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.


  1. Good luck on the training and Marathon

  2. Great to catch you out there! Maybe i'll see you again this week!
    Warm up and cool downs are key, even if you are just doing slower miles.

  3. you're killing it! I too considered registering for a second marathon (before ever attempting my first..) but thought better of it, for now!