Chicago Marathon Training Week 10

Sunday, August 10: Dance.
Originally, I thought about running on Sunday morning, but after Saturday’s run, I thought it’d be much wiser to get some sleep and let my legs rest. I had dance rehearsal that afternoon, anyway, where I was a stressed out, exhausted grumpy pants. So all around a real joy to be with. I also swung by Fleet Feet on Sunday as I had just about run out of Shot Bloks.


I am no longer close to running out of Shot Bloks. Haha. If you buy 18, you get a 15% discount, and I figured I’d need close to 18 packs anyway. Plus I had a $15 rewards credit (?? I don’t know where that came from, since I thought I had used my credit on Body Glide a few weeks ago. Whatever!), so I ended up getting a pretty good deal on all of these. I did have to smile, though, when I dumped my stash on the checkout counter and the guy ringing me up asked, “Training for a marathon?” What was your first clue? 😛

Monday, August 11: Moving.
Surprise! I moved on Monday.


This is not the post to go into all the details of my move, but the Spark Notes version of Monday: movers are AMAZING, moving mid-month on a Monday > moving at the end of the month on a weekend, and moving is always and only terrible, no matter how amazing your movers/parents/new place are/is. This also accounted for my stressed-out state on Sunday. And last Saturday. And most of last week. And most of June. The whole moving process also aggravated my heel LIKE WHOA.

Tuesday, August 12: 7 miles in 1:08:28 for a 9:46 pace + Physical Therapy + Dance.
In what should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, I was a mess and a half at therapy on Monday evening (see: moving is always and only terrible). My therapist strongly suggested I take Tuesday off work, so that’s exactly what I did. Mental health days ftw!

I originally planned to do my four miler on Tuesday, but I decided to prepare to run seven miles just in case I felt up to it. My heel hurt for the first two or three miles but felt fine as I kept going (probably/possibly because I had begun to daydream about what I’d eat when I got home and figuring out where to run. New apartment = new running routes), so I kept going until I hit seven miles. It felt so. good. to have that outlet, and it also felt so. good. to run a 9:46 pace on an easy run in light of Saturday’s struggle.

My PT e-mailed me on Monday to see if I could come in during the early part of the week, but with my move and work, I figured that wouldn’t be a possibility. After deciding to take Tuesday off, I e-mailed him to let him know my entire Tuesday was now open. I hadn’t heard back from him by the time I went for my run, so I figured we wouldn’t have an appointment and did my PT exercises on my own. I sat down to an early lunch and happened to check my e-mail, where I had a message from my PT asking if I could come in at noon. At that moment, it was 11:15, and I still hadn’t showered (in fact, I hadn’t showered since Saturday morning after my run. I was disgusting.), but I said I could do it. I packed up the remains of my lunch, took the fastest shower of my life, and walked into the clinic at 12:01. Go me 🙂 My PT took the fact that I had already run as license to work me hard, so after beating up my calves and foot, he gave me a billion exercises as well. Fun day! Haha. At least I was clean 😛

AND THEN I had dance Tuesday night. We had graduation on Tuesday, which is always the hardest day of the session, as it usually involves two straight hours of basically non-stop dance before the performance. This week was no exception. But now I’m done with dance for two weeks. I love dance, but I’m really, really ready for a break.

Wednesday, August 13: 4 miles in 40:07 for a 10:01 pace.
I had a bit of lead legs syndrome on this run, but surprisingly I knocked out some pretty solid mile splits nevertheless. I imagine the September-like temperatures we had last week contributed mightily to that.

Wednesday’s run also brought up a question I’d like to pose to the group: what is appropriate sidewalk-running etiquette? At my old apartment, I lived a block and a half from the Lakefront Trail, and that was the only place I ever ran. Now, though, I’m far more likely to spend time running on sidewalks, and I’m not sure how to deal with pedestrians, particularly when pedestrians are walking in the same direction I’m running and take up all or most of the sidewalk. Do I hope they move? Do I step into the street to pass them? Is “On your left!” an appropriate thing to say if people don’t hear me and don’t move? I tried “Excuse me!” (in a polite tone) a couple of times, which seemed mildly effective, though I do think I scared a woman I passed. IDK. LIFE IS HARD. I MISS THE TRAIL.

