Jack & Jill Marathon Training Week 6: Official BQ Attempt

Suddenly I think I might actually be able to BQ. Not because this week felt particularly strong and gave me lots of confidence (kind of the opposite, in fact; you’ll see), but because I believe in myself now. I don’t know why; I just do. Do I need a reason?

I changed part of my Instagram bio from, “Training for PRs in 2018!” to, “Training for a BQ in July 2018!” So it’s out there. And it’s out here. Let’s do this thing.

MONDAY: 3-mile easy run at 9:16 average pace.

My legs felt super stiff as I started this run, thanks to Sunday’s long run with zero recovery/toddler birthday bonanza. But they loosened up the more I ran, and thus the recovery run did its job! Before I started this plan, I was worried about running six days per week without taking a rest day after long runs, but I haven’t found it to be an issue so far.

TUESDAY: 7-mile easy run at 8:59 average pace.

On this sunset run, I listened to episode 31 of the Ali on the Run Show featuring Dan Nevins, an Army veteran who lost both of his legs in Iraq and went on to become an inspiring yoga teacher and public speaker. I choked back tears several times listening to Dan eloquently describe his time in combat and his experiences dealing with both the physical and emotional wounds of war. It reminded me to be grateful for every step and every breath—not just during this run, but during every moment of every day.

WEDNESDAY: 3.1-mile easy run at 9:10 average pace.

I ran with Stephanie, which always makes the miles fly by faster! I also stretched, foam rolled, lifted weights and did some crunches while listening to the Ali on the Run Show episode featuring Ali’s parents, which was adorable!


I’m not sure why I wasn’t feeling it this day, but my legs just needed a break! Moving my rest day from Friday to Thursday made my Saturday run suck, though, so I’ll try not to do it again.

FRIDAY: 5 x 800 m speed workout (6 miles total) at 8:24 average pace.

My legs felt nice and fresh for this workout, but I ran my first interval too fast (3:24, targeting 3:30) and had trouble hanging onto my goal pace for the rest of them (3:33, 3:31, 3:38, 3:35). It’s so hard to know how fast I’m going in the moment, so I just run as fast as I possibly can. But next time, I’ll start more conservatively so I still have some energy for the other intervals!

SATURDAY: 8-mile (attempted) marathon goal pace run at 8:16 average pace.

This run suuuuucked. I was more than happy to stop for a minute when I ran into Aaron and Evie on a bike ride at mile 7! 

I took Evie to her first soccer lesson in the morning (so cute!), then did this run less than 24 hours after my speed workout. I knew going into it that there was a good chance I wouldn’t be able to hang onto marathon goal pace (around 8:00), but I gave it my best shot. I was good through the first four miles, and then the wheels totally fell off and I just tried to stay under 8:30 average pace. It was good practice trying to run fast on super tired legs, which is a thing that will definitely happen during the marathon.

I realized after the fact that I was looking at the wrong week on my plan and only needed to do 7 miles at marathon goal pace. D’oh! Oh well. I actually have 8 miles at MGP next Saturday, so that will be a chance to redeem myself for this run.

SUNDAY: 10-mile long trail run at 11:41 average pace.

We had our house deep-cleaned (yesssss) and needed to be away for eight hours, so we took Evie to the zoo with some friends in the morning, then headed over to my in-laws’ house for lunch and naptime (for Evie, not me, unfortunately). While she napped, Aaron went on a bike ride and I ran a nearby trail I’d never explored before: the Coal Creek Trail. It’s super runnable (packed dirt, not too hilly) with beautiful scenery (lush greenery, pretty creek, waterfalls, etc.). There were lots of families hiking, so it felt very safe as well. Sometimes I can go several miles on trails without seeing anyone and get very freaked out about wild animals. This was suburban trail serenity at its finest. My legs were still tired from back-to-back hard workouts, but it was a nice run regardless.

Total weekly mileage: 37.1

Follow along in real time on Instagram @dev.on.running.

