Richmond Marathon Training: Weeks 18 + 19: My Marathon Week Brain

It’s hard to believe that in four days, I’ll be running my second Richmond Marathon (and my third marathon in total)!

4 days until Richmond Marathon

I wrote an article for the Richmond Marathon event guide. I believe every participant gets a copy of this in their goody bag at the expo. Here’s the online version – my article is on pages 21-22:

The Magic of the Richmond Marathon

My thoughts are a jumbled mix of the race, my training and reflection on the last 19 weeks (seriously, how was it been that long?).

Before I expose you to the crazy insides of my brain, here’s how last week’s training went. I’ll recap this week’s plan later in the post:

Week 18: November 4 – November 10

  • Monday – 15 min w.u. 6 x 1000@MP with 1 min rest. 10 min c.d.  (6.3 mi)
  • TuesdayRefine Method
  • Wednesday 40 mins easy + 4 x 100m strides (3.6 mi)
  • Thursday – OFF
  • Friday – 40 mins easy (4.27 mi)
  • Saturday – 10 mi (1:47:46)
  • Sunday – OFF

Total: 24.17 miles

Most notable in week 18 are the 1,000 meter repeats at marathon pace (which ended up being a bit faster than MP). It was a very cold, insanely windy morning and I was glad I thought to wear my running wind vest. 1,000 meters is a strange distance, and I felt really great about my splits. Especially just two days after running 18 miles!

The other notable workout last week was Saturday’s 10 miler. My plan actually called for 10-12 miles, last 2 at MP. I always go for the top of my ranges, but by the second mile I knew this would be a 10 miler. Everything hurt. This run sucked.

My knee bothered me the entire time. This knee pain is strange; it started at the Portland Marathon as a sharp, outside the knee pain that I’d experienced many times before. While my knee hasn’t felt right since then, the pain’s been totally different. It moves around. Sometimes it’s in the front of my knee off to the side. Sometimes it’s right above or below the back of my knee. Sometimes it moves down to my ankle.

It doesn’t feel like an injury so much as it feels like super tight muscles that never fully recovered from Portland. I have a massage on Wednesday with my brilliant massage genius healer. I expect this, along with the insane amounts of icing I’m currently doing, to help a little. I even added “advanced methods of icing” to my Target shopping list on Sunday.

That brings me to Week 19:

Week 18: November 11 – November 16

  • Monday – 30 min easy with 6x100m strides (3.14 mi)
  • Tuesday – OFF (skipped tempo)
  • Wednesday Scheduled: 30-35 mins easy +4x100m strides (Might skip)
  • ThursdayScheduled: OFF
  • FridayScheduled: 20-25 mins easy + 4x100m strides
  • Sunday – Mac and cheese

I skipped today’s tempo run. I’d been looking forward to this run for a few weeks now — 15 minute warmup, 2 mile tempo, 2 mins slow jog, 800 meters @10K pace, 3 minute slow jog, 2 mile tempo, 15 minute cooldown. This is unlike any tempo I’ve ever done and I love how varied it is. I probably would have been focused and never bored.

But I knew, especially after Monday’s 30 minute run, that I needed to skip this tempo. While Monday’s run felt so much easier effort wise than Saturday’s — I felt like I was flying! — my knee still felt off. And it continued to bother me for the rest of the day.

I emailed my coach Steph and she confirmed skipping this run was the right choice. I’m not losing any fitness at this point, she said. I’m also considering skipping tomorrow’s 30-35 minute run.

I will do my Friday shakeout run because I found it to be a really helpful strategy in Portland. I also have lots of foam rolling plans once I get to my hotel in Richmond on Friday. And I expect to be good to go on race day. At least, I hope!

And now, a peek inside my marathon week brain:

Larry Gary space heater

  • Larry Gary really loves the space heater
  • I have to get my bangs trimmed before I leave for Richmond
  • Why doesn’t this wraparound ice pack stay cold for longer than 5 minutes?
  • Why doesn’t this new cold wrap get cold at all?
  • Am I doing it wrong?
  • How do people foam roll for more than 30 seconds without dying of boredom?
  • Why do no foods ever appeal to me at lunch, resulting in my consumption of multiple Picky Bars as lunch?
  • How many other people spend over $50 on coconut water during race week?
  • My goal is unattainable. 4:05 is for fast people.
  • I really wish there was a 4:10 or 4:05 pace group.
  • Maybe my goal is conservative and I am actually faster than I think!
  • But then why are my “easy” runs so slow?
  • My goal is probably somewhere between slightly ambitious – completely doable.
  • My watch GPS is always off in real time (but correct at the mile split). How am I supposed to pace myself?
  • I can’t believe the new Garmin I ordered, that was supposed to arrive by November 7, still hasn’t shipped.  So much for having it on race day. CANCEL.
  • At least now I can take advantage of the Garmin trade-in program and get the new watch now that I don’t need it right away.
  • This marathon can be the last hurrah for my weathered Nike+ GPS Sportwatch.
  • Maybe I can find someone else with the same race goal and stick with them?
  • Why did I make this arbitrary “no dairy during race week” rule? I don’t even know for sure if dairy bothers my stomach. My stomach is almost always bad regardless of what I eat.
  • I didn’t eat any dairy the week of Portland and my stomach was still a mess that day.
  • I chose not to blog about that part of the race.
  • Maybe just a little mac and cheese?
  • Maybe mac and cheese can be my post-race meal!
  • But what about the pancakes??
  • I need to buy ShotBloks at the expo.
  • I hate all lunch foods.
  • I hope I don’t spend too much money at the expo.
  • I wonder if they sell Richmond Marathon dog shirts at the expo?
  • I wonder if they sell macaroni and cheese at the expo?
  • Who can I talk nonstop about the marathon with?
  • I’m sad I missed out on a chance to get my favorite running tank top in bright purple.
  • My daily eBay checks failed.
  • I hope Andy can easily spot me in my ugly mismatched race outfit.
  • At least my shorts are orange.
  • I love the race day weather forecast! It’s perfect! I hope it sticks.
  • I hate being cold.
  • I should pack a hat in case the forecast changes to rain.
  • What if the race feels easy and I can beat my goal?
  • What if the race feels easy at first and I think I can beat my goal but as a result I injure my knee worse and then the race sucks and I sabotaged it for myself?
  • Why do I only remember bits and pieces of the course? Is my brain non functional? Did I black out mid-marathon?
  • No, I actually remember a lot now that I see the course map. I remember most of it! I remember specific turns. I remember being at mile 18 thinking “this is when I had to drop out of NYCM.”
  • How will I find Andy after the race? I am not running with my phone. We need to pick a meeting spot! I wish I knew what vendors would be there so I could say “meet in front of X vendor…”
  • It’s OK  that my last long run before the race sucked because I was due a bad run. Now there is less of a chance the marathon will suck.
  • But that 10 miler depleted most of my confidence. Why did it feel so hard to maintain 11:30 miles? Why did my marathon pace effort miles at the end feel like I was huffing and puffing and sprinting and still going so slow?
  • STOP IT. I thrive on race day. I thrive on race day. I thrive on race day.
  • I need to pack my neon green with pink tye dye headband. And maybe I will buy a new one at the expo too.
  • I wish they made orthopedic UGGs.
  • I hope Larry enjoys spectating for over four hours.
  • Larry is a boy.
  • We should bring a space heater with us to the hotel for him!
  • I know I didn’t think the Richmond Marathon hills were bad at all two years ago. What if I was wrong??
  • Whatev. I killed that hill in Portland. I’m awesome at hills.
  • Having bangs means I can wear my hair in a bun and not look a balding boy.
  • Do people still shop at Esprit?
  • Why am I completely unable to foam roll even when I know it is the only thing that might save me?
  • What is wrong with me?
  • Ugh.
  • I’m looking forward to training being over so I can take lots of Refine and fit back into the jeans I wore last December for my engagement photo shoot.
  • I’m looking forward to start marathon training again in March when I am stronger from lots of Refine, and not coming off injury like this cycle.
  • I am glad I was smarter and didn’t gain as much weight this time around as the last time I trained for a marathon. That sucked.
  • Marathon Marathon Marathon Marathon Marathon Marathon Marathon Marathon Marathon Marathon Marathon Marathon Marathon Marathon Marathon Marathon Marathon Marathon Marathon Marathon
  • My knee is the only thing getting in my way.
  • Running the Portland Marathon as a training run was totally worth it, despite the lingering pain (a risk I was willing to take)
  • I am so happy we made our hotel reservation in February and are staying right by the race start.
  • I am so happy the hotel allows pets.
  • Why do I sing “Ice Ice Baby” to myself every time I get out an ice pack?
  • I am excited for pre-race dinner with Danielle and Amelia. I am excited for them to meet Larry. I am sad alcohol cannot be involved.
  • That will make them like me. Also, cookies.
  • I already brought my packing list home. I will begin a supplemental packing list on smaller paper so I can copy the items over to my main packing list.
  • Adding “foldover sandwich bags” to the supplemental packing list! This is what I forgot to bring to PDX and it sucked!
  • This giant robe my coworker gave me months ago will be perfect to bring for before the race!
  • I can’t believe this race is the only thing I’ve blogged about for 18 (soon to be 19 and likely 20) weeks.
  • What will I blog about after?? Do I even have anything to say? I am not interesting.
  • A major perk of the Richmond Marathon is that I don’t have to go to work on Friday. Four-day week FTW.
  • Saturday will be awesome. The Richmond Marathon will be awesome.
  • I hope to be able to say to the Ander mid-race, once again, “I AM LOVING THIS!”
  • I am running a marathon on Saturday!!!!!!!!

