Marathon Training Week 15 – Taper Time

I used to wonder how people found time to train for a marathon.  Obviously I have since found that answer by training for one myself which now makes me wonder how people find time to train for more than one marathon a year.  It certainly has been a loaded 4 months,  While I’ve enjoyed the process I am looking forward to completing the actual race and getting in some good physical and mental recovery time!

Total Mileage – 25

Sun. 5/2 – 12 miles was a definite change from the prior week’s 22!  That being said it still felt a tad long and I know Jason was mentally over running halfway through.  I think maybe it was psychological knowing we wouldn’t be out running all morning we expected the run to feel faster?  In any case we logged the miles on the rail trail, likely our final training run on it before the marathon.  We held paces exactly a minute apart from another – an 8:53 for him and a 9:53 for me.

Tues. 5/4 – A quick 4 miles before work.  We had considered knocking out the 6 miler, but woke up later than usual.  The rain from the previous night made it incredibly humid and by the time we wrapped up in the cemetery I was glad we had decided to only complete 4.

Thurs. 5/6 – Jason was motivated enough to log 6 miles Wed. morning, but I wasn’t as keen on leaving my comfy bed.  Instead I logged mine after track practice.  After running faster than usual on Tues. it felt good to scale my pace back especially since my hamstrings had felt tight and sore the previous day.  I was a tad nervous to run up Blymire given it’s been quite a few weeks since I have (we’ve been trying to stick to flatter routes to mimic the marathon course), but it went fine.

Sat. 5/8 – Preferring to stay in bed Fri. morning again, Jason ran 3 miles solo and I got mine in today.  Down the street and back with a final quarter mile in the cemetery.  My arch/heel didn’t flare up during the 2nd mile as it has been, my left ankle felt rather stiff for at least a mile.  I also did a few band exercises after to keep the glutes/adductors firing.

Any last minute tips/advice as I go into my final taper week?

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Marathon Training Week 14 – Hanging Tough

I have most definitely forgotten what life was like before training for a marathon.  While I have powered through the miles quite well I am definitely looking forward to a run that isn’t required, let alone a specific distance.  As crazy as it sounds I’m also looking forward to doing a deep clean of my house.  Jason’s been wonderful in helping to keep up (cleaning the bathroom weekly) as training and coaching track leaves pretty much no time for house cleaning unless I want to stay up until all hours of the night.  Anyways here is a rundown of how the week went:

Total Mileage – 38

Sun. 4/25 – A 22 miler!  Jason and I went into it knowing that even if we only ran 20 that would still be sufficient, but mentally both of us wanted to hit the 22.  Todd suggested we do a full “pre race” run on the York Rail Trail, but I countered saying I really didn’t want to run that far then run a marathon on the same course less than a month later.  We decided on the good old Columbia river trail, a route that I really love and have been excited to go farther on with the longer training runs.  I had no heel pain like the previous week, but after mile 13 my feet were starting to feel tired in general.  I alternated running on the trail (asphalt) and alongside of it (grass and/or gravel) to try to keep them going as best as possible.  My plan was to try to keep to 10 minute miles, but by mile 19 my pace was really dragging.  I plodded on however and clocked a 3:44:16 which was a 10:11 average pace.  Jason also tanked by mile 19 despite fueling much better than his 20 miler and managed a 3:30:23, a 9:34 pace.

Tues. 4/27 – Last week the thought of stepping back to an 8 miler sounded wonderful but after running 22, 8 sounded just as challenging.  Jason’s choice of a somewhat hilly route at 5am wasn’t the most appealing to me, but I managed well enough until my stomach decided to hate me.  Having not been able to do any “business” prior to the run I unfortunately had to cut the run short.  I hit 7 miles at the end of my block and nature urgently called.

Wed. 4/28 – 4 miles felt like such a short run on lunch with Jason.  It was definitely a nice change.  The last mile was in the cemetery and the short hills were challenging after the week’s previous miles.

Fri. 4/30 – Jason and I ran two loops around a nearby neighborhood and faced some major wind gusts at times.  Despite the wind it was warm and we really pushed the pace and chatted along the way.  I actually ended up with 5.25 miles as I was so in the zone it didn’t dawn on me to stop when the watch beeped 5 miles.  I averaged a 8:56 pace!

