Chicago Marathon Training Week 12

Sunday, August 19: Rest
I went to a wedding in the suburbs on Saturday and spent the night out there. While I certainly had time to go to the gym when I got back to the city on Sunday, what I did not have was a desire to go to the gym, especially since so much of my weekend free time went to the wedding (which is not a complaint, just a statement. The couple are two of my favorite people, and I had been looking forward to their wedding for weeks.) In anticipation of this, I actually did the workout I had scheduled for this Sunday the Sunday before. I had originally planned a rest day for the Sunday of Week 11 because I thought I’d be out of town, or if I wasn’t out of town, that I’d have dance rehearsal. I turned out to be in town and not have dance that Sunday, so I did my August 19 workout on August 12 and took my August 12 rest day on August 19 instead.

Monday, August 20: Strength training – legs (AM) + 7 miles in 1:16:03 for a 10:52 pace
I was pleasantly surprised to find the squat rack empty Monday morning. I had barbell squats on my workout plan for the day and worried I’d have to be brave and work in with someone else to get them done. Hooray for not having to talk to strangers! Haha. Monday was the first time I used additional weight on the barbell during my squats. It was comfortably hard from a weight perspective, but the plates for the barbell at the squat rack really mess with my head. They are TINY–even the 25 lb plates, which I didn’t use, are only about six or eight inches in diameter, compared to the plates for the deadlift barbell, which are all closer to 14 inches in diameter regardless of their weight–so it looks a lot lighter than it is.

I don’t know what my deal was on Monday afternoon’s run. I went way faster than I intended or realized, which was particularly surprising given that the weather wasn’t all that friendly. It was quite windy by the lake, it rained for 10 minutes or so, and then it got humid and sunny. I guess I’ll take it.

Tuesday, August 21: Strength training – upper body
Wonder of wonders, the trainer didn’t steal all of the dumbbells for his clients on Tuesday! And I was even emotionally prepared for it! Although it wouldn’t have mattered that much anyway. I was struggling to lift anything heavy on Tuesday and ended up having to use lighter weights than I had hoped to use in order to maintain my form.

No dance this week – this is week one of our summer two week break. Yay for free time on Tuesday afternoons!

Wednesday, August 22: 7.25 miles (2 mi WU, 7x.5 mi (4:44, 4:51, 4:50, 4:44, 4:49, 4:51, 4:43) w/ .25 mi recovery) in 1:17:52 for a 10:44 pace
I am unnecessarily disappointed with this workout. The weather was PHENOMENAL on Wednesday–easily some of the best weather I’ve run in all season–and with a reduced fitness workload this week due to cutback week, I was fairly confident I was going to destroy these 800s, especially in light of how I did three weeks earlier in far more humid conditions. Turning in six of seven 800s at a slower pace than all but one of my 800s from three weeks ago was definitely a bummer. I’m happy with the effort I put in, I’m happy that I was fairly consistent in my times, and I’m happy that I felt good during the workout. I just wish I had been able to be a bit quicker. I was faster on all of these than I was on any of my 800s in Week 6, though, so that’s at least a little encouraging. Currently averaging 4:47 across all my 800s (though I continue to not be sure that you’re supposed to take the average of all your 800s to predict your marathon time. Doesn’t mean I’m not going to, though šŸ˜› )

Thursday, August 23: Strength training – legs (AM) + 55 minutes yoga (PM)
I’ve been doing this super fun new thing during the summer where I wake up in the middle of the night for unexplained reasons and can’t fall back asleep no matter how hard I try. It’s the best and definitely not annoying or frustrating or setting me up for a bad mood at work at all. Thursday morning was one of those days, where I got to wake up at 3:30 and never fall back asleep! Yay! So you can imagine how TOTALLY PUMPED I was to go to the gym Thursday morning!


I accidentally PRed my deadlift on Thursday because I forgot that I was using dumbbells for my lightest deadlift weight and then moving onto the barbell as I increased the weight. I guess that was the advantage of being sleep deprived. I only PRed it by five pounds, but a PR is a PR, I suppose–and, more important, I discovered that the 2.5 lb plates fit on the barbell I use for deadlifts, which I didn’t realize was the case. So there’s that.

My back had been bothering me a bit since Tuesday, so I did this yoga Thursday afternoon:

It was delightful, especially the part where I accidentally asleep towards the end. Oops.

Friday, August 24: Rest

Saturday, August 25:Ā 13.96 miles in 2:38:37 for an 11:22 pace
We’re just going to go ahead and call that 14 miles, for the record. I was SO. TIRED. on Saturday’s run. I didn’t go to bed on time (story of my life) and didn’t sleep well on top of that, so my alarm went off WAY too early as far as I was concerned. There were even storms for a brief moment on Saturday, but tragically they passed by the time my run started, so no extra sleep for me šŸ˜¦ All things considered, the run went well. I woke up a little as the run went on, but not even half as much as I expected to. At one point I threatened to curl up next to a water stop to take a nap and wait for my group to come back on the return trip, when I would join them for the rest of the run šŸ˜› I didn’t hydrate close to enough on Friday and expected this run to be a struggle, but I expected it to be a struggle more in the general sense, not in the I’m-so-exhausted-I-could-fall-asleep-mid-run sense. At least the weather hadn’t gotten too hot or sunny yet.


My tiredness on Saturday has been the story of this marathon season. I know I mentioned it in the early weeks of training, but I still haven’t gotten much better about getting to sleep, or, just as importantly, staying asleep. I’d like to think at least part of this is the weather’s fault. The air conditioning and my ceiling fan are both necessary to keep my room at a remotely comfortable temperature for sleeping, but also both make a holy racket that makes sleeping difficult. My hip soreness has made it difficult to find a position to sleep in on occasion, which exacerbates the situation. And then, of course, there’s the matter of my schedule, which necessitates that I drag myself out of bed before sunrise more mornings than not. Try as I might to go to bed early enough to make up for this, it’s not particularly easy, especially with these longer weekday runs that have a tendency to keep me busy until at least 7 p.m. I think my lack of rest, even during cutback week, is part of why I’m finding it harder to recover and dealing with some hip-related frustration. I know that this is just a season of marathon training, and that things will improve substantially in a little under a month when taper gets serious. But boy is it draining in the mean time.

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