Marathon Training – Weeks 7-9

Well y’all, I’m halfway there.

I have 8 more weekends until my marathon. Err… come again? Eight weeks… EIGHT WEEKS!

This is where I should begin panicking but oddly enough, I’m actually quite calm. Running with a training group has seriously changed my running life. I don’t have to think about when/where/how to run because they tell me and I follow until they say we’re done.

It’s really that simple.

No, all of my runs aren’t fun. They don’t all feel fabulous. Some of them downright suck, but I push through because the runs that are good are REALLY good.

Do you want in on a little runner secret about which runs are the best? The best runs are those that are already done ;) I think most marathoners will agree with me on that one!

Alright, now let’s break down the past 3 weeks and then I’ll share a few things that are on my running mind at the moment.

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Week 7

I had 12 miles on the schedule for Week 7. I was nervous. The last time I had run close to this far was last October at the Long Beach Half Marathon. I fueled up with my typical pre-run supplements and eats and headed out the door to meet my CARA group. That Saturday was hot and humid and I knew I had to get ready STAT post-run (we had a wedding to drive to), so I felt rushed going into the run.

My group – per usual, was great and the run felt amazing up until Mile 9ish. The heat and humidity got to me and I got a little lightheaded. I started drinking Gatorade at our water stops after that point and began to feel MUCH better. I need to make sure I’m properly hydrating myself with both fluids and electrolytes during my long runs in order to avoid that icky, lightheaded feeling!

Overall, I’m calling Week 7’s 12 miles a success. It taught me a lesson in staying hydrated and I felt pretty good throughout most of the run. Yay!

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Week 8

Week 8 was my ZOOMA Half Marathon! You can find a full recap of that run here.

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Week 9

Ahhhh… A cutback week. Cutback weeks are my favorites! Week 9 called for 10 miles and somehow 10 miles seems a heck of a lot more manageable than 13. I wish I could say this run was super easy and fantastic and full of rainbows and butterflies, but since Katie and I ran in the Texas heat, it was most definitely NOT easy. The heat, plus the lack of sleep plus the hills (isn’t Texas supposed to be flat??!) didn’t help this run, but I was SO happy I had a friend to push through the miles with me. And I’m happy it was a friend who doesn’t think I’m super gross when I look like I just jumped into a pool post-run ;)

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At this point, running for me is becoming more of a mental challenge than a physical one. Obviously, long runs are physically challenging – they’re supposed to be! – but getting yourself into a run mentally is the bigger challenge mid-training. Your body is tired and it is far too easy to skip a run – That’s where the mental toughness comes to play. If you’re not in it mentally, you’re going to have a miserably rough time getting to that marathon finish line in a few weeks.

Not being in the game mentally is why I didn’t run my marathon last year (Do you remember that?) – I wasn’t mentally prepared for everything happening in my life and my body (more like my mind) couldn’t take the additional challenges at that time.

With that being said, this year I’m more determined than ever. I’ve had bad runs, I’ve had spills, I’ve had hot, sweaty and gross longs runs. But you know what? I’ve also had great runs. I ran a half marathon in UNDER 2 hours. I’ve had people cheer me on with inspiring words of encouragement. And that is pretty darn awesome.

Is it going to be easy from here on out? Heck no. I guarantee you there will be multiple times that I want to call it quits and take the easy way out. Like I said, I’m going to be playing a big mental game with myself and I am determined to win. Bring it on brain ;)

And can we talk about hunger for a minute? I’m typically a pretty hungry person (Kyle can attest to this!) and I rarely, okay NEVER, skip my 6 meals per day, but marathon training has brought out a whole new hanger beast. There are moments where I just need to eat and I need to eat NOW. Or 5 minutes ago. This typically hits me right after I wake up or post-long run or in the middle of a 4-hour long meeting without snacks or when I’m without any food or, even better, right after a huge, 5-course dinner.

It’s like a ninja, I tell ya!

My hanger ninja also doesn’t like snack bars, including my beloved Quest. Well, she likes ‘em but they don’t come close to satisfying her in the least. Nope, she likes big ol’ meals that include main courses like French toast and hamburgers and sweet potato fries and chocolate cake and tacos and margaritas. (Okay, maybe margaritas don’t satisfy the ninja’s hunger but they sure do make her happy!)

The ninja and I have had words but we both decided that it will be easiest to just give her what she wants until October 12th. After that, she has to fend for herself ;)

Did you miss my previous marathon training recaps? Find them here!

Do you have a hanger ninja inside of you? Fellow marathoners, what tips do you have for me in the last half of my training? (Please tell me I must have massages weekly… I’ll pass the word onto Kyle ;) )


  1. LOL @ Texas being flat?! Noooooooooooo! >:O It’s NOT. >:O lol <3

    Keep up with the nutrition, the hydration, and the easy runs from here on out! You're so right when it comes to mental toughness at this juncture. In the long run, remember that it's time on your feet that will prepare you for the 26.2…not pace. :) Let me know if you need anything at all, darling friend!
    Tiffany @ The Chi-Athlete recently posted…Marathon Training: Week NinerMy Profile

    • Thank you so much, Tiffany!! Thursday is going to be my marathon test…. 15 miles by myself before work :/ Wish me luck! Haha!

