Mile Markers: Jack and Jill Marathon Training Week 1

Jack and Jill Marathon Training Week 1

Happy Marathon Monday! Good luck to all of the runners at the Boston Marathon today!

Speaking of marathons, I completed the first week of training for the Jack and Jill Marathon. Spring in all its greenery and warm temperatures has fully arrived in Seattle, making the weather and scenery ideal for longer and longer runs. 

Jack and Jill Marathon Training Week 1

Monday: AM: 8 mile progression run with final 2 at half marathon effort, 8:25/mile avg pace; PM: 20 minutes Pilates + foam rolling

This run felt less than stellar, but only because I feel less than stellar. It was windy, seemingly somehow in both directions (I guess that’s part of running between two large lakes) and I had a mild headache. I took the first 6 miles easy and then increased my effort over the last 2 miles for a 7:30 and 7:35. Not too bad for running into the wind

While it didn’t feel great at the time, this was a good run. I wasn’t about to let feeling off a bit off affect my attitude towards training or this run. Besides, with trails like these, I can’t not enjoy a run. 

Jack and Jill Marathon Training Week 1

Tuesday: 4 mile easy run with Charlie, 9:10/mile

We finally purchased a hands free leash for Charlie, and now I wonder why I held off so long on it. I was worried he wouldn’t behave well on it, but the hands free leash made running together so much easier for both the puggle and I. 

I talk to Charlie throughout all of our runs together. Not conversationally, but just constant encouragement: “Charlie runs so fast!” “Good boy Charlie!” “Charlie loves to run!” “Charlie please don’t chase the squirrel!” I’m fairly certain the cyclists and other runners think I’m crazy, between my chatter with Charlie and the fact that I’m one of those runners who smiles and waves at everyone. 

Wednesday: AM: 9 mile progression run, 8:07/mile avg pace; PM: 35 minutes of Pilates

My marathon plan is filled with Hudson style progression runs, based on effort rather than pace. I ran 4 miles easy (8:35-8:50) and then increased my pace to what I perceived as a moderate effort for 5 miles (7:35-7:47). I set my GPS so I could only see splits at each mile – otherwise, my screen just showed the time of day – and just used my breathing and effort as a guide. What a good run! 

Jack and Jill Marathon Training Week 1

I did a 30 minute Pilates for athletes workout plus 5 minutes of Pilates upper body work with 5 lb weights in the evening. 

Thursday: AM: 20 minutes of kettlebell; PM: 4 mile easy run with Aimiee, 9:22/mile

I opted to do my strength training first thing in the morning. Apparently my brain shouldn’t quite be awake for strength training, since my pre-coffee state kept me going through the moves and not thinking about wanting to stop. I did 2 circuits of this kettlebell workout plus a few additional moves to work my upper body more. 

I met up with Aimee, a reader who lives on the Eastside as well, for a 4 mile run near Lake Washington. It was so fun to meet another runner in the area and get to meet in person someone I’ve gotten to know through the comments! (Thank you, Aimee!)

Friday: 14 mile long run, 8:46/mile

Over the past few weeks all of my East Coast athletes mentioned how hard the wind made running, and this week I got a taste of it myself. Even though the wind was only about 12-15 mph (I remember that being a calm wind in Indiana!), I felt as if I was fighting its resistance for all 14 miles even though I did an out and back course. I planned on doing this run without any gels, but I needed a boost by mile 7 so I slowly sipped a Hammer gel. 

So naturally afterwards I drove straight to the grocery store and bought a 12 pack of Boston Lager. To celebrate the Boston Marathon, right? Or as a reward for not quitting when I ran past Ryan’s office at mile 11.

Of course, that beer is all part of a balance. In addition to tracking my food for marathon training, I’m also focusing on consuming for vegetables on long run days to enhance recovery. Usually vegetables have zero appeal to me the day of a long run and all I want is bland food until a burger and fries or pizza craving hits later in the evening. Instead, I ate for lunch a giant plant based power bowl of sweet potato, golden beet, red lentil, spinach, and tahini. The quantity of food is not just what matters; especially when mileage increases, the quality matters for better recovery and performance. 

