Week Eight/Seven: Baltimore/Marine Corps Marathon Training

Eight weeks down. Ten weeks to go.

Photo Courtesy: TAPS for America

Like the name change of my posts? I can’t believe I’m going to run two marathons within a week of each other.

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”

Week Seven: Baltimore Marathon Training

Photo Courtesy: Etsy.com

Officially, the Baltimore Marathon is in less than 3 months. Said to non-runner ears, that’s plenty of time. Said to runner ears, who speak in weeks, 11 weeks will earn you a polite eyes-to-ceiling tight-lipped grin and a cautiously optimistic nod accompanied by an, “Ehh, you have time,” which translates to, “Better get your sh*t together.” For the next 11 weeks, including Week Seven, I cannot dip lower than 30 miles a week. That has to be my goal. I can do it, too. I’ve trained for marathons before and I walk a minimum of 4 miles a day commuting, walking the dog, and generally just getting around. I’ve basically run between 10 and 20 miles every week since January. The fact that I haven’t breached 30 miles a week as I am marathon-training just makes me wonder if I am wasting my time. Continue reading “Week Seven: Baltimore Marathon Training”

Week Six: Baltimore Marathon Training

The Baltimore Marathon 2015 finisher's medal, just released this week. Eye on the prize! Photo Credit: Corrigan Sports Enterprises
The Baltimore Marathon 2015 finisher’s medal, just released this week. Eye on the prize! Photo Credit: Corrigan Sports Enterprises

After the fallout in Week Five, I was out for a redemption week. Week Six means that, come this Saturday, the Baltimore Marathon is in 12 weeks. I have 3 months left to train for my 4:00 marathon, and I can’t do that if I am barely meeting 20 miles per week. Usually, the common training wisdom is that, if you miss a few days and you mess up your schedule, if it’s a missed 2-3 days, pick up where you left off and continue on with an easy-paced run to get back into the groove. You’re “allowed” to miss a long run once or twice and, while it’s definitely the most important run, if you miss it, move on.

But I couldn’t “just” move on because I am also using this training to train for possibly the Marine Corps Marathon, possibly the Rehoboth Seashore Marathon, and then the Dopey Challenge. I have three months to train for Baltimore then Marine Corps, another month to train for Rehoboth, and then a month later, I’ll be running 48.6 miles. That just feels like so much racing for barely having breached 20 miles per week in the first five weeks. I needed to be in the 30’s somewhere by now, and I’m not. Continue reading “Week Six: Baltimore Marathon Training”

Week Five: Baltimore Marathon Training

As I started this week, all I could be grateful for was that the disaster of Week Four was behind me and I could get back into some semblance of normalcy. I’m all moved into the one place I am paying rent to, there are no more boxes cluttering up my 471 square feet of space in this world, and I have a predictable schedule again. For the foreseeable future, nothing is in my way. Which might be like saying “perfect game” in baseball. But at least the move is behind me. But it turned out to be one of those weeks in which I would stand astonished and say, “What the heck was THAT!?!” Continue reading “Week Five: Baltimore Marathon Training”

Week Four: Baltimore Marathon Training

How I wish moving was as simple as Merlin made it! Photo Credit: Disney.com
How I wish moving was as simple as Merlin made it! Photo Credit: Disney.com

After two and a half weeks of successful marathon training, in week four, I’ve come to what I hope is my only bump in the road. For weeks, I’d been anticipating a move to a new apartment just 10 minutes away from where I currently live in Arlington. I’ve moved during marathon training before– I moved from Lincoln, Nebraska to Arlington, Virginia during marathon training at about this same time last year. To me, as far as marathon training, this move from Crystal City to Rosslyn would be a piece of cake in comparison. I was wrong, and the impact colored my week. Continue reading “Week Four: Baltimore Marathon Training”

Week Three: Baltimore Marathon Training

Heading into Week Three, I realized the honeymoon phase of marathon training was quickly ending. I’d experienced lagging motivation last week to and the quick realization that I needed to be doing more strength and core work. My TFL on both sides and my hips were sore from a heavy weekend of running. I wasn’t alarmed by this, but it was a reminder that injury will plague me if I don’t do better on my core work.

