Marathon Training Week 3

Marathon Training Week 3

My week three of marathon training hit a bit of a snafu.  Originally on this week’s plan, I had a long run of 12 miles.  Next week (Week 4) I was only supposed to do 10 miles for my long run.  I forgot, didn’t plan out, that I actually am doing a half marathon race next weekend.  I wasn’t sure if I should alter week 3’s plan of 12 miles and ended up compromising during the actual run.  Week 2’s 10 miler felt really good and easy.  This last week’s 11.45 miler was extremely tough. I wonder if it was related to the fact that the night before the run I had a few cocktails.  I am still learning about my own body and what alcohol does for it.  In the past I used to have a beer the night before a race and then I did a few races without having beer the night before and noticed that it was a little easier.  I’m by no means going to abstain from all alcohol during training, but maybe see how my body does by not having alcohol the night before a long run.

Here’s a summary of last week’s running.

( ) = # of miles on my plan

Tuesday – 0 (3)

Thursday – 4.13 (4)

Friday – 11.45 (12)

Saturday – 5.3 (6)

Sunday – 3.0 (3)

Weekly Total – 23.89 miles (28)

This week’s long run took me along the American River Trail.   I used to live by the river the area that I ran this week.  It was nice to be back in my old running haunts.  The day was nice and warm (high 50s).  I saw some good wildlife on this run.  I didn’t get a picture but there was a very white bunny with a few brown spots.  It did not look like the normal wild jackrabbits that are along the river.  I wondered if maybe someone had freed their bunny or it had actually escaped its home and was exploring.  Later on I saw a legit jack rabbit along the trail.  I also came upon this heron that was standing regally by the bike trail.  As I approached, it would spook and fly away – but only about 20 feet ahead and then we repeated the process over and over since I was heading in that same direction.


The rain has stopped for a while now and so the river levels are definitely lower than they were previously.


There is still evidence of the previous rains/winds as there were quite a few trees that had toppled over.  You can see that some of these trees actually obstructed the bike path along the river.


It’d been awhile since I ran on the bike trail.  There’s one section that is covered by trees on both sides and it is very peaceful.


Overall my body felt good at the end of the week.  I had some pretty serious soreness the morning after my long run.  However I don’t know if that was also due to some heavy lifting I did the day before the long run.  I still managed to do my medium length run (5.3 miles) the day after the long run.  So overall I’m happy with how things are going.  I have been using my foam roller more to try to stave off any injuries.  So far so good…*knock on wood*.



Today’s run and marathon changes (Big Sur!)

Today’s run and marathon changes (Big Sur!)

Before I get to the changes as in the title, I wanted to briefly discuss today’s run.  Because of the extra work days I have this month, my total number of days I can run has been shortened by a bit.  My goal today was to hit double digits (at least 10 miles) for the first time in a looooong time.  The last time I came close is when I did 9 with KP before she left.  I did 5 miles yesterday and wasn’t sure how today’s run would go.

The easiest way to get to double digits without doing multiple laps through my neighborhood was to hop onto the American River Trail and bang out the miles.  I figured I’d run along the trail to where my old apartment is located (~4-4.5 miles from my current home).  Since I knew I was doing a long run I brought my phone with me and snapped some shots.  I brought with me a Honey Stinger Honey Waffle that I had picked up at Sports Authority before they closed.  I’ve always used various gels (GUs, etc) on my long runs and thought I’d see how my body did with something you actually chew/eat.  I made my way east along the river until I hit the Watt Ave bridge, crossed to the south side and then ran around my apartment.  About halfway through the run I stopped to try the Waffle.  It had already broken into smaller pieces but was still not too bad.  I specifically stopped at Watt Ave bridge because there are 2 actual toilets and a water fountain in this location (this is also where there’s a boat ramp, today there were some geese present)

Canadian geese and some other strange looking goose

I elected not to carry water on this run and that was a big mistake.  I had a few sips of water at Watt Ave and then again at the small park/boat ramp at Howe Ave as well.  But by the time I reached mile 8, I was parched and just tired.  I could also see that my heart rate was running higher than normal for my speed (It was hovering around 160 and I was not going fast.  Normally 160 would be me pushing it and running fast).  I figured I’d post a picture of what the paved bike trail looks like.

River trail – bike and dirt path

I finished at 10.6 miles today at a very slow pace (finished in just over 2 hours). Normally at leisurely pace I should still be able to get to 10 miles by 1:45 or so.  My body was not ready to do this distance and I even walked about 3-5 times, which is very abnormal for me.  I have been contemplating implementing a run-walk method for my next marathon training plan.

American River (from Watt Ave Bridge)

Speaking of marathons, I have made some changes to my upcoming full marathon for 2017.  Originally I had signed up for the Surf City Marathon (in Huntington Beach on February 5, 2017).  I had applied to be an ambassador but didn’t get it – c’est la vie.  Now early this year when I started thinking about a marathon for 2017, I had a few in mind.  I thought about the Carlsbad Marathon (you get a run jacket as part of the swag) as well as Surf City since it is near my hometown.  But the one I really wanted to tackle was Big Sur.  Because of the popularity of this race, they went to a lottery system to gain entry.  Even though I was signed up for a full marathon already for 2017, I decided to toss my name into the lottery system for 2017 since it didn’t cost anything.  At first I thought maybe if I was accepted I would tackle 2 full marathons a few months apart (Big Sur is April 30, 2017).

Last week I received an email that I had been chosen in the lottery for First Timers & Bucket Listers.  This would be my first Big Sur Marathon and also on my bucket list of races.  I thought about it for like 2 seconds and registered for the April 30th race.  With my history of injuries (and prolonged recoveries from full marathons), I decided that I should transfer my registration for Surf City from the full marathon distance to the half marathon distance.  This was easily done through the registration web site (

I am excited about Big Sur.  A little apprehensive given the amount of elevation change.  Even though Sacramento is very flat, on today’s run I realized there are some rolling hills and various areas that have a bit of steeper hills that I can train on for next year’s marathon.  There are also places I can drive to (within an hour) that would allow me to do both trail running and hill training.  My other apprehension is the time limit (strict 6 hours) but I should hopefully be okay as long as I train properly and don’t get injured (*knocks on wood*).