Saturday: 9 mile hike, 3200 foot elevation gain

Ryan and I had been considering Mount Washington as our next hike for a few weeks now, so we decided to finally tackle it today. At 9 miles and 3200 feet elevation gain, this is the longest and hardest hike we’ve tackled since Mount Si back in December. Mt. Washington is a comparable hike in terms of distance and climbing to Mount Si, just a little bit further along I-90 where it draws less crowds but offers more spectacular mountain views. 

Jack and Jill Marathon Training Week 1

Mount Washington features segments of steep climbing with flatter portions, which made this hike a challenge but not a total lung-buster. We already plan on repeating this one! Best of all, Charlie managed to hike the entire mountain.

Sunday: Rest

Ryan and I initially had plans to run, but since he lightly twisted an ankle and my quads were very sore from the hike, we opted for a rest day. We drove up north to see the flowers at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. We missed the peak of the tulip blooming, but the fields were still beautifully lined with a multitude of colored tulips. 

Jack and Jill Marathon Training Week 1

39 miles run | 9 miles hiked | 3 supplemental workouts

Pilates workouts: 

A few of you asked in the comments on my post about Pilates for runners which videos I recommend. I do these free YouTube videos on a rotating basis. I sometimes combine a couple of the shorter ones for a longer Pilates workout. All you need for these workouts is a mat (if you’re on a hardwood floor, opt for a thicker mat for better spinal support, otherwise a yoga mat works).

Pilates 30 Minute Workout for Athletes
Mat to the Max 15 Minute Workout
Beginner Class in 15 Minutes 
15 Minute Intermediate Workout
One Rep Mat Class 

Linking up with Weekly Wrap!

Do you struggle to eat certain foods like vegetables on long run days?
How was your week of running? Did anyone race?



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32 Responses

  1. you know I hate the wind! I don’t usually want my usual vegetables on a long run day unless the desire returns by dinner time. I do agree though, the abundance of nutrients from fruits and vegetables have definitely without a doubt enhanced my running and recovery in a major way.

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one like that with vegetables! They just have no appeal to me, except if I cover them in salt and spicy seasonings which I crave for some reason after a long run.

  2. I feel the same way about eating after a long or hard run! After my race on Saturday I knew I needed some good food, but I wasn’t particularly hungry. I ended up getting a salad with a small pizza…balance, right? I usually just try to add veggies to eat of my meals but also include some comfort type food if thats what I am craving. Great job on your first week of marathon training!

  3. Thanks for posting those pilates videos. I think I may try some out because I’ve never done pilates and it seems like a great way to cross train.

    With running and food, I really struggle to eat when I run in the afternoon because I’m always scared a food won’t sit well when running… so I eat a lot of the same things. And yeah, that includes avoiding veggies! Not just the fiber in say, a salad, but also the fat in the dressing would mess with my GI tract.

    Looks like you had a wonderful week easing into marathon training with some good progressive work!

    1. Thank you! Let me know what you think of the videos – I hope you enjoy them 🙂 I find I have to avoid veggies also if I’m running in the afternoon, which is probably why I prefer morning runs in part.

  4. I thought it was just me that craved pizza, fries and beer on long run days? It’s a struggle not to eat everything in those days. I swear my taste buds are on overload! Thanks for the Pilates recommendations!

  5. You squeezed so much variety into the week- and a great start to your marathon too! I love the power bowl idea to get extra veggies in. I agree, it’s not always what my stomach wants after a long run.

    1. Thank you! The variety does help and sometimes it’s hard not to think miles, miles, more miles for marathon but well rounded is so much mentally and physically better 🙂

  6. Those tulips are gorgeous! They’re my favorite flower. As you know, I’m not a fan of the wind either! I’m glad it’s finally gone on the East Coast, but now I’m adjusting to warmer temps!

  7. I haaaaaate the wind. I love how cute you and Charlie are together! Nice week of workouts! Glad you put the links to the Pilates in this post. I’ll just favourite this page and come back to it. And about the veggies, I’ve been eating more lately but yeah I wait until my run is done for the day before I start chowing down otherwise I’ll end up pooping my pants.

