Marathon Training – weeks 14 and 15 (of 18)



I fell a little behind on posting here, so I’ll recap the last two weeks.  The first of the two week recap constituted a low mileage week.  I hadn’t been feeling great, and I rested up.  I ran twice that week for a total of 11.15 miles.  The second of the two weeks was a very high mileage week.  I ran my second 20 mile run en route to a 45.17 mile week (over five runs).


Now, it’s on the the taper.  This is the most prepared I’ve been for any marathon training I’ve done.  I’m a little nervous about the significant mileage drop during the taper weeks, but apparently that’s all normal.


In terms of marathon pacing–I’ve read that you can expect anywhere between a 5% to 10% reduction in time from your long run pace.  I ran the 20 miler at 9:40, so I am going to aim for a marathon pace of 9:11 min/mile to 8:42 min/mile, which amounts to a total finish time of between 3 hr 48 min and 4 hrs.  I’m going to work out a race plan, more on that later.  I’m considering joining a pace group, and right now my goal is to start off at around 10 min/mile for the first few miles, and then work up to an 8:45ish pace.


It feels good to be at taper and have the hard part done.




It’s going to be a short recap because I won’t remember everything.  Pumpkin patch on Saturday, new phones on Saturday evening, friends house on Sunday, Daddy-daughter day on Monday bc of the holiday.  The previous week was a wedding on Saturday, pizza on Friday (I think)?  Also, I’ve been hitting a lot of museums lately.


Some pictures to paint the 1000 words I can’t muster together:




Marathon Training – week 13 (of 18) – Race #5



This was a long mileage week for this training cycle.  I ran five times for a total of 46.31 miles, including a long run of 20 miles.  It’s the first time that I have run a 20 miler while training for a marathon.  I think the longest non-marathon run I’ve run before this is 17ish miles.  Which means, the 20 mile run was the fifth longest run I’ve ever gone on.


Next week is a bit of a break, and then another long mile week capped by a 20 miler.  Then it’s a taper down to the MCM!




This was a sad week for DC runners, as I mentioned in my “Tragedy” post.  It’s a reminder to appreciate the things you have.


On Saturday I ran the Clarendon Day Double.  After the race, we went out for breakfast, and then came home to relax before taking Mini to a playground in the afternoon.  Sunday was a rainy day–we spent it getting groceries and just hanging out at home.  Not a terribly eventful weekend, but a good one.




Marathon Training – weeks 11 and 12 (of 18) – Race #5



I kind of fell behind here, so I’m going to summarize two weeks for of training.


Week 11 had a lot of miles, the most out of any week training week I think.  I ran four times for a total of 42 miles, including a 16.5 mile run.  The 16.5 mile run was intended to be 20 (!) but I decided to run as far as I could in three hours and then stop.  It went alright–still a lot slower than I’d like to run during the race, but it was super humid outside.  I was happy to get a longish run done.  This week calls for another 20 miler, so let’s see if I can get it done then.


Week 12 was a recovery from week 11.  I ran three times for a total of 22.9 miles, including a medium-ish run of 10 miles.  The 10 miler felt good, except for the last two miles, I was having some pain in my chest (nothing serious!), so I kind of stopped running.  I think it was mostly a cramp.


So two weeks, 64.9 miles




I don’t really remember too much of what happened during week 11.  It was the first week where summer was pretty much done in DC. The weather on the weekend was pretty bleh–cloudy, rainy, a little cold.  Actually, now that I write this, I do remmber some details from earlier that week.  I remember on Thursday when Jess and I and a friend went out for pizza, the heat index was 95 at 9pm at night.  Then on Saturday, it was like 70 degrees.


On the Saturday of week 11, I took Mini on run that’s quickly becoming our tradition. We run about 4-5 miles on our usual Capitol Hill to Lincoln Memorial route.  Then I take Mini out of the stroller and we go up the steps and into the Lincoln Memorial where she walks around the place.  Today, when I got back from my ten mile run, I went inside the Lincoln Memorial by myself, and I immediately got a flash back from a future that hasn’t already happened.  I know that when I become older, and Mini grows up, I’m going to go back to the Lincoln Memorial and remember her as a little girl climbing the ledges and running around the columns.  It was a poignant and nostalgic memory of a feeling that’s yet to come, but that I know is on its way, and it’s another reminder to soak in these days as much as I possibly can.



