Tag Archives: chicago marathon training

Good Luck to Me!

11 Oct

I can’t believe that on Sunday I am running the Chicago Marathon. Here are some random thoughts as I get ready to leave for Chicago …

Weather

After four months of training during the most brutally hot  months of the year, I stepped out of my house for my last short run before the race to find weather like this:

Finally!

Finally!

To say that I loved the new low temps would be an understatement. I was in heaven.

And then there’s this:

Screen shot 2013-10-11 at 5.59.51 AM

The temp from Thursday’s run will be the HIGH for Sunday’s marathon. And the chance of rain has dropped to only 10%! It’s going to be perfect running weather.

Throwaways

Last night I got a text from my friend (and running partner for the marathon) asking me what size I wore and what color sweatpants I wanted. She was at Wal-Mart picking up throwaways for the morning of the race. She sent me this pic:

sweats

Sweatpants: $5.96 at Wal-Mart

I’m a bore so I picked gray. But I wasn’t thinking about others in my decision… I bet someone would’ve loved some nice purple sweats donated to them. There’s always next time.

Fuel

Earlier this week I received a special “care” package from the team at KIND Healthy Snacks.

IMG_7631

KIND Package … Mmm …

Ever since I started my MBA, I haven’t had time to make my homemade peanut butter protein bites, which are the perfect pre-run snack. So instead, I’ve been grabbing KIND bars at the store, which are the next best thing for me. KIND Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein has been my favorite, but I have a feeling I might find a new favorite in here.

Don’t. Get. Sick.

People seem to be sick all around me. I’ve been taking this daily in hopes that I don’t contract deadly disease.

IMG_7572

And finally there’s this:

good-luck-not-hitting-encouragement-ecard-someecards

Source

Much luck to all of you running a race this weekend! I’ll catch you on the flip side of 26.2.

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Chicago Marathon Training | Week 18

8 Oct

To tell you that life has been busy lately would be quite the understatement. Sometimes I find myself standing there in a daze, trying to remember what’s next in my long days. Thankfully I have a handy iPhone to remind me of my next steps. If only my iPhone could get me some sleep and some much wanted time with my lady friends!

On the bright side, tapering means I’ve been able to sleep in an extra 30 minutes or so on run days … and running less mileage means I’m not as tired afterwards. I’ve even noticed my coffee intake reduce … slightly.

It helps to remind myself to take everything one day at a time. If you happen to see me out in public talking to myself, here’s what I’m likely saying:

You can do this. Just take it one day at a time. One. Day. At. A time.

Marathon day you’ll find me talking to myself saying something very similar:

You can do this. Just take it one mile at a time. One. Mile. At. A time.

With that, here’s how week 18’s taper went:

Tuesday / Track Easy Run (3 mi)

I could not get up for track. I just couldn’t. I tried. On only a few hours of sleep, I dragged myself out of bed and brushed my teeth. Then after some delirious consideration, I texted my running mate and told her I was going back to bed. Those were the best extra two hours of sleep ever. Then I woke up in a panic … surely if I don’t keep up my training schedule something awful will happen. Pains will appear out of nowhere or my muscles will freeze up or my leg will just plain fall off! So I threw on my running clothes and went for an easy run around my ‘hood.

I’m happy to report that aside from just feeling really tired, my legs were fine. Nothing locked up. Nothing fell off. 😉

  • Distance: 3.22 mi
  • Time: 39:45.64
  • Avg Pace: 12:20/mi

I can’t help but notice that I’m getting slower by the day.

Thursday / Pace Run (6 mi)

I have class Monday and Wednesday nights after work and our group meets Wednesday nights after class. Basically, I didn’t get home from my day until almost midnight. I didn’t fall asleep until almost 1 AM. But because I had cancelled Tuesday, I couldn’t bring myself to do it again. So I dragged myself out of bed with only three hours of sleep with the promise that if we ran fast, I would have time to come home and sleep again.

I love making that promise to myself because I know it’s never true. When I get home I almost always opt to have a really nice long stretching session. That’s alright. Lying to myself seems to work.

