Dill’s Jackson Marathon Training Adventures Weeks 2 and 3

I promised myself I would stay on top of these training logs this time, but wow, how quickly two weeks can fly by!  Let’s back up to week 2.

Week 2 only called for 4 days of running again.

Monday: Swam 1700 yards, swam 1000 yards straight for the first time in a long time.

Tuesday: The plan called for an 11 mile run.  I wasn’t about to do an 11 mile run on the treadmill, my heart just wasn’t in it and I really wanted to do some speedwork.  I settled on a 2 mile warm up, 8 by 800 meters with 400 meter jog between with 2 mile cool down for 10 miles total.  The goal was to run 3:20 to 3:10 pace. I STRUGGLED trying to run at a 3:32 pace. I ran the first in 3:26 and barely held on. I stopped in the middle of the second 800 and about lost my mind.  That’s when I slowed it down to the 3:34 pace and just held on til I finished.  I don’t know if it was the lifting class I took in the morning, if it was all in my head or if my treadmill just hates me, but I was very disappointed after this run.

Wednesday: 8 miles easy with with 4 @ half marathon down to 10k pace.  I was back at it on the treadmill, and after yesterdays fiasco, I was conservative with my “tempo” pace.  I ran 8:20 pace down to 7:30 pace.  Should have been more like 7:40 down to 6:45, but I was feeling sorry for myself and hating my treadmill.

Thursday: rest day

Friday: Long run of 15 miles.  I had to get my run in while my daughter was in pre-school.  I dropped her off, and met a friend for a nice 9.3 miles.  I looked at my watch and realized that I would probably only have enough time to get 14 miles in, especially with the traffic lights in the area.  But, being stubborn as I am, I started to pick up the pace.  As I continued to run, I realized if I kept pushing I could get all 15 miles in.  The first 9.3 miles were done at an 8:32 pace.  By the end of 15 miles, I had brought the overall pace down to an 8:17.  My last mile was a 7:35 pace, just a bit slower than the pace I was struggling to hold for my 800’s.

Saturday:  Friday night we drove into Kalamazoo for a skating competition. We were staying right off the highway and it was dark when we arrived, so I had no idea if the surrounding area was suitable for running.  I woke up early to get my 5 mile run in, but was surprised at how much later it got light out just 4 hours west of where I live.  I waited for it to get light out since I didn’t bring a head lamp and wasn’t familiar with my surroundings.  I found a neighborhood to loop around in and stuck to main roads.  As I was turning back to the hotel I noticed people in running clothes walking in a parking lot. I went over to check it out and found a beautiful running trail full of runners.  I chased down a guy and asked him how for the path went. I was almost done with my run at this point, but was glad to know that the path was there for next year when we go back.

Sunday: Addy’s competition day/travel day/ rest day.  Addy’s team got 3rd place and we rushed home in time to watch the lighting of the square in our home town.

Christmas Lighting of the Square

Week 3

Monday: rest day

Tuesday:  The plan called for 11 miles again.  I decided to try the 8 by 800 workout again.  I didn’t lift that morning and I started off at the 3:34 pace.  The 800s were doable and felt much better, but I didn’t try and get down to the 3:10-3:20 range.  I ran out of time during my cool down and had to cut it short.  9 miles total

Wednesday: 8 meh miles on the mill.  I threw in some 8 by 100’s to keep my sanity.

Thursday: 4 miles easy on the schedule.  We had fun night Wednesday, we took our girls to see Wicked downtown and then spent the night in a hotel downtown that was right near the start of the turkey trot.  I ran the 5k holding hands with my oldest daughter the entire way.  It wasn’t her fastest  race, but she finished 10th out of 78 2-10 years olds. (She’s 7.)

Turkey Trot!

Friday: rest day

Saturday: the plan called for 4 miles easy.  I caught my neighbor Crystal just as she was about to go for a run and we got in 5 relaxed miles together.

Sunday:  The plan called for 16 miles with 10 at marathon pace.  My goal marathon pace is 8:00 minute pace, but I always get very nervous when I need to actually do a workout at that pace.  I was meeting my friend for 5 miles, so I planned to run 5 miles to meet her, run 5 with her and then finish up the last 6 on my way back.  I was running late, so I ran hard to make sure I wouldn’t miss my friend.  First 5.3 miles:

8:21, 7:54, 7:49, 7:47, 7:53 average 7:58

Ran 5 with my friend at an 8:39 average and then made it my goal to get 4.7 more in under 8:00 minute average.  Final 4.7 miles:

7:51, 7:50, 7:46, 7:53 average 7:51

1 Slow mile to cool down to get to 16 miles total.

The last couple of miles were tough, but I was thrilled with how well the run had gone.  I’m looking forward to next week’s long run being all at an “easy pace” though.

Next week I’m going to continue to follow the basic outline of the plan.  I will do a 9-10 mile workout that includes speed in lieu of the midweek long run of 11-12.  I’m not going to stress over the length of the midweek runs.  If I have to shorten one of the long runs by a mile or two and I make the short recovery runs a mile longer, than so be it!  I want to train hard this cycle, but I don’t want to stress or burn out.


I'm a running mom of two little girls, who is busy balancing life, work and marathon training. It's always training season for me because I'm on a quest to run a marathon in every state, while constantly striving to be the best runner I can be. Running has led me to some great adventures and I always have a good story to share!

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