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Portland Marathon Training Reflections: Week 11

Portland Marathon Training Reflections: Week 11
Portland Marathon Training Reflections: Week 11

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 11 of my marathon training: 

I cannot believe, like really can’t, that there are 6 weeks until Portland Marathon. Round 2 of marathon training has been so different from the first. I have thought a lot about why am I doing this and what is motivating me to run a second marathon. Honestly, sometimes I don’t know. The motivation is definitely different the second time around. The first marathon was an incredibly scary and at times what felt like an insurmountable feat. I was motivated to train partly out of fear, but also by a desire to accomplish something I truly thought I would never do.

Knowing I can now run a marathon is both encouraging, and also slightly less motivating! But then I think back to that race day and the slight sense of disappointment I had in my finish time. The desire to do better and to see what my body is capable of come October 9, 2016 has probably been my strongest motivator in training.

This week was a bit of a rollercoaster! Apparently flying across the country, spending 7 hours on a plane, and running 15 miles the next day does not bode well for one’s health. Monday night I knew I was getting sick. I spent Tuesday and Wednesday in bed exhausted. Fortunately by Friday, I was feeling better and now I almost feel 100%. It was a good reminder to take better care of myself.


August 22: group personal training in AM + rolling with lacrosse ball 

My legs didn’t feel too bad after Sunday’s long run. It’s always a gamble coming to Monday morning group personal training. I discovered standing up and rolling my back and lower body on the lacrosse ball against the wall is so much more effective (and painful) then trying to do it sitting on the floor.

August 23: rest (sick) + 30 minutes stretching

I woke up feeling pretty terrible. I skipped any workouts and spent the day sleeping and watching the TV series Odd Mom Out.

August 24: group personal training in AM + 30 minutes stretching

I woke up at 5 am and didn’t feel too bad so went to group personal training. Silly Danielle! The workout was a little half-hearted but maybe sweating it out sped up my healing process?


August 25: group personal training in AM + rolling with lacrosse ball + 90 minutes walk

Back to the gym and almost feeling better! My friend Pargol treated me to a smoothie at Body Energy post-workout which was greatly appreciated. In the evening, I ventured out for a long walk on the seawall. One bonus of the days getting shorter? I am awake late enough to see the sunset! 


August 26: 8 miles (13 km) speed workout + rolling with lacrosse ball

I was sad and freaking out about missing my marathon clinic’s track workout on Tuesday. I really wanted to get back at it this week after being on vacation so I decided to do the workout on my own Friday morning. Let’s just say, it felt harder than running a marathon. The workout was a speed ladder: 400m, 800m, 1200m, 1600m, 1200m, 800m, 400m with 2-3 minutes recovery in between each segment. The workout was brutal, I took a few too many walk breaks, and I actually felt like I may hurl. I’m sure that was partly still being a little sick. I sure was proud of finishing this!

For any Vancouver people, I ran it on the Brockton Oval “track” in Stanley Park. It was great to have a visual marker for distance, but the track is pretty overgrown and is more a grassy path than track. I probably wouldn’t recommend doing your speed workouts there!

August 27: 7.5 miles (12 km) easy + 90 mins yin yoga

I slept in and didn’t make it out for my run until 1:30 pm in the afternoon. It was a little toasty on the seawall so I ended my run with a few miles on the Stanley Park trails. It was really nice to have all day to do the run, not worry about fitting it in before other commitments, or rushing to get home.

In the evening, I went to my second ever warm yin yoga class. The first yin class I took was kind of lame, we barely stretched. This was so much better! My hips and hamstrings were dying a little, but the long 3-5 minute held stretches really helped open them up. I felt like a new person after class and was so much more relaxed!


August 28: 20 miles (32 km) long run + stretching and rolling with lacrosse ball

Nothing like ending off your week with 20 miles long run, right? I was nervous going into this run after being sick and having not run this far since BMO Vancouver Marathon. Our clinic leaders planned out a great 32 km route that took us along the recently paved Arbutus corridor (abandoned railway tracks) to the Southlands where we saw horses, farms and very fancy houses. We took a quick break at Deering Island Park (a random small island in the Fraser River) and continued onto Pacific Spirit Park for some miles on the trails. We finished up our run along the flat seawall.

Despite some lingering tightness in my right side, everything else felt pretty good. My quads were really sore on Saturday after the speed workout but not too bad on Sunday. This was also my fastest 20 miler to date and I ended it feeling tired but not totally spent.


What motivates you to workout or run races? Did you have any adventures this weekend? 

  • Syd says:

    Nice job getting that track workout in when you weren’t feeling 100% ! Sounds like a tough one for sure. My favourite track is Hastings Park, a bit out of the way, but a beautiful track for speed work and nice view, especially at sunset!

    • says:

      Thank you! I will have to check out some other tracks. We did our workout this week at Eric Hamber and the track there was great but not overly close to where I live, so I doubt I would go there on my own! I am intrigued by these sunset views at Hastings Park.

  • It’s definitely tough to motivate yourself to do a track workout alone! It’s easy to skip out and take extra walk breaks – I’m guilty of doing that. I think it’s super motivating to be training to beat a certain time. For me, my goal right now is just to finish my first marathon but I’m sure I’ll want to do better in my next one.

    • says:

      Yeah I was certainly guilty of taking an extra walk break or two! This week’s track workout was much better with everyone else around and our clinic leaders timing us.

      I think just finishing is a fantastic goal and probably should have been my goal for the first one! I think you’re more apt to want to do another one as well, and less pressure on yourself for the first one.

  • That route for your long run looks so pretty! Great work on your training again this week, especially the long run and ladder workout. My goal is to do better in my second marathon – both in my finish time and how I feel.

    • says:

      Thanks Laura! I was pretty happy to get through that long run and ladder workout – despite having been sick earlier in the week. Great goals for your second marathon. Feeling good and tired, but not wanting to die, are definitely goals of mine! Hahaha.

  • HoHo Runs says:

    Welcome to the Weekly Wrap, Danielle! First of all, your pictures are stunning! I just followed you on I/G so I can enjoy them! Secondly, I ran my first marathon (Disney) 3 months AFTER a foot fracture caused me to DNS the Chicago Marathon. The goal was just to finish — and I did. I’m currently training for Chicago again and, like you, I am motivated to have a different outcome. However, training in the on-going southern heat and humidity has me questioning the ability to achieve a different outcome. Great job on your fastest 20 miler! I hope to see you again next week!

    • says:

      Thank you so much! I look forward to participating in the weekly wrap again. I really enjoy taking pictures – especially during runs! So many places to explore.

      That is amazing completing your first marathon after a foot fracture, nicely done! Hope your training for Chicago is going despite the heat and humidity. I’m sure getting through those tough runs will pay off some a hopefully cooler race day!

  • I apologize for being so late getting here to welcome you to the Weekly Wrap!
    As I was reading this I too have only 1 marathon under me, while I’m not there yet on training for another one, I can truly relate to the things you are going through. I did not finish like I wanted and I think that is the reason I can’t simply check this off my list. I do hope you will continue to join us I can’t wait to keep up and get your thoughts on your second marathon!
    I followed you on IG and Twitter so far. I’ll check for a FB too.
    I love your pictures, you truly have beautiful scenery around you. Thank you again for joining us Danelle.

    • says:

      Thanks so much for your comments and follows Tricia! I look forward to checking out your blogging and social accounts. And yes, I feel like I have unfinished business with the marathon! Haha.

  • […] your why, find your motivation: because it will change and it will fade. I questioned my motivation for running a second marathon for a long time. Ultimately it came down to seeing what I am capable […]

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