Marine Corps Marathon Training Week 1

From the Lehigh Valley Summer Series 5K this week.

From the Lehigh Valley Summer Series 5K this week.

This week was a solid week of training. It was low mileage to kick off training but I felt pretty great on all of my runs. I truly believe the first week of any training program is telling of how the rest of the cycle will be. There’s always room for tweaking and improvements in the following months but you learn a lot in that first week. I learned I’m going to have trouble with the paces given on my training plan, not because they’re too fast, but because they are much slower than my comfortable running pace. I’m going to make some changes with this plan along the way and it’s only the beginning so we’ll see how this training plan goes.

Monday– Cross-training at Bootcamp

45 minutes of strengthening exercises. We did four circuits of no repeat exercises.

Tuesday- 5 miles, easy

Went for a pre-work run with my roommate. We wanted to take it easy, especially since we both went to boot camp last night. My legs felt surprisingly good, although breathing and sweating were an issue. Ahh, summer training.

Plan- 5 miles at easy pace (10:40/mile)
Actual- 5 miles in 43:40 (8:44/mile)
Mile Splits-
(1) 9:18/mile
(2) 8:48/mile
(3) 8:50/mile
(4) 8:48/mile
(5) 8:04/mile

Shoes: Asics Gel Flux

Wednesday- Lehigh Valley Parkway 5K

I was by no means racing this 5K. It’s a fun, free 5K put on in the Parkway the first Wednesday of each month and this was the only one I was going to be able to make this summer. It was a lot of fun, but it was extremely hot (86 degrees at the start) and incredibly humid. I was dripping by the end. I felt good though!

Planned: 3 miles easy (10:40/mile pace according to my training plan)
Actual: 3.14 miles in 27:34 (8:46/mile pace)
Splits:
(1) 9:01/mile
(2) 8:27/mile (got a little excited here and had to pull in the reins)
(3) 9:03/mile

Shoe: Saucony Fastwitch 6

Thursday- FULL rest day

I was going to go to gentle flow yoga after work to stretch out a bit but it was cancelled.

Friday– 5 miles, easy

This was the first lunch run I’ve been able to do in awhile since it wasn’t 90 degrees or more. It was really relaxing and enjoyable, a nice break in the day.

Plan: 5 miles, easy (11:45/mile pace according to my training plan)
Actual: 5 miles in 44:13 at 8:50/mile average pace
Splits:
(1) 8:55/mile
(2) 8:43/mile
(3) 8:52/mile
(4) 8:58/mile
(5) 8:45/mile

Shoe: Asics Gel Flux

Saturday– 3 miles, easy

Took a short run along the canal with my roommate and her friend. It was a really good run. Again, my training plan had me running 3 miles at easy pace (10:40/mile) but I ran considerably faster and it felt easy.

Plan: 3 miles, easy at 10:40/mile
Actual: 3 miles in 26:12 at 8:44/mile pace
Splits:
(1) 9:04/mile
(2) 8:40/mile
(3) 8:27/mile

Shoes: Asics Gel Flux

Sunday– 10 mile long run

This was the first long run of Marine Corps training and it went pretty well. I left my apartment at 10 a.m. which was probably wayyy too late to head out for a summer long run but heat training is always good. I did my 10 miles and finished with 4x100m strides.

Plan: 10 miles, long slow distance at 10:40-11:45/mile pace (according to my plan)
Actual: 10.2 miles, LSD with 4x100m strides in 1:31:50 (9:00/mile pace)
Splits:
(1) 9:28
(2) 8:47
(3) 8:56
(4) 9:12
(5) 9:21
(6) 9:22
(7) 9:02
(8) 9:35
(9) 9:02
(10) 9:00

Shoes: Asics Gel Flux

Total mileage: 26 miles

See all weekly training recaps here.

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The Sweat-Fest that is Summer Marathon Training

Sweat literally dripping down my back.

Sweat literally dripping down my back.

The average temperature this week in Pennsylvania has been a warm 86 degrees. That doesn’t factor in the humidity levels, and we still have three more days to go. I know I won’t be the first runner to ever complain about the weather (or not complain about the weather) but it’s kind of what we do.

