Chicago Marathon Training: Week Twelve (38.87 miles) 

This was a better week as far as sticking to the plan than week eleven. My legs were heavy coming off my highest mileage week in awhile, but otherwise I felt strong. It’s truly amazing me how well I’m holding up during this training cycle. You can do hard things! Sometimes you just have to decide to try. 

Here’s a week twelve breakdown:

Monday – 5 miles AM + Flywheel PM

Woke up early to get my miles in before work. Five slow miles on tired legs. Then I struggled through a Flywheel class after work. Will I ever do Flywheel the day after a 20 miler again? Highly unlikely. But I did what I could to make the class worth it. 

Tuesday – 4.25 miles

Got in 4.25 easy miles in the morning. My legs were SO sore after Sunday/Monday so I kept my pace slow and just focused on getting some recovery miles in.  

Wednesday – 8.12 miles (speed)

I felt like it had been so long since a good racing team workout even though it had only been a couple weeks. This week was 10 minute “ons” at half marathon pace with three minute recovery jogs in-between. With warm up and cool down the workout was 8.12 miles. All of our “ons” were sub eight minute average. It was fun to catch up with my running buddies, even with the humidity! 

Thursday – Rest day

Took my planned rest day and enjoyed every minute of it. My legs were happy! 

Friday – 7.0 miles 

I “slept in” until 7:30, then went to the lake path for some pace miles. They were supposed to be at goal marathon pace, but I ran a little too fast (rest days really help me out). I did a two mile warm up and two mile cool down. Three pace miles were 7:37, 7:28, 7:24. So more like goal half marathon pace, but either way I was happy with the workout. It feels so good to run fast! 

Saturday – 2.5 miles + biking and abs 

Moved my long run to Sunday after attempting to get it done on the treadmill. Another stormy morning had me thinking the treadmill wouldn’t be so bad, but it was still too hot in the basement. I called it quits at 2.5 miles, biked for 10 minutes, then did some abs. 

Sunday – 12 miles

I took to the trails today. Twelve blissful, hilly miles to end this cut-back week of training. These hills were challenging and I didn’t take any breaks, but I enjoyed the entire run. Sometimes I really need a couple hours alone on the trail. I was so glad I pushed my run back and got to explore this morning. I really miss the trails after all this city running! 

Marathon training is time consuming. I plan my weeks around it. But I’m never happier than when I’m following a plan and challenging myself. No I don’t love 6:30 AM wake up calls on both of my weekend days. And no I don’t love having sore legs all the time. But I love the challenge. I love the long hours spent in the sun. I love having the time to think while doing what makes me feel the most alive. It makes me, me. 

Twelve weeks down, six to go. (Can you believe that?)

Week twelve total mileage: 38.87 miles

Chicago Marathon Training: Week Eleven (43.15 miles)

This week was all about being adaptable. I wasn’t feeling great this week, tired and overall just a little burnt out. I adjusted, took an extra rest day, and got more sleep. I needed it. But I did still get some solid mileage in!
Here’s a week eleven breakdown:

Monday – Torch Class (2 miles)

Woke up early for a Monday Torch class at Studio Three with my coworkers. One hour of running, rowing, and strength intervals. I ran 2 miles during the treadmill intervals. Rowing kills my arms, but in a good way. I was sore all week! 

Tuesday – 5.0 miles 

Got in 5 easy miles before work. My legs were pretty tight, so I keep my pace easy. 

Wednesday – Rest day

Made today my rest day, instead of going to my speed workout. I felt nauseous and exhausted all day, so I decided relaxing was more important. I needed to listen to my body! 

Thursday – 9.65 miles (speed) 

Attempted my speed workout in the AM. I wasn’t even half a mile from my apartment when it started storming. Lightning and all. So I tried the treadmill. I got through one 1000m rep and called it quits. It was 95 degrees in the basement and I figured I’d wait until after work to see if it was better outside. 1.65 miles of an attempt. Tried again after work and got in a full 6 reps of 1000m repeats with 90 second recovery jogs in-between. Kept the average pace between 7:30 and 7:40 and felt good. 8 miles total with warm up and cool down! Much better than on the treadmill. 

Friday – 6.50 miles

Got in six and a half miles before work in the super humid weather. As always, it’s a great way to kick off my Friday. Averaged an 8:41 pace and felt good. 

Saturday – Rest day 

Moved my long run to Sunday due to stormy weather and a lack of sleep. I planned on cross training, but after walking around a lot early in the day, I really just wanted to lay on my couch and read my book. So that’s what I did. 

Sunday – 20.0 miles! 

Nailed my first 20 miler today! SO happy with how this run went. It was only 70 degrees which was a welcomed cool front compared to most other days this summer. Carly and I met up, ran about 14 miles together, and let our chatting make the time fly by. It’s so nice to have a running buddy. I felt strong and relaxed the whole run. Averaged 9:14 pace. And my last mile  was my fastest at 8:21 average.  This was definitely the confidence boost I needed. Now I just have to do it two more times! 

Marathon training has definitely taught me how to welcome change. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. And that’s okay. Finished this week strong, but definitely ready for week twelve to be better! 

