Marathon Training Plan: Week One

Marathon training begins tomorrow! I also must remind myself that all of these smaller goals along the way have contributed, in their own way, to my overall preparation. Here is what I plan for the week ahead:

Saturday: 3 miles

Sunday: 4 miles

Wednesday: 3 miles

Thursday: Swim

Saturday: 5 miles

Also, June begins tomorrow. Where is my sunshine? Enough already with this rainy and chilly weather!

Happy Friday!


Captain Picard is reminds me to “make it so” after I list my training plans.

Saying Hi

I haven’t been blogging much because I committed to 2 weeks of good rest between the Portland half and the start of marathon training. It’s been a productive rest. I am doing a lot of strengthening exercises for my glutes to prevent IT band issues. I’m stretching a lot. I am walking and going to Zumba and water jogging…

Originally I had picked 6/3 as the first day of marathon training, seeing as it is a Monday. But given the chaos that is my work schedule for the next two weeks as the spring term comes to a close, I decided to start this Saturday, 6/1, in order to give myself a full week to complete the three short runs and the one longer run.

Now, back to a few more days of rest…



During the winter, I became very good about intentionally drinking water throughout the day to stay hydrated. I found that I was far less prone to headaches and exhaustion when I was drinking the right amount of water.

I’ve fallen behind on this, and now that the weather is warming, I really need to keep myself on track. I am doing two things to make my hydration intentions easier to achieve. First, I fill my morning coffee mug with water and drink the entire thing before filling the mug with coffee. Second, I keep a water bottle on my work desk, front and center, and remember to fill and drink it once before the noon hour, and once before I leave for home.

Happy Long Weekend!



Moving beyond the comfortable place

As odd as it is to write this, half marathons are becoming a comfortable distance. They no longer intimidate me, and I find myself evaluating future races in the same way I used to look at 5Ks. Last winter, I set out to channel much of the stress and energy I was receiving from things out of my control into a positive place: running. I was really joyful by the end of the winter that I did not abandon my habits, and that I persisted in running 3-4 times a week, outdoors, through the cold and dark season. As spring tapers toward summer, I am grateful that I built the skill and confidence to run three half marathons in 72 days, recover through injury and maintain a regular running practice. What is ahead this summer? Surely another new adventure as I begin marathon training. Like the winter, this summer will be about persistence. Unlike the winter, this summer will be much more prescribed in terms of each run. Sometimes the minutia of a detailed plan is motivating, and sometimes it is daunting. I aim to motivate myself with the reminder that the plans are necessary to prepare myself in a safe and gentle way.

Although the experience of 13.1 miles feels much less like a battle and more like enjoyable travel, I know that it is my limit right now. I can tell by the way my body feels after I finish a half marathon that I need to now focus on building the strength and endurance to double this distance. 26 miles cannot be completed on a whim.

While there is this temptation to rush through the training, to desire so badly the ability to run an entire marathon, the journey through the process would be lost. I must go back to remembering that the jug is filled by drops and not floods. Each new run is an addition to the last.

Happy Thursday, running friends!


Looking forward to the long weekend ahead!

Rock ‘n’ Roll Portland Recap


I made it! And yes, my daughter is wearing a tiny track suit 🙂

Coming out of a rocky month with ITB issues, lots of resting, and low mileage accumulation, I was a bit nervous about this race. I am pleased to say that I was able to run the entire distance and my finishing time was only 4 minutes short of my half marathon PR. Most importantly, like Whidbey Island (and even more so), I really enjoyed the experience of running this race and the minutes/miles just flew by. At no point did I get into the head space of “Can I be done now?”

I found my groove shortly after mile 4, as I usually do in races this length, battled some rolling hills on miles 6-9, enjoyed a pleasant downhill in the last mile or so.

The race was very well-organized, and I stayed hydrated and fueled by GU throughout. The race had great energy. People were excited to be out and running this course. Because it was a half marathon only, the energy was even more concentrated within this one event. Before the starting horn, we took a moment of silence for Boston. It was an excellent reminder to enjoy the opportunity of that day and finish strong.

As my confidence in my ability to run a half marathon without becoming utterly exhausted increases, I feel more and more excited about marathon training. I feel like the half marathon is a distance I now understand how to tackle, both physically and psychologically. I know how to coach myself through a race of that length of duration, and I know that this foundation will serve me during marathon training and the marathon itself.

