Marathon Motivation Monday – RACE WEEK

What happened to my Week 13 post? Working 12-17 hour days the past two weeks to make up for going to an out-of-state wedding is what happened, leaving no time for blogging (or grocery shopping, laundry, and adequate sleep). Lame, I know. Such is the life of a PhD student.

Now all of a sudden race week is here and I find myself feeling a mix of things physically and emotionally:

  • Sickly and exhausted vs. Antsy from the taper
  • Excited to tackle this race and become a marathoner vs. Glad that marathon training is coming to a close so that I can 1) spend more time in the weight room and 2) can run for pleasure and not just to check a box off my training plan.

Motivation/Goal for this final week:

Need to take the time to eat right and sleep enough so I can head out for the marathon feeling healthy and confident.

Motivation for Race Day:

“In the first half of the race don’t be an idiot. In the second half don’t be a wimp”

Now let’s recap the past two less than ideal weeks.

Week 12 Recap:

Sunday: 8 miles. Nope. Wedding wrap-up, visiting family, and traveling. Oh well, the run can wait! Other upsides? Coffee and a quick morning stroll while waiting for the send-off wedding brunch in NH.

This thing I am standing on is a “snow roller”. Horses used to pull it to pack down the snow before we had cars and plows!

The other big perk to being in New England? Reliving my childhood with some Dunkin Donuts Munchkins!

Monday: 5 miles. On a train for 13 hours and in a car the rest of my waking hours. I started to go a bit crazy from lack of exercise and actually ran up and down the train later in the night when virtually no one was left on it.

Tuesday: Ice Bath I had every intention of making up Sunday’s 8 miler, but arriving home after midnight on Monday and having to be at work by 7:30 am and not heading home again until 10pm meant I opted instead to make up Monday’s 5 miler. It was awful. Had some really bad calf cramps which I stopped to stretch out multiple times.

Wednesday: 10 minute warm-up, 3 miles at 100% effort, 10 minute cool-down. It was another long (14 hr) workday. Luckily the gym is open until midnight so I was able to get in there late for this run. TIME: 22:40 (7:34 pace). I think I briefly lifted legs too….maybe.

Thursday: Off. I wanted to make up Monday’s 8 miler but it was another ridiculous day (7:30 am – 12:00 am).

Friday: Yoga or Cross Training. Having no food in the house meant I sort of made up for Sunday’s 8 miler. I ran around town a bit before ending at Starbucks for breakfast + coffee and walking home. All in all a 60 minute run/walk. Then, I had an early evening yoga class booked, but I didn’t leave the office until it was already over so I missed out.

Saturday: 14-16 mile long run. I had signed up a while back to run the Virginia 10 Miler this morning. I wasn’t excited to go through with it after the week I had, but I did it anyway. I also made a “race plan”, something I have never done before. Usually I just go out and run, without putting forth more effort than I normally would or having a plan of attack. I need to make “race plans” more often as this was a great way to break up the race.

The plan: Run the first 5 miles at  just under a 9 minute pace. Run miles 6 and 7 at 8:50 pace. Run mile 8 at 8:45 pace. Run miles 9 and 10 at 8:30 pace.

Overall Goal: 88:00 minutes (1:28:00 on the watch).

Mission Accomplished: Official Time = 1:26:21 (8:34 pace)

Overall: 465/1,299; Gender: 94/551; Group: 19/86

To hit my schedule of running 14-16 miles that day I later took Oakley out for a 4 miler. We got to run some of it on the trail and I love how we both perk up a bit and just have fun once we are off the pavement!

Week 13 Recap:


Monday: 10 minute warm-up, 10 x (30 sec at 5K pace, 1 minute jog), 10 minute cool-down. This was another heinous day and the only reason I was even able to get this run in before 10 pm is because a group member pushed a 5pm meeting back until 6pm at the last-minute and there is a treadmill in the lab we were meeting in that I was able to jump on while I waited.

Tuesday: 3 miles and 4 x strides. I don’t really remember this run I was so tired. Pretty sure I squeezed it in during a ridiculous 7:30 am – 11 something pm day. Boo.

Wednesday: Lift legs (kind of) and massage. I called it quits early this day so I could get this massage and some sleep.

Thursday: Ended up being an off day. Was going to run but I started feeling sick and was just totally worn out. Ended up passing out by 8pm.

Friday: 40 minutes easy and 6x strides. Had a productive day and was feeling antsy to go run. Glad I got this one in. All the sleep the night before helped…

Saturday: 5 miles, easy and Yoga. Sickness made these a miserable 5 miles which saw me right back in bed and not in the office like I planned on. I later dragged myself to yoga and I kind of wish I hadn’t since I am now feeling the sickest I have so far. (Don’t worry, the MD has since hooked me up with some meds to help me get back to normal!)

HELP! I need your “get healthy quickly” plans so I can take on this marathon at the end of the week!

Any last-minute marathon advice for me? I would greatly appreciate it!



11 thoughts on “Marathon Motivation Monday – RACE WEEK

  1. Samantha says:

    I will often try and punch a cold through with water and tea…oh, and acupuncture. I will fully admit that if I am in a situation in which I need to breath or forget my illness for a few hours I go for the cold medication. I pay for them later, but have absolutely done them to get through situations that I have to.

    I hope you get some more sleep leading up to race day, I know that is hard in a busy life. Take care of yourself and good luck!

  2. caddyslims says:

    Just wanted to say good luck with your Marathon. I am training for a 5k which is teeny by comparison, but your posts have proper helped to inspire. As we say over here in Yorkshire, England ‘Chin up lass’ Take care, look after yourself and GOOD LUCK!

  3. Heather C says:

    Ah, the last week is so tough! Trust your training, through and through. Don’t let doubt sink in; make your goals and stick to ’em! Also, relax. Do the obvious things – sleep, eat well, stay off your feet (as much as possible), run easy and start getting your mind in the game. 😉

  4. David H. says:

    Race plans are definitely a good thing to have, although for the 10 miler it’s nearly impossible to settle in to anything. Nice job out there, and have fun this weekend!

    • Diana says:

      The tip you’ll hear about not eating annyhitg out of the ordinary right before the marathon is TRUE, TRUE, TRUE!!! I just completed my second 26.2 had to stop twice because I ate something spicy the night before that did not agree with me during those miles! It really hurt my goal time. All that training I bombed. At least I finished, and I will NEVER break that cardinal rule again! Have fun during your 26.2 see it as a celebration run after all that training! You’ll feel your nerves, but focus on the enjoyment of the experience. It’s amazing!

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