Week 18: Marathon Training

Well, it’s official – the “long runs” are getting long. I still have lots of time until the big day… but have been wondering things. Lots of things. Like:

How early should I get to the start line?

Will I be able to get a good spot near my pace group?

Will it be crowded the whole way? Will my pace be determined by the sea of humans?

Will I be able to sleep the night before?

What will I eat before I race?

Will I be able to do anything when it over? Besides lay on my back?

What pace will I aim to keep?

Will I run with my hydration pack? Or will aid stations suffice?

Will I remember to pack everything I need?

And if you’re just tuning in… I’m doing the RnR Las Vegas Marathon and this will be my first ever full marathon. Also, my first ever traveling race (Dallas to Las Vegas).

Anyway, I just remind myself that I have an AMAZING coach, Andrew Simmons with Lifelong Endurance, and I know he will guide me through all of these questions (and more). The one’s that have answers anyway. As for the others, well – no point in wondering “what if…” Everything will be fine. I just still can’t believe it’s actually happening!

As I tick away the weeks it’s an odd feeling – I truly am enjoying the training process and although I can’t wait until race day, it will be bittersweet when it’s over. I will have officially run a marathon, but my days “training for my first marathon” will be over! I’ll just need a new challenge! I may already have one in mind…

OK enough wondering and speculating. Let’s get into the real stuff! Training…

[ week 18 / 12 weeks until 26.2Β ]

Sunday – Long run. 11 miles, 1:42:56, 9:21 min/mile.

I died. It was hot. Even though I went early. I ran the entire 11 miles on the same street (which was exactly one mile long both ways, so kind of a nice way of mentally counting down) because it was COMPLETELY shaded. I kept thinking I’d branch out and run towards the park or another direction, but the shade was just too nice to give up. It was like playing a game of “The Floor is Lava,” except anything outside of this street was lava. Figuratively and literally (sort of).

This was mostly a mentally challenging run. The last two miles I felt fatigue in my upper body (weird), but I did it! 11 miles. Afterwards I showered, ploppped down on the bed, then couldn’t get up. I think I was dehydrated, perhaps a bit of heat exhaustion – I had a headache and just felt poopy afterwards. I told myself that I really need to make it a point to drink lots of water the day before my long run. Really, all the time. In this heat, staying hydrated is a constant battle.

Monday – No run. Strength training.

Today I did a Gold’s Fit class, it was a great workout:

Tuesday – Tempo run. 6 miles, 53:43, 8:53 min/mile.

It wasn’t too hot today (YAY!)! I did 1 mile easy, 2 miles @ 8:30 pace, 3:00 min break (walk), 2 miles @ 8:30 pace, 1 mile easy. 8:30 min/mile felt fast today. I felt sluggish but I pushed through and that last slow, easy mile felt GREAT.

Wednesday – Easy run. 3.01 miles, 30:29, 10:08 min/mile.

I really took it easy on this one. I need to be better about taking easy runs easy. My body was tired from the long run then strength training the next day so it felt good just to take it slow. I felt great after this run.

Thursday – Sad face.

I woke up and was glad I only had 3 miles scheduled – I was tired. Even so, I woke up promptly at 5:00 am and got ready to go – stretched, got my water ready, turned my jams on and started my run. Ow. My right knee hurt right off the bat. I ran/walked/stretched for about a mile to see if it would “shake out.” I felt like I was running funny to compensate and the discomfort continued so I decided to call it. Any time I’m running odd to compensate for something, I’ve found that it does more harm than good. Then something on the other side starts hurting, then its a real downward spiral from there. So, I text Coach and he said just walk home, ice and take it easy. As frustrating as it is to call off a run, especially while already mid-run, I did what was best for my body and took a rest day.

(New shoes make everything better, right?)

Friday – Aerobic easy run. 5.1 miles, 44:27, 8:43 min/mile.

1 mile easy, 5K @ 5k effort, 1 mile easy. So, I woke up and started to think, I should probably just run around in my jammies and see if it’s even worth getting ready. If my knee hurts I can just go back to sleep. WAIT! That’s not setting myself up for success! I got my tush up out of bed, got my running clothes on, got my water read, tunes on, and got outside. What do you know! My knee was just fine! I killed my run and felt great! When nothings hurts – especially when you expect it to – now THAT is the best feeling in the world. I was glad that I set myself up for success and learned a lesson from that. Set yourself up to SUCCEED (no matter what!). This applies not only to running, but to life!

(Did you check out the new BibRave podcast?! Exciting stuff! Really great running-related information!)

