Tag Archives: long training run

Chicago Marathon Training | Week Four

4 Jul

Week four of training for the Chicago Marathon coincided with a very busy, stressful week at work. By Friday afternoon I was exhausted and still 16 miles from being able to start my weekend. Just the thought of having to run that far had my stomach turning. If you talked to me Friday, I’m sorry for being so whiny. My immediate future was looking so bleak. 😉

Here’s how week four of training went.

Week 4:

Tuesday / Track Easy Run

We were schedule to run a descending ladder, but my back was still hurting so I decided to go for an easy run instead. Lucky for me, my running partners joined me. This made for a much better run than a slow solo run.

  • Distance: 4.04 mi
  • Time: 45:45.60
  • Avg Pace: 11:20/mi

After the run, I came home and did a stretching yoga workout for 15 minutes. My body felt so good afterwards.

Thursday / Tempo Run (4 mi)

I was practically sleep walking through getting ready for my run Thursday morning when I almost brushed my teeth with IcyHot. Luckily I looked down at the tube in my hand just as I was about to put my toothbrush in my mouth and caught myself just in time.

Thursday’s run wasn’t horrible, but I did have Saturday’s long run looming ahead of me.

  • Distance: 4.72 mi
  • Time: 54:25.20
  • Avg Pace: 11:32/mi

Afterwards I came home and did a 30-minute yoga workout. My body loved every minute of it.

Saturday / Long Run (16 mi)

In preparation of my long run, Friday night I ate my new favorite pre-long run meal: pad se-ew. My friend has been swearing by it for over a year, but it wasn’t until recently that I tried it. I strongly recommend getting this plate from Siam Garden in Winter Park. If you haven’t tried pad se-ew before, it’s a thick rice noodle stir fried with broccoli in black bean sauce. I add chicken to mine. It seems to do the trick perfectly!

Saturday morning I woke up extra early. Since I was almost left behind last week for being a couple minutes late, I knew I had to make a better attempt at getting there 15 minutes before our 4:45 AM start. Ew.

I gotta do something to laugh in the mornings.

I gotta do something to laugh in the mornings.

I started the morning with an oatmeal pancake, which is super easy to make. I mix one egg, half a cup of oatmeal and a spoonful of greek yogurt and cook on a skillet like I would a pancake.

Oatmeal pancake

Oatmeal pancake

It requires an extra couple of minutes, but since I’m not eating bread anymore I need something that will sustain me for long runs. When I have more time, I toss in some blueberries. Sometimes I overcook the pancake since I’m doing other things, but it still tastes yummy. And it works.

I made it to the run with minutes to spare, which meant I didn’t get left behind. That’s always a good start. You know what wasn’t good? Ninety percent humidity. That’s not fun at all.


It’s like running through a thick cloud of wet. Ugh.

This long run went a lot better than the previous one. In fact, at one point I remember seeing that we had already run 12 miles and only had four more to go. The difference between a good run and a bad run: thinking “I only have four more miles to go” vs thinking “Damn… four more miles to go.”

Plus, we had this pretty sunrise moment:


Lake Baldwin

As I mentioned earlier, I had a crazy busy week at work so I ran out of time to go buy some Shock Blocks. I’ve seen my friends use M&Ms and pretzels for energy during workouts so I picked up a bag of peanut M&Ms at the convenience store on my way home Friday night. This did just the trick! Not only did I enjoy my snack breaks, but I wasn’t choking on them like I do the chews when I can’t get them down fast enough. I may never go back to chews again!

Before I knew it, our run was over.

The time and average pace is not accurate. Since we run in a group there were a couple of times we were waiting on someone or using the restroom but feel it would be too confusing to stop our watches since we run intervals. We just let it run. 😉

  • Distance: 16 mi
  • Time: 03:59:31
  • Avg Pace: 14:58/mi

Afterwards a few of us went to Bikes, Beans & Bordeaux for breakfast. It was my first time going, but I’ll be back for sure. I was hot, so I settled on lots of liquids for breakfast: an iced black coffee (their coffee is delicious) and a smoothie made with organic peanut butter, yogurt, honey, banana and soy milk. Just writing about the smoothie makes me want to go get one.


Iced coffees and a smoothie from Bikes, Beans & Bordeaux

Week five of marathon training is in full swing… sort of. Today is a holiday so I’m taking the day off. Thank goodness … I needed it!


I Ran 18 Miles and Didn’t Want to Die!

20 Mar

Yes, it’s true. Almost every time I’ve set out to run anything over 16 miles, the run usually ends with me feeling like I’m going to die. Or at least feel like I’m going to pass out in the middle of the street.

