Richmond Marathon Training – Week 2

This was a busy week for me! I started my new job on Monday which is going very well.  I love my coworkers and my team, and I’m feeling good about accepting this opportunity.  However, starting a new job means a new routine which brought some challenges this week to training.  I have to leave my house by 7:15 to make it to work in time, compared to the 8:30-9am I was leaving at my last job.  Thankfully, Brian is back from Boston next week which will be a huge help taking care of Skipper and will give me a bit more time. Also, I’ve joined the gym at the office which I think will add some flexibility!

The gym is on the top floor of the parking deck and has cardio machines, a full weight room with circuit machines and free weights, a group exercise room, as well as basketball/raquetball courts and an outdoor track! As an added bonus, the locker room is fully stocked with towel service, shampoo/soap/etc.  For a very small fee ($7/month) they also offer laundry service – you just drop off your sweaty clothes in your assigned bag and they are back in your locker the next day! I’m hopeful that I can use the gym for my speedwork as well as strength training, which I think I can fit in on my lunch breaks.  The girl who gave me the tour told me there is a big group of runners that meets every morning for their runs, so I will try to join them, as well!  My coworker (who was in my class at Emory) told me he’d be interested in doing lunchtime runs with me, as well.  He’s faster than me, but his pace is around what I’ll need to do for my tempo runs, so that may actually work out well on tempo run days.

Ok, here is how my marathon training went this week:

Monday: Planned – 3 miles easy.  Actual – 3 miles @ 11:47 pace.  It was hot (about 78 degrees at 5am!! Ugh!) and humid so I took it easy.  I was glad to get a short run in before my first day of work!

Tuesday: Planned – 5 miles easy, 6×20 sec striders with 20 second slow jog in between, strength.  Actual – 2 miles @ 12:15 pace (AM), 3 treadmill miles @ 10:18 pace, 35 minutes strength training (PM).

This was a weird morning.  I was up really early (3am) due to some lady issues.  I considered pushing my run until the evening because I was feeling pretty awful and had some bathroom troubles, but went out anyways and told myself if it didn’t make me feel better, I could go back. I was immediately hit with the humidity (100%…I didn’t even know that was possible) which made the run extra miserable. The run itself wasn’t much worse than I’ve had before, but I was feeling pretty terrible (read: cramps) and turned around after a mile.  I could have pushed through, but I frankly just didn’t want to run through the issues.  I’m glad I turned around because I barely made it back to the toilet in time (sorry for the graphicness, y’all).  I went to work and by the evening thanks to some Advil and good food I was feeling better.  I jumped on the treadmill so that I could be close to the bathroom in case of emergency.  I got to finish the book I was reading on the treadmill and the miles flew by! I did my own circuit of strength training that worked my whole body, but focused on legs.  Next time this happens, I may just jump on the treadmill to start since I have easy access to one for now.

Wednesday: Planned – restorative yoga and/or active recovery.  Actual – 30 minutes stationary bike.

I decided to make my active recovery in the evening so that I could sleep in a little on Wednesday.  I went down to the fitness center in our complex and jumped on the bike.  There were people in there playing music without headphones and letting their kids run around which was pretty annoying and made the 30 minutes seem longer than they should have.  I was pretty sore from my strength training the night before!

Thursday: Planned – 5 miles easy + strength.  Actual – 5 miles @ 11:27 pace, 6 x 20 second striders with 60 second recovery jog in between.

My plan was to do the 5 miles, striders to make up for missing them Tuesday, and strength all in the morning.  I planned to start at 4:30 but hit snooze one too many times and didn’t get out until closer to 4:45.  The run was good.  I was pretty sore so I took some extra time to warmup and did the first two miles a little slower.  I forgot how much I really enjoy running so early – the usually busy streets are really sleepy.  I ran through 2 different spiderwebs though which I hate! I didn’t look at the plan for the striders before I left the house so tried to do them off memory, which gave me longer recovery in-between than I should have had.  Oh well….they went well! After it was all done I didn’t have time for strength.  I told myself I’d do upperbody/core that evening and just didn’t do it.  I’m going to try to do strength on my lunch break going forward so that I can still have time in the morning and not have to move it to the evenings…

However, I did cook myself a really yummy meal which I was proud of (I rarely cook, and definitely rarely do it during the week).  I made pasta with pesto (from a jar…), spinach, tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese.  There was chicken too, but I ate that while the pasta was cooking!