  • Distance: 5.36 mi*
  • Time: 01:00:49*
  • Avg Pace: 11:20/mi*

* So… I kinda did it again. I forgot to stop my Garmin and drove a quarter mile down the street before I remembered to hit stop. I think we ran just over 5 miles and our average pace was closer to 12:20/mi.

Saturday Sunday / Long Run (9 mi.)

There was no way I could make it to Saturday’s morning run, so my Chicago Marathon training partner, Beth, and I decided to run on Sunday instead.

We switched things up and decided to run around downtown Orlando (usually we run in Winter Park). It was fun to run my old running routes. I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed running by Lake Eola and seeing the fountain, which Beth compared to a giant bidet. I will always now imagine a giant stopping his destruction of downtown Orlando to wash his bottom.

After hitting up Lake Eola, we headed towards Lake Highland Prep and hopped on the Orlando Urban Trail for a couple of miles. It’s been ages since I first ran the trail, so it was nice to run it again.

Before we knew it, our run was over and I was off to shower and start a crazy busy day.

I didn’t have my Garmin on me and I’m too lazy to text my friend and ask her how long it took us to run.

This week will be my final (19th) week of training. This morning I ran a hot, sticky three miles with Beth and Thursday we’ll do the same. And then before we know it, we’ll be standing at the start line of the Chicago Marathon.

What a crazy ride this has been. I can’t believe I’ve survived the summer marathon training without self-combusting. I really, really, really hope that our race day weather gives us some relief from hot and muggy.

Here’s the current forecast:

Screen shot 2013-10-08 at 8.19.44 AMHere’s to hoping the rain holds off too!

Chicago Marathon Training | Weeks 15-17

3 Oct

The temperature here in Florida has finally shown us just a tad bit of relief and I can tell our Florida “fall” is just around the corner. After training through a brutal summer of relentless heat and humidity, I can’t believe the Chicago Marathon is just over a week away. I’m surprised to see myself type this, but I’m kinda looking forward to running this race. This is mainly because of my desire to run in relatively cool weather.

Weeks 15 through 17 of marathon training included my longest training run ever, hills, and the start of taper. Here’s how it went:

Week 15:

Tuesday / Track (8 x 400 at 5k pace)

I’m a sucker for 400’s. Anyone can run around a trap track once, right?

  • 400 / 1: 02:39.14 / 09:51/mi
  • 400 / 2: 02:29.30 / 09:22/mi
  • 400 / 3: 02:32.20 / 09:38/mi
  • 400 / 4: 02:40.91 / 10:11/mi
  • 400 / 5: 02:34.54 / 09:44/mi
  • 400 / 6: 02:33.17 / 10:15/mi
  • 400 / 7: 02:28.90 / 09:17/mi
  • 400 / 8: 04:47.40 / 18:28/mi — Forgot to hit “lap”

Thursday / Hills (9 mi)

Do you want to know how early one has to wake up to run 9 miles before work? Three AM. Yes. You read that correctly. Sigh.

  • Distance: 8.83 mi
  • Time: 01:53:12
  • Avg Pace: 12:49/mi

Saturday / Long Longest Run (Ever) (22 mi)

This is the run that almost killed me. Because of scheduling conflicts, I never actually ran a 20-mile long run this training season. And my longest training run ever to date has been 20 miles.

My running partner, Beth, kidded that we may as well run all 26 miles. Funny lady.

In true longest run ever form, I hit my wall around mile 20. I spent the last two miles asking myself why I signed up for another marathon. And after the run? I couldn’t eat. I could hardly talk … which naturally worried my running mates. (I’m never silent for long.)

I was able to drink coffee and chocolate milk, which I gladly alternated between until I was able to gather up the strength to drive home.

The highlight of my run? My amazing group leader Em loves us soooooo much that she brought us ginger snaps and ice-cold towels. I’m not sure why, but ginger snaps are magical during long runs. It might be because the ginger soothes your belly. Or just that it’s a cookie, and everyone loves cookie breaks, right? Anyways, Em gets the award for best group leader. 🙂

  • Distance: 22 mi
  • Time: 05:22:48
  • Avg Pace: 14:40/mi

Week 16:

I took taper to a whole new level during week 16 of training. My body seemed to need the rest, so I won’t beat myself up about it.

