Chicago Marathon Training: Week Four, Five, Six, & Seven ( 136.54 miles)

Marathon training is going so much better than I expected. I’ve been so wrapped up in it that I’ve forgotten to blog with my weekly training recaps, so here’s a little catch up of the last four weeks!

Week Four:

Monday 6/26 – 5.03 miles + Cyclebar Class + 1.25 miles

45 minutes easy in the morning. 5.03 miles at 8:58 average pace. I was taking my first Cyclebar class in the evening so I decided to run over to Fulton Market as my commute. 1.25 more miles run and then a 50 minute ride at Cyclebar. This was my first time at the studio and I loved it!! Can’t wait to try out more classes and other instructors.

Tuesday 6/27 – 7.50 miles (speed work)

I met up with Carly to do her speed work with her. It was seven 800 meter repeats with 2 minute rests in-between. With warm up and cool down it ended up being 7.50 miles. I was happy to have the speed work done early in the week and felt strong throughout all the reps.

Wednesday 6/28 – 5.45 miles

Easy 50 minutes in the morning at 9:10 average pace. Not all runs are spectacular or eventful, but these average days with average miles all add up to strong races. Logging the miles matter!

Thursday 6/29 – Hot Yoga

Evening Hot Yoga Flow at Studio Three with Carly and Cara. I’m falling more in love with yoga every single time I go. My body is craving it and I’m constantly surprised by it, but I like it.

Friday 6/30 – 5.05 miles

Easy 45 minute run. More miles in the bank! I’m liking these timed runs so I don’t have to focus on hitting a certain distance.

Saturday 7/1 – 11.05 miles

I was in the suburbs for the holiday weekend, so this long run was done alone. I averaged an 8:33 pace for 11.05 miles, explored some different neighborhoods and enjoyed the alone time. The change of scenery and hilly route was good for the soul.

Sunday 7/2 – Rest day

Planned rest day, so rest I did!

Week four – 35.33 miles

 

Week Five:

Monday 7/3 – 5 miles

Five easy miles with Kyle after work. I wasn’t motivated to run today, but Kyle told me he’d go with me so that I got out. I’m always grateful for his support, but especially when it makes me better. Our runs together are always fun.

Tuesday 7/4 – 4 miles + Hot Yoga + Cycle class

An extra day off meant a chance for some extra workout classes. I started with Katy’s hot yoga flow then took Sayre and Andrea’s cycling class. It was so nice to have the extra time in the studio. I finished my workout with 4 easy miles since I wanted to run too. It was a little much, but I felt good!

Wednesday 7/5 – Hot Yoga at Corepower + 8.74 miles (speed work)

Took an AM hot yoga class at Corepower Yoga and then joined the group for a speed workout in the evening. 30 minute progression run with splits of 7:46, 7:44, 7:32, 7:19, and 2:26 for the last 0.35 miles. With warm up and cool down we totaled 8.74 miles at 8:12 average. I loved this workout!

Thursday 7/6 – Rest day – Graduated physical therapy!

I had my last day of physical therapy!! Made it a rest day besides that appointment because I had a busy day, but I did a lot of hip and ankle strengthening.

Friday 7/7 – 12 miles

Long run Friday this week before a trip. Megan met up with me to get the 12 miles in before work and I’m so so grateful. I needed the buddy as extra motivation to get out and get it done. It was a hot morning, but we kept an under 9 minute pace and logged the miles. A lot of summer runs are truly just about getting the miles in.

Saturday 7/8 – Rest day

I made Saturday my rest day since I was traveling to D.C. and got my long run done the day before. Sometimes you just have to swap around your training schedule to make everything else in your life work.

Sunday 7/9 – 4 miles

Kyle and I wanted to go out and explore D.C. on foot so we went on a relaxed run and stopped at several monuments along the way. We ended with 4 miles, lots of sweat, and big smiles. I love exploring with him.

Week five – 33.74 miles

 

Week Six:

Monday 7/10 – Yoga class + 5 miles

I was in D.C. for work this week, so I ventured out of my comfort zone and took a yoga class at Epic Yoga D.C. by myself. I loved it! It felt great to start my day with yoga. Then I went out to get in 5 easy miles before I had to be at the conference.

Tuesday 7/11 – 6.64 miles

D.C. is HOT. I struggled with all of my runs here. I had 60 minutes on the plan for today and I didn’t end up getting outside until after 7 PM when it was still 95 degrees. I kept my pace easy and tried to just get the miles in. It didn’t feel easy that’s for sure.

Wednesday 7/12 – 4.50 miles (speed work)

This speed workout was a failure, but at least I tried. I was supposed to do 4-6 800 meter reps and I only ran 2. It was brutally hot and I felt dehydrated and dizzy, so I didn’t push it. With a warm up and easy couple miles after the reps I totaled 4.50 miles. Some miles are always better than no miles!

Thursday 7/13 – Rest day

Rest day travel day to finally get back to Chicago after my cancelled flight the day before. I was tired and very ready to be home and back on my normal schedule.

Friday 7/14 – 5.80 miles

I was really wiped out after my trip, but I still managed to get up for my easy 50 minutes of running before work. 5.80 miles in total. 8:38 average. It was hard to slow down because Chicago almost felt chilly compared to D.C. and it felt so great to be home.