It was a very successful training week.  My heel/bottom of my left foot flared a tad during the shorter runs, but it went away so I’m no longer fearful that I’m developing full blown plantar fasciitis.  I managed to get a short total body strength workout in this week as well.  I don’t plan to do anything like that the next two weeks as I taper though as I definitely feel my legs in a different way from it today!  Bring on the taper weeks!

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Marathon Training Week 13 – Less than a month to go!

It’s exciting to think that the marathon is less than a month away!  With only one really long run left in the training schedule I have to wonder what I’ll do with myself when I’m not required to run every Sunday morning let alone find time to fit in 3 other runs per week.  Track season is wrapping up soon as well so I’m looking at having a good bit of time on my hands by the end of May!

Total Mileage – 34 

Sun. 4/18 – Step back weeks feel like such a blessing though 14 miles was still a decent long run.  Jason and I were going to change things up and start the York Rail Trail from the New Freedom trailhead, but we slept in later than usual so we went to Brillhart Station.  I should know better by now than to try to get away with running that far and only using one Honey Stinger chew as my miles were definitely slowing by the end.  Running later in the morning was a reality check as well as it was warming up decently by the time I finished after 11:30am.  The bottom of my left heel was bothering me off and on, but it wasn’t anything too distracting.

Tues. 4/20 – Jason couldn’t sleep so we set out on one of our 4:30am runs to put in our 10 miler for the week.  Finding time to get these mid-week longer runs in has been challenging at times, so I was glad that run was our peak one.  Again the underside of my heel bothered me off and on, but I could still run on it.  I had taken a vacation day to go with my mom to an appointment then out to Longs Park for a walk and Tobias Frogg for lunch with her, my sister and my nephew.  It was a fun time but the run coupled with the walk in addition to being on my feet for track practice had my heel really bothering me so I iced it that night.

Wed. 4/21 – I iced my heel twice in the morning, but it still did not like the 5 mile run Jason and I did on his lunch.  After 2 miles it seemed to loosen up but climbing some hills in the one neighborhood and cemetery seemed to stir it back up again.  While it didn’t feel like full blown plantar fasciitis it still had me worried that it could become a big nuisance during the marathon.

Fri. 4/23 – 5 miles after work with Jason around town.  The good news is my heel didn’t have any pain.  The bad news is I think all the miles are taking their toll on the bottoms of my feet in general.  I spent most of the run feeling as though there wasn’t any cushion under my feet.  I’m hoping this is common at this point of marathon training and that the taper that’ll begin after Sunday’s run will alleviate some of it.

Jason and I already made a game plan for Sunday’s long run that we’ll run out the Columbia river trail for 10 miles and come back and if we feel like adding on the additional 2 miles for a full 22 miler we will and if we’re good with just the 20 then that’s fine too.  Scott and Todd both advised us to run it based on how we’re feeling and if we didn’t reach 22 that it’d be fine.  I really want to hit 22 for the mental confidence more than anything, but I’ll be satisfied just knocking out a 20 miler.

During marathon training have you experienced runs where you feel as though your feet have no cushion?

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Marathon Training Week 12 – Grinding out the Miles

This week was a real test of mileage and determination.  My strength workouts have gone by the wayside due to a lack of time and energy to fit them in.  Sometimes this comes back to bite me with a little bit of back aches, a weaker core and a twinge in my hamstring.  I’m going to try to rededicate myself to at least 10 mins of core per week and a few minutes of band exercises to keep my glutes strong.

Total Mileage – 37.25

Sun. 4/11 – My first double digit run that started with a 2!  Todd and Scott met Jason and I in Wrightsville to run a 20 miler using a route they’ve ran previously when training for marathons.  We were fortunate to have them join us as it worked out well for everyone with it being Todd’s last long run before his marathon in Utah and Scott tapering for his 100 miler in Maryland.  We ran across the bridge to Columbia and ran portions of runs I’ve done previously while adding on some new parts.  It made for an interesting route, and we only had some short rain showers throughout the run.  Jason eventually dropped back to run with Scott and I, a tad beat from pushing the 13 the week before and not quite fueled well enough during the run.  I have figured out a good fueling strategy using the Honey Stinger gels and didn’t really feel too beat up or fatigued until after mile 18.  The amount of strength I’ve gained to tackle that kind of distance is still mind boggling to me at times.  I ran it in 3:21:25, a 10:04 avg pace and Jason clocked 3:16:54, a 9:51 pace.

