Marathon Training Log: Weeks 1-2

Marathon

Well, as I said a couple of weeks ago, the time for sitting around has passed and it’s time to get serious about marathon training.  I’m roughly following Hal Higdon’s novice marathon training plan, with a couple of tweaks (mainly just moving runs around to days that make more sense for my schedule).  These first two weeks, though, look a little different because I am starting this training cycle about two weeks away from my third half marathon.  That’s why there are double digit runs so early in the cycle – now that the Fifty Yard Finish Half Marathon is behind me, I’m jumping back into Hal’s marathon training schedule as it was written, and the runs will be shorter for awhile before they start building back up.  Here’s what my first two weeks of marathon training (and last two weeks of half training) have looked like:

June 15: 9 mile run.  This was a hot one.  I started the run at 1:00ish in the afternoon and there was not a cloud in the sky.  I learned a lesson from a disastrous 8 miler last week and brought water with me, but still, I was baking.  I think the lesson to take from this one is that naptime long runs worked great over the winter but for a summer training cycle, I’m going to need to get these done earlier in the day.  Not looking forward to those early wakeups.  Still, I’m nine miles stronger than I was.

June 16: Rest.  And much needed.

June 17: 3 mile run.  This was a tough one.  I didn’t sleep well the night before (was up brooding half the night) and didn’t really want to get up and run.  But I told myself not to cheat Hal on mileage so early in training and dragged myself out the door.  It turned out one of those runs that was a struggle from the very first step, but I stuck with it and got it done.  Hope tomorrow’s is better.

June 18: 3 mile run.  What a difference a good night’s sleep and a new pair of running shoes make!  I was thoroughly done with my old dead shoes, so I stopped by Fleet Feet on the way home from work yesterday and got a new pair – Brooks Adrenaline again, but the 2014 model.  My legs and back felt so much better on this run and I was even breathing easier.  Now if we could just get rid of this humidity, everything would be perfect.

June 19: 3 mile run.  Nothing particularly remarkable about this run.  Just another early wakeup and another three miles closer to marathon day.

June 20: Rest.  Long day at work, so it was a good day for a rest day.

June 21: Cross-training.  Stroller Strides was cancelled (the instructor was away at a conference learning new ways to  torture  inspire us) and I should have done something more strenuous, but I wasn’t particularly motivated, so I made do with a family walk and some light yoga.

June 22: 10 mile run.  I applied the lessons I’ve learned (re-learned?) over the past few weeks – ran early, brought water, took in fuel – and the result was this was about as good as a long run gets.  I was still breathing easy up to the last step, my legs felt great, and I had energy to burn even still at the end.  (We went out for another family walk to the juice bar after and I felt just fine.)  If there was ever a confidence-building run one week before a half marathon, this was it.

June 23: Rest.  Just a light family stroll and some bunny-spotting before dinner.

June 24: 3 mile run.  Banged out a few humid laps around the pond near my house, and felt like I was back to running in Old Dominion.  Most notable thing about this run was all the wildlife I saw: two families of geese, Mr. and Mrs. Mallard, a bunny, and my friend the great blue heron (three times!).  Oh, and a beautiful red-winged blackbird (I looked him up online at home after the run) who made me wish I was a birder like Amal and Susan.

June 25: 3 mile run.  Three drizzly miles done, and there are no more runs between me and the starting line of my THIRD half marathon!

June 26: Rest.  Time to recharge my legs and obsess over Saturday’s weather forecast.

June 27: Rest.  And race prep!  Packet pick-up, laying out my race-day clothes, tracking down safety pins, and hydrating, hydrating, hydrating.

June 28: Fifty Yard Finish Half Marathon.  And a shiny new PR to show for my efforts!

I’d say that was a successful first two weeks of marathon training.  Now it’s all about getting into the plan.  I have no races until mid-August (and then it’ll be a race every few weeks until marathon day) so it’s time to buckle down and log some miles.

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