Sunday, September 13, 2015

MCM Training Week 13

Week 13 of Marine Corps Marathon training brought my first 20-mile run. I feel accomplished, tired, sore, confident. All good things for marathon training, right?

Trying New Things

I tried some new things this week - race dots, gaiters, ice bath, and running on a clay/stone trail:

  • Race Dots - I wanted to like these but I just couldn't get my bib flat and straight. I made a real mess of it and switched to pins. So many of my friends love them, but they just aren't for me. Updated: After I watched the video on how to use race dots they worked much better for me and now I'm a fan!
  • Gaiters - I got gaiters because the trail has lots of tiny rocks. 
    • I'll do a separate blog post on how they work and how I prepped my shoes for them.
    • They worked great for keeping the rocks out of my shoes, but were tight enough that they made my neuromas flare and my feet go numb.
    • I took them off at mile 2 - the feeling returned to my feet, and tiny rocks irritated me for the rest of the race.
    • Isn't it ironic? Gaiters = no rocks, and numb feet that can't feel rocks. No Gaiters = rocks and the full sensation of those rocks in my shoes.
  • Ice Bath - I took an ice bath after my long run...we'll see in the coming days whether it seems to help with my recovery. It wasn't as bad as I feared it would be. Although it wasn't exactly fun!
  • Running on a Clay/Stone Trail - I am not a fan of this!! 
    • The rocks were annoying and the terrain was tough to run on. 
    • Parts were like cobblestones. The bottoms of my feet felt tender towards the end. 
    • I think it was harder on our bodies overall than our usual paved surface.

Our crew at Revenge of the Penguins
Coach Mike is the penguin - the race director asked him to come back next year!

Week 13 Statistics

I ran 4 times for a total of 31.4 miles.
  • Track: 3200-1600-4x800 at race pace (RP) building to threshold (T) with 3 minutes rest between intervals (5.8 miles)
    • I was really pleased with this workout, especially going for all 4 of the 800 repeats (our plan called for 2 to 4 repeats)
  • Easy runs: 3.1 and 2.2 miles
  • Long run: 20.3 miles (longest run to date!)
    • We ran the "Revenge of the Penguins" 20-mile race as our training run. 
    • This run gave me a lot of confidence. I felt good throughout and ran the last 2.5 miles particularly fast for me. 
    • Coach Mike drove us and supported us and dressed as a penguin! He is awesome.
  • Strength training: 4 times (my routine)
  • Yoga: 1 yin yoga class 
    • I realized I will miss this class for the next 3 weeks since my runs will be on Sundays until October. That bums me out.

New long run record!

"Cowboy Boot" badge from Fitbit for 50,000 steps!

Onward to Week 14!

Read about previous training weeks


  1. I am still using race dots because I don't like poking holes in my shirts, but I think the magnets are too strong and that's what makes it hard to line them up before they grab! Did you do the Penguin 20 miler on the tow path? I've heard people say that's hard on their bodies. For me, I can tell right away that an ice bath has worked

    1. The race was indeed on the tow path and it did feel hard on the body. I don't think I would choose to run there again.

      The ice bath definitely made a difference in my recovery. I'll be doing it again for sure!

      I will try again with the race dots. I don't like poking holes in my shirts, either. I used to use the bib holder on my hydration belt, but now that I've switched to a vest I've lost that option. Those magnets are crazy strong.