Why does it matter this week more than last week? Well, it’s the first week of Marine Corps Marathon training, so the weather this week is a bit of an indicator as to how my training is going to go the rest of the summer. Training hasn’t been too bad so far by any means, but I can already tell training for a fall marathon is much different than training for a spring marathon. In one word, training in the summer is an absolute sweat-fest.

First off, I have to wake up early to do my runs and I rather not. When I was training for Big Sur I would do my long runs as late as 11 a.m. sometimes because that’s when it would get a little warmer out. That will not be the case this summer.

I’m probably also going to be a little slower because the heat and humidity (and direct beaming sunlight) can take it’s toll during a run. I may even have to stop a few times on long runs to get some reprieve, but that’s ok. That’s what training is for.

On the other hand, maybe I’ll really like summer marathon training. I’ll get my runs done earlier and have more time for doing other things during the weekend. Maybe I’ll also get a sweat tan when I’m out there running for hours on end? Either way, this summer training is going to be a learning experience. I’ll figure out if I like training in the summer or if I prefer running like a popsicle in the winter. For now, I’ll keep up with the early wake-ups, the extreme sunscreen application, and never-ending sweating until October 27 (hopefully it’ll be cooler by then!).

Keep up with my training on the day-to-day by following me on Twitter@FitHappyGirl.

I’m Running the Marine Corps Marathon!

Marine Corp Medal 2012

Last night I went to see the special theater-showing on The Spirit of the Marathon II. It did not fail to inspire, make me laugh, bring a tear to my eye, and bring the marathon itch roaring back to me. So, I find it extremely appropriate to announce today my plans for my next running move.

Drum roll please! (Just kidding, you all saw this coming.)

I’m running my second marathon this fall at the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. on October 27!

Honestly, I knew it wouldn’t take long for me to become addicted to the marathon distance. I’m kind of type-A when it comes to this stuff and mildly addicted to the adrenaline/endorphin rush you get when you finish a marathon. When I crossed the finish line at Big Sur, the race director told me it would change my life, and it sure did. So when the opportunity to run Marine Corps with the Runner’s World Challenge presented itself, there was no way I could say no.

Runner’s World Challenge

This will be my third race with the Runner’s World Challenge and I honestly couldn’t imagine running a major race without it. This is going to sound like a shameless plug right now (and it totally is) but Runner’s World Challenge is such a good program. Through the Challenge, you get guaranteed race entry to one of our event races- this year it was Disney, Big Sur, and Marine Corps. You also get a customized training plan to meet whatever goal your little running heart desires, as well as direct access to the Runner’s World experts. But the best part of Challenge is the V.I.P. treatment you get on race day. We have our own prerace and postrace tent filled with food and drink for days, and (probably the best part) we have access to our very own port-a-potties, so you can say goodbye to pre-marathon bathroom lines. You also get to run with the editors (like me!) on race day!

MCM Goals

Besides this being my second marathon, me being the type-A person that I am, I want to improve on my finish time. I finished Big Sur in 4:33, which for my first marathon and such a tough course, wasn’t too bad. But I want to do better. So, I’m setting a goal of breaking 4:15 and following a plan to help me do so. This is ambitious because it means PR-ing by more than 15-minutes but I think given the course at MCM and the typical weather, it’s possible.

I’m going to focus much more on maintaining my strength training and speedwork that I’ve become really consistent with during my time off from training. I also want to focus on my diet more during this training cycle. I didn’t have issues with it last time but I think I need to actively add more protein into my daily diet and just focus on trying to eat clean.

All of these goals pale in comparison to the reason I’m really excited to run Marine Corps which is my parents are going to be there! They have been at almost every race I’ve run since I started running in March 2012 but were not able to come out to California to see me finish Big Sur. But my mom has assured me she’s already booked the hotel for MCM and they will be there, on the course, to cheer me on at my second marathon. I’ve also heard MCM is a great race because of the military presence and patriotism throughout the entire weekend. While we don’t have any Marines in my family, my grandfather was a Navy and Coast Guard veteran and my cousin’s boyfriend (who’s basically part of our family) is also a Coast Guard veteran and my dad is in the Air Force auxiliary. The military has always been a part of my family’s life so I think running MCM will be a great way to honor that tradition.

While I will never forget my experience at Big Sur, it was my first after all and you never forget your first, I have a feeling Marine Corps is going to be really special. Training begins on July 8, let’s do this!