Training for the Darlington Marathon (Sept. 1-7)

Hey everyone and happy Sunday! It’s the first weekend of multiple races here in Charleston, so if you ran a race this weekend, I hope you did well. Otherwise, I hope you just had an awesome weekend.

If you had a busy week and missed them, here are my posts from last week:


I renamed my training recap post this week to reflect the marathon I’m training for. Now that I’m in taper mode, I guess I feel more comfortable setting actual time goals instead of just calling it a fun run. I’ve been registered for this marathon since April, and my real life friends all know I’m doing it, so I decided it’s a good time to announce it to the blog world in case someone else out there may be running it.

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The Darlington Marathon is a small inaugural event in Darlington, SC, conveniently close to Florence, which is where I lived before moving to Charleston. I chose this marathon for a few reasons.

  1. It’s close to my friends and family, so they can spectate. If I ran a marathon out of town or out of state, I’d have Clay there but most likely no one else. It’s not a long drive for my parents either, so they could come show up at the finish, along with some of my Florence friends.
  2. It was inexpensive. I registered for $75 and got two free tickets to a NASCAR race free for registering. I gave the tickets away to my father-in-law, and I think he gave them away to someone at work. NASCAR is obviously *not* the type of racing I’m into, but at least someone got a free race out of it.
  3. Clay and I can stay with his parents the night before, so no need to get a hotel. Remember, we’re house poor here. I’d rather spend that money on a non-running excursion like a cruise or vacation next year.
  4. It’s neat to be a part of something in its first year. The marathon and half marathon were limited to 500 runners each, but I’ll be able to tell friends, family, and my future kids and grandkids that I was a part of the first-ever marathon in Darlington.

Now, what you’ve been waiting for- this week’s training log.

Sunday: I slept in and missed my usual pre-church walk around Charleston, but I went to the Yoga House of Charleston for the community/donation class that afternoon. It was a different instructor- probably due to the holiday.

I prefer the usual Sunday instructor, Katie, and that’s why I stick with this class. I later learned last Sunday’s instructor taught 11 yoga classes over the holiday weekend due to people being out, though. I have to admit that’s pretty incredible, but I’m glad our usual instructor will be back soon. I just like Katie’s teaching style better.

Monday: Since it was Labor Day and I was off work, I headed to Mt. Pleasant to run the Cooper River Bridge and downtown for a 10.3 mile run. It was a lot better than my last 10 miler a few weeks ago, I was pretty happy with my pace and splits, and hooray for only 84% humidity instead of the usual 100%.

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Tuesday: I woke up at 5 to hit the track with Kindal, Katie, and Michelle. We did 400s and 800s and with warmup and cooldown, I ran a total of 6 miles. I headed to BodyPump that afternoon to finish out the day of workouts.

Wednesday: I met up with my marathon training partner Steve, Richie, and Richie’s niece to run garages downtown. It was about a 5.5 mile run and included a route around downtown Charleston with 6 parking garages.

Those parking garages are pretty brutal; we sprint the uphills/inclines and run easy on the way down and through the streets of downtown- but they work, and it’s always fun to run around downtown. I was pretty stoked to run downtown twice this week thanks to the Labor Day Holiday.

Thursday: Off. I was pretty wiped out after the garage run and 3 days of straight, hard, running. With a half marathon coming up on Saturday, I figured the extra day off would help, and I decided to get some extra carbs in with a “take and bake” pizza from Earth Fare– they were half price this week.

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You know it’s hot outside when you get your take and bake pizza home and it’s almost cooked… we popped it in the oven to finish it off, and it was delicious.

Since I didn’t work out, I headed to TrySports Mt. Pleasant– who moved into a brand new store in Mt. Pleasant Towne Center this week- to pick up mine and Clay’s packets for the Francis Marion Dirt Dash on Saturday. Here’s my bib and shirt (back and front).   

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The guys shirt was the same design but a red shirt. Unfortunately, Clay’s shirt doesn’t fit Sad smile. It’s a nice tech shirt, but it’s the smallest XXL shirt ever, and there were no bigger sizes. It looks more like an XL or even a Large. I hope Eagle Endurance uses a different shirt vendor next year for the guys shirts.

Friday: 30 minute Les Mills CXWORX class at East Shore.

My friend Will is getting certified to teach CXWORX, which is a cross training class for your entire body. With the name, I thought it was just a core class, but boy was I wrong- we did it all… squats, arm workouts- it was pretty fun. He had to have 5-6 participants in the class and film himself teaching to submit for his certification- I didn’t mind helping him out at all.

I’m pretty sure the Les Mills workout people will laugh at the poor uncoordinated girl in the pink the whole video…

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Saturday: Half marathon time! I ran the Francis Marion Dirt Dash half and finished in 1:54. My total mileage was 13.27, and I was 2nd place in my age group. Clay ran the “More than a 5K” and placed 3rd in his age group. Here’s my race swag.