Tuesday / Track Yoga

My body needed this.

Thursday / Hills Sleep

My body needed this too.

Saturday / Long Run OYO (10 9 mi)

Only three of us ran, so we managed to keep the run moving. But when we realized we still had another mile to tack on, we decided that none of us cared enough to make it an even 10 miles. We stopped short and happy.

  • Distance: 9.12 mi
  • Time: 2:00:02
  • Avg Pace: 13:09/mi

Afterwards I came home and did some yoga. My body rejoiced.

Week 17:

Tuesday / Track Tempo

Who am I go argue with the majority when everyone votes to run mile repeats instead of track?

  • Distance: 3.60 mi
  • Time: 43:52.77
  • Avg Pace: 12:12/mi*

* I started to drive down the street before I realized I had forgotten to shut my Garmin off. It wasn’t far, but this would affect my average pace.

Thursday / Tempo Easy Run (8 5 mi)

It’s clear that I’m now considering my scheduled training mileage as mere suggestions. Eight miles seemed like a lovely suggestion, but the heat and humidity suggested we end up walking our last mile and cut the run short so we can catch up at Starbucks.

  • Distance: 5.30 mi
  • Time: 01:15:38
  • Avg Pace: 14:16/mi

Saturday / Long Run (14 mi)

It was still hot and humid Saturday morning and at this point I’m just starting to become an angry runner. I mean, c’mon Florida. Pumpkin is in all of our coffee drinks and baked goods, Christmas decorations are going up for sale in stores, and people are wearing JACKETS in other parts of the country. Why is it still so HOT?? Saturday was officially the day I got over summer running. Unfortunately for me, I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen the end of it. 😦

  • Distance: 14.07 mi
  • Time: 03:29:58
  • Avg Pace: 14:55/mi

The countdown is on. Only ten more days to go!

When I ran into a spider web this morning …

12 Sep

shocked

Source: Reaction GIFs

And then when I ran into another one …

frightened

Source: Reaction GIFs

And then after my run when I found a spider web entangled in my borrowed Garmin with a tiny little bug carcass in it …

disgusted

Source: Reaction GIFs

Ew.

Chicago Marathon Training | Week 14

9 Sep

Week 14 of my Chicago Marathon Training has come and gone. It was a relaxing week for me since I had a one week break between my MBA courses. This meant that I was finally able to do some laundry, pick up the mess that follows me everywhere I go around the house and catch up with my husband and lady friends.

Here’s how my training went:

Tuesday Monday / Track Nice Leisurely Run

Some running friends were meeting at 7 AM on Labor Day for a 7-mile run. I knew that most of my other running friends were coming back from trips and rated their chances of bailing on track as very high. I decided to wake up early on my holiday so that I wouldn’t have to run track by myself the next day. I hate running track by myself.

I am definitely a vampire running. Running in daylight was killer. I quickly began to curse our late 7 AM start time.

And I forgot my watch, so I ran clueless to time and mileage. That part was lovely!

Also, I made the right decision. No one ended up running track on Tuesday morning. Lonely runner crisis averted.

Thursday / 9 miles 7 miles

I was scheduled to run 9 miles, but since I ran 7 miles on Monday, I decided to take it easy with just 7 miles on Thursday morning. Since we were running hills on Saturday, we stuck to flat lands on our run.

  • Distance: 7 mi
  • Time: 1:27:25
  • Avg Pace: 12.29/mi

Saturday / Long Run (12 miles) (10 miles)

If the hills had eyes, they would have witnessed many runners on Saturday.

Our group drove out to Apopka for some “hill training.” I’ve tried to avoid hill training at all costs this training session because I think too many hills strain my IT band. However, one of our team members had to put water out in Apopka so we were guilted into supporting her. Otherwise she would have to run hills all by her lonesome. I agreed to run, but decided to cut my mileage by a couple of miles. In my eyes, 12 regular miles equals 10 hilly miles. 🙂

I arrived about 10 minutes early to our meeting spot. Apparently the further from home we run, the closer to on time I get. I quickly noticed I was the only one from our group there. I was deep in thoughts considering how I excited I would be to sleep in my car when some other group members arrived to join the run. Boo. No car sleeping.

