Week 7 Chicago Marathon Training: Embrace the Tough Runs

Oh summer running. You make me question why I love running, especially when every breath feels like inhaling soup. Humidity. Sucks. Mostly the runs have been good, just tough breathing wise. The pace has been steadily slow and even then the effort seemed tough and had to slow down even more to allow “recovery” aka catching my GD breath.

Week 7, Day 1 RECOVERY RUN

3.29 miles, trail run, 10:33 pace 34:51. An afternoon run, which means it was crazy hot out and shade was the determinate for this run. Drove to a nearby trail and appreciated the coolness of the gravel vs. the radiant heat of pavement. Also, the shade was a reprieve from the sizzle.

Followed by a 45 strength training session (outside) sweating it out.

Week 7, Day 2 Rest

A track workout should have happened today…but like I said “should”. Opted to rest today instead. This week my schedule is off and well so is my body. Being a woman, I can track when my “shit” week will be energy wise and ta-da, that is this week. My body is in sloth mode and will probably kick back into gear in a couple of days.

Opted to walk today, 2 miles.

Week 7 Day 3 Rest

Again, nothing today. Yes, and I really don’t feel bad about it.

Week 7, Day 4 5 Miles

Christ! This run was so slow and it got done. 10:45 pace, 54:15 64* and 94% humidity.  I went nice and slow since my body is still sluggish. HR was avg 147bpm which is a nice recovery pace for me (although I didn’t need recovery). I just keep telling myself the fall running will be spectacular after all this.

Strength trained.

Week 7, Day 5 Rest

Strength training since I didn’t get out for a run. Hot and planned to cycle. Finally got home from work and decided I’d rather have fam time since they just arrived home from a trip. No guilt.

Week 7, Day 6 5 Miles

Woohoo. Did it. Worked 7-8am, got home, changed clothes and met my BRF to bang out some miles. The temps were kind of  cooler and still humid. Humid is pretty much the jam til the end of August.

10:28 pace, 52:57 forced the pace slower today to have it not be a struggle fest as tomorrow is LSD day and my BRF and I are traveling to the ocean to get a coastal run in for some sea breeze and cooler temps. Oh and hello, change of scenery! Nothing makes a hot run better than seeing some gorgeous sights.

Week 7, Day 7 LSD

12.09 miles along the seacoast again.  10:40 pace (included a couple walk breaks for drinking/fueling). The weather was supreme-o. My right quad…not so much. twingy (can’t think of any way to describe it). Every few steps my quad would “twinge” and I would have a momentary millisecond of weakness. A very mild buckle of weakness and it would pass. Not awfully painful by any means, more of a twinge and then post run ache. It didn’t get any worse (or any better) during the run. Definitely something to keep an eye on. Finding my grit for sure.

Summer running is definitely requiring me to get #ToughAF. I always run through the summer, just less times a week, not speed work, and definitely NOT long runs. However, I am proud of myself for getting it done and keeping the consistency knowing it is so much harder for me than winter running. Although, it’s much more pleasant to only wear a tank and shorts vs. a bunch of layers, hats, gloves, headlamp, and so-on. I guess there’s a price to pay in the peak of either season.





Week 6 Chicago Marathon Training: The Last Week of Phase 1!

The past weeks, including this one, have been focusing on getting consistent and preparing for the days ahead that will basically suck. I feel mentally good about training. I value my rest days. I am able to work around my crazy schedule and bazillion workouts a week (all work related but I use to my advantage…two birds one stone).

The last week was rough. And this week times within my natural hormone cycle is when I feel gorgeous and strong and my runs just suck. I know it’s hormones and will pass. The challenge really lies with the combo of that and the damn humidity which is like breathing soup.


Seriously. 85* out and muggy. Decided to drive to a nearby trail to catch shade and try to stay as cool as possible. This run would not have happened without the trail. Not that it was stellar and still not near the mileage I would like to have gotten.

3.29 miles, 10:23 average pace, 34:13. Overall, I felt pretty good as long as I paced back.

Also ST with kettlebell (class)


This morning was raining and I originally wanted my typical day 2 track speedwork. Decided to sleep in before teaching a kettlebell class and planned to do track tomorrow.