Saturday 7/15 – 1.23 shakeout miles

After the race expo I ran 1.23 easy miles with Kyle to go get breakfast. Just used it as a form of transportation and a quick way to shake out my legs. Always happy when he suggests going on a run together.

Sunday 7/16 – Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon 13.1 miles (1:36:31 – new PR!) + Yoga Flow 75

A new half marathon PR?? I was shocked. I didn’t go into this thinking I’d have such a fight in me, but luckily I had Jenny next to me the whole time and we realized we were capable of a better race than we thought. Finished with a time of 1:36:31. 7:22 average pace. A full 2+ minutes shaved off from my previous PR. I was so happy. This race deserves a full race recap, so that’s coming soon. And I ended my Sunday at Katy’s 75 minute yoga flow because what better way to end my weekend?

Week six – 36.27 miles

 

Week Seven:

Monday 7/17 – 4 miles

I needed some recovery miles after the half marathon on Sunday so I went out for four easy. My pace was actually faster than intended, but it felt easy. I ended my run right at Mobile Health and Wellness for an hour of massage and cupping. Recovery is so so important and I felt amazing after my session.

Tuesday 7/19 – Hot Power Yoga + Torch (2.75 miles)

A double day at Studio Three! 6 AM Hot Power Yoga to start the day and a quick Torch 45 interval class at lunch time. It’s really hard for me to squeeze in a lunch break workout, but I made it work. I ran the half mile from my office to the studio, took class, then ran back with my free sweetgreen salad in my hand. Not a bad break in the day! Totaled 2.75 miles with the treadmill intervals in class.

Wednesday 7/20 – 8.25 miles (speed workout)

Fartlek speed workout this Wednesday. The workout itself was very random, but that made it fun. The longest ‘on’ rep was 6 minutes and the shortest was 1 minute. The ‘on’ reps totaled 15 minutes with equal recovery jogs after each one. With warm up and cool down we ended up with 8.25 miles.

Thursday 7/21 – Hot Power Yoga + Cycling

I started my cross training day with Katy’s 6 AM Hot Power Yoga and then took Dani’s cycling class on my lunch break. My favorite ways to cross train!

Friday 7/22 – Rest day

I switched up my schedule a bit and took my rest day on Friday so that I could get my long run in and the BTN 10K over the weekend. I knew I needed a rest day!

Saturday 7/23 – 10 miles

The group run got cancelled due to thunderstorms, so I ran my 10 miles solo. It was kind of nice to just zone out and cruise. I averaged an 8:22 pace and focused on a fast finish. I enjoyed the solitude and my legs felt really good.

Sunday 7/24 – BTN 10K + Yoga Flow 75

Decided to just treat this 6.2 mile race as a training run. It was super hot/humid and I wasn’t feeling very well. I stuck with Carly and we crossed the finish line in just under an hour. Still a fun race and I’m glad I did it! Then took Katy’s evening yoga flow at Studio Three which made me feel ten times better.

Week seven – 31.20 miles 

 

This training cycle is flying by, but in a good way. I actually think marathon training in the summer is much more difficult than in the winter. I’m kind of missing my chilly runs, but I know I miss the heat the second it leaves, so I’m not complaining. These tough, humid runs make us stronger.

I’m just so thrilled to be training again without injury. I don’t take a single day for granted. And I’m proud of my half marathon PR in the middle of marathon training with only six weeks back at it. I didn’t know I had it in me, but I’m serious about this comeback!

Bring on week eight! 76 days out.

Chicago Marathon Training: Week Three (34.47 miles)

Week three is a wrap! This was the best running week I’ve had since March. I completed all my scheduled workouts  completely pain free. And I can’t even express the happiness this brings me. I honestly love to be marathon training. 

Here’s my week breakdown:

Monday – 6.50 miles (tempo run) + Cycle class + Physical Therapy 

Talk about a busy Monday. I meant to get my run in before work, but I didn’t get up. So my tempo run didn’t happen until 8:30 PM. I had physical therapy from 6-7 PM. Then I met Kyle at Studio Three for the Kendrick theme ride. 45 minutes of cycling and then I set out for my run. My legs were tired after PT and class, but I still managed to get it done. 6.50 miles total with warm up, cool down, and a 3 mile tempo at 7:40 average. I was proud of myself for still making time for everything. 

Tuesday – 5.05 miles

Easy 45 minutes in the AM at 8:54 pace. My legs were sore and I felt like I had just run, but I knew I needed to get it done early and I’m glad I did. Learning to love the easy miles. 

Wednesday – 9.15 miles (speed workout)

Speed workout after work with the team. Workout was 1 min on, 1 min off. 16 reps. With my long warm up and a cool down it ended up being over 9 miles at 8:09 average pace. All “on” minutes were between 6:41 and 7:10 average pace. I actually felt fast at the end of this workout which was refreshing. 

Thursday – Rest + Physical Therapy 

Took today as a rest day besides my one hour of physical therapy in the morning. Lots of hip and ankle strengthening! 

Friday – 5.08 miles

45 easy minutes. 8:51 pace. I ran from work to the Burnham Harbor for Country Lakeshake. It was beautiful out and it was the perfect way to commute. I did have a bathroom emergency that ended up with me running into a construction zone…oops. But hey it happens. 