A few minutes later the group was there and we set out for our run. Apopka seemed unusually dark and there was a fog rolling over the hills. We couldn’t see much on our first big loop.

However, on our second loop it was lighter out and the fog had lifted. Now I could clearly see the top of that hill I was running on! The top seemed so far away. I think I liked running in the darkness and fog better.

Before we knew it, 10 miles were done. We walked it back a mile for a nice cool down.

  • Distance: 10.10 mi
  • Time: 02:17:24
  • Avg Pace: 13:36/mi

Afterwards I met some friends for breakfast and then headed to Starbucks for my cheat treat: my first pumpkin spice latte of the season! I made it a little less horrible for me by ordering it with skim milk and just one pump of pumpkin spice syrup (anything more than that is just too sweet now). It was delicious.

I enjoyed a lazy weekend with my husband. Today I start class again and I’m sure life will be a whirlwind until I leave for Chicago in just over a month from now. I’m starting to get excited about the marathon!

Chicago Marathon Training | Weeks 8-13

3 Sep

Since I started my MBA program at the end of July, training for the Chicago Marathon has called for some serious flexibility. Plus, my beautiful little sister got married to her best friend! August was a fun, but hectic month.

Here’s how training with a crazy busy schedule went:

Week 8:

Tuesday / Track Tempo (4 mi)

What can I say? I’m easily talked into ditching the track for the road. This was proof. 🙂

  • Distance: 4.14 mi
  • Time: 49:46.37
  • Avg Pace: 12:01/mi

Thursday / Tempo (6 mi)

  • Distance: 6.01 mi
  • Time: 01:12:24
  • Avg Pace: 12:03/mi

Sunday / Long Run (14 mi)

I started my MBA program on Saturday and had class all day. Lucky for me, my Chicago Marathon training partner, Beth, agreed to run long with me on Sunday.

We spent a lot of time laughing and hunting for drinking water. We also got lost towards the end of the run when spontaneously trying out a new route. This really made some of the final miles go by quickly.

  • Distance: 14 mil
  • Time: 03:04:53
  • Avg Pace: 13:12/mi

Week 9:

I had classes Wednesday night and all day Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Plus, my little Sister got married on Saturday and my bro was in town. Let’s just say that I had to temporarily cease my RedBull ban .

Tuesday / Track (8 mi)

The 4 AM wake-up call during a crazy busy week was brutal, but needed in order to maintain my weekly mileage. The good thing about running so far this early is that you’re usually halfway through your run before you even wake up.

  • Distance: 8.37 mi
  • Time: 01:56:08
  • Avg Pace: 13.52/mi

Thursday / Tempo (6 mi) (8 mi)

This was my first time running parking garages. Surprisingly, they weren’t as bad as I thought they would be!

We ran mile repeats for about 3 miles to our first parking garage structure. Once we arrived, I took a deep breathe and charged up to the top floor (I believe there were 4 floors). Once we got to the top, we walked a glorious lap around the top floor (where the wind temporarily cooled me off) then headed back down. We ran to a nearby second parking garage structure and did this one more time. Running back on the flat road seemed really easy afterwards!

  • Distance: 7.83 mi (though I’m told we lose GPS in the parking garages)
  • Time: 01:55:38
  • Avg Pace: 14:45/mi

Saturday / Long Run (20 mi) School and my Sister’s Wedding!

Okay, so I didn’t do my long run, but this day should practically count. I spent all week mentally preparing myself for what I knew would be an extremely long day.

I had to report at school at 8 AM. Our teams had four hours to write a paper and prepare a presentation. Then we had one hour to eat lunch while practicing for our presentation. Our group went first, so it was nice to get it out of the way. We then received feedback from our peers and professors on our presentations.

Next I was making a mad dash home to change into something more appropriate for celebrating. As soon as I walked in the door I asked my husband to pour me a cocktail. My most important speech of the day was still ahead of me: my toast to my little Sis and her new husband.

