Monday, July 16, 2012

Week 1 – Philadelphia Marathon Training

Today is the day! I started my 18-week training plan for the Philadelphia Marathon today.

Health Check: I feel well-rested and excited. My calves are a little sore since I’ve been trying to change my form and land on my midfoot. My quads are also a bit sore from yesterday’s somewhat hilly run.

Today’s Workout: 4 Miles - Easy

I’ve been building my base for several weeks now, keeping my mileage relatively high so that training wouldn’t come as a shock. Running too much too fast can cause injury – so I’ve been sticking to the 10% rule (increase your mileage by 10% each week. i.e. if you ran 20 miles last week, you can safely run 22 miles this week).

I enjoyed my last few pre-training runs, and have been trying to focus on my form. I had a summer Friday last week (lksjdfl I LOVE SUMMER FRIDAYS!), so I changed it up and did my long run that day so I could enjoy more weekend carousing.

Let me start off by saying that nutrition is probably the most important part of my pre-long-run routine (I would guess this is true for most, but I don’t claim to be an expert on this stuff). I can run a race on little sleep (as I almost always do), I can use music or podcasts to readjust my mental game, and I can promise myself the fruitful rewards of a bagel sandwich and an iced coffee to get me through almost any distance. But there is no way to overcome poor pre-run nutrition.

Thursday night dinner: 4 draft beers + 1 hot dog = uncomfortable long run

I got a little overzealous about having the next day off, so I wasn’t thinking about how those draft beers would feel in 80 degree heat the next morning. I also ate too much right before my run, and didn’t leave enough time between eating and running. As I suffered through the miles, I came up with a Wise Tip of the Day - remove hot dogs from any pre-run meal and you should be good to go.

I ran the first half without music, trying to power through my rumbly tummy and dehydrated muscles. I ran over the Williamsburg Bridge, and I can tell I am getting into slightly better shape since I didn’t feel like collapsing at the end of each incline. I kept my pace easy, and didn’t really look at my watch except to count down the miles to my iced coffee.

*I did in fact run 8 full miles, but my Garmin mistakenly clocked my first mile too quickly. I know my routes well enough to know where the general mile markers are, and I DEFINITELY know that I did not run that first terrible mile at a 7:24 pace.

I spent my day off cleaning, reading, and treating myself to a new pretty dress from Dalaga. As much as I love Summer Fridays, I dislike seeing all of the other people sitting in coffee shops doing absolutely nothing. WHAT do you all do for a living? I DON’T understand this counter-culture in Brooklyn.

I went home to Connecticut this past weekend with Keith, and we traveled up to the Brimfield Antique Show with his mom.

We went last year, and I picked up a few great pieces for my apartment (including a rustic red trunk that is supposedly from the 1890s – it now doubles as a coffee table and my nail salon). We each had our responsibilities for the day - Keith was the negotiator and overall strongman, Mrs. Langlais was our go-to decision-maker, and I fulfilled the important role of initiating snack time and pee time.

Probably thinking about my next snack.
We definitely left with fewer items this year, but each purchased a few cool things. I got a set of orange Fiestaware salt & pepper shakers that I’m obsessed with, Keith got a pennant from the 1969 Pasadena Bowl Boston University played in (a rare find considering BU no longer has a football team…), and Mrs. Langlais got a picnic basket. 

Our picnic! Initiated by me.

We picked up some goodies on the way home from antiquing, and had ourselves a perfect summer evening.

Perhaps my finest photography to date.
I did a quick run on Sunday morning to add to my weekly mileage for last week, and I ended it by running the last quarter mile without my shoes on. I wanted to check how my form was, and I ended up kind of liking it! I certainly don’t have that luxury in my neighborhood, which is often littered with erroneous trash from hipsters and bums alike, but I’m hoping to add it into my routine at the track.

Ok back to today’s momentous occasion – the marathon!!!

Truth be told, I am a bit nervous. Before today, I was remembering mostly the negative effects of training – spending countless hours running on Saturday mornings, cutting down on social outings to fit in workouts, FATIGUE, and the overall effect of how marathon training slowly takes over your life. I’m adding two weeks onto my training compared to last year, and I’m often worrying about whether it will be enough, or more likely, too much.

But this morning for some reason, I woke up with a big smile on my face, and remembered all of the AWESOME parts of training – eating in excess without guilt, laying low on Friday nights to carb-load, enjoying lots of time to yourself and with Harry Potter audiobooks, and the overall sense of accomplishment from completing a feat that most people never do. Also, I found out last night that my super-running cousins also signed up for Philly!!!! So many things to look forward to.

I kicked off my training with a 4-Mile run – without my Garmin. I brought my iPod for a little companionship, but also to remind myself to go at an EASY pace. I am following my self-imposed rule from last week to devote one easy run a week without pace-checking technology. I gave my sore legs an easy warm-up mile, and then did the rest at a comfortable pace.

So here’s to 18 weeks of long runs, sore muscles, and pasta. And good luck to everyone who’s also starting to train for fall marathons!!!


  1. You forgot to include that your goal is to finish the marathon in 1 hour! Other than that, stellar post as always!

  2. Four months before the Philly Marathon and already you are you getting ready. It will be a great race for you though I do not know how you can run when it is so humid out! OUCH! And your GP would agree with your "What do you all do for a living?" comment! One day, you should pull up a chair and ask!