Saturday – 8.69 miles

Long run with the group at 8:01 average pace. We took the first 4 easy and did the last 4 miles at race pace (7:45-7:50). I was definitely really tired, but the run flew by with the company and I was grateful for the cut back week. 

Sunday – Yoga Flow 75 

I ended my weekend with Katy’s 75 minute yoga flow at Studio Three. My legs were tight, but I felt much better by the end of class. It’s my favorite way to wrap up my Sunday!! 

The fact that I made it through this week without any pain or freakouts was a huge win. I’m sore, I’m tired, but I’m happy. Bring on week four!

Week three – 34.47 miles 

Chicago Marathon Training: Week One (25.18 miles) & Week Two (21.85 miles)

I’m officially in training mode again and to be honest I’m scared. I’m scared of getting injured again. I’m scared of feeling out of shape. I’m scared of jumping back in too quickly. But for me this new training cycle is a chance to change what I can and put all I have learned in the past couple months to the test. I am taking care of my body and I am feeling grateful for every mile I can run.

My goal for this marathon training cycle? Get to the start line feeling strong and healthy. I’m easing in and I’m listening to my body every step of the way.

Here’s what the first two weeks of training looked like:

Week One (June 5th – 11th)

Monday – 4.50 miles (tempo run)

First attempt at some speed since before my injury. I was a little nervous going in. I ran 1.5 miles to warm up. Then did a 1.5 mile tempo run at 7:43 average and a 1.5 mile cool down. I was supposed to do a 3 mile tempo and a total of 6 miles, but I cut the workout down to make sure I was feeling okay.

Tuesday – 1.65 miles + PT

I had an early morning physical therapy appointment so I ran there. She said I still seemed like I was in the clear as far as Achilles inflammation went, but that she wanted me to take it easy the rest of the day. So I jogged home slowly for a total of 1.65 miles and called it a day.

Wednesday – Hot yoga class AM + 5.06 miles PM

Global Running Day!! I woke up feeling great Wednesday morning. I went to Corepower Yoga to take a hot yoga class at 6:30 AM and loved starting my day off on the right foot. After work I ran up to Fleet Feet for Global Running Day festivities. Ended up running 5.06 miles at 8:37 pace and felt great the whole run.

Thursday – Cycle 45

6 AM cycling class at Studio Three for my cross training day this week. I love getting up and getting it done so the rest of my evening is open. I used the time to get a massage and I felt much better afterwards because of it. Really trying to take care of my body!

Friday – 4.87 miles + PT

I had PT during my lunch break and she said I was still doing well, so I decided to do my 45 minute easy run after work. I was excited to hit the trails at home and about 8 minutes into my run it started down pouring. I love a good rainy run, but I couldn’t even see because the rain was coming down so hard. So, I made a stop at my parent’s house, grabbed a hat and went back out. I got in my full 45 minutes easy at 9:15 pace for a total of 4.87 miles and I had a huge smile on face by the end of it. Running gets me outside at times I otherwise would stay indoors, and I’m always grateful for that.

Saturday – 9.10 miles 

Since I was in the suburbs I had to do this long run alone, but I still really enjoyed it. I listened to music, enjoyed not having to deal with the crowded city streets and just cranked out my miles. 9.10 miles at 8:29 pace. I finally felt strong again. It was the kind of run where I had to constantly try to slow myself down and I loved it.

Sunday – Yoga Flow 75

I still didn’t have any Achilles pain when I woke up Sunday morning, so I decided to go tp yoga for some extra cross training and stretching on Sunday night. Katy’s class at Studio Three is my favorite so any day I can make it is a good day. Jen came with me and we laughed more during class than I ever have during yoga. It was so much fun and my legs needed the stretching (also was crazy how sore my arms were the next day)!

Week one: 25.18 miles

Overall, I was really happy with this first week. I got in the miles and still made adjustments for my injury recovery. I will continue going to physical therapy twice a week for the foreseeable future, so I will keep taking the advice into consideration and being realistic about my training and my comeback.

Week two was a little more difficult than week one.

Week Two (June 12th-18th)

Monday – 5.64 miles (hill repeats)

It was 90 degrees for this workout, so I was really happy to have a running buddy. Cait picked me up after work and we went up to Cricket Hill to do our hill repeats. We ran a 15 minute warm up, 6 sets of hills with water stops in-between, and a 15 minute cool down. It definitely was tough in the heat and I felt really thirsty the entire time, but I was happy we toughed it out. 5.64 miles at 8:17 pace.

Tuesday – 3.17 miles + PT

I didn’t feel great Tuesday morning, so I slept in. My Achilles was bothering me a little at work, so I called PT and scheduled an evening appointment. I ran 30 easy minutes at 9:28 average pace right before the appointment to see how it felt. I wouldn’t say I had “pain” but there was discomfort. I saw a different PT and he said he didn’t see any huge red flags, but that it was good I was being cautious.

Wednesday – Rest

I honestly felt sick to my stomach all day on Wednesday. I don’t know if it started with my anxiety about my Achilles hurting again or an actual stomach bug, but either way I felt horrible. I decided to take the rest day and let myself relax.

