Chicago Marathon Training: Week Ten (36.74 miles), Week Eleven (50.47 miles), Week Twelve (45.36 miles)

This training cycle flew by and changed into something entirely different than I expected. After returning from Ireland during week eleven of my training for the Chicago Marathon, I decided to sign up for a Last Chance to BQ marathon on September 9th. This was a scary decision, but after how well my training had gone I knew I had to go for it. So, that changed how my next few weeks looked. I’m behind on updating my training log, so here’s a bit of a flashback!

August 7th – 13th.

Monday- 6.58 miles running + 4.33 miles hiking

Hiked up Torc mountain with Kyle for a total of 4.33 miles in the most perfect weather. The views were absolutely beautiful and I don’t know if I could think of a better way to spend a day. Then we ran 6.58 miles together at 9:07 average pace once we got to Killarney. That’s a far run for Kyle, but since we were exploring I think he was distracted.

Tuesday – 7.01 miles

I got up early to run by myself around the same park as the night before. I felt comfortable with where I was going and loved taking it all in. I averaged 8:53 average pace and even enjoyed when it started to rain. Ireland is simply beautiful and I felt so at peace during these miles.

Wednesday – 7 miles hiking + 3 miles running

We spent 7 miles walking up and down the Cliffs of Moher during the day and loved every second of it. We had sunshine and perfect weather. We weren’t exactly hiking fast because it was pretty crowded, but we did cover a lot of ground. Then on our next drive, I asked Kyle to stop at a park so I could try to get some speed work in. I was planning on running 6-8 800 meter reps, but I did 3 and called it quits. It was hot, I was dehydrated, and my stomach was not happy. I know when I’m off and to listen to my body and this was one of those times. 3 miles at 8:36 average is still better than no run! And my body isn’t used to all the hiking, so I’m glad I cut my tired self a break.

Thursday – 5.15 miles hiking

Cross training day! We spent the day hiking Diamond Hill in Connemara National Park. We moved really quickly and loved the ‘course’ of this hike. It totaled 5.15 miles and we were proud of the time it took us to get all the way up and back down. It was a solid workout with amazing views. I really wish I could do this kind of thing every single day.

Friday – Rest day

Took Friday as my rest day since I knew I would be racing the next two days!

Saturday – Rock ‘n’ Roll Dublin 5K + 4 miles

21:58. 7:03 average pace. Loved this 5K! It wasn’t a PR for me, but I ran 3ish miles to the start line and then ran another mile home, so I wasn’t really going for a PR. I love to be active while on vacation, but I do treat the vacation races as fun runs more than true races. I think that’s how it should be! I’m glad I decided to add the 5K race on because it meant more medals and more time exploring Dublin.

Sunday – Rock ‘n’ Roll Dublin Half Marathon + 3.29 miles hiking

13.1 miles. 1:40:40. 7:41 average. I’m super proud of this race because despite being in a foreign country and not eating or drinking or sleeping like I normally do, I was able to have a strong race. I settled into a pace that felt comfortable and held it. For me on this specific day, that was a 7:40. So, I went with it. I have a full race recap up (previous post) to get more details. I loved this race series! I was even able to hike an additional 3.29 miles in the afternoon on my tired legs. Wicklow Mountains are beautiful and I wasn’t going to let a race day keep me from exploring. Happy my body kept up.

Week Ten – 36.74 miles running + 22.77 miles hiking


August 14th – 20th.

Monday – 6.25 miles

Recovery run. We were in Mullingar, Ireland and I felt safe enough to go out and explore in the morning on my own. My legs were tired from my races the previous two days, but I kept my pace easy and loosened them up. 6.25 relaxed miles in chilly weather that made me feel so grateful to be in this country.

Tuesday – 7.01 miles

One last run in Mullingar by myself. I got up early again for another solo run. Ran for about an hour and hit 7 miles. I loved running along this canal. The quietness and stillness are unbeatable. I felt safe and peaceful – two things I never take for granted.

