Sunday, August 25, 2013

Chicago Marathon Training Week #11

Under 50 days to Marathon day!

I found out this week that I'm confirmed to stay in Chicago until at least November 2014 (yay!!), so was talking to my Dad about how it meant I could now enter one of the other 'big' marathons next year - NYC or Marine Corp (or any one of the other fall marathons around). He said to me I should wait until I do Chicago before planning my next one because I probably wouldn't want to do another one. It's true, I've yet to experience the marathon but I am having The. Best. Time. training for Chicago (despite whatever moaning I may do here). So even if the marathon sucks (which I'm pretty sure it won't), it's just one day in the 126 days of my training. And I would say it's totally worth doing again.

Now onto the last seven days in the aforementioned 126...


AM: 5 miles (8km) - 52:19

Feeling a little sore from yesterday's weights session and never really settled into this run. Nothing too exciting to report but there was a lovely sunrise. No pictures as I'm not always carrying my phone with me (oh yes, safety first here!).

Note to self: carry phone with you so that you can take more sunrise pictures. No one ever gets tired of sunrise pictures. Plus you might need it for a phone call or something.


AM: 7.5 miles (12km) - 1:15:02

Erg! Buggy day today.

Had to cut half a mile from the plan due to some time constraints.


AM: 6 miles (9.6km) - 59:27

Right calf was sore today. Felt OK while I was running but starting and stopping didn't feel good. Despite this, I did some morning run photographic recording.

Run start. Just a glimmer of light on the horizon.

Looks a little misty but really I think it's just sweat!

North Avenue on the way home.

All done!


Rest day. Nothing going on here. Took a complete rest day to try and baby my calf back to normality.


AM: 8 miles (12.8km) - 1:20:15

Fabulous! Terrific!

Eight miles of just thinking how much I am loving marathon training and running and life in general. Friday runs are definitely my favourite runs.

Plus I had a celebrity sighting - spied Declan powering his way through a workout. Called out a hello and then got one back as he overtook me later on during the run.


AM: 18 miles (28.8km) - 3:15:57

Another first time distance. I felt really good the whole run (well, except for that pesky calf) and had a great time with my training group. Once again, I ended up pacing - not the whole group but a renegade few who wanted a more consistent pace and fewer stops on the way (I personally think stopping close to every mile is overkill).

I repeated my fuelling strategy from last week with success, so I am calling it locked in as the primary marathon plan. So, what's my secret, I hear you ask. Crunchy Peanut Butter Clif Bar. For this distance I took one bar and cut it into six pieces and had one piece about every three miles. These just sit so much better than gels/chews in my stomach and I've felt so much more evenly energised during the run.

Now that I know I've got this in place, I'm going to experiment with some other solid fuel options as well. I had the opportunity to try a few flavours of Jimmy Bars recently c/- Erica.

These were all really good, although I'm partial to the Peanut Butter Clutter. I didn't really try these as a running fuel but I think they would possibly work. I think when it comes to the actual race, having a few flavour options up my sleeve will be a really good idea. I like the Jimmy Bars because the ingredients are simple and few - an approach to eating I've adopted whole-heartedly over the past month with really great results. I'm running better and feeling better and shed a few pounds in the process, which just adds to the running better and feeling better equation.


PM: Weights session - 30:00

Just me lifting heavy-ish things for a while.

This week's stats
  • Total miles: 44.5 (71.2 km)
  • Total running time: 7 hours 43 minutes 00 seconds
  • Total running workouts: 5
  • Total cross training workouts: 0 (whoops!)
  • Total strength workouts: 1
Goals for next week
  • Warm up and cool down
Introduced some warm up and cool down exercises to a couple of runs this week and I think it made a difference to how I ran and then how I felt once I was done. I'm going to aim for every run next week to test it out a little further. It certainly can't hurt, can it?
  • Running form
It's still a work in progress. Felt really strong over the course of the week so going to continue to make this a focus.
  • Getting up when the alarm goes off and not after I hit snooze three times.
Way better this week but travelling again next week, so let's keep it on the list.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Chicago Marathon Training Week #10

Welcome to the second half of Chicago Marathon training. Less than 2 months to go!
*insert panic here*


AM: 5 miles (8km) - 50:20

Travelling again this week (boo!) but I decided that I would book my flight so that I could do my run in Chicago before I left. It kind of cut down my actual productive work time but was awesome for my running motivation. And everyone knows that running is more important than working, right?


AM: 4 miles (6.4km) - 44:08
PM: 4 miles (6.4km) - 43:32

Back in the Atlanta suburbs. No good running outside so I moved my 8 miles onto the hotel gym's treadmill. Buuut 8 miles on the treadmill is too much for my brain to handle. Split it into a double of 4 and 4 (my boredom is much more manageable that way).

