Marathon Training Week 5 – Leaving on a Jet Plane

Hello again! It’s Wednesday. My blog is late. I’m jet lagged, but we’re gonna get through this together.

Week 5 was a great week, other than the training part. I traveled to Sacramento on Wednesday to see my family and friends. On Friday, my dad and I drove to Lake Tahoe to stay at a house with many of my oldest friends for a fantasy football draft and stayed until Sunday. It’s funny how people feel about my choice to fly all that way for a fantasy football draft. It’s either, “wow, that’s pretty awesome.” or “wow, that’s pretty dorky.” I flew back to Virginia yesterday, so needless to say my mind and body are STILL not quite right. The time flew by, but I was so happy to spend any time that I can with my family. I miss them always.

As much as I loved every minute of my time in Sacramento/Lake Tahoe, it didn’t do much at all for my training or my focus on the goal of a Boston Qualifier at Richmond. It’s going to kill me to type this up and see just how far off my week was from my planned week.

Monday – Cross-Training

I let my good friend Lil’ Code beat me up during lunchtime once again. This workout was a combination of burpees, box jumps, walking around with heavy weights, side planks and stepping up on a box with weights. The worst part was something where you hold yourself up on the kettlebells and try to make an “L” shape with your body. It quickly made me realize I had a weakness in the strength and flexibility of my hip flexors. Shocking that a runner would have that problem, right?

Track Tuesday – (10x400m in 1:22 or a 5:30 to 5:35 mile pace)

Not too shabby, but I’m no Alissa.


Just the thought of 10 x 400m sprints was enough to make me want to throw up. Honestly, I was afraid of them. Deep down, I was hoping that there wouldn’t be anyone too fast at the track that would push me to my limits. I wanted to just do my best and not worry about anyone else. Unfortunately, a few people felt like running fast and dragged me right in with them. I was pleased with my times. One thing that helped was my choice of shoes. I ran in my old New Balance Minimus road shoes, which are pretty much like racing flats. They are so light and you can feel the ground so well! I remembered why I used to love minimalist shoes so much, but I don’t think I can run ALL of my miles in them.

Wednesday – Off Day

So this was supposed to be a rest day, but I just couldn’t resist a run. Part of this was because I was going to be on a jet plane for a good chunk of the day. The other reason was that I ordered a shiny new pair of Saucony Kinvara 8s and was ITCHING to try them out.

I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it!

I ran the old Starbucks run. It’s hard for me to stop running on Wednesdays. I love my friends. I love coffee. I love running.

No coffee? Idiot.


I left work early and was on a plane from Roanoke to Chicago and then another plane from Chicago to Sacramento. All totaled it was about 6.5 hours of flying and I slept for about 6 of it. A couple of airport beers certainly didn’t hurt that cause.

Tempo Thursday – (5 miles at 6:45 to 6:50 pace)

One of the proudest moments of my week. I fought off some serious fatigue and got my butt out of bed not only for a run, but for a tempo run. The excitement of running in my hometown helped. Honestly, when I first started out on my run I wasn’t sure I would pick it up to the tempo pace. The warmup pace felt fine. After a mile, I remembered to ask myself, “How bad do you want it?” (“it” being a Boston Qualifier) and so off I went. That mantra comes from a very insightful book by Matt Fitzgerald about the psychology of endurance athletes. I don’t read much, but I’m reading it for the 2nd time. You can find it here.


I took a quick picture of some goats as I ran by them. Funny that I never run with goats in small town Virginia, but one run in Sacramento and it’s a petting zoo out there. It’s like they say, if you want to be the G.O.A.T. you need to train with goats.

Friday – Cross-Training

Nope. Although I did play a little catch with a football with some of my oldest and dearest friends. I caught one-handed while holding my can of beer, so I doubt that I was exerting myself too much.

We had a great day though. I rode with my dad from Sacramento to Lake Tahoe, just the two of us. We talked football and blasted some CCR (if you don’t know CCR, you better find out). We enjoyed the scenery too.

Dad was driving, so I got to do nothing but look out my back door.


A bunch of dudes hanging out at the lake house. That was my day. We went out that night and managed to stay out of trouble.

Long Run Saturday – 14 miles (7:30 to 7:45 pace)

Not quite 7:30 to 7:45 pace. As the trail runners say, I “hiked” a bit.


Of all of my greatest accomplishments, my effort on Saturday might be #1 on the list. I managed to get myself out of bed before any of my temporary roomies were even conscious. From the first mile, I knew I was in trouble. Honestly, I wasn’t thinking about my training. All I could think about was the beauty around me and how I wanted to run in it. I didn’t care about the pace or the distance. I found a park and started running with no general direction at all. I ended up climbing up and up and up until I just didn’t have any more time. I had a fantasy football draft to attend! Luckily, I had done all of the work in the 1st half of the run and got to run down and down and down. Unfortunately, I didn’t get 14 miles in and of course I ran nowhere near the pace that I’m supposed to run on the roads. I was ok with that. Any miles at all were a victory. When I got back to the house, I chugged half of a Purple Powerade, then a protein shake, then the other half of a Purple Powerade. Yum!

That Mike D. makes a fine White Russian.



Sunday – Rest Day

Dad and I left Tahoe on Sunday morning, after I consumed a delicious 4 egg omelet and some potatoes. I wanted to get one last run in, but breakfast prevailed and we didn’t have time to stick around. The car ride home is never as fun as the car ride there, but it was nice to have alone time with my dad. He’s a great guy. I don’t tell him enough. I doubt he reads my blog, so he’ll NEVER know how I feel hehe.

It’s funny, I was soooooo disappointed in my training week, until I wrote this and read it. In my mind, I had completely blown my plan up and was worried about what I’d done. After seeing how the week really went, I don’t feel bad at all. Basically, I screwed up my long run a bit and that’s about it. I missed the track yesterday (that will be covered for week 6) but I think that’s recoverable. I guess writing about my week serves a purpose after all, even if few read it.

Until next week, I hope you all do well in whatever you’re doing. Feel free to check in if you want to talk training, especially if you’re running in Richmond. 🙂



8 Replies to “Marathon Training Week 5 – Leaving on a Jet Plane”

  1. After reading the first two workouts I started wondering where the ‘blowing it’ part was going to start. Haha. A few miles off on the long run but all other key workouts were successfully completed. Looks like a great week to me.
    I used to run in the New Balance Minimus. I wore them the first time I ran sub 1:30 for the half. Never tried the Kinvaras. I keep hearing about them though.
    About the fantasy football… Sounds fun! I think whatever brings family together for a fun week/weekend is great! I love going on long runs in new places or places I don’t go to that often. I might be going to my parents lakehouse this weekend (where the horse flies were 😳) and aside from that one incident, I love running there. An escape from the city!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. 😶. Didn’t know about that. You will break 1:30. The tempo that you just did is a great indicator of that. (The tempo is actually why I thought I was safe saying that) ; )

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I too was wondering where the blowing it part was. As for the long run, I think the climbing with make up for the pace and distance loss. Unless your planning on a crazy BQ race.😀. That’s a solid week for traveling across the country- nice work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I definitely felt much better when I saw my week all spelled out. My tempo this morning was pretty rough. That’s the fallout from a week of flying, eating and drinking. 🙂


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