Thursday – Hot Yoga AM + Cycle 45

I went to Katy’s Hot Power Flow class at 6 AM for part one of my cross training. I actually felt pretty strong in class and was happy I decided to get up and go. Then in the evening I took a 45 minute cycling class. I was nervous I’d feel Achilles pain during it, but I surprisingly didn’t.

Friday – Rest + PT

I decided to take another rest day to be extra cautious. I am ready to be training again and I don’t want to do anything to risk my ability to run. I had PT in the morning and she said that my Achilles was definitely red/irritated, but that it seemed superficial. Almost like a skin reaction? SO random. And I feel like it is too much of a coincidence for that to happen in the exact same spot I experienced the strain, but I guess it was still good news. She said to run like normal and try not to stress about it.

Saturday – 10.83 miles

I didn’t get enough sleep before the long run, but I was happy to be able to show up and run with my friends so I powered through. My Garmin died during my half mile warm up to the meeting spot and I didn’t exactly feel great, but the miles went by quickly. 10.83 miles at 8:20 average pace. I love having a group to run with and being done by 8:15 AM! And I didn’t feel a twinge of pain in Achilles. Shocked and relieved.

Sunday – 2.21 miles + Yoga Flow 75

New shoes meant I had to run a little bit to test them out. 20 easy minutes at 9:04 pace right before yoga. I think I’ll like the Brooks Ghost 10’s a lot. So far, so good! And I ended my run at Studio Three for Katy’s 75 minute flow. My body felt sore, but nothing crazy and I felt better when class was done. It really is the best way to wind down the weekend.

Week two: 21.85 miles

I went a little off plan this week since I was anxious about my pain and fearing a halt in training already. Luckily, I am still doing okay. I know I am more aware to when something feels off now, but I don’t want to be overthinking every single little twinge. It’s a balance I’m going to have to find. Either way, it couldn’t have hurt to take a little extra rest this week to really ensure I’m ready to be training again. I feel good right now and I’m excited for the week ahead. I really just need to take it one day at a time.

I can say how happy I am to be following a plan and working toward another Chicago Marathon finish line (even with the hard days and the anxious days).

Nashville Marathon Training: Week Thirteen (28.21 miles) & Week Fourteen (11.20 miles)

Week thirteen was shaping up to be another great week…until it wasn’t. I felt great after my 20 miler the weekend before. I got in all my planned runs for the week. Thursday night I set out to do my 7 miles and felt a weird tweak in my Achilles. I instantly felt pain with every step and had to stop at 5 miles.

I was scared. I didn’t work this hard for this long to not be able to run my marathon, so I rested and sought help right away. And the past week or so has all about trying to recover.

Here’s a break down of the last couple weeks.

Monday (3/27) – 6.15 miles + Torch class

I took the 5:45 AM Torch class at Studio Three, covered two miles of intervals on the treadmill, then went outside for another 4.15 miles to hit my mileage for the day. 

Tuesday – 7 miles + Cycling class

Seven easy miles right after work before heading to the studio for a cycling class. Kyle came with me and it was a fun evening. 

Wednesday – 10.06 miles (speed workout)

Mile repeats with Arielle! 10.06 miles total with warm up and cool down. All miles were sub 8 minutes and we felt strong. I was on such a high after this workout, but little did I know what would happen the next day. 

Thursday – 5 miles

I set out to do my 7 miles after work. I was tired, but feeling okay. About 1 mile in I took a weird step and felt a twinge in my Achilles. I hobbled to 5 miles and then knew I had to quit. I’d never felt pain like this and I was scared. 

Friday, Saturday, Sunday – Rest/recovery days

I went to get my Achilles looked at right after work on Friday. The good news? It wasn’t torn. The bad news? No running. 

I skipped my drop down week 14 miler on Saturday. I skipped racing the Shamrock Shuffle on Sunday. It broke my heart a little bit, but I didn’t want to make the injury any worse. A 5 mile race wasn’t worth jeopardizing my marathon. It was a really hard decision for me to make, but I am happy I made the choice to rest.

Week 14 was a new week, but I was still advised not to do anything at all. Just rest. 

Monday (4/3) – Rest

I didn’t do anything except stretch. 

Tuesday – Performance Stretch class

I took a Performance Stretch class at Studio Three as suggested to work on mobility and I realized I should have been taking this class every week. I loved it. 45 minutes all about releasing tension from the body – exactly what I needed. 

Wednesday – Rest

I didn’t do anything except some mobility work at home. 

Thursday – 6 AM Hot Yoga + Performance Stretch class PM

Since it had been a week since I aggravated my Achilles I decided I could try taking a yoga class. It was Katy’s birthday, so I took her 6 AM hot yoga flow and I didn’t feel any pain! It was a fantastic way to start my day. Then I went back in the evening for another 45 minute performance stretch. It was a great day for recovery and I was feeling pain free! 


Friday – Rest

Another complete rest day. Just some stretching and mobility work at home. 

Saturday – 8 miles run/walk

I saw a PT on Friday evening to see if there was any way I could run my 20 miler and she said she would not advise it. Not surprising. I was feeling good, but still had pain when I went up on my tip toes. So instead she told me to run/walk 8 miles. It was better than nothing. I ran one, walked one with Kyle until I hit 8 miles. I really didn’t feel any pain and it was a beautiful day to be outside. I was grateful to get to do anything honestly. 

