Grand Rapids Marathon – 13 weeks to go!

Was it scorchingly hot for you this weekend? The temperature starting rising on Friday and it never seemed to stop! I had a 10 mile run with 6 miles at half marathon pace scheduled for Friday. As I monitored the temperature throughout the day I watched the heat index climb from the 70s to the mid 90s. There was no way I was going to make it 6 miles at HMP in those temperatures. I waited as late as I could to start my run, but even with plenty of shade, it was miserably hot. The slight breeze felt like opening an oven. I ended up running 10 very easy miles with a walk/water break after each mile.

I had 5 miles planned for Saturday, but it was also the hottest day of the weekend. There was a heat advisory from noon-midnight due to the heat index reaching 100-105 Fahrenheit. I was up at 5:30 to start my run, but my legs were pretty tired since it had only been 10ish hours since I completed my 10 mile run. I ended up only running 3 miles.

Finally, the weekend of hellish temperatures came to an end with a 20 mile long run on Sunday. Again my alarm went off at 5:30 and I was out the door at 6. Even with this early start, it was already in the 70s when I started my run. I knew that my run would end up taking around 3.5 hours to complete and that temps would be well into the 80s by the time I finished (the heat index was 95 when I finished my run).

In my mind this run was split into three sections: 6 miles to the park, 8 mile loop through the park, 6 miles back home. I made it through the first two sections of the run without any issues, but when I realized how far away from home I was and how hot and miserable it was becoming, I kind of lost it. It doesn’t take much to make me cry, and knowing that I had no other option but to keep running, no matter how awful I felt, really did me in (my husband was out of town this weekend so I couldn’t call for a ride).

With 4.5 miles remaining in my run, I stopped my watch and ducked into a Panera to grab some ice water and try to compose myself (and also, AC!). I wouldn’t normally take advantage of a restaurant in this manner, but I decided it was okay since I am friends with the manager. After texting my husband a bit I knew I needed to get back out there and get home! I walked for about 1.5 miles while I waited for my stomach to stop feeling sloshy and then managed to run the last three miles with just a couple short water breaks.

Training Log

Supplemental Training: Strength training and foam rolling

My hips were feeling rather tight on Monday so I focused my workout on stretching and foam rolling them. Since I hadn’t foam rolled in a while I also did a quick once over on all of the major areas (calves, hamstrings, quads, IT band). I felt like a new person after this workout.

Distance: 7.08
Pace: 9:37 average with 6 strides

Distance: 12.4
Pace: 9:02


Distance: 10.15
Pace: 9:44

Distance: 3.0
Pace: 10:05

Distance: 15.68 + 3
Pace: 10:06 (18.68 miles in 3:08:45, which includes time spent refilling water bottles and walk break towards the end)

Total: 51.31 miles (My biggest week ever!)

So that’s another week of training completed, another week closer to the big race. The insanely hot temperatures this weekend definitely added an awful twist to this week’s training. But, I’m not sure that I can blame all of my issues this week on just the heat.

In May I started following an 18 week marathon training plan found in Pete Pfitzinger’s Advanced Marathoning. This training plan starts with 33 miles/week and peaks at 55 miles. My mileage prior to starting this training plan was right around the 30 mpw, so I thought that this plan would be a great fit. Now I am starting to wonder if the plan is slightly too aggressive for me. In the past two weeks I have really struggled with the final miles of my long run. At this point I think it would be smart to take a step back.

Fortunately I have two things going for me. First, the next two weeks in my training plan are already a step down from this week. Second, I have 10 weeks left in my training plan, but 13 weeks until my marathon. If you recall, I decided to start my training plan a bit early in an attempt to get ready for the Charlevoix Half Marathon and to build in a cushion in case of injury/illness. I’ll spend some time this week making adjustments to my training plan.


14 thoughts on “Grand Rapids Marathon – 13 weeks to go!

  1. This week (especially weekend) were miserably hot as well! Nothing we can do about it, so I just suck it up and get in my workouts. I try to go in the morning as much as possible so it's not quite as warm. Hope that it cools off soon šŸ™‚

    Great job in your workouts and enjoy the step down week!


  2. It was hot here, too. Sometimes a long run is just something to check off a list. You got it done. That's what matters. I had to stop a lot during my 14 miler yesterday too. Safety is more important than having a beast mode run.

    I was wondering why you're already up to a 51 mile week in a plan that peaks at 55 with 13 weeks until your race, but after reading your last paragraph it makes sense. I'm glad to hear you have some cutback weeks coming up – you've been running crazy high mileage and your body really needs the break. Just know that all of this hard work, while exhausting and miserable now, will be soooooo beneficial to you on race day. Seriously, you can trust me on this one! Stay safe out there šŸ™‚


  3. Really impressive week of training. I can't believe you're already up to 51 miles in your plan, that is really aggressive but the down week should help some. After the down weeks I think you'll know better about what changes you want to make to your plan (if any). The down weeks should leave you feeling refreshed and ready to go – but if you're still tired then maybe make a couple of adjustments?

    Enjoy your lower mileage and lots and lots of a/c šŸ™‚


  4. Yeah safety was a bit of a concern for me on Sunday. I kept thinking about how sick I was after the Disney Princess half and, knowing that I would be home alone all day, I didn't want to end up passed out with heat stroke and have no one around to realize something was wrong.

    The plan is pretty interesting, it builds pretty steadily from 33 to 55 miles, but then hangs out at 45-55 miles for the second half of the plan. I think my body just needs more time in the 40s before taking the next jump to 50+ weeks. Hopefully one day I'll be able to really follow this training plan.


  5. I would cry if I had to get up that early! Getting up at 5:30 was bad enough! I can't imagine running in the summer in Mississippi, Michigan isn't exactly known for its hot summers.


  6. I hear ya on the sucking it up and getting it done. I wish I could run in the mornings, but I love sleeping way too much. I've tried it before and just end up hitting snooze until it is time to get ready for work.


  7. I think the heat is throwing everyone for a loop lately! I'm hoping it cools down for everyone's sake soon. You still had an awesome week of training despite the heat.


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