Chicago Marathon Training Week 11

Sunday, August 18: Strength training – legs
I didn’t have time to do the full 85 minutes of cross training on my schedule for Sunday and I came thisclose to skipping strength training. Not wanting to drag my strength training out longer in the week than necessary, I drug myself to the gym late in the afternoon Sunday and got it done.

Monday, August 19: 10 miles in in 1:55:10 for an 11:31 pace (AM) + strength training – upper body (PM)
UGH I feel SO smug for running 10 miles before work. So freaking smug. I should probably be concerned by how much joy I get out of doing things that make me feel smug. Anyway, I got up way earlier than normal Monday morning because I really wanted to get this run done in the morning before it got too warm. It was already decently steamy when I headed out, but I kind of didn’t mind it?? I barely know myself anymore. I run in the morning, the humidity doesn’t destroy me: this is does not fit my personal brand! Tragic. I definitely felt like I was out forever (I mean, I was), but it wasn’t unbearable or overwhelming. In order to avoid five miles of an out-and-back, I ran a new route on Monday and really enjoyed mixing things up. It helped the run go by quicker and I enjoyed the new scenery. I also enjoyed all the birds I saw and/or heard on this run: goldfinches, cardinals, robins, house sparrows, barn swallows, chickadees, catbirds, and mourning doves. There were also a couple others I couldn’t ID. The notable increase in birds (particularly goldfinches and catbirds, which I rarely saw in the city) is definitely my favorite part of running in the ‘burbs.

I went to the gym after work and for the first time in months actually enjoyed lifting for a change. I really hope I’m getting out of my lifting slump, because that will make my thrice-weekly strength training sessions infinitely less miserable.

Tuesday, August 20: Rest
No dance this week, which meant an extra rest day for me! Woohoo!

Wednesday, August 21: 5.15 miles in 55:55 for a 10:52 pace (AM) + strength training – legs (PM)
I had a 55 minute tempo run on the calendar for Wednesday, and man, running 55 minutes after running an hour and 55 minutes on Monday was a real treat! I could sleep in (ish), do my run, and STILL start my workday at my normal time. (Sometimes when I run in the morning, I start up to an hour later than usual–and consequently work up to an hour later than usual.) After some bonkers humidity on Tuesday (the dewpoint was 74 when I went out for a brief walk at lunch), things were much more tolerable on Wednesday, which helped make this run, dare I say, pleasant? These longer tempo runs are tough, because I have a hard time judging just how much I should increase (or decrease) my speed each five minute interval to make sure I hit an appropriate peak in the middle. I was very pleasantly surprised to see that I totally nailed this workout when I reviewed my Garmin stats after the fact. I think this was one of the best jobs I’ve done on pacing, in fact. My “twin” intervals (i.e.: first and last, second and second to last, etc.) worked out like this:

.40 miles/.40 miles
.42 miles/.42 miles
.45 miles/.44 miles
.49 miles/.47 miles
.51 miles/.52 miles

Since the goal is to have them all be exactly the same distance (because covering the same distance in five minutes would mean I’m running the same pace), I think I pretty much crushed it. (My peak interval, for those of you dying to know, was .55 miles)

I decided to be a big girl on Wednesday and use the bench for lateral step-ups, since they were on my schedule and doing them on the treadmill the other week felt lame. I’ve been doing forward step-ups on the bench, so I figured I could handle it, especially if I don’t use any weight (so my hands are free to balance me). It worked out really well, so that’s great news. Now I can do them again and feel like I’m actually building muscle!

Thursday, August 22: 55 minutes elliptical
I wanted to bike, but the bike was taken when I got to the gym. I don’t hate the elliptical, but I do really prefer biking. For whatever reason, my feet always go numb when I’m on the elliptical (any elliptical, so it must be something about that motion), which is wildly unpleasant, and the two times I’ve used the elliptical in the gym at my apartment complex, it’s really irritated my calf. Calf pain of any sort sends me into an anxious spiral (I live in constant fear of getting a blood clot in my legs), so that really doesn’t do much for me from a mental health standpoint. The bike opened up about 15 minutes into my workout, and I really should’ve just gotten off the elliptical and spared myself some angst.

Friday, August 23: Rest

Saturday, August 24: 16 miles in 3:25:07 for a 12:49 pace
I don’t think you need me to tell you, based on my average pace for this run, that it did not go well. At all. I tried really hard to go to bed on time Friday night, and I more or less succeeded–if nothing else I went to bed a solid 30 minutes earlier than normal–but then I woke up anxious around 1 a.m. and had a really hard time sleeping after that. That, I’m sure, didn’t set me up for a ton of success. When my alarm went off at 4:10, my stomach hurt, though that’s not entirely abnormal for me. Breakfast usually solves the problem, but I still felt icky after my toast…and after my drive into the city…and as the run began. I quickly discovered that there was a strong wind coming out of the south, which meant we had to fight a headwind for eight miles of the run. My stomach hurt, my legs were tired, and my attitude, unsurprisingly, left a bit to be desired. I kept trying to push through it (mentally), but nine and a half miles in gave up, started walking, and phoned a friend to cry/whine for a bit. That helped me feel a little better mentally, but physically I was still in rough shape. When the 12:00s passed me, said they were run/walking, and asked if I’d like to join them, I was more than happy to take them up on their offer. I ended up hanging out with a 12:00 group leader for the rest of the run (/walk), and that made the miles go by a bit faster. I wish the run had gone (a lot) better, but it is what it is. I don’t often have good 16 milers, so this wasn’t out of left field. Hopefully the 18 and 20 will be better.


2 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon Training Week 11

  1. Bethany … I am so glad that you were able to get through the long run even though you went into it with a little less rest, more anxiety, and more wind than you would have liked BUT you powered through and FINISHED strong!

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