Chicago Marathon Training Week 4

Sunday, June 28: Strength/HIIT.
This did not go according to plan AT ALL. I attempted to do Transformer on NTC (Get Lean > Advanced, if you’re looking for it), since it’s easily one of my favorite workouts on the app. The workout lasts 45 minutes with a nice mix of strength and cardio intervals, but I had to bail out after 30 minutes. I was going to modify moves in the second circuit of the workout, which I did for a little while, but I was so tired and so sweaty that I had to throw in the towel. This is very unlike me, but I chalked it up to having such a late night/early morning and my subsequent less-than-five hours of sleep.

Monday, June 29: 4 miles (tempo) in 40:55 (9:47 and 10:09 tempo miles) for a 10:14 overall pace.
This wasn’t exactly the best tempo run of my life. The weather and radar looked a little iffy, so I stuck to a two mile loop close to my apartment should I need to get home quickly in case the weather turned sour. I felt like I worked a lot harder than my heart rate stats imply (my HR was right where it has been lately for all of my runs), which makes me think my anxiety might have been a little cranked up. I read an article on BuzzFeed the other week that said people particularly attuned to their bodies can be prone to panic, and I wonder if I fall into this category, since lately (as in, during the past 18 months or so), the teeniest, tiniest thing–a minor headache, a slightly creaky knee, an insignificant stomach issue–will send me off THE DEEP END like thunderstorms in the long-range forecast used to. When I work out, I experience lots of teeny, tiny body things (as I think most people do), and I wonder if that’s impacting my running — especially because I can only think of one or two instances where my anxiety has gotten the best of me while running while talking to others, which prevents me from focusing on my body.

ANYWAY. I had a hard time regulating my pace on this run. I’m not in a place where time makes that big of a difference in my running, so I do all of my speedwork by effort rather than time. The goal for tempo runs is “comfortably hard,” and halfway into the second tempo mile I realized I was running much more “comfortable” than “hard.” By contrast, I was running parts of my warmup and cooldown miles much more “hard” than “comfortable.” Things to work on!

Tuesday, June 30: Dance.
For whatever reason, I’ve lately felt compelled to try a lot harder in breakdance. I’ve started to do moves I’ve never done before out of laziness/habit, and I’ve started to try new things I usually wouldn’t try. We did a fair amount of review in hip hop but also learned a “never before done in this class” routine (well, part of it at least), which was fun.

Wednesday, July 1: Climbing.
I tried several new routes on Wednesday and had varied success. Climbing routes use a scale for rating difficulty (the Yosemite Decimal System) from 3 (an easy hike) to 5.15 (an extremely difficult climb). Climbing routes run from 5.0 through 5.15, with a 5.6 being a fairly straightforward sort of route with plenty of easy holds. The 5.6 I had been climbing was replaced with a 5.Fun (lulz), but you needed a partner to belay you to climb the 5.Fun. The easiest autobelay routes on Wednesday was  5.7, which I topped out (completed, finished, reach the top of, etc.) I got a little higher than halfway on a 5.8 downstairs (where the routes are a bit longer), and fought to no end with a 5.9 upstairs that has been the bane of my existence for the past…oh man, almost two months at this point. I got higher than I ever had on it, but I still haven’t topped out, and it’s driving me bonkers.

Thursday, July 2: 4 miles in 40:21 for a 10:05 pace.
That awkward moment when your easy run ends up being faster than your tempo run. Haha. Oops. The weather was b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l. for running on Thursday, making me a very happy camper. I really wanted to do this run without stopping at all (my usual routes almost always involve waiting at lights, which is nice from a “catching my breath” standpoint, but not so great from a “building endurance” standpoint) and I came thisclose to accomplishing that goal, until I came upon an intersection where a truck was parked so that half of it was in the road (preventing me from going around, since that would’ve involved running among cars) and the other half was completely filling the intersection I needed to cross. Oh well. At least I tried!

