Philadelphia Marathon Training Weeks #8 and #9

Training! It’s been happening. Let’s recap before I forget all of it.

Hard to believe I’ve been marathon training for 9 weeks now. It feels like I’ve done nothing…but I suppose that’s not true. These next few weeks are going to include some hard workouts and high mileage before I taper down for three weeks. In a lot of ways I feel like I haven’t been doing the tough work I need/want to be doing, but when I look back I suppose things haven’t been too lackluster. There’s been progress, and I need to remember that.

Week #8 (9/22 – 9/28)

Monday: rest

Tuesday: 8 miles, or at least…this is what I think I did? Not a lot of recording happened this week

Wednesday: November Project workout (clovers) + run to and from, ~6.5 miles total

Advantage of shorty shorts: even the most height-deprived of us get to have the illusion of long legs

Advantage of shorty shorts: even the most height-deprived of us get to have the illusion of long legs

So. Hard. This is a workout that is always hard, but since the first time I did it…it’s become a little easier every time. Not today. Following my half-marathon the Sunday before, my legs were not happy during these 35 minutes of stair running.

Thursday: 9 miles

Friday: November Project workout + happy hour run, ~7 miles total

We played capture the flag for NP and it was SO fun. After work, some members reconvened for a little jogging followed by beers. Again, so fun.

Saturday: 6.5 miles, so slow

Sunday: 20 miles

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A friend is running the Denver Rock ‘n Roll full marathon in a few weeks and wanted to log her 20 mile run along the course. Julia and I joined her, and I’m still in shock at just how much better long runs are with friends. They go by so much faster, they’re so much less boring, and in a lot of ways I think they’re easier. This was a great run – my energy was high, my legs felt good, and it was followed by a great brunch.

Total= 57 miles, highest yet!

Week #9 (9/29 – 10/5)

Monday: rest

Tuesday: 9 miles + Core Power yoga class

Would you look at that…something new and exciting! After months of hating my gym and not lifting or really cross-training, it was time to do something that would help my running. Julia and I decided to try out a few yoga studios via newbie deals/Groupons and choose one we liked to stick with. This month is Core Power, and I’m digging it so far. A great combo of stretching, strength, and sweat, with just the right amount of “om” factored in.

Wednesday: November Project workout + run to/from, 6 miles total

High fives and hugs, natch

High fives and hugs, natch

Thursday: 9 miles w/ 5 mile tempo + 5 x 100 meter strides + Core Power yoga

I had very good intentions about doing 800s on this day, but when the track was pitch black my desire to be in the people-filled park changed my workout plan to a tempo run. Which, ultimately, is fine – as marathon training necessitates longer hard effort workouts rather than short intervals anyway, IMO. Anyway, I ran two laps of Wash Park (2.5 miles each) at a 7:30-7:40 pace, stopping twice briefly (once halfway through for a breather and once for a bathroom break…). Regardless, I was happy with the splits (avg. 7:35), although I wish this had felt a little easier. Finished off with some striders, which are always my favorite. More Core Power that night, more yoga love.

Friday: November Project workout + running pre and post, 7 miles total

Such a fun circuit, Friday NP workouts are the best!

Saturday: 14 miles w/ 8 miles at GMP

image (7)

I don’t really know what my goal marathon pace is yet, but as of late I’ve just been using my old goal pace for Eugene which was 7:50-8:00. That was my benchmark for when my speed was really clicking, so while it might be a little ambitious (/delusional) to use it as my default, I still find comfort in it. Anyway, I was in Portland for the weekend and didn’t want to spend 3 hours running super long, so I decided on a shorter long run with fast miles in the middle. Here’s what happened:

3 mile warm up, 8:09, 7:56, 7:43, 7:36, 7:41, 7:43, 7:28, 7:50, 3 mile cool down

Guess what? Running at sea level is the best. I ran almost solely on effort since I used a borrowed Garmin and couldn’t figure out how to change the display screen, which meant my paces didn’t show up until the end of each mile. Really pleased with this run; I felt controlled and it was just fun to run fast.

Sunday: ~5.5 miles of marathon “pacing”

I was so happy to get to watch my best friend Anna run her first marathon this weekend! Portland was my first marathon too, so being on the course from the other side brought back all kinds of happy memories. Anyway, we got to see her a handful of times in the first off, and then we plopped ourselves at mile 20 or so. Spectating is seriously so fun, especially when people have their names on their bibs like they do for PDX. Being at mile 20 was great too – because I always feel like that’s when I need a crowd booster.

SPOILER: she finished, like a boss.

SPOILER: she finished, like a boss.

Anyway, I hopped in with Anna (per her request) from miles 20-24, at which point she wanted to finish alone. In order to get back to the finish line to see her finish, I didn’t really have a choice but to run along the course until right around mile 26, where I scooted off. Want to feel like an asshole? Run past a bunch of marathoners when they’re on mile 24-26 on fresh legs that have only run a few miles. Seeing Anna finish was worth it though – she killed it, and there’s nothing like watching someone complete their first 26.2.

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Total = 50.5 miles

I was happy with training this past week, and I’m hoping to continue to see some fitness improvements over the next month before I have to taper! Here’s to the weeks ahead…

Happy Tuesday!



2 thoughts on “Philadelphia Marathon Training Weeks #8 and #9

  1. Marilyn

    Awesome training, lady! You are rocking it. Do you only take 1 day/week off?

    I went through the feeling that I wasn’t “doing enough” before Portland – but I think it was just because I am more used to running high mileage now, so it doesn’t feel like it is as big of a deal as past training cycles. Does that make sense?

    1. runbirdierun Post author

      Totally makes sense! I agree. I think I also just need a few more gut-busting workouts before I feel really “trained.”

      I typically only take 1 day off while training, but sometimes it’s more depending on how I’m feeling. I also take my “easy” days very seriously. 🙂


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