Wednesday, June 29, 2011

In summertime it's toughy

Weeks 6 and 7 of Marathon Training

Things haven’t gone exactly as planned, but that doesn’t mean they’ve gone badly. That’s the great thing about running: there are benefits everywhere you look. If you don’t follow your training plan exactly it’s not the end of the world because running still improves your emotional and physical health, it still makes you more beautiful, a more productive worker, a more patient spouse.

Week 6

Monday: Planned: easy 6 Reality: 6

Tuesday: Planned: rest. Core and arms. Reality: Big fat 0

Wednesday: Planned: 7 miles, 5 at tempo pace Reality: 7 miles, 5 at tempo!

Thursday: Planned: 6 miles Reality: 4 miles with Abby. Hamstring pain perhaps from the night before.

Friday: Planned: 3 miles or cross training Reality: 0. Stressful day at work and then a dinner with friends from Bmore. The alcohol was needed and totally worth it.

Saturday: Planned: early am 6 miles and then at 7pm a trail run with Charles. Reality: Slept in and then did 10.5 mile train run with Charles in the evening. Very hilly. Charles, who had never run more than a 10k in his life had a great run. He whooped my ass!

Sunday: Planned: swimming Reality: 8.5 miles along the beach. Felt great.

Total: 36 miles

Week 7

There wasn’t really a plan because Charles had his operation on Thursday, which meant I was rushing to finish work projects from Monday to Wednesday and then spent two days at the hospital. The hospital, and being with Charles over these first few days of recovery, have certainly put marathon training in perspective for me. If I make it to Dublin that’s great, and if not that’s quite fine too. Being able to run is a privilege and I want to be able to run a few times a week for the rest of my life.

That said, I only ran 19 miles during week 7, but I did do a local 10k in the scorching sun. I ran a 56:54, which is almost two minutes slower than my PR, but was still a record of sorts considering the weather and my exhaustion. Blood, and lots of it, just tires me.


I’m not sure that summer is the best time to train for a marathon. The heat is killer and we have visitors and vacations that put a monkey wrench in training plans. Perhaps I should have waited and set my sights on the Barcelona Marathon in March of 2012, but I love the idea of running in Ireland amongst other pasty white people. Certainly, training through the winter and doing a local marathon would be easier, but I also think the first one will be awful so just go ahead and get it over with. My dad will be here for the second half of July and it will be nice to do some running with him. I am a little nervous about getting in long runs in the States this August. The logistics of running (water fountains, safety) are just so much easier here and it will be hard to say to my family, “I only see you twice a year, but tomorrow I’ll be busy for about four hours!” Hopefully I can talk my family into participating: running, biking with water, or picking me up in a car in case of heatstroke or any other emergency…

Week 8 Plan

Monday cross train

Tuesday 6 miles

Wednesday 6 miles

Thursday 5 miles

Friday cross-train ARMS and CORE

Saturday: 14 miles

Sunday: swimming and/or 3 mile recovery run


  1. Very well, you are doing good. Marathon is mind-over-the-body. It is hard to train in Summer but now you cannot surrender, you have said to yourself that you would do it. Just wake up earlier while being at home. I did my first marathon with those 36 miles per week more or less, you can do it too. Think about training just 4 days per week but a little longer each day. It will give you 3 rest days.
    Baltimore, that word sounds well for an spaniard. I remember the Counting Crows song "rainning in Baltimore".

  2. Thanks Gonzalo! I hope to work my way up to 50 miles a week by the end of August. Poco a poco! That's a great song!

  3. I hope that Charles is recovering from his surgery!

    You are racking up those miles even when the weeks aren't going so smoothly! I need to start getting back into the marathon training mindset. My clinic starts next week and Chicago is only a few months away!