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

Virtual MCM Training – Week 4

I am training for the Marine Corps Marathon. It will be held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. My race day will be on October 18 and this was week 4 of training…

Monday – Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, Level 2; Ab circuit; 3 minute mountain legs

Tuesday – 4 miles easy

Wednesday – 5K time trial / 5.5 miles total (warm-up/cool down)
I was nervous about this run from the time I saw it on my training plan 4 weeks ago. And I’ve been thinking about it since finishing last week’s Wednesday workout.

It’s been awhile since I ran a 5K (my last legit road 5K was in 2014) and I wasn’t sure how to pace it. Standing on the trail about to start, I felt the same nervousness that you do on race morning. But also nervous because I knew this was going to hurt. After staring down the trail for several minutes, I finally bucked up and got going.

Mile 1 – 9:24 (I hope that wasn’t too fast)
Mile 2 – 9:30 (This is hurting, but at least I’m on the way back now)
Mile 3 – 8:50 (I think I’m going to puke)
Last 0.1 – 0:51 (I did it! Thank goodness that’s over. Ow)

I met my “secret” goal of sub-30, and finished my time trial in 28:35. I’m really pleased with how it went, especially since it was 80 degrees, sunny, and humid outside.

Thursday – 25 min. easy indoor bike
My hips and hamstrings were tight and sore from Wednesday’s workout. It felt good to get in an easy ride and then stretch.

Friday – 4 miles easy
My legs still felt a bit tired from Wednesday’s run. I wondered what that would mean for Saturday’s long run.

Also, it turns out that the map of my running route looked like Elvis. It do be like that sometimes.

Saturday – 17 mile long run
I met up with Kim for this run and it was our first run together in about a month. Good thing it was a long run because we had lots of catching up to do!

It was much cooler outside, but extremely muggy. The air temperature and dew point were actually the same. During the last 90 minutes I did more pickups, but this time they ranged from 1 minute to 7 minutes long. Some of them were on a gradual uphill section which made them even tougher!

One of my hip flexors was sore throughout this run and both of my hamstrings felt tight on the uphill section during the final 4-5 miles of the run. But it’s been a challenging week. And as I told Kim at one point toward the end of our run, “Aside from the things that hurt, I feel great!”

Sunday – 4 miles easy
My hip was still feeling really sore, but it seemed to loosen up some towards the end of my run.


Total miles: 34.5 miles
Weeks to MCM: 8

Virtual MCM Training – Week 3

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 was week 3 of training.

Monday – Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, Level 3

Tuesday – 5 miles easy
I ran at a nearby park where it takes 7 to 8 laps to get to 5 miles. I don’t know why I do that to myself. I actually thought I was going to be relegated to the treadmill. Luckily, I snuck this run in in between afternoon thunderstorms.

Rain in the distance towards the end of my run.

Wednesday – 6 mile fartlek workout
I went back to the section of trail where I did almost all of my run workouts leading up to Dam Yeti 50 Miler. It was fun to return to my “old stomping grounds” for another workout.

This week’s workout included a 1 mile warm up and cool down, and repeats of: 7 min, 6 min at half marathon pace; 5 min, 4 min at 10K pace; and 3 min, 2 min, and 1 min at 5K pace with rest in between each interval. It gets harder towards the end, but it’s also fun to push on those faster, shorter segments.

Next week I have a 5K time trial on Wednesday and I’m already nervous! Why is a 5K scarier than a 50K to me!?

Thursday – Ab circuit; 3 min. mountain legs; 25 min. stationary bike

Friday – 4 miles easy
I am so annoyed at the weather lately. I know it’s normal for this time of year, but I’ve had enough of these freaking thunderstorms every. single. day. Like Tuesday, I was able to get this run in in between storms.

Saturday – 5 miles easy
I flip flopped my Saturday and Sunday runs because the weather forecast called for thunderstorms all day Saturday. In hindsight, it looks like I would have been fine to do my long run on Saturday morning as usual. But you have to make decisions as best you can with the information you have.

Sunday – 13 mile long run
The trail had several downed trees from Saturday’s storms that I had to navigate. Thankfully, none of them made the trail impassable.

