Marathon Training Week Four


Scheduled rest day


5 easy miles

5 easy miles around Hollymead
10:01 pace

The humidity was back. I felt fine except my left shin started aching after I’d finished.

Strength training:
Same as last week, in the group exercise room with a few changes:
added one squat jump to each circuit
did second set of push ups on a fitness ball against the wall
side planks instead of front plank


8 miles with 7 hill pick ups

9 miles around town with 7 hill pick ups
10:28 pace

I parked at the Barracks Road Shopping Center so I could grab a cup of coffee and a muffin after my run. I knew I would be short on time. I needed to be showered and at work by 8:15.

I didn’t have a route in mind, but it was still dark out, and I knew there would be people at the track, so I headed there first. I ran a few laps waiting for the sun to come up. I’ve been meaning to buy some pepper spray for my early morning solo runs, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

I was worried about my shin, but it didn’t hurt at all.

I did a loop around the stadium and then made my way back to the track for a few more laps. I knew it was a little over a mile back to my car from the track, so at 6.5 miles I headed back. I stopped at The Park on the way and did my 7 hill repeats. I was tired and soaked and, unlike last week, I didn’t find the repeats to be much fun at all. They added more mileage than I had anticipated, though. I finished my run right at 9 miles.

It was later than I had planned and I had to really rush to make it to work on time.

Don’t worry, though. I made sure there was time to get coffee. I dripped sweat on the floor of the coffee shop (sorry Greenberry’s!), but I got my coffee.

It was not the best run. I felt slow and tired and discouraged.


5 easy miles

4 easy miles at Monticello
10:13 pace

Since Wednesday’s run was longer than it was supposed to be, I cut this one short to keep my weekly mileage where it was supposed to be.

23 push ups to catch up with baseball scores.

I decided not to do strength work because my legs were feeling tired from Tuesday’s strength and Wednesday’s hills. My shin was still sore, although it didn’t bother me while I was running.

I wore my flashy new shoes, hoping they’d make me speedy.

IMG_20130822_074730_480It didn’t work.

And they’re really just the newest model of the same shoes I always wear.


Scheduled rest day


18 miles with last two miles at marathon pace

18 miles in Free Union (with the Marathon/Half Marathon Training Group) with the last two miles at attempted (and failed!!) marathon pace.
10:04 average pace

30 push ups to catch up with baseball scores.

As soon as I got home from work on Friday, I crashed on the couch and stayed there until Kurt got home. I was exhausted and had a headache (I’ve had a minor headache for about two weeks now). I felt like I was coming down with something, but I think I’m just really stressed out.

I felt better when the alarm clock went off at 4:40 this morning, but as we were driving out to Free Union I started feeling sick again. I had Kurt feel my head to see if it was hot. It was not.

Nobody was surprised.

It was much cooler than it’s been for most of our long runs, but the humidity was still high.

Mark was out at the one mile mark taking pictures of us as we went by.

1010027_10153200939585512_572598622_nThe run in Free Union is absolutely beautiful.

It’s a 13.5 mile loop, and I needed to do 18. I knew that I’d have a hard time mentally if I finished the loop and had to tack the extra mileage on after that, so I turned around a little after about 2.5 miles and backtracked almost to the start. I figured it would be easier to get the extra miles done first, so when I got back to the car, I’d be finished.

At mile 4, I got the “low battery” message on my Garmin. Either it is reaching the end of it’s life, or it somehow got turned on after I charged it on Thursday. Luckily, the miles are marked on the road for these Saturday long runs, so when I got to mile 3 (actually mile 7.5 for me) I turned my Garmin off to save the battery for my last two miles, since they were the only miles I needed to hit a certain pace for.

I was worried about my shin for the first few miles, but at around mile 10 I realized it didn’t seem to be getting any worse, so I tried to just forget about it.

I didn’t feel horrible but I did feel like I was working much harder than I should have been at the pace I was running. My legs were tired. I was tired.