ST Kettlebell (class)


Yay! Track! Really, I’m loving doing track workouts. Today’s workout was supposed to be 16 X 400m at 10K and 5K pace alternating with 2 minutes recovery between.

Managed 10 intervals during the 1 hour we had to workout at the track (needed warm up/cool down time). I feel good about the intervals and know I would’ve kept going if time allowed. I guess I should start trying to do more time at the track…but getting there before 5AM is just not happening.


Late start this morning, which left less time to get the run in. Had to peel back the miles to 4 in order to get back in time. Boo. I actually felt better today running. Legs felt good, breathing was fair. I was actually kind of happy. Even with the humidity. 10:02 average pace, 4.02 miles and my HR was 151bpm. This thrills me. I feel like it was a real recovery run and at a pace that was ahead of my recover pace. Aahhh. I needed that.

Kettlebell class today. ST!


Happy freaking Friday! Took this day by the horns and headed out EARLY in the AM for 10 miles! Not that I generally want to do this on a Friday morning vs. a weekend morning, but this week my BRB needed to go today and well, I definitely hold myself more accountable with my BRB is going.

10.09 Miles, 10:23 avg. pace. 1:44:57. Faster than the last 10 miler a couple of weeks ago on the same route. Probably because it was only 58* instead of 71*–still humid though 91% in fact.

I also mentally wanted this run to feel good and didn’t want to go into the negative talk zone where the run just snowballs into sucktown. Happy with the run today. Used my Huma at the 5 mile mark, which is typically good for me (every 5 miles). It’s time to focus on the Chicago Marathon course route and pay special attention to the aid stations and start syncing my training run fueling and hydration to it.

Thought during my run…’I want to do some hill repeats soon.’ <—Who thinks that during a long run?


Full rest today. Rolled, stretched and pig roast! Yum. The only activity was perhaps the bicep curls of food on fork to mouth. Good day. I actually felt restless because I’m usually doing something.


Met up with a run buddy for 4.13 miles on what I thought would be a cooler run, but turned out to be 73* and although the humidity level wasn’t as high as it has been days prior, the run itself felt sticky and humid. Glad today was a short recovery run. My run buddy today is a slower runner than I, which equalled a super recovery pace of 12:24 average pace, 51:12 minutes (we walked several times included in this pace/time) and it was just great company.

All in all a strong week of getting the runs in. Now the consistency phase is complete, the endurance phase will really gear up, miles increasing, intervals lengthening. It’s going to be a tough 6 weeks. During the hottest time of the year. Yay! I might melt into a gelatinous puddle. Ew!

I’m excited and feel like life in all aspects has this crazy good momentum going right now. Everything is falling into place nicely. It takes work, it doesn’t just happen, but it is paying off. Weeeee!


Week 5 Chicago Marathon Training: Surviving the climb

“The quality of your breath will tell you exactly what you need to know about your interior state.” ~Erin Taylor, Founder of JASYOGA

Continuing on my vacation which started ending Week 4 of Chicago Marathon Training I felt like the added rest I was going to get would equal me having killer runs in Week 6 coming up. Well, if that’s the case, it comes at the sacrafice of a super sucky Week 5.


I could have run today but time was spent with the family doing family things when they need to come 1st and take advantage of the moment and make amazing memories together. So, today REST happened. Without guilt.


Today, I wanted the family time. I wanted to be active. And we decided an adventure to hike would be a fun thing we could all do together. Plus–I love hiking. So we ventured to Mt. Magalloway! And didn’t see an ounce of wildlife. Tsk tsk.

Mt. Magalloway Summit


Ok, my body is enjoying the “rest” day traveling home from vaca followed by having to work within hours of our return.

ST consisted of me instructing classes. Whew.


Oh my goodness. My hamstrings are sore from hiking and probably ST too. The thought of not running strongly went through my mind, but this marathon will not run itself. A summer afternoon run it was. It was humid. No surprise. The surprise was the lactic acid in my stomach during this run that left me wanting to vomit. Such a struggle today. But done.

And…I had to instruct a kettlebell class following. Lucky me. But done.