One drink and a party dress later, I was ready to celebrate and toast the beautiful couple. My sister is spontaneous, fun and laid-back and her wedding was a great reflection of that. It was a beautiful night and fun times were had by all!

DSC02046

My Sis and Me

Week 10:

Tuesday / Track (6 x 800’s)

I love running 800’s, mainly out of curiosity. There’s a workout called the Yasso 800’s which is accompanied by a very loose theory.

In describing the theory, Bart Yasso said:

I’ve been doing this particular workout for about 15 years, and it always seems to work for me. If I can get my 800s down to 2 minutes 50 seconds, I’m in 2:50 marathon shape. If I can get down to 2:40 (minuses), I can run a 2:40 marathon. I’m shooting for a 2:37 marathon right now, so I’m running my 800s in 2:37.

Based on Yasso’s theory, I should be running a marathon in about 5:15. Admittedly that is a bit too fast for me, but it’s not far from my 5:30 goal.

  • 800 / 1: 05:08.06 / 09:55/mi
  • 800 / 2: 05:17.34 / 10:07/mi
  • 800 / 3: 05:15.47 / 10:09/mi
  • 800 / 4: 05:14.95 / 10:03/mi
  • 800 / 5: 05:10.62 / 09:56/mi
  • 800 / 6: 05:14.25 / 10:12/mi

Thursday / Tempo (7 mi)

We ran Thursday’s tempo run with mile repeats. As my Thursday mileage creeps up, so does my wake-up time. Setting your alarm for 3:20 AM is normal, right?

  • Distance: 7 mi
  • Time: 01:26:05
  • Avg Pace: 12:17/mi

Saturday / Long Run (12 mi) (16 mi)

In order to make up for some lost milage, my wonderful group leader Em met up with me at 4 AM to run an early four miles before the rest of the group joined us. Once the sun rose, I saw myself quickly deteriorating. Lucky for me I only had about an hour and a half of sun running.

  • Distance: 16.23 mi
  • Time: 04:03:25
  • Avg Pace: 14:59/mi

Week 11:

Tuesday / Track 

I have no idea if I ran. My Garmin doesn’t have a run recorded, but that could mean I forgot my watch. Don’t worry; I won’t let this mystery keep me up at night.

Thursday / Tempo (7 mi)

These were seven sweaty miles. Also, I was apparently having issues remembering my Garmin, so I have no idea how long it took us.

Saturday / Long Run (14 mi) (18 mi)

Still trying to make up for some lost mileage, I opted to run an extra four miles early in the morning before our start for 14 miles. I was happy to have a friend join me. Misery loves company. 🙂

I remember one thing about this run: the humidity. It was brutal. It actually felt better later in the day when the sun came up and burned up some of that humidity.

  • Distance: 18.12 mi
  • Time: 04:17:33
  • Avg Pace: 14:12/mi

Week 12:

Tuesday / Track Tempo (3 mi)

Since I ran long on Saturday, I quickly agreed to go on a short run instead of hitting the track. It felt like I was running with weights around my ankles.

  • Distance: 3.26 mi
  • Time: 30:10.47
  • Avg Pace: 12:01/mi

Thursday / Hills (8 mi)

On deck for the morning were parking garages. This time around I wasn’t as scared as I was the first time. Instead, I chased my running buddy Jean up the inclines.

  • Distance: 7.57 mi (I’m told we lose GPS in the garages)
  • Time: 01:36:30
  • Avg Pace: 12:44/mi

Saturday / Long Run (20 mi) School

Week 13:

Tuesday / Track Tempo (3 mi)

I woke up to see  texts from my running partners canceling on the morning’s track run. I decided to sleep in for an hour and run 3 miles locally.

On a side note, I ended up leaving for my run at 6:40 AM and not long after saw my mistake. As I was busy playing “dodge the bad, adolescent drivers” I realized that the local high school was back in session.

The run was slow and my legs felt heavy. Plus, I got caught at a lot of intersections, but I can’t say that I minded the breaks terribly. 🙂

  • Distance: 3.24 mi
  • Time: 40:03.00
  • Avg Pace: 12:22/mi

Thursday / Tempo (8 mi) Sleep 

When I woke up at 3 AM and saw that my only running partner that was still in town for the holiday had sent a bail-out text just an hour earlier, I made the proper decision to roll over and go back to bed.

