Chicago Marathon Training Week 3

Sunday, June 18: Dance
Graduation #20283472 was coming up on Tuesday, so per usual, we had an additional rehearsal on Sunday. That morning, one of my dance friends texted me asking me if I wanted to bet how many people showed up, and we both guessed there would be two people (aside from us) at best. To our most pleasant surprise, nearly everyone from class showed up! Out of the 25 or so times I’ve taken dance at this point, I can only think of a handful of occasions where most of the class showed up for a Sunday rehearsal, so this was a big deal. We danced for an hour, but I was low on energy and motivation courtesy of some miserable sinus pressure, so I didn’t put forth nearly as much effort as I could/should have.

Monday, June 19: 5 miles in 48:32 for a 9:41 pace + SPF
It’s cutback week, which means all of my runs are supposed to be easy, but you wouldn’t know that based on how this run went. I had a, ahem, disagreement with my parents Sunday night. In my experience, when bad things happen at the end of one day, it’s usually the following day that’s the worst emotionally, and that was certainly the case on Monday. I got progressively angrier as the day went on and hoped that my run would help sweat out my frustration. It didn’t (I don’t know why I continue to think I’ll feel better about things that upset me after a run. Running never calms me down, because it just gives me an uninterrupted 30 minutes, 60 minutes, however many minutes to fester and get more upset.), but that didn’t keep me from pushing the pace in hopes that the harder I ran, the better I’d feel. I almost negative split this entire thing (only missed a negative split with mile two), the weather was SO much better than last week, despite getting rained on for 15 or so minutes in the middle of my run. Even though it didn’t make me feel better, I was pretty pleased with how fast I managed to do this, even if I wasn’t supposed to be running fast. I’ll say it makes up for how easy I ended up taking things last week. (And I did end up feeling better later that night, after a good venting/crying session.)

Tuesday, June 20: Dance + P
I got to dance a bit early and spent almost 10 full minutes doing PT exercises! *pats self on back* As for class itself, we ran through the routine I’d guess close to 10 times during the hour, and then waited around for graduation later that night. Graduation went fairly well, though I definitely knew the combos too well by the time the performance rolled around. When I was younger and took music lessons, my teachers would often talk about the importance of not peaking before a recital, because, in performing arts, there seems to be a sweet spot of being able to do what you need to do, but not having it so ingrained in your muscles that you no longer need to think about what you’re doing and can run on autopilot, which leads to making more mistakes than you would if you needed to concentrate on what you were doing. I definitely peaked before graduation, because both in class on Tuesday and during the performance itself I found myself in the middle of the routine completely unaware of what was happening. I mentally checked out because, since we’ve done nothing but these whopping two minutes of choreography for eight hours of class, my body could pretty much do its thing without my brain paying any attention. When I would check back in, then, I’d be totally thrown off and mess up. Maybe I should stop practicing on my own time to avoid this in the future 😛

Wednesday, June 21: 5 miles in 50:05 for a 10:01 pace + SPF
The weather was so perfect on Wednesday! All I want out of summer is to always have temperatures in the low 70s and next to no humidity. Is that so much to ask?? I really meant to take this run easy, and even though it turned out to be a bit faster than what I would normally consider to be an easy pace for me, I didn’t really feel like I was running that hard. I guess that’s what counts the most. I really focused on a proper arm swing during this run, which I imagine contributed to helping it feel easier. I, like most non-professional runners I know, pay very little attention to what’s going on with my arms when I run. I bend them at roughly a 90 degree angle, and they move when I run, but they mostly move as a consequence of overall body movement rather than as a deliberate, intentional movement. I know this isn’t the best or most efficient way to run, so on Wednesday, I made a point of using my arms to help propel me forward, making sure to pull my arms back and push them forward rather than letting them flounce around like normal. Since I was running almost 30 seconds/mile faster than I would’ve expected for that level of effort, I think it’s safe to say it made at least some difference. It was a lot harder, unsurprisingly, and I definitely couldn’t keep it going consistently for all five miles, but I hope with practice this will become, if not second nature, then at least easier to maintain for longer distances. (For the curious, you can learn more on proper arm swing here).

Thursday, June 22: 40 minutes (ish) XT (yoga)
This one:

I LOVED this practice. It was the perfect balance of challenging and attainable. Highly recommended. I also would like to give a shoutout to the weather for choosing to be hot and humid on a day I already planned to work out inside, for a change. Just walking around outside was enough to make me sweat on Thursday, so I was very happy to do this in an air conditioned house!

Friday, June 23: Rest

Saturday, June 24: 5.75 miles in 58:29 for a 10:09 pace + SPF
The most perfect weather day of all time!

fivemilermorning
Technically, the plan called for five miles today, but it felt weird to run five miles as my “long run” when I had already run five miles twice this week as my regular weekday runs. I also had late morning plans on Saturday and needed to get home, so I took a detour towards the end of the group run and ran (most of) the rest of the way home. Even though I broke the cardinal rule of cutback week–no adding miles to your long run, even if you think you need it–I think it all evens out, especially since, mileage wise, last week really ended up being my cutback week anyway, courtesy of the heat.

It was SO NICE to have a good, scheduled week of training after the insanity that was last week. The forecast continues to look promising for most of next week (or at least the days next week when I expect to run), so fingers crossed that holds out!

 

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5 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon Training Week 3

  1. That’s interesting about not knowing your routine too well. I feel like for burlesque, I definitely want to know my routines inside and out without thinking … so I can focus on my face and the mood/feeling and nail the timing. Although most burlesque acts are a lot slower than traditional dance, so it’s not hard to master the moves and that gives you the time between the moves for the personality to really come out. Or to really slow down and tease the reveals 😉

    • I haven’t done burlesque, so I guess I can’t say anything definitively, but I think there’s a sweet spot in dance (or other similar artistic endeavors) where you have the ideal balance between not needing to think about what move comes next, but also not running so much on autopilot that if you do happen to mentally check in again, you don’t get thrown off. Though, given how ridiculous my facial expressions tend to be when I dance, perhaps I haven’t actually found this sweet spot of being able to not think about what I’m doing and focus on my expressions yet, because whatever weird contortions my face twists itself into when I dance seem completely beyond my control hahahaha

  2. I hope you feel better this week about the disagreement from last week! It’s too bad running doesn’t help you feel better (but at least gives you that escape).

    I hope we have more wonderful weather like this!

    • Well, I’m not quite as actively angry at them anymore, so I guess that’s a step in the right direction. I don’t think they’re entirely over it yet, but hopefully we’ll get there eventually.

      I was so disappointed that it got humid on Wednesday! I knew it would happen eventually, but last weekend and earlier this week was seriously perfect summer weather in my eyes 🙂

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