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!

THURSDAY: Rest.

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.

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