Sunday – 2 miles + Yoga Flow 75

I woke up with discomfort in my Achilles. Not the same pain, but a dull pain. I went to my massage/cupping appointment and walked out feeling great. She suggested I try to run a little bit to see how I felt. I went out and felt okay, but the dull pain was there and I got nervous so I just did 2 miles at 8:51 pace. I don’t know if it’s better to run through it or rest. I went to my usual evening yoga class and didn’t feel any more pain. It helped me mentally more than anything. 

I am doing my best to stay positive, but it’s really, really hard. I feel like every choice I make will either make my injury worse or make me lose the training I’ve put in this cycle. It’s upsetting. It’s frustrating. I know the only real way to move forward is to be positive, but some days are harder than others.

The good thing about all of this is I’m learning just how imbalanced my body is. I favor my right side. My left side is weaker. I have weak hips and glutes. I need to strengthen all of the smaller muscles and this will take time. I wouldn’t have done this if I hadn’t gotten this Achilles injury, but I’ve learned what I need to do for this next training cycle. And the positive from that? I should get faster. I already know about 10 different things I want to add to my weekly routine to help me recover faster, stay healthier, and get stronger. That’s the bright side. But right now I just want to get to this marathon start line pain free and be able to race.

I’m three weeks away from race day. I don’t know what I’m going to do running-wise between now and then or if I will get better. I don’t know how my race will go. I’m very uncertain, anxious, and confused. But I am just going to take it day by day and see what happens.

Week 13 – 28.21 miles

Week 14 – 11.2 miles

Nashville Marathon Training: Week Twelve (51.25 miles)

Highest mileage week of this training cycle yet! This week was tough. My legs are tired and I had a lot of work to put in, but I didn’t skip a single mile. I think the weeks I’m most proud of are the weeks I get in everything on the plan and I feel satisfied with my effort. Plans work for me. 

Here’s the weeks breakdown:

Monday – 6 miles

This run didn’t start until 8:30 PM. It wasn’t really what I had planned, but I didn’t get up with my alarm in the morning and I had a busy day. If I wasn’t training for this marathon I would have skipped this run, but my goals keep me accountable. I ran 2 miles on the treadmill while I waited for Kyle to get home from work and then we ran 4 together outside. I was so glad he joined me so it was safe to get outside. We had an 8:19 average pace and it was a fun way to end a Monday. 

Tuesday – 8 miles + Cycle class

I ran 8 miles right from work at 8:19 average pace again. I barely had time to sneak it in before my cycling class at Studio Three, but I made it work. I took Sayre’s Rave Ride with Kyle and it was so much fun. My legs surprisingly felt strong during class after the run. 

Wednesday – 9.25 miles (speed workout)

The Yasso 800 Test. It always scares me. I was dreading it all day because I wasn’t sure I was going to see improvements in my paces from last training cycle and I wasn’t looking forward to doing it alone, but I got out there anyway. It was windy and cold…not ideal, but I felt okay. My average pace for the 10 reps of 800 meters? 3:20. I was shocked. I literally teared up at the end of this run because I’m so proud of myself. It’s an amazing feeling to work hard and see improvement. 

1.50 mile warm up 

800 meter reps – 3:30, 3:20, 3:21, 3:24, 3:24, 3:18, 3:16, 3:15, 3:17, 3:14

1.38 mile cool down 

9.25 miles total at 7:43 average pace. I couldn’t have asked for a better speed workout. We’ll see if Yasso is right again and I run faster than a 3:33 marathon.

Thursday – Torch class (2 miles) + 6 miles

5:45 AM Torch class to start the day. Covered 2 miles during treadmill intervals plus the strength and rowing. I left class a little early so I could get the rest of my mileage in. 6 more easy miles along the lake and I was done for the day. Always love getting it done before work!

Friday – Rest day

A much needed complete, planned rest day. My legs NEEDED it. 

Saturday – 20 miles! (10 at GMP)

20 miles of Barrington hills at 8:06 average pace!! I’m still in awe of this run. It was pouring rain for a lot of the run. We were wet, tired, sore. The last 10 miles were at goal race pace: 7:50-8:00 average. It was tough. But we got it done. Seeing that 8:06 average pace for the entire run caused my jaw to drop. My hips were tight and I was ready to be done, but I was able to do it. And this was a training run. My race should be faster, right? It’s crazy to me how my easy pace and my long run pace have both gotten faster during this training cycle. It’s the hardest I’ve ever worked, but I have a feeling it will pay off on race day. These hills have been some of the hardest hills I’ve ever run, but they’re the best way to prepare for the Nashville hills. 

Sunday – Cycle class + Yoga Flow 75

Sunday is my cross training day. Taking a cycling class and then a yoga class this evening. Planning on taking it easy and just stretching out my legs. Happy to end the week like this!

This week was a good one, a hard one, and a fun one. I’m constantly surprised by how much stronger my running is getting and I owe a lot of it to the Fleet Feet Boston 365 group. Making the decision to run a spring marathon and train with these athletes was one of my best decisions. I couldn’t be happier or more excited to take on Nashville with these girls in 5 weeks. 

