Chicago Marathon Training Week 14

Sunday, September 8: Jonas Brothers ā¤
I didn’t do a formal workout on Sunday, but I did jump/dance/flail/scream/cry around for 90 minutes at the Jonas Brothers concert, which feels like it should count for something šŸ˜›

Monday, September 9: 8 miles in 1:25:23 for a 10:40 pace (AM) + strength training – legs (PM)
After checking out of the hotel and driving home, I put my overnight bag down in my parents’ house, changed into shorts, and threw myself out of the house to get in my eight miler. I had less than zero interest in doing this run, but I 1) didn’t want to do it in the afternoon when I got back to Chicagoland and 2) didn’t want to do it later in the week, when the highs were predicted to flirt with 90. So off I went for an eight miler around my parents’ house. I didn’t have time to wait for my Garmin to find a GPS signal, so my pace readings were all over the place in the first mile and I didn’t really have a good idea of how quick I was running until a few miles in. With how poorly my 18 miler went from a pace/effort standpoint two days before, I was VERY happy to be able to comfortably hold a 10:40 pace (on a hilly route, no less!) after having such an active weekend.

When I got home Monday afternoon, I headed off to the gym to get in some strength training. I had to modify Monday’s workout a bit due to not having TRX bands available to me anymore, but I made it work. I thought it was going to be a long one, but I finished everything in about 30 minutes, so that was nice.

Tuesday, September 10: Dance
I thought we’d add on to what we learned in class last week, but instead we reviewed it for a few minutes and then moved on to totally different choreography. My teacher mentioned that the choreography was very 90s, and as we were learning it, TLC’s “What About Your Friends” popped into my head. We always learn choreography without music first, so you can imagine my shock when my teacher decided we had learned enough to start dancing it with the music and the song he put on was “What About Your Friends.” I haven’t learned this choreography before, nor have I danced to “What About Your Friends” before, so I was floored to have guessed the song all on my own! That’s never happened before!

Wednesday, September 11: 8 miles (2 mi WU, 8x.5 mi (5:11, 4:59, 5:05, 5:07, 4:55, 4:54, 5:01, 4:56) w/ .25 mi recovery) in 1:28:20 for an 11:02 pace (AM) + strength training – upper body (PM)
Ugh. I realize these training recaps may as well be weather recaps for how frequently I blame/credit the weather for how my run went, but THE HUMIDITY on Wednesday! It was out. of. control. The dew point was a swampy 71 when I headed out to do my 800s, and despite thinking it wouldn’t affect me because “it’s the end of summer” and “I’ve been running in humidity for months,” I was very, VERY wrong. I felt spent by the end of my two-mile warmup, so you can imagine how I felt for the remainder of the run. Blech. I had to walk my first 400 recovery (though I slow jogged the others). I hate having crummy 800 workouts, and I hate even more that I had a crummy last 800 workout (because I don’t have any others on my schedule for this training cycle). These were some of my slowest 800s by a long shot, and it was a big bummer.

Fortunately, my upper body workout Wednesday afternoon went really well. For the first time in a long time, it didn’t feel like a huge hassle or slog. Perhaps I’m getting stronger?! Or just less resistant to doing upper body workouts, haha. Let’s say I’m getting stronger šŸ˜›

Thursday, September 12: Strength training – legs + 40 minutes elliptical
Since I didn’t have a chance to strength train on Sunday, what with the Jonas Brothers concert and everything, I had to get my last session for the week in on Thursday. I decided to roll it into my 60 minutes of scheduled cross training to help me not be at the gym for my entire life. My strength training went pretty well, though someone else in the gym was using all the plates I wanted to put on the EZ bar for hip lifts, so I ended up doing dumbbell swings instead, as the internet told me those work the same muscles. Incidentally, the person using all the plates was doing hip lifts on the weight rack, so now I have an idea of what that setup looks like in case I want to try that method later on. I really prefer the bike to the elliptical, but some suspicious activity in the step challenge at work (i.e.: someone who hadn’t been in the top 10 suddenly being in first with exactly 250,800 steps. SUSPICIOUS.) had me on a mission to get in as many steps as possible for the rest of the month. Since you get steps on the elliptical but not on the bike, I spent 40 minutes upping my step count on it.

Friday, September 13: Rest

Saturday, September 14: 14.01 miles in 2:44:23 for an 11:44 pace
While my run on Saturday went great, getting to the run on Saturday was another story. I’ve made the drive from the suburbs into the city for training plenty of times at this point, so when I was walking to my car and thought, “Should I look up directions on Google Maps in case something is wrong with traffic?” my next thought was, “No, I’m sure it’ll be fine.” Of course, you can see where this is going. Soon after getting onto the highway, I was met with a forest of brake lights, as the highway inexplicably went down from three lanes to two (with warning), and then two lanes to one (without warning). There was zero evidence of any actual construction work taking place, naturally. But even with reduced, 5:30 a.m. on a Saturday traffic, it still caused a huge backup. While sitting in traffic, I reached for my hydration belt to grab my phone so I could tell my site coordinator I was on my way but would be late, only to find that I didn’t have my phone. AWESOME. So now I was stuck in traffic with no way of telling anyone and no way of consulting the internet to figure out the best way around said traffic. Just what I needed at 5:30 in the morning. Once I got through the traffic, I zoomed down the highway much faster than I or my car like to go, only to get off the highway at my usual spot to get stuck behind someone who STOPPED AT A GREEN LIGHT, THEN WENT WHEN IT TURNED RED. *explodes* Unsurprisingly, I was all sorts of amped up by the time I actually got to the run (before my group left, fortunately). Like I said, the run itself went really well–probably one of my better long runs all year. I was really bummed to not have my phone, though. I’ve been taking a picture at the exact same spot every week since the first week of training, which has been a cool way to see how the weather/sun positioning has changed over the weeks. I knew I wouldn’t be able to take one next week due to the 20 miler, but I had hoped I’d be able to get the other weeks of training at least. Now I’m going to be missing two weeks in my photo collection šŸ˜¦

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