St. Jude Memphis Marathon Training – 1 Week to Go

Scheduling a marathon for the first week of December is something I have to highly recommend for one reason only: the Turkey Taper.

I think being out of my normal routine has kept the taper-crazies at bay. It’s my first marathon, so mayyyybe I don’t get taper-crazy, but let’s be realistic and credit the turkeys for this one.

Total Miles: 28

Total recommitments to good habits: steady at 2 (you can’t recommit to eating normal amounts of food on Thanksgiving week)

Monday: 4 miles easy @ 11:29/mile; strides; hips

I ran after work, which almost always results in stomach issues. Stopped back by the house after mile 3. I considered not going back out, but made myself run the last mile and do strides.

Tuesday: 9 miles // mile 4 @ tempo pace; 8 x 2:00 @ 10k pace w/ 90 second jog rest

This is not how I imagined the taper.

I wanted to get out of my normal tempo-run-route rut, and I chose a “scenic” route that was nice, but it made hitting my paces a bit more challenging. On one uphill 10k pace repeat, I got smoked by this leggy high school runner I see around from time to time. She was cruising effortlessly. I looked down at my Garmin, and I was running a 7:15/mile pace, a full 1:15 too fast. Ouch, pride.

Wednesday: Rest day; Turkey Travel

Thursday: 5 miles easy @ 11:08/mile; strides; core; ATE ALL THE TURKEY

I felt really awful on this run. I would have felt more awful had I not played a guessing game with myself as I passed other runners: who’s running the race next weekend?

Guy in compression everything: marathon
Group of moms in neon everything: half marathon
Fratty-looking dude with golden retriever: just out for a run

Meaningless supposition about other runners aside, I was glad to be done.

Thanksgiving night, I did the unheard-of: I braved the lines at Target for a deal on a GoPro for Jeff. (No spoilers here, I couldn’t keep it a secret from him for more than a day!) It was quite the ordeal, but three Target stores and a day later, I got the one I wanted.

Turkey Thursday lines

Collierville, TN Target store, 5:45 PM on Thanksgiving Day. Insane.

Friday: Rest day

Did some casual Black Friday shopping with my mom, and she bought me a sweet marathon gift.

Arm warmers

Marathon gift from my mom 🙂

That night, we went out for my cousin’s 30th birthday – bowling! I hadn’t gone bowling in eons. It was a blast.


The birthday girl!


Car full of people I am really glad to be related to.

Saturday: 10 miles; last 5 @ goal marathon pace; core and hips

I got to try out Memphis’s Shelby Farms Greenline for the first time. I was a little disappointed that a good chunk of the first mile heading west ran by the penitentiary, but otherwise it was great.

Shelby Farms Greenline

Shelby Farms Greenline

Memphis Greenline

The run itself went well, except that I was not feeling goal marathon pace until the last two miles. It averaged out ok, but in miles 6-8, I’d look down and be running 10:15/mi one moment, and 9:05/mi the next. For some reason, 9:35/mi was the pace I kept gravitating toward. I’m not adjusting my plan this late in the game, but if 9:35 still feels good in the last 10k, I’ll go for it.

Marathon pace run

Miles 6-10 @ GMP

It feels good to be all caught up on training recaps, and to be pretty much done training! I signed up for Twitter race updates, which I believe are scheduled for 5k, 10k, half, 20 miles, and finish. Follow me at @racingoprah if you want to track my progress. I can’t believe its almost here!


4 thoughts on “St. Jude Memphis Marathon Training – 1 Week to Go

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