Still sore. Still a hard run. Body is ready for rest. Pulled 5.05 10:40 average miles out of my ass. I score this run a 2 out of 10 for, with 10 being an outstanding happy run. Nuf said.


My legs will not take any more. Nice epsom salt bath, soaking and stretching. Foam rolling. A true recovery rest day. These hamstrings need it. By bedtime, my legs felt 80% better.


I am thankful. Thankful today is 8 miles and not 18. It is hot and humid. Body is feeling better but still just sluggish in this weather. 11:07 average with walking in there from time to time averaged in. Without walking, this run would not have been completed. Walking gave me just enough recovery to push through for a chunk. Ended up getting 8.47 miles.

The week of miles has made me hungry for a really good run. You know, the run where you feel tall, light and there’s a spring in your step? I think I’ll be waiting until the humidity breaks. My hamstrings were sore this week, beyond the typical 48 hours…which means I should have regressed even more at work and rested more to allow the recovery. Thankfully by end-of-week they were back on track. I’m glad I listened to my body, which was basically shouting at me, to rest on day 6. Mileage was a bit lower this week having hiked of running, but clearly my muscles responded to the change. Ouch. Sometimes when the going gets tough, you have to remember, the view is worth it at the top. Much like training. The training is the hard work. The race it the summit and you’re working for the view.

Focusing on my goal. Keep on keeping on.




Week 4 Chicago Marathon Training: Travel Challenged

It’s Sunday night. I’m getting ready to turn in early, get some rest to start Week 4 strong. My concern while typing this is anticipating the obstacle getting my LSD run will be. I’m going out-of-town on Saturday. The area we will be staying, will be rural, and not my jam for a long run with the threat of wildlife encounters in the back of my wildlife phobic. I will be trying to do my long run before we leave. It will be a challenging week, but also a good opportunity to get quality rest and recovery mentally and physically and I won’t beat myself up over missed runs early in training…I won’t lose fitness from one week.


A lot of thoughts going through my head this week. With leaving for vaca at the end of the week there is much to do on top of work and training. Wanted to go for a longer run since my miles are staying pretty low, but there just isn’t much motivation when I start at 5AM.

A little hard breathing, faster than I anticipated. 10:05 average pace, 4.1 miles.

Later in the afternoon I did a kettlebell workout 45 minutes.


I really thought I would HATE doing track workouts. I have never consistently done them. Part of my goal this year is to get faster at my 5K and 10K pace. I feel like the speedwork serves so many purposes. While training for my marathon, I get to kill track workouts and building confidence at my 5K and 10K pace. In the humidity, I can imagine how excellent a race will feel this Fall.

Scheduled 25 X 200m at 5K pace with 1:00 minute recovery between intervals. I only squeaked in 18 intervals in the hour I had to spend at the track starting at 5AM. Do what I can when I can. I wish I had more time, but I have to do the training within the parameters I have.


Ok, my body feels like ASS today! I can barely keep my eyes open and it is now officially going to be a rest day. Epsom salt bath with lavendar it is.

As usual, day 3 of training falls on a workday at the gym. I always have 3 classes to instruct. One of which I perform with the class, which doubles as ST for me weather I want it or not. I regress my ‘level’ based on how and what my body needs. Today, I reduced intensity, had a great workout and so did my members. Strength training complete.


The humidity lately SUCKS! Oh it’s so tough to breath. Slowed the pace for both breathing and recovery my body needs so damn bad. Whatever the reason, my muscles just aren’t bouncing back this week. Probably a case of hormones too.

10:36 average pace, 4.21 miles. Followed by kettlebell (instructing) ST


Woohoo. The rest day of all rest days. A trip to the spa. A light dumbbell workout followed by pool then hot tub. An afternoon 50 minute Reiki session…can I say interesting and amazing at the same time?! Then some walking, shopping, eating. Just a wondeful no-stress, worry-free day. Aaahhh.


Again. The. Humidity. At 6AM, we had hoped it would suck less, but nope. Getting this run in was tough especially knowing in a few hours I would be on-my-way out of town to bask in vaca time off the grid.

