Week Eleven/Ten: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training

Fundraising Update: I’m at 25% of my goal with $150 raised for Team TAPS! Make a donation today and help the families of our nation’s fallen heroes. Check out my post about why I am running for TAPS. Thank you to all who have contributed! I can’t do this without your generosity and support.

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”

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Week Ten/Nine: Baltimore/Marine Corps Marathon Training

Fundraising Update: I’m at 25% of my goal with $150 raised for Team TAPS! Make a donation today and help the families of our nation’s fallen heroes. Check out my post about why I am running for TAPS. Thank you to all who have contributed! I can’t do this without your generosity and support.

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”

Week Nine/Eight: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training

Photo Courtesy: The Baltimore Marathon
Halfway there! Photo Courtesy: The Baltimore Marathon

Fundraising Update: I’m at 25% of my goal with $150 raised for Team TAPS! Make a donation today and help the families of our nation’s fallen heroes. Check out my post about why I am running for TAPS. Thank you to all who have contributed! I can’t do this without your generosity and support.

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”

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”