Except for this past Saturday. This time, the stars were aligned and everything felt okay. Well except for the horrible blister I got on my right foot from wearing a cute pair of flats earlier in the week, but that’s not running related. And I may never, ever wear those shoes again. 🙂

We were starting our run at 4:30 AM, so I woke up at 3:15 AM and did some foam rolling and ate my favorite pre-long run breakfast: a toasted wheat bagel with peanut butter and banana slices. It was nice waking up with so much time, so I wasn’t rushing around the house like a mad woman. Well, except for the part when I remembered I needed to find some green earrings so I didn’t get pinched during our St Patty’s Day long run.

I met part of our group at 4:30 and off we went for a 10-mile jaunt. We would circle back around and pick up the rest of the group for the final 8 miles. This time I remembered to start my run with my IT band. And my borrowed Garmin.

This was the first long run where we had so many runners joining on the back half. I loved it. They were fresh and still had pep in their step, which kept me motivated. If you’re running with someone and they are only running a portion of your distance, I suggest you try meeting them for the back half of your run!

Along the back half, we came across some poor little kids and a dog that had been turned into statues by an evil witch. I had to stop and take a photo with them!

My group leader insists that these are merely replicas of the house owner’s niece and nephew, but I don’t know if I believe that. Poor kids.

Oh, and only in Florida (and some parts of Georgia) do you find energy sources decked out in camo:


However, when my wonderful, but slightly evil group leaders tossed in some slight inclines (or “hills” as I say) in the last 3 miles of the run, I may or may not have started to say expletives. I’m sure that they would point out that the Flying Pig Marathon has hills and they were only doing me a favor by exposing me to them in our training run to which I’m sure I would respond with an eye roll too and  a “Pfshh.” Nevertheless I do appreciate it now that it’s over and done with.

We restarted our watches after the first part of the run, so my stats are broken into parts. We are not the kind of runners that stop our watches each time one of us has to use the restroom, or wait to cross an intersection, so our paces are slightly faster then what’s reflected below. And by ‘slightly’ I mean hardly at all. 😉

Part 1

  • Distance: 10.33 miles
  • Time: 02:22:47
  • Avg Pace: 13:49/mile

Part 2

  • Distance: 8.38 miles
  • Time: 01:57:50
  • Avg Pace: 14:03/mile

TOTAL DISTANCE: 18.71 miles <– Wait! I was tricked into running more than 18?

After our run we celebrated with breakfast at Panera Bread. Rachelle brought this little piece of motivation to remind us what we’re working for:

Me posing with our Flying Pig Marathon motivation

Only one more long training run scheduled before race day!

Do you keep any items in plain view to motivate you? Generally I usually just hang my training schedule, but I think I want to find a little pig to put on my desk.

Forgetting Fourteen

6 Feb

This weekend was one full of celebrations (Donnie’s birthday, Super Bowl, it being such a beautiful weekend, etc… ), but before I could start celebrating, I had to run fourteen miles.

First, we did a four-mile route: two out and two back. My times are slightly off because I didn’t stop my watch immediately after the route.

  • Distance: 4.12 miles
  • Time: 58:11.24
  • Pace: 14:07/mile

We picked up the late starters and ran our (almost) 10-mile route.

  • Distance: 9.91 miles
  • Time: 2:16.53
  • Pace: 13:48/mile

My long runs are with intervals (run five, walk one). For a good while we managed to maintain an average pace of 11:22 miles during the runs, which is faster then we’ve been running.

I’m not sure if it was our pushing the pace, or a combo of the running hills Thursday then the pace and longer distance on Saturday, but I was super sore several hours later. I think it would’ve been a good day for an ice bath, but I typically don’t need one for anything less than 16 miles so the thought hadn’t even occurred to me. I guess my body forgot what running fourteen miles was like.

Saturday night we celebrated Donnie’s birthday with the most yummy dinner at KRES Chophouse and sans ice bath I found it uncomfortable to sit still for so long, especially in a dress. I must’ve looked odd constantly shifting my body to try to get comfy. But the white chocolate bread pudding at the end made me forget all my pains. Ha! Everything we had was incredible: Steak Tartare, Filet Mignon served Oscar style (topped with asparagus, crab cakes and béarnaise sauce), Mushroom Risotto and of course, that bread pudding! And as always, the service was amazing.