10 slow 10:44 average pace miles (including walking in the pace) and it was tough. Dripping wet, sweaty, drinking every sip of Tailwind I had in 71* with 96% humidity. Gaawwwddd. I love summer, but my body doesn’t while running.


Today, I ran with my Chihuahua for the 1st time ever. My hubby and kids cleared the trail of wildlife with the 4 wheelers and we trotted behind. Not a glorious run, definitely in the mountains with more altitude than home. Very slow. 11:12 average pace. 3.47 miles.

Overall, happy this week of ST and runs happened. Even if I boo-hoo-ed about them all week in the sufferfest that was.

Concentrate on the goal at hand.


Chicago Marathon Training: Week 3 – I Triple Dog Dare You

Head in hands. Last week I started strong, hit a bump and tossed myself right the hell off the wagon. It even nagged at me while I was doing it, or rather, not doing it. But it’s over, the days are passed and there’s no getting them back. Not worth crying over spilt milk as they say. I recognize it wasn’t worth it. And my reaction to that is to not guilt myself to death and move on and minimize it from happening again. There’s a good chance at some point in training, it will happen again. Let’s be honest.

I’m triple dog daring myself to SMASH this week and dust myself off from my not so graceful fall. I know the missed days aren’t the end of the world. Am I less fit? I don’t feel it. Does my body feel good? Yes, why yes it does. The rest was nice. My cycle phase has moved on and believe it or not, ladies our hormones make or break us at times. Gentlemen, you might not experience it first hand, but bet your ass, you indirectly have fallen victim to the lady hormones. Sorry not sorry.

So what does this week of training look like? It looks fun. Hard. More fun. Oh and I snuck in a race on the schedule to use as my endurance run. With the weather being hot and humid as hell lately, my pace will probably be slow. If however the weather feels good, I might just say fuck it and race it as best as my body will do for a summer run. Which isn’t saying much. My PRs are usually in the Fall. What’s the saying? Summer running makes for Fall PRs.

Week 3, Day 1 3-7 RECOVERY MILES

Ok, so this run was supposed to have negative splits, each mile getting a little faster than the last. Except it was 86* at 9AM and continued to get hotter as I ran. Which lead to positive splits and some walking here and there to avoid passing the hell out. Gaawwddd, it was tough in places. The walking definitely helped keep me moving, recovering enough to keep pushing when all of me, not just my mind, wanted to stop. Thankfully, I had plenty of water on me.

Managed 6.7 miles. SAF. Slow as…well you get it. 11:12 average. 1:15 time. Splits started at 10:13 and ended at 11:35, with walking calculated in that.

Week 3, Day 2 TRACK / SPEED

I’m hitting my stride! I know there are days I will feel tired and days I feel strong. Today is one of the ladder. Both the good and the bad will tell me I’m doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing and where I need to be. Training is going to make me tired. Duh. It’s work and juggling it around everything else in life can be a–c h a l l e n g e. Momming, wifing, instructing group fitness classes (5 days a week) plus working my day job isn’t always perfect. Or pretty. I am OK with that.

The workout:

2x 200m @ 5K pace [8:30/7:54] [7:50/7:39]

4x 400m @ 1M pace (eeek) [8:08/7:59/7:52/8:08] [8:12/8:22/8:12/7:52]


60s recovery between 200m intervals, 2-min recovery between 400m intervals.

In my last post (Week 2) I had mentioned that point during a speed workout when my mind says “STOP!” and I pull back momentarily and then I push back into gear. That was the red 8:22 pace on my 400m (above). I physically felt that pull back and realized the wheels were going to come off if I succumbed to it and quickly shifted my mind-set to regroup and start pulling my pace up again. I did well. I love seeing it in the numbers. It’s fascinating.

I’m still working on nailing that pace though. My 5K pace should have been around 8:40 (accounting for the weather) and my 1M I had hoped to keep around 8:00. Not terribly bad considering on my 1M pacing, but my 200m were too fast I think in comparison to what my charted pace was to be.

