Chicago Marathon Training Week 1

Sunday, June 9: Rest
I had a lot to do at home on Sunday and knew that would be the case, so I scheduled a rest day to kick off marathon training, as one does 😛

Monday, June 10: Strength training – legs (AM) + 5 miles in 56:38 for an 11:19 pace
I’ve kept up with strength training more or less since the Chicago Marathon last year. I took three full weeks off strength training post-marathon, and have taken a handful of non-consecutive weeks off here and there since then, but for the most part, I’ve been at the gym three days a week picking heavy things up and putting them back down again. I feel like this will really give me a leg up in the strength training department this year, since I’m starting with roughly a year-long background rather than starting from scratch. Hopefully it’ll especially help in the soreness department!

I’m trying to get in as many run commutes as possible before I move, so I ran home from work Monday afternoon. I wasn’t a huge fan of my normal five mile run commute route, so I reworked it for this one and thought it went a lot better. I normally map out my run commutes ahead of time, since I don’t trust my Garmin to give me an accurate measurement with all the buildings in the city, but on the past few run commutes I’ve found that my Garmin is hitting my mile markers almost exactly where my pre-mapped route said I would hit them, which has been SO nice! I’m relying on my Garmin to measure my route more than my pre-mapping now. I think it’s accurate enough, which is fine with me. Anyway, the run itself was pretty lousy. I don’t know what’s going on with me lately, but running has been harder than I like it to be. I’ve been running consistently-ish, but ever since my Europe trip (almost two months ago now), I haven’t been following a super strict (or super long distance) running plan. I’m hoping that my endurance (and weather acclimation) will come back with time.

Tuesday, June 11: Strength training – upper body (AM) + dance (PM)
I had a relatively easy upper body workout on Tuesday morning, which was great, because I think I tweaked my left bicep on the first rep of my first exercise. Oops. It was sore for the rest of the morning but felt better by the afternoon.

After taking us through our usual warmup on Tuesday, my dance teacher asked us to rehearse together as a class for five minutes (without him) while he worked on the music mix. I ended up leading the class through the rehearsal, which was really fun! I could never be a full-blown dance teacher, because I can’t come up with choreography to save my life, but I do enjoy leading class when I get the chance (and have someone else’s choreography to teach/review 😛 )

Wednesday, June 12: Rest
My company had our annual “field day” event Wednesday afternoon, though due to the rain, it ended up being a “wherever we can find space in the office day” instead. It’s a lot of fun (though not very physical, hence calling this a rest day), but since it takes place at our suburban office it keeps me from having time to do a real workout.

Thursday, June 13: Strength training – legs (AM) + 5 miles in 54:09 for a 10:50 pace
Can’t say I expected to need to bundle up in sweatpants and a hoodie to get to the gym on June 13, but here we are. The Real Feel was around 43 when I woke up on Thursday! I had a solid workout and upped my weight on kettlebell swings for the first time…ever? The first time in a very long time, if nothing else, and that felt good.

What a difference 10 degrees makes! I followed the same route home that I took on Monday’s run commute, both of which took me past an electronic sign that displayed the temperature. When I ran past it on Monday, it said 77 degrees. When I ran past it on Thursday at almost the exact same time of day, it said 67 degrees. I felt one billion times better on this run than I felt on Monday’s run, which made me relax. I was worried something was physically wrong with me and that’s why my run on Monday was so hard, but based on how much better Thursday’s went, I really think it’s the weather. We’ve had a few one-off warmer days (though we haven’t had any truly hot ones yet), but the occasional 75 degree day followed by a string of days under 70 doesn’t really help you acclimate to the heat. IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS IS NOT A COMPLAINT ABOUT THE WEATHER. Haha. I will happily, happily, take sub-70 degree temperatures all summer, thanks. I am merely observing that having not had any significantly warm weather for any significant stretch of time makes it harder to run on days where it’s warmer than usual. But that’s a price I’m MORE than willing to pay if it means keeping my air conditioning off and being able to exist comfortably outside.

Friday, June 14: Rest

Saturday, June 15: 6.21 miles in 1:09:22 for an 11:11 pace
(I think this distance is wrong, but I’m having trouble finding a route creation tool online that has the fully separated Lakefront Trail, so we’re just going to go with what my Garmin says for now.)

First long run of marathon season woo! As I mentioned last week, I’m group leading this year. I didn’t really know what to expect in terms of attendance, but I ended up having four other people start with me! One tripped and fell less than half a mile into the run, which I felt bad about 😦 There wasn’t anything I could do to prevent it, of course, but still. So for the remaining 5.5ish miles, I had three other people running with me. I thought things went really well! I have a bit to work on in the pacing department (my non-building affected mile splits were 11:19, 11:24, 11:42, 11:43 – I’m aiming for an 11:30), but no one seemed to mind. I told them all at the get-go that if they ever felt like I was going too fast or too slow to speak up, so hopefully if there ever is a problem, people will feel comfortable enough to say so.


2 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon Training Week 1

  1. At the beginning of the year I registered for the Phoenix Rock & Roll marathon in January 2020. After 14 half-marathons always saying “nope, zero interest in a full, nope nope nope”, I was surprised to find myself wanting to do it. My official 4-month training plan starts in September.
    To keep at least a hint of foundation before training starts (usually I stop running altogether for the summer), I’m doing my first summer race: half marathon in the AZ high country where temps will be in the 70s and instead of 100s. I’ll be following your marathon training posts with new interest.

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