Saturday – Rest day!

Total miles this week (running only) – 25.16

What is something running has taught you about life?

Have you ever had any major mishaps before/during a race?

What is your favorite piece of running gear?





25 thoughts on “Week 18: Marathon Training

    • jennaruns says:

      Oh I love it!! I wouldn’t be without it on long runs especially in the Texas heat! As long as it’s strapped on nicely it shouldn’t weigh you down! At least mine doesn’t seem to πŸ™‚ love that I can store stuff in it too!!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. hellyontherun says:

    I’ve totally learned how important hydrating *throughout* the day is. It’s hard , but so important.

    Major mishaps: well, I trained for a marathon and got sick about a month leading up to it. Still ran it and had to DNF halfway 😦 I was dumb to think I could run sick but after months and months of training, how could I not at least try, right? Lol!

    Great week and glad your knee wasn’t anything major.

    Liked by 2 people

    • jennaruns says:

      Thanks so much – wow, that’s tough to get sick right before something you’ve been working so hard for. At least your next marathon must’ve been better! Yeah, I really hope I don’t get sick, that would be the pits. And I still need to be better about drinking water. I try! Thanks for the encouragement, I really appreciate it!


  2. Racing Stripes says:

    It’s getting real! All of those questions will definitely work themselves out and it’s good you are thinking about them. There is so much more to marathon running than just the running part, so making sure the other details are squared away is key. Great job this week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jennaruns says:

      Thank you so much! Yes, so true. Honestly, I think I’m more anxious/nervous about the non-running factors than actually running the thing at this point! Like keeping my tummy happy and getting to the start line on time… etc. But, like you said, it’ll all work out and I have no doubt about that! Thanks so much!


    • jennaruns says:

      I was lucky enough to find one used after eyeing it forever too! Just an idea… Well thank you and I guess I won’t worry too much of I don’t sleep then! I keep forgetting it’s a night run, though – start time is at 4pm so I won’t have to worry about an alarm! I’m sure I’ll be well awake by then πŸ˜„


  3. YogiCrystal says:

    Awesome training week!
    All those questions at the start of your blog remind me of all the anxiety I had before my first marathon. It’s pretty great that you have a coach though, something I wish I had at the time. You’re going to do fantastic!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. J. Alfred Prufrock says:

    I have exactly the same questions πŸ˜„!
    I hope you will be sharing the answers as you find them. May I request a picture with a hydration pack strapped on? πŸ˜πŸ™ˆ( I know I can google/Amazon but asking someone feels different right ☺️)

    Liked by 1 person

    • jennaruns says:

      Of course! I actually have a blog review on my hydration pack (the orange mud endurance pack) but I can try to take a better picture sometime maybe tomorrow! And hope to answer some of these questions soon! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. 50in50marathonquest says:

    Race mishaps…probably too many to even remember. You’d think after so many – I’m up to 10 marathons and 30+ half’s I might have it figured out, but seems like after every race, there’s at least one – I can’t believe I forgot/did/didn’t moment! At Chicago last year, I mistimed arriving at the race despite staying less than a mile from the start line…and when I got to my corral they closed the gates so I had to jog 1/2 mile back to the corral behind me before the race even started. Just last week, I ran my first ever trail endurance run in road shoes, when I had a pair of trail shoes in my recovery area “just in case!” Always, fun to look back and every once in a while, we do get it right!! Good luck with the training, sounds like you are on the right track!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jennaruns says:

      Thanks so much! And yes, mishaps are a part of the fun, right? That sounds like my run about a month ago – ended up running about 2 miles to the start line. As long as we’re still running, right?! How was it running trail in road shoes? I haven’t really run trails before and was thinking I’d be alright in my road shoes… I guess it depends on the trail conditions. Thank you for the encouragement!

      Liked by 1 person

      • 50in50marathonquest says:

        Yeah, it seems we always have something to learn…at least that’s how I frame it up when I make a dumbass mistake or forget something really obvious πŸ™‚ The trail race in road shoes wasn’t terrible…it was not a technically challenging trail though some parts were steep and there were a lot of rocks. I made it ok but if/when I run another off-road event, it will definitely be in trail shoes!

        Liked by 1 person

    • jennaruns says:

      I like it a lot so far… the author is extremely knowledgeable! Yeah, there will always be “what ifs” and things that do go wrong, but that’s all a part of it! Gotta love it all!


