MCM Training: Week 1 and 2 Recap

Sorry y’all, I’ve been slacking on my blogging about training lately. Thankfully, my running hasn’t been slacking!

Training for the 2017 Marine Corps Marathon officially kicked off for us on June 20th. For previous marathons, we’ve both followed Hal Higdon’s Novice plans (1 and 2). This time, however, we wanted to increase our mileage a bit and really come in under 5 hours. So, we’re both doing Intermediate, which calls for five days of running. The midweek stuff is fine, no real differences there. But running both Saturday AND Sunday, that’s a huge chance. Sundays were our days to kick back, sleep in, relax, and get ready for the week. Now we basically have to wake up early every day. Sucks.

Week 1 was good, actually some cool weather in the mornings, which was nice. We even managed to go out Friday and Saturday night and still hit our runs. Woohoo!

Week 2 was a bit warmer, but still not bad. Already up to a weekend of five and eleven miles, so this plan definitely ramps up quickly. But we’ve been running a lot, including two half marathons in the first part of the year, so we’ve been consistently going 8-12 miles every weekend.

This weekend we also undertook our first semi-serious DIY project around the house. Our pantry (and all closets) have these awful wire shelves, which I hate. I’ve wanted to get rid of them since we moved in, but never got around to it. So on Saturday (after our five milers) we went to Home Depot and bought everything we would need. The project spilled into Sunday (after eleven miles), but we finally finished it all up around 4PM. We were exhausted! But it looks great, so we’re happy with the outcome.

Week 3 has begun, and so has the heat. Not looking forward to those terrible runs when it’s so hot and humid you can barely breath and want to die after five miles.

Happy Independence Day everyone!

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Still here!

Been a few weeks since my last post, and for that I apologize. In truth, there hasn’t been much running-wise to post. On May 27th, a large storm knocked out power to about a quarter of all homes in Memphis. We didn’t get ours back until June 5th. Nine nights without power, without the ability to cook or keep food cold. We spent three nights at our home without power, until it got too hot to sleep. Then we went to a hotel for three nights, and finally crashed at a friend’s house for another three nights. I was determined to go home that Monday, regardless of whether we had power, as I was sick of living like a nomad.

During this time, running was obviously not a priority. I missed my long run on the 28th, I went for a short run on the 30th and the 3rd, but that was it. And of course, as soon as we were back in our house with power, we left for a long weekend in Chicago where we did plenty of walking (and eating and drinking), but no running. So in June, I’ve managed to run only eight times, only once longer than 4M (my 8 miler yesterday).

MCM training officially starts tomorrow. Hot, swampy weather officially started last week. Not the start I wanted to my training (I feel this always happens!), but I’ll make do the best I can.

More to come…

33 Laps

I swam a decent amount (for me) in 2014 as I was preparing for my first triathlon. A total of 36 swims, actually. My longest swim session was 1700 yards, but the longest actual swim was probably 600 yards. After that year, I swam…..once. One single time, in 2015, for about 900 total yards. After that single time in ’15, I didn’t swim again until a few weeks ago. Yikes!

Since I started back up again, I’ve been following the stupid simple plan from this site. It helps you build up to a mile. Last time I swam more than once, I made it up to week four, where you go 600 yards in a straight shot before some intervals. This time, I wasn’t really following the plan in a strict sense, but I was generally following portions of it. I’d swim the workout, then swim 450 yards in a straight shot. I was feeling pretty good about things!

Monday morning, I went to the pool and decided that rather than following the plan, I was just going to swim and see how far I could go. I figured I’d go 800, maybe 900 yards. A straight thousand would be awesome. When it was all said and done, I hit 1650 yards. A full swimmer’s mile! Just over an Olympic distance swim, a bit short of a half ironman.

Sure, it wasn’t fast at all. My total time was 39:XX, which is pretty dang slow for a pool swim. But that’s fine; speed will come. It’s the fact that I could go for about 40 minutes and cover that distance. That gives me some confidence in a sprint tri, where I’ll be swimming a much, much shorter distance (the one I’m targeting in June is a quarter mile, or about 440 yards). I’ll need to work on open water swimming, but being able to go 3x farther than necessary has to help.

Very happy crossing that milestone! Onto the next one (sub-2:00 100s).

Weekly Recap: May 15th – 21st

Another decent base week. The weather has been surprisingly awesome around here. Usually by this time of the year, it’s an inferno outside. The humidity comes later, but it’s typically in the 80s every day, and only getting to the low 60s at night. This year, it’s been much more pleasant, which has been great for running!

I also managed to get in two bikes during the week. The first was a 3 min x 3 session, and the other was 20 second sprints with two minutes of recovery. My butt still hurts a ton once I get to about 30-40 minutes though, which I need to fix. No way could I do an Olympic of 70.3/140.6 if my body hates me after 30 minutes. Not sure if it’s my saddle, my cycling shorts (they’re Pearl Izumi, so not some off-brand stuff!) or just my fit. I know my fit is pretty bad and I need to get it checked/reset…

We moved the long-ish run to Sunday, since we knew Saturday would be a recovery day from BBQ Fest. For those that don’t know, for one glorious week in May, Tome Lee Park in downtown Memphis turns into the mecca for BBQ: Memphis In May World Championship BBQ Cooking Competition (phew, that’s a mouthful). Here, everyone just calls it BBQ Fest. Basically, teams compete in three main categories (Ribs, Shoulder, Whole Hog) and a host of ancillaries (i.e. sauce, seafood, anything-but, etc.) to see who is the best pitmaster. Each team has a tent that serves as home base, where they cook, eat, relax, and party. Some teams take it more seriously than others….you could have one tent that has lots of trophies and is empty at night except for the guys watching the smoker, while the tent next door has a massive party going on. Our tent straddles the two, with a pretty good party scene but also some great food! Check out our tent (the honored country this year was Colombia…and you’d be amazed how many teams misspelled that!) and some of the shoulders while they were prepped/smoked:

As you can see by the picture of the tent, these aren’t some little Coleman tents. Our is two stories tall, has full plumbing and electric, a DJ booth, a bar, a solid floor (we build ours up a few feet in the air so we get an awesome river view), and of course the kitchen in the back. After dinner, the music starts and the tables are moved away and everyone dances until it’s time to go!

It was a great year, and we came in third for best booth! Since I joined the team in 2012, we’ve been in the top three for all but one year. It’s a ton of fun, great food, and the people watching is fantastic. I highly recommend a visit.

Weekly Recap: May 8-14

Sorry for the delay in posting this, things have been a bit hectic (as they always are in May).

It was a fairly straightfoward week, four runs (including a race), a swim and a bike. The bike was meant to be easy and short, and I shortened it even more after leaving the house without my (full of delicious ice water) bottle. Left the damn thing right next to where my bike was. Fail.

Saturday, of course, was the Bluff City 10k, where I came up just 44 seconds short of hitting sub-50 at the 10k distance. I hadn’t really been training to do it, and I ran hard at Louisville only two weeks before, so I can’t complain. But I definitely could have gone faster if I had more energy. We had great weather for it too, so it’s a shame I wasn’t fully ready to go. Oh well.

Other than that, a pretty quiet week. I had a cold or allergies for the first half (still have a runny nose!), but doing much better now. Of course, now Ro is dealing with whatever I had! Poor girl.