Chicago Marathon Training Week 4

Sunday, June 26: Strength training.
Did the Achilles/lower leg workout from Runner’s Connect. It continues to feel easier, aside from the single leg knee pointers (basically slow, controlled mini-squats), which always leave my legs shaking at the end.

Monday, June 27: 2.5 miles in 26:23 (1 mi. warmup, 3×400, .5 mi. cooldown) for an overall 10:32 pace.
I had a long commute on Monday and had very limited time between arriving home and when I needed to leave for my therapy appointment. I was supposed to do 8×400, but only had time for 3×400, so that’s what I did. It really frustrated me that I had to cut the workout so short. I know something is better than nothing, but it felt like a basically useless workout, since I spent less than six minutes doing hard running, and about six more minutes walking. All in all, a not-so-great experience.

Tuesday, June 28: Dance.
After a full class with a surprising demographic in our first week of this session, things returned more or less to normal last Tuesday. About half of the new people dropped out (or, at the very least, didn’t show up for class last week), which often happens, but rarely happens so quickly. We added on to what we had learned the week before, and I promptly forgot everything as soon as I left class Tuesday night. Whoops.

Wednesday, June 29: Climbing.
I have a feeling climbing won’t happen nearly as much this year as it did last year, which is too bad, because I did really enjoy having climbing as part of my marathon training last year. The gym where I climb doesn’t seem to have its Wednesday night deals anymore, however, which bumps climbing regularly a bit out of my budget. I had a day pass to my name still, though, so I went on Wednesday an d got in a few routes.

Thursday, June 30: 6.57 miles in 1:04:22 (1 mi. warmup, 2×2 miles with 4:00 rest, 1 mi. cooldown) for an overall 9:47 pace.
This was a weird tempo run. Fortunately, the weather was fairly cooperative, so I wasn’t totally miserable and/or unable to hit my prescribed paces for the most part – I think. My watch beeped my first mile noticeably earlier than usual, which made me suspicious about its measuring and, consequently, my paces. My last tempo mile was a HUGE struggle, as it tends to be when I do this workout.

Friday, July 1: Rest.

Saturday, July 2: 10 miles in 1:44:30 for a 10:26 pace.
We had a little visitor at the CARA site prior to the run, which made me happy.


I was so surprised that this duck did not seem to care in the slightest that 100 or so people were in the area. She just waddled around, pecking at the dirt for crumbs. It was so adorable.

Anyway, we had PERFECT weather for Saturday’s long run – low 60s, low humidity, and cloud cover. Yes please x3. I ran with a friend of a girl in our group, and she was super interested in chatting, so we talked for basically the entire run. CARA did nine miles on Saturday and I wanted to do 10, so I added on a mile afterwards.

My left hip area gave me a bit of trouble on this run around mile three, first directly on my side, then more towards my groin, then finally more in my butt. I don’t know what caused that, but I do know that last week, my left TFL area began to bother me, especially at work. This same thing happened last year, and once again, I think doing PT exercises at work is to blame. I completely fell off that bandwagon when I started my new job, and after a couple of runs where my knee complained, I realized I needed to get back into that habit. Just like last year, however, I think I’ve recruited the wrong muscles to do standing leg raises, relying on my quad muscles rather than my butt muscles, which should be doing that work. I’m hoping some serious foam rolling and a little more concentration will clear that up fairly quickly.

4 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon Training Week 4

  1. Solid week of training! Bummer to hear that Brooklyn Boulders has stopped their Wednesday night deals, but glad you had a day pass to use. I’ve taken a few improv classes that reminded me of your dance classes in terms of first-class attendance compared to the second class. Funny how that works, right? I have similar PT exercises on my regimen, where I have to really focus on using my butt muscles instead of everything else. One of these days I need to look into those muscle-activator techniques! I hope your hip recovers quickly!

    • Even though it happens every session, it always surprises me when people drop out of class. You can get a refund, but I’d have to REALLY hate something to not even want to give it a second chance after a rough first day! But dance, like improv, pushes some people WAY outside of their comfort zones, and I guess if you get too far outside of that comfort zone on day one, you might not feel so inclined to come back.

  2. My personal trainers have always found it fascinating that when I do squats I come up super slowly. But it’s the only way I can make sure I’m engaging my glutes and not using just my quads! I find that the only thing that really works my quads for sure are clams and band walks. Otherwise I default to over-recruiting my quads for sure.

    Also, I saw that BKB lowered their overall membership prices. I wonder if they were struggling to get people to join.

    • I think it’s so hard to use the muscles in your hips/butt when your quads could get the job done, too, unless you’re really, really conscious of using the muscles you’re supposed to be using. Certainly doesn’t do a body any favors in the running injury prevention department!

      That’s interesting – I hadn’t seen that (though I also hadn’t looked into it). I’ve been wondering if they’ve had some staff changes, since they don’t do any events like they used to any more.

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