Marine Corps Marathon Week 6

Words cannot describe how happy and relieved I am to have survived this week. Thanks for all of your good wishes – both the job interview and 10K went well, though each was exhausting in its own way. I will know the decision (yes/no/maybe) about the job in a few days, so please keep sending good vibes.

As hard as this past week was, I’ll be facing another big challenge this coming week: a jump to 40 miles. EEK. This will be a big weekly mileage distance record (DR) for me; 34 was my previous DR. Each of my shorter runs are increasing by 1 mile, which means going from 3 miles Tues/Thurs and 7 miles Wed/Sat to 4 and 8, respectively. My long run next week is 16 miles — I’m hoping to run that with company to make it more bearable. Running easy will be more important than ever as I rack up the miles.

Before I get too far ahead of myself, here’s what happened this week (“planned” workout in green/“actual” in bold):

Monday: Rest or cross-training/rest.

Tues: 3/3.25. Nothing too exciting, until I found $11 on the ground towards the end of my run. Who says running doesn’t pay?

Wed: 7/3.75. After I spent 7.5 hours at my interview (plus 2 hours commuting), you’d think the last thing I’d want to do was go for a run. But I had mentally prepared myself all week NOT to flake and to view the run as a good way to end the day. I went out prepared to run 7, but I was also willing to cut the run short if I needed to. Even though I meant to go out easy, I found myself wanting to push the pace — as if to release all of the pent-up energy and stress from the week. Since I couldn’t mellow my pace, I was tiring quickly, so I decided to cut the run short and extend my distance the next day. Plus, the Gypsy Runner and I had double date plans with RoseRunner and her husband, so I had to run home and get ready. We went to Umami Burger and I stuffed myself silly with a Hatch Burger, fries, and a pint of North Coast Scrimshaw. It was a delightful ending to a crazy (for me) day.

Thurs: 3/6.2. One of the worst runs I’ve had in a long time. I waited until the late afternoon to run, but it hadn’t cooled down all that much. Plus, my lack of sleep throughout the week and the burger dinner the night before probably didn’t help matters. Regardless of the reason(s), I could *not* get my breath under control, even when I slowed down to a snail’s pace. It took me 1:07 to run 6.2 miles. I didn’t dwell on the fact that I was hoping to run the same distance 13 minutes faster on Saturday. I credit my training and experience for the positive thinking — I’m beginning to know when certain runs are outliers and not to heed them too much as predictors of fitness.

Fri: Rest or cross-training/rest. In case yoga was the reason for my sore hamstrings last week, I didn’t want to risk it the day before the 10K. We did some light walking to and from the Oakland A’s game. They lost, but the fireworks were amazing! What was not amazing was getting home a little before midnight and facing only 6 hours of sleep.

Sat: 7 @ marathon pace/6.2 @ 10K pace + 1 mile warm-up/cool-down. Full race recap coming soon, but here are the stats:
52:51 (8:31/mile); 3/71 AG, 23/358 F, 80/520 overall
Yes, that’s an almost 4 minute PR. Needless to say, I was thrilled with this result. The icing on the cake: coming in 3rd in my age group and within the top 10% of all ladies.

Proudly showing off my medals.

Proudly showing off my medals (age group on left and race medal on right).

Sun: 10/10.06 with 1350′ elevation gain. I was tempted to make this run flat and easy, but since I haven’t done a real trail run in 2 weeks and knowing that I’m running a 25K trail race at the end of the month, I thought I’d better get some trail miles in, however slowly. I decided on two out-and-back sections of Redwood Regional that I thought were a bit flatter… however, my Garmin tells me that I ended up climbing over 1300 feet! I will take that with a grain of salt though, since my Garmin was a little erratic today, at least distance-wise. As predicted, it was a slow slog through all sorts of conditions — starting with wet fog and ending with just a peek of warm sun. I wore the heart rate monitor and aimed to keep my HR below 150 (moderate zone) to make sure I didn’t push too hard. This meant a lot of walking on the hills, which was more than fine with me.

One of my favorite "Zen spots" on the Stream Trail.

