75 Days

There are 75 days until the New York City Marathon and while I wish I felt a little more confident in my fitness level, things are finally starting to come together. I ran 17 miles on Saturday and while my legs were tired, I could sort-of, imagine running 9.2 additional miles. I’m not saying I actually could have done it, but after months of shorter runs, I finally felt like I was marathon training again.

I didn’t end up taking that planned rest day on Sunday, so this past week was a little higher in mileage than I originally planned and man, my legs felt it. Nothing hurts, but the combination of a high mileage week, my first CPTC workout since March, and a long run left my legs feeling pretty fatigued. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – the whole point of marathon training is to slowly get your legs used to higher volume. And it’s a delicate balance between building endurance and avoiding injury/burn-out, but I think (hope!) I’m pretty well-attuned to my body and what it can handle. Sometimes it’s difficult to know if the tiredness is a normal side effect of training or if I need to scale back, you know? But I’m not training for this marathon just to finish, I’m training to PR, and so it’s not supposed to be easy.

And since I know that, I’m going to make a conscious effort to pull back on the complaining (“My legs are tired!” “I want to sleep in instead of going running!”) because I decided to train for this marathon and I was fully aware of the work load required. Yes, my legs are going to be tired. Yes, my long runs are going to be long. No, I won’t have as much free time as I would like. But no one is making me do this and in the end, it’s a decision I think I’ll be glad I made. I read somewhere recently that “Motivation is remembering what you want.” That resonated with me  because while instant gratification (snooze button! a late night out!) can be fun, it’s important to keep your eye on the prize. And hopefully that prize will be a marathon performance that I’m proud of.

Anyway, mostly for my own accountability, here is last week’s recap:

Mon, 8/13 – 4 miles

Tues, 8/14 – 8 miles

Wed, 8/15 – 7 miles

Thurs, 8/16 – 12 miles (2.5 mi a.m. shakeout, 9.5 mi p.m. including 6.5 mi tempo)

Fri, 8/17 – 6 miles

Sat, 8/18 – 17 miles

Sun, 8/19 – 8.25 miles

Total: 62 miles

I mentioned it above, but Thursday marked my return to CPTC workouts. I had done a few tempos on my own and incorporated a few short races into my week, but tho was my first official team tempo run since March. I know I’m not in the kind of shape I was in back in the Spring, so I was nervous about how things were going to shake out, but all in all, it wasn’t so terrible. It was a tough run and I felt sort of wrecked afterward, but I was also reminded that 1) I get a lot of satisfaction from these long-grinding workouts and 2) that bone-tired post-workout feeling actually feels pretty rewarding. And that my friends, is what you’d probably call masochism. Anyway! The workout was supposed to be a 6.5 mile out-and-back route with the first half at marathon pace and the second half at half-marathon pace. My splits were pretty uneven (mostly because I started too fast…), but the second half of the tempo was 30+ seconds faster than the first, so at least it was a negative split. A few weeks from now, I’d like the first half to be around 7:20-7:25 pace and the second half to be as close to 7:00 as I can get.

*Note: I hit the lap button at 5.5 miles because I wanted to get a time for the last mile.

First 3.25 miles – 24:21

Second 3.25 miles – 23:44

Total: 6.5 miles in 48:05 (7:23 pace)

Are you still reading? That was a lot of running talk, huh? Good thing I have this blog, otherwise my friends and family would be forced to listen to workout recaps and race splits. And I don’t think I’d have very many friends if I kept that up…

I’ve been eating a lot of tasty things, but few of them have been made by me. I’m picked up CSA veggies this evening, so hopefully I’ll get creative and cook something soon. I actually did put together a very simple dish for a potluck that I attended last night. I made a variation of Smitten Kitchen’s Black Bean Confetti Salad and while it wasn’t too exciting, it was 1) portable and 2) vegetarian, so it fit the bill. However, some of the other potluck dishes were pretty amazing and I left full of vegetables, grains, legumes, and most importantly…wine! I <3 this group of girls. We were all bloggers at some point or another, but most of us have stopped for various reasons. I’m going to link to their Twitter profiles though…because they’re awesome. Also, I finally (!) was able to meet Holly in person. After years of online interaction, I can now call her a real-life friend. Yay, blogging.

Potluck Dinner Plate!

(Try not to be too jealous of my 3GS iPhone camera skillz. It was cutting edge technology back in 2009.)

(From bottom left: baguette with goat cheese, black bean confetti salad, baguette with brie and peach, sautéed romano beans and tomatoes, Israeli couscous, pita and hummus, Greek orzo salad, mushroom and leek stuffing). Plus many desserts later on…

Also, if you’re training for something big (Marathon, Century Ride, etc) – What do you give up? How do you fit it all in? I feel like I’m always scrambling.