Dori-Richmond-finish line

What’s your craziest pre-race thought?

18 comments on Richmond Marathon Training: Weeks 18 + 19: My Marathon Week Brain

  1. Laura @werkitinnyc
    November 12, 2013 at 12:39 pm (4 years ago)

    This post made me seriously laugh. Particularly that you think about Larry being a boy and Ice Ice Baby. Best of luck on Saturday. But you don’t even need luck because you thrive on race day!
    Laura @werkitinnyc´s last blog post ..Workout Review: TRX at Pilates Pro Works (PPW)

    • Dori
      November 12, 2013 at 1:27 pm (4 years ago)

      All I know is that Garmin gives you a credit toward a new watch if you give them your old one. I’ll do more research next week!

  2. Amber
    November 12, 2013 at 1:10 pm (4 years ago)

    Foam Rolling – I took a foam rolling class last night and vowed to remember everything we did so I could do it at home but you know that won’t happen.
    ESPRIT – Are there still Esprit stores to shop at? I wish I still had my Esprit purses from high school.

    Good luck Dori!!!

    • Dori
      November 12, 2013 at 1:26 pm (4 years ago)

      I can foam roll at Refine before class with no problem, but when I try at home I get bored and can’t handle the pain and give up in under 30 seconds. Also why I can’t exercise at home!

  3. Emily
    November 12, 2013 at 1:14 pm (4 years ago)

    This made me laugh so much. YOU CAN TALK TO ME ABOUT IT NONSTOP 😀

  4. Amelia
    November 12, 2013 at 1:18 pm (4 years ago)

    I looooooove your thought list! I’m sitting here cracking up at my desk…but I’m also craving mac and cheese! It’s nice to see someone else’s brain works the same way mine does.

    Can’t wait for this weekend!!
    Amelia´s last blog post ..Mirror, Mirror

  5. Katherine
    November 12, 2013 at 1:38 pm (4 years ago)

    Your thought, “I WANT MAC AND CHEESE,” is now my thought – thanks hahaha

    You’re going to do great, have an awesome time!!!!

  6. Danielle
    November 12, 2013 at 1:58 pm (4 years ago)

    Bahahah this is amazing. I am looking forward to this mix CD! So high school. You are going to ROCK the marathon… and I’m signed up to track you so I’m going to do my best to stalk you along the course once I finish the half!
    Danielle´s last blog post ..Running in the Dark: PSA

  7. Aj
    November 12, 2013 at 5:10 pm (4 years ago)

    Evelyn loves the space heater like that. She will sit in front of it until she’s panting and refuse to move. I’m not sure about Harvey’s feelings for the space heater as it’s not space heater weather in LA yet. Except in my office.

    You perfectly captured what it’s like to be in my head before anything that takes planning and anticipation.

  8. fiona
    November 12, 2013 at 5:49 pm (4 years ago)

    This is amazing! I am so excited for you (and Larry’s first marathon cheering experience!)! Plus #allthemacncheese

    Crossing my fingers for you. You Are A Fast Runner.
    fiona´s last blog post ..Wineglass Marathon – Last Long Run is DONE

  9. Heather
    November 12, 2013 at 7:42 pm (4 years ago)

    I couldn’t stop reading. Lol. All I could think about was cheese eating after my half marathon! And before I kept thinking I hope I can do it. This will be fun. This will be axing. I will have a PR. Blah blah blah. Have a great run!!

  10. Margaret
    November 13, 2013 at 9:36 am (4 years ago)

    LOVE THIS!!!! Mac and cheeeeese! You are also TOTALLY welcome to gchat me about the race for the next three days :) SO excited for you Dori!!!

  11. Ashley @ Running Bun
    November 14, 2013 at 12:12 pm (4 years ago)

    Fantastic list. Mismatched outfits are the best. I always sing ice, ice, baby.

    Fav: Larry is a boy.

    Can’t wait for you to have a great race and enjoy the marathon that helped shape you as a runner :)
    Ashley @ Running Bun´s last blog post ..Pregnancy: A Glass Case of Emotion

  12. Kari
    November 16, 2013 at 4:27 pm (4 years ago)

    Hi Dori! I found your blog a few weeks ago when I searched “Richmond Marathon” on BlogHer for inspiration because I ran my first half today! When I was walking back to my apartment in Richmond, I stopped at Lombardy to find a friend of mine who was also running the marathon and I saw you! Congrats on finishing year 2. I hope you loved my city just as much the second time around :)


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