Thursday, August 14: Personal Training + Physical Therapy.
Oh man. What a day. I did both of these things before work, which made for a looooooooong morning. Personal training kicked off at 5:15 a.m., but the early hour did not mean my trainer took it easy on me. Once again, I did two tri-sets, the first of which was BRUTAL. That set in particular involved a lot of weights heavier than I normally would’ve selected for myself (which, I suppose, is one of the benefits of a personal trainer). The second set wasn’t quite as physically challenging but involved a lot of complex movement patterns that made for a mental workout 😉

My training session concluded at 6:15 a.m., which, for the second time that week, gave me 45 minutes to shower, get dressed, and make it to PT for my 7 a.m. appointment. This was all going along just fine until I went to my locker after I had dried my hair and couldn’t open my combination lock. I tried and tried to no avail, and finally ran to the front desk in a panic, where the lifesaving front desk attendant grabbed a pair of lock cutters and cut my lock off my locker, giving me exactly enough time to get to PT by 7:00.

PT went well and essentially was a repeat of Tuesday’s appointment. I’m happy to report my marble picking up skills are improving on my left foot 😛

Friday, August 15: Rest.

Saturday, August 16: 14.85 miles in 2:36:52 for a 10:34 pace.
Or, officially, 15 miles, but it’s 14.85 according to my Garmin, so whatever.

I’ve got to be honest: I was pretty nervous heading into Saturday’s run. Not only did I need to figure out my new Saturday schedule since I’m living in a new place, but my crappy 10 miler last week shot my long run confidence, 15 miles sounded really intimidating, and to top it all off I came down with a cold on Thursday, which I feared would spell disaster for Saturday’s run.


But it didn’t! We ran a little differently than normal, heading waaaaaay up north before turning south so as to “avoid” the Air and Water Show crowds (which really did not happen, since we still ran from North Ave. down well beyond Oak Street on the Trail, but whatever. At that point in the morning, mostly just vendors were out, rather than tourists.), but this meant we got to spend more time in the shade. The sun can be so brutal on those early Saturday runs, and I was happy to avoid it as much as possible. My running buddy had some struggles towards the end, but when she finished it was her longest run ever! There were actually a lot of people in our group who recorded PDRs on Saturday, and I was so excited for all of them. I remember last year thinking I’d be bummed to come back, since everyone was so encouraging during those last two months when you get PDR after PDR on long runs, but I’ve found it’s just as fun to be on the congratulation-giving side as it is to be on the congratulation-receiving side 🙂

I, personally, had a pretty solid run, despite my sinus being filled to high heaven with goop (you’re welcome for that visual 😛 ). I felt much stronger than I had felt on the 10 miler last week, and my body didn’t fall apart. My heel didn’t hurt at all, actually, which was FABULOUS. My knee got a little sore towards the end and was actually really, really sore on the CTA on the way home (it’s a good thing no one was looking at me, because I’m pretty sure the grimace I made when I bent my knee would’ve elicited some major concern from strangers). I took an ice bath when I got home (’tis the season!) which kind-of-but-not-really helped my knee, though it did help cool me off. I finally did an A+ job of hydrating on Friday (three full water bottles, or about 66 oz.), but lost a lot on the run. As I write, I’m currently nursing my fourth pint glass of water for the day. Can’t stop won’t stop.

Overall, I’m feeling pretty good about how things went this past week. I’d be so down for my knee to stop hurting, but other than that I have little to no complaints. We’ve got another build week coming up, including the dreaded 16 miler (where I bonked so hard last year), but fingers crossed for good things!

21 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon Training Week 10

  1. Nice work! I love reading about what people are doing for training..everyone is doing something different!

    ~Wendy at Taking the Long Way Home

  2. Your comment about running on the sidewalk made me laugh! I’ve spent most of my running life on sidewalks and I’ve lost count of the number of people I’ve scared by running up behind them even when saying “Excuse me”. Mostly I just step into the street to pass, especially if they’re walking a dog. That seems to alleviate the scaring a stranger factor.