Jack & Jill Marathon Training Week 5: Run, Recover, Run

This week I learned that when I take the time to recover properly after running, my legs feel freakin’ awesome. Duh! But I don’t always take the time to stretch, foam roll, use our NormaTec recovery boots, etc., so actually doing that reminded me what a difference it makes. It makes me feel so much fresher for my next run, which is essential now that I’m running six days a week.

My birthday is later this month, but Aaron got me an early gift: a Roll Recovery R8. I’d seen this scary-looking contraption on other runners’ Instagrams and blogs, but never thought I’d need it since foam rolling has worked just fine for me.

But this… this is really next-level, and a game-changer. It takes so much less effort than foam rolling, yet it feels like it rolls out your muscles so much better. I still prefer to foam roll certain parts of my legs (like my calves), but for my IT bands, hamstrings and quads, the Roll Recovery feels like an intense deep-tissue massage. Aaron loves it, too, which is great because he hates foam rolling and never does it. Even though it was technically a birthday present for me, he’s probably used it more than I have so far. ☺

MONDAY: 3-mile easy run at 9:11 average pace; BBG arms and abs.

Anytime I can summon the energy to run and do BBG is a big win! It’s really only an hour of exercise combined, but feels like so much more because I have to mentally switch gears in between.

TUESDAY: 7-mile easy run at 9:09 average pace.

I started on the later side, which was fine because it was pretty warm that day and I enjoyed the cooler evening weather. The bugs were out in full force, though, and I wound up with several in my mouth, up my nose and squished up in my bra! Ahhh, I had forgotten about this charming quirk of dusk running in the spring and summer.

WEDNESDAY: 3-mile easy run at 9:10 average pace.

Thank you for your recommendations for running sunglasses! I ordered a pair of Goodr sunglasses and am very happy with them so far. This week was on the sunny side for Seattle, so they arrived just in time. No slipping, no bouncing and only $25—I’m sold. I bought mine on Amazon to get fast and free Prime shipping, but there are a lot more color options available on the Goodr website.

THURSDAY: 35-minute tempo run (4 miles total) at 8:36 average pace.

Hello, random heat! When I started this run, it was 83 degrees, and my first mile felt like such a slog. I normally warm up around 9:15 pace, but my first mile was 9:39—and it felt like my typical effort. Needless to say, I didn’t hit the tempo pace I aimed for (7:40-7:50 ish), but I definitely put in a tempo effort (comfortably hard). It’s crazy how much the temperature can affect your body! I did a 10-minute warmup, 20 minutes at tempo pace (8:07, in this case) and a 5-minute cooldown. I also began seriously questioning my decision to run a late-July marathon. The race starts at 6:30 a.m., so hopefully I’ll be done before it gets really hot!


SATURDAY: 7-mile easy run at 9:05 average pace.

I ran with my friend Stephanie for the first time since her marathon last weekend (her very first!) and caught up on the whole story of her race. There were fewer than 100 runners, and she won second place in her age group! Not bad for a first marathon! It was also blessedly cool and rainy during our run, which felt like heaven compared to my sauna struggle time on Thursday.

SUNDAY: 14-mile long run at 9:13 average pace.

This was April 29, Evie’s second birthday! I can’t believe it’s been two years since we met our sweet girl for the first time. We hosted her Sesame Street-themed birthday party with family and friends in the afternoon, so I had to do my run in the morning and then jump right into the shower, get ready and finish party prep—no time for stretching or any other recovery! It was a little rough, but I kept telling myself it wasn’t as bad as being in labor two years ago. ☺ Plus, Aaron did a TON of the work—he made an incredible Elmo cake from scratch, prepped most of the appetizers, cleaned and so much more. He is the best and I’d marry him again if I could!

I ran on the same gravel trail as the marathon course, and quickly realized the Mt. Si Ultra (50K and 50 mile) was happening at the same time! As I was running down the trail from Rattlesnake Lake, a ton of runners were coming up; it was fun to smile and wave at all of them, knowing that I only had to run 14 and not 31 or 50. 😉 Those are some tough runners! I have no desire to do an ultra, but I’ll cheer them on all day long. I also made a deer friend, which is always nice.

Total weekly mileage: 38.1

Follow along in real time on Instagram @dev.on.running.

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