St. Jude Memphis Marathon Training – 8 Weeks to Go

It’s been a couple of weeks and a vacation since the last training update. The last two weeks’ training began normally. Then I vacationed to Central America (Copan Ruinas and Utila, Honduras – check out Jeff’s trip report on Lonely Planet if you’re interested). I’m hoping to write a recap of my own once I get vacation photos all sorted out.

I’d been worried about decompression sickness from diving and training, but I should have realized that pulling off marathon training in the tropics was going to be the greater challenge. The last few days have been an exercise in bouncing back, and I hope next week’s update reflects that!

Two weeks ago, I was coming off of a successful 38-mile week of training and was on cloud nine about my training. Here’s how training has gone since that period of marathon-training-euphoria:

Monday, 9/29: poor time management, let the day get away from me, no time to run but had an amazing 12 course Korean dinner.

Korean Food

Korean Feast: (from top left): cucumber stuffed w/ jellyfish & hot mustard sauce; asparagus with mushrooms, one stuffed with avocado, Korean-style shrimp tempura, short rib, clam with minced hard boiled egg and cucumber, and ALL THE SIDE DISHES!!! and that was just half of our meal.

Tuesday, 9/30: 6 miles easy @ 11:02 pace (I am really starting to get this “easy run” thing down!)
Wednesday, 10/1: 8 miles / miles 4-6 @ tempo pace – I have issues reading my training plan and again screwed it up, running 5-7 at tempo pace instead. Splits:

tempo run

Feeling pretty good about this one.

I might have let myself run too hard at the end of mile 7 to compensate for feeling fatigued. I actually thought I was slowing down when I was speeding up. But all my splits were within my tempo pace range (8:45-9:00) so I’m not going to lose sleep over it.
Thursday, 10/2: left for vacation! Had a flight delay, arrived at 2 am Friday.
Friday, 10/3: vacation/rest. No good leads on a place to run in Copan Ruinas, with its unreliable sidewalks, cobblestones, and steep hills.

Copan Ruinas Street

Cobblestone streets in Copan Ruinas. Not advised for running.

Saturday, 10/4: I found a place to run! Between the town of Copan Ruinas and the ruins site itself is a reasonably flat 1/2 mile stretch that I ran back and forth. It was horribly hot, and I got just under 4.5 miles in. It was the hardest 4.5 miles I’ve run in a long time.
Sunday, 10/5: travel from Copan to Utila. So tired.
Monday, 10/6: slept in from exhausting travel day, and by the time I got outside at 8:30, the tropical sun was way too much for running. Spent the afternoon diving.
Tuesday, 10/7: Thought I was going to try to get a workout in – LOLOLOLOL. I got an earlier start around 7 am, but the heat was still brutal. 30 minutes into the run, I threw in 6 1 min fast/2 min jog intervals. I was hoping to run 7 miles total, but once I finished my intervals I just ran to the nearest juice stand and called it a day. 4.75 miles total. I dove twice in the afternoon, and felt really sick that evening – it was just too much.

Side note: what a beautiful day of diving! We saw stingrays, lots of eagle rays (yes, I kept a safe distance), and the coolest thing was seeing a sea turtle poking around the reef. He was within a few yards of us and seemed completely unfazed by our presence. Huge shoutout to Turtle Buddy for letting us into his world 🙂

Wednesday, 10/8: Two morning dives, and a nice restful day.
Thursday, 10/9: Travel day! Ferry, taxi, bus, taxi, redeye flight.
Friday, 10/10: Thought it would be a good idea to go to work. Don’t ask why, I can’t even tell you. Slept about 14 hours that night.
Saturday, 10/11: 4 miles easy
Sunday, 10/12: Rest
Monday, 10/13: The worst long run ever

Weekly Mileage:
Week of 9/29: 18.5
Week of 10/6: 8.75

Stay tuned, I think things will improve from here.

Things I learned in the past two weeks:
1. Running in the tropics is a whole different animal than running in Georgia. I thought I knew heat and humidity, and maybe I do, but I don’t know that tropical sun. Will not plan marathon training on future tropical vacations.
2. Sharing a vacation with someone you love is way more important than perfect training for a recreational marathon. I tend to get fixated on a goal and can obsess over it if I’m not careful, so this trip forced me to step back from the marathon goal and enjoy being away. Alternatively: just plan the vacation for later.
3. A week and a half off of training makes a difference. I tried to jump right back into a 14 mile long run and paid the price. Here’s hoping this weekend’s 17 mile run goes better.

If any of you have come back to training after a hiatus, I’d love to know how it went and anything you did to make it easier. Hope you all have a great weekend!


4 thoughts on “St. Jude Memphis Marathon Training – 8 Weeks to Go

  1. Pingback: St. Jude Memphis Marathon Training – 7 weeks to go | Racing Oprah

  2. Pingback: A New Year Approaches : 2015 Goals and Wild Dreams | Racing Oprah

  3. Pingback: A New Year Approaches: 2015 Goals & Wild Dreams | Racing Oprah

  4. Pingback: Diving and Marathon Training – Planning Ahead | Racing Oprah

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