    • I didn’t even realize it until this past week, but I’ve barely ever run on sidewalks at all! The only real time I spent on sidewalks was during my senior year of college, and those sidewalks were by and large empty. Not the case in Chicago, that’s for sure!

  3. Well hey now, this is a positive report hun! Less pain, good runs…what’s going on 😉 Makes me very happy to see things turning around, and I hope it continues. As far as sidewalk stuff goes, I usually keep quiet if the sidewalk is big enough and there aren’t a bunch of people out since I’ve scared more than one person by saying something as I’m coming up which makes me feel bad….but excuse me is what I go with if I have to say something!

    • For sure! Now if only this cold would go away…

      I did a decent job of bobbing and weaving on bigger sidewalks, but some of the sidewalks where I ran were surprisingly narrow! People should start wearing rearview mirrors so they can see me coming up behind them 😛

  4. Lol thanks for that sinus visual. You really painted a picture there! I’ve heard that once you hire movers you never go back. ESPECIALLY in Chicago oh my gosh moving is a nightmare. Go you for doing it midmonth instead of having to go through the headache of moving when a million other people are. And you are so dedicated to working with your PT it really shows how much you want to get better. Idk if I’d have gone to that much effort to get to my PT with 45 minutes notice haha

    • Oh you’re quite welcome. Would you like an in-depth description of the sound of my current cough next? Haha 😛

      Yeah, I will say the one downside of movers is that I’ve definitely been ruined for life. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do the UHaul thing ever again. My coworkers thought I was so weird for moving when I did, but I think it just makes things waaaaay less stressful. Paying rent on two places for one month isn’t the best, but I can’t even begin to fathom how much more stressed I would’ve been if I had to completely clear out my apartment for a new tenant moving in ASAP if I had moved at the end of the month. Nooooo thank you.

  5. So glad your 15-miler went well!! I hired movers this past time I moved and it was beautiful way less stressful and way less time yelling at my dad haha. I will never move without them again, but I would also be happy with never moving again. So jealous of your stash of shot blocks 🙂

  6. Congrats on the move!

    Oh, and I laughed with the clerk’s remark about the shot bloks.

    Great job on your run on Saturday! I also did 15 and was in pain for the last 2. It took me two days to recover.

  7. All the Shot Bloks!! They are definitely my go-to fuel and I adore them. I recently tried the margarita one with added salt and am a huge fan. I think the strawberry flavor is still my favorite though.

    I’m so proud of you for keeping up with your physical training, especially because you often go sooo early! Knowing myself, I would find some excuse to skip it due to the 5AM wakeup call. And that story about having to cut off your lock is pretty funny, although I’m sure it didn’t feel that way in the moment 🙂

    Congrats on the 15 miles!!! I sincerely hope that completing this run was the confidence boost you needed to maintain a positive attitude for the marathon. You got this!

    • I was thisclose to buying the margarita one when I was at Fleet Feet, but I get SO nervous about changing anything when it comes to my fuel that I opted to just stick with the regular ones that I know work just fine. The added salt thing was tempting, though!

      Ha, a 5 a.m. wakeup call actually sounds like a luxury 😉 I got up at 4:20 for that 5:15 training last Thursday! On the bright side, nothing seems unreasonably early anymore! Haha. You know what’s awful about that whole lock situation is that looking back I think I hadn’t spun the lock a full rotation before going to the second number of my combination and that’s why I couldn’t get it off. Ohhhhhh well. At least now I know the front desk is helpful 😛

  8. I just order whole boxes of nutrition off Amazon now. This Ironman training cycle I’ve bought a box of Gu, box of Honey Stinger waffles, a box of Bonk Breaker bars and 2 containers of Powerbar Perform. hahaha. That’s a lot when I write it all out!

    Glad to hear your injuries are starting to subside!

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