The Stepback Week

When you give a marathon-trainee an entire week that reads “6 mi, easy”, she is bound to go a little stir crazy.

Just me?

I got lucky that my “stepback” week fell on my “MOVING week!”; I have no LR to worry about somehow squeezing in before we depart on Saturday. I also have no inevitable-leg-cramps to worry about, that were bound to come from 18 miles + 12 hours in the car. That is not a recipe for success, runners.

In place of Tempo Runs, or Speed workouts, or new Long Distances, I simply see a repetitive plan. If you know me, you know I don’t always follow the “plan”.


Yesterday morning, I met Anne P for a trail-run at our usual spot. She took some gorgeous and fun pictures of our scenery; it’s not too hard to find yourself surrounded by Nature, even in the middle of this city.

We put in 5 miles, at an easy conversational pace, and had a gorgeous morning cooperating with us. Thanks, DC!

She treated me to one of her Vegan Almond Butter Breakfast Bars, and one Homemade No-Bake Granola Bars. Delicioso!

I’m going to miss this chick, her baking, and our trail running! Come visit in CO? Please? I’ll make you snacks, next time. 😉


When projects take over your day, I highly recommend a Mexican-style Salad, Blue Corn Chips, a good book & a quick walk around the neighborhood. See below.

Mini Pearl Tomatoes
Sliced Orange Pepper
1/2 c Corn
Spinach Leaves
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Toss everything together, and top with hummus! For some crunch, enjoy some tortilla chips on the side.

Now, take a walk! Explore. Get some sunshine, soak in that Vitamin D.
Your stir-crazy legs will Thank You.


This morning, I headed out for a Solo Run. I haven’t run, completely alone (no bike next to me? no running buddy?) in at least a month. The iPod & tunes were left at home, since I never use it anymore (conversation is a much better distraction!). I brought a 16-oz water bottle, and will admit that I’m proud of my arms for holding it without problem! I’m also proud of myself for drinking it consistently. Small victories, here.

Another “6 miles, easy” just didn’t seem to jive; I did “8 miles, with hills” instead. When In DC, right? I trekked along my favorite trail, Rock Creek, up to Iwo Jima, into Georgetown and up to P street, across to Dupont and up Connecticut. Push it, legs! Soon enough, it will be inclines and altitude that we battle together. Get ready!

8.3 miles, 1:13:45

Long-ish run for this week? Done!

How do you treat your stepback weeks?
Any other restless runners in the house?



Filed under adding the Hills, DC, food, lunches, recipes, training

13 responses to “The Stepback Week

  1. oh man…your poor sweet legs AND lungs are about to get it! i remember it took me a solid 4-5 months to really acclimate! let me know when you get here, i’m down with bringing pizza on moving day 🙂

    • Heather C

      I will gladly take you up on that offer! 🙂 Thanks, lady. We’ll be there early next week, and I’ll keep you posted.

  2. Aww I’ll miss you too! Sadface.

  3. your food pics always make me hungry. that salad looks delicious! nice job tackling those hills!!

  4. Sounds like a nice way to spend the day!

    My step back weeks include the same number of runs, so it doesn’t feel all that different. :S Just a bit less mileage. 😉

  5. I love nothing more than a meal that revolves around my favorite blue corn tortilla chips and hummus. 🙂 I’m restless in general fitness, including running. I have to remember to take days off and give my legs a rest…but I definitely feel better all day when I run in the morning.

  6. I gotta be honest, I’m pretty much embracing all my step-down weeks lately because my legs have just been sore! Safe travels on your trip!!! Text me if you get bored! 🙂

  7. I usually embrace my stepback weeks, too, though mine are only slightly reduced mileage, and not reduced at all in intensity. But once the mileage starts climbing, I’m usually thrilled to see 10 miles on the weekend schedule rather than 18 or 20!

  8. 8 miles and hills…way to go on stepping it back! 😉

    I’m stepping it back this weekend. Doing a 90 min hard effort long run rather than some crazy distance. My body will thank me even if it makes me mentally a bit anxious.

  9. Restless is right. Two weekends ago I clocked upteen miles because I had it in me. Love those feelings.

    Your running views are amazing. And even you taking it easy is work, lol.

  10. My stepback weeks are scheduled – but I still love them. Next week is a stepback week for me and I am SO EXCITED for it! Ha!

  11. The first cut back week I have I go INSANE. By the time the second one rolls around I am oh so happy, and so are my legs. I usually change 2 of the 6’s to a 5 & 7 to add some variety. I just can’t handle 4 days of 6 miles. Barf.

  12. sounds like a great run! love all the pics!!! 🙂

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