Half way there…….

It is exactly two months until my very first marathon……..Agh!

So far, I’ve completed 9 full weeks using a modified version of Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 1 plan. It’s gone pretty well. July was my highest mileage month ever – 133 miles exactly. And this past week was my highest mileage week ever – 39 miles. My knee is feeling better (check-in with the physiotherapist this week) and other than feeling a little more tired/hungry than normal I’m pretty pleased.

Monday: Strength workout

Tuesday: 5.35 miles at 9.13 min/mile pace

Wednesday: 7 miles at 7.53 min/mile pace + yoga

Thursday: 4.55 mile trail run at 10.17 min/mile pace

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 15.05 miles at 8.53 min/mile pace

Sunday: 7 mile trail run at 9.11 min/mile pace

Now let’s talk about long runs. I’ve managed a 14, 15 and a 16 miler. And they have been hard. They really seem to be the workouts that I’m struggling with most. And I don’t think it’s a physical struggle. Sure, my legs are a little tired at the end but more than anything I just want it to be over – and this feeling usually kicks in about 2 miles before I’m scheduled to be done. My legs are still moving and I’m not breathing heavily but my mind is exhausted.

This is a little surprising to me. I’m at heart a pretty solitary person and having hours with just my thoughts for company has never bothered me before. But these runs…………I’m struggling – but I’ve done them. I’ve kept going when I wanted to stop and that has to count for something. Plus I know race day will be completely different. I’m running Twin Cities, which has amazing crowd support for the whole course + the other 20000 other runners.

In other (TMI) news – it looks as if I’ve had my first toenail casualty. Right foot – toe next to big toe. It’s dead. Am I a real runner now?

On Sunday I met up with a bunch of my Hood to Coast team mates for a trail run and brunch. We are flying out to Portland in a little over two weeks! I wasn’t quite sure how my legs would feel after my long run, but at mile 3.5 they felt surprisingly good so I picked up the pace for the second half. This was a great run.

This week is scheduled to be my first ever 40+ mile week. Gulp. This includes a 15K trail race (and my first race volunteering experience) on Saturday and a planned 17 miler on Sunday. I also have to fit in some birthday celebrations – this may take the form of afternoon napping.

In food news – we got a delivery of these Clif bars. I tasted them at the Utah Valley expo and they are definitely the best flavor out there. I had one as my post long run snack on Saturday.


We also got a bumper CSA package – including a giant bag of apricots. And a bag of heirloom tomatoes.


Some of these ingredients got salsa-fied on Sunday.



16 thoughts on “Half way there…….

  1. Exciting, your race is coming up so fast! The first time I ran trained for a full marathon I struggled through the longer runs, and on my second time around I didn’t. From what I understand, you don’t need to run full speed at all times during your long runs to build up the cardio endurance you need for race day. I think even Hal recommends slowing your pace 30-90 seconds per mile in training, and save the speed for shorter runs. Anyway, I’m definitely not an expert but it really helped me through the training to conserve some energy! 🙂

    • Thanks for that! I think it’s just a case of the newbies – I don’t really know how fast my long runs should be, how I should be feeling during or after them. But I should try to care less about paces. for sure.

  2. 2 months out from TCM! I was the other way around–I’ve struggled a little bit more through the longer runs this time than I did last time. But I’ve also found that 14-16 mileage ones are the toughest, for whatever reason, and the 17+ get easier. That could just be me though haha.
    Apricot salsa is the bomb 😀

    • I was talking to a friend this weekend who said the same thing – that once you get past 16 miles everything starts to click. We’ll see! I can’t believe it’s only two months away – hope you’re feeling better.

  3. Hey! Welcome to the lost toe nail club. Very sexy look. Congrats on your awesome progress with the training. Long runs can get lonely but you just have to learn to relax and enjoy. I stock up on music to listen to. I also highly recommend watching Spirit of the Marathon before a long long run. It will have you mind spinning for miles.

    • Yes – that is exactly the word I would use to describe my feet right now! Ha! I was thinking of bringing my Shuffle loaded with pumped-up songs for the last part of long runs. I watched that movie the night before my last half marathon – and it was inspiring. It always makes me teary.

  4. WalkToRio says:

    Oww your first toenail loss!!!
    I still remember clearly when I lost my first toenail, will spare you details.
    Long runs are tricky, your head likes to mess with you, but once you are done it feels incredible.
    I’m with SuzLyfe there, after the 16th, it’s like inertia takes over and you just go.

  5. Yay, this is awesome! Congrats on your toenail!
    And it’s no surprise you have trouble at the end of your long runs. They say you usually hit the ‘wall’ at the point of your previous long run finish. That’s why we push through. That’s why we train! Go get it!

  6. Awesome job! Congrats! Sorry about the toenail casualty. I’m in the same boat as you. Second toenail on my right foot got bruised, feel off, but the toenail underneath is bruised as well. Sorry if that’s TMI! I hope it’ll look normal sometime soonish.

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