Also, checked out the overflow from the Tidal Basin:





On Saturday afternoon, after Mini’s nap, we took her to the botanical gardens, and she loved it.




On Sunday, we took Mini to meet up with friends at an indoor gym.  We’ve been hitting up all the gyms and playgrounds recently.  It’s a sign of parenthood–I no longer know where any of the hot restaurants are, but we’ve been staking out the kids’ venues.  We had our proud parent moments, watching her climb and slide down a slide by herself for the first time.


Oh, the other thing that I remember–staying up too late on Saturday to watch football.  Another parenting lesson–if you decide to stay up late, be prepared to pay the price in the morning, because you will be operating on a lack of sleep!


Week 12–most of the week passed along without much going on.  On Thursday, we had a date night! Jess and I went to go see Neil deGrasse Tyson at the Warner Theater.  That was a lot of fun–nerdy, but a lot of fun.  He gave an interesting talk on “Cosmic Collisions” that Jess was majorly nerding out on.






On Friday, we went out for pizza.  On Saturday morning I took Mini for another Lincoln run and then aftewards we all went to two playgrounds, meeting friends at the second one.  Sunday was nicer than expected (they were calling for rain).  We met friends for breakfast at Eastern Market, went to a playground, came home for nap time, and then took Mini to a playground in McLean.  A super nice playground too.  You can tell where my weekends are going this Fall!




Other random thoughts–Mini is communicating really well now.  And it’s been really great that she can kind of start telling us in her sign language what she wants.  And every time she and Jess get home, and if I’m already here, she runs in the room and says “daddy”–these pretty much are the best moments of my life.





Marathon Training – Week 10 (of 18) – Race #5



I had a pretty good week of training.  Four runs for a total of 32.95 miles, including an absolutely brutal 15 mile run in 82 degree weather with 92% humidity.  I bought a hydration backpack the day before the run, and I’m glad that I did.  I was initially on the fence about those things, but the Camelbak one that I bought is really good for long runs.  And over the course of the 15 miles, I didn’t really notice it on my back and it didn’t irritate me at all.


The more memorable run this week, though, was on Saturday morning with Mini.  We ran down to the Vietnam Memorial on the Mall, and we saw Senator McCain’s funeral procession pass in front of us.  I wanted Mini to bear witness, even though she is certainly too small to remember, of so many people paying homage to a great American.  There’s a lot to say about the sadness with his passing, the most likely being that it feels like the country is mourning not just a great leader, but also mourning what he represented and the fading of a time of reasonableness and decency in our politics.  RIP Senator McCain.




Although I’m glad to have done the 15 mile run, I was scheduled to do 19.  There was no way 19 was going to happen in the humidity.  In fact, I almost called it quits after 11 miles, when I was on Captiol Hill and close to home, but decided to push on and run back towards the Lincoln to try to get to 15 miles.  And I’m glad I did, because low and behold, at mile 14, I ran into an old Michigan friend directly in front of the Lincoln Memorial.  He lives in New York now.  Had either of us been a minute earlier or a minute later, we totally would have missed each other.  Life is funny like that–sometimes you get rewarded in overt ways for pushing the extra mile.  Reminds me of that saying–there’s two ways to live life, one as if nothing is a miracle and another as if everything is a miracle.




I’m slated to do a 20 miler this weekend.  I might just run for 3 hours, and see how long I can go.




It was a pretty busy week.  On Wednesday, I connected with my cousin and an old friend, both of whom were in town, and we got dinner.  Mini’s daycare was closed on Thursday and Friday, so I took those days off and spent it with her.  On Thursday, we went to story time in Cleveland Park.  During my pre-kid days, I thought story time would not be something to get excited about, but this one is awesome, an Mini had so much fun there.  It’s another memory I’ll have of her–this story time has a music component, and Mini really enjoyed getting up, clapping, shaking her little instrument.  Afterwards, we went to a playground.  Friday was another story time day, and then we hung out at home.


