Chicago Marathon Training Week 12

Sunday, August 23: Yoga.
This one:

I was in the market for something quick, simple, and calm, and this fit that bill nicely.

Monday, August 24: Strength/HIIT + sports massage.
Admittedly, this was much more “strength” than HIIT. I did NTC’s Conditioning Corps (Get Toned > Beginner) before work, and since I was doing it before work (i.e.: at like 5:20 a.m.), I needed something quiet so as not to bother my still-sleeping roommates. This doesn’t involve any jumping or running, so it’s a good, quiet workout. It’s maybe not the most challenging thing in the world, but it’s not the easiest thing either.

After work, I got a sports massage. I never got massages last year because I figured all the hands-on work I got in PT accomplished the same sort of purpose, but since I’ve managed to stay out of PT up to this point this year (*knocks on all wood available*), I figured I could pony up for a massage. It felt great, and I was quite impressed by the therapist’s ability to find exactly where I was sore and give it a bit more attention.

Tuesday, August 25: 8 miles in 1:22:05 for a 10:16 pace.
This about sums things up:

Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 8.51.04 PM

Mid-60s? Don’t mind if I do! Holy smokes, why can’t the weather always be like this?? I would be the absolute happiest runner in all the land. According to my semi-accurate record of temperatures on days I’ve run this summer (I don’t always remember to make a note of the weather, but I’ve noted it probably 75% of the time), this was the first time since the beginning of July that it’s been in the 60s for a run, and I l.o.v.e.d. it. I felt wonderful and attempted to fast finish the last three miles, although that didn’t go quite as well as I originally hoped. My sixth mile wasn’t fast like I wanted it to be, but my seventh (10:13) and eighth (9:42. Hell. Yes.) were, so that was nice. Pacing is hard, you guys.

Wednesday, August 26: Climbing.
I intended to work on the same upstairs 5.9 I’ve mentioned a few times before, including last week. When I arrived, there were two adult women and three clearly young boys (probably all seven or younger) upstairs taking up all of the autobelay routes and generally causing a ruckus, as boys younger than seven are apt to do. I waited my turn and eventually got to at least warmup on the 5.8 (though not before being asked by one of the boys how old I was. I told him 24, and then he said, “Oh. I thought you’d be climbing those ones *points to 5.10s and 5.11s*” Thanks, kiddo. I explained to him that I didn’t have any one to belay me, and therefore had to climb routes that you could climb on your own, but still. Nothing like being shut down by a second grader 😛 ), and since it looked like the kids wouldn’t be leaving any time particularly soon, went downstairs to try my hand at the 5.8 downstairs I only climbed halfway or so last week. I topped out (woohoo!) and still had arms left, so I went back upstairs, since the kids had left by then. I tried to top out the 5.9 six different times and got about 80% up, but my head got in the way and I freaked out and fell. I definitely felt like I had a mental block on this route more than anything (until my arms got too tired, that is), and that was a bit frustrating since I was struggling to overcome that. On the bright side, I have my beta for the bottom third or so of this route down to a science, so that’s…something. Haha. I also topped out the 5.7 upstairs to finish things out for my necessary ego boost 😉

Thursday, August 27: 5 miles (intervals) in 49:54 for a 9:57 pace.
Pro tip: If you plan to do 8x.25 miles, don’t eat Portillo’s for lunch, unless you want to be way more familiar with that chocolate shake than you ever hoped to be. Haha.

I was feeling pretty lousy when I got home from work (see: Portillo’s for lunch), but felt better after lying down for a bit, so I headed out to tackle quarter-mile repeats. All things considered, I’m actually really happy with how I did on this run. The weather, though not as picture-perfect as Tuesday, was still fantastic for running, and I had a pretty even effort across all eight of my “on” intervals, which made me very happy.

Friday, August 28: Rest.

Saturday, August 29: 12.41 miles in 2:09:28 for a 10:29 pace.



I have never seen the Lakefront Trail emptier during the summer than on Saturday. Just by looking around, I’d estimate that half to two-thirds of the usual CARA suspects decided to bail on Saturday (not in my group – across everyone who runs at the same time as I run on Saturday mornings), and about 90% of the people who would normally come out for a Saturday morning on the Trail on their own bailed (especially the cyclists! Woohoo!). It was like running during the dead of winter, and I LOVED IT. So many badass runner points.