Week 3, Day 3 RECOVER 3-5 MILES

Tired. So tired. Still I powered through (Picture: Runners World)

Oh! Holy Hell! My training plan warned me there would be days this week I would feel tired and others like a rockstar. Today I was T I R E D. My body was awake at 5AM, wasn’t planning on heading out til 5:45AM, so I lazed around til the alarm went off. I rolled to my side, swishing the bedsheet off of me, planting my feet on the floor. All seemed normal. Until I stood up. My quads were shaking, struggling to stablize my body into a standing position. Ha! I guessed at that moment this run would be a struggle bus. It was, but my pace didn’t seem to react to the fact my legs felt heavy, like lactic acid was settled in there deep in my quads, cement slabs for feet. Sucked it up, gave more and got it done. Those track workouts are no joke.

4.24 Miles complete. 10:05 avg. pace and that was me trying to hold my pace back to allow it to be a recovery run. Which, still ended a bit faster than the 10:30 I convinced myself my body would struggle to pull off. Yet, my body did much better. Damn mind. Always screwing with me.

Week 3, Day 4

ST Kettlebell and Rest. Had so much going on at work today and had to make a deadline. This ended up in no run time. Kettlebell was a class I had to teach, one way to sneak in ST is to get paid doing it!

Week 3, Day 5

ST Kettlebell. I reduced weight for today. I needed to move but with a bit of recovery. I did about 3/4 of the workout and only used 5lbs, which felt like a feather.

Week 3, Day 6  6 MILES ENDURANCE

*Concord Classic 10K* I had registered for this race a couple months ago after looking at my plan and seeing I had a local 10K at a time in my plan that only required 6 miles. I got to race and have more strategy experience and knew I wouldn’t miss this run.

I had crap for sleep and my knees ached something awful this morning. I took a hot shower to relax my quads which gave my knee some relief. I knew it would be a tough day for running.

Turns out, the challenge was the weather. First rain. Lots of rain. Left me drenched pre-race (which had a nice cooling effect). By the time I got out of the port-a-potty and seeded into the corral, the rain disapated and the humidy set it. Cooling effect evaporated and sweat began to threaten.

I realized with the humidity setting in, it would be unlikely I could push the pace I would like to with hopes to snag the 10K goal time of 56:00. Ambitious, but I’ve been sub-57 in the cooler Fall/Winter months, just not in an official race.

The game plan changed and I decided whatever would be would be. I’d go out and judge each minute to mile and be conservative enough to not tank out and push enough that I would feel somewhat accomplished. I wore my Apple Watch (series 1 without GPS which totally miscalculated my pace. I need to decide what to do about that.) I really was running faster than I thought and my pace on my watch made me feel like I was pushing hard for a pace that shouldn’t have felt that bad. If my watch had been pacing properly perhaps my finish time would have been even better. I figure because I would have either kept that pace or harder instead of pulling back at times. Oh the what ifs. The what if game drives me mad and yet I do it over and over. Note to self. Upgrade the watch or use my TomTom for race. I wore the watch today for the music to my bluetooth headphones. Which was an added oomph on hills.

Anyway, I finished strong. I always seem to pull out a good kick and figured I could being as conservative as I was.

Still nailed a PR of over a minute from my last official 10K race. I feel good about that. I’ll take it. I will be looking for a Fall 10K to crush though! 59:28!

Week 3, Day 7 2-5 Recovery Miles

On the days that I list as recovery miles, often they are also options to be a rest day. But I like to choose the rest days as my body tells me. Sometimes the day I plan a rest day my body is recovered and I know I can go out slow and be ok. There are other days I know the night before when I go to bed that the following day will be a rest day, for real, because my body is signaling it. I usually get a day or two of rest/week. As the miles start to rack up later in training…there will definitely be rest days. Right now, training is much like I’m used to for base mileage.

With that being said, I went out for 3 miles today. I kept it nice and slow. The weather was beautiful. 59* and the humidity was lower than it has been over the past week or so. A happy run. Snuck it in before heading to the health studio to instruct a class, which I didn’t count as ST because I reduced my weight for recovery.

I also went to the courts and played a very un-tennis like tennis match with my kids. We don’t “do” tennis. We just try to hit back and forth. There was a lot of standing around chaing stray tennis balls. But the kids were active, not on electronics, and the sunshine ws divine.