  6. Joey says:

    Hey Ms Texas

    So many questions that can only answered by top 100’s. Ok so I ‘am getting alot of mileage out of that joke :). Of course almost Dr Joey is here to assist or annoy. No need to comment on that one ha ha. Rule is as per the old time greats ( Bill Rodgers, Franks Shorter, and my favorite gal R.I.P Grete Waitz) is that it if you get a good sleep two nights prior to the big day you will be ok. It always worked for me. If you have water stops every mile subsequent the first couple, I would leave the water truck, ummm back pack home :). I actually drank way to much in the LA Marathon that it caused me to take 7 bathroom stops. Needless to say,I was pissed in more ways then one LOL. Ran a 2:41:28 knowing it would have been a sub 2:40. Yes, I take every oppuntity to throw in my times :), See, your blog serves many purposes. New York, London, always packed the first few miles. However, you will find a group and lock into a zone. I’am still doing my 60 a week. However, just stressed that I have not really raced.This will be the first marathon I run with such poor training. BTW I actually saw your gummy products in a running store and picked up a few. I actually thought it helped!!!! KEEP UP THE GREAT TRAINING – Funny how you said you think about the new challenge when this is done. I went sky diving after my first!!!!


    My basic philosophy can be summed up by an expression we use in Norwegian: hurry slowly. Get there, but be patient.
    Grete Waitz

    Liked by 1 person

    • jennaruns says:

      Lol! Yay, (almost) Dr. Joey! I was just patiently awaiting your comment. Wow, I don’t know which is more impressive… 7 bathroom stops or an almost sub 2:40 marathon! 60 miles a week is amazing… and WHILE going to a top 101 and working… do you ever sleep? Glad you liked the gummies! I actually found out they taste even better after you accidentally leave them in a hot car for a few days! Lol. Anyway, yeah I think the crowded-ness has me a bit worried as I hear this Vegas marathon is jam packed the whole way. It must clear out eventually, right? & I think you’re right… I’d rather not wear the hydration pack if possible – just keep it simple… but it also acts as a phone and gel holder. So we’ll see. Sky diving!! Wow! Yeah, I think my new challenge will be a Ragnar relay – have you ever done one? I’ve actually already decided I’m going to do the one in Austin in 2017. I know someone that will allow me on their team, despite the fact that I attract mutant ducks. πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for your encouragement as always, Joey!


  7. Joey says:

    Today is your lucky day,you get an extra bit of almost DR Joey advise. I’am like the gift that keeps on giving lol. Backpacks, phones,gummies.Your running in Vegas,I think they actually installed a water and phone line out there in the dessert lol. Here’s the plan. Give what you think you will need to your BF, and tell him where you need him to be.I bet if he starts packing now he will have enough time to gather all the supplies Ms Jenna will need to make it HA HA. ( And NO TEXAS SHOOTER BEER IS NOT WHAT YOU NEED AT MILE 20 πŸ™‚ . On a serious note, if you need the backpack to give you a sense of security then use it you big baby :). Don’t worry about the crowds,you will be in heavy traffic for some miles.However, it will be a pretty fun experience. BTW we both know the top 101’s always have time for fun. If we were all work we would be in the top 100. So sad that you have to be lumped with me LOL. Ok Ms Texas, hang in – You got this. I will check in before the big race. Ya,typos. But you know how sloppy doctors write and spell LOL.

    Joey πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • jennaruns says:

      Woohoo! Dr. Joey is back! Yes, must start packing now for all my stuff! lol. Yeah, maybe I will just hold my phone in my hand. That’s what I normally do on runs anyway. We’ll see… Thanks for the tips… and what do you mean no beer at mile 20?! What’s the point??? Haha. Not looking forward to traffic for miles but I’ll deal with it. I promise not to elbow anyone. Glad you still have time for fun… makes it worth being a top 101. Yeah, yeah, I can’t imagine your handwriting (almost) Dr. Joey! Thank goodness for keyboards! Thanks again for the encouragement! Hope all is well with your running + school +work as always!


  8. Joey says:

    LOL. Funny, I accidentally elbowed a friend at the 5 mile mark of the NYC Marathon that he had to drop out from pain at 8. I really did not feel remorse since I repeatedly told him that I really prefer not to run marathons with friends unless I’am acting as a pacer for them. You really don’t need tips at this point. I honestly think you know what your doing. I’am off today and better not spend it on the computer. Keep it up!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jennaruns says:

      Brutal!!! Thanks so much Joey! Yeah, I am actually running the marathon with friends but let them know I will just see them after the race πŸ™‚ they are fine with it – they don’t want to get elbowed. Enjoy your day off!! Thanks!


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