MCM ’14 Training Weeks 8 & 9 – Lots of Long Runs!

Hello again!  Sorry for my lapse in posting last week.  I made my way back home from San Diego, regathered my kiddos, and mentally dealt with the fact that it was my last few weeks of summer.  Today I officially started back at work, which will actually make training a bit easier.  That may seem counterintuitive, but during the week I was able to very predictably get to the gym immediately after work.  I knew it was coming and I did it every day.  During the summer when I had all day to do it, it was much easier to let it slip.  But, I digress.  Let’s back up to the last time I posted, which was August 10th.  I was taking the day off to prepare for my long run and avoid running in some very inhospitable weather.

Monday August 11th – still in San Diego, I headed out for a 14 miler.  It would be the longest I have run since I ran the Marine Corps Marathon back in 2011.  I procrastinated quite a bit, and by the time I hit the road it was already afternoon.

IMG_0552San Diego makes for some beautiful runs, and I took advantage of the harbor area.  I was able to run the length of the harbor area to the airport and back.  It started out as a lovely run and felt great until about mile 11.  I ran out of water and was feeling the result of running out in the heat of the afternoon.  As I admit to in a previous post, Pepsi is really my one true vice.  I decided to stop at a vending machine (which graciously took credit cards) to let myself have a sugar kick to finish out those last three miles, only to have my spirit ruthlessly crushed when pepsi was sold out.  Lucky for me, Seaport Village, a very tourist centered shopping area was on my run.  So right around mile 12 I hit a snack stand and took a little sit, with a lovely view, to enjoy my ice cold pepsi.

My lovely view from soda drinking stop.

My lovely view from soda drinking stop.

If you've never enjoyed a mid-run soda, you are probably a better runner than I am.

If you’ve never enjoyed a mid-run soda, you are probably a better runner than I am.

I managed to carry on through the last two miles, but I was STARVING.  It was nearly 2pm and all I had eaten so far that day was a rice cake and some shot bloks during the run.  I do not endorse or encourage this kind of behavior.  I went immediately to a local mini-mart where I bought the following amazing collection of foodstuffs:  1 nesquik chocolate milk, 1 pepsi, 1 large red powerade, 1 kingsized package peanut butter m&ms, 1 package of bologna, 1 cup o noodles.  This, my friends, is why you should never go to the store hungry.  Or being absolutely beaten down by a run.  I spent most of the rest of the day recovering, and it wasn’t until later that day when I went out for dinner that I realized the terrible thing I had done to myself.


This is NOT a good look for anyone.

This is NOT a good look for anyone.


The sun is real, my friends.  It is not your friend, and the midday sun doesn’t care about you.  Don’t do this.


I managed to not run at all from Tuesday until the following Sunday, the 17th.  Let me repeat again, this is not advised.  Most marathon training plans will tell you consistency is key.  Unfortunately, consistency is not always my biggest strength.  Thankfully for me, our Metro Run & Walk training coach Bruce has a wonderful attitude – when I showed up at 7:30 on Sunday morning for my 15 miler and admitted I hadn’t run since Monday he smiled and said, “Good!  You’ve got fresh legs!”  I should add that Bruce knows me well enough to know that I don’t always have the good sense to follow training to a T.  With the help of the lovely folks in our training group, my 15 was just delightful.  I consider myself very lucky to get to spend those long miles in the company of other people that also think torturing themselves with hours on end of running to no destination is a good idea.  

Monday I hit up a yoga class at my gym for some cross training and to work out those 15 miles, and Tuesday was sacrificed to the cub scouts.  Wednesday I went out for a lovely five miler in my neighborhood and realized how much I have missed running at home.  I live in the Kingstowne area and the Franconia Road/Buelah/Manchester Lakes/Van Dorn loop has become one of my favorite routes for shorter runs.  There’s something nice about the familiarity of the buildings and neighborhoods, where you can tell exactly how much further you have just be paying attention to your nearby landmarks.

Saturday the 23rd I went out for a three mile run at my half marathon pace.  Part of my training plan has me running short to medium length runs the day before a long run in order to make me run on tired legs.  My three miles went great, despite the pouring rain, and it was actually only about 25 seconds slower than my 5k PR, which has me very excited for my next 5k in September.

Sunday the 24th I met up with our store training program for a 16 mile long run.  The exciting thing about marathon training now is that every time I have a long run I’m excited as it is the longest I’ve run since Marine Corps in 2011.  I had felt like I lost so much in running over the last few years, and to feel myself getting it back is wonderful.  Our 16 miler took us from Gravelly point to the C&O canal, on to Rock Creek Park (where we took a new to us trail and accidentally did some rock climbing), and then back down along the water to the 14th Street bridge.  The weather was wonderfully cooperative, and I am happy to report that I woke up today (Monday) able to walk quite comfortably!

This upcoming week will be a lower mileage week as I head down to Virginia Beach for the Rock & Roll Half Marathon.  I still haven’t settled on a goal.  I feel no need to try to set a half marathon PR in the summer heat, so I think somewhere around 2:00-2:10 would be just lovely.  What I am thrilled about is this will be the first month this year where I manage to hit 100 miles!

Week nine has marked the halfway point in training – which is hard to believe and very exciting!  Great things are ahead!  Until next week, take care and run well!

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