This is very much how I'm trying to approach training while I'm traveling.


AM: Weights - 30:00

Just couldn't bring myself to face the treadmill again (I know, I'm pretty pathetic). Did a weights session instead.


AM: 3 miles (4.8km) - 30:19

Wednesday's scheduled 6 miles moved to Thursday. But overslept and could only squeeze in 3. Better than the zero I was seriously contemplating.

This is Surfers Paradise in Australia.
I was chatting with my family (who live there) on Wednesday night and stayed up past my bed time.
Not good for early morning running. 


AM: 8 miles (12.8km)


I felt A-MAZ-ING for entire run. The temps (and humidity compared to Atlanta) were down and it made such a difference!! If only every run could feel so good. Plus, I was wearing my turbo-boosted shoes which obviously gave me an extra advantage on the path.


AM: 17 miles (27.2km) - 3:04:23


Another great run. I was a little apprehensive given the new longest distance prospects plus how bad I felt getting through my 15 miles a couple of weeks ago. As it turned out, completely unfounded.

I do my long runs with my CARA training group and we were leader-less this week which meant I became the groups unofficial pacer for the run (ie. I run with a Garmin and I had satellite connection when we started). I think I did pretty well - there were a couple of fast miles (whoops, when I'm feeling good I can't contain my enthusiasm!) and I got berated by a cyclist for not keeping my group in check (I agree that groups can be annoying on the path but just because I happen to be at the front of one, it doesn't mean I need to be yelled at).

I felt strong the entire way and felt like I could have kept going for a few more miles. OK, maybe just one more mile. But I'll take that over the "I just want to lie down forever" feeling I've had for the past few weeks.


AM: Elliptical, Rowing Machine - 30:00
AM: Weights - 40:00

Getting so much better at doing things other than running. I pretty much deserve a medal.

This week's stats
  • Total miles: 41 (65.6km)
  • Total running time: 7 hours 13 minutes 02 seconds
  • Total running workouts: 5
  • Total cross training workouts: 1
  • Total strength workouts: 2
Goals for next week
  • Fuelling
Just quietly, I think I've got this nailed. I'm going to give it another long run to see before making my official announcement.
  • Running form
I really feel like paying attention to this been paying great dividends. I feel better and run just that bit faster without feeling like I'm putting in more effort.

  • Getting up when the alarm goes off and not after I hit snooze three times.
Travelling has encouraged some bad habits which I am determined to break this week.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Chicago Marathon Training Weeks #8 & #9

Gah! This was not how it was supposed to go!

I had a shocker of a week #9  which got in the way of everything (including week #8's training report).

Week #8

PM: 4 miles - 38:56

The afternoon run of "speed".


AM: 5 miles - 50:57

Surprisingly good given running the evening before.

Not actually from this run but I have no pics and that makes for a sad post.
I saved this pic with the title '5 mile sunrise' so I figure it fits.


AM: 6.25 miles - 1:05:46

Cut this run short of the planned 7 miles with a twitchy knee. Seeing as we're playing things smart and all around here.


Rest day!!!


AM: 7 miles - 1:09:53

Storm runner! Halfway through this run it started pouring and then the lightening kicked in. I took shelter during the worst of the lightening (because being struck by lightening was not part of the training plan) but the rest of the run was pretty much wet, wet, wet.


AM: 15 miles - 2:43:33

This was hard work. The last mile seemed to last forever.

But I did it and I maintained my long run pace so even if it was difficult, it bodes well for the future.


Unplanned rest day. I had to go to the airport at around midday for a work trip and that messed up my day.

Week #9

AM: 3 miles - 34:32

This was slow. I was in a new area in Atlanta and couldn't find a good route to run. Spent a fair amount of time at stop lights trying to work out where to go next.


AM: 3.4 miles - 40:02

Still in Atlanta. I tried a different route again today but still not a winner. The hills were hard work and did not feel good on my legs. I called it a day after 40 minutes.


AM: Elliptical - 40:00

I gave up on running outside and moved onto the treadmill but the previous two days of hills gave me very sore calf. I subbed some time on the elliptical instead.


A very late night on Wednesday resulted in a lot of sleeping in today and not a lot of running. And then I had the joy of spending my afternoon and evening in airports and on planes.


This week was a disaster and Friday just was the icing on the cake.


AM: 11 miles - 2:11:09

Thankful that this week was a cut-back week given the amount of running I got in during the week. It was a bit humid and I was feeling not great toward the end. But I'm looking forward to a better week in week #10 even if I have to travel back to Atlanta again. Boo!


AM: Stepper and rowing machine, Weights - 1:05:00

I wanted to run today but knew that miles today would have an impact on my miles next week. So I took myself to the gym for the prescribed cross-training and a weights session.