Tues. 4/14 – Jason beat me up a bit during a 5 mile run on his lunch.  While I knew we needed to push the pace compared to Sunday’s run I didn’t expect to average a 9:07 especially given how many hills were part of the route.  I might’ve cursed him under my breath more than once particularly when he decided to turn up a long steep hill.  Regardless of the pain and annoyance I still thanked him after the run for making me push.

Thurs. 4/15 – I suppose I was due for a bad run given how many good ones I’ve had this training season.  The game plan was to run 9 miles after work (Jason had done his at 1:30am on Tues. as he couldn’t sleep; that was definitely not something I was going to consider doing) as there was no track practice due to the school being closed for rising Covid case numbers.  I felt alright for the first 5 miles then my legs grew heavy.  They didn’t hurt per say, but rather just felt like concrete blocks.  I slogged my way through the next mile and decided if I could make it 7 miles that was going to be sufficient.  I habitually checked my watch the entire last mile and was incredibly grateful to be finished.  I’m certain a combo of the 20 miler and pushing too fast/hard with Jason on Tues. beat my legs up that I couldn’t go beyond 7 miles.

Fri. 4/16. – Jason and I considered cutting our 5 mile run to 3 or 4, both still feeling a little wore out from the week.  We managed a second loop of a nearby neighborhood though and actually clocked 5.25 miles.  It felt better than the previous day’s run, but nothing speedy for sure.

I’m looking forward to a step back long run tomorrow and plan to take it super easy.  4 weeks left until the marathon of which 2 are going to require more grinding.  I have confidence we can get through this and with a little extra rest today that our bodies won’t let us down!

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2021 – 1st Quarter Fitness Summary

Posting about my marathon training has been dominating my blog, but I still wanted to get my 1st quarter fitness stats out there.  Upon deciding at the end of January to sign up for the marathon a lot of my days shifted from cardio or strength training to more runs.  I kept up a lot of my strength workouts until track season began in March and unfortunately they’ve been dwindling as the mileage has increased and my availability for workouts has decreased.

January had a mix of running and DailyBurn Live to Fail workouts and only 5 days completely free of workouts.  I committed to foam rolling after every run and began marking that on my fitness spreadsheet to make sure I was adhering to it as much as possible.  I ran 16 days for a total of 114.41 miles.  I ran no races but Jason and I continued to track mileage for the York Winter Series virtual challenge and our Rocksylvania Remix challenge.

February was a lot more building up the base mileage and getting used to running more days a week.  I also put in a lot of strength work with more Live to Fail workouts and once again only took 5 days off completely from working out.  The snow did disrupt some of my running plans, but I managed to get in all the long runs required of the marathon training plan.  I ran 14 days for a total of 105.05 miles.  Again we ran no races but continued logging our miles until we reached our virtual challenges’ mileage goals.

March is when the heavier training began with a full commitment to running 4 days a week.  This meant the strength training lessened from 30-40 min workouts to 10-20 ones as I could fit them in around a busier schedule.  I still managed to only take 5 days off from working out.  I logged runs on 18 days for a total of 131.5 miles.  We ran no races; it would’ve been nice to get in a half marathon one for training purposes, but with Covid still limiting the number of races we found none to suit our schedules.

2021 has definitely gotten off to a high mileage start with the 1st quarter totaling 350.96 miles!  I’m sure the second quarter won’t see near that kind of mileage as once the marathon is completed I’m planning on taking at least a month to run whatever/whenever I want as opposed to following a stricter schedule.  I also want to get back into more regular DailyBurn workouts again.  Here’s to logging the high miles while training smart/staying injury free!

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Marathon Training Week 11 – Keeping Busy

The reality of training for a marathon while coaching track definitely sank in this past week with how busy my life felt.  The beginning of the month is also busier at work and a personal appointment as well as an ortho appointment for dad made my schedule feel even more packed.  Something had to give so that meant not getting to blog until today, Jason taking care of the house cleaning on Friday, and not getting in any strength workouts.  All my runs were completed though and my track kids had great performances at their meets on Thurs. and Sat!