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It wasn’t my best half marathon time, but the entire race was on a dirt road and gravel trail, so I think I did pretty well. I was mostly happy that I did not fall- that gravel was pretty tricky in places! I’ll have a full recap of the race later this week.

Did I mention how happy I am to write a race recap again? I’m so glad to get back to Saturday morning racing!

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Weekly totals: 35 miles total, 1 BodyPump class, 1 yoga class, 1 CXWORX class.


My first race of the Fall is done, along with most of my hard marathon training. I have a few more long runs to do obviously, but I probably won’t run any of them longer than 14-16 miles. I’m excited to rest my legs over the next three weeks, along with some other fun stuff next week like a girl’s night out for Charleston Restaurant Week, a much needed massage, and lunch with my friend Virginia (and seeing her new baby, Stella).

Have a great week, and happy training!

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17 Responses to Training for the Darlington Marathon (Sept. 1-7)

  1. Sounds like a great week of trainer and I am proud of you for looking to set some time goals beyond looking at the race just for fun. You’re going to do great! The dirt dash sounds like it was a blast! How fun.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      It was great! I hope you can do it next year, but if not, he puts on various other races so maybe you can do one of those. I really want to read about your mud run too! I realized yesterday looking on Facebook that I had a lot of friends participate in the mud run :).

      My goal is to finish the marathon in around 4 hours!

  2. spectacuLAUR says:

    This sounds like a solid training week. I would be so nervous to do a Dirt Dash or any trail running because I am so clutzy. It’s nice your first marathon is in a town close to home so you don’t have to pay for a hotel room. It’s so expensive! And I would definitely choose a cruise over paying un-needed costs for races! I can’t believe it’s only a few short weeks away!!!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I am also very klutzy! Really I’m just an awkward person in general and I’m uncoordinated, which is why the only sport I’m good at is running in one direction… when it’s usually flat… for a really long time. Haha.

      A lot of my friends talk about running vacations, and I think that’s fun- but to me a vacation is about relaxing and running when and where you want, not so much having a race involved.

  3. Cracks me up about your pizza cooking in the car on the way home. I saw it is still supposed to be in the 90s all week. I cannot wait for it to cool down a bit.
    Good training this week. Cannot believe you are to the taper – that is so exciting. It means the races is getting close:)

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I’m mostly excited to sleep in past 4 AM :).

      Really, I’m ready to get the marathon over with. I love running, but I think I want to focus on shorter distances and getting faster, rather than running longer. I like short races because I can do them every weekend (and I do them almost every weekend!).

      I still plan to work out pretty hard this week with the usual, speedwork, strength training, etc. So really, the two weeks before the marathon will be more “true taper” :).

  4. Amy says:

    Congrats on placing in the half! Your beginning of the week made me exhausted. Every time I now see a parking garage, I think of you running it. That pizza looks so good 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      It was a delicious pizza- I love it when Earth Fare puts the take and bake pizzas on sale- they’re better than the pizzas made in store and half price, it was even cheaper than Little Caesar’s, haha.

  5. Nice work on the half, and with training in general. That’s cool that you are running the inaugural event, I have done a few before- usually there are a few snaffoos being a first time race but it’s a smaller atmosphere which is nice and comfortable!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Oh yeah- I’m expecting some snaffoo, something to go wrong. But the event has already surprised me, it’s almost sold out and will probably sell out before the registration closes (it’s not like most marathons where the price goes up).

      If nothing else, the race will be my marathon and it will be special regardless. It’s not Disney or MCM, but that’s not what I’m expecting or paying for either.

  6. allieksmith says:

    I knew your marathon was in the fall, but I didn’t realize it was so soon! It’s been so much fun to follow your training recaps since APRIL! Wow!! I am soo super excited for you. I think it was smart of you to choose a race that is close to family/friends and is affordable because of wehre you can stay (yay for the in-laws!) and the actual price. 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I haven’t really been training since April… I guess I started in like June or so. I spent April and May training for the Race for Taylor 10K, then just kinda jumped into the marathon in June. But you’re right, I’ve pretty much been training for something for the last 6 months- yikes!

      After this marathon, I’m actually not going to be training to peak in any of my upcoming Fall races (and there are a lot of them, I just haven’t updated my calendar on here). It’ll feel good to just run them and if I PR, I PR, ya know? Less pressure might even help!

  7. Shaun says:

    Way to go, 2nd in your group! I love finishing races. I am jellous of whoever got your nascar tickets! Good luck on your marathon.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I have no clue who ended up with those tickets, lol. I just know I wasn’t going to a NASCAR race. This marathon will be my first time visiting this race track despite living so close to it for many years.

  8. Congrats on your AG award, and HM.

    Good luck at your marathon!

  9. LilMysNinja says:

    Love the swag! That wooden plaque is pretty awesome. Can’t wait to read the recap. Congrats on placing!

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