Marine Corps Marathon Week 17 (1 week out!)

Only 6 days to go until MCM!!! This past week was a real doozy – the race almost got canceled, I had many more servings of alcohol and sweets than intended (I blame it on my birthday and on the race cancellation drama), and I came down with a head cold. Taper doubts also started creeping in – but more on that later. At least the running went ok! Here’s how week 2 of MCM taper went (“planned” workout in green/“actual” in bold):

Monday: Rest or cross-training/rest. My birthday! My coworker treated me to lunch and then I treated myself to a present from the book store.


A very appropriate fortune in the midst of taper.


One of the most intense cover photos I've ever seen...

One of the most intense cover photos I’ve ever seen.

Tues: 4/4. Shortest run in a long time! So this is what taper feels like…

Wed: 6/6.2 miles tempo. I went into this workout with the possible cancellation of the MCM looming over my head. As I ran, I became grateful for the great experience I’ve had training for this marathon. When I got back, I got the good news from DD that there was a deal underway to reopen the government. MCM was back on! Woohoo!

Thurs: 4/4. Easy/moderate run. Woke up with the cold that the Gypsy Runner had a few days earlier. BOO.

Fri: Rest or cross-training/easy walking. About 3 miles of leisurely walking to and from a belated birthday dinner.

Sat: 8/8 miles with the last 4 at or below marathon pace (MP). Met up with KP, DD, and AL for 8 miles on the Lafayette Moraga Trail (paved). My plan was to run 6 miles easy and 2 miles at MP (9:30/mile). I wasn’t sure how this would go, since I had a cold and my legs didn’t seem to be bouncing back with energy during taper as I had expected. After 4 miles of slight uphill, we turned around and headed back. Before I knew it, KP and I were running at or below marathon pace, all while easily maintaining conversation. That felt awesome and was a huge confidence boost. My splits: 10:35, 10:09, 10:06, 10:14, 9:36, 9:23, 9:19, 9:15. Afterwards, we stretched and chatted. What a great way to finish the last long-ish workout of the training cycle! I had a runner’s high for the rest of the day.

Sun: 4 @ MP/4 @ 9:31/mile (average). My goal was to simulate the race in 4 parts: 1 mile warm-up, 1 mile at moderate effort, 1 mile at moderate hard, 1 mile at hard. My splits: 9:52, 9:40, 9:31, 9:04. The middle two miles felt a little harder than I would have liked, but I consoled myself with the fact that it will be much cooler on race day, and hopefully my runny nose will be gone by then! Oh, and I won’t have run 8 miles the day before. 🙂

Wrap-Up: 26 miles/26.2 total <–like, WOAH. Coincidence? I think not.
As I mentioned above, this week has been a real roller coaster, emotionally and physically. Early in the week, my confidence was dwindling as taper doubt started creeping in. The usual, “What if I didn’t train well enough? What if I lose all my fitness by race day?” filled my head. Those thoughts were temporarily displaced by the possible race cancellation, followed by gratitude that MCM was actually going to happen. The 2 runs I had over the weekend sent my confidence soaring and made me really excited about racing. This week is all about getting my mind right for race day and visualizing success. So, so excited for MCM!!

p.s. Here’s a great motivational video that MCM made. Enjoy!


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
14 comments on “Marine Corps Marathon Week 17 (1 week out!)
  1. Sherry says:

    Great you are feeling so good one week out! (Well apart from the head cold, but just as well you have that bad bit over and done with and it didn’t happen in the final week.) Hope the good vibes continue right through to your marathon finish!
    PS went for a run in my new Surge in the weekend – love it!

    • Jen says:

      Thank you Sherry! I agree with you about the cold — better to get it over with now than deal with it later. Since I most likely caught it from my boyfriend, I’m using him as a timeline to see how my cold will progress. He’s almost symptom-free, minus a bit of coughing, so it’s looking good!

      Glad you liked the Surge. It’s a great pack!

  2. Dominick S. says:

    Get out of your own head! You are ready and that fortune cookie is SPOT ON! So excited for you, heal up, rest up and step up! EXCLAMATION POINTS ABOUND!!!!!!!

    PS – That MCM video is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!! (<—–MORE !!!!!!!!!)

  3. Kira says:

    Wow, one more week. So exciting!!!!!! We’ll be thinking about you and rooting for you. Kick ass!!!!!!!

  4. Cathryn says:

    So excited for you. And that video is amazing – made me want to run it myself!

  5. Good luck! BTW, love your blog name – Running Tangents.

  6. Ahhhh less than a week! Thanks for posting that video – my confidence needed a little boost! See you Saturday!

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4/28/19: London Marathon

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