Virtual MCM Training – Week 11

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 in full on taper mode now. Usually, that means cutting mileage down, but I had the Allison Woods Halloween Hobble 6 hour race this week. Originally, the Marine Corps Marathon would have been on October 25, two weeks after Allison Woods. But since the live MCM got canceled, my friends chose October 18 to run our virtual MCM together. So that put the two races a week apart for me.

Monday – 25 minute bike

Tuesday – 6 mile workout
Normally I do my run workouts on Wednesdays, but my coach recommended I move the workout up a day since I changed my goals for Allison Woods. Originally, I was going to just go and have fun and soak up the race atmosphere. But after giving it some thought, I decided to aim for some big goals for Saturday’s race.

My workout was pretty light. It felt like a “tune up” for my legs with a 2 mile warm up, 3 miles at marathon goal pace, and a 1 mile cool down.

Wednesday – 4 miles easy
My past several runs from Saturday through Tuesday had not felt all that great. Finally, on this run I felt relaxed and light and bouncy.

Thursday – Rest

Friday – Easy 3 miles
This was a quick lunchtime run on the treadmill. After work, Kim and I hit the road for North Carolina.

Saturday – Allison Woods Halloween Hobble 6 Hour

We ended up getting hit by the remnants of Hurricane Delta during the race. So it rained on and off the entire day. The trails quickly deteriorated into a total mud fest. I was able to get in 6 loops for 24 miles total – my “B” goal. I’ll have a full race report later this week.

Sunday – Rest

Total miles: 37 miles
Weeks to MCM:1 week!! Final countdown is on! Race day is this Sunday!

Virtual MCM Training – Week 10

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 getting into the home stretch now! This Saturday I’ve got the Allison Woods Halloween Hobble 6 hour race and then the weekend after that is go time!

Monday – Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, Level 3

Tuesday – 4 miles easy
It was a nasty, cold, rainy day outside so I opted to do this one on the treadmill.

Wednesday – 7 mile work out
This workout was a progressive run. I started with a two mile warm up. Then I progressively sped up over the next 5 miles, from 1 minute slower than marathon goal pace (MGP) to finishing slightly faster than MGP. This workout went well and my legs felt strong. I feel like I’m ready to go for my upcoming races.

Thursday – Ab circuit; 30 minute indoor bike

Friday – 4 miles easy
I found a dinosaur on the trail 🙂

Saturday – 13 mile long run
In contrast to last week’s long run, I did not feel fantastic during this run. I felt kind of tired and sluggish. But at the end of the day, I put in 13 miles with minimal effort and afterwards I felt like I had barely run. I guess that’s how the beginning of taper goes sometimes.

Kim and I ran separately today, but we still managed to bump into each other on the trail. She was at the end of her run and I was in the early miles of mine (because I slept in 🙂 ).

Even though I didn’t feel fabulous out there today, the weather was perfect. High 40’s to low 50’s with on and off clouds. That’s my favorite running weather – perfect for shorts and a long sleeve.

Sunday – 4 miles easy

Total miles: 32 miles
September total miles: 180 (one of my highest months ever!)
Weeks to MCM: 2 weeks

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

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