Chicago Marathon Training Week 13

Sunday, September 1: Strength training – legs
I spent all of Sunday afternoon with family, so I didn’t have much time to squeeze in a workout. Fortunately, my strength training workout for Sunday was really short, so I popped into the gym after family time and got it done. We walked around a lot during family time, so we can pretend that counts as cross training.

Monday, September 2: Strength training – upper body + 10 miles (with seven hill repeats) in 1:56:55 for an 11:41 pace
What’s that? No (AM) (PM)? Does that mean…I did both of these workouts together? Yes, yes I did. Please leave your congratulations in the comments below. I really just wanted to get everything done in one fell swoop, so I went to the gym prior to heading out for my run and ran through my upper body workout for the day. I skipped the last part of it because it called for TRX rows (we don’t have TRX bands in my current gym) and then headed off. I could NOT believe how many other people were out and about! I’ve never run in the suburbs on a weekend, so maybe that’s how it always is, and my perception is skewed because I only run on weekdays? Regardless, it was hoppin’ outside. About 4.25 miles into my run, a lady came up to pass me (or so I thought) and was not getting out of personal bubble, which I thought was a little weird, since people normally pass me pretty quickly (I’m not moving all that fast, after all). She then said hello, greeting me like I was an old friend, despite the fact that I had never seen her before in my life. She asked how far I was running, and it turned out she was running 10 miles too, so she decided to run and chat with me for a bit. Definitely not something that normally happens, but she was nice and it helped the next mile or so go by quickly. She wasn’t interested in doing seven hill repeats (imagine that!), so I lost her once I started doing those. They were all right, but by the time I was done, I was pretty gassed. The remaining 2.5 miles of my run were a real slog. I was in full sun almost the entire time, I was hot and tired and dehydrated, and then my stomach decided to cramp up to really round out my misery. It was a lot of work for one morning, but I’m glad I got everything done so I could chill out for the rest of Labor Day.

Tuesday, September 3: Dance
After a two-week break, dance started up again on Tuesday. There were only five people there (including me), which was a pretty small turnout for the first day. One of my knuckle joints was bothering me Tuesday afternoon–I think I cracked it too aggressively or something–and as I was on my way to dance, I thought, “Good thing I don’t take breakdance any more so I won’t have to worry about supporting my weight with this hand today.” Wouldn’t you know it, for the first time ever, my teacher incorporated some breakdancing into the choreography we learned on Tuesday. Figures! Fortunately it wasn’t anything too extensive and my hand held up just fine. Still a weird coincidence, though!

Wednesday, September 4: 7 miles in 1:12:35 for a 10:22 pace (AM) + strength training – legs (PM)
I had a pace run on my schedule for Wednesday and intended to do it between 10:45 and 11:00, because I think that if I were to target a pace during the marathon, that’s what I’d go for. You see how well that turned out. My first mile was a 10:48, but after that, I was running more 10:12s than anything else. I had a lot of frustration from Tuesday to burn (and the weather was glorious), so I’m guessing that’s where this came from. Even though this was almost certainly too fast, and I almost certainly couldn’t run another 19 miles at that pace, I will admit that it felt nice to know I’m capable of running seven miles at a 10:22 overall pace. All of the slow running of marathon training makes it easy to forget I can run faster than an 11:30 pace for more than five minutes.

I need to be better about getting to the gym at a decent time in the afternoon. Once again, I showed up later than usual, and once again, it made getting the equipment I want a struggle. My right ankle seems to get irritated by stretching my leg with the plantar fasciitis stretching thing, and since I used it post-run Wednesday morning, my ankle was still irritated Wednesday afternoon. I’ve noticed that lunges make the irritation worse, and since I had those on my schedule, I planned to sub them out with step-ups instead. All the benches were taken, though, so I didn’t have anything I could step up onto. I did single-leg presses as an alternative to the alternative.

Thursday, September 5: 60 minutes bike
This was a super boring, super light effort cross training session. Even though most of my workouts last more than an hour these days, the idea of spending a full hour on the bike bored me just thinking about it, so it ended up being something I had to endure rather than something I even remotely enjoyed. It doesn’t help that the bike in the gym is directly in front of a west-facing window, which means I have the setting sun blazing in my eyes every time I bike in the afternoon. Not pleasant.

Friday, September 6: Rest

Saturday, September 7: 18 miles in 3:38:46 for a 12:09 pace
Bleh. This run didn’t go quite the way I hoped it would go. After having such a great pace run on Wednesday, I expected running at an 11:30 pace to feel like a breeze, but it most certainly did not. I think part of the problem is my fuel belt. I always feel like this is a problem during really long runs. It weighs me down and makes me feel so sluggish – or at least, I’d like to think it’s the belt that makes me feel sluggish, not me making me feel sluggish 😉 I didn’t run a single 11:30 mile in the entire run, which frustrated me. I felt pretty down on myself around mile 15 or so, but then I remembered that this was the first time I’ve run 18 straight miles (excluding 20 milers and marathons, that is) since 2014. Yes, folks, the curse of the 18 miler seems to have broken. For the first time since 2014, I made it all the way through my scheduled 18 miler without a thunderstorm – without even a cloud in the sky, this year! Thank goodness, because I was in a huge hurry. I needed to get home ASAP to make it to Michigan for a family gathering Saturday afternoon, and my stress about that probably didn’t help the run situation at all. On the plus side, this was one of the only times my group has stayed together for the bulk of our miles, which made me happy. The miles are a lot easier with all that extra company!

 

2 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon Training Week 13

  1. Bethany, the long run on Saturday might not have gone how you would have “liked” it to go … BUT you did it! I am sure that you next run will be better because you know you pushed through the challenge this time! Also do you ever try to think of something to reward yourself with after those hard workouts that make it easier? (I always reward myself with Starbucks after a tough workout … motivates me to get through it! 😉 )

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