Asheville Marathon Training — T-Minus Three Weeks

Yikes… How did that happen?… Now only three weeks until the Asheville Marathon??? Maybe that honeymoon break was a bad idea, especially given my goals for this race?  Well I had my wakeup this week and jumped back into it with both feet…


Running in compression tights and short sleeves!


  • Reformer pilates.  A nice class for my first foray back into real life after Hawaii.


  • Orangetheory (Power day).  Because it was icy outside, I went to the new Orangetheory studio closer to my home, in DC, rather than my usual spot in Virginia.  Like my last class there, this class was really tough for me, especially the running.  I had a hard time controlling my breath and my legs couldn’t keep up with the belt on the treadmill.  But I was going slower than my usual pace (struggling to keep a Base of 6 mph, even though I usually do around 7 mph for Base and 9 mph for Push).  And for the first time ever, I didn’t get at least 12 splat points (!!!!).  Last time something similar happened at the same location I attributed it to the fact that I had recently run the Mississippi Blues Marathon, but I also questioned whether my warm-up (or lack thereof) was having an effect.  After this week (including a class on Thursday at my regular OTF studio, post-four-mile run), I feel pretty certain that the warming up issue is the culprit.  Here’s my theory (heh, Orangetheory):  when I go to the Virginia location, I run at an easy pace for about 3.5 to 4 miles to get to the studio.   I get my heart pumping at a nice steady rate, blood gets flowing to my legs, and my muscles and mind get the message that it is time to work.  When I get to the studio, I usually have a few minutes to let my heart rate slow down to about 50% of max, get my monitor on, and fill up my water bottle before jumping into class.  Then we do a 7-ish minute warm-up in class; I really just use that time to get adapted to the treadmill and the slightly faster pace.  When I go to OTF DC, I do the short walk to the studio and then really only get the 7-ish minute warm-up on the treadmill before we plunge into Pushes and All-Outs.  My body is like Huh? What? Where am I?  Do I know how to move/breathe/pump blood?  Am I going to barf and/or fall off this treadmill? And to be honest, I don’t like it.  At all.  In fact, if my first few OTF classes felt like that, I probably would not have been a fan.  Moral of the story: if you are finding OTF or a track or speed workout to be really uncomfortable, try doing a really thorough easy run warm-up.  Maybe your body, like mine, just needs a little more time.   I’m also wondering if a body’s necessary warm-up time can be affected by our training (I’m assuming it can).  For instance, my body is used to running for at least an hour at a time.  I always have plenty of miles to get settled in.  And my body knows that.   If I were regularly running only one or two or three miles for my workout, would my muscles and nervous system “wake up” earlier?   If you know the answer, please let me know in the comments! 


  • Rest day.  Ran 2.5 miles easy to work.  Feeling a little sore, especially in my inner thighs, from pilates or Orangetheory.


  • Orangetheory, with a 3.5 mile warm-up run. 🙂  Went much better than Tuesday’s class.  Base pace was back to 7 mph, Push pace was 9 mph, and All Out was 11 mph.  It was an Endurance day, and I really had to dig deep to finish all of the intervals at those paces, but I did it!



  • Orangetheory, with another 3.5 mile warm-up run.  A fun strength workout including five 0.25 or 0.3 mile incline sprints, alternated with recovery rowing. I don’t usually feel competitive with my classmates (and I usually can’t tell how fast they are going or how hard they are rowing), but this was a little different because there was a guy on the treadmill/rower next to me who was super fast and a woman on the other side of me who was just a little slower than me, and I could tell when they had finished the distance and moved to the rower or to the treadmill.  Trying to keep up with the guy on my right and stay ahead of the woman on my left was a huge motivator.  And I needed it on a Friday morning!  (I once again did not reach the goal of 12 splat points, but the trainer said that some workouts just don’t lend themselves to racking up the points, so I’m not going to worry too much about it; I know I got a great workout!)



  • Long run!  When I woke up on Saturday morning, I felt… not like I had been hit by dumptruck… but maybe like I had been nudged around by one fairly aggressively.  Thanks, Orangetheory.  But I had set a time to meet a friend for running, so I dragged myself out of bed and out onto the pavement.  I didn’t have time to eat a proper breakfast before heading out.  I grabbed seven almonds and a pack of Sport Beans on my way out the door.  I did 11.4 slow, heavy-legged miles (thanks, friend for running with me!) and then had to decide whether to head straight home or to continue to run solo in a direction that took me farther from my home.  CLEARLY I opted for the direct route home, with a stop at Sweetgreen for some non-candy fuel.  The weather was so lovely (short sleeves!) that I considered heading out in the afternoon for a second run, but instead we ended up going to a fun outdoor birthday party and socializing with friends.  Oh well!


  • Long Run #2!  Saturday’s “long run” of 11.4 miles just wasn’t going to cut it for my Asheville Marathon training, so I decided to head back out on Sunday.  What a difference a day made!  My legs felt SO much better than they had on Saturday morning.  And I even ate breakfast beforehand!

Pre-run breakfast of Greek Yogurt, coconut PB (from Hawaii), chia seeds, a banana, and 1/3 of an apple

  • I decided to mix things up by heading to the Rock Creek Park hiking trails.  I did five miles on pavement to get to the trailhead, then about five more on the dirty/muddy/rooty/rocky trails.  I caught up on the Marathon Training Academy podcast for entertainment.  After 11.3 miles, it was raining pretty significantly and I could feel a blister developing on the inside of my big toe from my trail running shoes and the too-big socks I was wearing.  I really didn’t want to end up with a nasty blister, so I slowed to a walk for the rest of the way home (again stopping at Sweetgreen because I have an obsession).  I felt great after this run but am planning to do some foam rolling and stretching to help with recovery.

Western Ridge Trail in RCP

Next Week: 20 MILER!

2016 in 2016 Update:  I set a goal to log 2016 miles of running or walking during 2016.  I’ve been tracking my outdoor and most of my walks since the new year.  My current total mileage in Strava is 285 miles.  It is the 52nd day of the year, meaning I’m averaging 5.48 miles/day.  This is just a little short of where I need to be, partially because I did not include several walks and hikes in Hawaii because I was trying to save battery and data and because I did not have service for some of the hikes.  I’ll have to make up those miles in the next few weeks, but so far, I am really enjoying this goal.

Does anyone else have experience with a last minute training cram session for a race?   What strategies did you use to maximize your training time?  Is anyone else running the Asheville Marathon???  

1 thought on “Asheville Marathon Training — T-Minus Three Weeks

  1. Pingback: Last Week of Asheville Marathon Training | athlettuce

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