Chicago Marathon Training Week 4

Monday, July 1: 3.01 miles in 30:21 for a 10:04 pace.
Sometimes I question my Garmin’s math skillz. Because 3.01 is just barely more than 3, and if I ran three miles at a 10:04 pace, I should have a time of 30:12, not 30:21, right? Although this is coming from the girl who essentially took remedial algebra and trigonometry as her one and only college math class, so who am I to talk?

Anyway, this run was fantastic. The weather was perfect and for the first time since I started this cycle that I ran one of my all time favorite routes. I often choose to do the same ol’ same ol’ for running routes when I’m either short on or pressed for time because I like knowing where all the exact mile markers are, but I didn’t have anything pressing on Monday so I took my time and ran something different. It was just a really nice, really chill, really awesome, “How cool is it that I get to live in Chicago and run here?” sort of run, which, after last week, was a great change.

Also I saw a bunny. Wildlife!

Tuesday, July 2: cross training.
My normal hip hop/break teacher had obligations with his dance company, so a different teacher from the same place subbed. She has a really different style than my normal teacher, which made for a, um, fun new challenge. Haha. It’s all good, though. These things keep my ego in check, which I definitely need. She taught our break class just about everything I already knew, which means my short-lived advantage over the new students is gone. Sad day. She also referred to me as Lady B, which I’ve decided will be my stage name when I’m a famous hip hop dancer/b-girl. You’re all welcome to start calling me Lady B now if you so desire.

Wednesday, July 3: 3.15 miles in 45:01 for a 14:16 pace.
Pace and overall time are pretty inaccurate. I ran with Team PAWS on Wednesday. Puppies! We met at the PAWS adoption center and all had a dog assigned to us. Originally I was supposed to run with Stanley, a rescued dog from Oklahoma, but a last minute switch put me with Chiquis, a two year old pit bull terrier. Before Wednesday, I had exactly zero experience with pit bulls, so I was a little nervous about running with her. She was as sweet as can be, but whoa BABY was she a strong animal! She also didn’t particularly like being behind other dogs–always wanted to catch up with them. There was a lot of starting and stopping on this run, and I rarely had the wherewithal to stop my watch, which is why things are so off. When Chiquis was running at her fastest, I’d estimate we were doing close to 8:15s, maybe even 8:00s. When we were alone, though, we were much closer to 9:30s or 10:00s, which was MUCH nicer for me. I really enjoyed running with Chiquis, but I don’t know if this is something I’m going to be able to do any more during training. My legs were absolutely trashed after this run, and my body as a whole has never, ever been that sore after a three miler. We’ll see.

Chiquis and I also took a corner a *bit* too tight, which resulted in an unfortunate meeting between my hand and a brick wall.


This picture does not do my bruise justice at all. I’ve had more than my fair share of bruises, especially over the past seven months with breakdance, but I’ve never had a bruise as ugly as the one on my hand. On the bright side, the red and blue really worked well for the Fourth of July! 😉

Thursday, July 4: 4 miles in 42:56 for a 10:44 pace.
Ah, morning running! You are such a nice treat! I didn’t have to work on the Fourth, so I got my run out of the way early on in the day. I strength trained before running and then knocked out four miles on the Fourth of July — SO appropriate, right? Not gonna lie, this run kinda sucked. My legs were still incredibly sore and cranky from the PAWS run, so this was a bit of a struggle for me, as my time shows. Prior to this run, my slowest midweek runs had been in the low 10s–10:04, 10:07, 10:17. It doesn’t really bother me that much that I ran that slow on Thursday, but it is evidence of how beat up I felt after Wednesday. Also worth noting: since I’m usually an afternoon runner, I generally have 24ish hours minimum between runs, whereas I only had about 14 or so hours between Wednesday and Thursday’s runs, which I’m sure affected the state of my legs.

Friday, July 5: rest
Except I walked around A LOT in sandals, because I’m an idiot. But we all knew that.

