I knocked out this week’s Marine Corps Marathon training long run early because we are going out of town this weekend again!
I had a bit of a step down in mileage this week per instruction from my coaches (my track coaches – I basically just ask them every week “how long should my long run be this week?”). I did 14 milers for the past two weeks, and this week they instructed me to do 11 to 12, pending the weather.
Well, after a nice and cool (relatively cool, I mean) first half of the week, unfortunately summer was back with a vengeance yesterday and today. Faillllll! Here we go again…
Luckily my buddy Heather (who is also training for Marine Corps) was down to join me for a Thursday long run adventure. Company = way more fun. 🙂
Heather was planning on a slightly longer run this week (she hadn’t made it up to 14 miles yet) so she did a few miles before we met up at 7 a.m. We started at Iwo Jima and ran across Memorial Bridge to DC and over to Hains Point to knock out as many of the miles as we could over there.
Even at the very start of the run I could tell this was going to be a tough one – it was sooooo hot already at 7 and I knew it would only get worse. We took a bunch of walk/water fountain breaks, which was fine with me. I feel like summer running is basically just about survival! Anytime you want to show up, fall weather, we’re ready and waiting…
As usual, I was rocking my fave hydration vest and I took one margarita shot blok (love that salt!) and one of Heather’s gummies just to try something different. Pre-run, I had my fave Vega pre-workout energizer (lemon-lime flavor) and a piece of toast with nut butter and a little jam.
(Pssst: want to know more about fueling when training? Check out my how to eat for running post and how to fuel for a marathon or half marathon. You can also get started with some free running nutrition tips if you sign up for the email list for my Nutrition for Runners program!)
By the time we made it back to our starting point we’d covered a little over 8 miles together; Heather had done a few miles beforehand and was ready to tap out. I was feeling rough too but decided I could make it to 10 miles and call it there. Not quite the 11 to 12 my coaches suggested but given the heat I think they’d agree the effort level was basically the same! Especially for a step down week there was no reason to destroy myself out there.
I like ending long runs at Iwo Jima in Rosslyn because it’s where the Marine Corps Marathon finishes! I did the little hill that’s the end of the MCM course a couple times while adding on the extra mile and three quarters – rough but good for training! When my watch hit 10 I stopped and was treated to this lovely view. Made it up the hill! I ended up getting a bit of a second wind on the last mile and even tried to pick up the pace a bit and dominate those hills. 🙂
My watch didn’t include our walking or water breaks, but when we were actually running the pace was good given the heat – faster average overall pace than my other long runs so far! We even had some sub-9 miles in there too.
Please excuse my insanely dirty Garmin 225 watch – I always spray sunscreen on myself right before I run and it gets all over the watch. I keep the sunscreen in the car so I don’t forget! Speaking of – as a sport/running-specific follow up from my Best Natural and Organic Beauty Products post from awhile ago – this spray sunscreen is my fave (no parabens, phthalates, or synthetic fragrance) – and I also really like this spray sunscreen. I also discovered this more natural sport-specific lotion sunscreen for the face recently that’s awesome.
I’ve also started keeping snacks in my car so I have something to eat post-run for the drive home – I noticed that after finishing long runs, stretching for awhile, and then driving home I was arriving back home super hungry – no bueno. So I threw two nut butter protein bites (the ones I mentioned the recipe for at the very end of Tuesday’s post about Why You Need to Take a Lunch Break) in the car and ate them on my way back. I also stopped for a whole milk iced latte as a treat. 🙂 Yum! Also – my S’well water bottle wins for keeping my water cold in a crazy hot car. Love coming back to icy water after a hot run!
When I got home I also ate a homemade watermelon rosemary popsicle – recipe coming soon so get pumped. 🙂
Time to get back to work – Matt and I leave this evening to make the drive to Pittsburgh – headed to a wedding there this weekend! 🙂 I’ll be back tomorrow with some Friday faves, recent eats, and more about this week’s MCM training as a whole.
Have a great day, my friends!
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