Looking forward to kicking butt next week. Although…I’m kind of stressing about doing my long run since we will be out of town and it’s in the country, rural…and I’m not excited about running alone. Not sure what I’m going to do.

We shall see! I did manage to triple dog smash this training week.




Chicago Marathon Training: Week 2 (Explitives) WANT it MORE than you don’t.

The focus of this week (according to my plan) is to develop new habits. Building stamina and proper pacing on workout days.

My last post for Week 1, I had mentioned on my hill repeat day how hard it was to gauge pace going uphill to hit the goal pace for the workout. I had failed, but during the hill workout felt I was on target by glancing at my current pace during the up phase of the hill and SOB my average pace for the uphill was slower. Boo. It’s hard to average a pace and be accurate while doing it when the time running is quite minimal. My long hill, which is long at that pace, was only .16 in length. It is a steep and steady incline.

This weeks workouts will consist of recovery runs of 3-5 miles, 3-7 miles, 2 speed workouts and an endurance run. 2 of the recovery runs can be rest days. I plan on having 2-3 days of strength training, 1 XT session mixed in somewhere, probably on a recovery day in place of a run and my endurance run, which this week is supposed to be 8 miles. Which is not a tough run for me.

I have a couple of challenges this week. It is BBQ season, thanks to warm weather and graduations. I already had a BBQ in Week 1. I need to focus on enjoying food and also keeping within portion sizes and not over-eating just because there’s a shit ton of food spread out for me to devour. Extra pounds are not pleasant to carry on long runs. And there’s ample opportunity to over do it. I have to stick to the one plate rule. Enjoy without over-indulging.

I am incredibly motivated and am enjoying this new mojo I’ve been missing for some time. Part of me feels like a rest day might make me lazy and the other part knows I’ll be restless and ready to go after a day of rest. Rest is important, just like the runs and workouts. Rest is where the magic happens, if done right.

Week 2, Day 1 REST

Gladly, a rest day. My body needs good recovery to put in a strong week of training. It’s also 95* today, and nice to enjoy a walk or putt around after a very active week last week. Hard to believe it was in the 50’s a week or so ago…

Week 2, Day 2 SPEED/TRACK

Up at 4:45AM, at the track for just after 5AM. A few things surprised me today. First, that I was up at 4:45. I like my sleep, so this is pretty impressive. Second that it was actually very light out. I hadn’t really anticipated the sun would already be brightening the day. Like I said, I like my sleep and makes sense I wouldn’t have known this. And that my body actually did it’s job at the track, and then some as the intervals were ahead of pace. Really tried to nail the pace this time but it is impossible using my watch. My recovery intervals were 1-3 minutes. Mostly around 1 minute but my potty break and taking in water (it was already in the 70s at 5AM and humid!) left me with a couple closer to 3.

600m 10K pace (9:00 pace) 8:19 / 8:36

500m 10K pace  8:23 / 8:10

400m 5K pace (8:40 pace) 8:12 / 8:23

300m 5K pace 8:33 / 7:57

200m 5K pace 7:23 / Missed…potty break

100m AFAP (as fast as possible) or as we joked on the track “As fast as fuuucckkk” 7:12 / 7:37 (Would have been speedier, had a mishap, oops)

Repeat in reverse order with 90s rest between all intervals. First pace is my 1st pyramid, 2nd pace is the reverse pyramid pace for the distance.

I’m happy with the workout today. It needs improvement. It was hard/fun. I’m glad it’s done. I find myself building confidence during my intervals. There’s always a point during them where my mind is screaming “STOP!” and I feel my body pull back for a stride or two…until I tell myself to keep going and I push myself ahead again. It’s nice to know I can will myself to keep going when I don’t want to. ^Epiphany: Or maybe I do want to and that’s why I can. I want it more than I don’t.

Another brick in my foundation for success in Chicago.

Week 2, Day 3 RECOVERY 3-5 MILES

Slow easy run. Avg 10:30 pace is ideal.

4.05 miles at a 10:02 pace. Faster than needed. But it felt good. Temps were cooler and meant the run was much easier. 40:40 time.

Walked .82 miles later in the day. I don’t usually count that as exercise though.

Strength trained, Kettlebell AMPD.


