Marathon Training Update & a Giveaway!

Another training week has come and gone.  I’m happy to report that I’m feeling really great!!  Read to the bottom for a giveaway from my friends at Sparkly Soul Inc!

Monday: Planned – strength training, Actual – strength training

I started the week at Atlanta Fitness Diva for strength training.  We focused on inner/outer thighs, quads, glutes, and abs.  I also did a little bit of back work, too.  I also stretched and foam rolled, focusing on my calves.  My energy level was really high, too!

Tuesday: Planned – 4 miles, actual – 4 miles treadmill

My lower calf on my right leg was still feeling a bit strained from my Saturday run, though it was feeling much better.  Plus, it was 25 degrees out Tuesday morning.  I decided to take my run to the treadmill (which I hate) so that my muscles would stay warm, but also, if it was feeling iffy I could just jump off and hit the bike or elliptical instead.  I took a few walk breaks, but my leg held up.  I also stretched and foam rolled Tuesday night, too.

Wednesday: Planned – 9 miles, actual – 9.3 miles

This was a great run! I tried a new route for the first 3 miles and remembered why I don’t really run that way.  It was downhill the first 1.5 miles and uphill the next 1.5 miles.  I then ran to pick up my friend Christy and we ran 4 miles together, and I ran the last 1.3 miles home.  I decided at the last minute to make this a 15k because why not?? I had lots of energy during this run and my legs felt great.  I foam rolled and stretched before bed.

Thursday: Planned – 5 miles, actual – 5 miles

This was probably my best run of the week.  It was a lot warmer for this run (around 40 degrees) and it made it so much easier to breathe.  I really feel like 40 degrees is my perfect running temperature. I only had to wear one layer and I got warmed up really quickly.  I was especially excited about my splits:



Check out mile 5! This is the fastest mile I ever have clocked.  Trust me, it definitely felt fast, but I was super pumped about these times, especially since my route has several hills.  Also, my lower calf was feeling great by this run, which is great since I was worried about it. I foam rolled and stretched before bed.

Friday: Planned – rest day, Actual – rest day

I really enjoyed sleeping in Friday and resting.  I treated my boyfriend to a nice steak dinner to thank him for putting up with me and all my running talk this week.  It was also nice because we plan to have a steak & potato dinner before our marathon, so I was testing out my night-before routine.  Bonus: I had leftovers for after my run Saturday.

Saturday: Planned – 18 miles, Actual – 18 miles

YEAH!!! I RAN 18 MILES!!!!

That’s how I felt after this run.  I took my run back to the river.  I planned to break my run up into four “legs”.  I ran the first four solo, then split the balance into a 6 miler with two of my running friends and then an 8 miler with two other running friends.  Each leg was an out and back so that I could meet the next group and also refill my water, etc from my car.

I got started nice and early and got to see the sunrise over the Chattahoochee river.  I took a picture and for some reason it didn’t save on my phone, so I’m a little bummed about that.  It was pretty chilly starting out (around freezing) but the four miles solo went really fast.

Chris and Tracey joined for my six mile leg.  They’re both a little faster than me so I had to slow them down a bit but it was great to have the company to distract me from running.  This leg went by really fast.

Next, April tagged in and brought her friend Stacy who I hadn’t met before (I love meeting new people!).  The temp was warming up by this point and I was finally starting to feel good.  By the time I hit around mile 12-13 my feet were starting to hurt but it wasn’t too bad.  I finished the run very strong! I had a lot of gas still in the tank at the end.  I was mentally done, but physically, I definitely could have kept going.  It was such a great feeling to feel the progress I’ve had in just an additional month of training! Splitting the long run up into three phases was really a great way to get my 18 miles in, and it made it a lot easier mentally, too.  A big thank you to my running crew!


I felt pretty good afterwards, too.  My left leg was a little tight and achy, and my left knee is acting up again (this past fall I sprained my MCL), but overall, not terrible.  I capped yesterday off with a 90 minute deep tissue massage and let me tell you, it hit the spot.  My calves were especially tight and I almost cried when she was working on them, but they felt so much better afterwards!

Overall, this was a phenomenal week for training.  I’m feeling very confident and ready for the marathon, and we still have a little over a month to go! Foam rolling and stretching every night made a big difference in how my legs felt, so I’m definitely going to keep that up.  Also, listening to my body last week was the right thing to do.  My calf feels 100% now, but it took about 4 days for it to get there.  I hate to think what would have happened if I had pushed it during my long run last week.

To celebrate a phenomenal week of training and upcoming Valentine’s day, I have a special treat for my followers!

I’ve partnered up with the wonderful folks over at Sparkly Soul to giveaway two headbands!  I’ve raved about these headbands before, and I still love them.  They don’t slip and don’t give a headache, and of course…they’re sparkly!  The headbands come in a variety of colors and patterns and it two different widths.

sparkly soul

Two readers will win their choice of a Sparkly Soul headband! Enter below for your chance to win!

Bonus: want to buy some headbands? Use code JESSRUNSATL at checkout at Sparkly Soul for 15% off your entire purchase through 2/14/15!

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  1. The apple green color is so fun! Great job on a solid week of training – hard to believe the marathon is next month. Do you have the rest of your DC racecation planned out yet?

    I can’t even fathom 18 miles. I ran 8 on Saturday and felt great, but 18 is quite the distance!

    • We are leaving the plans for DC pretty open because I’m not sure how we will feel! We do have a few great meals planned, though!!!

      The 18 miles seemed crazy at the beginning of training, but now it felt attainable. The magic of a training plan!

  2. Great giveaway! I love the reflective one – I’ve never had reflective headwear before, but it seems like a great idea. Congrats on a great week of training!

    • I plan to order the reflective one myself. I like to light myself up like a Christmas tree for my early morning runs!

      I’m really hoping to see you soon for a run, too. Feel better!

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