KDF Marathon Training: Weeks 1 & 2 (17 & 16 weeks to go)

On December 16 I started "officially" training for the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon (4/19). 

Week 1

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 8 miles with 4 at "15k - HM pace" (7:56)

Training kicked off with this kind of tough workout. My book club met that evening, and in an uncharacteristic display of time management, I got this done in the window after work but before book club. But before I could congratulate myself, I realized I had forgotten to charge my Garmin. The first mile was 9-something (it beeped for mile 1 before it died), and I know the second four were around 7:50-something because I ran a big loop home to check the time before going out again for two cool-down miles. 

It was absolutely too dark to be out running in Carrboro, and I almost ate it when I tripped on a tree branch that was draped across the sidewalk for no good reason. I flapped my hands wildly and stayed upright, and I'm reporting this event here as a reminder to myself to find, charge, and wear my headlamp at night.

Wednesday - Rest

Thursday - I went for a pretty uneventful ride in the evening. I asked for feedback and my colleague (who connected me to this gig and has been watching me ride since I started) told me that I am doing well. I know I have a long way to go until I feel back to where I was before I "retired," but as long as I'm getting better over time I won't complain too much about how long it takes. 

Friday - 4.9 miles 

On Friday I was feeling pretty awesome because I had gotten more space on our server and the code I'd been working on for weeks was finally running. I went out for a run in the evening and felt wonderful. It might have been a bit fast for an "easy" workout but I didn't care..

Saturday - 8 miles 

...until Saturday, when I bonked on an 8-mile run. I don't really know what happened: I was just dehydrated, hungry, and tired, I guess. It was in the mid-70s, which probably didn't help. I felt terrible because I was running with James, who is training for his own spring race, and this 8-miler was to be his longest run so far. I showed him some of my favorite little trails behind a neighborhood near us, but toward the end I started to despair that I just couldn't go on, even with the promise of a heaping Parker & Otis sandwich at our finish line. I made it, but only out of stubborn pride (I don't recommend this.)

Sunday - I felt better on Sunday. North Carolina had a warm spell (over 75 degrees) and the horses' long winter coats were matted with sweat. Our ride involved a lot of walk breaks so the horses wouldn't overheat.

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Total: about 20 miles


Week 2

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - Rest, arrived in sunny Florida.

We gave James's parents a citrus juicer, so we picked up a ton of oranges from a roadside stand for Christmas morning juice.

We gave James's parents a citrus juicer, so we picked up a ton of oranges from a roadside stand for Christmas morning juice.

Wednesday - "Whoops, better go running!" 5 miles.

Nothing to say about this, but afterward I dangled my legs on the edge of the dock and watched the dogs play in the lake for hours.

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Thursday - 8 miles


On Christmas morning James and I woke up early for a run around his parents' neighborhood. We looped through the orange groves and I resisted the impulse to pick a few to take home with me.

Friday - Rest

Saturday - Rest 

Back in North Carolina, we went on a complete cleaning frenzy and finally tackled a dozen home projects we've been procrastinating since we moved in. I almost wish I had taken before & after photos, but the "before" was so bad, I couldn't bear it.

I feel like a brand new person!

Sunday - 8.4 miles 

Yesterday after the rain cleared, I attempted a 9-mile long run with 6 GMP miles. After a 1-mile warmup, I tried to run my goal pace miles by feel and ended up with 8:55, 9:17, 8:26, 8:51, 8:32, and 8:18. I don't mind these super uneven splits because it was hilly, and I'm a little out of shape these days. Effort-wise, I think this was a little tougher than what "GMP" (around 8:35) should feel like, but it's early and I'm still honing in on a time goal. 

I found my old ipod shuffle during Saturday's cleaning spree, which I hadn't used at all during NYCM training. I took it out with me and had the surreal experience of listening to loud electronic music while crashing around in the woods. It was a huge sensory overload and I came home surging with adrenaline. 

Toward the end, my right ankle really stated bothering me, especially on the downhills. I had planned to go to 9, but cut it a little short because it felt like it was getting worse. I think it's just a tight muscle, so I'll work on it with the foam roller and see how it goes.

Total: 22 miles