St. George Marathon Training - Weeks #7 & 8 and a Race!

So the good thing about having a lot of time to train for marathon is you can build up a pretty good base and work your way up to a 50+ miles per week. The bad thing about having a lot of time to train for a marathon is you get to week 8 and you still have 13 weeks of training and five 20-milers left. Ugh.

But for the most part, the 8 weeks have been relatively uneventful and have gone by quickly. The shitty thing about the rest of this plan is that starting in week 10, the shortest midweek runs are 9-10 miles. This makes it nearly impossible to do at lunch and still be able to get home to feed the baby. So I'll probably be splitting one of the days into a two-a-day scenario (run part at lunch and the rest at night on the treadmill or outside). The other one, well, I am going to be taking PTO so I can run them during the workday while Elise is being watched my parents. 

Yes, this is how serious I am about making the BQ happen. I'm using PTO for training.

SmartCoach: Week 7 & 8

Week 7: 39 miles


8 miles @ 8:51

Lunch run which means that I regularly sweat my ass off and do lots of rolling hill climbing, usually 900-1000 feet. I had to run a smidge into a trail to get to 4 miles, but then I sort of freaked a bit that I would get attacked or something and turned around .15 miles into the bike trail. Then I saw a runner and two coworkers on mountain bikes on my way out! Later when I asked them about the trail, they said it was usually empty. So my instincts were probably accurate and that was the last time I got on that trail.

Thursday: Tempo

7 miles @ 8:19

Tempo on the treadmill at work - fairly uneventful. I no longer bother with the incline because I find that my achilles and calves get cranky when I run at even .5% for longer than a couple minutes. So I usually end up running a bit faster to make up for the fact that the treadmill on 0% is easier than road. And, really, for me speedwork is like extra bonus. I ran my fastest times at all distances when I was just piling on long slow mileage for 50K training.


8 miles @ 8:43

I was blessed with good weather. Humid, but the temps were in the low 70s and it was overcast. And that is clearly reflected in the pace of this run. It actually felt really easy to run 8 miles at that pace - my indicator on if I am pushing to hard is if I am getting close to the point where I need to start breathing through my mouth to maintain pace. This holds true even on hill climbs. If I am getting the the point where I start mouth breathing, then I take it back a notch until my breathing slows down.

Sunday: Long Run

16 miles @ 8:53

My main running squeeze met me down in my hood early (6:45am) and we knocked out 16 miles. In mile 1 a gazelle-like creature floated towards us on the grass in Mission Bay park and we realized it was Meb! Nicole then tweeted him later if that was him and he replied yes! 

Sometimes I really do love my new neighborhood for more than the improved commute.

Week 8: 30-ish miles

Back down week which coincided with a company holiday week wherein we were shutdown and paid anyway. It was awesome. It also meant I was running miles with the stroller. 

Elise is 6.5 months now and I figured she was ready to go in the BOB without the car seat. I bought a u-shaped padded headrest from Target for $11 since the stroller doesn't come with that part and really doesn't need to. I'm not even sure she needs it to get honest, I just figured if fell asleep it might be nice for her to have a place to rest her head.

As it turns out, I think she was ready to be without the car seat for a while. Probably since 4 months. She's been standing upright with very good head control since well before 3 months. I actually don't even remember when. I just know that at her baptism, The Husband was holding her arms and she was standing on the counter blabbing and screeching away at 3 months. And this wasn't anything new.

Running without the carseat attachment is like night and day. So much easier to maneuver. So much lighter. It was a pleasure! The only part that was worse was running into wind. It was like pushing a parachute and I was literally huffing and puffing to finish my five miler on flat ground.


8 miles @ 9:00 pace

Pushed Elise around Mission Bay - temps were great and very little wind!


5 miles @ 9:01

Pushed Elise again around the bay but the second half was into the wind and by the end I was pretty miserable and out of breath! Damn you, Wind!

I cut this run short and ran a day early because I was registered to run Scripps Ranch Old Pros 10K on the 4th and I wanted a rest day and fresher legs.

Friday: 10k Race

Racing has become quite infrequent just because it's a major hassle. If it's not right down the street, I have to take the pump with me, and then pump in the car. Super awkward, more so physically than socially at this point. I've gotten over people seeing me with the cover, pumping away. Or nursing away if baby is with me.

This one was 20 minutes away and big enough that parking is a bit of a pain so I had to leave early. I still got screwed with the parking because effing JROTC dude kicked me out of the spot at Vons (I wonder if they paid him or if it was volunteer work. Anyway.) though there was nothing blocking it when I parked in the first place (and others had too). I just got screwed because I had to pump and was still sitting there when the "rent an officer" showed up. Fun times. Had to find another spot ASAP on the street because the valid spots in the lot were full. I was pissed and vowed not to shop at that specific Vons.


I jogged half mile or so to the start. I used the portajohns and had about 4 minutes to get behind the start line. No corrals so I was weaving like crazy.

This race is the home of my current 10K PR of 45:41 (7:19 pace). Two years back I had a much stronger base and it was also overcast and cooler. 2014's conditions were around 75 degrees with some humidity and sun.

First mile was 7:53. After that, the miles went 7:36,  7:32, 7:40, 7:41, 7:24, and 1:28 to finish (6:50 pace). I was afraid to start pushing the pace to early, but I think I probably waited a bit too long. I didn't really try picking it up until I was into the 6th mile. As you can see, my pace at the end was significatly faster than the rest of the race. I finished 47:16, average pace 7:37

Overall I'm pleased because I am not very far off from my previous PR. Given the conditions, I think I would have run somewhere around 46:00 in 2012 shape. So I'm somewhere around 1 minute and change off. I'll take it.


10 miles @ 9:19 pace

I tacked on 2 miles to make up for the 3 miles I cut out on Wednesday. I ran the pain in the ass hill - the 270 feet of climbing in .75 miles. I hate that hill. It was also hot and humid (like 70%+ humidity which is very uncharacteristic of San Diego). It was one of the most disgusting runs I've ever done from a sweat perspective, and it's reflected in my pace - the slowest long run of the cycle even though it was the shortest.

Other Stuff

I'm going to attempt another race on August 3rd. It's a ridiculously hilly course in Balboa Park with quite a bit of trail running, but it's cheap and it'll be good training. I ran it once in 2011 or 2010 - can't remember which year. I'm not looking forward to the ass kicking but at least I'll get to wear my trail shoes.


  1. Your training is going great! I wish I could get some runs in during the day at work so I could just go home and relax. I put in for St.George too but did not get in. I am considering doing Long Beach in October.

  2. You are badass pushing the stroller and running that far! Congrats on the race!


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