All posts by Meagan

Hi, I'm Meagan! I'm a 20-something middle of the pack runner and I love running races. My favorite distance is the half marathon, and I recently completed my first full marathon this fall! I live in Southwest Virginia with my husband, Barry, and our two dogs. Aside from running, I love cheering on my Hokies, particularly in football.

Virtual MCM Training – Week 9

I am training for the Marine Corps Marathon, which will be held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. My race day will be on October 18. We did some major route planning/mapping this week and now I’m really excited for race day!

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 4 miles easy
There seems to be an unusually high number of grasshoppers right now. They are always all over the trail at this park and they hop all over the place while I run around the 0.6 mile loop again and again.

Wednesday – 8 mile workout
After a long warm up, I did 3 x 5 minutes at half marathon pace followed by 3 x 5 minutes at 10K pace, and then a cool down. My legs felt strong during this workout and I felt like I had good energy. All of the pick-up paces felt comfortable for the 5 minute duration.

Thursday – Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, Level 2 workout
It had been awhile since I did a Jillian workout. It felt good to get in a mix of strength and cardio.

Friday – 5 miles easy
It was a very dreary, rainy day and I was pretty tempted to do this run on the treadmill. But I took a new pair of trail shoes out of the box on Tuesday and I couldn’t resist taking them for another run. Plus, I knew with the weather I’d likely have the trails to myself. Sometimes I enjoy camaraderie out there, but other times I love not seeing another soul and just being alone in the woods.

The Yeti 100 miler was going on Friday through Saturday, and I was sending those runners good vibes on my run. Rain is probably better than heat and humidity, but hours and hours of rain definitely gets miserable. Days like this remind me of Crooked Road from last year.

Saturday – 20 mile long run
This was my fifth 19-20 mile long run in a row. I’m holding up alright physically, but mentally it was definitely starting to feel like a grind. I met up with Kim and once again we had good long run weather – low 60’s and cloudy.

We saw some crazy nature stuff during run, including nearly being run over by a deer that was running up the trail away from something, a kamikaze squirrel, and a big tree falling in the woods off in the distance.

This run ended up being my fastest 20 miler of this training cycle, and we even knocked 8 minutes off of last week’s 20. We started with 7 miles easy, then 6 miles at 30 seconds slower than marathon goal pace (MGP), 1 mile easy, 4 miles at MGP, 1 mile easy, and then the final mile was faster than MGP. It was a lot of work, but I’m proud of us for hitting all of those paces during the run!

So ready for taper, now. I think we’ve earned it!

Sunday – 5 miles easy

Total miles: 42 miles
Weeks to MCM: 3 weeks

Virtual MCM Training – Week 8

I am training for the Marine Corps Marathon, which will be held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. My race day will be on October 18. I was struggling with some overall fatigue last week, but things seemed to get back on track this week.

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 8 mile workout
Normally my workouts are on Wednesdays, but this week’s schedule had it set for Tuesday. I started with a long warm up and then did 5 x 8 minutes at half marathon pace with 2 minutes rest in between, followed by a cool down. This workout went really well. My legs felt good and I enjoyed the workout.

Wednesday – 5 miles easy
It was a hazy morning – I suspect from the smoke drifting across the country from the wildfires out west.

It was also cooler this morning, around 50 degrees, and I ran in a long sleeve for the first time in awhile.

Thursday – Ab circuit; 30 min. stationary bike

Friday – 5 miles easy

Saturday – 4.5 mile hike
I met up with a small group of friends on a crisp morning to hike Bottom Creek Gorge.

This hike also featured one of Virginia’s highest waterfalls at 200 feet high. It’s hard to capture the splendor in a photo, but it was breathtaking to look at in person.

Photo credit: Lauren H

Sunday – 20 mile long run
The weather this weekend could not have been more perfect. It was 39 degrees at the start of my long run and in the upper 50’s at the finish. I felt great, and put in one of my best long runs of this training cycle.

Kim and I ran together and the miles absolutely flew by today. There were some miles in the middle that we ran at 30 seconds slower than marathon goal pace and at marathon goal pace. Stuff like that sometimes looks daunting to me on paper, but we were spot on with our pacing today. We both have a timed race coming up in a few weeks (6 hour for me, and 12 hour for her) and I think we are ready!

Total miles: 42.5 miles
Weeks to MCM: 4!!

Virtual MCM Training – Week 7

I am training for the Marine Corps Marathon, which will be held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. My race day will be on October 18. I’m over halfway through training now. Here’s how week 7 went…

Monday – Ab circuit
I had the day off of work for Labor Day. I used the long weekend to get a bunch of stuff done around the house, including washing and waxing my car. By the time all of that was done, I was pretty worn out so I just did my ab circuit and called it good.

Tuesday – 7 miles easy

Wednesday – 7 mile workout
This was a fartlek workout with pickups of 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1 minutes at 5K and 10K pace. This workout was rough for me. I’ve been feeling a bit tired this week and It’s the first one I’ve struggled on this training cycle.

On the plus side, it’s starting to look and smell like fall (fall smell = dead leaves, but in a good way).

Thursday – Rest
Despite being tired this week, I still planned to cross train. However, some things came up and I wasn’t able to get my workout in – so forced rest day, I guess.

Friday – 5 miles easy

Saturday – Rest
My friend Lauren and I spent the day crewing our friend Charlotte to her first 50 mile finish at the Dam Yeti 50!