Week 11 Mileage – 31

Sun. 4/4 – Easter Sunday was spent running 13 miles on the Columbia River trail.  This run should’ve been titled “Bathroom issues” as we parked at our usual trailhead only to find the portapotty locked, something we’ve never encountered.  We drove down to the next trail head where luckily the portapotty was unlocked.  Jason took off on me like usual while I settled into a comfortable sub 10 min pace.  We got to run on a part of the trail we’ve only biked as parking farther down meant running farther out as well, so that was enjoyable.  I discovered a portapotty roughly 5 miles into the run that I didn’t know existed.  I could’ve held my bladder for the whole run, but figured I’d relieve that sensation.  When I reached the turn around point I decided I was going to treat the run as a time trial (something Jason had done from the start) and picked up my pace.  I was nearing the portapotty again when I felt an urge to go, but it passed so I continued onward.  Every half mile or so the feeling returned and panicked me that I’d need to use the woods, but it would resolve.  I took a chance and passed two more portapotties without stopping.  I wanted to clock a full half marathon but when I approached the trailhead where we were parked I tossed my water belt on the car trunk and dashed over to the portapotty; I had pushed my luck enough for one run and my body wasn’t having even another .1 of a mile!  I was just under 2 hours so figured I would’ve had around a 2:02 half.  Jason ran his fastest half marathon ever clocking a 1:40:02.

Tues. 4/6 – I woke up a little after 4am to pee and struggled to fall back to sleep, so when Jason awoke to pee we decided to just get up and put in our 9 mile run for the week.  I don’t mind those early hour runs in the dark so long as it’s warm and he stays within my sight.  We ventured over to a loop development we had never ran and heard a rooster crow.  We also woke up 3 or 4 dogs throughout the run.  Our knuckle lights started losing power so we ended up staying on roads and in developments with street lights and keeping close to one another. 

Wed. 4/7 – A 4 mile on lunch run in some warmer than usual weather.  I felt like my legs could barely move the first quarter to half mile (a combo of sitting to work and all the hills in the previous day’s run), but they finally loosened up and I felt better.  I was glad for some heat acclimation training as I’m a tad fearful of the marathon day being incredibly hot and us not being prepared for it since the majority of our training runs have been decent weather.

Thurs. 4/8 – Normally we don’t run 3 days in a row and the original plan was to run 5 miles Friday morning.  On the bus back from the track meet I texted Jason that I felt like I should just get the run in when I got home so I wouldn’t have to get up early before work to get it done.  I rolled in about 7:30pm and he asked if we were going and I said if you want to, so I quickly changed and stuffed a snack in my mouth and out we went.  He stayed with me the entire run, and we both felt really good running a slower than usual pace.  We stayed up later than our normal bedtime and both slept a bit mediocre; he woke hungry and I woke dehydrated, so we decided no more evening runs that late.

Friday was my dad’s follow up appointment from fracturing his kneecap.  My mom was babysitting my nephew so I went along, partially because he doesn’t hear well in his left ear and partially to make sure he would follow the doctor’s instructions.  She took another Xray and said that it was healing, but that he had to stay in the leg brace until the next follow up in two weeks.  To say he was disappointed and irritated was an understatement as he really thought he’d be out of the brace as least part of the day (he has to sleep with it on as well).  I explained to the doctor that my dad’s never had an injury like this and to him if he can tolerate the pain of something then he can manage.  She explained how bending the knee too soon could cause the tendons to pull on the kneecap and risk stretching the fracture.  She said at the next appointment she’ll look to adjust the brace to bend his knee a bit more.  I asked if there was any chance of him running/walking a half marathon on May 16 and she said no, that if it was another month out then maybe but not this soon.  Unfortunately that put the nail in the coffin of hope for dad competing with us, but he knows he best follow her instructions or risk needing surgery and being out of commission even longer!

Have you ever broken a bone that caused you to miss a race?

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Marathon Training Week 10 – Morning Miles

I have really been enjoying the process of training for a marathon a lot more than I ever expected.  It’s to the point now that even if the marathon doesn’t go well (I do have a fear of running 26.2 miles in the rain) that the work to get to that point would’ve been time well spent.  I have changed mentally on my long runs going from someone who notes how many miles are left each time a mile is completed, to someone to sees the split time and just keeps taking the run one mile at a time.

