Update on training, week 8 (Feb 19-25)

^ this right here is why I could never be the layout person for a magazine. I just can’t make up my mind about how I want to format my posts. But you get the general idea: update on training, another week, and in case you’re confused about which week, I spell it out.

But this week is special! It marks the official halfway point to marathon training, and you know you’re seriously “in it” when you start using any opportunity to bring the topic of marathon into conversation with anyone you meet, even strangers. Week eight, woo hoo!

Officially a “fall-back” week in the training, I think it went pretty well. I didn’t have any long runs and the bulk was easy running. I did, however, have a pretty intense 10 mile time trial that I can’t wait to tell you about.

But first:


gasp! Only one rest day?! And a run after an almost race? What?

What? is right. I also have no clue how the runs next week will look like and how I will feel. This week actually marks a diversion from the Runner’s World training plan that will go on through next week, since I have to adjust for a short trip I’m taking next weekend. And my SquadRunner team will know that I adjusted the second half of this week for the mission points. :-) I did get an extra 190 points from the adjustment, and I think I did it intelligently enough? Basically, the plan called for 5 tempo miles on Wednesday, a rest on Thursday, and 3 easy on Friday. Instead, I did 1 easy mile and 1 tempo km (to see just how fast I can run) on Wednesday, and 8 miles on Thursday with a 24 min. 5k thrown in. Then Friday was a rest day. There will be a time when I don’t need a mid-week break. This week is not that week. I wanted to have some chance to recover before Saturday, and honestly I just really like having one day of work each week where I can just go to work in a relaxed way without having to worry about getting the run in first.

And then Saturday…

but wait. Actually, I want to preface this by saying that I have a weird soreness deep in my gluteus maximus that Dr. Google diagnosed as piriformus syndrome. Sound familiar to any of you? This is the same hamstring thing I mentioned two weeks ago, but now I’m not sure it’s my hamstring. I really felt it during the 200 meter intervals on Monday (which were a lot of fun! It’s nice to just kick it out really fast once in a while), and then more so yesterday during the 10 miles. The weird thing is, it doesn’t really hurt. It just feels tight and I feel like I can’t get my full range of motion. I guess it’s good it doesn’t hurt yet, but I also want to figure out what it is and treat it before it gets any worse. In the meantime, apparently what I may have can come from sitting too much, and while I don’t think that’s my problem (if anything, I can’t sit for a single moment gosh-darnit Dorothea sit down and stop wiggling!), I’m going to be a little more proactive about it and see if I can figure out some of these weird yoga moves Dr. Google is recommending to prevent this thing from becoming a major pain in the you-know-what. Oh, and of course I’m calling my doctor tomorrow to schedule an appointment for ASAP. I’ll ask her about the weird foot bump then, too. (edited to add: I really did make an appointment and will find out on Wednesday what the deal is).

Okay, now about Saturday. I don’t know. It’s not that I went to an actual race and it doesn’t count as an official PR, but since it is my first consciously timed 10 miler and I met my goal within 5 seconds, I’m calling the PR. I was aiming for a sub 75 minutes, and I think that if I had been officially racing and known my times while running (I only ever knew my approximate pace), I could have done it. And even if I didn’t, I’m pleased with the way I motivated myself to keep pushing through the last miles and execute a run on my own this way. I can use this as a mental boost for the half-marathon in two weeks and while I didn’t feel amazing, I got it done and met my own expectations. Plus, it was an outdoor run and the sun was shining, which was actually also true of today’s run as well, so today I went out for a bonus 5k that turned into a little more because it was just so gosh-darned gorgeous (did you notice my southern roots, yet?). The mission points also had something to do with the unusual Sunday run. I’ll see how I feel tomorrow and then determine whether that was a good idea. I may take the rest day tomorrow, instead.

Other than the butt issue and continued niggles here and there, mostly in the feet, a few in the knee–all that I’m prodigiously fighting against with stretching, foam rolling and avoiding every single crack in the side-walk–running is going very well.

Next week is another week of an absent long run. I can’t decide if that’s a no-go in marathon training, but I also figure if Hanson’s plan runners get away with a lot of mid-distance runs, then so can I! I’m planning on doing  regular amount of running (6-10 miles) that will tire me a little out, but not injure me. On March 5th it’s back to the regularly scheduled programming.

Hope you had a good week! Happy running,



Weekly Update: August 21-28

This week was, perhaps, the most successful week of running I’ve had since the marathon and before (back in April). I don’t know how, but I ended up in a training rut after the Hamburg marathon, opting for a laissez-faire approach that I’m giving up again in favor of the standard marathon training.

I’m starting with the normal five days of training with two quick days, two easy days, two rest days, and a log run to round out the week. My long run is reverting back to 10 miles, and it will be a steady increase with 10, 11, 12, 10, 12, 13, 14, 10, 14, 15, 16, 12, 16, 17, 18, 12, 18, 19, 20, 10, 20, and then two weeks to taper. It’s a good thing I’m starting now, because seeing how it builds up so slowly, I will want to make sure I get started right away!

I find that I really need to get into things slowly to prevent injury. It doesn’t mean that I can’t up the mileage on my daily runs, but I know that being careful about how fast I increase how much I run will be key to getting me healthy to the start of my fourth marathon.

Along the way, I want to do a few races. I’m thinking of a 10-miler in October and a half-marathon in December (since the marathon I’m planning for is on Valentine’s Day). Funnily enough, that sets me up for a 2-month cycle and is another thing that I hope means I’m not setting myself up for injury.

Now, for the recap!

My last rest-day was a week ago. Since then, my runs were an easy home-improvement wrap-up run (covered in white paint and everything) in my local park for 4 miles, an easy run to the beach for almost 7 miles, an easy Monday 4 miler, an interval session on the treadmill at the gym for 5K (.75 mile warm-up, and five intervals of 400 meters maxing at 10 mph, 400 meters jog-rest), an easy 5 miler on Wednesday, and another interval session yesterday.

Of the runs I did this week, yesterday’s run was my favorite. I don’t know why, but even though I’ve been dieting a bit this past week (need to get down to training weight after indulging for ten months in my less disciplined habits!), I was super pumped. Perhaps because I went to the gym shortly after my lunch? At any rate, after a half mile warm-up and jumping around from treadmill to treadmill to find the least obnoxious one (and the one that didn’t just stop in the middle of a sprint), I did four sets of progression runs. Basically, these looked like: run 400 meters at 6.5 mph, start moving up for the next 400 from 6.5-8.0 mph, spend the last 400s going at 8.5-10 mph; repeat. I had a few moments where I needed to worry, because my left knee did the weird split-second sharp pain after I increased my speed once, but having the slow progression meant I wasn’t transitioning from jogging to running too quickly. I focused a lot on keeping my form, and I felt awesome keeping my 10 mph for at least .1 of a mile each set.

I was so focused (and about this wet)


The run ended after 44 minutes with a total of 5.3 miles. I left the gym soaked, but high off adrenaline.

When I got home, I made sure to roll my feet on my orange (a firm ball that has a right orange color that I use to stretch out my plantar fasciiti) and to drink a lot of water to flush out the lactic acid. I felt some strain on my quads near the end of my run, but my soreness this morning is not like it was last week, and definitely far from post-marathon, so I think I’m doing the right thing with this speed-work.

I’m excited about my “long” run tomorrow and decided to pull out the old TomTom runner again. I haven’t run with it in over a month, so I don’t know if it even still works! But it will be interesting to see how my speed holds up outside after all this time. I mostly need it because I don’t know how far 10 miles is from my front door…

Wish me luck!