Chicago Marathon Training Week 9

Sunday, August 4: Strength training – legs + 54 minutes bike
Lifting was a bit harder than I anticipated on Sunday, but I got it done. I skipped the kettlebell swings I was supposed to finish with. I thought I could do kettlebell swings with a dumbbell (because there are no kettlebells at my gym), and while I technically can, it’s certainly a bit awkward. I didn’t feel like dealing with it on Sunday, and figured I still had a ton of cardio ahead of me anyway so I could probably manage to skip 25 kettlebell swings. I hopped on the bike after my strength training and tackled the random hill setting for just under an hour.

Monday, August 4: 7 miles in 1:19:32 for an 11:22 pace (AM) + strength training – upper body (PM)
I took my August half day Monday morning due to an appointment I had that day, which gave me ample time to do my run before work. It was also supposed to get up to 90 that afternoon, so I was more than happy to get my run done before the heat set in. It was a bit on the humid side compared to last week, so I was an absolute puddle by the time I got home. It also took me awhile to hit my pace, but I arranged my route so I’d finish on a downhill, which is always good for my ego 🙂

Monday’s strength training workout was short and sweet. It called for lat pulldowns, which opened my eyes to the fact that the new gym doesn’t really have a lat pulldown machine. It has one of those multi-function machines that you can kind of use for lat pulldowns, but following the diagram on the machine didn’t seem to be the best way to accomplish what I was trying to do. I felt like I was using my triceps much more than my lats, which kind of defeats the purpose. I’m going to have to see what other options I have the next time I need to do them.

Tuesday, August 6: Dance
One of my former classmates subbed for us on Tuesday, which was fun! Graduation is next week (this week by the time this post goes up), so we did a ton of review. I still don’t feel all that confident in my ability to remember the choreography this time around. Oof. However, the MOST devastating part of class was when the sub (who’s in my teacher’s company) told us to come to their show next month (it’s a really big deal – the company is part of a broader group, and all the groups will be here to do a performance. I know about the show because my teacher is always gone for it, but it’s never been in Chicago since I’ve been taking dance), and then told us it’s the NIGHT BEFORE THE 20 MILER. AT 8 P.M. Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I so want to go!! I’ll admit that I’m very tempted to go even with the 20 miler the next day, because I’m really only in the marathon for the fun of it this time around, so the 20 miler is just another long run…but the show is downtown (like, downtown downtown, not just in the city somewhere), which would be a GIGANTIC hassle now that I live in the burbs. UGH UGH UGH UGH UGH.

Wednesday, August 7: 50 minutes bike
The office move made my schedule wonky this week, so I didn’t have time to run on Wednesday. I biked instead, and it was fairly uneventful. I’m starting to think level nine is the ideal one on the bike, though, for those of you anxiously waiting to see which level I settled on 😛

Thursday, August 8: 6 miles (1.5 mile WU, 6x.5 mi w/ .25 mi recovery) in 1:05:01 for a 10:50 pace (AM) + strength training – lower body (PM)
I was bound and determined to get my run in Thursday morning, for whatever reason, but when I woke up, it quickly became apparent that my dinner from the night before would make running outside risky, to say the least. I decided to take my run to the treadmill, where I’d have guaranteed, quick access to a bathroom at any time. (God bless this past winter’s half marathon training, where I was forced to figure out how to run on the treadmill without losing my mind, so that’s actually a viable option now.) Plus, running inside meant I didn’t have to put on sunscreen, which is always nice. I did a 1.5 mile warmup at 5.2 mph with a one percent incline, and then for my intervals did the half miles at 6.1 mph (one percent incline) and the recovery at 4.8 mph (no incline). It was fine, aside from the tummy troubles. After I finished my run, I realized that if I was down to do this run on the treadmill regardless, I should’ve just waited until the afternoon. My system almost certainly would’ve taken care of dinner by then, and if it were too hot to run outside, I would’ve ended up on the treadmill anyway. Oh well. Something to remember for next time, I guess.

I went back to the gym in the afternoon to strength train. It was a headache. I guess I just got too used to the equipment in the gym at work, so now everything at this gym doesn’t just seem different: it seems wrong and difficult. And it’s not helping me like strength training any more. It’s very frustrating, because I did really like strength training for the past year, but this gym situation is really killing my vibe. There’s apparently a gym in the new suburban office, so I’ll have to check that out to see if it meets my needs better. If so, I might start doing most of my strength training there instead.

Friday, August 9: Rest

Saturday, August 10: 10.56 miles in 2:04:13 for an 11:46 pace
Halfway through marathon training, and all of this getting up early, not getting enough sleep stuff finally caught up to me. I was dead tired when I got to the run and, uh, perhaps not the most engaging, enthusiastic group leader CARA has ever seen. I barely said a word until we were 1.75 miles into the run. One of my half marathoners struck up a conversation with me at that point, and it helped me be in a much better mood than I was when I started. It was overcast for almost the entire run for the first time all season, finally. That made things a bit more tolerable than usual. I’m sure we went too far, though I’m not sure we went a full half mile too far.


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