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Portland Marathon Training Reflections: Week 16 + Weekly Meal Plan

Portland Marathon Training Reflections: Week 16 + Weekly Meal Plan
Portland Marathon Training Reflections: Week 16 + Weekly Meal Plan

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 16 of my marathon training: 

So the marathon is a week away! I can’t believe how quickly 4 months of training have gone by. Of course, it is easy to say that now. Less than a year ago, I ran my first half marathon. One year ago, I doubted my ability to run further than 20 km. This Sunday, I will run my second marathon. That still blows my mind a little! The taper is certainly in full effect. It was an emotional week, I’ve probably eaten more this week than any other week of training, and I am feeling so antsy.

Stanley Park Rose Garden

September 26: group personal training + acupuncture

Acupuncture was certainly less intense than last week but still uncomfortable. The things we do to run better (and feel good)!

September 27: 7.5 miles (12 km) speed workout + stretching

I went to the symphony on Monday night, so I skipped Tuesday’s group personal training in favour of sleeping in. It felt like such a treat to sleep until 7 am and not have a double workout day! But clearly I spoke too soon. The only good thing about Tuesday night’s run was my outfit. I picked up a sapphire blue Swiftly Tech Short Sleeve Crew and a pair of black Pace Rival crops at Lululemon. I love them both so far and will probably wear them for the marathon.

Back to the workout! For Tuesday’s marathon clinic, we ran a 2 mile warm-up to the track. Our workout was 1000 m repeats x 4 at marathon pace. None of us really ran marathon pace (I think most of us were faster). It was a bit of a strange workout since it didn’t feel all that hard compared to our usual track workouts.

My quads weren’t feeling so great during the workout and it all went downhill on the 2 mile cool-down. By the time I got home my entire right leg was in spasms. I could barely put weight on it, not because of pain, but because I thought it may give out. It was awful. I laid down on the floor, attempted to stretch it out, and cried. Honestly I was worried I may not be able to run the marathon and after 4 months of intense training that really sucks. After a brief pity party, I showered, drank some Nuun electrolytes and hoped it would feel better when I woke up.

Second Beach Sunset

September 28: group personal training + stretching

My leg felt almost back to normal on Wednesday, just tight. I went to group personal training but felt a little cautious about putting too much weight on it.

September 29: group personal training in AM + 90 minutes flow yoga in PM

My body is slowly start to loosen up and I am feeling more energized, which I take as positive signs the taper is doing its job. Thursday night’s flow yoga class was just what I needed – a slow flow with long held poses. I left the class feeling a lot better!

Stanley Park Beaver Lake

September 30: 7.5 miles (12 km) run in AM + long walk in PM

I met up with my friend Alyssa for another early morning Friday run, yay! Runs are definitely better with friends these days. We lucked out with a beautiful morning, especially compared to last Friday’s wind and rain. The seawall was so peaceful, and it was a lovely way to start the day. Despite a little tightness, my legs felt pretty good on the run, hurray!

Stanley Park Seawall Sunrise

I decided to skip my 4th group personal training workout again this week and by Friday night I was actually craving exercise. You know you’ve been training for a marathon when! I settled for an evening walk on the seawall.

October 1: easy 5 miles (8 km) run in AM + 90 minutes yin yoga in PM

Nothing too special about Saturday’s run. It felt fine and was just a little boring. The sky was ominous when I began and I indeed got rained on. In the evening, I met up with my friends Nikki and Luke for a yin yoga class. The class was such a treat! Long held stretches and basically glorified nap time.

I have really been stressing out about my legs not feeling perfect for race day. I just don’t want my body to hold back my fitness level. One thing the yoga teacher said really stuck with me: “When we let go of expectation, the softness can come in.” While that is easily applied to a yoga pose, I also see it applying to running and life goals in general. It was a welcome reminder!

October 2: 10 miles (16 km) long run + stretching 

I woke up on Sunday morning to find a huge rainbow outside my window. I will take that as a good race omen! Hard to believe that Sunday was our last long run for this marathon training cycle. Our clinic leaders gifted us with easy out-and-back 10 mile run on the seawall. The weather was good and everyone seemed excited to get out and run our last long run! The run felt pretty good and our pace was pretty close to my marathon pace – a nice confidence booster.

Stanley Park Seawall Third Beach

Weekly Meal Plan

Last week I cooked up a bunch of recipes from the new cookbook Run Fast Eat Slow. The dishes are energizing and delicious, so I’m eager to whip up a few more this week:

Ginger-molasses granola: left out the honey and only used blackstrap molasses

Giddy-up energy bites: I was motivated to make them by the freshly ground coffee on the ingredient list

Leftover Don’t Get Beet Hummus: I am loving the bright pink colour

Carrot-ginger soup 

Creamy apple cider vinaigrette: served with salad and chicken cooked in the slow cooker

Cauliflower couscous

On-the-run frittata muffins

Do you meal prep on the weekend? What recipes are you making for the week? Have you experienced a race taper before? 

  • Syd says:

    In a week you will be a 2x marathoner! So exciting!! I hope your final week of tapering goes well. Aside from running the actual race, the hard work is done now. I think this week is more of a mental challenge rather than physical, and like you said reducing excercize definitely can result in a feeling of being antsy. I like to watch documentaries on inspiring athletes, it helps put everything in perspective and after all it’s only one race out of a lifetime of potential races.

    You’ve trained hard and I bet you’re ready for next Sunday, so keep your head up no matter what the taper crazies throw your way 🙂

  • Ah, sooo exciting! You will be great! Enjoy the rest of your taper. I think our bodies know when we’re tapering and start eating more to “store” and save up for the event. I’ve loved reading all of your training recaps!

  • I am so eager to get my hands on Run Fast Eat Slow. The recipes sound unreal.

    Best of luck with your taper!

  • Ahhhh it’s coming up so very quickly! I added that cookbook to my Christmas wishlist. Glad to know the recipes are awesome!

  • Laura says:

    Sounds like everything is right on track! So weird about your quad, but I’m glad it’s feeling good again. We’re almost there!

  • Jessica Joly says:

    Hi Danielle! So excited to find another Canadian heading out to the race. This will also be my second marathon(first was Vancouver) and I’ll be coming in from Ottawa. I used to live in Portland so I know my way around pretty well. Let me know if you need any recommendations or would be into meeting up!

    • daniellemleroux@gmail.com says:

      Hey Jessica! That is so awesome. My first marathon was BMO in Vancouver too! I am just now planning some post-race drinks with some other runners from my run club. You are more than welcome to join! I can let you know once we confirm details.

  • Oh my goodness I too go on a food binge during taper week and I get the crazies, but it sounds like you are so ready.

  • I’m very familiar with the antsy feeling during a taper.
    Have an excellent race this weekend!

  • […] acupuncture session before the marathon! I told my acupuncturist about my right leg freaking out post-acupuncture last week and she said that is pretty normal. I did an easier session today to avoid any […]

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