Tag Archives: training for a marathon

Chicago Marathon Training | Weeks Five & Six

17 Jul

The last two weeks have been nothing short of a craziness for me. Work is busy. Life is busy. Mileage is building. Toss in a special project, a holiday and my Sister’s bachelorette party weekend and you have nothing short of pure madness.

Here’s what I had on deck for weeks five and six of my Chicago Marathon training:

Runs for Weeks 5 & 6 of Chicago Marathon Training

Runs for Weeks 5 & 6 of Chicago Marathon Training

Out of those six runs, I ran 4.5. I would say that is pretty good. 🙂

Week 5:

Tuesday / Track

Do you know those days when you wake up and you know you really, really should go back to bed? That’s how I felt Tuesday. But I didn’t want to cancel on my training partners so I dragged myself out of bed.

Even though I have all of our workouts in my calendar, I try not to look at them ahead of time so I don’t psyche myself out too soon. When I got to the track I found out we were running 400’s. This workout is nicknamed “The Puker” though I don’t mind it.

After our coach ran through how many sets we should do (2 sets of 4 to 6  x 400’s … we chose 5) and at what pace (5k pace), she reminded us that Thursday was a holiday and considered an “on your own” run. Then she said something that hit me: “Or take it as a rest day. Especially if you’re feeling fatigued.”

That was it! Fatigue was exactly what I was feeling. Just hearing the word made me want to cry.

I set off around the track and my legs were like lead. I couldn’t seem to pick them up. I was hot. I was slow. I couldn’t breathe. I was miserable.

After my first set of 400’s I stopped to get a drink of water. My running partners were chatting when I interrupted.

“I’m going home,” I said.

They looked at me like I had just announced that I had killed a baby kitten with my bare hands. <Blink>

The sad part is that I didn’t even have it in me to explain to them that I was about to collapse. I muttered that I was taking Thursday off too and walked away as they stared at the back of my head.

  • 400 / 1: 02:48.09 / 10:33/mi
  • 400 / 2: 02:44.45 / 10:33/mi
  • 400 / 3: 02:36.22 / 10:00/mi
  • 400 / 4: 02:26.35 / 09:24/mi
  • 400 / 5: 02:30.90 / 09:37/mi

Thursday / Nothing (see Tuesday)

I did get to see some fireworks though. 🙂

Fireworks at Lake Eola

Fireworks at Lake Eola

Saturday / Long Run (10 mi)

Saturday’s run was another “on your own” run. Our group got together with another training group and we had a run from our group leader’s house followed by a potluck breakfast. After running 16 miles the previous week, I was overconfident for these 10 miles.

We started a little later than usual (6 am) and it wasn’t long before I was sweating terribly. The neighborhood we were running in didn’t have a lot of shade and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I thought I was going to die.

I cursed myself for only eating a peanut butter protein bite before the run. I could feel the energy being zapped out of me.

I’m still not quite sure how me and my training partner managed to finish the run, but we did.

  • Distance: 10.42
  • Time: 02:16:19
  • Avg. Pace: 13:05/mi

Breakfast afterwards was yummy and full of laughs. Afterwards, some of us headed over to the pool. I couldn’t help but shake my head at the clouds that now seemed to be plentiful in the sky.

Cross-training

I did an hour of yoga on Friday. It was amazing.

Week 6:

Tuesday / Track 

Tuesday we did three sets of ladders (800, 600, 400). I was also attacked by a frog. Well, I actually stepped on it. But that was the second frog I had stepped on in a week. I am starting to feel like word has gotten around that I will assist in  froggy suicide.

Also, I forgot my borrowed Garmin so I just ran as fast as my body felt comfortable doing so.

Thursday / Hills (5 mi)

I use the term “hills” very loosely. Those of you that actually have hills might call what we have “a slight incline in elevation.”

I forgot to hit the start button on my watch until we were over halfway through our first mile.

  • Distance: 4.70
  • Time: 58:41.73
  • Avg Pace: 12:28/mi

Saturday / Long Run (18 mi)

Remember how I said that these last two weeks were crazy busy? Well this past weekend was the craziest part.

Friday night I left my job at 5:15 PM and did the following:

  • Picked up dinner from my favorite Thai place in Winter Park – Siam Garden
  • Dropped dinner off at my house
  • Picked up my friend Rox
  • Drove to Mall of Millenia to pick up a little something for the girls and the future bride
  • Went to Total Wine and picked up weekend supplies for the bachelorette party
  • Hit up Dick’s Sporting Goods for energy chews
  • Dropped Rox off
  • Went to Publix and picked up snacks for the weekend
  • Went home and washed running clothes
  • Ate dinner
  • Went to bed

All by 11 o’clock. Not. Too. Shabby. And just a few hours later I was up at 3:15 AM for a 4 AM start time.

All week I had psyched myself out for this run. Running 18 miles can go good … or it can go bad. Since my 16 miler a couple of weeks earlier had gone so well, I just assumed this run would be horrific. People don’t get two good long runs back-to-back, right?

It ended up being quite the opposite. Those 18 miles seem to fly by. In between all of the laughter and the jokes, I almost forgot I was running! Runs like Saturday’s are why I run. Run’s like the previous Saturday’s run are why I think I’m crazy.

Everyone credited my oatmeal and egg pancakes for my delightful mood. Not me. I think I was just so happy to be running and not thinking.

  • Distance: 18 mi
  • Time: 04:11:52
  • Avg Pace: 13:59/mi

Afterwards I grabbed some breakfast with the group then headed home to get ready for a weekend at St. Pete Beach with my little Sister that’s getting married in just a few weeks. How I lasted until until almost midnight with the ladies is beyond me.

Sister, sister.

Sister, sister.

Cross-Training:

None. But I did stay at work late every night working. Does that count for something?

How do you fight fatigue when training for a marathon?

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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.

humidity

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:

16_mile_sunrise

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.

16_mile_liquids

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!