Marine Corps Marathon Training – Week 17

This is my last training recap before the big day! This past week of training began my taper with the Hansons Marathon Method.

Monday- Since I had the day off for Columbus Day, I thought about going somewhere to go trail running (maybe Hungry Mother State Park). But then it was cold and rainy most of the day. I was still getting over my sinus infection and I had already spent the previous day running for over 2 hours in the cold rain.

So I hung out with Sven for an easy 7 miles while watching TV coverage of the World Gymnastics Championships (the U.S. women’s team took gold and the men’s team earned bronze!).

Tuesday- 6 x 1 mile with 400m recovery, for 10 miles total. This was my final strength workout for training! I was going to have a long work day on Friday, so I got off work early on Tuesday and was able to do this run at Bisset Park in the early afternoon. It was lucky, too, because we had strong storms and tornado warnings that evening that would have forced me to do this workout on the treadmill.

Bisset Park Radford

Pretty much had the place to myself

I was feeling a bit off and just not that into this workout, which is odd for me because these interval workouts have been my favorite throughout training. But it was the last one, so I just focused on each mile and got it done. My goal for the mile repeats was 10:08 and my splits were: 10:01, 9:54, 9:59, 10:04, 9:52, and 10:03. I also forgot to bring any fuel with me, so I only had water during this run. Typically I have one gel about halfway through these longer workouts.

Bisset Park Radford

I had some nice views of all of the changing leaves along the river as I ran. I also had to be careful during my run because it was pretty windy. In addition to leaves falling off of those trees, there were walnuts (still inside their green husks, about the size of a tennis ball) falling like bombs from the trees. I was really lucky not to get hit in the head by any of them, but I spent portions of my run with my hands over my head for extra protection. Some of them were falling so fast that the husks were busting open when they hit the ground!

Wednesday- It was a gorgeous fall day outside, if not a bit unseasonably warm when I got home from work. But I was having one of those days, where you just don’t feel like going anywhere or being around anyone by the time you make it to the post-work portion of your day. I can’t be the only one who has days like that, can I?

Despite the gorgeous weather and the changing leaves, I hung out in the basement with Sven and reruns of 19 Kids & Counting (my show lately, for some reason) for an easy 6 miles.

Wednesdays are usually my rest days, but I moved Friday’s easy run to Wednesday this week because of my upcoming long workday.

Thursday- 10 mile tempo run for 12 miles total. I did this run on the treadmill because it was pouring rain when I got home from work and it was going to be well after dark when I finished running. On a side note, I’m glad I picked a late October marathon. It’s just now getting dark enough early enough that it gets hard to fit in these longer runs after work. Perfect timing.

The middle 10 miles were meant to be done at marathon pace (10:18/mile) and I ended up averaging 10:15/mile. I felt pretty good throughout the entire run. I watched Remember The Titans while I ran. Such a great movie with a great soundtrack. It was my way of pregamming before watching the Hokies play Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, I think the Hokies offense forgot to get on the bus before they drove up to Pitt. It was a rough game.

This tempo run was my final workout of training. From here on out it’s all easy running before the big day.

Friday- Rest day. As I already mentioned, I had a 15 hour work day that started at 4:00 AM. A run was just not going to happen before that. Which is why I planned ahead and did my Friday easy run on Wednesday. I got home a little after 7:00 PM and was in bed by 8:45 πŸ™‚

Saturday- Easy 6 miles on the lake loop trail around Hungry Mother State Park. It was definitely worth the drive (about an hour) to run trails at Hungry Mother because the leaves were beautiful! I was worried if I waited until after Marine Corps, most of the leaves would have fallen off of the trees.

Hungry Mother State Park

There were already a lot of leaves on the trail, so I was extra cautious not to roll an ankle on the hidden rocks and roots. Nevertheless, it felt great to be back in my trail shoes again!

trail running

I took a lot of trail pictures during this run. I’m planning on sharing the rest of them later this week!

Sunday- Met up with Kim for 8 miles easy on the Dora and New River Trails. It was a very chilly morning. The temp’s were only in the low 40’s, but it felt like mid-30’s with the wind. For the first time in a long time I ran in capris, which felt weird.

Dora Trail Pulaski

Those are clouds in the background – not Blue Ridge Mountains.

The clouds were very ominous looking during our run, but we never got rained on. The sun made them look really dark. This was my last longer run before Marine Corps! Everything else is 6 miles or less from here on.

Total Miles: 49 miles (which seems like a lot the week before a marathon, but I feel fine)

14 Comments

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  1. Those walnuts are scary! They come crashing down! Luckily I haven’t been nailed yet, either.
    Forty-nine does seem like a LOT. Glad you’re feeling good, though.
    Great pics, as usual.
    Congrats on making it through all of those tough training weeks!
    Jo recently posted…ACAC updateMy Profile

    1. It’s literally like they are being dropped from a plane flying overhead! We are both probably going to get nailed now that we acknowledged we haven’t been hit…

  2. Can’t wait to see more of your pictures from your Hungry Mother trail run later this week! Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and Bill and I can get a run in there on Friday morning! We’re also thinking of running at Pandapas Pond on Thursday morning. Wish you could join us, but the timing couldn’t be worse for your MCM!
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…3-D Gait Analysis At George Mason University’s Smart LabMy Profile

    1. I’m going to share them tomorrow! I hope y’all are able to go by Hungry Mother and Pandapas. It will be a weekend of trail running – perfect. If you do get a chance to run at Pandapas here is my advice:

      1. The bathroom is at the pond, which is down from the second parking lot.
      2. I prefer to run from the first parking lot (immediately on your left after you turn in to Pandapas)
      3. My favorite loop is to take Horse Nettle out of the first parking lot (the trailhead is on the far end of the lot) up Brush Mountain and either to Snake Root or Jacob’s Ladder. Take one of those trails down and then hand a right when you get to the Poverty Creek Trail. Then take that trail back to the parking lot you started in. My other favorite run is just an out and back on the Poverty Creek Trail. There’s a lot to explore there, though!

  3. Always like to see pictures off the scenery around your run. I sure did miss reading about Sven lol. Sounds like your ready for Marine Corps. Can’t wait to read about it.
    running schlub recently posted…Saturday Long Run & The ColorMy Profile

    1. Haha well Sven is still around and we probably hang out more than we should.

  4. I’m glad that you made it to this week and aren’t suffering any pain from running lots of mileage. Watch out for those crazy walnuts!
    Tina@GottaRunNow recently posted…Our New RV: My Race-mobile!My Profile

    1. Me, too! My leg (the one I had problems with a few weeks ago) has been feeling really good. Hopefully I show up on race day in one piece and ready to run!

  5. MCM Baby! Eye on the prize. I have my route figured out and I’m ready to go. 5 days 15 hours, 51 minutes

    1. Woohoo finally race week! I can’t wait to get through this week and get on to the weekend.

  6. Woo Hoo! YOu are back to rocking your runs! Way to go getting all the runs (most of them?) in this week! I can’t wait to see the pretty fall pictures of your trail run πŸ™‚
    Amy recently posted…My BirthdayMy Profile

    1. Yes, and it feels good! I did get all of my scheduled runs in this past week πŸ™‚ Trail pictures tomorrow!

  7. Well you know I love 19 Kids & Counting, too! πŸ™‚ It’s so nice to be able to watch shows on the TM. Glad you have entered the taper and can enjoy some shorter runs now!
    jan recently posted…Mini Honey at the Street FairMy Profile

    1. It’s a good one to watch on the treadmill if you haven’t seen a lot of the old episodes. It’s nice to get home from work and not have a 10 to 12 mile run looming over my head πŸ™‚

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