marathons marine corps marathon running

Marine Corps Marathon Training – Week 12 (Survived the 20-miler, thoughts on Peter Chang)

One of our summer interns told me she could never do a marathon because she couldn’t be alone with her thoughts for that long.

I’ll admit, being alone with your thoughts during a long run can be tough. It’s hard not to focus on the pain, the boredom, and the many miles you have left.

It took me a while, but now I actually do enjoy being alone with my thoughts. I enjoy the time to think about whatever I want, to focus on whatever I want, and to zone out if I want (which, during long runs, is ideal).

But it can still be really tough. I completed my first 20-miler of this training season on Saturday. And I’m not going to lie: I hated every single minute of that run.

It was just a bad day. My body was tired, and all I wanted to do was hang out on the couch and watch Netflix (my latest series obsession is Bloodline).

I was planning on doing the 20-miler at my usual long run spot: the C&O Canal towpath, but it was raining pretty heavily, and the forecast called for some lighting and thunder later in the morning. So, I hit my plan B: the dreaded treadmill.

I did 20 miles on the treadmill.

It was as terrible as you can imagine it being.

I got through it by focusing on five miles and a time, and thinking about the amazing nap I was going to take afterward.

But it was still pretty rough. Every mile hurt and felt like an eternity. I tried to shift my thoughts to other things. Twenty things that ran through my mind during the 20 miles:

1. Maybe I should just stop and do the 20-miler next weekend.
2. What I am I going to eat for lunch today?
3. Why am I so tired today?
4. I should really cross-trian more. Maybe I’ll try the elliptical. People seem to like that thing.
5. Ugh. Why am I so tired?
6. My legs hurt.
7. How much time do I have to nap before I need to get ready for dinner tonight?
8. What am I going to wear to dinner tonight?
9. *watching CNN on the treadmill TV* Seriously, how is Donald Trump doing so well in the polls?
10. Ugh. Maybe I’ll stop at 15 miles, because really, running 20 on a treadmill is insane.
11. No, I can’t. I have to finish.
12. Should I get a dog?
13. *watching CNN* Ivanka Trump is so pretty. I wonder if she runs.
14. Deep breaths, deep breaths… you can do this.
15. Is $250 too much for suede boots?
16. I should have eaten more for breakfast.
17. Ughhhhh
18. Is it weird to date your neighbor? Things could get awkward…
19. I think I want some sushi after this.
20. Maybe I need to switch up my fuel.

What do you think about while running?

I got my sushi after the 20-miler. Definitely needed more food after this.
I got my sushi after the 20-miler. Definitely needed more food after this.

MCM Training: Week 12

Monday, Sept. 7 – 4 miles – treadmill

Tuesday, Sept. 8 – 10 miles – treadmill

Wednesday, Sept. 9 – 6 miles – treadmill

Thursday, Sept. 10 – 4 miles – treadmill

Friday, Sept. 11 – off

Saturday, Sept. 12 – 20 miles – treadmill

Sunday, Sept. 13 – 3 miles – outside

Total: 47 miles
Cross-training – none

It was a good week. I completed my long run, and hit over 40 miles. I didn’t do any cross-training, but I did get in an awesome 3-mile jog through Cabin John Park on Sunday. The weather was beautiful — low-70s, sunny, breezy, with a hint of fall in the air.

Goals for this week: spend more time stretching and foam-rolling after runs.

Ever heard of Peter Chang?

I went to his very first restaurant in Charlottesville, Va. in 2010. I was down there visiting my cousin who was attending Darden at the time. She insisted we eat at Peter Chang, a restaurant named after its chef specializing in Szechwan-style cuisine (no relation to P.F. Chang’s).

The food was amazing — spicy, full of flavor.

He has expanded over the years, and recently opened a new location in Rockville, Md.

My cousin, her husband and I checked it out Saturday night (my reward for completing the long run).

Our thoughts: not so good.

We asked for recommendations from the server, and the selection we got felt too commercialized and watered down. The service was also not so great.

We definitely had a better experience at his original location.

Perhaps it was an off night for them though, so I wouldn’t be against going back and giving it a second try.

Have you been?

Dinner photos below.

Have a great week!

IK posing with Peter Chang's scallion pancakes.
IK posing with Peter Chang’s scallion pancakes.
Some of kind of pork appetizer. It was eh.
Some of kind of pork appetizer. It was eh.
Bang bang shrimp (front) and tofu (back).
Bang bang shrimp (front) and tofu (back).
IK's combination dish. This was ok.
IK’s combination dish. This was ok.


  1. Congrats on surviving 20 on the treadmill! I don’t think I could ever do that…

    I’m with you, I have NO IDEA how Trump is doing so well. I have many similar thoughts when running, but when things get tough, I like to visualize crossing the finish line! It always gives me a boost 🙂

  2. Wow, 20 miles on the mill, I’d be thinking about how much easier the next 20 mile is going to be! Great article, I’m new to blogging and enjoying finding all the great running sites…best of luck with your continued progress…I’m also on a journey to run in every state, only 47 to go!!

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