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!

Weekly Recap: 4/17 – 4/23

Another solid week of training, including taper for the Kentucky Derby half marathon. I slightly increased my Wednesday medium run to be six miles, as I want to get out of the 4/5/4 or 5/5/5 rut. Time to start taking those to be a bit longer!

Weekly recap for 4/17 – 4/23

Tuesday is typically my speed work day. Since it was the week before a race, I did an easy 3 mile goal pace run, totaling five miles. I’ve been doing this workout often during this training cycle, and I’m hoping it’ll help come race day and my goal of sub-2.

Of course, the weather might have other ideas. The current forecast is a low of 72 and high of 89. That’s not gonna be fun, and the back half is mostly uphill. Yikes!

Our Saturday run got wiped out in the rain, so we moved it to Sunday instead. I know we better get used to Sunday runs since it’s part of my training plan for MCM and Dopey, but it still sucks. Just feels like everything is off. Without a run to do Saturday, I was able to whip up a little feast!

My feast!

Asian-spiced shrimp with a parmesan risotto and an onion & brussel sprouts mix in a soy glaze. Delightful! The meal was completed by some wedding cake, which, after a year, is surprisingly still delicious!

It’s race week, so keeping things nice and easy for the taper. We will head up to Louisville on Friday and we’ve got a fun post-race weekend planned.

Weekly Recap: 4/10-4/16

As mentioned the other day, the weather has begun to heat up in the mid-south already. The runs are hotter, biking is harder, and there’s just a general sense of always being tired.

Weekly training recap: 4/10-4/16

I missed my Wednesday morning run. I spent Tuesday night in the ER getting my chest checked out. While everything was ok, I was there so long and hadn’t eaten, I decided to sleep in and rest. Got my miles in Thursday and had a 12 mile run on Saturday, the last long run before Louisville. It was hot and my pace suffered.

I also managed the longest bike ride I’ve ever done, a whopping 14+ miles. At 11MPH. Still, it’s a start.

This week is a normal week, with a shorter Saturday run (8 miles or so) leading into taper for the Kentucky Derby half marathon on 4/29.

Gets Hot Earlier and Earlier

True story. It’s mid-April, and it already feels like the dead of summer around here in Memphis. Today it hit 82. This heat (and my mind playing tricks on me, thinking every little twinge is an oncoming stroke or heart attack) really affected my run. Let’s take a look at two recent long runs, shall we?

11 miles two weeks ago

11 miles two weeks ago

This was a solid run, one that left me feeling very confident heading into Louisville at the end of the month. I did the first five easy, the next four at a faster pace (between 10k and half marathon for me), then two more easy to cool down. I wasn’t dead at the end, but it was a solid effort.

12 miles today

12 miles today

And here’s today’s 12 miler. I kept everything very easy (even easier than usual), and didn’t try to put in any faster miles. And still, I took two very short walk breaks during miles 9 and 10, and mile 12 was an abject disaster where I walked probably 0.3 of it. I was out of water and caked in sweat.

I think I need to start using Nuun again to replace electrolytes. I have both a small 12 oz. bottle that fits in my belt, and a 20 oz. handheld. I’ll probably start using the Nuun in one, and Gatorade or something in the other. And this summer I’ll experiment with salt licks, as the humidity here is unreal. I think it’s what caused last summer to suck so much.

I’m starting to pray for a nice and cool (and overcast!) race day on the 29th, but I’ll be preparing for humid and 70s at the start.

2017 Running Plans

I think it’s wise to document the idiocy that I’m sure to be in for this year, so here goes…

Sure, 2017 is already a quarter over, but never too late to talk about races and plans, right? This year was going to be a year of half marathons, in search of the ever-elusive sub 2 hours. It was to start with the Walt Disney World Half Marathon this past January. The wife and I were there, we were ready to go…and then mother nature showed up in a bolt of lightning, and the race was cancelled. Queu sad faces and scrambled plans.

We did run the Little Rock Half Marathon in early March. We both rocked it! The wife had a nearly 10 minute PR, and I was only three minutes off of mine. Though, I will say, I felt 100% better during this one, ran the entire thing and got a negative split (10k pace was 9:51/mile, total race pace was 9:31/mile). Still working towards that sub-2 goal though…

As mentioned in my previous post, the wife convinced me to run the Dopey Challenge in 2018. Why, I don’t know. Silliest decision we have ever made. For those that don’t know, the Dopey Challenge is to run all four runDisney races during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. So, a 5k on Thursday, a 10k on Friday, a half marathon on Saturday, and the full marathon on Sunday. Four races, six medals, 48.6 miles covered. Oh, and four straight 3AM wake-up calls.

Beyond that, we’ve got the Kentucky Derby Festival Half Marathon in late April for my next attempt at sub-2. Once that’s done, it’s time to buckle down and start stretching out, because we will be running a fall marathon….somewhere. Hopefully we figure it out soon, but we both need to do it to get our confidence back up after the Chicago debacle (more to come on that).

I look forward to sharing my training mishaps with everyone once again!