Chicago Marathon Training Week 18

Sunday, October 4: yoga.
This one:

I couldn’t do everything, but I did the best I could. I have to say, I’ve really come to appreciate YouTube as a yoga resource. Obviously nothing compares to going to an actual class, but there are SO many practices on YouTube, so you can search for just about anything you want and they’ll have it. And it’s all freeeee!

Monday, October 5: 3 miles in 28:56 for a 9:39 pace.
I meant to take this one easy and, well, yeah. Oh well. My shin gave me a little bit of grief on this, which I chalked up entirely to taper (after worrying that I had a stress fracture, obviously. Yay taper. Haha.)

Tuesday, October 6: dance.
We mostly reviewed choreography we learned earlier this session, which made me very happy, because I didn’t want to get too crazy learning new things. I worry about doing something stupid and hurting myself during marathon season in general, but I particularly worry about it in dance, when there are so many opportunities to do something stupid and hurt myself. Having classes where things are relatively low key makes me feel much better about things.

Wednesday, October 7: 4 miles in 40:19 for a 10:03 pace.
I tried to use this run to practice pacing, and it went…okay. Not as well as I would’ve liked. The run itself was also kind of blah, to be honest. I didn’t feel as great on it as I would’ve liked to. Conveniently, taper was still around to serve as my scapegoat 😛

Thursday, October 8: 2 miles in 19:38 for a 9:51 pace.
The littlest run of marathon season! My shin was annoying on this one, too, but again, I’m not all that concerned, since it went away basically as soon as I stopped thinking about it. I did my best to simply enjoy one of the last runs I’ll have for awhile (or, you know, for a couple of weeks. Haha.)

Friday, October 9: rest.
Though if you want to be generous and call this active rest, since I walked a lot at the expo, I won’t stop you 😉

Saturday, October 10: rest.

And that’s it! 388.8 miles and 18 weeks later, I’ve got a third marathon training cycle under my belt.

Regardless of what happens tomorrow, this has been, without question, the best marathon training cycle I’ve ever had. I only missed two scheduled runs for a total of 11 miles over the course of this entire season, which is FAR and away the best I’ve done in terms of sticking to the plan. I did consist speedwork for the first time ever–heck, I did speedwork, period, for the first time ever, at least during marathon training–and I think that did a lot to enhance my overall running fitness and ability. While this season certainly wasn’t easy from a weather standpoint, and definitely wasn’t always easy from a mental standpoint, I’m very happy with how thing went for me in the running department.

I’m also beyond pleased with my cross training this cycle. The HIIT workouts I did felt so effective (I love you forever, NTC app), I did more yoga than I’ve ever done, and climbing…oh, climbing. I’m so glad I wrote climbing in pen into my training calendar, effectively forcing myself to go. While I don’t think it can feasibly replace running for me (running is free and leaves from my door; climbing is NOT at ALL free and a solid 45-minute commute away, no matter which gym I visit), I have fallen head-over-heels in love with the sport. In fact, the biggest thing I’m looking forward to post-marathon is finally being able to climb again.

Obviously the marathon is the goal of marathon training, but the whole experience is so much more than just the race. No matter whether set a new PR, hit my time goal, or even negative split tomorrow, I’d say this process was a total success. I am so, so proud of myself, the hard work I put in this summer, and what I accomplished in terms of training. I can truly and confidently say that I feel trained to tackle 26.2 miles tomorrow.

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