Marathon Measures #2: I’m running the Savannah Rock ‘n Roll Marathon in 59 days as my 3rd marathon with a goal time of 4:15. I’m recapping my second month of race-specific training using the Hal Higdon Intermediate 1 Plan.

Warning: The Marathon Measures series has a lot of numbers that will only interest data lovers, those deep into long-distance training, or those comparing training plans. Read Marathon Measures #1 here.

Marathon Measures #2: Second month's training metrics using Hal Higdon Intermediate 1 Marathon Program

Key features were 2 pace runs, a lot of mileage the last two weeks, and a longest run of 15 miles. I typically swap Monday and Tuesday’s activities. I bike for 30 minutes and take a Yin Yoga class for cross-training. I do running drills, squats, glute bridges, and planks 4 times a week, post-run.

Marathon Measures Hal Higdon Intermediate 1: Second month's training metrics using Hal Higdon Intermediate 1 Marathon Program

Marathon Measures #2 [Hal Higdon Intermediate 1]

In the beginning of this set, I experienced a chest cold and a foot-arch injury flare up. I cut a few miles back on Week 6 because of those issues, but still added enough miles to the yearly count to beat out 2014 for the most miles ran in a year.

Injury Flare Up

After Week 4’s long run, I got overly ambitious and did some weight-bearing stretches on my feet. That was too much for them. The next day I knew I shouldn’t run due to my arches feeling… crunchy? They get tight and they twinge sporadically. The same issue I’ve had for years. I cross-trained on Monday and ran on Tuesday.

I didn’t have any pain on Wednesday, but didn’t want to push my luck. It was a cut-back week anyway and I had a chest cold. I shortened Wednesday’s run and only did 4 of Saturday’s 6 miles at pace.

I typically drink a smoothie with protein powder after my runs, but was out of protein powder during Week 4. I don’t know if that compounded the issue or not, but I made sure to buy some more. I wanted my muscles to have plenty of materials for rebuilding.

I took the opportunity to visit my primary care physician who gave me a referral to see a physical therapist.

Marathon Measures Hal Higdon Intermediate 1: Second month's training metrics using Hal Higdon Intermediate 1 Marathon Program

Long Run Check-in

Hal Higdon’s plans have 2 weeks of mileage build-up followed by a cut-back week for active recovery. My injury flared at the very end of the mileage build-up.

Despite managing the pain in a couple of days, I knew that that the next flare up was most likely to occur after week 8. I was careful not to over-stretch my feet after the 15 mile long run and seriously considered swapping for cross-training again the next day. Thankfully there was some small ache, but nothing intense for the start of week 9.

My long runs haven’t been as painful as that first double-digit run weeks ago. I do feel a little sore during the last couple of miles, but nothing bad.

The long runs still make me a little nervous. I have to dismiss from my mind the things that could go wrong when I’m out there for such a long time. But my biggest concern is that I’ll decide I don’t want to run anymore.

And that has never actually happened.

Things to Improve

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Last year my running store had a big sale on nutrition and I bought a lot of mid-run fuel. I’m running low now, and have just been using what I have left. I need to decide what I actually want to race with and practice with it.

The 15 mile long run (preceded by Board Game Night) wiped me out for the rest of the day. I didn’t want to do yard work. I didn’t want to do chores. On one hand I consider that I did run 15 miles. But, in reality it puts a strain on the rest of my week if I watch 3 Netflix movies in a row (with football soon to replace it).

Rather than call it a fluke or promise that I’ll do better. I think I’m going to move yard work to Wednesdays and do laundry on Saturday. No need to rely on a picture-perfect future.

Marathon Measures Hal Higdon Intermediate 1: Second month's training metrics using Hal Higdon Intermediate 1 Marathon Program

It’s not easy yard work either

Marathon Measures #2 Memories & Moments

Favorite moment: Running out of water on a 7 mile run at 2pm in 90F. If all runs were like that, I wouldn’t be a runner. But even with that thought, I asked myself if I was miserable – and turns out, I was not. Recognizing that I was experiencing pain but not suffering was a great moment. Marathon training is my favorite time of the year, no matter what the current struggle is.

Least favorite moment: My dog Oakley and I getting charged at and pushed around by a big dog off-leash while the owner yells and flails their arms. These incidents are only going to become more frequent when cooler weather invites more people and their pets outside. Getting rushed by a strange dog is scary and every time it happens I wonder, “Is this the time someone gets bit?”

10 more weeks of marathon training.

More lessons.

More miles.

I’m looking forward to it, but wonder if the doldrums are around the corner. Maybe October, if I’m lucky?

Further reading:

Are you ready for cooler weather?