Marine Corps Marathon Week 14

I feel like I’ve entered an alternate reality where 50-mile weeks are the new normal and a 34-mile cutback weeks are no biggie. (For perspective, my highest mileage week for CIM was 34.4 miles and that was race week.) What in the world is going on here? Who am I? Have I been replaced by a robot or an alien?

Seriously though, it’s amazing how much my perspective has changed and how much my body has adapted during this training cycle. Marathon training is much easier the second time around – at least it has been for me. For one thing, I don’t doubt that I can go the distance on race day, since I’ve done it once before. For another, I’ve got my long run routine down to a science, from pre-run prep to post-run refueling. One of the biggest differences between last year versus this year is my ability to bounce back after long runs. Last year, I remember struggling mightily with the last couple of miles of every long run and collapsing into a heap for a 2-3 hour nap afterwards. This year, I’ve felt pretty good after most of my long runs and if I take a nap, it’s 30-60 minutes max. I’m not trying to brag — I’m genuinely astounded by the changes to my physiology and psychology. It’s pretty cool, you know?

Here’s what I did this week in marathon training (“planned” workout in green/“actual” in bold):

Monday: Rest or cross-training/rest.

Tues: 5/5. Easy, no Garmin run. I ran into a friend whom I haven’t seen in a while, so it was nice to catch up with her. Later that morning, I picked up my marathon shoes from the post office. I shall call them: Black Dynamite!


Merrell Pace Gloves (pair #3)

Wed: 6/6.2 miles fartlek (10 x 1 min intervals). These were all over the place because my legs were tired and also because I ran into Roserunner on the 1st rest interval. We ran together for a couple of minutes to chat… well, I should say that she jogged while I ran because of the difference in our running paces. Having run a rest interval at 90 seconds/mile faster than usual resulted in wonky splits for my next 2-3 intervals. Anyway, it didn’t really matter because after my run, the Gypsy Runner and I were off to Mendocino to celebrate our 3rd anniversary! Woohoo!

Thurs: 5/5.5 mile run/hike. What better way to celebrate our anniversary than by running and hiking through scenic Van Damme State Park? We took the same trail 2.5 years ago when we were in Mendocino for a weekend getaway, so it was fun to revisit this beautiful and lush park.

Trail running with the Gypsy Runner. <3

Trail running with the Gypsy Runner, one of my favorite things.

Fri: Rest or cross-training/rest. Walked around the Mendocino Headlands, probably ~3 miles total.

Mendocino Headlands.

Mendocino Headlands. Not too shabby, eh?

Sat: 6/6.1 @ 9:37 pace. This wasn’t supposed to be a marathon-pace run, but I was crunched for time so I decided to make the most of it. I started off a little too quickly (9:19/mile pace), ran into a stomach issue, and eventually calmed down for the remainder of the run. Not my best, but not too bad either.

Sun: 12/10 trail miles with ~850′ elevation gain. Met up with KP at Lake Chabot for some easy-ish trail miles. KP is running the Dick Collins Firetrails 50 Mile Race in 2 weeks, and I’m pacing her for the last 13 mile stretch! We discussed pacing strategies and caught up on life in general. It was a lot of fun and I wasn’t stressed out about pace or mileage.

Wrap-Up: 34 miles/32.6 total. I came up short by 1.4 miles this week, but I’m not worried about it. The Mendocino getaway was just what I needed to recover from the last 13 weeks of training and reset/refocus for the next 4. I’m looking forward to my last 50-mile week and then: TAPER! 


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
8 comments on “Marine Corps Marathon Week 14
  1. Dominick S. says:

    I agree, definitely astounded about the way my body and mind are handling marathon training this time around. Great week. Happy Anniversary and good luck this week on your last long run!

  2. Mike says:

    Sounds like someone’s addicted to that weekly 50-mile rush! I’ll be eager to see how your longer, stronger training regimen translates at MCM… weather permitting, you’re going to (wo)manhandle that course. And if the government is still shut down come Oct. 27, will it be a “Furloughed Marine” Corps Marathon?

    Ah, gotta love the smell of new shoes in the morning… I’ve slowly come to accept that a major reason I run is so I can justify owning {mumble mumble} pairs of running shoes.

    And I know you’ve said “never,” but 50-mile training weeks + trail connoisseur = soon-to-be ultramarathoner! Why fight it, we both know it’s a matter of time…

    • Jen says:

      Uh, addicted is probably too strong of a word. 50 mile weeks are still pretty tough, but I definitely think it will be easier to keep my weekly base at 30-35 miles post-MCM (versus the 20-25 that I was averaging before). I really hope this training translates to a big PR at MCM (weather and government shutdown permitting) — otherwise I’ll just switch to the Kira 3-week marathon training program!

      Did I say “never” re: ultras? I don’t remember such a thing. 😉 I can envision a 50K in my future… just not Mt. Diablo like some other crazy person I know…

  3. Black dynamite’s are looking snazzy! Also, I really hope you know how lucky you are to have the views you do while running/hiking. Freakin’ stunning.

    I want to say that I agree with you, following a 50 mile week, the shorter distances seem like a piece of cake – and then I went out for an easy 5 miler today and choked. One of my worst runs ever. I stopped at 4. Goes to show…


    • Jen says:

      Thank you! And yes, thanks for the reminder about feeling lucky about the scenery around these parts.

      I totally relate to choking on shorter runs. I had a HORRIBLE 12-mile run last year — I forgot my music, my water bottle, and my fuel, and then had GI problems on top of that! I learned my lesson to *never* underestimate a run after that. Sorry to hear about your bad run today!

  4. Cathryn says:

    Love the Mendocino trail…it looks amazing! Excited for your friend as well with her ultra!!

    • Jen says:

      Yeah, I’m really excited about being a pacer and (hopefully) cheering KP on as she crosses the finish line for her first 50-miler! As soon as she recovers, I’ll hit her up to guest blog. 😉

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