1 mile at Tempo pace

2 x 800m 10K pace

800m at 5K pace

2 x 800m at 10K pace

90 second recovery between intervals

Umbrella Art
Umbrella Art

Ran 4.60 miles with D in Concord at 1:30PM. WTF was I thinking???? Apparently I thought I should do a different suck fest workout for having missed my morning track workout. SMH. 1:30 in the afternoon when it’s 80 something degrees, sunny and just plain miserable hot for a run. Plus, new member run in Concord to see the Umbrella art and welcome new group members. 2 miles slow pace or run/walk with others.


Rest, it’s hot and today makes for a good rest day. Hamstrings are feeling tired and tight so I tend to baby them when they start feeling this way (after having  1 1/2 years of running with a bit of pain, I enjoy being pain-free now and staying that way).

Strength trained, Kettlebell AMPD.


Totally talked myself out of running. Honestly, today hit me like bricks. Parts are sore, bloated and achy and I totally milked it.

Week 2, day 7 RECOVERY 3-7 MILES

And still didn’t run. Father’s Day and life got in the way. Plus the heat. Then the T-storms. I’m a slacker.

I am feeling disappointed about how I finished out the week. Seriously. Summer training is awesome and hard at the same time. I’m so used to training through the winter and this humidity sucks ballz. I will get through it. Just gotta hunker down and grit my teeth.

Chicago Marathon Training – Week 1 (Oh yeah!)

The good. The bad. And the WTF.

Here I go again. Marathon #3’s training is underway.  The first thing anyone ever asks me is…Are you running Boston? I love the Boston Marathon, but there is so much more to marathons than just Boston. Even if it is the marathon of all marathons. The second question anyone ever asks me is…What is your goal? To finish, duh, that’s kind of the point of course. Beyond the obvious, and more than a time goal, more than anything, I want to feel as physically strong and mentally ready for this marathon as I did for #1. Training for #2 did not go as ideal for so many reasons. Another story for another day.

So, what is my “plan”. I am using a nice guide that has real specific track and other workouts as well as specific recovery workouts and distance workout that I think will really benefit me. I know my energy will not always be as supportive, and that it is optomistic to think my life will be calm enough that training will go off without a hitch, because we know life will get in the way. Runs will get shuffled around, rescheduled, and there will be days chalked full of suck. However, using the plan as a guide will help me plan and keep my colors inside the lines instead of streaked chaos across the page. I trust this plan. I trust my body. I have a good feeling about this one. I don’t want to fake confidence. I want to BELIEVE it. I want to know through every stitch of my being I have done all that can be done and trust myself to do my thing. To run the race my body is capable of running. Mentally and physically. The utopia of what anyone wants on race day. I want to feel awful awesome at the finish knowing I used ever bit of what I truly had to cross that line. I don’t want to feel like I had more to give.

The catch…is getting out the door. It has been rainy as hell. Like all the damn time rainy. What do you usually want to do when it’s consistently doom and gloom outside? Sleep. That’s what. This has been my challenge over the past several weeks. It looks like a continued trend as today began training.

Week 1 Day 1. Recovery Run

[3-7 Miles. Slow, increasing pace throughout the run aka negative splits, and keep the pace back to save the legs for the weeks speedwork/hill repeats]

Rain. Enough with the rain already. I laced my shoes, Chicago 26.2 charm laced in to remind me of why I am running in the rain. Again. Oh, how I have suffered this spring. Allergies have been my nemecis for over 3 weeks. Mostly this long standing sinus and chest congestion which has not encouraged good breathing on a run. The rain helps calm it down, but it’s still there. Lingering. However, I prevail. I ran.

Total distance 4.5 miles. Avg pace 10:12. Avg HR 151 bpm. 56 degrees out, 92% humidity and you guessed it…rain.

How did I feel before the run? Like sleeping, curling up on the couch and watch a Lifetime movie. This rain is depressing.

How did I feel during the run? Great! Strong! Only had to blow my nose once haha.

How did I feel after the run? Like I wanted to run more. I had to meet at the bank for business. Boo. I had to cut off at 4.5 to have enough time to shower and get to the appointment on time.

