Marathon Training: Weeks 2 and 3

Let’s talk training, shall we? 

Week 2

The second week of training was a good one. I kept up with my 4 days/week of running and got 2 strength workouts in. I didn’t do yoga which, while it’s not the end of the world, was probably a mistake. In retrospect, I can tell how much better I feel when I take the time to stretch out my muscles–especially right before a long run. And realistically, it’s the only time during the week that I really stretch like I should, so I need to make the time to do it! No excuses!

This week, I did get to do some speedwork, which is by far my favorite. I hit up the treadmill for 6 miles with 3×1 mile repeats @7:13 pace and 1/2 mile jogs in between each one with a warm up and cool down of 1 mile each. I learned 2 things: Eminem is seriously motivating for me when I need to run fast, and speedwork makes me feel like a badass. As corny as it sounds, I had some swagger going on all day after busting out that workout. Loved it.Dogsout

OK, this has nothing to do with anything, but I think it’s adorable and hilarious.

My 12 miler during week 2 . . . well, that wasn’t quite as nice. Essentially, I felt like warmed over death for most of it. No matter how humid it was in Richmond or even Ann Arbor last summer, the DC humidity is just of a different breed. More on that in week 3 . . . 

Lessons learned: 

1. I love speedwork

2. Yoga is non-negotiable

Week 3

Ah, week 3. Get ready for some excuses. I did do all of my runs, but my strength training and yoga routine suffered. 

The excuses:

I was traveling.

I was sick.

I did new exercises at PT, and they seriously kicked my butt. 

Sunday is traditionally a strength day for me, but spending most of the day on a plane put a damper on that. And if I’m being honest, I have to have some angry-ish muscle woman yelling at me from the TV to get motivated to lift weights. Without my beloved Jackie or Jillian DVDs, I didn’t stand a chance of strength training on my own. Instead, I took a walk and ate dessert. Twice. OK, maybe 3 times . . . 

Monday and Tuesday, I used the hotel treadmill (which, it should be noted, was seriously crappy) to do an easy 5 and then a tempo run. Tempo this week was tough for some reason. Probably all that dessert . . . anyway, it was 6 miles with 4 @7:36. I watched the Olympic athletes on the Today Show during it, and that helped me suck it up. Slightly.


Then, there was PT. I think my therapist enjoys torturing me because there were upward of 100 squats on each leg and something called monkey walking, which nearly killed me. I did come home and do some core and upper body work, but my usual strength routine didn’t happen. Oh, and I was sick that day. 

And the next day, but I did run on Friday. I usually take the day off before a long run, but I didn’t want to slack on my mileage since I had obviously slacked on the weights. But that meant that I skipped yoga. Vicious cycle, much???

Which brings us to the moment you’ve all been waiting for . . . last week’s 14 miler!!! 

Workout gym exercise bored confession ecards someecards

I woke up at 5:30AM on Saturday. I decided it wouldn’t be that much hotter if I started my run at 6:30 instead, so I dozed for a bit. The first 7 miles, I felt great, but by the time I stopped for water and a Gu, the sun was fully up, and it was hella-humid. You heard me.

I downed nearly my entire giant water bottle with my Gu and set out for the final 7. Being the smart girl that I am, I decided to try a new path for this leg that took me uphill and then uphill some more and then really vertical around the 10th mile for about 1/2 a mile straight. And I could not breathe. And I needed a bathroom. And I wanted to lie down on the ground and magically teleport myself home. Instead, I stopped at a gas station to use the bathroom and wring myself out. Yes, wring myself out. Because it looked as though I had been swimming. Every inch of me, including my hair and clothes, was sopping wet. I don’t think I have ever sweat that much. EVER. You.are.welcome.

So I spent the rest of Saturday laying on the couch watching Lifetime movies and wishing someone would bring me Gatorade. Life is hard. 

Lessons learned: 

1. Do not neglect the yoga.

2. Hydrate like your life depends on it.

3. Yes, you really do need to get out of bed at 5:30AM on a Saturday. Maybe even earlier. Just do it. Nap later.

So, weeks 2 and 3 were a little rough, but I can already tell you that week 4 is going wonderfully so far, and I have no intention of derailing! 

What lessons have you learned from training for a race? 


12 thoughts on “Marathon Training: Weeks 2 and 3

  1. so true, dc heat is another breed. I thought i had felt it all but man this place wins out. I don’t know, it looks to me that you are rocking this years training. You have gotten in your speedwork (the hardest for me to do) and strength training (even harder). way to go girl! you even travelled… i mean i am impressed.

  2. Lol great post. Yoga always hits the back burner for me too for some reason….and I hate it! New to readying your blog but it’s great! Good luck with training.

  3. Totally agree with the whole yoga and long runs thing. I have been seriously neglecting yoga as well which is dumb because it helps my running SO MUCH. Plan: go to yoga tonight. There is no excuse for me not to go considering there is a yoga studio literally across the street from my apartment AND I have like 2 groupon deals to the place. What is wrong with me?!

  4. Nora says:

    On a long run Saturday in DC, I’d much rather wake up at 4:45 or 5 and get it over with before the heat starts cranking. However this last Saturday’s 14 miler seemed particularly brutal, my shorts were so wet from sweat they were falling off. You’re welcome for that mental picture :) Weather looks much nicer for this saturday you might be able to leave later!

    • Ha! Nice. This week has been a killer with the humidity–especially this morning. Ugh. At least it should break in another month or so!


  5. Speedwork makes me feel like a badass too. Although I differ from you in that I dread the track all day leading up to the workout. Heck, right up to my easy job TO the track. But once I’m there and the sweat is flying…Stay out of lane 1.

    The workout:
    25min warm up
    7-9×3:00 at 5k pace, :30 walking rest in between
    Easy 15-20 cool down

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