Sunday, September 8, 2013

Chicago Marathon Training Week #13

Ah, lucky 13!


AM: 5 miles (8km) - 52:10

Headed out later than usual seeing as there was no work to go to. It's such a difference running in daylight, I'd forgotten what the northern path looked like!

This was a relaxing run, where I just listened to the sound of the waves on the lake.

And then I got bored so decided to kick up the pace for the last half mile, just to see what would happen...
8:59 mile split. I didn't know I could run a mile in a time that starts with an eight.


AM: 7 miles (11.2km) - 1:08:33

Still feeling good (the denial treatment method for my calf seems to be working well). The moonset/sunrise view was pretty awesome early on in my run. My phone just doesn't have the ability to capture how amazing it was - a crescent moon low on the horizon with a thin band of vibrant pink just between the lake and some low clouds.

After getting all excited about yesterday's 8:59 I played again today. This time I managed an 8:24. These faster miles are addictive.


AM: 8 miles (12.8km) - 1:22:44

I can't remember if I've said this on the blog before but I'm scared of really pushing myself or trying speed workouts (or something that might resemble a speed workout). Every time I have really injured myself, speed and/or hills have been involved. So, for my Chicago Marathon training it's been running for distance pretty much the whole way. I change up the pace but only within my comfort zone. Well, you know, except for those couple of experiments I did earlier in the week.

Today was no different. I just went out and enjoyed my morning time. I love being outside, listening to the sound of the lake and the city waking up. I love watching the sky gradually brightening as the sun rises. I don't love the bug attacks but they're part and parcel of the experience and I'll gladly take them for everything else.

It's so easy to take it all for granted. But I am so lucky to be living here in this city. To be able to get out and run every day. To have the expanse of lake on one side and the convenience of the city on the other. To have a community of like-minded people around me who understand what drives me to get up before sunrise every day, run for hours, persist through random pains (btw - my calf pain has gone! I'm cured!) and discuss the relative benefits of different training plans.

On the speed thing, once I'm done with the marathon and have taken a little time off, I'm going to train with speed in mind. 2014 will have a new half marathon PR. And it's going to be a good one.


Rest day!


AM: 5 miles (8km) - 50:29

Felt tired for the whole run. Just like everything was a little bit harder than normal. Mentally I was preoccupied thinking about my Saturday run. 20 miles - my longest run so far!


AM: 20 miles (32km) - 3:42:08

My first attempt (successful!) at this distance in my training program.

I know there is a school of thought that says doing this run is counter-productive. And especially for a slower runner like myself. But I am so glad to have done it.

For me (and, I suspect, I lot of other people) running is a mental game. Obviously, physical fitness and training is required, but it's my mind that controls a lot of my success. Running 20 miles has given me the confidence to be able to say "I will succeed at the marathon". I know I can run the distance. And I know I can run it, even if I'm not feeling great. I also know that there is still a lot that can happen in the six miles I will never run until race day. But I got through 20 miles on Saturday, on pace, while battling continuing fatigue (what's going on here?) and an uncooperative stomach (again, what's going on here - I thought we had this sorted out?).

Despite not feeling 100% for the run, I recovered well. I felt tired during the rest of the day but not completely wiped out, like I have been before.

I am no expert on this marathon business. I do know myself reasonably well, however. And I know I need to practice, practice, practice because my mind and exceptional talent in doubting myself will always do their best to convince me I can't.


Does watching shows on Netflix count as a workout? If so, I've worked hard today!

This week's stats
  • Total miles: 45 (72 km)
  • Total running time: 7 hours 46 minutes 04 seconds
  • Total running workouts: 5
  • Total cross training workouts: 0
  • Total strength workouts: 0
Goals for next week
  • Cross training and strength workouts
I dropped these because I felt like they were contributing to my calf pain. Hmm, calf pain has gone - maybe I was right? I'm going to add them back in but be super careful while I do it.


  1. Congrats on the 20 miler. Since my long run is 16, I'm always impressed by people who run an extra 4!

    1. Thanks. But you've already run marathons (and not only run them but run them well), so don't need the practice so much. I'm impressed that you're in week 4 of your training, hitting 43 miles and recovering from injury.

  2. Congrats on the 20! They definitely boost your confidence by being out there for almost as long as your marathon! And I've found the training for mental aspect of these distance races is something that shouldn't be ignored :)

    You're in a great place for 10/13 :)

    1. Thanks. My ultra running friend tells me that it's 90% mental and 10% physical. While there's a big difference between 26.2 miles and 100 miles, I think I tend to agree with him.

  3. Great week of training! I'm with you with speed work outs. I know I can do the times I should hit, but it puts me in a danger zone for injuries. Thankfully that part of my training is over, I just gave myself a few more seconds of buffer to do the intervals.

    And you captured running at the lakefront well! The sound of the waves and seeing the moon set and run rise is awesome, and the phone cameras (at least the one I have), never do it justice!

    1. This training business is such a balance - get the workout you need but not so much that you get hurt!