One thing I have noticed about my runs over the past few weeks is I’ve grown to enjoy my solo runs again. I’ve been spoiled with running with various friends or running group gals. Almost too much. No, definitely too much. Having the accountability of someone waiting up for you to run is like that appointment at the bank. You don’t miss it. Someone is expecting you to be there. Running solo…well there’s no swift kick to get out the door. Just that nagging conscience that is telling you

“You are supposed to run today. You wanted to run today, so do it. Why are you still on the couch? It stopped raining for 2 seconds, now would be a good time to run. Get off the couch. Just get dressed. Ok, now get your shoes on. No, don’t sit back down on the couch. Walk to the door. Now…go out the door! Yes, one foot in front of the other.”

Truth, right?! Getting out the door is the hardest part.

Week 1, Day 2. Strength Training.

Strength training. Kettlebell. 47 minutes and kick ass workout.

Week 1, Day 3. Recovery Run & Strength Training.

Recovery Run, Avg. 10:04 pace 1:01:08, 156 bpm. 6.06 miles. Delightful. Relearning to love the solo run.

Strength training. Kettlebell.

Week 1, Day 4. Hill Repeats.

Oh hill repeats. I am surprised at how much I like doing these. At least these early workouts I’ve done over the past few weeks. This workout was:

1.5 mile tempo run (9:20 pace). 7 minute recovery. Then:

Long hill at 10K pace (9m pace)

Shorter hill at 5K pace (8:40 pace)

Shortest hill at 1M pace (8m pace)

Repeat hills in same sequence and pace.

I only averaged a 10:30 pace since I used the tempo as a warmup instead. A friend joined me for the hill repeats and our paces are not the same for a tempo and I wanted to keep her at her pace range so her 1st hill repeat experience would be good. Well, as good as hill repeats can go, since at moments they SUCK. I felt good and accomplished after I completed this workout even though my segment splits don’t show the paces I was supposed to hit. It is very difficult to know what pace you are running, especially uphill, because the effort is just different than flat to begin with. Glancing at my current pace going up the hill, I was ahead or on pace, but my average was way slower. I calculted my segments on the uphill and had separate segments recorded for my downhill so that I’d be able to review the intervals accurately. Oh well. I will have plenty more opportunities to try and nail it down and get the most out of it.

Week 1, Day 5. Cross Training & Strength Training

Cross-training holds a special place in my heart. It allows me to continue to get stronger, in different ways than running and still allow me to lose some of the high-impact wear and tear. Sometimes, I want to move and groove, but need something low-key and cycling in the Summertime gives me the opportunity to enjoy those HOT days and get a bit of a breeze along the journey. 6 miles, 45 minutes, 85 bpm. Just what I needed.

Strenth Training, Kettlebell, PLYO.

Week 1, Day 6

Beach day. Drove to the ocean to run the coastline with Rebecca. Awesome way to change up the routine of running. Even though it’s only week 1, I’ve been running pretty much straight since last fall. And well, routes and runs can get stale. Waves crashing, quiet early morning (8am) and a seabreeze. Ahhh. Felt drained the rest of the day. The beach has this way of sucking the life out of me or maybe it just relaxes me to an extent that is hard to recover from.


Week 1, Day 7

I enjoy meeting new people. Even more, I like to meet people while enjoying things we have in common. Running for example. Today, I ran with Karen. She’s training for her 1st half marathon in the Fall and running with other people can make hot weather easier to run through by the art of distraction. Hot 81* run, 6 miles and glad it was done. Slow pace as she is a bit slower than me and we walked some too (recover from the heat). Regardless, felt good. It was not as draining as yesterday’s run.

Reviewing week 1 of training I feel pretty good. I’m regaining my focus and loving my solo runs. I have also started listening to podcasts instead of just music. I find it really helps me re-focus different from music. I feel more engaged in the moment strangely enough. My nutrition was spot on all week, except the BBQ we had hosted on Day 7. I ate mostly all the healthy things, just more portion wise than I should and oops may have had a couple of glasses of wine. Balance, it’s the only wine I had all week and was perfectly timed before a rest day. Week 1 is being labeled a success in my book.