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Portland Marathon Training Reflections: Week 6

Portland Marathon Training Reflections: Week 6
Portland Marathon Training Reflections: Week 6

On October 9, 2016, I will be running Marathon No. 2: the Portland Marathon. Follow along as I post my weekly training recaps. All training recaps can be found here.

Here is week 6 of 17 of my marathon training:

“Tears and running go together. It’s not called a work out for nothing; we come and we work it out […] We just have to get it out. Running is the best therapy I’ve ever had. We burn, we push, we sweat, we suffocate, and we see that we are stronger and more refined for our pain. The awareness of this strength gives us the confidence we need to go home, shower, and face the rest of our day, our week, our year.” – Kirstin Armstrong


This week was tough. Lack of sleep, a busy and at times frustrating work week, no time to clean my apartment, and not being fully recovered from week 5 of training and racing. I felt exhausted, sore, scattered, and easily discouraged. But this is just part of the process and I am looking forward to regrouping and getting more sleep this week.

July 18: group personal training in AM + 30 minutes stretch & rolling with lacrosse ball in PM

July 19: group personal training in AM + 8 miles (12.87 km) hill repeats in PM

Every Tuesday morning, I debate going to group personal training. I love going and it gets my day off to a good start. But if we really work our lower body, it makes the evening marathon clinic workout all the more challenging. Of course, we did a variety of lower body exercises this morning! Barbell squats, dead lifts, jump squats, and more.

This is week 7 of our marathon clinic, which means 7 hill repeats! We ran from Cambie Running Room to East 7th Avenue and Windsor Street. We had the option to run up the hill along East 7th Avenue to Fraser Street or go a block further to Carolina Street. While most people chose the shorter version, I was really proud of myself for choosing the longer option and attempting to keep up with the speedy runners! Unfortunately, my legs were pretty dead from the start. This is one of the hardest running workouts I have done in awhile, but I am a firm believer in: “if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”


July 20: group personal training in AM

Despite being sore and sleepy, I really enjoyed the variety of this workout: kettle bell exercises, single leg squats, and challenging plank variations. I also reached a new level of bad-assery! My hands have become pretty calloused from lifting heavy weights and attempting pull-ups. Today, my left hand started bleeding and my right hand got a mysterious black blood blister. Maybe it’s time for a manicure?

July 21: group personal training in AM + 15 minutes stretch & rolling with lacrosse ball


July 22: 7 miles (11.25 km) in AM + long seawall walk in PM

My run this morning was just what I needed. I kept a steady, moderately hard pace, pushing it occasionally. It just felt really good to be out on the seawall on such a beautiful morning. Runs like these really help manage my stress, whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed or a bit out of sorts.

July 23: rest

No official workout today, just plenty of walking and soaking up that summer sun in Stanley Park and on the seawall.

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July 24: 16 miles (26 km) long run + 1.5 hour easy hike + 40 minutes stretch & rolling with lacrosse ball

I accidentally slept in (9.5 glorious hours of sleep) and had originally planned to start my long run earlier so I could be ready to go on a hike in the afternoon. Instead, I missed my marathon clinic long run, we cancelled our hike because of tired legs, and I ended up running on my own around 10 am. It was a hot one out there! The run was fine but I was a little bored and clearly have been slacking on recovery. I have a lot of tightness in my right hip and it is passing down into my leg and knee, not good.

I continued my fuel experiments today: instead of gels I opted for a sunflower seed butter and honey packet at the 1 hour mark (190 calories). It was super easy to eat, felt good in my stomach, reenergized me, and was really delicious. 1 hour later, I got really hungry and couldn’t stomach the gel I had with me. So I ran into a grocery store and grabbed a banana. Crisis averted!

Later in the afternoon, I was itching to spend some time in the forest so I headed out on my own for a hike. I took the bus to Deep Cove in North Vancouver for a short, relatively easy hike (less than 1.5 hours roundtrip) up to Quarry Rock and back.


What do you do when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out?

  • Some training weeks are so tough. When I start to feel too overwhelmed with life and my to do lists, I focus on what absolutely needs to get done and let the rest of it go. It’s not easy but when you’re training you learn to accept that not everything will get done.

    • says:

      That’s great advice, thanks Jen! It’s hard not to try to be “perfect” with the training plan, but it’s a good reminder to focus on what really needs to get done, and just let the rest go when things get busy!

  • Alyssa says:

    Yes! Literally read this at 4 am today because my brain was too full to sleep. Thanks for making a little bit of the crazies feel normal. Come by for dinner one night this week if you need a break! We just got groceries and need to eat all the veggies before vacation 🙂

    • says:

      Haha oh no! Well, I am happy I could provide some middle of the night reading. Let’s sure hope the crazies are normal! And thank you so much for the offer… I’m never one to turn down veggies! I forgot you guys are going away soon!

  • Eeeek these pictures make me so excited to visit Vancouver next week!!! I may need some of your favorite running and eating spots. I love how you break these posts down – I’m training for my first marathon in October and I loved your post about 26 things you learned. So helpful to keep in mind! Have a great week!

  • UGH your pictures, as always, are stunning. I’m so jealous of all the wonderful places you get to run and explore within the city!

    • says:

      Says the girl who spends her weekends in the mountains! Hahaha. I always love your pictures too! PS. Come visit 🙂

  • I can’t get over how beautiful these pictures are! Ugh I know exactly how you’re feeling in your training. When I started training for my marathon I had just started a new job, had the blog, birthday parties and a pile of laundry so huge it made me just want to cry! Writing out to-do lists of things that had to be done and things that could wait saved my life.

    • says:

      Thanks Diana, I’m lucky to live in such a beautiful place! I am impressed you started training during all that change. Making to-do lists definitely is key for me too!

  • Your photos are gorgeous! Marathon training can feel so overwhelming at times – like all you do is eat, work, sleep, and run. I always need so much more sleep as well when I train. When I’m overwhelmed I literally schedule out my entire day, including breaks, specific work tasks, running, and sleep. It helps me get more done by minimizing those small time wasters like too much social media.

    • says:

      Thanks Laura, I really love taking photos when I’m out exploring and running! Yes, the need for sleep is starting to catch up with me. Last night, I came home and took a nap after work (of course it was super hard to fall asleep later on! oops). Great idea to schedule in everything including sleep! I’m going to start doing that.

  • Your training is going so well! I love that you’re experimenting with real food as fuel on your training runs. It’s definitely more awkward to carry and sometimes to chew but it can work really well.

    • says:

      Thanks so much Laura, it has definitely been a lot easier in many ways, compared to training for my first marathon. Incredible how your body adapts to the training load and mileage. Yes, it’s been fun to experiment! Not exactly practical at times to eat a banana mid-run, but it sure was delicious! Haha.

  • […] week was definitely better than last week. I am really starting to notice the benefits of consistent hill training. From making the Grouse […]

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