Marathon Training Week Two


Scheduled rest day


5 easy miles

5 easy, flat miles at Riverview Park
9:58 pace.

Strength workout at the Park:
30 second wall drill (push-up position against a wall and sprint in place, pressing against wall)
15 squats
5 squat jumps
15 push-ups
10 (each side) single leg squat with opposite toe touch
1 minute plank with leg raises
10 box jumps
30 second (each side) side plank with reach
*I went through the circuit twice and then finished with:
35 (each side) standing hip raises (hikes)
3 pull ups
6 more push-ups to catch up with the baseball scores


8 easy miles with 5 hill pick ups

8.15 easy miles around town with 5 hill pick ups.
10:19 pace.

I was a little sore from Tuesday’s strength workout.

Everybody and their grandmother passed me, or so it seemed.

My Left foot started hurting after the run.

Of course I’m convinced I have a stress fracture.


I don’t think the Lara bar I ate before my run was sufficient. After stopping at Albemarle Baking Company for a bran muffin, I went home and proceeded to eat everything in my kitchen.

IMG_20130807_113458_862This is why I try not to let myself get too hungry.

Yes, I ate all that. Well, not the entire bag of chips, but I also ate a peach and several handfuls of toasted coconut.


4 easy miles

4 easy trail miles at Preddy Creek
10:39 pace

Trail running is the best.

Strength workout at Preddy Creek
(abbreviated because I was STILL sore from Tuesday. Yikes!)
15 squats
15 push ups
1 minute plank with leg raises
*I did the circuit twice


Scheduled rest day


16-17 easy miles with the last mile at 8:24 pace

16.13 miles at Dick Woods with mile 15 at 9:01 pace
10:30 average pace

The good news is: my foot didn’t bother me at all. The bad news is: that’s the slowest I’ve done a long run at Dick Woods since I bought my Garmin in 2009.

We did this run with the CTC’s Marathon and Half Marathon training group, but we got there early and I just started running before everybody else showed up because I knew I would take longer than Kurt and I didn’t want him to have to wait too long for me to finish.

By mile 7 my shorts were dripping (and sudsy). By mile 8 my right shoe was sloshing. By mile 10 my left one was, too. I planned to run mile 15 at race pace, because the last mile is all downhill, and I felt like that would be cheating. So, for mile 15 I picked up the pace as much as I could, but a 9:01 was all I could muster.

IMG_20130810_090600_387Sorry about the blurry picture. My hands were soaked and dripping on the phone.

On the drive home, I was seriously doubting my goal. I’ve run that route so many times over the years, and I’d gotten to the point where I could run it easily at a 9:15 pace. Now I’m struggling to just finish at a 10:30 pace. It doesn’t make sense to me.

It’s exactly how I felt last summer.

But all the summers before that I’d never had this problem.

I had to go to work after my long run, and the fitness center was just about empty, so I had time to read Better Training for Distance Runners (David E. Martin, PhD & Peter N. Coe, 1997). The section entitled Iron Depletion in Endurance Athletes caught my attention. It said that low ferritin (the body’s iron stores) can sometimes cause a problem for female endurance runners. In these runners, Iron in the blood is at a normal level, but the body’s iron stores are low.

As I read more, I was even more intrigued, because it said these problems usually appear in the late spring/early summer; “training and lifestyle patterns favor a net iron loss rather than a balance between iron intake and output, and the stage is set for an eventual inadequacy of iron…The days get warmer, and losses of iron through sweat increase. Training gets more intensive, and thus hemolysis from both impact stress and blood acidosis increases. Gastrointestinal ischemia from such higher-intensity training and an accompanying decrease in appetite result in lowered iron intake.” That makes sense. I don’t at all have a decrease in appetite, but I am a vegetarian, so even thought I’m taking in plenty of calories, I’m probably not getting enough iron in my diet to make up for the increased demand of summer marathon training.

The symptoms of low ferritin were dead-on, too; “For no apparent reason, the athlete develops a state best characterized as burnout, with sleepless nights, more fatigue than usual, and decreased ability to manage even less-intense training than was easily tolerated a few weeks before.” Yes! That is the part I find so confusing and frustrating. I’m doing workouts that used to be easy, and finding them incredibly hard (if I’m able to finish them at all…)

I know that running is always harder in the heat and humidity, but it feels like there’s something more going on.

Kurt disagrees. He thinks it’s just the heat. Maybe he’s right.

I’m taking my iron and running my easy runs at a slower pace and hoping the problem resolves itself soon.


4 easy miles

4 easy miles at Riverview Park
10:19 pace
24 push-ups (had to catch up on baseball push-ups)

I almost purposely left my Garmin at home, but I just couldn’t bring myself to part with  it.

Weekly goals accomplished (greens eaten, strength training done).

Goals for next week: take iron pill EVERY day, strength train twice

Do you notice a significant difference in your running pace during the summer months?

Have you ever been anemic, or wondered about your iron levels?

Do you have a GPS addiction?


Author: healthyincville

Nemophilist Trail runner Introvert Animal-loving vegetarian * My ideal city would be car-free. I love my cats.

7 thoughts on “Marathon Training Week Two”

  1. Amazing week!! Way to kick butt! I totally feel your hungry-ness on Wednesday! I get like that all the time! Those chips look delicious!! – Leah

  2. Well, since I’m advising in one area, why not in another? [Just clicked over from Turkey Runner]. I’d say your diagnosis is pretty spot-on. I also went through a bout of anemia about 5 years back, and I *still* say that taking iron resulted in the EASIEST speed gains (or, returns) I ever made. 🙂

    You might consider going to get your levels tested, just so you’re sure. Too much iron is also a bad thing (although I know of very few young women whose iron levels are too high… 🙂 ) Good luck!

  3. I just got the new Tom Tom multisport for an early birthday present .. went for my first run with it this morning and I couldn’t stop staring at my wrist- I feel like I will be addicted quickly!

  4. Thanks!
    I’ve been eating more lentils, spinach and chickpeas for iron, and tomatoes because of the vitamin C, which is supposed to help with iron absorption. I had no idea that there was iron in tomatoes or white rice. I don’t like rice, though, so that one doesn’t really help.
    Did you run Crater Lake?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s