Wednesday, July 6, 2011

17 Weeks of Semper Fi

With the first step of a humid, mid-tempo, fairly unremarkable 10 mile run on Sunday, my training for the Marine Corps Marathon is officially underway.  I am so looking forward to both the race itself and the many weeks of training.  With so many stressful variables swirling around in my life right now, running is one of the few things where I feel I am in control.  Injuries may come along that knock me down for a bit, but I make the plan, I execute against the plan, and I drag myself across the start and finish lines on October 30th.
I am definitely in better shape going into this training plan that I have been for the prior two marathons.  I put together a 19-week base-building plan, and with the exception of one week of no-running to deal with an ankle issue, I stuck to the plan.  I completed 379.29 out of 407 planned miles, and kept up with upper-body lifting 3x weekly, and lifting legs (mostly) weekly.  Most of my nagging injuries (calf, hip, ITBand) have gone into hiding, but I am dealing with some recurrent soreness/tightness with my left groin that I’m monitoring.  Not any true pain, but it’s letting me know that it is not entirely happy.

As for the next 17 weeks, the key will be finding the intersection of what I know I need to do and what I actually put into practice.  For example, I know I need to x-train, particularly with some bike training to hit my quads where running doesn’t seem to do much work for me.  However, I’m doing a lousy job of this so far.  Bad runner …. bad.  I know I need to hit the gym and include core work, and I’ve been really good about doing this as much as 3x a week so far.

Other ‘need to do’ items:
  • Need to stretch – before and after runs, and on non-running days
  • Need to ice bath after any run longer than a half-marathon
  • Need to drop 5 pounds – gotta get more lean – cut down on amount of weight when lifting (and amount of food when eating)
  • Need to include more speedwork in my mid-week runs – this was a big positive training for M2
  • Need to slow my pace on my long runs
  • Need to stay diligent about mid-foot strike form at all speeds
  • Need to work more hills into my collection of running paths
  • Need to do more long runs without my iPod – no earphones allowed at MCM – pretty sure Marine snipers take you out if you get caught
  • Need to continue fine-tuning my hydration/fuel plan – didn’t execute on this terribly well in my last marathon and my stomach wasn’t pleased with me by the end of the race
  • Need to sign up for some races between now and MCM – 5k, 10k, Half … something
  • Need to get more sleep – I’m very bad about doing this, and I know I need to get better.  Find myself dragging by Thursday afternoon after consecutive days of 5AM runs.

The list goes on and on.  I’m pretty good about most of these things, and I’m pretty good about knowing what I need to do.  It’s all about the execution.

In other news, following the great success of the ‘Sweat Your Thorns Off’ 5k (and the great comments I got – all of which are greatly appreciated), my son and I will be running a real-life 5k this Saturday morning.  We went and got matching C9 Technical shirts at Target last weekend, and he’s been ‘training’ all week.  I don’t think any course records are in jeopardy, but it should be a lot of fun.


  1. sounds like youre on the right track to a successful marathon with a strong plan! im rootin' for ya! im "supposed" to start marathon training in a few weeks, but worried about my base...or lack thereof.

  2. Great to hear you've started training. Hopefully the base you've built-up will serve you well and those injuries will stay in hiding where they belong!

  3. I "need to do" a lot of your "need to dos" as well.

    So glad to hear you and your son are doing that race together! Good luck at the real life 5K! Be sure to share some pics! Your little boy is adorable!

  4. Good luck on the upcoming 5k and wow o wow, you got this training thing nailed....well, once you incorporate all those need-tos!! :)

  5. I need to print your "need to" list and read it every day because it's crazy how many of those same things apply to me. Except the ipod thing. Screw that. If I can't run with my ipod I ain't running. I've tried to do it a couple of times before, and I hated it.

  6. That's quite a long 'need to' list.

    Great news about the upcoming 'real life' 5K with your son. Fun times!

  7. My running buddy and I are also training for the MCM.. it's getting close, isn't it? Are you finding it tough with the heat and humidity we've had lately?

  8. Just a few unqualified comments...

    I am in my marathon full training cycle and probably won't do any cross training.

    Instead of going to the gym to do just core, maybe do a little bit after every run. 5 - 10 minutes.

    Wear your ipod. You don't need to train without it. It'll make your training better. I always run with my ipod and have never run a race with one.

  9. My husband ran the MCM last year and he loved it. Good luck to you! As I train for my first half marathon (the Outer Banks Half in Nov) I'll be reading your past entries for tips, motivation, and comic relief! Happy trails!

  10. That's awesome that you are going to run a race with your son! So cool!

  11. I'm in week two of marathon training, you and I are in the exact same training boat.

    I love ice baths, they hurt so good.