Marathon training week 1 (of 12) – Race #3


I finished my first week of actual training for the Baltimore Marathon.  As I mentioned before, I’m using Pete Pfitzinger’s 12 week, 55 mpw training plan (aka “12/55”).  This means that over the course of 12 weeks, I’ll be running up to 55 miles per week, maxing out at 55.


The first week called for 35 miles, and I came pretty damn close to it.  I wanted to be as diligent as possible with sticking to the plan.  I was able to get through most of the runs, except today called for a 13 miler, and I was only able to get to 10.  This was largely due to the heat.  It was humid as hell today in DC.  Also, I did a HIIT class yesterday, along with a 4 mile run, so today my legs were a little gassed.  Finding the optimal workout schedule and cadence is always a goal of mine, especially when training for a marathon.  But I feel good about this week.


Below is a snapshot of the week.  32.55 miles this week over four runs.  Pftizinger’s plan isn’t just a straight up “run X miles” kind of thing; rather each run has a specific purpose.  Here is a pretty good summary of his training methodology.  I found the link on the /r/running subreddit.


The runs this week were general endurance, recovery, and marathon pace runs.  So I was able to gauge and adjust my intensity accordingly.  I may try the HR based training next week.



The goal for next week is basically to continue with the plan.  Not much to report there, except that the runs next week become a little more involved (e.g., lactate threhold runs, VO2 max, etc.).




For reasons that will become apparent soon, it was just a really great week.  Jess and I came back from SC on Monday, and I pretty much did the usual work routine this week.  Also, we binge watched the show Stranger Things on Netflix.  Pretty great series, and this is coming from someone who doesn’t really watch any TV series/shows.  I think I read that the creators of the show are like 32 or something, which is really amazing.  Hearing stuff like that is just inspirational, that you’re never too young or old to invent/reinvent yourself.






Pre-training week 16 – (Race #3)



This is the last pre-training post for the Baltimore Marathon!


Unfortunately, it was a lackluster week.  I did have a medium distance run, 7.6 miles, and it felt great.  But that was it.  So much for my plan to run a whole bunch of miles this week to make up for last.  In my defense, Jess and I traveled to SC this week to visit my family.  We had quite a fun trip, so the loss of miles was well worth it.  Also, I played basketball on Wednesday and got kneed pretty hard in my left quad (and got called for a blocking foul).  So I also wanted to rest the wheel.


Below is my weekly summary.  Again, 7.6 miles total on one run.  The one and only run came the morning after a crazy thunderstorm here in DC.  There was an insane amount of lightning the night before, and hail was pounding our window.






Next week (technically today), I start my official 12 week training.  I’m following a 12 week training plan by Pete Pfitzinger and Scott Douglas in their book Advanced Marathoning.  The runs in the plan are a lot more sophisticated than “go out and run X distance.”  Thus, my next posts will be pretty involved.  I might even break them up by run session (e.g., VO2 Max, Intervals, Recovery, Marathon Pace, Lactate Threshold, Sprints, etc. etc. etc.).  For the particular I’m using, I’ll end up starting at 35 mpw and maxing out at 55 mpw.


So the plan for next week is to follow week 1.  The overall goal is 35 mpw.




This week was a lot of fun.  Jess and I went to South Carolina to visit my parents.  Getting down there was an absolute nightmare–we got a hell of a run around from the airlines.  But ultimately we made it to Charleston to attend my mom’s doctor’s appointment and then spending the evening in Chucktown.  We spent the next few days in Columbia, out on Lake Murray one day, seeing a movie the next, and going to the Mandir the following day.  Overall, it was a great getaway for us.


I mean, take a look at Charleston:




And my family:




In world news, this last week was the drama filled Republican National Convention.  Living in DC, I hear about politics 24/7, so I’ll just leave it at that.

Pre-training week 15 – (Race #3)


I thought I could make it all up in two runs. Jess and I are in Rochester this weekend visiting family. We got here on Thursday and I had not been to the gym or logged any miles at all this week. Not the most consistent several weeks for me. But I did try and get to my 23.8 mpw by hitting it in two days. Started strong with 10.6 on Saturday but did only 4.15 today. So the week total was only 14.75.  The good news is that the 10.6 felt great. The bad news is that it was under 80 degrees in Rochester the morning a ran it. That’s not going to happen much in DC for the next few weeks.

Given that my legit training starts in two weeks, here’s my plan. Between last week and this upcoming week, my mpw goals were 23.8 and 26.2. My plan is to combine those two distances into a single two week goal of 50 miles, 14.75 of which I have completed. So it sounds a bit nuts, but the goal this week is 35.25 miles. I don’t know if I’ll come close though. Jess and I are visiting SC this Thursday to Monday morning and it’s so hot there I don’t know if I’ll get any miles in.  Regardless, I’m starting my 12-week training plan on July 25.

Anyway, here’s a screenshot of the week:




35.25 mpw. Might regret this. If I get injured it will be because of the training gamble I’m taking here. This upcoming week should be the last in my “pre-training.”


Ugh. Here’s the thing about this section. I like my life right now. I have great wife and great friends, I am enjoying my summer and my time reconnecting with people, work is going well, and things with my mom’s diagnosis seem on the upswing since the tornado months I had earlier this year. So on a personal and individual level I truly am blessed and happy. Every night, before I got to bed I try and think of three happy moments from the day, and I realize that I experience so much joy in this world.

But in the macro sense the news from all corners of the world is just deflating. Here’s the contradiction. I genuinely am an eternal optimist. I have faith in human goodness and I believe that our overall trend lines as people and societies is slanted up. But I do also think that future generations will look at our time as somewhat of the dark ages. That with so much promise and potential, our outcomes often fall saddeningly low.

In the news this week:  there was a terrorist attack in Nice, France where a lunatic drove a truck into a crowd of people gathered on a promenade to celebrate Bastille Day, killing 80 (including young children/babies) and seriously injuring many others; there was an attempted military coup in Turkey with many people killed and thousands arrested (still not sure what’s going on there and who’s in charge of the country); multiple police officers were shot and killed in Baton Rouge in an ambush. Sometimes I want to turn away and turn off the news, but I think it’s important to be sad as a society and a country to look at what’s happening to us. Turning away and pretending it isn’t there ignores the reality that we’re living in a society that has so far to go. One officer shot today had a Facebook post recently about compassion and understanding. He even said something to the effect that “if you need a hug, I got you.”  And now the man is dead, leaving behind a one year old son. The people who pay the price for our vitriol and divisiveness are often the ones who reject it outright, and that is very sad.

In uplifting news, here’s a story from Buffalo about an ice cream guy who gives ice cream to kids in exchange for the kids answering a math or history question correctly.