Even though it was rainy, I really found the weather to be fairly ideal for a long run. Cloud cover, cool temps, a bit of a breeze: yes, yes, yes. My right leg was feeling a bit weird, but from a cardiovascular standpoint, I was feeling super great. More of these conditions, please and thank you.

As of this writing, every single day of next week’s weekday forecast includes the words “very warm” in the description. This week was a nice taste of fall, but it looks like I’m going to get back to legal doping next week (that’s what I’ve taken to calling running in hot weather. Runner’s World had an article earlier this summer that said running in hot weather increases your red blood cell count, which is kinda-ish what blood doping does, except one [training in heat, or at altitude, for that matter] is legal and a natural way of increasing your red blood cell count, while the other is decidedly illegal in the sports world [and a bit more “artificial,” if you will, since withdrawing your own blood and then putting it back into your body to increase your red blood cell count isn’t the same as your body just making more red blood cells on its own]. As such, “legal doping” has been my mantra on the particularly hot days this summer. I’m not kidding.). I know this is going to sound crazy, but I’m…actually kind of looking forward to it being hot again? TEMPORARILY. ALL of the emphasis on temporarily. This past week was a nice preview of what is (hopefully) to come to stay towards the end of September, and, even more importantly, October, but to be entirely honest, I would be SUPER down for another couple of hot weeks to continue to “build up” my red blood cell count, if you will. This week was such a relief in the weather department, and I’d love to feel that kind of relief when it counts – not just on cutback weeks!

16 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon Training Week 12

  1. It’s so crazy how big of a difference the weather makes. When those random days do come I’m like “hallelujah!” this morning was NOT one of those days hahaha instead it was like “I hate my life why can’t it be october?” Hopefully the permanent relief comes soon… as long as snow doesn’t come with it right away.

    • Haha you’re totally right – if we had had 60 degrees on a race day in April, I would’ve FLIPPED OUT. “Why is it so hot?!? I can’t race in these conditions!!” That’s why I like to train for marathons in the summer and run them in the fall instead of training in the winter and running in the spring!

  2. Oh my gosh running this week has been miserable. So, so hot. We were teased by those amazing temps last week! I can’t believe you’ve been so healthy and haven’t needed the PT!! That was such a huge part of your life for so long and now you’re kicking butt, taking names. I love a good massage — still like Delos Therapy better because it’s more pin-pointed and I always think massage therapists don’t go deep enough. I like my massages to hurt! But honestly any kind of massage therapy is needed after the weekly mileage we’re at!

    • Truth. I felt like I swam nine mile on Monday, not ran them. The “air” seemed more like water. I’m technically supposed to do intervals tomorrow, but I might just do a regular easy run instead – I’m not sure if I can handle 8×400 in this.

      To be fair, I’ve definitely thought about my emailing my PT several times…I’ve just never pulled the trigger and have tried to self-“medicate” (i.e.: do my PT exercises) and see if that helps. In general, it’s made a big difference. Anything to stay out of PT! I don’t have that kind of $$$ to drop anymore haha.

  3. “Legal doping” bahahaha LOVE IT!!! Thank you, with the 90+ degree temps we’re having here this week and next (kill me now), I can use this positive outlook on this hell (literally hehe). I skipped my run today and totally feel guilty about it now…imagine the doping benefits I could’ve gotten! But in all seriousness, can we have last week’s temps back again? Running in the heat impacts my running so much, and not in a good way. My body just can’t function well in 80 + degree temps, and don’t even get me started on humidity.

    Thanks for sharing that article by the way, that’s fascinating! And nicely done with all the great runs this training week 🙂

    • I totally feel you. I’m supposed to do five miles this afternoon, and I’m SO tempted to bail due to the weather. My nine miler on Monday boasted something like an 11:45 pace HAHAHA. It was so, so bad. The air was so thick I could barely breathe! But I guess if it pays off in October…hopefully maybe possibly. Fingers crossed!

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