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Portland Marathon Training Reflections: Week 9

Portland Marathon Training Reflections: Week 9
Portland Marathon Training Reflections: Week 9

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 9 of my marathon training: 

Week 8 was my highest mileage week yet, a great trail race, and quality workouts. Apparently, it all caught up to me this week. I skipped runs, had terrible muscle tightness, ate pie and scones, and slept more. Mentally, I also felt like I just needed a break from the intensity of training. But by the end of week, I landed in Prince Edward Island am feeling so much better.

I know this sense of fatigue and wanting a break is just part of the long marathon training cycle. I still find it hard to accept missing a workout or not following my training plan exactly. Can you tell I am a bit of a perfectionist?


August 8: group personal training in AM + 60 minutes recovery in PM

I should not have gone to group personal training in the morning. I was tired, sore, and stiff from the previous week of training. It has become such a habit that I went anyway. Throughout the day, my right side tightened up completely and it was difficult to walk normally. I spent 60 minutes in the evening listening to music, watching reality TV, and foam rolling, doing some of my favourite yoga poses, and rolling with the lacrosse ball. This post by Christine from Love Live Surf has a great sequence of yoga poses for runners. By the end of the night, my legs felt a little better but it was a good reminder I need to take recovery more seriously.

August 9: group personal training in AM + 60 minutes recovery in PM

I was feeling a little better at GPT this morning but found it difficult to do any lateral movements because my right piriformis and glute were so tight. I spent 15 minutes rolling out after class and decided to skip my marathon clinic in the evening. I was disappointed to miss our final week of hills but knew I needed to take it easy or I would just make things worse.

August 10: group personal training in AM + 1.5 hour nap in PM

I skipped an evening run in favour of a nap! I completely crashed when I got home from work and fell asleep for almost 2 hours. I felt much better after this.


August 11: group personal training in AM + 7 easy miles (11.25 km) in PM

GPT was killer this morning! We did a lot of lower body: broad jumps, broad jumps up the stairs, squats. To finish off the workout, we did several drop sets of rows (each set you drop in weight). My back hasn’t been worked that hard in a while! After spending a lot of time foam rolling, stretching, and using the lacrosse ball this week I finally felt like running again in the evening. I did a very easy 7 mile run on the seawall and it felt ok. I am still experiencing tightness in my right side so am going to check out RMT or acupuncture when I get back from vacation next week.


August 12: 6.5 miles in AM + day of travel

I am meeting up with my parents in Prince Edward Island so flew out early Friday morning. Before my flight, I managed to squeeze in 6.5 early AM miles on the seawall. It certainly felt better and was faster than yesterday’s run but still not fantastic.


August 13: rest + 40 minutes stretch and lacrosse ball

I probably haven’t rested this hard since I was tapering for the marathon in May. We arrived in PEI just before 1 am, so it was a late night. After a morning at the market and brunch, we had a lazy afternoon and I took a 2 hour nap. It was glorious!


August 14: 18 miles (29 km) long run

Sunday was typical Prince Edward Island weather. Rainy and windy! I waited until 1 pm to do my long run and finally decided to tough the weather out and go. My parents couldn’t believe I didn’t just throw in the towel. Despite the weather, it was actually a really fantastic long run! I ran to Cavendish Beach and PEI National Park and the views were gorgeous. I kept the pace relatively easy, powered up the hills, and stopped for plenty of photos. I discovered a whole trail system when I got to Cavendish Beach, which is always exciting. I also managed to make it through 18 miles with only 1 gel, but scarfed down plenty of food when I got home. I am always grateful for long runs where I feel strong and happy for the entire time, it can be rare!


  • Syd says:

    Good for you for getting that long run in today! Sounds like an amazing route and feeling happy for all those km’s is a feat in itself. I love running and finding new routes on vacation 🙂

    • says:

      Thanks! Exploring new routes and running to places I hadn’t been to in years on PEI was definitely great motivation!

  • Jonathan says:

    I think we had the same week! I missed a workout (more due to soreness) and also felt a little sluggish on some runs, but after the week prior, it’s OK to have recovery weeks. Better to skip a workout and recover than try to keep up the pace and risk injury or muscle fatigue. You made the right choice!

    • says:

      Hope your week is going better now! I agree, I’m glad I started marathon training a bit earlier than I did for my last race. It’s much easier to build in those easier recovery weeks.

  • I give you so much credit for doing personal training in the am and runs at night! that is dedication. 18 miles – I haven’t gotten that far yet, still have a mental block for those long distances!

    • says:

      Thanks Sarah! It does help training in a group in the mornings and for the Tuesday night runs – having that accountability and other people doing it along with me. Getting out for evening runs on my own is definitely much harder! I remember the first 18 miler I did, such a fantastic sense of accomplishment. You’ll get there!

  • Sounds like you having a great run. Love all the view. Enjoy the view is one of my best reason to go on a run. Keep it up, friend! You are doing great!

    • says:

      Thanks Bobby! Views are definitely great motivation, as are exploring new places. I love the sense of surprise and what you may find or see on a run in a new place!

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