Chicago Marathon Training Week 7

Sunday, July 15: 22 minutes cross training (bike)
Least impressive cross training session ever. I arrived at the gym to discover that apparently the building doesn’t think it’s necessary to keep the room at a comfortable temperature on the weekends. It was at least 80 degrees in the gym with no airflow to speak of, which obviously didn’t make for a particularly pleasant workout environment. I was also pressed for time and only had 22 minutes to work out (as opposed to the 60 I hoped to get in). Blah. Not the way I hoped to start the week.

Monday, July 16: Strength training – legs (AM) + 8 miles (with five hill repeats) in 1:32:59 for an 11:37 pace (PM)
This strength training session was a bit frustrating. Just about everything required me to hold dumbbells or kettlebells as a way of adding weight, which normally I don’t mind at all. I prefer dumbbells/kettlebells to other weights, in fact. Holding weights requires your forearms, though, and mine were not having it. I felt like my legs weren’t challenged by the weight at all, but I could only make it through five reps of anything before needing to take a break thanks to my forearms. Once again, not the way I hoped to start the week.

I took it nice and easy on my run on Monday due to the high humidity. Last Monday’s run and its consequences (GI problems, taking a long time to get my heart rate down) shook me up a bit, so I’m trying to be more conservative in the pace department to keep something similar from happening again. Effort is more important than pace, and survival is more important than effort. I figure anything is better than nothing when it comes to marathon training during the summer, and if that means running a lot slower than I’d like, so be it. I was a bit concerned my run would get stormed out, but the skies were clear when I left work. I did five hill repeats halfway-ish through my run and was once again surprised by how well they went. Here’s hoping this whole hills-aren’t-hard thing continues to mile 26 of the marathon!

Tuesday, July 17: Strength training – upper body (AM) + dance (PM)
I worried Tuesday morning’s strength training would be a disaster, because my arms were so sore after Monday’s grip-heavy workout. To my great delight, everything went well! I’m still pushing myself to use heavier weights than usual, and it makes me feel so great when I can get through all my sets and reps with weight I’ve never used before.

Dance was less crowded but still so hot on Tuesday. We need to find some way to get airflow in that room during class,  because it’s going to be a miserable summer otherwise. We added on a little to what we learned last week, including an eight count of the dougie. My teacher referred to it as a “dance that doesn’t exist anymore” when he introduced it, which, fair, but then when he said it was called the dougie, the number of blank stares from my fellow classmates was alarming. I know one of the girls in class this session is from Germany, so I’ll forgive her for missing a hot second of U.S. pop culture from eight years ago. But the other three are definitely born-and-raised Americans. I knew they were young–one has worn a “Seniors 2017” shirt to class twice now, so I assume she’s 19 at best, and I’m convinced the girl who always shows up and leaves with her is her younger sister–but I didn’t realize they were that young: so young that they had never even HEARD of the dougie. That being said, Miss Seniors 2017 was probably all of 11 when Teach Me How to Dougie was a thing, and her younger sister was, you know, likely younger than that, so I guess it makes sense, but YIKES. I think this is the first time in my life that I’ve been in a group of people where half of them didn’t catch a pop culture reference, and it was not a feeling I enjoyed.

Wednesday, July 18: 5 miles in 55:55 for an 11:11 pace
How ’bout those numbers! This was a goal pace run, and while 11:11 isn’t quite my goal pace (that would get me a 4:53, meaning 11:11 specifically is probably my anti-goal pace, given that would have me finish one minute off my PR. I’d much rather finish five, 10, 15, 30 minutes off my PR than one minute – though ideally I’d like to break my PR), I felt like I ran at a consistent, sustainable effort for the duration of the run. It was a really nice day to be out running, and it felt good to not be crushed by the humidity for a change.

Thursday, July 19: Strength training – legs (AM) + 50 minutes yoga (PM)
A fairly uneventful morning of strength training at the gym on Thursday. This was one of the few times where I felt like I got all of my weights right, which made me happy. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I really want to take this strength training seriously, so I’m making a concentrated effort to challenge myself rather than just phoning it in and saying that I did it.

In the afternoon, I did this yoga practice:

I couldn’t find a Yoga with Adriene 50 minute practice I hadn’t done already, and since I didn’t feel like repeating one I’ve done, I picked the first one that popped up when I searched “50 minute yoga.” I always feel like I’m taking a gamble when I deviate from Yoga with Adriene, because I like what she does and don’t have a huge desire to expand my yoga horizons, so I was pleasantly surprised by this practice. It was right at my level, and it felt so nice to stretch and take it easy on the workout front for a change.

Friday, July 20: Rest

Saturday, July 21: Rest

The end of this week was just what I needed in the workout department. Even though I had a cutback week last week, by Thursday of this week I was tired, constantly hungry, and desperate for a break. I’m not necessarily the biggest fan of Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago, mostly because it takes place in mid-July which is a HUGE gamble on the weather front, but I love that doing Rock ‘n’ Roll means I get to sleep in on a Saturday for a change and have a good excuse to back off my workouts for a couple of days in the name of race prep.

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