Marathon Training Week 8 – Hello Darkness my Old Friend

Good morning! I’m up unnaturally early on a Sunday morning to run an extra run on what should be a rest day. I’m doing this because I get a chance to run with friends that I haven’t run with in quite a while and I miss them, but also because one of these friends wooed me with coffee and donut talk (thanks Wade!).

The reason for my post title is that this week called for an 18 miler (I only did 16, I’ll offer my excuse later) and I had forgotten the pain of long runs greater than 14 miles. I suffered quite a bit and it’s definitely a different kind of suffering. I’ll elaborate more in the recap.

Monday – Cross-Training

Monday is the day that I let Cody (formerly known here as Lil’ Code, but it’s time to let that go) decide my workout for me. I didn’t give him a ton of time due to getting caught up in some basketball. My coworkers and I have a team in our work league and we were playing each other to try and get ready. Cody had 15 minutes to beat me up and he did not disappoint. It was a simple workout of push ups, pull ups and squats, but at a very demanding pace. By the time you’re on the last set, it’s tough to squeeze out even one more push up! My cross training has been more serious than before and I have Cody to thank. I do believe it’s playing a role in my training success so far.

Track Tuesday – (2 sets of 6×400 in 1:24, or 5:36 mile pace)

This was the first track workout from my updated training plan. The pace was about the same but there were some differences. My old plan didn’t have as much structure when it came to deciding rest intervals and so I would have done 200m jogs, which add up to 2:30 to 3:00 rests. My new plan thinks that’s too much and so my new rest intervals were just 90 seconds (I did get a 2:30 rest in between the sets of 6, thankfully). 90 seconds absolutely FLYS BY. It was time to start the next 400 in the blink of an eye. I totally understand the point though. It definitely added to the quality of the workout. Running buddies MC and Jeremy decided to join in on my workout and I’m glad they did. With them, it helped keep me disciplined with the rest and focused on the pace. We got them done!

Wednesday – Rest

Rest? Who needs rest? I played 3 vs. 3 soccer. Off topic, but recapping my week makes me REALLY question my choice to run this morning. I’m so due for a rest day. Back to the subject, my work has a 3 vs. 3 soccer league that is REALLY fun. I’m awful at soccer, just awful. I do bring some things to the table though, since running gives me a motor that won’t quit. I can play at a high intensity without much of a need for rest. I just can’t kick the ball into the net very well, but there are other people for that!

Tempo Thursday – (3 miles at 6:34 pace, 6 total miles)

I’ve been feeling very confident in my tempo runs lately. As far as what I worry about, the track and long runs are way ahead. A big part of that is that I’ve had good company. It isn’t good company for chatting, since we are running at a faster pace than I care to talk through. It’s good company as far as being a fast, competitive group of people. This week I was fortunate enough to run with Brooke AND MC. They are both amazingly fast runners. Brooke is training for the Marine Corps. Marathon and MC is running Richmond (hopefully as my 3:10 pacer). It’s helped my training tremendously to have them around. 

Friday – Cross-Training

This probably could have been a rest day, but we opted for basketball instead. We had 5 people, which meant we were going to play some 2 vs. 3. I was on the team of 2 for 2 of the games and that was a WORKOUT! We did that for about 45 minutes and that was probably enough of a workout, but Cody talked me into a 20 minute beatdown. I was a sweaty mess afterward. I’ll do us all a favor and refrain from posting a pic.

After work, I headed back out to Farmville for the opening of Third Street Brewing! The beer was DELICIOUS and we had a lot of fun. They had an ESB, an IPA and an Amber on tap. There will soon be others. Farmville is a bit of a voyage for me, but I’ll head out there once in a while. I was out a bit longer than I intended to be but not TOO late and of course I thought about my training while I was out, thank goodness.

A tale of two evenings

Saturday Long Run – 18 miles @7:44 pace

I didn’t quite make my 18. I honestly tried my best, but the kids had soccer games and I missed them last week for the race in Farmville. I wasn’t about to miss them again. I woke up at 4:40am and we got started at around 5:40. That’s about as early as I could start, especially with my Friday night shenanigans.
Last week, we were very fortunate as far as weather goes. That wasn’t so much the case this time around. I was sweating bullets by mile 3. I brought some Tailwind, but not enough to cover the amount I was sweating. There were several of us out for this run, some ran 10, some ran 13-14 and a couple of us ran longer. As far as pace goes, a couple of fasties tried to push us but I stuck to my training (for once) and managed to keep my overall pace relatively close to the plan. I had some potty issues (yes, I have kids) late in the run and had to make a pit stop (there was a toilet) at mile 13.5. At that point I realized that I was going to have trouble getting 18 in and decided to make it 16. I made sure that my last mile was a good one, if anything to prove that I had some left in the tank.

One thing about this long run. I hadn’t run this long since I ran a 30+ mile ultra at Holiday Lake back in Feb 2016. I honestly had forgotten the awful feeling of a long run. It’s a pain and discomfort that is hard to put into words. Now I remember it and won’t forget it again. Running through the feeling will be a necessary part of my Boston Qualifier.

Sunday – Rest

Nope. Not resting. Never. I woke myself up again at 4:40 and headed out for a run at 5:45. I did 6 comfortable miles with friends that I hadn’t run with in too long. What can I say….I miss them. The run was great! We decided to go get some coffee afterward, so it was shaping up to be an excellent Sunday morning…and then my car key was gone. I looked all over for it! I had unlocked my car after the run so I knew that I didn’t lose it during the run. I went to get a shirt to change into for coffee time and it just disappeared! My friends had already left for coffee so I kept looking until 2 friends that ran longer got back from their run. My good friend Sam gave me a ride to the coffee shop where my other good friend Alexis could give me a ride home. My other good friend Wade bought my coffee when I got there, so not all was bad.

Sidenote, my wife has lost her keys once or twice. I was SO judgemental. That came back to haunt me when she had to drive me back to the car to pick it up with the spare key. The fact that my car looks like I live in it was also a factor. When I got home with my car I dug around a bit and quickly found the key underneath some junk. Crisis averted (other than the lasting shame).

Next week’s training will be a challenge. I’m running the Virginia 10 miler (one of my favorites) but my training calls for 20, so I’m going to run the Virginia 20 miler. I plan to get there early and run the course BEFORE the race so I’ll be doing the race as my 2nd half of the run. It will be nice to have the other runners and spectators to help me get through my training run.

So friends, tell me about your own training? Things going well? Things going poorly? Either way, I want to hear about it. 


14 Replies to “Marathon Training Week 8 – Hello Darkness my Old Friend”

  1. I suffered on Saturday as well. Sweating buckets before the race. Let’s hope for cooler weather next weekend. I tried Tailwind today. Love it!
    We have had some lost car key issues lately too. Isn’t that the worst.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We have no 10 or 20 mile type races like that out here. I sure wish we did though!! Well, we used to have one called the Taco Run or something like that. But then it went away. LOL. I really enjoyed racing the 10 miles!! It’s like, just enough mileage for a quick wham bam thank you ma’am race.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love summer, but it’s mid-September and I am TIRED of it feeling like July while running. Where are the cooler temps and lower humidity? Good luck with the 10-mile warm up/10-mile race — that sounds like the best way to get in a 20-miler!


    1. I’m going to use the crowd to help push me through. If I’m feeling good I might give some of my running buddies a push, or use them to push me. We’ll definitely have to look for each other in Richmond. You’d be the first Loopster I ever met.


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