Week 10 Mileage – 35

Sat. 3/27 – Normally I log my training weeks Sunday – Saturday but I bumped up my long run to avoid running 18 miles in the rain.  Jason and I started at Brillhart Station and headed south for an out and back on the York County rail trail.  The majority of the route was part of the actual marathon, so it was a good test mentally and physically of our progress.  I was also able to test out the Honey Stinger gels I ordered.  I enjoy their chews for half marathons and the waffles taste good as well, but feel that gu’s work the best for me.  I used a vanilla flavored one between 6 and 7 miles.  With 4 miles to go I began to have really heavy quads and used an acai pomegranate one.  While I maintained some quad fatigue it definitely helped and I hung tough through the remaining miles.

My goal was to run 10 minute miles.  I surpassed my own expectations by keeping the majority of the miles between 9:55 and 10:05.  This was a huge success for me as normally I can’t maintain a consistent pace on a flat course, I pick up and slow down without ever even knowing it until the GPS beeps my time.  My first 6 miles were ran in 1:00:10, at mile 12 I was at 2:00:22 and I finished in 3:00:02.

Mon. 3/29 – Jason woke up before 4:30am and asked if I wanted to just knock out our 8 mile run for the week.  I’ve preferred to do the weekday runs in order (short, longer, short) but figured might as well.  He made us each a half of a pb and honey sandwich which we’ve both found is just heavy enough to keep us feeling full without being so heavy as to make us feel sick.  It’ll be our go to food right before the marathon for sure.

Wed. 3/31 – The plan was to run 5 miles after Jason was finished work, but we were both awake before 6am so decided to check this one off in the morning as well.  I pushed the pace a bit more trying to hang with Jason as much as possible since I’m not doing any actual tempo or speedwork as part of my training.  I know I’ve definitely lost some speed through this training cycle, but if I can hang under a 9:15 pace for a few miles it feels fast enough to me.

Fri. 4/2 – Jason was motivated to run in the morning again, but the below 30 temps made me stay in bed a little longer.  That meant my 4 miles was ran in the evening which was warmer but windy.  The work week had been very stressful, and I enjoyed pounding out my frustrations on the road.

Everything is starting to come together for my marathon race.  I’m gaining confidence that my legs can handle the distance, and feel comfortable with my fueling plan.  One item I haven’t figured out yet is the bathroom.  I try to pick courses that enable me to go right before I start running.  All my training runs up until the 17 miler I managed to not need to go.  During both the 17 and 18 mile runs I felt that I could pee, but I could hold it if needed.  Since I had access to a restroom around 7 and 6 miles respectively, I used it.  The rest of the runs I was fine.  I know I’ll have access to restrooms during the marathon and while I’m not as focused on my time I would still prefer not to waste any having to pee.  I have a few more runs to figure it out but am curious to know…

Do you normally need to pee during a marathon?  If not, how do you ensure you’re hydrated well enough prior to racing?



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Marathon Training Week 9 – Disappointing News

Last year my dad was halfway through training for the Pocono Marathon in an attempt to qualify for Boston when the race became a casualty of Covid and cancelled.  While he didn’t have ambitions of using the York Marathon this year to qualify for Boston he was still doing well with training and looking forward to running my first marathon with me.  Even catching Covid didn’t deter him as he only missed one week of training and was right back at it.  Unfortunately the bad luck bug decided he wasn’t to run a marathon this year.

Friday evening he accidentally stepped on the back of my mom’s heel and fell down on his right knee really hard.  I saw him Sat. evening and it was swollen, but he was still managing to walk around decently by keeping his leg stiff.  Mom wanted him to take it easy on Sunday, but he was outside raking leaves and keeping busy.  He finally went to see an orthopedic doctor Monday night who took an Xray and diagnosed dad with a fractured kneecap.  He can’t run for 6-8 weeks and is in a leg stabilizing brace until his follow up appointment on Apr. 9th.  At that point they’ll determine if the fracture is healing well enough to not require surgery.

