On October 17, I finished the 2015 Baltimore Marathon in 4:28.
On October 25, I ran the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon in 4:38!
Everyone knows two things about marathons: a) because they are hard on your body, you should probably only run one or two per year maximum, and b) you can’t tell marathoners what to do. Am I right?
When I started out training for the 2015 Baltimore Marathon, I didn’t realize that about halfway in, when I moved to an apartment less than a 10 minute walk to the Marine Corps Memorial, I would get a serious longing to run the Marine Corps Marathon again. I hadn’t entered the lottery, so my only option was to enter the race through a charity and raise money– not my strong suit. Plus, more importantly, the Baltimore Marathon was only 8 days prior to the Marine Corps Marathon. It was a lot to consider. But the more I did consider it, the more I thought, “Pffft, I can do that!” I mean, why not? I would have the opportunity to give back to a good cause and I remembered a time when running a half-marathon on Saturday and a marathon on Sunday for the Goofy Challenge was out of my league, but in 2013, I did just that. I wasn’t trying to take on too much here, but I couldn’t see a reason why I shouldn’t do it. So I registered. Continue reading “How I Ran Two Marathons In One Week”
I’ve really been struggling with finding the right words to say to recap my experiences at the 2015 Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathons. Usually, after a race, I like to write my most honest opinion about the race itself. What was the expo like? The swag? The atmosphere? The course? I intend to write those posts, because frankly both races are absolutely worth their while and deserve a review, but I trained for both of these races together so it’s hard to separate the emotions I have about them. The only other time I felt even a fraction of how I feel now is after finishing the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon– my second one– as part of the Goofy Challenge because I literally had no idea that I could do it. This is different because instead of leaving it to chance, I actually worked for it. As in, I trained instead of following a training plan that I hoped would work on race day. I’ve always worked hard in training, but I found out there is a difference between owning your training and being owned by your training. Continue reading “You Find a New Dream”
Fundraising Update: I’m at 100% of my goal with $600.20 raised for Team TAPS! Thank you to my very generous donors. You can still make a donation to help the families of our fallen heroes through TAPS’ programs for grief counseling.
Ahhhhh, hello taper week. I know a lot of runners get freaked out by the “T” word, but I don’t. I love tapering time. Perhaps its the subconscious realization that I may never be an ultra-marathoner because running super long distances is, for me, very hard and borderline un-enjoyable, or perhaps it’s more that I know I need to rest and recover and allow myself the rejuvenation that comes with 3 weeks of fewer intense runs and less mileage and getting psyched for a big event that you’ve been preparing for. Think about it– not many big important events in life have a taper time. I certainly never see brides at their calmest the three weeks before their wedding. High schools and universities don’t schedule finals week three weeks before graduation. Marathons practically require tapering, so it’s definitely the best part of training for 26.2 miles. Some runners freak out and get cranky; I don’t. Continue reading “Week Sixteen/Fifteen: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training”
Fundraising Update: I’m at 100% of my goal with $600.20 raised for Team TAPS! Last week, at this time, I was at $330 and 55% of my goal. I cannot believe how much that increased in just a week! Thank you to my very generous donors.I can’t believe I met my goal, and all it took was a simple ask for help. THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart.
It’s Peak Week. Week Fifteen. After this week, I have three weeks of tapering before the big day. My strategy for getting through Peak Week is this: Get through one run at a time; don’t think about tomorrow’s run. Get as much rest as I possibly can. Eat foods to recover. No ditching runs— if I have to wake up super early to get one in, I will get up super early to get my run in. No backing down when I am on the trails– if I am tired, I will power through. I will not let my problems off the trail interfere with my runs. I will foam roll and plank and foam roll some more to keep my achy leg issues at bay. I will not let my past successes scare me out of creating new successes. There will be no doubt in my mind that I am strong and that I have prepared well enough to do what I have set out to do. And I will treat my last long run of the training season as my dress rehearsal for the race. Overall, I will rise above and be amazing. Continue reading “Week Fifteen/Fourteen: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training”
Fundraising Update: I’m at 55% of my goal with $330 raised for Team TAPS! Make a donation today and help the families of our nation’s fallen heroes.Last week, at this time, I was at $196 and 32% of my goal. I cannot believe how much that increased in just a week! Thank you to my very generous donors. Check out my post about why I am running for TAPS. I can’t do this without your generosity and support.
Also, my friend Sarah is hosting a Jamberry nail wraps party through September 28– ONE WEEK LEFT!! 10% of proceeds will go towards TAPS. Access the party here, or at tinyurl.com/TAPSJamberry to place an order by September 28!
I ran 35 miles last week. I’m ready to take that into 40 this week. I have a lighter long run to get through; it feels do-able to get over 40 miles done.
My Planned Training Schedule: September 14 – 20
Monday: 5 easy pace miles (Goal Pace: 10:37 – 11:00)
Tuesday: 9 medium effort miles (Goal Pace: 9:07 – 9:35)
Thursday: 8 pace miles (Goal Pace: 9:06)
Saturday: 12 long run miles (Goal Pace: 9:36 – 10:36)
Sunday: 6 easy miles (Goal Pace: 9:06)
Total Weekly Mileage: 40 miles
Part of setting yourself up for success is identifying potential pitfalls. That’s why Wednesday will be a rest day, unless by some stretch of fate and determination I wake up early enough to get in a decent run. This week’s long run will thankfully only be 12 miles. After having bumped up from 16 to 18 to 20 in the last three weeks, I am due for it. Continue reading “Week Fourteen/Thirteen: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training”
This week, I started out with a feeling of being ready to re-commit to training. I have to remind myself that no one is making me do this– it’s all my idea and my desire that has put me in this spot. But life happens during marathon-training, whether it’s something big or it’s the compounding of daily life that stacks and builds up. This week wasn’t a great one for me, but so it goes.