Week 12 – 51.25 miles 

Nashville Marathon Training: Week Ten (39.11 miles)

Only seven weeks left in this training cycle!! I was very thankful for a drop down week this week. My body was craving it. I missed some miles, but I got in what I could and enjoyed the little bit of a “break.” Plus it was a race week, so lower mileage earlier in the week was a good thing for my legs.

Here’s what the week looked like:

Monday – 3.1 miles

I didn’t have a lot of time in the morning before conference day two, but I had to get in a short run to explore DC at least a little bit. Managed to fit in 3.1 miles. Ran downhill on the way out and uphill the entire way back. Extra hills are always a good idea if you ask me. DC is beautiful and I wish I could have run for longer, but I did what I could!

Tuesday – 5 miles

Met up with Carly after work and we ran 2.5 miles to an event and then ran another 2.5 mile “fun run” there. The pace was pretty slow, but it was nice to log some easy miles. Again, not the mileage I was supposed to hit, but 5 miles is better than nothing!

Wednesday – Torch Class (1/2) AM + 8.11 miles PM (speed work)

I showed up to my 5:45 AM Torch class, but my body was not having it. I was exhausted from my travel and the long weekend and not feeling great. I decided to just do one rowing section and one strength section after the warm up. So, approximately a 33 minute workout and then I left. I knew I had my speed workout after work too and I’m trying not to burn myself out. I really didn’t need the extra miles during class and I was happy with the decision. After work, it was mile repeats. Talk about wind. It was really tough, but we got in 4 repeats at 7:27, 7:16, 7:02, 7:12. With warm up and cool down it was 8.11 miles. So, 8.41 miles for the day with my little treadmill warm up from class in the morning. Lots of work today! Strong speed workouts give me hope for strong marathons.

Thursday – Cycle Class PM

I moved my run to Friday, but still wanted to take a cycling class at Studio Three for March Madness. Went with Kyle and Cara. Class is always more fun with workout buddies. Kyle and I are in March Madness which means we’re matched up against another couple and the couple with the higher average power score moves on. We aren’t sure if we did better yet, but even though I highly doubt we did, I’m glad we signed up. I scored a 303, which is strong for me. We will see what happens!

Friday – 7 miles

I normally wouldn’t have run 7 miles at 8:11 average pace the night before a half marathon, but when Kati is in town and wants some company for a long run, I’m there. I joined her for 7 miles of her 12 and it was SO nice to catch up. Miles truly fly by with good company. Pace felt easy. It was cold and windy, which was a nice preview for the morning, but we had fun.

Saturday – Get Lucky Half Marathon (13.1 miles) + 2.5 miles warm up

Race day! I ran 2.5 miles to the start line as a warm up so I would hit 15.60 miles for the day. I wasn’t exactly sure I was going to race this half, but I felt like my legs had some speed. The wind was brutal. It was so so cold. I will write a separate race recap, but I ended up finishing with a time of 1:38:59. 7:34 average pace. Missed my PR by about 16 seconds, but it was still a very strong race for me. I’ll take it!

Sunday – Cycle Class + Yoga Flow 75

Sunday is my cross training day, which means multiple hours spent at Studio Three – the place to be. 4 PM cycle class with Sayre and Yoga Flow 75 with Katy on the agenda for this afternoon. My tired legs need to get flushed out and then stretched out, that’s for sure. My favorite way to end a hard week of work.

Week 8 =  39.11 miles 

I didn’t take a complete rest day this week, which wasn’t really on purpose, but it worked out for me. Too much I wanted to do this week! My schedule can get a little crazy and I know I’m juggling a lot, but my body is responding well. If it doesn’t? (Like on Wednesday morning) I listen. Doing what is right for your body is so important throughout training.

Nashville Marathon Training: Week Nine (43.25 miles)

Nine weeks down, eight to go. These weeks are flying by, but this week was tough for my tired legs. All of these miles and cross training classes are a little exhausting, but I just have to keep pushin’ until it’s taper time. I know it will get here even more quickly than I think.

Here’s my week breakdown:

Monday – Torch Class AM (2 miles) + 5 miles PM

5:45 AM Torch class at Studio Three to kick off week nine of training. Covered 2 miles of running during treadmill intervals plus strength and rowing. Saved my last 5 miles for after work so I could run on the treadmill during The Bachelor. It was a good way to keep my pace easy and just log the miles.

Tuesday – Core Yoga Class + 4 miles AM

One hour yoga class at ENRGi with a focus on core directly followed by 4 easy miles. I barely had time to squeeze this all in before work, but I made it happen. I love yoga classes so much more than I used to. I still don’t feel particularly flexible or strong during them, but I know it has helped my recovery throughout this training cycle so much.

Wednesday – Cycle Class AM + 4.25 miles PM (speed work)

6 AM cycling class at Studio Three…with Kyle! He wanted to go all on his own and I was happy to have a buddy in the morning. Then after work I had my Racing Team speed workout. It was shorter mileage than what I was supposed to do on my Boston group plan, but I wanted to participate in the relay and get to know people. Three 800 meter reps with a looong rest in between, plus a warm up and cool down to bring me 4.25 miles. A shorter speed workout this week was probably good for my legs anyways. Feelin’ very tired lately.

