because lately I’ve been pushing a little too hard on my long runs. After the 10 miles was done I finished the last 8 on my own. My left shin was giving me some trouble again which accounts for the crazy pacing here but overall I felt pretty good.

Plan: 18 miles, long slow distance
Actual: 18 miles in 2:54:33 at 9:39/mile average
Splits:
(1) 10:29 (2) 9:57 (3) 9:47 (4) 9:50 (5) 10:02 (6) 9:58 (7) 9:55 (8) 9:39 (9) 9:35 (10) 9:37 (11) 9:56 (12) 9:16 (13) 8:55 (14) 9:04 (15) 9:38 (16) 9:48 (17) 9:32 (18) 9:33

Shoes: Asics Kayano 19
Conditions: 50 degrees, sunny

Weekly Mileage Total: 44 miles

See all training recaps here.

Marine Corps Marathon Training: Week Nine

Why you startedIt’s been a couple weeks since I last posted about my training for Marine Corps. One excuse for this is the last two weeks of training were kind of messed up due to running Hood to Coast and a surprise thunderstorm that completely ruined one of my long runs. But the real reason for not posting was I wasn’t really feeling all that into my training. Everything has been going well, I’m hitting my paces (even my new paces) and I’ve been following my schedule but for some reason I just wasn’t that excited. However, last week’s training went extremely well, I had a fantastic long run, and I’m starting to feel much more confident in my training.

Everyone hits that point in marathon training where you just feel tired and you start to question why you’re spending so much time and energy on training but you always have to remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. For me, I’m running Marine Corps to better my marathon time and to experience a race I’ve heard so many great things about already. I also want to prove that I can get better at this whole marathoning thing and MCM will be the perfect place to make that happen. Besides, there really is something addicting about running 26.2 miles!

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: 4 miles, easy

Last run at home around my town. I took it really easy because the heat and humidity is absolutely killing me. Felt pretty good though.

Plan: 4 miles, easy
Actual: 4 miles in 35:21 (8:47/mile)
Splits: 
(1) 9:13
(2) 8:45
(3) 8:35
(4) 8:40

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 80 degrees, 60 percent humidity

Wednesday: 6 mile tempo

This was my first tempo ever and I have to say I was pretty proud of it. Since I changed my time goal for MCM I wasn’t quite sure what my tempo pace should be. According to my old plan (marathon goal pace of 9:47/mile) my tempo pace should have been a 9:05/mile. However, now that my goal MP is 9:05/mile, obviously my tempo would be faster. I decided to shoot for 8:40/mile and see how I felt.

Plan: 6 miles with 3 miles at tempo pace (8:40/mile)
Actual: 6 miles with 3 miles at tempo (8:20/mile)
Splits: 
1.5 mile warmup at 9:30/mile pace
3 tempo miles in 25 minutes (8:20/mile pace)
1.5 mile cool down at 9:30/mile pace

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19

Core Strength-

3×1:00 planks
2×0:30 side planks
3×0:45 supine planks
4×25 crunches
3×0:45 bridges

Thursday: 45 min. Strength Training

I’m vowing to get back into the swing of strength training so I made up my own workout.

Abs:
3 x 1:00 planks
3 x 0:30 side planks
3 x 0:45 supine planks
3 x 0:45 bicycles
3 x 0:45 bridge

Legs:
3 x 0:45 Stability Ball Jackknife
3 x 0:45 Stability Ball Hip Extensions
3 X 15 (each leg) Standing Side Leg Lift

Arms: 3 x 10 of all
Rotational Shoulder Press
Alternating Dumbbell Rows
Tricep Pulls
Chest Press on Stability Ball

3 x 21s- 7 x forearm lifts, 7 x bicep curls, 7 x overhead press

Friday: 6 miles with 4 miles at Marathon Pace (9:05-9:10/mile)

It was incredibly beautiful outside today so I was finally able to run during lunch again. I went running with my roommate and told her I had to run 6 miles with 4 miles at marathon pace (9:05-9:10/mile). Well, we ran one of the miles at MP but the rest were faster.

Plan: 6 miles with 4 miles at MP (9:05-9:10/mile)
Actual: 6 miles in 53:08 at 8:51/mile average
Splits: 
(1) 8:55
(2) 8:38
(3) 8:55
(4) 9:09
(5) 8:48
(6) 8:43

Shoes: Asics Kayano 19
Conditions: PERFECT

Saturday: 4 miles, easy

I felt AMAZING on this run which was really surprising because I may have had one too many beers last night. My legs felt so fresh and I just felt like flying. I was supposed to run super easy to shakeout before tomorrow’s long run but I just decided to go with it.

Plan: 4 miles, easy
Actual: 4.04 miles in 33:46 @ 8:21/mile
Splits: 
(1) 9:14/mile
(2) 8:14/mile
(3) 8:15/mile
(4) 7:44/mile

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 73 degrees, sunny, 42 percent humidity

Sunday: 16 miles with 2 miles fast finish

This was my first actual long run in two weeks due to scheduling/racing/surprise thunderstorms. I was pretty nervous it wasn’t going to go well but I think this was the best long run I’ve had in my MCM training cycle. I felt really great the whole time, my fueling was on point, and my breathing was good. My paces look a little all over the place but that’s because this is an extremely hilly route I run. I decided to try for a 2-mile fast finish and nailed it. So happy!

Plan: 16 miles LSD
Actual: 16 miles in 2:30:25 at 9:24/mile average pace
Splits: 
(1) 9:50 (2) 9:11 (3) 9:25 (4) 9:37 (5) 9:47 (6) 9:48 (7) 9:29 (8) 9:17 (9) 9:37 (10) 9:25 (11) 9:19 (12) 9:32 (13) 9:33 (14) 9:17 (15) 8:54 (16) 8:21

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: Started off kind of cool, 68 degrees and overcast but warmed up to 75 degrees with 66 percent humidity and full sun by the end.

Weekly mileage total: 36 miles

See all weekly training recaps here.