Saturday, July 6: 9.21 miles in 1:36:19 for a 10:28 pace.
Not entirely sure my Garmin was spot on with this measurement, but whatever. As soon as we started running I thought, “This pace feels ridiculously fast,” which is not exactly how I like to feel at the start of a nine miler. I had a nice buddy to chat with for the first 4.5ish miles of the run, which made things go a little better, but man, I was living for those water stations along the route. I always carry a handheld water bottle when I run, but I was just dyin’ on Saturday. It was warmer than it’s been in awhile, I haven’t run nine miles in about 10 months, and my legs were still sore from the past week, so physically this run was a struggle. Mentally, though, I think I was in a pretty good place, which honestly for me is a much bigger deal than the physical aspect. Historically, I have been SO quick to beat myself up over the littlest things, but I didn’t really get down on myself on Saturday, even when my group abandoned me (okay, that’s not what really happened. I couldn’t maintain the pace, and it was one of those things where I was a couple steps behind, then several steps behind, then A LOT of steps behind and I was all, “Wait. How did that happen?!” It’s not like they ditched me, and it didn’t even really upset me, because at that point I kind of needed and wanted to be by myself anyway.). I’m rarely a mantra person, but I spent the last two miles of the run saying, “Strong, powerful, and capable,” and I really think it helped me, hokey as that sounds. It got me to the end of the run at least and kept me from crying even though I was so tired that’s all I really wanted to do.

Because nine miles clearly is not enough exercise for the day, I headed downtown almost immediately after my run (immediately after eating pancakes at a record pace, really) for free Zumba in Millennium Park with Lindsay, Erin and Kelsey led by teachers from the East Bank Club (a schwanky gym in Chicago, for those of you not from the area). Another good check for the ol’ dancing ego as I flailed around like a goon for the second time this week, but it was a lot of fun anyway (and probably as close as I’ll ever get to the East Bank Club). It also helped me justify skipping breakdance for the second week in a row. Oops. Next week! Next week I shall return! My swag will never improve if I keep skipping class.

We went to Taste of Lakeview post-Zumba with Katie, and then I spent the rest of the day apologizing to my calves for all I’ve put them through.


I got these 110% sleeves from a coworker probably a year ago and had never used them before Saturday, but they’ve got these cool double-sleeve system so you can insert these snazzy ice packs INTO the compression sleeves. Heck yes.

Sunday, July 7: cross training
No softball this week due to the holiday weekend. I know I have a really busy week coming up, so I snuck in one of my strength training workouts today. I also practiced dance for a little bit since it had been several days since I ran through anything.

I haven’t had a week with this high of mileage in quite some time, so I’m not surprised my legs have had a little more trouble rebounding than usual. My right calf is giving me the most grief at the moment, which I totally should have seen coming when I thought to myself early on this week, “Wow, my calves and shins have really been totally fine throughout this whole training cycle! What a nice surprise!” Fail. Fortunately, this coming week is one of my own modified “cutback” weeks (i.e.: I’m running three days and cross training three days instead of running four days and cross training twice), which hopefully will give my legs enough time to heal before Saturday’s 10 miler.

12 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon Training Week 4

  1. Hey lady B! I like that. I still want to take a hip hop class. You’ve inspired me except I’m AWFUL at dancing so I’m sure it would be funny. My garmin is always screwy. Whoever invented it must not have been a mathematician…

  2. I LOVE the sound of Wednesday’s run…volunteering to run with one of the dogs from the adoption center?? What an awesome way to give back and get your run in at the same time…going back and forth between those paces must have been a pain, but I bet the pup had a great time with you 🙂 Have a great week, girl!

  3. I LOVE that they called you Lady B! New nickname? I think so!

    Zumba was deceptively difficult. I wasn’t sore afterwards but achy on Sunday for sure!

    Good job with all of your runs this week and congrats on staying mentally strong, I personally think the mental struggle can be tougher than the physical one at times.

    • I mean, I think if anything is going to help out my swag situation (aside from practicing, that is), I think it’s the addition of a sweet new nickname 😉

      A lot of people in my pace group were talking about how important the mental aspect of a marathon is, so I’ve been trying to keep that in mind when I run. It’s incredible how much of a difference positive thinking makes!

    • They are quite fancy. They’re also a size too big (beggars can’t be choosers when coworkers are giving away free things), but with the ice it’s fine. And they’re still somewhat compressive…just not suffocatingly compressive like compression gear tends to be.

  4. Those are some awesome leg sleeves that let you add ice to them!
    You know you live in Chicago when a rabbit is the near the top of the wildlife list of animals you see running.

    Keep up the strong running and smart recovery with that calf! better to lose a couple days than a few weeks!

    • Hahaha right?? Two months ago or so I saw a cardinal and I FLIPPED OUT because it was the first “real” bird I had seen in Chicago since I moved last June. I see plenty of finches, wrens, pigeons, sea gulls, and starlings, but those aren’t pretty birds like cardinals. I also get really excited when I see squirrels in Chicago. So sad.

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