To say we’re bummed is an understatement, but he and I are alike in that we roll with the punches and don’t dwell on things that you can’t do anything to change.  I confirmed with the race director that he has the option to defer to next year or switch to the half marathon and walk.  I’m not providing him with any options until his appointment and we see where things are.  That means training must continue without him…

Week 9 Mileage – 29 and counting…

Sun. 3/21 – With dad out of commission Todd and Scott came to our house to run 17 miles with Jason and me.  Jason wanted to run to Lake Redman and do some trails there then run home.  I mapped out a route that would be just about 7 miles to the lake which meant about 7 to get home and figured trail loving Scott would be able to get the rest of our miles routed for us.  The route to the lake and back contained some familiar roads as well as a new one and was challenging with rolling hills.  I survived the trails rather well with only one almost fall on some mud.  I was glad when the trail portion was over though as the change in terrain was nice, but it was causing my feet to rub inside my shoes a good bit when trying to stabilize.

Todd and Jason were out ahead of us climbing a hill to an intersection and given neither called back to us/double backed I figured they knew to turn left.  Scott and I reached the road and turned then turned down the next road, a long downhill, and didn’t see them ahead of us.  We asked two walkers if they had seen two other runners and they hadn’t.  We knew they missed the turn.  Unsure if they went straight at the intersection or just missed the second turn, we decided to carry onward in hopes that somehow they’d find their way back before we did.  I was a mix of emotions… annoyed that they didn’t yell back to us, not surprised since neither of them have a good sense of direction, concerned that they could end up running way out of their way and do more miles than needed, frustrated because Jason had the house key so I wouldn’t be able to get in the house…

Scott and I arrived back and I did a mini stretch before we jumped in his car to go look for them.  We got down the street and around the corner when we saw them coming down the road.  They had missed the first turn and kept going through the intersection only to realize when they got to the bottom of the hill it wasn’t the correct hill.  Jason wanted to fully back track but Todd suggested they cut across a field that put them back on the road they should be.  They actually saw Scott and I at one point climbing a hill but we were too far ahead of them to call out to.  I was just glad that they got back safe and only ended up with an additional mile beyond the 17 planned.

Tues. 3/23 – A quick 4 mile run on Jason’s lunch around a nearby neighborhood and down our street.  These runs have worked out well, but as mileage increases might need to be moved to before or after work as I don’t think I can fit anything further than 4 miles plus showering into a 1 hour lunch.

Wed. 3/24 – An 8 mile run after Jason was finished work.  This might be the longest distance we can reasonably handle after 5:30pm given we go to bed between 9:30-9:45pm most nights.  I find I’m not able to hydrate as well that late in the evening when we return and end up with some nasal congestion overnight of it.  Our route included a loop in a neighborhood we never ran and had a short but incredibly steep hill.  I might’ve cursed more than once.  I’m a solid hill runner and don’t mind them but short and steep are my least favorite ones.

I’m going to publish this today even though the week isn’t over.  Originally Jason and I planned to log 4 miles on lunch.  Due to the rain/thunderstorms forecasted for Sunday we decided to move the 18 mile run to tomorrow morning when the weather should be much nicer which meant axing the run for today.  I’m working a Covid vaccine pod shift that evening and know I’ll likely be spent after the run and ready to fuel/relax before I work so blogging won’t happen.  I’ll include that long run as part of next week’s posting.

Do you run in the evenings?  If so, do you push back your bedtime in order to refuel/rehydrate well enough?

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Marathon Training Week 8 – Halfway There!

Time is really strange and relative.  On one hand I feel like I’ve been training since Christmas given our group began regularly logging 10 miles each Sunday.  On the other hand I feel like I’m just really now getting into training with upping the Sunday long run and trying to hit specific mileage the rest of the week.  Until this week I hadn’t paid too much attention to the miles ran the other days.  I saw Hal Higdon’s novice plan increases them more this week.  I want to be sure I’m increasing them too especially that mid week run since I normally only run 6 miles max.  It’s time to hunker down and put in the “real” work of marathon training!

Week 8 Total Miles – 25

Sun. 3/14 – This was a step back week for the long run so only 11 miles were needed.  “Only” seems funny to write given not too long ago I considered anything over 8 to be enough of a challenge.  Our group met at a coffee shop near York College (my alma mater) and ran from there, by the college campus and picked up the York Rail Trail.  As much as dad and I love hills we know it’s important to get some flat runs on the trail in since that’s where the marathon is held.  Armand turned around 3 miles in (he had ran 21 the previous day), so I mostly ran alone after that.  I felt it was good for my mental preparation as I’m working to not focus so much on the flat, boring-ness that the trail can be and just taking things one mile at a time.