My Planned Training Schedule: September 7 – 13
Monday: 4 easy pace miles (Goal Pace: 10:37 – 11:00)
Tuesday: 7 medium effort miles (Goal Pace: 9:07 – 9:37)
Wednesday: 4 easy pace miles (Goal Pace: 10:37 – 11:00)
Thursday: 4 easy pace miles (Goal Pace: 10:37 – 11:00)
Saturday: 20 long run miles (Goal Pace: 9:36 – 10:36)
Sunday: 6 race pace miles (Goal Pace: 9:06)
Total Weekly Mileage: 45 miles
This week was a little on the high mileage side, but I tried to cut down where I could since I was looking at one beast of a weekend long run. I haven’t run 20 miles in over three years. In 2013, I trained for the Run for the Ranch Marathon up to 18 miles (during which I turned around at mile 9 on a day that was somewhere in the negative wind chill range) and in 2014, I also only trained up to 18 miles for the Chicago Marathon (having just come off an injury). There is always one glorious 20-miler that I ran back in the fall of 2012, when I was training for the Goofy Challenge, that I remember well. Very well. I ran it with an average 9:56 pace and a sinus infection. When I stopped, I remembered that I just wanted to keep going. That’s how I wanted to feel after this run. That’s the kind of runner I want to be again. I would LOVE to have another 20-mile run like that one. Continue reading “Week Thirteen/Twelve: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training”
I think I’ve decided to stop panicking and re-evaluate my training schedule. I’ve been panicking because I feel like I’ve missed some critical pace runs and have been running a little too easy too often. No, I don’t think that I can run a 4:00 marathon in Baltimore and then run Marine Corps a week later, but I would at least like to try for one or the other to break my 2013 Rock ‘n Roll DC Marathon PR of 4:38. That, I feel is possible. But I also can’t help but wonder what would happen if I practiced race pace a little more…Continue reading “Week Eleven/Ten: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training”
At the end of my last post, I realized that I had about 5 weeks before I start tapering for the Baltimore Marathon. I really wish I had thought that way all along. I’ve been saying for weeks that I need to be above 30 miles, and the last two weeks, I came in at 29. My longest run thus far is 15 miles, and I had a successful Leesburg 20K. Cross-training with stand-up paddle-boarding is becoming an invaluable asset as I am starting to see my paces drop and they are starting to feel easy. It’s hard to want to run when I’d rather work through some things going on off the trail; the kind of things where stillness is what I need so I can think. But this is literally when things need to be heating up, so I can’t back off now. I’ve got to get things done. Continue reading “Week Ten/Nine: Baltimore/Marine Corps Marathon Training”
Last week was exhausting, in a good way. I feel like I am getting in touch with my inner athlete. I go stand-up paddle-boarding at least twice a week now, and the results are already starting to show. My stomach is a little tighter and flatter and my running feels stronger because my core is stronger. And I feel gladness coming back to my life, slowly but surely, with every time I go out on the water. Life has felt bleak over the past couple of years, but the stagnancy is clearing away, all because I had the courage to do something new and evolve through trying new experiences. It passes the time anyway.
I’m also scared and excited that I have two marathons to run within 8 days in 9 and 10 weeks. I can’t believe I signed up for that. I may have to let go of my dream of a 4:00 marathon with Baltimore so I can survive the Marine Corps Marathon, but you know what? I’m letting go of the clock. I’m running two marathons within 8 days of each other. I’m raising money for an organization that is the definition of humility and strength and doing my part to give back. While I still have goals for each race, I’m also trying to put things into a bigger picture and realize that my running is about more than what the clock says. I’m coming back to who I am, and it feels really great.
Looking ahead to this week, I know I will breach 30 miles just fine. I’m looking forward to running my first race since June– the Potomac River Runners Leesburg 20K. The break from racing has been great. Last spring was boom boom boom with races once or twice a month. I may have gotten a little burned out with all the races I was running. I’ve just enjoyed running my own training schedule and routine for now, incorporating cross-training, and putting the focus on one major event (now two) instead of a big event every other weekend. I’m really only running this race because it is the halfway point in marathon-training: the half-marathon time test. Even though 20K is short of 13.1 miles by 0.68 miles, it’s still enough to gauge where where I will be on race day. Even if I don’t end up running my goal pace in Baltimore or at Marine Corps, it’ll be nice to know if I have been on track. Continue reading “Week Nine/Eight: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training”
By now, I realized that I was getting annoyed with myself. It seemed that I was missing too many weekly mileage goals. I missed some for a good reason, like last week’s open-and-shut injury cases, but others I missed because I was just having a bad day or I didn’t plan well enough. This week, I knew I really had no choice: it would be 30 miles a week from here on out. No excuses. Continue reading “Week Eight/Seven: Baltimore/Marine Corps Marathon Training”