    1. Thank you! Glad you can use the links – I hope you enjoy them! 🙂 I definitely can’t have veggies before I run! The lentil and veggie bowl would NOT sit well before a run.

    1. Fruit tastes so good on long run days! Especially once it’s summer and berries are in season. 🙂 Protein is tricky also – although admittedly burgers do sound far too good after a long run 🙂

  8. Can’t wait to meet up for another run. Looks like you had an awesome 1st week of training!! And your hike….ahhh….the mountains. Glorious!!

    My long was was sort of a struggle this weekend. It was cut short a bit…too much negative self talk happening and…I also forgot to put on Body Glide, which ended up being a small mistake. Luckily things were not TERRIBLE, but it hurt enough that it felt a struggle to finish. I also think that I really need to start paying better attention to what I am using for fuel purposes. I have frequently used PowerGel, but Saturday after taking it in (mainly because I did not want to crash, not because I felt I really needed it), I felt like I still crashed. And I blame the fuel. 🙂

    Sounds like you had a great weekend. And I say YES to your 12-pack after your long run!! (well, not all 12 at one sitting, but yes to beer). 🙂

    1. Can’t wait either! 🙂 And thank you! I’m sorry to hear you had a rough long run! It was so warm this weekend which always throws a wrench in fueling. As soon as the temperatures climb a bit long runs become so much more difficult.

    1. Thank you Lauren! You should definitely try Mount Washington sometime – it’s hard but not awful and so worth if for the views – that was the clearest I ever saw Rainier as well! And yes the tulips were incredible!

  9. Great first week! As usual you are off to a roaring start. Those tulips are so pretty!!

    I don’t really notice myself craving certain foods more than others on long run days – just that I want to eat a lot, and hearty foods/meals. As you know by now from the time we’ve known each other, I tend not to pay as much attention to my eating habits as most.

  10. What a great week!…or at least a great finish. And, there should always be an adult beverage of some sort to top it all off 🙂
    That tulip festival looks amazing!!
    We are FINALLY getting some good weather here. Today was the best bike ride I have had since last fall 🙂 70 degrees and sunny!

    1. Thank you Allie! I completely agree an adult drink or two is the ideal topper to a good training week. Glad you had a wonderful bike ride! Can’t wait to see you crush your upcoming tri 🙂

  11. Those tulips are beautiful. I’ve never had much luck growing them myself. You had a great week of training. I see you are running a downhill marathon. I’m curious, will you incorporate specific downhill training? I’ve done a downhill half and loved it! Of course, I had serious DOMS but would do it again! I normally love vegetables but I can’t say it’s what I want after a long run. I need to try a hands free leash. I’m not sure what would happen when my Mini spots a squirrel. Thanks for linking with us Laura.

    1. I’d love to grow them but don’t know if I could either. Definitely worth the hour drive to see them! I plan on including hamstring/glute strength training (weight and Pilates) to strengthen and better activate those for the eccentric contraction of running downhill. I do plan on incorporating some hills in training, but no specific downhill repeats since I don’t want to risk injury. Plus I hike a lot so I’m used to climbing 2000+ feet downhill over a much shorter distance – which if anything is good for my feet and knees.
      Charlie surprisingly pulls less on the hands free leash, and when he does pull on it he doesn’t drag me along like he does on the regular leash. Having it around my hips gives a good base of support! And Charlie sure does love to chase squirrels/bird/everything also 🙂 Thank you for hosting!

  12. Tell me about this hands-free leash. Does it hook to your waist? I’ve seen these but often wonder if my dog will take me down when he sees the squirrel, lol. I hope Charlie is better at it than mine is.
    Wow that hike looks intimidating with the 3200′ gain! We’re going to the Smoky Mtns in May and wanted to get in a hike at some point but I don’t think it will be gains like this.
    Oh wow the tulips are just beautiful an my favorite color of them too! Thanks Laura for linking up with us.

    1. The hands-free leash has an adjustable waist loop, which then clips on to the special bungee leash. Charlie pulls A LOT (it’s the beagle in him to follow his nose!), but having it around my hips actually makes it easier to brace when he pulls. How fun that you will be going to the Smokies in May! I bet that will be a beautiful trip. Thank you for hosting!

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