Tues. 3/16 – A quick 3 miles on Jason’s lunch down our street and back and finishing in the cemetery.  When I say quick I mean quick too as I worked to keep as close to Jason as I could until he took off with a half mile to go… my splits were 9:06, 8:35 and 7:47!

Wed. 3/17 – 7 miles is too many to fit into an hour lunch break and since I had a massage scheduled for the evening that meant a 4:30am alarm was set to ensure the run was completed.  Unfortunately knowing I had to be up that early made my sleep less than stellar, and I was wide awake starting at 2am.  Jason had restless sleep as well so we were up before the alarm and running well before 5am.  I managed to stay alert the rest of the day but hardcore crashed and slept well that night!

Fri. 3/19 – 4 windy miles around our town on Jason’s lunch.  At track practice myself and the sprint coach combined our groups to do a sprint/strength circuit then 5 mins of crunches, bunny hops over a small hurdle and lunge jumps.  I participated in the 5 min one and that was harder on me than the 4 mile run… my glutes burned (it probably didn’t help I did a lower body workout on Thurs.) and I definitely couldn’t continuously bunny hop over the hurdle.  It’s funny how you can be in such great shape in one regard but get physically beat up so easily in another one!

I’m glad I’m maintaining good motivation thus far in marathon training and hoping the stress of fitting in weekly workouts during track season doesn’t dampen my spirits!

When marathon training do you find it more important to get all the long runs completed or make sure you hit mileage goals for the week?

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Marathon Training Week 7

I’ll rewind to last Saturday to provide an update that the John Rudy 5 miler was the first my dad ran at all since being diagnosed with Covid.  He ran with race director and running buddy, Todd, and I was stationed at the turn around mark.  I was happy to see them both looking comfortable when they passed me and to find out after that dad had felt good the entire time.  Volunteering at the race while a bit chilly (I wore multiple layers), was a great time with so many happy and thankful runners coming by me.  My favorite was the little girl who was between 6-8 years old wearing a Wonder Woman cape running beside her dad who was wearing a Superman cape.

Week 7 Total Miles – 28

Sun. 3/7 – Back on schedule with the Sunday long runs.  Jason, dad, Todd and I met at the Enola Gay trail ask Turkey Hill trail and set out on the Turkey Hill Country Classic 10k course.  I love that route as its rolling hills and scenery never get boring.  I dropped back after a few miles to ensure I wasn’t pushing the pace too much and dad dropped back with me.  We had ran about 7.25 miles when we got back to the car and took a quick refuel break.  Jason had already raced on ahead down the trail.  Dad intended to run 10 miles, but until he and Todd turned around they ended up with 13.  I logged 15 and Jason ended up with 16.5 due to his doubling back and running out a mile further on the trail.  It was our longest runs ever and was a real confidence boost for me.

Tues. 3/9 – Track season started on Mon. with a hard hill workout so Tues. was an easier recovery day.  I told my kids to go run for 30-45 mins depending on how in shape they were and I logged 3 miles myself.

Wed. 3/10 – 7 miles around town with Jason after work.  This run made me a tad nervous in that I’ve never ran that far on a work night.  The running group logs 6 miles on average but always starts around 4pm so running 7 after 5:30pm felt really odd for me.  It didn’t throw my sleep off that night though which is a good thing since longer mid week runs are going to become a norm moving forward in the training plan.

Fri. 3/12 – 3 miles in the cemetery and nearby development after work with Jason.  He insisted we push the pace more since we were only running 3 miles, but as my butt is still healing from falling on ice a few weeks ago it definitely felt much harder for me than him.

I feel like I’m at the point now where training is about to “get real” with upping the longer runs and having to log a longer-than-normal run during the week.  The New Balance 880s held up well for the 15 miler, my toes and feet felt a little beat by the end but not to the extent that they had been on previous 14 mile runs.  I’m just taking it one week at a time, one run at a time.  Also I’m seeing more races being listed for spring/early summer including the Turkey Hill Country Classic which bums me out just a tad that I can’t sign up for them and risk ruining my marathon training.

Do you run any races while training for a marathon?

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