Marine Corps Marathon Week 11

There were 50 miles on tap for this week. 50 miles!! I have to admit to being overwhelmed and a bit scared when I first saw three 50-mile weeks on the schedule. Not only was the total mileage daunting, but the idea of running 30 miles over the weekend made me hyperventilate a little. However, as this training cycle progressed, I became more confident that I would be able to take on this first 50 mile week. And guess what? I did it — I ran all 50 miles! And I’m not dead! Hooray!

Here’s the tale of those 50 miles (“planned” workout in green/“actual” in bold):

Monday: Rest or cross-training/rest. Actually, I did lug over 60 lbs. of IKEA furniture and 15 lbs. of groceries up 2 flights of stairs. Good thing I had fueled properly with a breakfast at Saul’s in Berkeley.

The "Leo" at Saul's: smoked salmon, onions, and eggs with a bagel and cream cheese. With home fries, of course.

The “Leo” at Saul’s: smoked salmon, onions, and eggs with a bagel and cream cheese. With home fries, of course.

Tues: 5/5. One of the better Tuesday runs in recent memory. It helped that I had a new audiobook to keep me company — Farm City by Novella Carpenter. Even though I found it only mildly interesting, it made the time fly by.

Wed: 10/10. A return to intervals! I figured that it was time for me to start working on speed work again, so I set out to run sets of 800 m with 400 m rest intervals. I had hoped that I could do 10, thereby completing a set of Yasso 800’s, but I also knew that my speed was rusty, so the plan was to reassess after a few sets. Good thing too, because after about 3-4 sets, I knew I didn’t have it in me to do 10. So I did 6 sets and ran the remaining 4 at a slight up-tempo (not all out effort). My 800 m splits: 4:16, 4:13, 4:03, 4:09, 4:06, 4:15. Average: 4:10

This was about the same as the 6 x 800’s I ran 2 months ago. I’d say at this point, my endurance is good, but I need to work on my speed.

Thurs: 5/5. Considering that I was coming off of 15 miles on Tues/Wed (with one speed session), that I drank more than 2 glasses of wine Wed night, and that I had not been sleeping well all week, I felt pretty strong on this run. My average heart rate was 126 – much lower than it has been previously for the same pace range. I wonder if I’m finally adapting. Maybe I’ll do another HR test next week.

Fri: Rest or cross-training/rest.

Sat: 10/10 trail miles with 1100′ elevation gain. I attempted to coordinate runs with various friends, but ended up doing these 10 miles solo. It was HOT, but luckily most of the trails were shaded. I also started listening to a new audiobook – How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran, which is hilarious. I think I first heard about this book on Angela’s blog – so thanks for the recommendation, Angela! It was a pretty uneventful run except for a slow-motion tumble around mile 8.5. I didn’t notice until half a mile later that I gashed my ankle pretty bad. It’s tender, but nothing serious, thank goodness!

My battle wound peeking up out of my sock.

My battle wound peeking up out of my sock. Trail 1, Jen 0.

Sun: 20/20. Because it was so hot on Saturday, I set out early, hoping to beat the heat. I was fortunate to have cool, cloudy conditions through ~15 miles. At about 14.5 miles, I ran into Jane, a new Twitter friend, and we ran together and chatted for 2+ miles. It was a great run all around – my body didn’t voice any big complaints and I didn’t feel like I was going to die at the end (always a plus!), though my HR did creep up in the last couple of miles. The only downside was when I got home to discover several areas of painful chafing, which has plagued me a lot more this training cycle than for CIM. Boo.

We celebrated my run and the completion of the 50 mile week with the best chicken sandwich ever (not an exaggeration).

Get in my belly!

Get in my belly!

Wrap-Up: 50 miles/50 total. To say that I’m satisfied and happy with this week’s workouts is a huge understatement. It’s not the first time I’ve said this during this training cycle, but it will be the last: this was my biggest weekly mileage EVER. I’m feeling a little sore and tired right now, and it will be interesting to see if/what new “sensations” set in in the following days.

On tap next week: Cut-back week! Oh, and I’m running a half marathon on Saturday. NBD.


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, Trail running, Training
17 comments on “Marine Corps Marathon Week 11
  1. Mike says:

    50 miles! I think that somewhere, a running angel just got its wings. Congrats on an awesome milestone week… you deserve every self-administered pat on the back, and I trust Tim’s contributed a few as well. Even better, them weren’t 50 long slow miles on paved sidewalks… throw in a day of speedwork, a day on legit trails, and that’s a week you should really be proud of. The 10/20 weekends in particular can be rough, but sounds like you handled it with aplomb and good humor. Enjoy your hard-earned Monday of rest! Ah, beautiful restful Mondays…

    • Jen says:

      Thanks Mike, especially for pointing out all of the things that would’ve made it sound like bragging if I had said them myself. (BTW, the check’s in the mail. Haha.)

  2. JS says:

    I may not join you for the run, but I can join you for the food! 🙂

  3. Ok first of all, that breakfast looks ridonkulous. Or maybe that’s just my rungry talking – no telling. Either way, congrats on the big 5-0! And even more so for chugging along with a bum ankle. Which half are you doing??

    • Jen says:

      The breakfast was ridonkulous and SO amazing. I was stuffed – couldn’t even finish the home fries – and drove home with my pants unbuttoned. Yes, I’m just that classy.

      I’m running a small, local “trail” half marathon called Zoom Point Pinole. Trail is in quotes because it’s pretty flat and half of the course is paved. I’m hoping for a PR, but we shall see.

  4. Kira says:

    Wow, 30 miles in 2 days! I am really impressed. Sounds like a great milestone week for you.

  5. vttrailgirl says:

    Ouchy on the ankle. Yummy on the omelette! Nice work on the mileage.

  6. Cathryn says:

    That is a massive elevation gain – you’re doing so well. I’m sure the trail runs, whilst tough, are really good for you both in terms of core and softness on joints and primarily on your soul!!! Not many more weeks till taper, surely. 2?

    • Jen says:

      Actually, it’s the least elevation gain I’ve done in weeks, but a lot for a hot day and on a 30 mile weekend, that’s for sure! I’m counting on the trail running for strength and core work since I’ve been so lazy on both fronts this whole cycle. I still have 4 more weeks (and 2 more 50 mile weeks) before I get to taper, but I’m already excited about it!

  7. Dominick S. says:

    That ankle gash looks way worse than you’re describing. I can’t believe you ran 10 miles on a Wednesday, can you! Argh, glad I stuck with my program, you’re nuts. Great job on the weekend runs and the entire week!

    Where is that sandwich from? Have you ever had the chicken sandwich at Bakesale Betty?

    • Jen says:

      Yes, I am nuts! Fortunately, I’ve got a very flexible work schedule, otherwise there is very little chance I could keep up with the midweek long run. I’d probably have to break it down into doubles instead of a one-time deal.

      The sandwich is from The Prime Spot on Grand Ave in Oakland. It’s known for its prime rib (hence the name), but their chicken sandwiches are out of this world! Yes, I’ve had the Bakesale Betty chicken sandwich many times too. While BB is really good — esp the slaw — I swear there is something really addicting about the one from PS. It helps that it’s cooked to order and comes really hot, fresh from the fryer, unlike BB which has been sitting around for a while.

  8. 50 miles is AMAZING!!! GREAT JOB. The wound looks painful but I’d be a little proud of it. LOL

    • Jen says:

      Thanks Jan! Yeah, it was painful, and still is a bit tender, actually. I will be proud of it when it starts hurting (or when I stop being a baby about it — haha).

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