Saturday / Long Run (10 mi)

It was a holiday weekend and an OYO run. A handful of us got together to run 10 miles.

I’m starting to think I’m a vampire. As soon as the sun comes up I start melting.

  • Distance: 10.58 mi
  • Time: 02:23:57
  • Avg Page: 13:36/mi

Afterwards we decided to change up our breakfast routine. A holiday run deserves a special breakfast, right?

We had breakfast as The Briar Patch. It was indulgent and delicious. I split the southern breakfast … eggs and fried green tomatoes and sugar-cured bacon and cheese grits oh my!

Breakfast from The Briar Patch

Breakfast from The Briar Patch

Even splitting my breakfast left me stuffed! I also stole a bite of those stuffed blueberry pancakes. They. Were. Amazing. Also, I’m pretty sure they lead to heart attacks, so eat at your own risk. My friend didn’t get very far before she had to throw in the towel.

Only six more weeks until the Chicago Marathon. I can’t believe it. It will be here before I know it!

Chicago Marathon Training | Week 7

24 Jul

Have I already trained for the Chicago Marathon for seven weeks now? It seems like just yesterday I was fretting over my first long training run.

Here’s how the week went …

Week 7:

Tuesday Wednesday / Track Easy Run

After running 18 miles, going to St. Pete Beach for my Sister’s bachelorette weekend, then coming back to Orlando to pull an all-nighter on a project, I was exhausted on Monday. While on my 3rd cup of black coffee at work, I decided I needed a good night’s worth of sleep Monday night. I texted my group and let them know I was going to skip the morning run and run that night instead.

Tuesday I woke up feeling a million times better. And I fully intended on running that night after work … except that later that afternoon I received some fantastic news that required some celebrating. In fact, my husband insisted we celebrate so I decided to run Wednesday instead.

By the time I finally started my run Wednesday night, my legs had several days of rest from the previous Saturday’s 18-miler. Apparently that wasn’t enough. My legs felt like lead. I had to keep looking down to make sure they were moving. Also, I ran by myself and was feeling lonely. So naturally I talked to myself.

  • Distance: 3.29 mi
  • Time: 39:40.24
  • Avg Pace: 12:03/mi

Thursday / Tempo Run (5 mi)

I guess everyone was jealous of my sleeping in on Tuesday morning so they decided to all take the morning off on Thursday. Two days of running by myself? Ugh.

It was hot, muggy and my legs were still feeling like lead. I decided to run with intervals (5:1) and there was no tempo in my step.

  • Distance: 5 mi
  • Time: 01:03:55
  • Avg Pace: 12:47/mi

Saturday / Long Run (12 mi)

Friday after work I came home to find a special package waiting for me: new shoes. While looking through some old receipts, I realized that I had gotten my last pair of Nike Frees last October which put me on nine months of running with the same shoes (though only two of those were marathon training months). I immediately started to scour the internet for another pair of my Nike Free 3.0 shoes and found some on sale at RunningWarehouse.com. I’m considering stocking up on another pair since this shoe has been so good to me!

So Saturday morning I woke up, ate a an egg-and-oatmeal pancake, got dressed and threw on my new running shoes:

Nike Free 3.0

Nike Free 3.0

I know… I shouldn’t wear a brand new pair of running shoes on a long run. But since this is my third pair of these shoes, I had 100% faith in them being a perfect fit. I was right. They fit like a glove and I had zero issues with them. But don’t try this at home kids.

I was so busy trying on the new shoes before I left the house that I forgot to grab my borrowed Garmin. And the only other runner that has a Garmin and ran the full 12 miles had her battery die halfway through our run. It was weird running long without any concept of time. But before I knew it, the run was over!

  • Distance: 12-ish mi
  • Time: it took us a while
  • Avg Pace: snail pace

Cross-Training

Nothing. Nada. Insert shame here.

My schedule is going to be crazy these next couple of weeks, which will call for some shifting of my training runs. I just hope that when it’s all said and done, my husband doesn’t find me asleep with my face in my dinner.