Where am I now? I am two weeks away from beginning marathon training. I am taking these two weeks to rest my body as much as possible. If I want to go running for fun, I will keep it short and leisurely. I am going to revisit my running books and cement my training plan. I am going to enjoy the lull before some very taxing months.

Thursday Links

Off to the pool for my lunchtime swim/aqua jog, and I am also hoping for a quick run tonight since it is unexpectedly sunny out!

I read this article today, loved it, definitely related to parts of it, and wanted to share it.

Also, this exists. I want to try it!

My daughter’s school is participating in a rainbow-themed parade tomorrow. Naturally, my running buddy (the lovely auntie that she is) and I are breaking these tutus out again–running buddy even made a miniature one for my kiddo!

I made oatmeal cookies last night, but substituted half of the oats with granola. It’s as crunchy and decadent as it sounds. Now they are breakfast cookies, right? 🙂

Ministry of Silly Walks

Yesterday I went for a very interesting run. It was a beautiful evening, so I did my easy 3 mile loop down to the harbor and then back up to the house. However, I was feeling a little tight in my muscles, but also a bit short on time and patience (there was a pot of curried chick peas and veggies waiting for me at home!!!). So, at the end of each mile (and I knew exactly when because of my beautiful and beloved Garmin), I did some dynamic stretching and warm-ups. Yes, I was the woman goose-stepping by all of those sail boats!

All in all, it was a pleasant “easy 3” with some good stretching involved. I came home energized from the sunshine and feeling much looser and more relaxed and I slept wonderfully. Bonus: the curry was quite delicious.

Within the next few days I need to finalize my race day outfit for the RNR half, stock up on my fuel of choice, create a fresh and exciting playlist on my iPod, and drink lots of water and eat lots of good nourishing foods.

Happy Hump Day!


Running Mantra

Do you have a running mantra? Preparing for the half marathon this Sunday, I am thinking of two in particular that seem to dominate during my longer runs:

“Push Through”

“You’ve Got This One”

Interestingly, these were very similar to some of the phrases my husband used to coach me through a natural labor and birth! I think there are definite similarities between birth and a long run. You know both will end, but you don’t know how. You go inside of your self. It’s a spiritual experience. You are a changed person afterward. You want to tell the story to anybody who will listen. After a time, the details fade, but the milestone is always memorable…

Most importantly, any pain or soreness you felt is soon forgotten and you find yourself signing up to do it again. Eh, well… perhaps that one is a bit easier to do with a race than a child 🙂

Another thing I try to do while running a race is smile as much as I can and make authentic eye contact with volunteers and bystanders. Saying “hello” in this way definitely keeps me motivated to continue.

What’s your mantra?

What do you do during a race to keep going?

The woods in May

Yesterday I shifted gears and went for a family hike in the woods rather than running through them. There is nothing like the woods in May here in Western Washington. The green is brilliant, and the air hangs with a dew throughout the day. Even the skunk cabbage blooms coyly through the pond lilies, hungry for slivers of sunlight. The air was warm enough that the recent rainfall started to steam up from the trails blanketed by pine needles.

I got good exercise, of course, packing an additional 30 pounds on my back.

Also, my wonderful husband gifted me with an amazing new toy for Mother’s Day. Really, the best jewelry there is:

Mama got a green Garmin! Oh, I am so in love. I can hardly wait to take it on a maiden voyage tonight for my after-work run around the neighborhood.

My plan this week is to get a few 3-4 mile runs in and to go to the pool at least once before heading down to Portland on Saturday for the half, which is Sunday morning. My intentions this week are to eat well, sleep well, stay healthy and keep an ear close to my knee.

How was your weekend?

5 Mile Thursday

I set out to run three miles yesterday, but ended up going five. What can I say? It was a beautiful evening and I felt good (and feel good this morning!). I have a little more than a week to go before the RnR Portland, but I am focusing on taking it a day at a time until I get there. My intention for this half marathon is not to set a new PR, but to finish strong and without injury. This might mean some walking, since I’ve been running fewer miles in the last month due to recovery from a slight knee injury. We’ll see how it goes.

I am planning at least one trail run this weekend. The rain is supposed to return (boo!), but I will say that the woods smell amazing after a shower.

Looking forward to a weekend of relaxing, eating and running. What are your plans?