I am also in the process of moving to a new apartment and I’m experiencing some associated nerves about the new change. I’m really excited to move into my new home and relieved that I will have a better commute to and from work, but moving into a new place brings more baggage with it than you realize. I love change; I thrive on the possibility that comes with change. But it also reminds me that my life is uncertain, too, and I’m not where I thought I would be not that long ago. Maybe that’s why I run and train so much: right now, training is the only thing in my life that I can count on. Well, marathon training and God, but I always consider him to be a given. If I am training for something, I am the only person in charge of the outcome and even that has some element of chance. Moving nerves and uncertainty are nothing I can’t get past, but it does expend some emotional energy when right now, I need all the energy I can get. Continue reading “Week Three: Baltimore Marathon Training”

Week Two: Baltimore Marathon Training

After a successful first week, the second week included a ramp up in mileage as well as the introduction of a strength and core program to help me manage the leg pain from the knot in my calf. Last week was like the first week back at school: a quick review of the fundamentals, bright and shiny goals, some room to get used to a new schedule. This week wouldn’t be too different, but it required a little more effort and dedication. The weather is expected to stay pretty hot and particularly on the days when I can’t opt for an easy or recovery pace. That means I will need to wake up early once or twice. But, just as I do when I’m running a long or hard race, I have to focus on one mile at a time. I’m not looking at the end of the week and getting nervous that I have to run 20 miles, wake up early, and do a new challenging workout. I’m focusing on one day at a time. The end goal will always take care of itself if you do the work leading up to it. Continue reading “Week Two: Baltimore Marathon Training”

Week One: Baltimore Marathon Training

And just like that, the first week is over!

It’s almost surreal to be back in marathon training mode, even though it seems like I’m always training for something. Like I outlined in my post about my goals for the next 18 weeks, what I want most is to do this one the right way. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m wiping the slate clean and starting fresh. It’s the first day of school, but my clothes are still wrinkled and I’m pretty tired, too. The difference is that, at the end of this adventure, I’ll hopefully be a stronger runner with a new PR and a new medal on my wall. And I’ll have had a great experience, too. It’s time to own who I am. Continue reading “Week One: Baltimore Marathon Training”

2015 Baltimore Marathon Training Goals

Photo Courtesy: The Baltimore Marathon

Last October, I finished the 2014 Chicago Marathon with a time of 4:59:18. I ran the entire way through– no walking, which was a first for me. Finishing that race, a world class marathon, came with the usual feelings of having just accomplished something awesome and taken part in a superior race, but it also came with a lot of relief. I learned through a tough training season that some disruption in my “kinetic chain” in my right leg was causing a knot in my calf to form, so I had to get physical therapy at least once a week to loosen it up with dry-needling. I had to put my training on hold for a few weeks because running hurt so bad, and I questioned whether I would even be able to run the race. The mental and emotional toll was one of annoying levels. After that race, I embraced some down time with wide open arms. I had no intentions of running another marathon for at least a year. Continue reading “2015 Baltimore Marathon Training Goals”

Race Recap: Baltimore 10-Miler

Monday morning following the Virginia Wine Country Half-Marathon weekend, I checked my email to see a message from the folks at Corrigan Sports announcing packet pickup locations for the Baltimore 10-Miler. If you read my last race recap, you know that I’m about two threads from total rope frayage when it comes to racing. I was looking forward to a week in between this, my final race of the 2015 spring racing season. How nice of them to give us runners two whole weeks to pick up our race packets, I thought nonchalantly. It turns out that wasn’t the case: somehow I was mistaken that the race was on June 14th when it turns out it was on June 6th instead. This coming weekend. Whoops.

Luckily, I had nothing much to do this weekend except run 6-8 miles and lay out by the pool (provided if the weather improved), and Baltimore is a close enough drive from DC that I didn’t have to worry too much about rearranging my schedule or booking last minute travel. The problem was that my 10-mile record was now over 3 years old and I really wanted to beat it with this race. It’s not outside the scope of possibility, and I think it’s definitely feasible, but would I be able to do that after having just run a half-marathon the week before? I was ready to find out. Continue reading “Race Recap: Baltimore 10-Miler”