Monday, May 21, 2018


The first week of Marine Corp Marathon training is in the books! Nothing too exciting about it, I've done similar weeks in the previous two months preparing for training to start, but it feels good to check a successful week of training off the plan. 1 down, 23 to go! Ha!

I plan to run four days a week, like I have done every marathon training cycle. The first three days went as planned; Monday at PRC and Tuesday and Thursday at Sunstone. At PRC I can adjust my runs anywhere from 3-7 miles, and at Sunstone I can go anywhere from 4-7 depending on whether or not I run there from my house. I'll be able to ramp them up and down as needed, so that will be great.

The challenge this week was the weekend long run. The Timbers had a game at noon on Saturday and I wanted to get there when the gates opened (10:30am) to secure good seats. Well, that meant I couldn't run with any of the weekend groups. I was planning to run my first week with the Portland Marathon Clinic, but that will have to wait. I went through all the options in my head, wake up at 7am Saturday and run from home, run after the game, run Sunday morning before going golfing at noon, run after golf, etc. None of these options sounded good.

Most miles in a week since pre-arthritis.
So what did I end up doing? Running 12 miles after work on Friday! It kind of sucked, when I headed out I couldn't quite believe I was doing it, but I just tried not to think about it and stay ignorant. That pretty much worked. Getting the run over with and allowing my weekend to continue without trying to jam in a run somewhere was a big motivator. Once I was done it felt so good to have it out of the way! I could go about my weekend and sleep in without it looming over me.

Another victory was running 4 out of 5 days, including 6 on Thursday and 12 on Friday. I don't remember the last time I ran the day before a long run. Usually I give myself a rest day to make sure my legs are fresh. Despite being a bit concerned about that, I went out for the run on Friday anyways and I'm happy to report my legs felt great! Most of my long runs have been 10 miles, so it was good that 12 felt okay even on legs that had ran 6 the day before. Wasn't limping around or unreasonably sore or anything. Encouraging!

Anyways, I'll stop the boring rambling now.

TL;DR: Week one of marathon training went well.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018


The training plan. Click to enlarge!
Before I get into the training plan, let's do a little update on my running and how my psoriatic arthritis is doing. I feel like I've kind of stopped updating on that very often because, honestly, it has become a non-factor. The leflunomide seems to be working amazingly to keep that at bay. I feel like I did back in the day! Now, I still have to see how my joints will react to marathon training and a marathon, but for now, it's not holding me back in the least. I think the question of whether or not I could run a half marathon and retain that shape has been answered. Amazing to think back to just over a year ago when I was hobbling around and just starting treatment and running 2:39 half marathons.

I started doing some math in my head and it turned out the latest I would want to start training for the Marine Corp Marathon this fall is early June. I decided to whip up a plan and it ended up starting in two weeks. Yikes! I'll be doing the weekend long runs with the Portland Marathon Clinic, which means they target an early October marathon (despite there being no Portland Marathon this year). So I'll actually be ramping up the mileage about a month earlier than necessary, however, I'm just looking at it like giving my legs more time to adapt to the higher mileage. I should be more than prepared come late October!

As you can see, my plan is very simple. This is akin to my first marathon training plan, when my goal was two "easy" runs and one "fast" run a week in addition to my long run. For now, I have everything as an "easy" run, but will try to throw in a speed run every so often, they just won't be planned. Again, I am not focusing on speed at all this cycle, just getting back to marathon base mileage. Last night I did one of these random tempos with Sunstone... I thought I'd go easy but I started running up front and ending up doing 5 hilly miles at 8:09 pace. Oops.

Compared to my first training plan, this one actually lines up pretty well. I started that about 5.5 months before the marathon back then, and I'll be starting this one 5.5 months before the MCM. I'm actually ramping up the long run distance slower and more gradually this time, in line with my goals. So I think it will end up working really well. The best I ever felt during a marathon was that first time, so hopefully I can get that magic going again. I also planned a couple races to mix things up and keep it interesting... I haven't signed up for these yet, but I'll likely end up doing them.

The biggest challenge, in addition to the four 20 milers (ugh!) will be those runs after the Portland Marathon Clinic shuts down for the training cycle. I'll be on my own for the month of October and that final 20 miler! I can manage that for a couple weeks though. If I end up having to do that 20 miler on my own, I will probably break out my "spider/spoke" method of route design. I actually did my first 20 miler on my own, so it can be done!

Overall, this training cycle will be a little more relaxed than previous marathon cycles. I'm not going to stress out if I have to drop a weekday run for extra rest or don't hit a speed run for a couple weeks. The goal is to just get across the finish line of the Marine Corp Marathon as comfortably as possible.