One of my favorite “Zen spots” on the Stream Trail.

Wrap-Up: 30 miles/30.26 total. Like I said at the beginning, I’m so happy and relieved to have made it through this past week. Also, I’ve just completed week 6, meaning that I’m 1/3 of the way through this training cycle. Woohoo! One realization I had after yesterday’s race was that I’m getting stronger and faster, even though I haven’t been doing any speed work. It’s reassuring to feel like I’m on the right track.

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About

Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

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Posted in MCM, Training
19 comments on “Marine Corps Marathon Week 6
  1. I’M SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!! A big congrats for getting 3rd and an extra medal! I guess hard work really does pay off….Fingers crossed about your interview! (p.s. what kind of interview takes 7 hours?)

    • Jen says:

      Thank you!

      My interview was 7+ hours because I’m applying for a position in a research lab. So I had to give a presentation on my past research, then talk to the boss (of course), HR, and a handful of other members of the lab. Lunch was also in there somewhere. Yeah, so it was quite intense!

  2. Cathryn says:

    Seriously impressed with the AG placing and the mileage. You’re on fire right now! I’m also curious – you’ve been quite open on social media about the job interview. Guessing it’s not a secret from your current employer? Or are you just feeling reckless? 🙂

    • Jen says:

      Haha. Yes, I’ve told my current boss about my job search. Plus I’m not connected to anyone from work on social media — except for one coworker who subscribes to my food blog, and she also knows I’m looking for a new job. It’s an unusual situation where I’m not working in the field that I’m trained in, so it was always a question of whether it’d be the right fit. I decided to tell my boss because he’s always been good to me and I know it would really hurt his feelings if I just showed up one day with a 2 week notice that I was leaving.

      • Cathryn says:

        Cool. I really liked my boss in the UK too so gave her as much notice about us moving to the US as possible. If you have a good relationship, it’s the least you can do. Hope you hear soon!!

  3. Mike says:

    En fuego! Great job Jen, a 4-minute improvement to your 10K PR is certainly something to crow about (and I hope you’ll do so in your race recap)… and another nifty Brazen age-group medal to boot. That’s cool that they now have the “AGE GROUP WINNER” backdrop for photos.

    A pat-yourself-on-the-back week overall, I can tell you’re getting stronger and faster with every post. I assume you informed your prospective boss that lab work will have to take a back seat to marathon training? Priorities, priorities…

  4. Sherry says:

    Big congratulations on that huge PR and AG placing! Your body on Thursday must have known about the race and to save itself for Saturday! You’ve worked so hard and 100% deserve it.
    I hope those great results continue for your job application too!

  5. Dominick S. says:

    Now that’s what I have been waiting to see! I knew you were faster than you gave yourself credit for…that pace is awesome! Congrats on the week, the PR, the AG and positive interview.

    PS – Man do I miss Redwood Regional. I use to run the West Ridge Trail when I use to visit. Sigh.

  6. BT says:

    HOLY BAD-ASS PR! Inspiring. Great Job.

  7. Hillary says:

    Love the race medal (and so envious of your AG medal)!!!!! You killed it this week — sending good vibes for both the job and the mileage ramp-up. On those weeks, Sunday is usually the hardest run for me to check off. By then, I’m like “SCREW RUNNING. WHERE’S MY COOKIE!? I WANT A COOKIE!”

  8. Amy says:

    OH MY GOD! That is so amazing! Congratulations on your age group award and awesome finish time! Good luck with the job offer! Though, yikes…hopefully the 2 hour daily commute was just for the interview and not the job?

    I know your are a scientist (based on your food blog title), but what is your field of study? (JUST KIDDING…I read your about me and your Leaving Academia post. Amazing what you can learn about people when you stalk them across multiple social media outlets! Hope this job works out because it sounds like this is what you want to be doing with your life!).

    • Jen says:

      Haha, thanks for stalking me, Amy. Unfortunately, the 2 hour commute would be part of the job, but it’s all by public transit so at least I can read, internet, etc. If I ride my bike and take the ferry, then it would “only” be 40 minutes each way. :/

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