On Saturday, we met up with more of my cousins, and had a good time with all of our kids playing.  On Saturday night, I watched the Michigan-ND game, which was another disappointing game.  I’m oddly apathetic about it all this year.  Ask me five years ago, or even last year, and I’d be super into the start of college football and Michigan’s prospects.  This year, I’m excited to watch the sport generally, but if I have to choose between watching a game or doing something memorable, I’ll probably choose the latter instead of the former.  Then again, ask me again on Saturday, and I’ll probably tell you that I’m full of crap.


On Sunday, Jess and I went out for breakfast and then later attempted to take Mini to a splash park down at the Wharf.  But it was way too hot, so we came back.  Had some friends over for some pool action and then rewatched Die Hard (which Jess had never seen).  On Monday, I went for my 15 mile run, and then I took Mini in the late afternoon to an indoor playground for an hour or so, where I ran into another old friend of mine.


So yeah, busy week!





Marathon training – week 9 (of 18) – Race #5

This summary is coming about a week late, so I probably won’t remember many details.


Looking back, this was a low mileage week, but I don’t really remember why to be honest.  I ran only twice for 14.35 miles, though one was a 10.4 mile run.  The ten mile run felt good.  The 3.95 mile run was done in the afternoon sometime– it was really hot, and I met Jess and Mini at City Center afterwards.




The main activity for the week was a weekend trip that we took to a resort in Cambridge, MD.  It was the first time we’ve done a resort trip like that, and it was a lot of fun.  We’ll definitely be going back, making it a family tradition every year.


Other than that, not too much more to report.  Some pictures below.  Milestones for Mini, she learned how to use a fork, which was pretty cool.  Also, I want to make a list of all the signs and words that she knows.  Signs:  all done, water, milk, dada, please, thank you, kiss, more, up.  Words:  up, out, duck, all done, “la la,” uh-oh, this, dada, mama, bamba (maybe?)






Marathon training – week 8 (of 18) – Race #5


Another good week of training.  I ran four times this week for a total of 32.21 miles.  I’m still lagging behind the actual miles called for in my training plan, but I’m feeling good about the runs that I’m on.  On Saturday, I ran 10 miles, and I followed that with a 13 mile run on Sunday.  The 13 mile run felt fine, though I did it in the evening, and it felt slower because of that for some reason.  Anyway, ten more weeks til the MCM.




Let’s see.  On Monday evening, we took Mini to the Artechouse exhibit on fractals.  It was actually pretty disappointing, at least compared to the pictures on Instagram.  On Wednesday, we had some friends over to celebrate a birthday.  On Thursday, we took Mini to the Sculpture Garden in the evening.  During the day on Friday, Jess and I took Mini to a nearby park by a lake in Virginia.  It was such a great day.  We went for a little hike in the park, and then there was a merry-go-round and a toy train for us to ride on.  It was just great seeing Mini experience that first train ride.  Friday was also the usual pizza night, our plan was to try and eat there and see the jazz music, but the jazz was postponed til after Mini’s bed time.  So we took it home, ate some ‘za, put Mini to bed and then watched this M. Night Shyamalan movie called “Split”.  I really liked it, but then again, I really like M. Night movies.


On Saturday, we took Mini to story time in Cleveland Park, which was just so much fun.  Then we took her to a playground before heading to Whole Foods to prep for a BBQ we were hosting on Sunday.  Jess shopped while I bought some lunch for Mini and fed her outside.  Aside from the logistical difficulty in feeding her one handed, and the annoying pigeons that kept creeping on us, it was such a nice memory especially since Mini was born at the hospital right around the corner.  Actually, almost to the day, it was 17 months since her birthday.


On Saturday night, we met up with friends and went to the Arlington County Fair, which was a lot cooler than I was expecting.  And it was free.  A great summer night activity.


On Sunday we had some good friends over for an end of summer BBQ and pool party.  It was cool, seeing Mini interact with some older kids.  Mini’s old enough now to be a lot more interactive, so she can at least start to “play” a little more than before.


