Marine Corps Marathon Week 8

Another 40+ mile week in the books! I’m happy to report that this week felt easier than last week. I guess my body is adjusting to the mileage. 🙂 The only downside to this week was the weather — the cool morning fog has been replaced by hot sun. It’s what I call “2nd Summer” in the East Bay. This means I’ve got to either get up earlier or stop whining. Or maybe I’ll surprise us all and do both!

Here’s what happened this week (“planned” workout in green/“actual” in bold):

Monday: Rest or cross-training/rest.

Tues: 4/4. I stepped out on to the sidewalk to see sun instead of clouds/fog. All good things must come to an end, I guess. Slow and sloggy run.

Wed: 8/8. During this run, I realized how bored I’m getting with my usual route around Lake Merritt. Next week, I’ve got to change it up or else I’m going to go crazy. It doesn’t help that I’ve been running almost all of my miles very slowly. I know it’s good for me, but OMG IT’S SO BORING.

Thurs: 4/4. With a rest day on Friday, I thought it would be a good idea to add some speedier miles into the mix. I decided to do a mini-progression run with 1 mile warm-up, 1 mile medium effort, 1 mile faster, and 1 mile cool-down. And you know what I discovered? Running fast is FUN! I got a small endorphin rush afterwards.

Fri: Rest or cross-training/rest.

Sat: 8 @ marathon pace/8.5 trail miles with 2000′ elevation gain. Another scouting mission to explore the Skirt N Dirt route. The good news was that the stretch I ran, which is the last 4-5 miles of the race, was mostly downhill with just a few steep parts. The bad news is that I got lost and ended up on a really steep non-path that I think is a stream during the rainy season. Oops! Overall, it was a relief to know that the last part of the race won’t be as arduous as the middle portion that I ran last week. Oh, speaking of arduous… the elevation profile was finally posted! I would’ve guessed the overall elevation gain was going to be 3000+ feet, but it’s “only” 2900′.

Elevation profile for the Skirt N Dirt 25K

Elevation profile for the Skirt N Dirt 25K. Not for the faint of heart.

Luckily, I’ve got this kind of scenery to make the pain slightly more tolerable:

The view from Toyon Trail

The view from Toyon Trail

Beautiful single track on Golden Spike

Beautiful single track on Golden Spike

Sun: 17/17. Another group run with AL and DD, this time on the Bay Trail. I ran 3 miles solo to take advantage of the cooler temps before meeting up with the ladies for 11, then ran the last 3 by myself. It was a really steady effort overall, and I was happy to see some faster miles in the last section of the run. I felt tired at the end, but not as depleted as I was at the end of my 18-miler last year while training for CIM. I kept drawing parallels since I ran almost the same route and even picked up a friend (AW) for the middle 11 miles. (Though, to be fair, that 18 mile run was the week after running a half marathon PR and moving to a new apartment.) Anyway, the take home message is that I’m feeling pretty strong! AL, DD, and I celebrated our long run success with bagels from my favorite place in Berkeley.

Wrap-Up: 41 miles/41.5 total. I feel like a broken record, but: highest weekly mileage EVER!!! I wasn’t trying to be an overachiever — the extra 0.5 miles came from getting lost on the trails yesterday. No cross-training to speak of this week, but since I’ve got a cut-back week coming up, I hope to fit in some biking, yoga, and/or strength work.

On tap for next week: Cutting back down to 30 miles next week, but my Wednesday run is increasing from 8 to 9 miles. On Saturday, I’ve got an exciting trail run planned with Cathryn!


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
7 comments on “Marine Corps Marathon Week 8
  1. Amy says:

    Woooo eeee! Way to hit that mileage and get in all of your workouts! That Skirt/dirt race profile looks a bit intimidating, but also is making me crave mint chocolate chip ice cream?

    I always used to go back to school during the “second summer” and it would be downright miserable in our un-air-conditioned apartments.

  2. Dominick S. says:

    I may sound like a broken record…BUT IM GLAD I DIDNT CHOOSE THAT PROGRAM! The fact that you are running 2000 ft of elevation on Saturday before a 17 miler tells me that you are no longer human. GREAT JOB THIS WEEK!

  3. Congrats on your highest-mileage week!! That’s impressive. I almost always (really always) choose rest when a training plan gives that as a choice!

    • Jen says:

      Glad to know that I’m not the only one! It was definitely easier to cross-train when I had a gym membership and also when I lived closer.

  4. I love your trail run pictures – they really make me want to start taking that up. Congrats on conquering another 40 mile week! I’ll get there, slowly but surely.

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4/28/19: London Marathon

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