Pesto Pasta!

Pesto Pasta!

Friday: Planned – rest day.  Actual – rest day.  I had to take my car to the dealership for scheduled maintenance so I sadly didn’t get to sleep in.  I had roasted chicken, white rice, and a baked potato for dinner to get ready for my Saturday long run.

Saturday: Planned – 12 miles easy.  Actual – 12 miles @ 11:43 pace.

I tried the whole “get up at 3 am, eat, and go back to bed” thing again and it went much better this time.  I had 2 hard boiled eggs and a half of a bagel with a salt pill and was able to get back to sleep relatively quickly.  I think the two eggs was the right mix, because I didn’t get hungry during my run.  I met MARC again, but started with another woman, Carrie, at 6am.  We did just under 4 miles, then met up with MARC for the 8 mile route.  This run was SO, SO HILLY.  I felt like we were running uphill just about the entire time.  It was through some great neighborhoods though that have beautiful houses.

Hills, hills, hills....

Hills, hills, hills….

Also, this was the first time Carrie and I had run together after talking on Instagram for months, so we had a lot of fun chatting and getting to know each other.  Carrie recently signed up for the Richmond Marathon, so I’m hopeful we can do some of our longer training runs together.  She’s also running the Diva’s half! It’s alarming how much we have in common.

So funny story – I knew Carrie had the same Nike tank top that I have in the pink color.  I wanted to wear that tank, but since I didn’t want us accidentally matching, I decided to wear my blue one.  Little did I know she went through the EXACT SAME RATIONALE in her head that morning.  So we both ended up wearing the same tank top…ha!

Carrie and I after our 12 hilly miles!

Carrie and I after our 12 hilly miles!

For fueling, I had 3 shot blocks right before I did my warmup routine.  I had planned on taking a gel every 40 minutes, but we were chatting so much I completely lost track of the time (I was barely even looking at my watch as we hit each mile).  I had a Citrus flavored Clif Shot at 40 minutes with some water, and a salt pill around an hour in with some water.  I had a Salted Chocolate Roctane GU around mile 7.5 which was about 15-20 minutes too late.  The Clif Shot made my tummy very nauseous, but luckily no bathroom issues.  I didn’t really care for it and probably won’t have that one again.  The GU was DELICIOUS!! It tasted like the Duncan Hines chocolate frosting you get in the tub and it seemed to work well, though I was late taking it.  It had caffeine in it which I really liked, as well.

My legs were tired after the run, but honestly, I had energy both physically and mentally to keep going when this run was over.  My IT band held up beautifully (not even a hint of issues) as did my calves…I was worried about both since I knew this route was so hilly.  My quads were really achy after the run and yesterday, but feel okay today.  I’m going to add some quad strength into my routine this week.

Saturday evening I treated myself to a foot massage which felt amazing.  I wore heels almost every day this week and my feet are feeling it!

Sunday: Planned – rest or restorative yoga.  Actual – rest.  I slept for 10 hours last night, and it was great! I have a lot to do today so I plan to take a full rest day, and just do some stretching and foam rolling on my own.

Total Miles for the week: 25

What went well this week: I was really good about hitting my warmups, cooldowns, and foam rolling this week! I also really pushed myself on my Tuesday strength training and was sore until Friday from it.  I am also glad I was able to get an early start most days to get the workouts in.  Even though I started a new job, I still was able to eat really well all week.

Where I can improve: I’m pissed at myself for missing my strength Thursday.  This is the second week in a row where I slacked in this area.  I have to find a way to fit this in, and I’m hoping that having access to a gym on my lunch break will be the key to this.  I also need to find a way to be sure I hit my timing of my gels on my runs.

Looking forward to next week, my schedule will be challenged again as I’ll be going to a conference (in town, thankfully) on Tuesday/Wednesday, so I need to figure out how to get my strength in on Tuesday.  I’m thinking of changing some workouts around since this is still an “easy” week, so I don’t have speedwork or tempo runs to be concerned about.  And thankfully, Brian comes home from Boston for good on Wednesday! Next weekend, we’re going to Charleston and are meeting Christina and her boyfriend there! It’s the last week of “easy” running so I’m going to try to really enjoy it before things get real….

How was your week? How do you ensure you time your mid-run fuel correctly?


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  1. Hi! I found your blog doing a google search for Atlanta long running trails. I’m running my first full marathon this fall and was wondering where you like to run your longer distances?

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