Chicago Marathon Training Week 6

Sunday, July 10: Yoga.
When I set out to “finalize” my marathon training schedule (“finalize” because I obviously recognize that things will change, but at least I now have a solid idea of what I plan to accomplish each week), I made a point of including weekly yoga and strength training, because I was deeply unsatisfied with the lack of both of those in my training program. To that end, I practiced yoga for the first time in…I’m not really sure how long. Probably since May? Or maybe April? on Sunday, following this video:

Skipping the handstand part because lolnope. Definitely not an element in my practice, as they say.

Other than that, though, I really enjoyed this video. My arms, on the other hand, did not enjoy it, and enthusiastically voiced their protests against the gazillion chaturangas through Tuesday. Ouchie.

Monday, July 11: 4.53 miles (1 mi. warmup, 1 mi. at 7:55 [3 min. recovery], 800 at 7:55 [2 min. recovery], 600 at 7:15 [2 min. recovery], 400 at 7:05, 1 mi. cooldown) in 46:31 for an overall 10:31 pace.
I decided to not be a hero this week, and instead of attempting speed work outside in 90 degree heat, hung out on the treadmill. My gym has two cardio areas: one with a lot of treadmills, and one with only a couple treadmills. I usually go to the area with a lot of treadmills, because obviously they’re less likely to fill up, but the air conditioning on that side of the gym barely seems functional, and I was sick and tired of running inside and feeling just as miserable as I’d feel outside. So I ventured over to the other side of the gym on Monday and was oh-so relieved to discover much better air conditioning on that half. Looks like I’ve found a new place to run on hot days.

Anyway, I have mixed feelings about this workout. My legs were surprisingly heavy, and for the first time ever, I knocked my usual default 1% grade down to 0%, because 17 minutes into this run I was just dying at 1%. The 7:55 mile in this workout is so hard. I hate hate hate it. My left hip also bugged me during that mile, which was equal parts unexpected and unwelcome, as my hip had been quite cooperative for the past week or so. I ended up jumping off the treadmill at each quarter mile and catching my breath for 10 seconds before starting up again. I felt miserable and out of shape (again), and pretty much just wanted to throw in the towel. However, while the intervals do get progressively faster in this workout, they also get much shorter, making them a bit easier to do as things go on, and I think I prefer that to a bunch of 400s (or 800s, but I prefer anything to a bunch of 800s). So yeah, mixed feelings.

Tuesday, July 12: Dance.
Another week, another different crew of people. Graduation is going to be awfully interesting if this keeps happening. There are three people (including me) who have come to class every week. Two people, I presume, have dropped out entirely, as they never reappeared after week one (person #1) or week two (person #2), and Tuesday was week four of class. Another person, person #3, showed up on week one, two and three, but not week four. Yet another person, person #4, showed up on weeks one and three, but not two and four. And finally, person #5 showed up on week one and four, but not two or three. Got all that? Class clearly has some stability issues that I imagine will make it difficult to pull together an entire, cohesive, decent-length routine, given that all of this inconsistency means we often have to backtrack and re-learn things (or, if we don’t spend much time reviewing, that the sporadic attendees have a hard time catching up, especially because not a single one of them has ever taken dance before, which, at least in my experience, makes learning and remembering choreography much harder, given that you’re still trying to figure out how to make your body move). Anyway, we did learn new choreography on Tuesday, which was nice for me, but I can only imagine what next week will hold if the unpredictable attendance continues.

Wednesday, July 13: 4.85 miles (.5 mi warmup, 5×800 with 3 min. recovery, 1 mi cooldown) in 50:00 for an overall 10:19 pace.
I cannot overstate how much I loathe 800s. Thankfully, with my revised training plan I won’t have to do any more between now and my marathon(s)/ever. I will seriously take any speed workout over 800s. Did this one on the treadmill as well, because the weather on Wednesday was horrifically humid, and just being outside was miserable, never mind running, never mind running 800s. The treadmill and I bonded way too much this week.

Thursday, July 14: Strength training.
Digging more into the new NTC app. On Thursday, I did Wipeout 2.0, and I found it to be perfectly challenging: not too hard that I had to skip or modify exercises, but not so easy that I felt like I wasn’t working. I do prefer 45-minute NTC workouts to 30-minute NTC workouts, which Wipeout 2.0 is, but what can you do? This workout billed itself as good for “cardiovascular conditioning and lower body endurance,” so I figured it’d be ideal for marathon training. I can fully vouch for the “lower body endurance” aspect of this, as my butt, hamstrings, and hips were SCREAMING on Friday and Saturday with soreness. It was an unpleasant reminder of how much I’ve neglected strength training all season 😦

Friday, July 15: Rest.
Thank goodness.

Saturday, July 16: 9.63 miles in 1:41:36 for a 10:31 pace.
RunnersConnect called for 11 miles; CARA called for 8 miles. I compromised with 9. Or rather, I intended to compromise with 9. Our group ended up running past the eight mile turnaround in order to hit up a water station, hence the extra mileage (which really made my run more of a compromise than it would have been if I just ran nine miles). I’m not gonna lie: this was the toughest run of marathon season thus far. My butt was still so sore from Thursday’s workout, and my first mile (which I did on my own) was pure misery due to that soreness. Fortunately, it dissipated as the run went on, as muscle soreness tends to do, but wowza was this a rough one. Lesson learned: no more new leg workouts two days before a long run. On the bright side, it was really pretty outside, so there’s that.


And people wonder why I get up at 4:45 to run on Saturday mornings. Meanwhile, I wonder why you’d miss something this peaceful and wonderful if you knew it existed in your city.

I have a weird schedule next weekend, which means I’m taking my July half day Monday morning (this morning!) to do my long run for the week today – maybe even as you’re reading this! It’s not much recovery time from Saturday to Sunday, so I’m hoping my body holds up all right. I’m definitely looking forward to having a free (from running) weekend, though! That’ll be a nice treat 🙂

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