Waiting for the runners to come by at the start of their race.
Running Charlotte in to the finish!

Sunday – 20 mile long run
I was feeling really tired on Saturday night and wasn’t feeling very excited about doing my long run the next morning. Luckily, I’m pretty good about making long run plans and following through, and I woke up Sunday morning with a mindset of getting my run done.

I did this run on the Creeper Trail, which runs from Whitetop to Abingdon, Virginia, and is where the Dam Yeti race takes place. I started my run in Alvarado and ran to Abingdon and back.

The closer I got to Abingdon, the busier the trail got. I was glad when I hit my turnaround and headed back towards Alvarado. My legs felt good, but I was tired overall. But I definitely enjoyed getting to do my long run on a different trail than normal.

Total miles: 39 miles
Weeks to MCM: 5

Virtual MCM Training – Week 6

I am training for the Marine Corps Marathon, which will be held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. My race day will be on October 18. This week they released a preview of the medal, which they normally don’t do. I don’t usually care that much about my race medals, but this one is SO cool and I’m excited to earn it!

Last week and the week before, I was dealing with some nagging hip pain. Heading into this week, things seemed to be calming down and feeling better. Here’s a breakdown of week 6 of training…

Monday – 30 min. stationary bike
I had run my 19 mile long run the day before, so I kept my cross training light and easy. My legs felt really good, though, and were barely sore or tired.

Tuesday – 7 miles easy
I found some evidence of the world of Harry Potter along the way…

Wednesday – 7 mile workout
I look forward to my ‘Workout Wednesdays’ each week. This week’s workout was 5 x 1 mile at marathon goal pace with a 3 minute jog in between, in addition to a warm-up and a short cool down. I had a little trouble locking in on my pace (marathon goal pace is ~11:30 per mile).

I felt good during this run, and my hip felt good as well. Hopefully whatever was going on with it is in the past now.

Thursday – Ab circuit; 25 min. stationary bike
I had planned on doing a Jillian DVD workout, but I really didn’t feel like doing anything. Instead I opted to get my weekly ab circuit in and then tacked on a short bike for good measure.

Friday – 5 miles easy
I felt really good on this run. My legs felt fresh and springy and my hip felt pretty good. I hadn’t been to this park in a little while, so that made it fun, too.

It was 86 degrees outside, but surprisingly I felt comfortable on this run. Granted, it was mostly cloudy, but it looks like I may have adjusted to the heat of summer just in time for fall. Hah!

Saturday – 20 mile long run
I wanted to do at least one long run on pavement and in the road shoes I plan to run my virtual race in. So I headed up to Blacksburg to run on the Huckleberry Trail – my old college stomping grounds.

It was sunny and around 75 degrees at the start (I slept in šŸ™‚ ) but the dew point was low so it didn’t feel that bad. My route took me by Lane Stadium on the Virginia Tech campus. It made me sad to see the stadium – I sure will miss that place this fall. Stupid Covid.

My hip hurt a little at the beginning of my run, but then it went away. My joints definitely felt the effects of running for over 4 hours on pavement, though! It’s been awhile since I did that. During the last hour or so of my run, I couldn’t stop day dreaming about a bowl of Honey Nut Chex cereal with ice cold milk. I’m happy to report I did fulfill my dream when I got home!

Sunday – 5 miles easy
It was 57 degrees at the start of my run. I admit, I felt chilly, but it felt glorious! I’m so excited fall is on the horizon.

Total miles: 44 miles
August total miles: 156 miles
Weeks to MCM: 6 (halfway!!)

Virtual MCM Training – Week 5

I am training for the Marine Corps Marathon, which will be held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. My race day will be on October 18 and this was week 5 of training. And the entire week of training is going to be a saga about my hip, which has been rebelling lately.

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 4 miles easy
My hip had started bothering me toward the end of last week’s training. It was still a little sore today, but not too bad.


Wednesday – 4 miles easy
This was a pleasant run, but my hip was still being bothersome. It felt alright during my run, but was more painful for several hours after my run.


Thursday – 5 mile workout
This workout was more dialed back from the other ones I’ve done recently. I did a long warm up followed by fifteen 30 second pickups with rest in between, and finished with a long cool down. My hip felt good during my run and wasn’t too painful afterwards, so that had me feeling optimistic.


Friday – Ab circuit; 30 minute stationary bike

Saturday – 5 miles easy
I did this run in the early afternoon, as the remnants of Hurricane Laura passed through our area. The rain was already done by the time I headed out, but we were still having plenty of gusty wind.

My hip felt good during my run. Just like earlier in the week, it was bothersome after my run but less so than in days past. I hoped that meant I would be able to get my long run in as planned.

Sunday – 19 mile long run
I had some concerns heading into this run with all the hip stuff, but my run ended up going really well. Much like last week’s long run, I felt strong throughout the run. I didn’t even feel that tired at the end, aside from just feeling the effects of being on my feet for about 4 hours.


As with most of my long runs, I had pickups ranging from 1 minute to 7 minutes long during the last 90 minutes. They’re challenging, but fun, and make the last part of my run fly by. I also enjoyed the cooler temperatures and cloud cover during this run.


As has been the pattern, my hip did bother me a little more after my run. But it wasn’t as bad as it has been and it calmed down within an hour or two. So for now I’ll probably keep cautiously moving forward with training.

Total miles: 37 miles
Weeks to MCM: 7