Marathon training update, and the long, hot summer…

You ever sit down to do something, remember another task you must immediately attend to, and next thing you know, days have passed and you never got back to that original item? Yeah, me too – only like all the time! It seems like just a few minutes ago I sat down to write a blog post, updating you on my training progress and some other stuff I have in store. (I actually do spend some time every day thinking about different ideas to share with you -even if so little of it sees the light of publication.) Then one of my wonderful friends will give a gentle poke to remind me. (Looking at you, Mimi God bless you for keeping me accountable!) 

So here I am, trying to be as faithful in other things as I am to my training plan. Funny, you would think the running would be the first thing to go, but in my case, it has always seemed easiest to maintain the newest things, while the ones that have been around get taken for granted. (I don’t know what that says about me, but I am sure trying to change it!!) Let’s get caught up a bit, ok?

I am about six weeks into my custom runcoach training plan, for the Chevron Houston Marathon (purchased at a discount along with race registration), and last week looked like this: (variations in red if not done “by the book”)

Sunday: Long run – 55-65 min @ 9:18/mi, 6.5 mi // 63 min @ 10:34/mi, 6.01 mi So, I disagree with my coach, I think long runs should be slow. Besides, it’s 90+ degrees and 70%+ humidity in Houston these days.

Monday: Rest day – Oh yeah!

Tuesday: Pace workout on TM – 1 mi easy run warm-up, then 2x [ 0.75 mi @ 7:54/mi, 1:00 recovery, 0.5 mi @ 7:37/mi, 1:00 recovery] ; 1 mi easy run cool down   I actually like these sessions…I do them with no music, learning to feel the pace; it’s interesting what our bodies can do!

Wednesday: cross training – I spent an hour pushing a lawnmower through knee-high grass.   If that isn’t aerobic enough, I don’t know what to tell you…

Thursday: Maintenance – 15-20 min @ 9:18/mi, 2 mi // 20:26 @ 9:36/mi, 2.1 mi Close enough!

Friday: Maintenance – 15-20 min @ 9:18/mi, 2 mi // zero I listened to my body when it said I needed a rest day…more about that in a minute.

Saturday: Cross training – A good stretching workout, with some core-building, and finished with a looong foam-roller session. Ready to hit that long run in the morning!

It’s not a great amount of miles, but that begins to change rather quickly after Labor Day…I only hope the weather tries to move just as briskly, towards brisk! I am working on a 20+ story high-rise building remodel, where most of the windows have been installed, but there will be no air conditioning running for at least three months. HOT is an inadequate word; I have spent most of my adult life working outdoors, but you never get used to it…you only develop the ability to endure it. Wait, let’s look at a definition of that word, from

endure – to support adverse force or influence of any kind; suffer without yielding; suffer patiently
It does not say avoid the suffering, does it? Neither do runners avoid the sweat, the strain, the exhaustion, the exertion – we thrive on it, because there is a purpose to our patience; there is a reason we do not yield…much as I endure the dirt, the heat, the noise, the danger of my chosen occupation, because the rewards in salary, reputation, and personal satisfaction are worth it to me – so also do I (and countless others like me, like you) come home after that day, lace up the runners, and take to the streets, or head to the gym, or jump on the treadmill: because the rewards that I am earning – being fit, being in tune with my body, getting those PR’s, and most of all feeling good about myself – these things are worth it to me.
That’s why I am a runner. Much of what we talk about here is how I am a runner…the same for most of my blogging friends out there (at least the honest ones), but above all of that, we need to remember why we run…or else, what are we running for?
Why do you run? And how does your “regular” life affect your “running life”, where do you have to make compromises? Share in the comments, I’d love to know I’m not alone! And be looking for some reviews coming up…I’ve been trying some new (to me) products, and I’d love to relate my experiences!


  1. Pingback: Houston Marathon Training update (through a mouthful of blood) | Striding Towards Life
  2. Mimi

    5 months left! Where does the time go? I am getting tired just looking at your training schedule. How do you like the runcoach plan so far? I am planning on running my first full in March and just starting to figure out which plan is going to be best for me.

  3. P.J. Murphy

    you’re definitely not alone!

    There are a number of ways my “regular” life interferes with my “running life” – or is it the other way around? Seriously though, its a weekly struggle to fit in my wife’s yoga, our kids’ school/sports/homework schedule and quality family time in with my training. For us, it’s all about open lines of communication – and keeping our family Google calendar up to date.

    • Nick

      You really hit on it there – open communication is vital! I feel blessed, compared to many runners: my kids are grown and out of the house (mostly, anyway!), so it’s just my wife’s and my schedules we have to deal with. The biggest challenge has been balancing my desired racing schedule against finances AND my ministry opportunities – or, to put it like my conscience does in my dimmer moments, am I gonna serve God or myself? (OUCH!!) But real life is never that cut-and-dried, is it? So we do the best we can, making adjustments as we learn, and continue moving forward…because the other choice is to give up, and ain’t nobody got time for that!

      Thanks for reading, and commenting!

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