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.