  2. marathon training hunger is for real. i’ve been making coconut milk ice cream so that when i get hungry after dinner i don’t turn into a monster.
    kristin recently posted…PALMS IN THE PHILIPPINESMy Profile

  3. The ninja is a sneaky beast!
    Jackie recently posted…Weekend.My Profile

  4. I am a hunger beast during marathon training–its insane!! My advice would be to take it one week at a time and don’t fret if you miss a run here or there– life happens! You are going rock your race!
    katie @ Daily Cup of KaTe recently posted…Lately… {All Things Wedding}My Profile

  5. post-run hunger is NO joke. . . yesterday I was hungry ALL DAY LONG. It was terrible! Thanks for the run yesterday. And for the DWAs. ;)
    Katie @ running4cupcakes recently posted…Weekend Update: 8/10/14–> AdvoCare Success SchoolMy Profile

    • Gahhh – I totally forgot to mention the DWAs!! Next running post for sure. Thanks for introducing me to the important parts of running ;)

  6. I’ll be there cheering you on! ;)
    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More recently posted…The Cool KidsMy Profile

  7. Ha! Hangry ninja…I love it! And I totally get it too. I am all too often in 3-4 hour meetings without my snacks and suddenly I feel like I’m about to fall over, freak out or just go crazy if I’m not fed right now this second. One word of caution…I learned during my injury that I had to cut way back on how much I was eating. I wasn’t as active before. Adjusting my eating to that change was a way more of a challenge than eating more. Just FYI for after your marathon….unless you continue to do them regularly! ;)
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious recently posted…Lemon Peach Frozen YogurtMy Profile

    • I am actually not eating that much more than usual which surprises me! I just try to keep it in line with my activity level and Fitness Pal suggestions :)

  8. I cannot believe it is in two months! You know how I’m feeling running wise – but I actually got in a decent run on Saturday. Need to up my mileage and seeing your progress has been super motiving. Keep rocking it! Did you end up trying the Renola yet? Or apple sauce packets?!
    Amy @ The Little Honey Bee recently posted…What I Ate Last Wednesday & Last Week’s WorkoutsMy Profile

    • I tried the Renola – really good but not sure it’s worth the money. Haven’t had a chance to try the applesauce yet but I’ll let ya know :)

  9. I am totally with you on the hungry thing! It’s insane! Love your outlook on training. :)

  10. Ahh you are killin it! Your positive outlook is awesome. And I lol’ed at all the hangry talk hahaha I totally feel you on that. Food = fuel!!
    Katie @ Run Now, Wine Later recently posted…August GoalsMy Profile

  11. Oh man, those lulu shorts were SOAKED after our run in Texas, haha! I love them too though ;)

  12. Im seriously still in awe of you and Katie for getting in a 10 miler in that TX heat. I didn’t like walking to the car, let alone do what you two did. You are going to kick so much butt on your marathon just like you do everything you set your mind to. Awesome job!!
    heylaurenrene recently posted…Monday Motivation & GiveawayMy Profile

    • It wasn’t pleasant… And poor Katie had to deal with my whining about the hills, LOL! No wonder she left early ;)

  13. I totally forgot you are training for a FULL and now my measly half – that you just ran a couple of weeks ago like nuthin’ – seems like it “should” be a breeze lol. I may need a pep talk from you soon though. Although this post was a pretty good one…I’m feeling like going out for a run after reading it! ;)
    Sammy @ Peace, Love and Ice Cream! recently posted…How to Throw an Awesome 80’s Bash!!My Profile

  14. I think I need the weekly massage too! I read from Hal Higdon that it is part of our wellness! I can’t seem to cough up the cash for that over a new pair of shoes right now! I so wish I had a running group here. These long mileages by myself get pretty lonesome but at the same time I get lots of good thinking done! My biggest challenge right now is hydrating. I stopped yesterday around mile 9 at a convenience store to buy more water for my belt, and that worked out pretty good. It didn’t take more than a couple minutes but I still hate stopping like that! Does your group do water drops??

    Also, I couldn’t agree more that at this point we are in a mental game. I have to really pump myself up mentally. I find that if my brain will take me there my legs will surely follow and I just have to remind myself that when times get tough! When I really need to get myself through mentally during a long run I just start talking-to myself about how thankful I am that my body can do this, not everyone’s can! I also tell myself things like ” you aren’t even breathing hard, just imagine you are walking” “this is no big deal” then something will distract me for a while and I forget how tired my legs are!

    Good Luck! I am so glad we are in this together! Keeps me motivated!

    • My group does have water stations every 2-2.5 miles! I wouldn’t worry about stopping. Higdon actually recommends it because you’re going to need to slow down for water stops in the actual race… I plan on stopping every 3 miles during the race for 20-30 seconds for water. No shame in that when you’re running 26.2!

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