Shamrock Marathon Training: Week 11

This week was my first "race" of this year, and I put that in quotes because it was a timed run but not billed as a race, per se, so I'm never exactly sure what to call it. I really should have treated it more like the training run that it was rather than a race, and I learned the hard way how important pacing is!

Training for:
Shamrock Marathon
Virginia Beach, VA
March 19


Week 11

Monday 1/23
1 hour trainer ride + 30 minutes strength training
I don't even remember doing this. Is that weird? Usually I can recollect at least some of my workout but I am seriously blanking on this one. If I didn't have the Garmin data I wouldn't even know it had happened. 

Tuesday 1/24
5 mile run @ 9:09
I was supposed to swim this morning and guess what?! I didn't. Of course. I don't actually remember this run either...

Wednesday 1/25
Rest Day
Moved rest day from Friday to Wednesday. I have been playing around with this floating rest day thing - taking one when I feel like it rather than scheduling it for a specific day week after week - and I have mixed feelings.

Thursday 1/26
8 mile run @ 8:21 + 30 minute trainer ride
This I actually do remember! This was a great run. I had 8 miles of tempo scheduled - and by the way, for my "workout" runs I have a general plan for them (like "tempo" or "speed") but I don't decide what that actually means until like 5 minutes before the run. So I have been doing workouts on the treadmill but I had 8 miles today and ugh the treadmill is boring, so I decided to try to take it outside. It's 2 miles from my apartment down to the Mall so I figured that would be a decent warmup/cooldown, and then I could do 4 tempo miles with little to no interruption on the mall. So that's what I did, except that my second mile ended up being more tempo-ish than I had planned so I was like hmm, shoot for 6 tempo miles maybe? And miraculously that's just what I did. 6 tempo miles: 8:25, 8:26, 7:49, 7:47, 8:17, 8:17. I also did some zig zagging to avoid stopping at lights and ended up with only about 90 seconds worth of stop time, so all things considered this was probably my best run since I moved to DC, and my best run in a long time.

When I got home from running I was going to eat, then ride my bike, but dinner wasn't ready yet so I hopped on my bike until it was, which ended up being about 30 minutes. Not the 1:10 I had planned but it felt good to spin out my legs for a bit.

Friday 1/27
Unplanned Rest Day 
Again, I was going to get up and swim and again, I did not.

Saturday 1/28
Tidewater Striders 15-Miler @ 8:28
Let's just say that I learned a valuable lesson about pacing today! I intended to practice pacing for Shamrock and run this at around an 8:45 pace, but I took off at 8:20 and stupidly decided to try to hold on to it as long as possible. After a few miles I got the really stupid idea that maybe I could PR the first 13.1 miles. I blew through the first 10 miles (the course was 3 5-mile loops) at an 8:17 average (my half marathon PR pace) and that's when the wheels started to come off. I knew I couldn't sustain that for much longer so I slowly backed off. I ran the last 5-mile loop at 9:00min/mi and was just dead when I finished. I don't know what made me decide to completely abandon my plan - and the whole time I was doing it I was like, this is a bad idea, this is a bad idea - but I really shouldn't have. I beat my time from last year by almost 5 minutes (and was 1st in my AG...out of 3, haha) and I want to be proud of the fact that I ran that far that fast, but I didn't do it in a smart way at all!

Sunday 1/29
~2 mile walk/run + 5 mile run @ 8:55
This morning I did something very cool - I passed on the Couch25k torch to my mom! For those unaware, I got my start using the Couch 2 5k program in April 2011. I had never run in my life and had no clue if I even could or where/how to start. C25k literally taught me how to run, how to get from not being able to run for a full minute without dying to running 3 miles without stopping (and obviously many more than that now). My mom is not athletic at all but she has been needing some activity in her life, and after the approximately 40 millionth time my dad and/or I suggested running to her, she finally caved. Since I was home this weekend we all did her first day of C25k together! It was super trippy for me doing that workout again for the first time in almost 6 years. Literally everything about me and my life was different back then and it was just so crazy to be back in that spot again.

Before I left town I met up with my brother-in-law for an easyish run together since I had skipped a run earlier in the week. My legs felt like lead after the 15-miler the day before and I'm not sure I would have made it through all 5 miles on my own!


  1. That's so fun that you got to do the first day of C25K with your mom! Way to go with your 15 mile race from Saturday, too! Getting 1st in your age group (even if it was only out of 3) is always a fun accomplishment. Keep up all the awesome training!

  2. Oh MAN! Only 90 seconds of stop time on your run?! I'm so jealous! When I do marathon training, my long runs are exclusively on the Lakefront Trail in Chicago with my training group, so I don't usually have to stop on those at all (we do stop for water, so I guess that counts as a stop, but there's nothing *forcing* me to stop like intersections with lights). Right now, I'm just training on my own, and while I could go to the Trail to run, it's easier to start and end my run at home, but MAN. The traffic situation is starting to kill me. Last week I did a six mile run, and I spent 15 MINUTES waiting at lights. The running itself only took an hour! Such a frustrating part about city running.

  3. i love that your mom is doing the couch to 5k. that's so awesome. how is she going with it?
    oh god, your 15 miler sounds awesome and terrifying all in one.
    your 8 mile run sounds fabulous - good job!!