  • Allie

    Sometimes I give up running & exercise, which doesn’t help at all when training! To fit it all in, I’m trying to be more mindful of the time it takes to run or xtrain, and to stretch, and to fit that in to my day FIRST and build other things around it. With a long commute to work, I use that as an excuse to give up easily sometimes but I know I have to stop that. And to make my training a key priority. And to just do one thing at a time, so I do it well. I feel like I’m always scrambling too; so I appreciate your comments and experience!

  • Sharon

    I feel like I’m in the same boat as you right now! My first full marathon is in 60 days, and until last weekend when I ran my first 17 miler, I was incredibly nervous. Now I finally feel like I’m training for a marathon and getting in shape. I’m still worried that I’m going to burn out or break myself before then, as I’m trying to juggle grad school with training. Unfortunately, it seems like sleep is what usually goes. If not sleep, then cleaning, but who cares about that 🙂

  • runnerskitchen

    haha, i agree completely on sleep and cleaning. i can’t even tell you how much laundry i need to put away…

  • runnerskitchen

    I always always underestimate the amount of time it takes to run, stretch, shower, etc. I need to remember that if a run takes XX minutes…I also need to schedule in time for all of the extras!

  • mylifeasarunner

    This is my second marathon and I feel like life is in balance – crazy, right? I guess it helps that I’m not married with kids and I have a sweet apartment where I don’t have to mow the lawn. I’m also only running 4 days per week which is manageable. I have given up on Friday night dinners out (unless we eat at 6 like grandmas), but I’m okay with that, who needs greasy diner food or pizza at 9pm anyway? 🙂

  • embenton

    If I’m marathon training, I give up staying up past 11 pm…it’s surprisingly not that hard to go into grandma mode when you live alone. 🙂
    I also give up going out on weekend nights, but I’ve never really been that into the bar scene anyway. Always feel exhausted the next day, which is not conducive to long training runs!

  • 75 Days?!
    I’m very impressed by your long run and tempo! You’ll be ready for sure. Great insight: “I decided to train for this marathon” and “motivation is remembering what you want”. So very true.
    This is the first time in 5 years that Joe and I are BOTH training for marathons at the same time – so we decided we really need be conscientious to keep our calendars open the month of October to allow for long runs, recovery, and to avoid burnout!

  • runningseal

    Hmmm what do I give up? I’m not sure as most of my life I have done some sport almost daily so it seems kind of normal. I sure would like more hours in the day! I think it helps socializing a lot with people in the same activity. Sometimes my other friends get a little ignored :/

  • runnerskitchen

    Do you think it’s easier or more difficult to train at the same time as a significant other? That’s smart that you’re making rest and recovery a priority for October. It’s so easy to over-schedule!

  • runnerskitchen

    haha yes, socializing with runners makes things a little easier. i’ve realized that to get on my calendar, it helps to make run-date plans!

  • runnerskitchen

    i think i just need to start making less social plans during the week. i rarely have more than a drink or two, but even that or going out for dinner means i’m getting home late. :/

  • That’s a good question – I do think it is easier. We both try to plan our long runs for the same day, and since we’re both in marathon mindset, we don’t make “late night out” plans. Plus its fun to have someone to have running-banter with.

  • Sharon

    That’s the awesome thing about being roommate-less except for my cat. If the cat is asleep in a laundry basket or on a pile of clean clothes, there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it. Nothing!

    I know this is a deeply personal question but…favorite Gu flavors? I have a notoriously fickle stomach. So far espresso has treated me well (oddly enough) but I can’t handle the fakey banana flavor plus Gu texture of the strawberry-banana ones.

  • runnerskitchen

    hmm, good question. too often i forget GUs and end up relying on gummy bears or swedish fish (there was a panicky pre-run stop at CVS last weekend), but in the past i’ve been a fan of the espresso (yay caffeine), chocolate, and mint chocolate. the peanut butter flavor was a little strange, but tolerable. i really don’t like any of the fruit flavors, unfortunately.

  • Meggie

    probably having to scrap social plans, but I try to make a lot of my running social ie let’s do more long runs together. This will also help me shorten my long runs [with respect to time] because we all know what happens when I’m left alone…

    I feel like I’m a work-run-eat-babysit person, but I’m not a huge partier to begin with.

    I do feel like I give up weekend spontaneity — brunch at 10:30? sure! late movie? sure? — with training, more like “sorry, I will just be done running at 10:30” or “must go to bed early”

    But, who brunches at 10:30, really?

    OK, this comment makes no sense. I will stop.

  • runnerskitchen

    <3 I like your comments!

  • Katherine

    That food looks so yummy!

    I’m hosting a health food giveaway – would love for you to enter!