Thursday – Target 6 Strength Class + 7 miles

Took a strength class at ENRGi before my run. I like doing strength before running because my legs feel more tired and I have to slow down my pace for my run. I’ve been trying really hard to keep my easy pace easy and this is a good way to make sure I do so. Came home after class and did 7 miles on the treadmill because I didn’t feel like running in the dark alone later at night. I don’t love treadmill running, but I’m happy it’s there when I need it.

Friday – Cycle Class AM

Switched my cross training to Friday since I knew I was going to be at a conference out of town all day on Sunday and wouldn’t be able to get to the studio. And this meant I got to take Dani’s First Friday class which I really wanted to do. 45 minutes without any arms or choreography…just intervals. Most of class was a pattern of a 3 minute climb, 1 minute sprint. 4 minute climb, 2 minute sprint, etc. It was such a great class!

Saturday – 21 miles!

This long run was a true test of my mental strength. I had to run solo before I caught a flight to DC and this meant early AM on icy roads. I found a 1.35 mile loop that was relatively ice-free and round and round I went. I listened to podcasts, kept my pace easy, and tried to zone out. I was surprised by how quickly it went by. It was cold and it was a hilly route, so it wasn’t as “easy” as I would have wanted, but I got it done. Average pace of 8:41. First 20+ mile run of this training cycle done. Two big ones left to go.

Sunday – Rest day

I took Sunday as my complete rest day this week since I was in DC and had an all day conference. It was nice to not have to worry about working out, even though I was wishing I had some time to explore with a run. My legs were happy for the rest though!

Week 8 = 43.25 miles 

Onto week ten! Marathon training life is the best kind of life. 🙂

Nashville Marathon Training: Week Seven (42.32 miles)

Another week done. Only ten weeks away from marathon day! I’m really happy with my mileage this week. I hit the number I was supposed to and had a few bonus miles. And all of my runs were outside! The weather has been so mild for a Chicago winter and I’m not complaining. Any day I can get outside for miles is a good day.

Here’s my week breakdown:

Monday – 5 miles

I was supposed to run 7 Monday, but I switched it with the Tuesday 5 instead because I was having a lot of stomach pain during this run. It wasn’t exactly enjoyable, but I held an easy 8:40 average pace and took in the stillness. Night runs are sometimes just what I need.

Tuesday – 7 miles

Got up and got my 7 miles in before work. Held an 8:38 average pace and was so happy to have the miles in early. The sun was even shining during the run. Crazy what that does for my mood.

Wednesday- 8.32 miles (speed work)

1000 meter repeats are never my favorite, but this week they weren’t so bad. I ran to the store, so I had an extra long warm up (3.1 miles). Workout was 1000 meters x 5 with 2 minute rest in between. Reps were: 4:32, 4:32, 4:28, 4:31, 4:23. 1.76 mile cool down. Reps were supposed to be done at 10K pace, and 7:13 average might have been a little fast, but it felt good. Totaled 8.32 miles and I got home just as my Garmin died.

Thursday – 6 miles + Barbell class

Evening run followed by a strength class at ENRGi. Snuck in 6 miles right from work at 8:11 average pace. The class was all barbell work. I had never taken this kind of class before and I was surprised by how much I liked it. I always feel like my form is wrong or I get intimated by super strong people around me, but I held my own. It was the perfect amount of strength work after a run. I’ll definitely try this combo again.

Friday – Rest day 

Rest days are the best days. Trying to really treasure the day of recovery. I know my body needs it!

Saturday – 14 miles

Another great long run with the group. 14 miles. 8:14 average pace. It’s weird to be at that point in training where I say “oh I only have 14 miles.” That’s where my head’s at though and I love it. Anything less than 16 miles we stay on the Lakefront Path, so it was nice to have a flat run. We did add in two reps of Cricket Hill for a bit of variety, but it was nothing like the Barrington hills. And did I mention I ran in shorts? 55 degrees in February is absolutely crazy for Chicago. I was just happy to be out there enjoying the beautiful day. Felt strong!

Sunday – Torch class (2 miles) + Yoga Flow 75 

Cross training day! Took a tough Torch class at Studio Three this morning. Covered 2 miles during treadmill intervals. This class was tough because it was 10 minutes at each station. The last rowing set nearly killed me. Okay, not really…but my arms and legs were dead. And I wasn’t thrilled about the burpees on my sore legs, but hey I’m glad I pushed through it. Continuing recovery with a Yoga Flow 75 this evening. It’s been too long since I’ve flowed and I’m so so excited. My legs will thank me!

 

This training cycle is flying by. Can’t believe tomorrow starts week eight. I really think this is the best I have handled marathon training with cross training and real life. I’ve made training a normal part of my day to day life and it doesn’t keep me from doing other things I care about. I feel good about where I’m at mileage wise at this point and I’m ready for 10 more weeks of hard work!

Week 7 = 42.32 miles

 

Nashville Marathon Training: Week Six (44.18 miles)

Just like that six weeks have flown by. This week was one of my favorite so far because I got to explore new places, run lots of hills, and push myself with my long run. This was the highest mileage week yet and I’m feeling good.

