Back to the Marathon Base: Build it together

I got into Marine Corps Marathon again! If I’m lucky enough to make it to race day healthy and well-trained, it will be my 5th. After this, I’m in the Runners Club. I care way more about this club’s perks than any airline status. (But my short-lived Silver on Virgin was pretty nice.)

If my forever-run-buddy Kate is reading this, she’s shaking her head and waving her index finger. I can hear her reminding me of what I said to her at mile 20 last year. I can hear myself! “DO NOT LET ME SIGN UP FOR ANOTHER MARATHON. MAYBE EVER. DEFINITELY NOT THIS ONE. NOT NEXT YEAR.” I said those words. I meant them. But, what I was really saying (and thinking) is, “Do not let me fool myself again. Do not let my ego get so out of control. Do not let me believe that I can breeze through 26.2 miles with half-assed training.”

I’m in. I’m doing it (if all systems agree). But it starts with base building, because right now I have no base.

Join me for one month of base building aerobic running to prep for your fall races.

This year has been an odd one for my running.

I did something weird to my foot on an easy Tuesday morning run in January. I didn’t run for six weeks after that. I’m still easing back in, but not forcing it. When my foot felt ready to go again, I didn’t miss running enough to jump right in. I ran once per week, with walking breaks, for no more than three or four miles. I had zero endorphin highs and gave zero fucks.

I entered the MCM lottery because it’s just what I do.

I can’t not enter it unless I have good reason. (E.g. When I worked in San Francisco and didn’t feel like cross-country marathoning again. That year, I rode my bike for a lot of miles with Molly ,and Jens Voigt, instead.) Aside from my mile-20 rant, there were no good reasons for me to not enter the MCM lottery this year. So I did. And I got in. And this is how I felt about it (!!!):

I’m so f-ing pumped that I got in.

The MCM email notification is everything. It makes my day, EVERY time. I spent the next few hours pondering how to set up my training plan, thinking about summer long runs, getting excited about all the miles on all my favorite DC trails.

$25 for a 4-week Base Building Training – Starts Monday, April 10th!

But I have a LOT of work to do.

Right now, a 3-mile run feels long to me. Proof: I did a run-walk for five miles yesterday, keeping my heart rate low (aerobic), and got an accomplishment notification from my new G.

5 miles accomplishment

I will spend the next month focused on base training.

I will do it right this year. (I’ll explain the lessons I learned from my mistakes last year in another post.) That starts with being smart early, easing in, and building the base. If you plan on running a fall marathon—your first or your twenty-first—start easy with me. Start by focusing on aerobic running, time on your feet, and basic strength training to get your body ready for the big stuff. We’ll do a lot of easy miles, bodyweight strength training, core work, yoga, and meditation. We’ll run together, virtually, so you can join from anywhere (near DC or very far, like my friend Megan, in South Africa).

We’ll start next Monday (4/10), but if you’re in DC and want to kick it off this weekend, come join the Lane 9 Project run on Saturday morning! I’ll be leading the short (3 mile) and slow (run-walk) group. 💪

I’ll be launching two training groups after this! If you join the base building you group, you can take $25 off your next training with me. Coming soon: 20-week Marine Corps Marathon training plan starting June 10th, or a 16-week Marine Corps Marathon training plan starting July 10th. If you have another fall marathon in mind, that’s OK too! 


  1. April 4, 2017

    Lotteries are fun. There’s the MRT 50K lottery going on right now for two more days and I think either Pete or I need to sign up. We’ll see… it’s a lot of summer training and trail time, that’s for sure.

    Good luck on coming back post foot injury! My left foot has been a bit iffy this training cycle, but so far nothing serious. Using a lacrosse ball on it has helped. And I have always loved those bright shorts you have. So pretty and fun.

    And as for the marathon, having your mindset clear definitely helps. I’m excited for this round because I don’t have the goal to PR or BQ, but I want to enjoy the race and run as fast and as well as I’m currently trained to do. I am aware that it may be slower than my ego wants, but it’s where I’m at. Plus, being out of the marathon game for 3 yrs, I feel a bit like “Okay, how do I do this again for 26 miles??”

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