Friday, July 3: Climbing.
MORE climbing. In theory, I only plan to climb twice a month, but I ended up climbing twice in one week! Oh well. Worse things have definitely happened 😛 Erin invited me to join her and her husband for climbing Friday afternoon, at which point I had my chance to defeat my nemesis, 5.9 autobelay upstairs. I warmed up on the 5.Fun and then tackled the 5.9 autobelay and topped out!! I was SO, SO, SO happy. One of the things I really like about climbing is the way it gives you the opportunity to set very concrete goals and accomplish those goals in, you know, less than 18 weeks, and let me tell you, there is no better feeling than topping out on a route that gave you so much grief in the past. Because Erin and her husband are both belay certified, I was able to climb some top rope routes as well, and topped out on a 5.10 upstairs and a 5.9 downstairs (amongst much gnashing of teeth, grunting, f bombs, and multiple mid-air out loud pep talks to myself [“COME ON, BETHANY. You’ve got this! Just take a second and breathe. YOU GOT THIS.”] I can only imagine what the people climbing next to me must have thought of me hahaha). I also topped out on the same 5.7 upstairs from Wednesday and twice tried to the 5.7 autobelay downstairs, but only made it halfway. I think one of my new goals will be to make it to the top of a downstairs autobelay route.

Saturday, July 4: 9 miles in 1:33:53 for a 10:26 pace.

july4run
Once again, Saturday started out feeling like it’d be a perfect running weather day, but got awfully toasty as things went on. I really thought I did a good job of hydrating on Friday, despite not being at work, but I was PARCHED on our run. Of course, part of that probably has to do with the fact that I was Little Miss Chatterbox for the majority of our run. My running buddy for the past two weeks is very new to the sport (as in, ran one 5K once before, and that’s the extent of her running resume), so there’s lots for us to talk about in regards to marathoning and general training advice. We were definitely hauling on this run, though. We had two slow miles which brought our average pace down, but most of them (according to my not-always-accurate watch) were in the 10:teens to 10:0xs, which is A LOT faster than 10:30!

On every run last week, I felt a bit of aching on the outside of my right knee. It never felt high enough to be ITBS, but unlike last year’s bout with PFPS, it never bothered me after sitting at my desk (or anywhere else). One of my friends in my marathon training group is a PT, so I asked her about it after Saturday’s run, and she said it could be my lateral collateral ligament, which, when irritated, can produce an L-shaped pain on the outside of the knee. She suggested glute strengthening and making sure I both stretch and roll my adductors (inner thigh), because what’s likely causing the ache is my knee collapsing in when I run (which I know has always been a problem for me). I know I say this all the time, but I REALLY, REALLY want to commit to doing my PT exercises, particularly the hip/glute ones, for the next couple of weeks and see what happens. Hopefully it’ll all clear up quickly with no problems, but if I do my exercises and it doesn’t get better, then I’ll probably pay a visit to my boyfriend PT to see what he thinks. Right now, I know that’d be fairly useless, because the first question he’d ask me is, “Have you been doing your exercises?” and then I’d have to say no, and then he’d tell me to do my exercises and report back. I figure I may as well simplify the process by doing my exercises in the first place 😛

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6 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon Training Week 4

  1. You had a great week of training, and I totally know what you mean about the “not feeling it” with the cross training. I’ve definitely been there before and sometimes it’s just best to listen to your body. ITBS is SO frustrating… fingers crossed for you : ) Hope you have a great day!

  2. Some weeks feel great and some feel off. And for tempo runs it’s the same way for me, sometimes pacing feels really easy and natural and other times it’s a struggle and I can never settle in.

    • I’m fairly new to tempo running (I did a few during the winter of 2014, but obviously that was a while ago!), so it’s nice to know that sort of thing is expected. Hopefully as time goes on it’ll be easier to accept each run for what it turns out to be instead of getting all flustered when things don’t go right!

    • I think I would get so bored and burnt out if I did the same thing day after day after day. Doing different sorts of workouts keeps me engaged and interested in what I’m doing, which I think is key to surviving a long training cycle like marathon training!

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