Eleven weeks down, seven to go. 

Week eleven total mileage: 43.15 miles

Chicago Marathon Training: Week Ten (40.25 miles)

Marathon training makes me happy. I honestly think I’m happiest when setting goals, sticking to a plan, and seeing myself improve. Nothing beats it. These weeks are flying by. 

Here’s a week ten breakdown:

Monday – 4.01 miles

Woke up early and got my run done. My legs were a little tight since I did my long run on Sunday the past week, but it still felt good to get up and get it done. Kept my pace easy and just logged the miles. 

Tuesday – 4.0 miles & Cycling class PM 

I accidentally turned off my alarm in the morning, so I tried the lunch break run thing for the second time in my life. It’s not exactly ideal, but I didn’t sweat too badly. And it was nice to break up my work day. Then I went to a Taylor Swift vs. Kanye themed spin class at Studio Three after work. It was a blast and a good sweat. Another solid double workout day! 

Wednesday – Rest day/cross training 

Made today my rest day, but I did have a rock climbing event after work, so I got some cross training in! I don’t like missing racing team workouts, but I wanted to attend this Boulder with Bai event so it was worth it. 

Thursday – 5.25 miles (speed) 

Shortened speed workout in the AM. It was 1 minute on, 1 minute easy x 8. I was supposed to do two to three sets, but I really only had time for one. With warm up and cool down it was 5.25 miles. All of my “ons” were at 6:41 average pace, so I was happy with that! And I liked starting my day with some speed. 

Friday – 7.0 miles

Got in seven miles before work in the super humid weather. I always like getting a mid-distance early run in during the week. Even though it means getting up pretty early. It’s a great way to kick off my Friday. Averaged an 8:43 pace and felt good. 

Saturday – 19.01 miles 

Farthest long run of training so far! 19 miles at 9:26 pace. I did 4 miles alone, met up with Carly for 12, and then did 3 more solo. I honestly felt great. It was humid and I was tired from a lack of sleep, but my legs felt fine. It really didn’t feel “that far” which is awesome. 

Sunday – 1 mile + 6 sets Swallow Cliff stairs 

Quick trail mile to warm up followed by 6 sets of stairs. I didn’t have a lot of time, but a quick workout was just what I needed. And being able to run stairs the day after a 19 miler is pretty cool. 

Ten weeks down, eight to go. Feeling strong!! 

Week ten total mileage: 40.25 miles

Chicago Marathon Training: Week Nine (34.40 miles) 

Well guys just like that I’m half way through training. How’d that happen?! This training cycle is flying by. Feeling great though which is a good sign! This week was a drop down week. Lower mileage, less intense workouts. 

Here’s a week nine breakdown:

Monday – 4.70 miles 

I really felt like running after work. My plan only called for four miles, but I felt like running forever. Had to cut myself off at 4.7 miles. And I got to try out my new Adidas Boost running shoes, which I love!

Tuesday – 3.15 miles AM & Flywheel class PM 

Started the day with 3.15 easy miles. I woke up kind of late, but I still fit in what I could. Then I took a 45 minute Flywheel class after work. And I hit a new Flywheel personal best. Total power of 269. Felt awesome! Double workout days are becoming a highlight of my week. 

Wednesday – 4.15 miles (speed workout)

This weeks speed workout was a 5K time trial. I’m not the best end of the day runner, but I gave it my all. It was a really quick warm up, 5K time trial, and a short cool down. Time was 21:47. 7:02 pace. I’ll definitely take that. Especially in 85 degree weather! 

Thursday – Rest day/yoga

Private hour long yoga session at work. And we took it outside this week! It was nice to change it up. These yoga classes always make me wish I did more yoga. So great for my body and my mind. 

Friday – 3.1 miles

My plan called for a rest day before my running filled weekend, but after the week I had I really needed to get out for a run. Just did a quick 3.1 miles. It was great for me mentally and my legs felt fine. 

Saturday – 6.2 miles – Big Ten 10K

New 10K PR! 46:55. 7:33 pace. I LOVE this race. The environment is great. The swag is great. And the course is great. I didn’t really intend to PR, but I felt great so about half way through the race so I decided to go for it. It’s the best feeling to have a strong finish, hit a goal, and not even feel exhausted. I was 85th female overall and 15th woman in my age group. That’s pretty crazy. My tough team speed workouts are paying off!

Sunday – 13.1 miles 

Finally got to do a long run with Carly! We did 13.1 miles at 9:14 pace. We ran about two miles toward each other to meet, then ran about 7.5 miles together. It was great to have a running buddy! It wasn’t as hot today and it was cloudy which worked in our favor. The run was relaxed and made feel ready and confident going in to week 10. A couple big weeks coming up! 

It was another week of solid work. Even at lower mileage, I had some highs. A 10K PR in the middle of marathon training? Couldn’t have done that a couple years ago. I know I am becoming a better runner every day and that makes me really happy. I enjoy putting in the work and seeing the results. Nine more weeks to go! 

Week nine total mileage: 34.40 miles