Chicago Marathon Training Week 5

Sunday, July 3: Strength training.
Ish. I finally busted open the new NTC app and did the Runners Strength and Balance workout (which actually was on the old version of the app as well), because I had extremely limited time but wanted to do something. I liked this workout. I felt like it hit all the major areas of the body (legs, abs, arms), and snuck in a little cardio as well. The left side of my butt, which had hurt a little bit during my long run on Saturday, wasn’t all that into mountain climbers, though, so I did skip the last round of those.

Monday, July 4: Rest.
Oopsies. I was supposed to do a hill workout on Monday, and then I…didn’t. I was with friends all day and honestly just did not have a single second to spare to get in a run + commute to/from the gym + shower. I did, however, walk 18,059 steps on Monday for 7.64 miles, and, for the first time since I started wearing my FitBit, hit my hourly activity goal for 11 of the 13 hours each day I have set up to monitor my activity. Considering I usually hit my activity goal for 6 or 7 of those 13 hours, I count that as a success.

Tuesday, July 5: Dance.
Honestly, this was kiiiiinda a waste of time :/ My teacher wasn’t there, so we just reviewed the same choreography we’d learned the past two weeks. I needed a refresher, so normally I wouldn’t have minded, but I had a huge project for work I needed to finish, and had I stayed home and worked on that instead of going to class and not learning anything, I could’ve gone to bed before midnight. Alas.

Wednesday, July 6: 4 miles in 40:58 for a 10:14 pace.
This was pure misery. I intended to make up Monday’s missed run on Wednesday, but that did not end up going as planned. My schedule called for a cutdown run, which featured a one mile warmup, four miles at a 9:00, 8:50, 8:40 and 8:30 pace, respectively, and one cooldown mile. For those of you who had the fortune of not being in Chicago on Wednesday, it was 90 and humid that day, so you can imagine how enjoyable it felt to be outside just in general, never mind attempting a run like that. I planned to scrap all my prescribed paces and instead just try to run each cutdown mile 10 seconds faster than the previous mile, starting probably around a 10:40 pace or so. After an 11:50 warmup mile, I dropped a 9:56, which I think is the first time I’ve ever run a sub-10 mile in those sorts of conditions. My next mile was a 9:28, which clearly did not fit into my “run each mile 10 seconds faster than the previous mile” plan. I was DYING by the third mile and did a 9:43 before calling it quits on my entire workout–no last cutdown mile, no cooldown mile. My quads were screaming, and my heart felt like it would beat out of my chest. I really should’ve done this on the treadmill. Trying to do that run outside felt neither safe nor smart. Lesson learned.

Thursday, July 7: 3.25 miles (hills) in 34:10 for an overall 10:31 pace.
I did the same hill workout I did a couple of weeks ago and I liked it just as much this time as I did in June. I’ve found this workout to be the most satisfying one I’ve done all season. I feel like I work hard enough to reap some really positive benefits, but the workout itself takes so little time that it’s easy to fit into my day (on Thursday, for example, I finished this workout before 6 a.m.). That makes me so, so happy.

Friday, July 8: Rest.

Saturday, July 9: 10.22 miles in 1:46:24 for a 10:24 pace.
‘Twas a gorgeous morning for a 10 miler.

saturdaymorningrun

In a wonderful turn of events, both RunnersConnect and CARA called for 10 miles on Saturday, which means I didn’t have to do any running by myself! Hooray! I had hoped to run with a girl I chatted with two weeks ago, but then ended up next to a different girl who ran with our group last year. We talked the whole time, and it made the miles go by really quickly. It was a bit warm in the sun on Saturday, but we had enough shade to make it bearable. I felt great when the run ended, and had a lovely runner’s high for the rest of the morning. I don’t remember the last time I felt that blissed out after a run, so that made Saturday a wonderful treat 🙂

I took some time over the weekend to plan out the rest of my marathon season, and I’m both excited and nervous about how things are shaping up. I haven’t registered for my birthday marathon yet, but, barring injury between now and then (*knocks on all wood available*), I plan to do the race in St. Charles on my birthday as my “goal” marathon, and do Chicago for fun (or rather, completion. I just need to cross the start and finish lines of Chicago to have four Chicago finishes, and then I’m only one finish away from a guaranteed entry for the next 10 years). I started doing RunnersConnect two weeks before marathon season officially started in my eyes, so I technically have two additional weeks of marathon training under my belt, but it still will require a bit of finagling to get training in before the marathon in St. Charles. I’ll only have a two week taper instead of a three week taper, but I am tapering pretty intensely (37 miles, 11 miles, 9 miles). And I don’t have a CLUE what I’ll do between St. Charles and Chicago. I figure I’ll cross that bridge when I get there (if I get there at all — I still have two months and a week of training to get through without incident in order to run St. Charles, and another three incident-free weeks beyond that to do Chicago). Honestly, though, when I was talking about my hopes/dreams of doing this with my running buddy on Saturday, I realized that PR-ing isn’t really one of my marathoning goals this year like I originally anticipated it would be. If I PR in St. Charles, great. Icing on the birthday cake, if you will 😉 The main point of doing that race, however, would be to do 26.2 miles on my 26th birthday, and just doing that would be satisfactory enough. As for Chicago, that race is rewarding in and of itself, PR or no PR. I may have to keep my current marathon PR for another year, but the alternative–two marathons in three weeks, one of which would be on my birthday–is quite enough for me.

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3 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon Training Week 5

  1. Love the idea of a birthday marathon for your 26th birthday. Now I need to go check the calendar to see if my 26th falls on a weekend in a couple years so I can do that haha

    • It was honestly something never even on my radar until I realized the 20 miler for Chicago was the same day…but now I can’t get it off my mind. It’s (quite obviously) a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I really don’t want to pass it up if I don’t have to!

  2. Pingback: Chicago Marathon Training Week 9 | accidental intentions

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