Sunday was spent with friends laughing, eating, drinking and playing bocci ball, and watching football. For dessert I served a dessert inspired from one we had at Jam Rum Bar & Bistro in Puerto Rico last year: coconut ice cream topped with mango, blue berries and strawberries and served with cinnamon pita chips. When we went to the store earlier that day we couldn’t find coconut ice cream so I bought some Blue Bell Vanilla Bean ice cream, let it melt a bit, then mixed it with coconut cream in the blender and put it back in the freezer to harden again. It was delish!

What did you do this weekend? 

Sweet Sixteen

6 Nov

I’ve spent my Sunday resting and following the 2011 ING New York City Marathon. It has me ridiculously excited for my first marathon, which is quickly approaching in January: the 2012 Walt Disney World Marathon. But before I can tackle 26.2 miles, I had to tackle yesterday’s sweet sixteen.

This is the second time I run my longest distance of 16 miles. The first time I covered this distance was over a month ago in New York City, where I ran 16 miles with my group leader’s friend, Kate, who was training for today’s New York City Marathon. It was a great run for several reasons: I felt strong, time flew by because I was busy catching up with my brand-new friend, and dodging the NYRR races taking place in Central Park that morning added a nice distraction from the mileage.

Not long after my first 16-miler, I was sidelined for a few weeks with tendonitis in my foot, so this was my first time hitting that high mileage again. I started the run a little nervous for how my foot was going to hold up.

The rest of my group was running 20 miles. Instead, I decided to aim for 16 and joined them 4 miles into their run at 5:30 AM. We were a small group: we started with six of us, but dropped to four after an injury sidelined one of our runners. The dark sky was clear and riddled with stars. I tried to snap a pic but the iPhone 4G doesn’t capture stars, just dark sky. Boo.

Shortly before 7 AM a pick-up truck approached us and the driver said, “Watch out for the drunk guy ahead.”

At this point we had been running for over an hour and I was bored. One of the runners in my group wanted to cross the street in order to heed this probably-smart advice, but I pushed us to stay the course. By golly, I needed a distraction and seeing this drunk guy would do just fine!

As we ran in the dark I tried to focus my near-sighted eyes, but couldn’t see anything. Finally one of us noticed someone up ahead:

Christine: Is that him?

Me: Where?

Christine: Standing in the middle of the street.

Molly: Well, if he’s standing in the middle of the street it probably is him.

Me: Where? I can’t see anyone.

Christine: Wait, are his pants down?

Me: What? His pants are down?? Shoot. I can’t see anyone!

Christine: Yeah, I think his pants are down. I don’t see any pants.

As I struggled to really focus and we quickly approached a drunk guy whose pants were apparently around his ankles, a police car approached. The patrol car lights helped me see a figure ahead quickly pulling up their pants. We saw the police officer get out of his car, approach the drunk guy, ask a couple of questions and by the time we ran by them, the officer had a visibly intoxicated guy with his hands on the hood of the patrol car and his legs spread, just like you see on COPS or Law & Order.

As we ran by, my group ribbed me for not taking a picture to capture the moment. Okay, I admit it… I’m scared of taking pictures of police officers while they’re trying to do their jobs. However, I did get to capture this moment of the sun rising:

Sunrises are one of the best parts of running in the early AM

I also got this picture from my favorite little trail, nicknamed “the Dinky Dock”:

View from the dinky dock

Around mile 11, I asked my group if they wanted to play the Name Game. The way I play it, one person starts by saying a famous person’s first and last name. The next person has to say a famous person’s full name whose first name starts with the same letter as the previous person’s last name. For example, if I started with Beyonce Knowles, the next person would have to name a celebrity whose first name starts with the letter ‘K’ like Kevin Spacey. The next person would have to name a celebrity whose first name starts with an ‘S’ like Sigourney Weaver. If at any point someone uses a celebrity whose first and last name start with the same letter (for example, Janet Jackson) then the turn goes back to the person before you and the direction of the game reverses (for example, we were playing counter-clockwise, so a double letter name like this would change the direction of the game to clockwise).

The Name Game surprisingly kept us pretty entertained/distracted for 3 or 4 miles. However, around mile 13 my IT band in my left leg started to hurt and by mile 15 I couldn’t talk anymore. My silence didn’t seem to bother my group as they were running mile 19 and were struggling as well.

I pushed myself to pick up my legs and when my watch said 16 miles I almost cried out in joy.

After 16 miles, my dogs were barking

So energy-wise, I felt good throughout the run. But this long run was definitely harder than my last 16-miler a month ago. And while my tendonitis didn’t seem to bother me, I wonder if it’s changed my stride without me realizing it? I’ve already stretched and rolled my legs and hips three times since yesterday’s run and plan to do it again tonight. Let’s see how I feel Tuesday morning.

What interesting distractions have you welcomed during a long run?