Wednesday – 1.18 miles

Kyle and I decided to go on one last little run before we left for the airport. It was bitter sweet because we had the most incredible trip and neither one of us wanted to leave yet, but we appreciated every experience we were able to have.

Thursday – 9 miles. (speed workout)

I was jet lagged. I worked a full day after flying home internationally the night before. I didn’t know if I would have my speed work in me, but I decided to give it a shot. The workout was supposed to be 3-5 mile repeats. It was dark by the time I started and I was alone, so I picked the shortest option, but I’m glad I gave it my all. Mile repeats. 6:52, 6:49, 6:42. I have no idea where this speed came from on my tired legs. I didn’t think I was going to run one sub 7 minute mile, let alone all three. I felt surprisingly strong and it was a reassurance I needed. Totaled 9 miles with warm up and cool down.

Friday – 5.03 miles AM + 2 miles PM

Easy early miles and two little evening miles just because I felt like it. 7 for the day!

Saturday – 20 miles!

The 20 miler falling after returning from 1.5 weeks abroad was a little scary. I was still jet lagged and hadn’t gotten back to my normal diet yet, so I was nervous. But I was so excited to reunite with my running girls that I tried to focus on that instead of the daunting distance ahead. Once I got out there, I felt fine. Better than fine. I cruised along, chatted and enjoyed the company. We averaged 8:14 pace. I ended this run feeling super proud. Proud of the effort I put in and proud of what my body was capable of. Positive thoughts and a will to try can go a long way.

Sunday – Yoga Flow 75

Recovery day with Katy’s evening yoga class at Studio Three. My legs were tight, but I felt better after I left class. This is my favorite way to end a weekend!

Week eleven – 50.47 miles


August 21st – 27th.

Monday – 5.80 miles + Glute/Leg class

I wanted to get in extra strength work this week, so I signed up to take a glute/leg class at Equinox. I ran before and after the 45 minute strength class and knew instantly I would be super sore the next day, but it was worth it.

Tuesday – Rest day

I didn’t wake up in time to run before work and had plans right after, so it was an unplanned rest day. This happens and it’s completely okay!

Wednesday – Torch AM (1.75 miles) + 8.76 miles (speed workout) PM

I took Lucy’s Torch class at 5:45 AM. Rowing, strength and running intervals are a tough combo, but in the best way. I hit 1.75 miles during the treadmill sections. Then I had my speed workout after work. Totaled 8.76 miles with warm up and cool down. This was A LOT to do in one day for me, but I felt good. I wanted the extra strength work and I’m glad I had two strong workouts in one day.

Thursday – Cycle 45

Cross training day! I took a cycle 45 class at Studio Three which is always one my favorite ways to workout. I had missed cycling so much while I was abroad!

Friday – 5.05 miles + Yoga

I ran 5.05 easy miles in the morning before work and then had Katy’s end of summer yoga workshop in the evening! It was a fun way to flow outdoors and loosen up my legs.

Saturday – 18 miles.

Another long run I went into focusing on how much I love the company. I planned for 18 miles and was able to hold an 8:14 average pace. Early weekend mornings on the lakefront are a blessing and I’m always grateful for every mile shared. This was the last long run before tapering for the Last Chance to BQ Grand Rapids Marathon!

Sunday – 6 miles (speed work)

So, I don’t normally do speed work the day after a long run, but I had a treadmill relay charity event and I got competitive. We had a team of 3, 1 treadmill, and 2 hours to run as many miles as we could. $5 was being donated for every miles. I ended up running about 6 miles personally at around 6:30 pace. This was a little crazy, but I felt good. I wouldn’t have pushed it if I hadn’t felt good. And it was for such a great cause!

Week twelve – 45.36 miles

I closed out week 12 feeling tired, but strong. These past few weeks had been a whirlwind, but in the best kind of way. The hard work was done. I earned the taper even if my training cycle wasn’t exactly as long as it should be. I was ready to give it my all in Grand Rapids.

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