Chicago Marathon Training Week 15

Sunday, September 15: Strength training – legs + 60 minutes elliptical
My strength training up to this point in marathon season hasn’t aligned with the week it’s “supposed” to be on for a few reasons. I kept going through my strength training program (more or less) after the marathon last year and through half marathon training earlier this year, so instead of starting at the beginning when marathon training started, I just kept going with where I was. Additionally, my strength training program is 16 weeks of training, not 18, so even if I had started strength training week one on week one of marathon training, it would’ve stopped aligning by the end of training. In an effort to not overexert myself, however, I thought it’d be in my best interest to get back into alignment for peak week. Plus, I liked the peak week workouts better than the ones I was supposed to do this week, anyway 😛 I went through those, then hopped on the elliptical for an hour to round out the 90 minutes of exercise on my schedule for the day. While I’m still not crazy about the elliptical, I rarely hit 10,000 steps on Sundays, and that step competition at work is not going to win itself! I get steps for the elliptical but none for the bike, so I’m guessing most of my cross training for the rest of the month will be elliptical-based.

Monday, September 16: 10 miles in 1:55:10 for an 11:31 pace (AM) + strength training – upper body (PM)
Or perhaps I should say a 10 mile swim, based on the swampy conditions Monday morning. HOLY HUMIDITY, who put in an order for mid-summer?! Blech. Thankfully the actual temperature wasn’t too high, and the sun was well hidden behind a thick cloud cover. The first couple of miles of this run were a serious slog, but I hit my groove around mile 2.5 and felt surprisingly good for the remainder of my run. I took a nature-heavy route on Monday and really enjoyed it. It’s so nice to be among trees and birds. Plus, it makes me feel like I’m multitasking: I’m getting in my recommended physical activity for the day and my recommended nature exposure for the day. Win win!

I got to the gym at what’s normally a pretty busy time on a weekday afternoon, so I was pleasantly surprised to find plenty of space and not too many people joining me for my workout. Monday’s strength training called for high reps, so I scaled back my weights and found it a lot more manageable than when I try to use my usual weight for a high number of reps (duh). You’d think this would’ve occurred to me a lot earlier!

Tuesday, September 17: Dance
As expected, my teacher wasn’t there on Tuesday (his company had a huge show this past weekend, and he usually doesn’t make it to class when he’s days away from a big show), so we had a sub. I know her, but I had never taken a class with her before. It’s always so interesting to me how different everyone’s style of teaching is! She didn’t really know the choreography we learned last week, so we attempted to piece it together from our collective memory. We’ll see how that turns out when my teacher’s (presumably) back this week, ha.

Wednesday, September 18: 5.68 miles in 1:00:57 for a 10:44 pace + strength training – legs
My company gives you a free day of PTO for your birthday, and while some people choose to take that day on the nearest Monday or Friday to have a three-day weekend, I always choose to take it on my birthday itself, because I like my birthday and I don’t like working (not just at my current job: in general), so having the opportunity to take the day off without spending any of my PTO is ideal. It was also great because that meant I could run without feeling any pressure to wrap things up and get to work in a timely fashion! This was my last big Hal Higdon-style tempo run of training, and it was tough, per usual. It’s so hard to pace myself when I have so. many. five minute intervals to get through! I’m really happy with my peak pace though–it ranged from 9:32 to 9:18 (appropriate, given that it was 9/18), which is right where I’d like it to be.

After running, I went home, made myself a small batch of pancakes, then left my apartment for the gym. I thought I’d have the place to myself, since it was like 10:45 on a Wednesday, but there were two other people there! Fortunately none of them seemed to need the equipment I needed. The workout went well, but I was surprisingly sore from it on Thursday.

Thursday, September 19: 60 minutes elliptical
All about getting those steps in this month. I hopped on the elliptical for an hour after work to cross train and increase my step count for the day. I made a lot of progress on the book I’m currently reading. It took a super unexpected turn near the end of my 60 minutes, which made it hard to get off the elliptical! I wanted to keep reading!

Friday, September 20: Rest

Saturday, September 21: Rest

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