Chicago Marathon Training Week 7

Sunday, July 16: 13.73 miles in 2:17:16 for a 9:59 pace + SF
Rock ‘n’ Roll by my watch’s (very incorrect) stats. 9:59 pace my butt. I wish!

Monday, July 17: 52 minutes XT (yoga)
My apartment’s internet died on Saturday afternoon (when the repair guy came on Tuesday, he discovered that a squirrel had chewed through the wires outside O.O Considering that I had only about a week left in the apartment and plenty of data left for the month of my phone, I was much more concerned about the well-being of the squirrel than my internet haha), so instead of streaming a yoga video like normal, I downloaded three different NTC yoga workouts (Run Ready Yoga, Essential Strength Yoga, and Lengthen & Flow Yoga), which, add up to 60 minutes of yoga. I needed to get to therapy, however, so I cut a couple of them a little short and ended up spending 52 minutes on yoga total – close enough to the 60 minutes I had written on my training plan. The practices were…ok. I was #notimpressed with Run Ready Yoga, particularly the way it gave cues, particularly the way it didn’t give cues on when to switch from one side to the other. Not helpful.

Tuesday, July 18: Dance
We finished (I hope. I pray) That’s What I Like, and if I never have to learn choreography to another Bruno Mars song again, it’ll be too soon. We then moved on to a what I initially thought was a new routine, during which my teacher kept talking about how this routine was so old, how he had made it in 2003, how some had said it was his best routine ever. I didn’t remember the choreography at all, but I remembered that speech, so I dug into my archives and lo and behold: I did that dance in the October-December 2013 session. This was a particularly helpful discovery considering that I won’t be in class this Tuesday, so now I can watch the video and teach the choreography to myself in my free time (lol good joke, Bethany).

Wednesday, July 19: 8 miles in 1:23:54 for a 10:28 pace
I was a little worried about this run would go, since the weather returned to typical July conditions on Wednesday, but fortunately, it wasn’t too bad. I run commuted these eight miles, and once again, I had a sub-10:00 first mile. Since this has now happened on two run commutes in a row, and since I am not someone who typically logs sub-10:00 miles in the middle of July without feeling any sort of discomfort, I’m beginning to wonder if my watch is measuring things incorrectly and telling me I’ve run a mile before I’ve actually run a mile. There was a bit of a breeze on Wednesday, which helped keep this fairly tolerable, though I was absolutely drenched with sweat when I got home. I was also pretty wiped out by this run, which has been an ongoing issue for me all marathon season. I always feel really tired after workouts these days–not like, unable to move exhaustion, but more “I would like to take a nap for the next 30-60 minutes, please,” tiredness. It always dissipates once I get in the shower and doesn’t usually come back later, but I don’t remember ever dealing with this before. On the other hand, I also don’t remember a marathon season where I’ve been SO bad about going to bed on time, which may have something to do with the tiredness situation.

Thursday, July 20: 5 miles (pace) in 49:31 for a 9:54 pace + SPF
SUPER HAPPY with this run. It was swampy outside, so I expected my “pace” (which, as I’ve explained before, is a comfortably hard pace for me, as my anticipated marathon pace is close to my easy run pace) to be fairly slow. I was hoping for somewhere in the 10:15 range, but the closest I ever got to that was a 10:10. My last mile was a 9:26! I have very, very serious doubts about my ability to do anything even remotely close to this for an additional 21.2 miles in October, but it still makes me really happy to be able to hold a 9:54 pace for five miles in lousy conditions.

Friday, July 21: Rest

Saturday, July 22: 7 miles in 1:14:25 for a 10:38 pace + SP
According to a “perfect” schedule, I should’ve run 12 miles on Saturday. However, since I missed the cutback week long run last week and did a half marathon instead, I swapped those two runs, meaning I only had seven miles on my schedule for Saturday. This meant, at best, I’d only do three miles with my CARA group before leaving them to finish my run on my own. It was raining when I woke up, and the radar made it look like it might storm at some point, too. CARA took a long time to definitively say whether or not long runs would take place that day, so I made an executive decision to not wait for the bus in the rain and then walk a mile to meet up with my group only to run three miles with them, and instead crawl back into bed for a solid 20 minutes before finally throwing myself out the door at 6:15 or so. Chicago Endurance Sports had cancelled their long runs, and most CARA groups (apparently) went north instead of south on Saturday morning, so the Lakefront Trail was practically empty, at least by usual summer Saturday morning standards. It felt like a sauna outside, and the “rain” didn’t amount to much of anything in the cooling department, so this wasn’t particularly pleasant. But I got it done, and honestly, it was kind of nice to run alone for a change. A few weeks ago I mentioned that running doesn’t make me feel better when I’m upset, and I still maintain that that’s true, but this past week especially, when moving had been stressing me out AND all of a sudden work got insane, I found running alone to be a very, very welcome break from the chaos that seemed to permeate every other corner of my life last week, including on Saturday. Plus, I have become…less enamored, shall we say, with my running group this year, particularly as I’ve noticed a distinct increase in cliquey-ness that I neither welcome nor want (like at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half, for example, when one of the girls in my group who I had texted that morning to run together at the race didn’t bother to tell me when she got to Grant Park but did bother to tell two other girls in our group, who she then ran the entire race with and posted plenty of pictures on Facebook of the three of them after the race. Maybe it’s petty, but I’m still smarting a bit over that.), so I have, consequentially, felt less inclined to run with the group than I did in the past.

Preliminary corral assignments for the Chicago Marathon came out on Friday, which I, as always, have Opinions about, but those Opinions are too long for a blog post that’s already eclipsed the 1000-word mark, so you can look forward to that rant on Thursday. In the mean time, I’m very much looking forward to a promised cool down early this week. Four straight days of crushing humidity is four too many for me, and I can’t wait for some runs that don’t feel like they’re taking place in a tropical jungle.

4 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon Training Week 7

  1. I’m eager to hear your opinion on corrals at Chicago, lol. I’m new here so I’m not qualified to have any opinion on the situation.

    As for that run that always has the wonky first mile – try looking at the data and pace graph to see if anything looks off. Usually if your watch is funky there will be some weird looking spikes and dips in the pace graph. Also, does your route start on a downhill? If so, you might just be starting your runs a little too fast without realizing it.

    Running doesn’t make me feel better when I’m upset, either. I think this is actually true for most people even though you constantly hear that running is “stress relief”: it doesn’t actually make stress go away, it just mutes it for a while. Which, I guess for some people, is what they want but personally, I’d rather just process bad feelings as quickly as I can so I can move on from them.

    • Hahaha well, I have like 900 words coming your way about my opinions on Thursday, so get excited!

      My run doesn’t start downhill, but I looked at my pace graph (and GPS map), and you were right: my signal is totally off during that first mile. I wonder if I’m even actually running a real mile! I didn’t even consider that, although I guess I should have – I know from races that my watch doesn’t like this area from a GPS standpoint, but for some reason it didn’t occur to me that that would be a problem in a non-race setting, even though I’m running in the same part of town. That adds a wrinkle to my run commuting! I just measured out a mile on Google, so at least now I know where a real mile is – we’ll see what happens on my next run commute!

    • Yeah, it’s been a pretty big source of frustration for me this year. I don’t know why it continues to surprise me that cliqueyness continues outside of high school, but man, it sure does! Doesn’t bother me any less than it did in high school, though, that’s for sure.

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