Shamrock Marathon Training: Week 10

This was a really off week for me - being in DC, Obama's last days in office and the impending inauguration really hung over like a dark cloud, and it was hard not to feel sad and anxious this week. I stuck to my running this week, which is good considering that's my priority right now, but I really slacked on swimming and biking. I swam once, and I didn't get on the bike at all. I just wasn't in the mood to push myself this week, and there was a lot going on. Not the week I intended to have, but it's not every week that my favorite president leaves office and I have a weekend visitor and I march through DC with hundreds of thousands of people, so I think it's okay that it wasn't the most normal of weeks workout-wise either. I've been on track before and I'll get on track again.

Training for:
Shamrock Marathon
Virginia Beach, VA
March 19


Week 10

Yikes that's a lot of red...

Monday 1/16
5 mile run @ 9:38 + 30 minutes strength training

Really focused on keeping this run easy, and I felt like I'm finally getting the hang of it. I also accidentally joined a Trump protest for a few blocks, ha! When I got home I went straight to the gym for weights - still working my way through the New Rules of Lifting for Women program, albeit super slowly since I'm averaging about once a week in the gym right now (and for the foreseeable future). I've also been making sure to do the Myrtl routine every time I go to the gym which, again, isn't much, but I'm hoping that something is better than nothing.

Tuesday 1/17
Rest Day
Moved my rest day from Friday to today! I woke up with super sore legs and just needed to take it easy. I ended up having zero guilt or regrets about doing so, which is always a weirdly good sign.

Wednesday 1/18
7.86 mile run @ 8:37
I didn't really want to do this run, but my new shoes (hopefully my Shamrock shoes - they're lime green!) arrived last night, and today was the 3rd anniversary of my first marathon! Last year I felt...weird about my marathon anniversary, but this year I just felt happy and wanted to celebrate! I only had 7 miles on my schedule but I ended up doing 7.86 because that's 2.62 x 3. I didn't have an exact route planned and wasn't sure where exactly I'd be able to get to because of the inauguration set-up. I ended up running the 2 miles down to the Mall before making a big circle around the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial and then back home. I did make an effort to run up and down the block sometimes instead of waiting at so many stoplights, and I ended up with only about 5 minutes of non-running time, which is pretty good considering that includes stopping for a bathroom break.

Thursday 1/19
2400yd swim @ 1:59/100yd
Swimming is still sporadic and slow-going. I really should be swimming a couple times a week per my half Ironman training plan, but at the same time, I'm really not that worried about it!

I went out after work with some of my coworkers for an "Unhappy Hour," and obviously didn't make it on my bike like I was supposed to. Like I said, it was a bummer of a week.

Friday 1/20
6 mile treadmill run @ 9:22
This morning I had a swim time trial for the tri club at the Y, and I was scheduled for 6:45 so I planned to go at 5:30 like normal to do my planned swim workout (the time trial is only 300 yards). I got up like normal but at the last minute decided to skip the workout and just go when I had to for my time trial. I had a lot to do before Alyssa's arrival and chose to spend the morning cleaning up instead of working out.

Today was inauguration day and the vibe in the city was I mean it was palatable. Most of my coworkers worked from home, so there were only four of us in the office (4 blocks from the White House) and it was just...a weird day. I actually had a ton of anxious energy and ended up getting to the office early, and by the time I left that energy still hadn't dissipated. I was actually grateful that I had this hill workout to do on the treadmill while I waited for Alyssa's bus to arrive - it gave me something to do to keep busy instead of freaking out about the events of the day.

As for the workout itself...I had to jump off the treadmill a couple times to run to the bathroom, but other than that it was a really good run! I warmed up for a mile, then 3 sets of the following: 3 minutes uphill (3% incline @ 8:49 pace), 2 minutes "downhill" (1% incline - I always run at at least 1% because I read somewhere to do that...? - recovery at 9:30-10:00ish), 2 minutes uphill (4% incline @ 8:57), 1 minute "downhill", 1 minute uphill (5% @ 9:05), 1 minute "downhill". I'm pretty sure I jogged for a couple minutes in between each set, and then I also ended with a 1 mile cooldown. The last time I tried to do a hill workout on the treadmill I damn near had a heart attack, so I'm happy to report that this was much more successful.

Saturday 1/21
Women's March on Washington
I knocked my long ride off my schedule this week since I knew it just wouldn't be feasible to get it done, so instead today was a rest day full of activity and activism. We biked/walked about 5-6 miles total getting to and from the Women's March, and according to my Garmin we walked about 3-4 miles over the course of the day.

Sunday 1/22
18.5 mile run @ 8:53
This morning Alyssa and I tackled marathon training together - I'm about 6 weeks ahead so I did 10.5 on my own (supposed to be 10 but I miscalculated a little) and then we did 8 together. I was tired from yesterday, for sure, but at the same time so empowered. I told myself that if I could just make it through my solo miles at an 8:30 pace I could slow up as much as I wanted for my miles with Alyssa since we had both agreed those 8 probably weren't going to be very speedy. I was so sleepy I barely remember my 10, but I do remember "females are strong as hell" powering me through it, especially the big climb up the Calvert Street hill at around mile 9.5. When I met Alyssa we really didn't run as slowly as either one of us had anticipated, and to be honest, by mile 14ish (for me) I was really starting to fade. Luckily we took some breaks for photos (I mean how could you not) and for a bathroom/water stop and somehow, I made it through over 18 miles for the day at a sub-9 average. Hallelujah!

My long runs the last two weeks (17 last week and then 18 this week) were what I was planning to use to gauge my ability to go sub-4, and although I feel like I just barely passed the test...I passed it. I ran both at basically the same pace (8:52/8:53) and while I was definitely D.O.N.E. after both of them, my pacing was also abysmal and not really how I plan to run the race. But even still, I would have needed to pull out like 7 or 8 more 9:40 miles to get to a sub-4 marathon which, I don't know, kind of feels doable? But it also kind of feels like this is the hardest goal I've ever tried for. I have no idea if I can pull it off or not. 


  1. Your training seems to be going pretty well! I love that you get to run all over DC for your runs - bet it keeps them more interesting with all of the different things that you get to see along the way.

  2. I read somewhere to always keep at least 1% incline too, way back when I first started and was dealing with shin splints every single one of the few times I stepped on a treadmill. Something about how 0 incline is like running backwards or something, or otherwise just not the same as running flat and is bad for you.

    Love any opportunity I have to run alongside you! Thanks for letting me join you for those 8 on Saturday. It was awesome to revisit the streets we so owned the day before.

    PS, if anyone I know can do this, it's you.

  3. I also run at a 1% incline on the treadmill because the internet told me to. Haha. I think that's supposed to make up for the lack of wind resistance you face on the treadmill? I don't know, you pick up a habit and stick with it, I guess. Haha. Though I do kind of like running at 1% because then if I'm REALLY struggling I can bump it down to .5% or 0% to catch my breath instead of having to walk or jump off the treadmill to feel better.