Jack & Jill Marathon Training Week 10: No Vacation from Training

Note: Week 10 was May 29-June 3. Finally all caught up!

My weekly mileage jumped above 50 this week, which may be the most I’ve ever run in a week! My previous marathon training plans were not nearly as aggressive, so I wouldn’t be surprised. I’ve been nervous about these higher mileage weeks, but so far, so good (knock on wood).

Since many of our birthdays are in April and May, Aaron’s dad Dwight and stepmom Maggie proposed we take a little family vacation to celebrate. We spent a wonderful three-day weekend in Leavenworth—a small Bavarian-themed town just east of the mountains—where we ate delicious meals, strolled around town and spent fun time together in our rented condo. Oh, and I also ran… a lot.

Marathon training doesn’t take a vacation. I ran 9 miles at marathon goal pace on Saturday and 19 easy miles on Sunday. Fortunately, Dwight and Maggie love babysitting and were more than happy to watch Evie while I ran and Aaron rode his bike in the mornings.

I’ve actually run on vacation in Leavenworth before; I did 6-mile and 17-mile runs there while training for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon in 2013. I already knew where I could go to run long, uninterrupted loops of rural road, and it wasn’t a big deal at all. I’m proud I got it done so I could enjoy spending time with family with a clear conscience—and basically eat whatever I wanted at Leavenworth’s great restaurants, too. ☺

MONDAY: 4.1-mile easy run at 9:11 average pace.

On Memorial Day, I enjoyed a sunny recovery run with Aaron and Evie by my side on the bike. Later, we went to Stephanie and Kevin’s house for a BBQ and lots of fun playtime with their son Connor (who is five months younger than Evie and the object of her obsession) and other neighborhood friends.

TUESDAY: 9-mile easy run at 9:07 average pace.

Nine miles feels like a lot on a weeknight, but running with a friend makes it much more bearable! Hallie and I hit the trail for an easy run in perfect twilight weather.

WEDNESDAY: 4-mile easy run at 9:06 average pace.

This run felt like a bit of a struggle, but I guess short, easy runs just feel like that sometimes because they’re boring.

THURSDAY: 7 x 800 speed intervals (7.3 miles total) at 8:44 average pace.

Targeting 3:30, I ran these 800s in: 3:38, 3:40, 3:34, 3:30, 3:27, 3:30 and 3:29. As you can see, the first few intervals weren’t so great, and then I nailed the last four. Here’s what happened:

  • It was raining when I started, so I wore a jacket for my warmup mile and first two intervals. I ditched it once it stopped raining and I felt like I could move so much better.
  • I made an, uhh, urgent bathroom stop after the second interval and felt much better afterward.
  • I started really focusing on my form and pumping my arms. I never looked at my watch.
  • I thought relentlessly positive thoughts (and started to believe them): “Of course I can hit that time! No problem.”
  • I started running my recovery quarter-miles very slowly—like 11:00 pace. By the time I started sprinting again, I had the energy to hit the time I wanted.
  • I pretended that each interval was the last half-mile of the marathon and I had a BQ time in sight and I needed to give it my all to bring it home.

So yeah, never count out a workout that starts out crappy (figuratively and literally). I kept grinding and finished feeling like a badass. I look forward to my next interval run in two weeks (8 x 800) to see if I can do it again!

FRIDAY: Rest.

SATURDAY: 9-mile marathon goal pace run at 8:02 average pace.

Despite enjoying several glasses of wine the night before and getting a terrible night of sleep (we tried to share a room with Evie in Leavenworth—big mistake), this run went really well. I started conservatively with an 8:27 warmup mile and then sped up to finish with six sub-8:00 miles and two just a little above 8:00. I’ll never not be amazed to see a mile that starts with a 7 on my watch.

SUNDAY: 19-mile long run at 9:16 average pace.

19 miles is a long damn way to run. Luckily, Aaron let me use his wireless headphones since I forgot to bring mine. I passed the time by listening to the two most recent episodes of the Ali on the Run Show, then some relaxing Gregory Alan Isakov and energizing Taylor Swift. I stopped once at a McDonald’s about halfway through to pee, but other than that, it was steady, uneventful and not even as painful as I expected (other than my knees, which didn’t love three hours of pounding on asphalt when they’re used to soft gravel). Maybe this marathon training thing is working after all!

Total weekly mileage: 52.4

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

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