I took a gu at miles 5, 10, and 15 and sipped on Nuun throughout. I refilled one of my bottles with water at the cooler around mile 13.5.

I got a side stitch at about mile 10 that stayed with me for the rest of the run. Breathing out really hard as I landed on my left foot (stitch was on right side) would help for a little while, but it never went away. It would get better running up hills and then worse running down. I wonder if it has something to do with the oatmeal I had for breakfast? I used to always eat oatmeal (and I used to get a lot more side stitches). I think I’ll go back to NOT eating oatmeal before long runs.

When I got to the marker for mile 2, I turned my Garmin back on and cranked out mile 17 at an 8:48 pace. Not great, but only 28 seconds slower than goal pace. I’ll take it. Mile 18 was not so good. 9:19 pace. Just about a full minute slower than goal pace.

I was pretty upset. It seems like I’ve been finishing all of my long runs feeling pretty down on myself these days.

I had a bit of a breakdown on the drive home.

Kurt thinks I’m having such a hard time because I’m stressed. But two weeks ago he thought it was the heat. I think it’s time to face the fact that it’s not the heat or the stress, it’s ME.

I’m afraid I’m going to have to rethink my “A” goal of qualifying for Boston this year. At this point, I’m not even hitting my “B” goal times. I have another long run in two weeks, if it doesn’t go much better than my last two, I’m going to have to go have a talk with coach.

Because I’m a whiny, self-pitying mess, it may sound like there wasn’t ANYTHING good about this morning’s run.

But that’s not true.

IMG_20130824_094344_639 I spent three hours running HERE.

Eighteen miles of views like this.

Even a whiny self-pitying mess can’t help but appreciate that.

IMG_20130824_180626And a long run (even a bad one) always makes ice cream taste better.


4 easy miles

4.19 easy miles at Monticello

Spread out throughout the day:
3 pull ups
2 pull ups
1 Pull up
20 squats X 2
1:15 plank with leg lifts

29 push ups to catch up with baseball scores

As soon as I got up this morning, I noticed that my abs were sore. I was kind of baffled as to why. My abs haven’t ever been sore after a long run before.

It wasn’t until I started running that I realized that the soreness was only on the right side. I was sore from running 8 miles with a side stitch!

It was 57 degrees out at 6:30 am when I started my run, which made me very happy.

IMG_20130825_062708_703I was surprised at how good I felt. I still ran very slowly, but I actually REALLY enjoyed it. I saw a fox and a deer and the gate to Monticello was open AGAIN! Maybe they’ve given up on trying to keep out the early morning runners and walkers. That would be nice.

My shin is still bothering me. I feel it all the time, but it never actually hurts.

Goals from last week accomplished. It’s a little bit of a stretch to call what I did today strength work, but I’m counting it.

Total mileage for the week:

Goals for next week:
Strength train twice
Hit my pace goals!!

Author: healthyincville

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

8 thoughts on “Marathon Training Week Four”

  1. Wow, Free Union looks like a beautiful place to run! And look at all of those people you get to run with! I do most of my long runs with a friend and we can run for 2+ hours without ever seeing another soul. When I have to do my long runs solo it can be spooky going for so long without seeing anyone.

    I’m sorry your long runs have been tough lately. I hope they improve. But it sounds like you have your head in the right place, with A and B goals and plans to talk to your coach and reassess if necessary. I am impressed with all of your push ups while catching up on baseball scores!

    1. I know I’m lucky and feel like a brat for complaining 🙂

      My husband is a Nats fan. I don’t care much about sports, so to keep me interested, he created the Baseball Score Push up Challenge. We do a push up for every point scored in every Nats game and double it when they lose.

  2. Love the new shoes!! They are beauties!!

    What is your favourite flavour of Nuun? I am loving the watermelon these days!!

    Amazing job this week! Sorry to hear about your shin. I hope it stops bothering you soon!

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