Here’s my week breakdown:

Monday – 7 miles + hiking

Early morning 7 miler through Sedona! I got to  watch the sunrise and enjoy the fresh air. It just felt nice to be running in short sleeves outside in February. The route I took was definitely hilly which was tough after my hilly Saturday race, but I enjoyed the change of pace. Then Kyle and I spent the day hiking. No idea how far we went, but it was some great cross training. I loved spending time outside in the sun.

Tuesday – 4 miles 

Explored a super rocky trail for 4 miles to kick off my birthday! The terrain was tough to move quickly on, but I did what I could. And I didn’t twist my ankle which was all I wanted! I live for tough trail runs in new places. It was the best way to kick off 24.

Wednesday – Cycle Class AM + 8.18 miles PM (speed workout)

Almost missed my spin class due to turning off my alarm, but I sprinted to the studio and made it just in time. It felt like I hadn’t been to spin in awhile, so I was just happy to be there. Then after work I had my speed workout with the group. Mile repeats times 4, plus a warm up & cool down brought us to 8.18 miles. Repeats were all between 7:20-7:40 average pace which is even a littler faster than we wanted them to be, but we felt strong. I definitely wouldn’t push myself as hard during speed work if I didn’t have the group.

Thursday – Rest day

I moved my rest day to today instead of Friday because I was really tired and sore. And I was hoping it would be a little warmer on Friday morning.

Friday – 7 miles 

It wasn’t warm. 14 degrees and windy, but I still got outside and got my 7 miles done. Held an 8:29 average pace and felt pretty good. I always enjoy running after a rest day.

Saturday – 18 miles

18 hilly miles at 8:14 average pace. What?! I’m still in shock this happened. I was really nervous going into this run. Already hitting this high of mileage and running tough hills is intimidating, but this running group makes the miles fly by. I was really tired and had my doubts for the first 6 miles. But then I found my stride and felt a lot better. The hills are always tough, but they’re making me stronger. I can’t believe 8:14 pace is starting to feel like my easy pace. I really enjoyed this entire run. The company, the weather, the course. It’s nice to get out of the city. We killed it!

Sunday – Flywheel class 

Sundays are for cross training. Started my day with a 45 minute cycling class at Flywheel. High torq was tough on my sore legs and I struggled a bit, but it was still nice to flush out my legs. And I’m going to do a lot of stretching today!

I feel like I’ve really hit my groove this training cycle. I’m hitting the miles, cross training, and holding faster paces. Training doesn’t feel like a burden, it’s just part of my life. I love it. I’d prefer to always be marathon training. And I can’t wait to see what the next 10 weeks hold!

Week six – 44.18 miles 

Nashville Marathon Training: Week Five (32.82 miles)

A race week and a drop down week! A little less mileage, but still kept up extra cross training. I was pretty sore going into my race on Saturday, but I still performed well.

Here’s what the week looked like:

Monday – Orange Theory Class (3 miles)

Tried my first Orange Theory class to see what it was all about. I started on the rower, then moved to strength circuits for the first half hour. Second half of class was spent on the treadmill where I covered 3 miles. The heart rate monitor concept is great in theory, but I had a really hard time keeping mine in the orange and red zones. And the competitive person in me was pretty upset to lose when I was running my sprints the fastest. Not really my thing, but I’m glad I tried it!

Tuesday – 4.35 miles

Easy morning miles at 8:40 average pace to bring my January mileage total to exactly 140 miles! It was chilly, but felt good to get outside.

Wednesday – Flywheel AM + 6.27 miles (speed workout) PM

I took a 6 AM Flywheel class to start the day, but I was on a broken bike and the class was pretty awful. I didn’t get enough out of it and it was frustrating, but at least I sweat. Second workout was my speed workout with the group after work. 800 meter repeats (6 reps) with 90 seconds of complete rest in between. With warm up and cool down it was 6.27 miles. Our average time for all reps was about a 3:25. Really happy with it!!

Thursday – Torch class + 4 miles (6.1 miles total)

5:45 AM Torch class. Covered 2.1 miles during the treadmill sprints plus 3900 meters rowing and 20 minutes of strength circuits. Ran another 4 miles outside immediately after class to bring me to my 6.1 miles for the day!

Friday – Rest day

First complete rest day in a few weeks. I needed it. Plus I was traveling to Arizona, so it worked out well. I like to really rest my legs the day before a race.

Saturday – 13.1 miles – Sedona Half Marathon! + hiking

13.1 miles for the Sedona Half Marathon! I absolutely loved this race. It was so so hilly and I had never even run at an altitude before, so it was tough, but I ran strong. I finished with a time of 1:43:20. 7:53 average pace. 1st place age group! I couldn’t believe how well I did. I’ll write a full race recap separately. After the race we hiked at least 6 miles, so my legs were very tired, but this is my favorite way to spend a day. Lots of miles and fresh air! Sedona is absolutely beautiful.

Sunday – Hiking 

Cross training today will be more hiking! Going up to the Grand Canyon to explore and then another hike back in Sedona later today. A lot more miles and climbs on very sore legs, but I’m happy about it. Really can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend!
Extremely happy with how this week went. I could feel how much I’m improving from this training cycle already. And I realized how strong I am at running hills. I have a good feeling about how my March half marathon and my April full will go. Progress is fun to see. Onto week six!

Week five – 32.82 miles