Fitness Friday – Marathon Training Week 11


By Bri Wilson

Happy Friday Friends!

After a great long run last weekend and solid week of training this week, I’m feeling ready to run hard at the Beat The Blerch Half Marathon in Seattle this Saturday! Although I’m not sure how realistic running faster than my marathon race pace will be at this race, given that I’ll be fully amused and distracted by people chasing us in Blerch suits, Nutella and birthday cake aid stations, and Mr. The Oatmeal himself, Matthew Inman, who will be there running (hopefully in a Blerch suit?) and signing copies of his comics. I also read that there will be a KITTEN TENT. FOR CUDDLING AND ADOPTING KITTENS. The only thing that would make this race more amazing is free post-race wine and chocolate. Oh, and a puppy tent, too.

Aside from the race, I’m also excited to hit up the Oiselle Flagship store and not get dinged an arm and a leg for duty. I had originally planned to stock up on everything Oiselle, but thanks to a whole bunch of expenses falling in my lap at once this week (booked a vacation to Maui, had to drop almost $1,000 on my car in repairs), finding out my regular freelance gig was finally drying up, AND learning last night that my blog ad network abruptly closed it doors with no word to bloggers on if we’re getting paid for our campaigns or not (that money, which I’m supposed to get over the next few months, was slated to pay for the Maui trip. Talk about a bad week for finances.), I should probably avoid that store altogether to save my cash.

Anyway, here’s how this week in workouts shaped up:


Last super long run of training! I ran 34 km in 3:22:10, with an average pace of 5:57. I was on par for pace up until about kilometre 30, when I completely ran out of gas, slowed right down and hit the dreaded “wall”. Although I was well hydrated, I was not well fueled and ended up trudging for 3 km until the next gear kicked in and I was able to run the last kilometre at a faster pace. It was good, though, to remember what the wall feels like. I usually hit it around kilometre 30 of the Victoria Marathon, right when you turn off Dallas Road onto Oliver in Oak Bay. It’s a steady climb from there, with lots of undulating roads. So when I hit the wall last week, I tried to picture that spot and visualize myself speeding up and overcoming it.



Sunday was a much needed rest day, with the usual inside chores plus a few hours planting lavender bushes in the front yard (not much of a rest day, actually).

MONDAY (this week)

I had every intention of getting up for a morning strength training workout, but slept through my alarm – I guess I needed more sleep! I did an after work strength workout instead for about 30 minutes, which wasn’t as intense as usual as I was tired and hungry. I was going to do a quick run as well, but the dogs needed some attention so I took them for a 25 minute stroll instead.


Tuesday is supposed to be a tempo run day, but I got a cheque in the mail just in time to pay for $1,000 worth of work I needed to have done on my car the following day, so I ran to the bank and back (which is conveniently 4.1 km away) to deposit my cheque AND get my run in. I tried to pick up the pace, but it was hard to get a rhythm going when I had to stop at lights and dodge people on the sidewalk. It took me about 43 minutes of run time to cover 8.2 km. My legs were also still feeling pretty tired from Saturday’s long run.


I did about 40 minutes of upper body, lower body and core strength training in the morning, then ran 3 km to work after dropping off my car at Mazda for service. I took a longer route on the way home, running a slow and easy 4 km back to get my car.


Even though I had planned to do some intervals and hill sprints, I ended up doing more of a fartlek run around my neighourhood for 40 minutes, followed by a 2 km dog walk. I ran hills, did a few random sprints, took it easy, then ran a tempo pace for a few kilometres.


Today I’m planning to do 30 minutes of upper body and a short 3-5 km run before we leave for Seattle. Hopefully my legs will be rested enough for the race on Saturday!

Bri Wilson is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and freelance fitness and health writer based in Victoria, BC. Bri writes about training for marathons, triathlons and ultra marathons on her blog,