As far as this week in Mini cute-ness–she’s learned the words “uh oh”.  So everytime she drops something, she says “uh oh.”  The cutest is when she grabbed a few solo cups, and as she was trying to walk around with a stack, one on the bottom kept falling out, and she’d say “uh oh.”  Then she’d pick that one up, stack it on top, and then the next one on the bottom would fall.  Uh oh.


Other new favorite words include “all done,” “hat,” and “EIEIO”.  It’s pretty clear, if I look back at this blog for a point where Mini definitively asserted herself into her toddler era, we’re now officially there!



Marathon Training – week 7 (of 18) – Race #5



I finally feel like I’m in the swing of things.  I had some good runs this week.  I ran four times for a total of 35.57 miles, which included back-to-back-to-back runs of distances 6 miles (in the 91 degree weather), 10 miles and 15 miles.  The 15 miler was tough to finish, and I think it was the cumulative effect of the two prior runs.  But it’s good training, to run on tired legs.  I also ran a four miler in the gym on Tuesday night.  The six miler and 15 miler were on the mall, and the 10 miler was on the Capital Crescent trail with a run buddy of mine.  Looking forward to this week, maybe I’ll take Mini on a small run.




I mostly worked from home this week, which was nice.  On Tuesday, we went to a local park where they had a neighborhood event–some live music, some food, and Mini’s first bouncey house experience.  On Wednesday, we had a friend over, and I tried my hand at cooking some Indian food–daal tadka and matar paneer.  I’d say that they came out ok, just ok, but I think I’ll get better the more I try.  It was a nice evening though, we had some dinner and all of us went for a swim upstairs on the roof.  On Thursday, we took Mini to see a South Indian dance performance at the Kennedy Center.  It’s definitely something I’d like to get her involved with when she’s older.  On Friday, we had a double date night with some other friends, went to Baked Joint for pizza.  Saturday was fairly relaxing.  I ran my ten in the morning, came back and took Mini to the pool so that Jess could chill for a bit, and then the three of us went to the Renwick Gallery to checkout the Burning Man exhibit.  Oh, and we’ve been binge watching Friends.  It’s interesting to see how that show has simultaneously aged and has remained timeless in it’s comedy.  Some of the jokes seem so childish in today’s context, and some just work and seem to be funnier.  I think I have a new found appreciation for it, even with all the past and modern criticisms that sometimes accompany it.


Sunday was another fun day.  I did 15 miles early in the morning, and then when I got back, Jess and I got ready for some dear friends to come over for breakfast.  They were in town visiting, and it was really nice to hang out.  Always great to see old and good friends.  We relaxed for a bit after that (I took a long nap when Mini did), and in the evening, we went to Shake Shack for a burger and then took Mini to the Portrait Gallery since it was raining outside.  It was kind of a weird day in DC–everyone was a bit on edge due to the tiki torch white nationalists who were planning to rally outside of the White House.  But the rally was a big dud for them, and the counter protestors outnumbered them easily by all accounts.  Which is why I love this city and living in this area of the country.


Today, Jess mentioned to me that Mini basically thinks that she’s an adult.  And it’s kind of true.  She’s acting so grown up these days (I fully recognize how silly that sounds, too, to say about a 16 month old).  But man, she’s able to communicate clearly, though not talking yet, we know exactly what she wants most of the time.  Her signs of “more” and “I want to brush my teeth” are adorable, as are the times when she grabs my flip flops and tries to put them on my feet. There are so many memories to try to remember from these times.  I’m soaking it all in, even the temper tantrums that are funnier than I try to let on.  I really love that I can make her laugh in different ways–by reading funny sounds to her at bed time, to playing “where’s Mini” and “where’s dada” with her, to standing on my head, to playing hide and seek.  This upcoming week is Jess’s last of her summer “break.”  And by summer “break” I mean that she’s done an unbelievable job taking care of Mini while I’ve been working.  It hasn’t been much of a break for her, which is why I am trying to plan a getaway for her and all of us this weekend.