Marathon training – week 1 (of 18) – Race #6

So, quick note, I was planning on running the Flying Pig Marathon, but I decided to pick one further out that would let me train for the full 18 weeks.  So I settled (tenatively) on Grandma’s Marathon on June 22.  I am going to do the plan for a few weeks and see how I feel before fully registering


Week 1 went alright, getting back into the swing of things in 2019.  I went for the longest run that I have so far this year, 10.8 miles on Sunday.  I ran 19.21 miles over three runs.




It feels kind of nice to post here again, because I get to remember what I did over the week.  Since I’ve last written extensively here, Mini has basically turned into a new person.  She knows a ton of words now, and she’s starting to string together short sentences (“more applesauce” “more yellow” “there she is” “I see you”).


We bought a new bed, so our old bed is sitting in our living room until we’re able to dispose of it in a few days.  So it’s provided ample opportunities for me to teach Mini some basic WWF wrestling moves (like the people’s elbow or as she says “people elbow”).


Thursday was Valentine’s Day, but Jess hosted parent-teacher conferences that day, so we celebrated on Wednesday.  We continued our annual tradition of Shake Shack.  Afterwards, we went to the Portrait Gallery and looked at some orchids that were planted and listened to some music from a Hong Kong cultural group.


On Thursday, I met with Jess and Mini and we went to a soft playroom in Alexandria after her school ended.  I took Mini to dinner at Panera–a low key Valentine’s date!


On Friday, we had dinner with friends.  Saturday was spent with our usual circuit of story time and a new lunch place–this time Afghani food in Adams Morgan.  Also, I finished writing a story book for Mini and sent it off for publishing.  On Sunday we took Mini to the Baltimore aquarium and had bagels along the way.




Training stats – Marine Corps Marathon 2018

Week 18 of training is coming to a close.  Only one run left, a two miler shake out the day before the race.  So I thought I’d provide some training stats leading up to it.


Here is how my 18 week training plan played out:


Total miles 431.26 miles
Total workouts 60 runs
Miles per week 23.95 miles per week
Workouts per week 3.33 runs per week
Longest Run 20.01 miles


I’m kind of surprised that my MPW average was this low, but looking back, my mileage was very feast or famine.  I had high mileage weeks of 42, 45, and 46 miles, with two 20 mile runs.  So though the MPW is lower than I thought it would be, I feel prepared for the marathon.

Marathon Training – week 17 (of 18) – Race #5



This is the second of three weeks of tapering, and I took it pretty easy.  I ran only two times for a total of 10.73 miles.  I have erred of on the side of caution and have focused on resting over running, since there’s not much to be gained or lost at this point in training.


That being said, I’m writing this post with one hand because the other day I fell off one of those electric scooters and tore up my left hand pretty bad.  I’m convinced that those things are too dangerous for the road.


Next week is the marathon!  Can’t wait!




One of the highlights during this week was watching the movie First Man in Imax at the Air and Space Museum. It was really cool to watch that story and then step out of the theater and go see the exhibits about the moon landing.  A uniquely DC experience.


This weekend, we went to South Carolina to spend time with family.  It was a great time–including trips to the state fair and to the zoo.  Some pictures:






Marathon Training – week 16 (of 18) – Race #5



Coming off my high mileage week 15, I decided to focus on resting this week.  After the 20 mile run, I was experiencing some pain in my right hip.  And given that I’m in the taper weeks now, my thought was that it’d be better to rest than to run on a hurt leg.  I’m not going to get any real benefit from training hard these weeks, and there can only be a set back if I get injured.  So I ran only one time for 5 miles.  I spent some time doing strength and cross training, including a favorite gym class that Jess and I could both attend since we had family in town!




We spent a lot of time this weekend with family in town.  It was a nice weekend–we all were able to see family, Mini got to play with her cousins, and we were able to enjoy some nice fall weather for once.  It was rainy for a good part of the week, but Friday finally gave us that quintessential fall day.  Oh, on Saturday Michigan beat Wisconsin, which was cool.  I continued on my journey to visit some Smithsonian museums.


Sadly, my aunt passed away this week.  My dad went to visit her family.


We’re heading to SC this weekend to visit my family.





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.