It was in the upper 60’s and cloudy during my run and I felt like a whole new person as compared to my recent long runs where it’s been in the 90’s. My run flew by and I felt great the whole time.

Total miles: 33 miles
Weeks to MCM: 9

Virtual MCM Training – Week 2

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. Here’s how week two of training went…

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 4 miles easy
Enjoyed some time on the trails in slightly cooler weather.

Wednesday – 4.5 mile workout
It started storming right when I got to the park after work. There was a bunch of lightning and I didn’t feel like waiting 20-30 minutes to start my run.

Instead, I headed home and did this run on the treadmill. My workout included: 1 mile warm up, 5 x 4 minutes at 10:30 pace, and a 1 mile cool down. Call me crazy, but I look forward to these workouts each week.

Thursday – Ab circuit; 25 min. stationary bike
I was really tired and tempted to skip my cross training. But one of my goals is to do my ab circuit at least once per week. I’m proud that I stuck to the plan and got this done.

Friday – 4 miles easy
Lately, it seems like there’s a thunderstorm every afternoon and today was no different. Luckily, I got off of work early and was able to hit the trails before the storm.

Saturday – 15 mile long run
Overall, nothing was wrong with this run. The temperature was cooler than it’s been – low 70’s at the start and low 80’s by the end. But I just wasn’t really feeling it until mile 11 when I finally found a groove. That took awhile! It do be like that sometimes.

Like last week, during the last 90 minutes I did 1 minute pick-ups between 10K and marathon pace every 10 minutes. It feels good be plugging along and then flip the switch for a minute and pick up the pace.

I can’t wait to get a haircut in two weeks!

Sunday – 5 miles easy

Total miles: 32.5 miles
Weeks to MCM: 10

Virtual Marine Corps Marathon Training – Week 1

I wasn’t originally planning on documenting my training for the Marine Corps Marathon. But I think it’s been awhile since I documented a training cycle, so why not? Let’s lay a little ground work first….

The 2020 Marine Corps Marathon was slated for October 25. Unfortunately, like so many things this year, it has been canceled due to COVID-19. Barry and I were both registered to run, and we both decided to defer our actual entries to next year’s race. We also both decided to sign up to run virtually this year for the special 45th anniversary medal. I’m not usually one to run a race for the medal, but this one is supposed to contain volcanic ash (“black sand”) from Iwo Jima and that’s just plain cool.

MCM has given us a date range of October 1 to November 10 to complete our virtual run. I plan to run it on October 18 with some friends, which means I’m 12 weeks out from race day. Each week, I plan to post a recap of that week’s training. Here’s a run down of week 1.

Monday – Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, Level 2

Tuesday – 4 miles easy
Even though this was at an easy pace, I kind of felt like I was running uphill the whole time. And it was hot. But I did find the “Whomping Willow.”

Wednesday – 4 mile fartlek workout
After a 1 mile warm up, I did repeats at 10K and 5K pace, followed by a 1 mile cool down. This run totally kicked my butt. I had a hard time locking in on my paces and I really suffered in the heat and humidity. When is fall??

Thursday – Ab circuit
My legs needed a rest, so I kept it light and just did my 20 minute core workout.

Friday – 4 miles easy
Nothing exciting to report on this run, but here’s a turtle I saw.

Saturday – 5 miles easy
I did this run first thing in the morning. The temperature was nice and cool, but it was extremely humid.

Sunday – 13 mile long run
I slept in a little before hitting the trail for this one. Fortunately, it still wasn’t too hot out (low 80’s) and I had a really enjoyable run. Thanks to the summer heat and humidity, I haven’t had a pleasant long run in awhile. So it was nice to finally have one where I didn’t suffer. I hydrated and fueled well, and my legs felt strong.

(there’s a fly on my hat, haha)

During the last 90 minutes of the run, I did 1 minute pickups that were between marathon pace and 10K pace. That was something new for me, and it was actually pretty fun.

Total miles – 30 miles
Weeks to MCM – 11

"I've opted for fun in this lifetime" -Jerry Garcia