Chicago Marathon Training: Weeks 13 and 14

img_0312Whelp, another couple of weeks and another missed weekly recap–oh well! We had a couple of jam-packed weeks which included 2 weekends in Maine, my 29th birthday, the first week of fall classes, an absolutely nutty time at work, a half marathon, and a friend’s wedding. PHEW.

Rewinding to last week, I knew we were heading up to Maine for the first half of the holiday weekend so I met the girls Thursday morning for our 3 hour long run. The idea of this run was to run around a minute slower per mile than MGP (marathon goal pace) but to run for 3 full hours. We ended up covering about 21 miles at an 8:45 average pace. It was actually pretty challenging to purposely take the run slow, but I felt strong by the finish so mission accomplished. Grateful as always to have found such great long run buddies! I ran some fun workout-type runs in Maine and rounded out the week at 43.6 miles total, which is my highest weekly mileage to date.

On Thursdays, we wear purple.

Week 14 was a cutback week before I hit my longest run this coming weekend, so I registered for a small half marathon in Maine with my OG running buddy, Bry–we ran a half for her birthday so we decided to do one for mine too. Full recap to come soon, but despite some crazy weather we had a great time. Spoiler alert below in the full recap–not bad for a hilly course and less than ideal conditions.

img_0282Other updates: I managed to squeeze a massage into my schedule and it was SO necessary! It really relieved some of the hip tightness I had felt creeping back in, and it felt amazing for my shoulders which had gotten crazy tight with the work and school stress. I also finally invested in a new pair of shoes. I decided to stick with my Asics and the news ones are feelin’ excellent so far.

I’m definitely getting to the point in training that I’m just a little bit tired of constantly thinking about my running schedule, especially now that I’m back in classes and things have picked up at work, but I feel strong and ready heading into the last month of training. Time to start crossing all of my fingers and toes for good conditions!! Full recap below.

Week 13:

  • Wednesday: 4 easy miles
  • Thursday: 21 mile slow n’ steady long run at 8:46 average pace
  • Friday: OFF
  • Saturday: 3 big hills, 2 tempos (7:37 and 7:08), strides
  • Sunday: 3 miles

Week 14:

  • Monday: 4 negative split miles at an 8:08 average, 90 minute yoga
  • Tuesday: Rainy track day! 6.5 miles total, workout details here
  • Wednesday: 4 easy miles
  • Thursday: OFF
  • Friday: 5.5 miles with some tempos mixed in, 8:04 average
  • Saturday: 3 mile shakeout
  • Sunday: 13.1 mile RACE! 1:41:47 finish, 7:45 average
  • Monday: 4 recovery miles at a 9:05 average

Chicago marathon training: week 12

IMG_0054Hello hello. Slightly belated greetings from the end of another 40 mile week–woot woot!! Despite a shorter long run this week, I was able to top out 40.5 miles total. I actually felt really strong on my 14 mile long run despite the longer mid-week miles, so I really hope to keep this up until I start cutting back for the taper in just a few short weeks. Also, hurrah for cooler morning weather! We definitely still had a few steamy mornings this past week, but things are looking grand on the running weather front 🙂

After an absolutely nutty month of travel and life events and such, this weekend I took a much-needed breather and got in some chill couch time along with a solid solo long run. I love running with friends but sometimes I really appreciate going solo too, especially for the slightly shorter runs. It’s still crazy to me that I think of 14 miles as a shorter run! We also had J’s nephew in town for his 11th birthday and his first Red Sox game, which was really fun. Mama runners, I give you all of the props–having a kiddo around takes some serious energy.IMG_0038

By way of a shoe update, I’m pretty sure I’m sticking with the Asics GT 2000 4‘s for Chicago. Now that I’ve discovered Trail Toes for my blisters (thank you times 100000 to HoHo Runs for this incredible recommendation), I realized I otherwise really love these shoes. I have extremely narrow feet so my shoe choice is somewhat limited to the few companies that make running sneaks in widths, and this version of the Asics shoe is actually cut even more narrow than usual.

I got a second chance to try out a treadmill class at HHRC Cambridge on Thursday–I’ll always prefer an outdoor workout, but it’s a great way to get hills/speed done in a cooler environment with fun coaching and music. This is actually my second stab at indoor treadmill classes, so keep an eye out for a post about them in the near future. Last but not least, I switched up to a faster pace group for this morning’s track workout and man, it was killer! It was interesting to really push myself to my max speed and effort–I definitely ended our 400s completely out of breath. It’s cool to see what I’m capable of, although I may take it a little bit easier heading into pre-marathon month. Full recap below:

IMG_0012Week 12:

  • Tuesday: 6 mile tempo run, 7:54 average
  • Wednesday: 4 easy miles
  • Thursday: 6.4 miles total with treadmill hills at HHRC
  • Friday: 3.9 recovery miles at 8:56
  • Saturday: 14 miles at 8:22
  • Sunday: 90 minute yoga and an easy hike with J
  • Monday: 4 easy miles, 6 strides
  • Tuesday: Track! 5.2 total miles, speedwork at 5:40 (OOF)

Thursday I’m back at it with the gals for a slow and steady 3 hour timed run, and then I’m officially registered for the Lake Auburn Half Marathon on 9/11. Happy almost Labor Day, friends–enjoy those last few moments of summer!!

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap, hosted by HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin and with PattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the run!

Chicago marathon training: week 9

IMG_9848Another week down, another weekend away! I spent last weekend down the Cape for a high school friend’s bachelorette. Despite the lack of sleep, I managed to sneak in a 14 miler along the course of my first Ragnar Cape Cod leg, which was a fun blast from the past. It was interesting to do a super flat long run–I’ve realized I actually like how hills break up the monotony, so I’m hoping to keep my long runs on the flatter side moving forward to get ready for Chicago. The weekend was super fun–I’m so grateful to have a lovely group of friends who I’ve known for so long.

To the beach!

The temps have been much friendlier this week, but unfortunately it’s been pretty humid so not a ton of relief is in sight. August is definitely the longest slog of marathon training, as the temps get higher and the runs get longer. It’s the perfect time to bring in reinforcements, so this weekend I’ll be doing a long run with some of the track girls and I manage to drag J on a run at the end of last week. I even recruited a work friend to her first track session–hopefully she doesn’t hate me too much after that 😉

As to my other goal for marathon training part two, I’m super pleased to be upping the mileage and feeling good doing it. IMG_9847The keys for me are keeping my Fridays easy, my Sundays empty, and lots of self care in between (aka yoga and massages!) I got my first massage of training this week at the new-to-me Soul Flower Wellness. Bostonians, if you’re looking for a place Laska was amazing!! I was super proud when she told me my IT bands were in pretty good shape, but holy moly did she go to town on my back and glutes. It’s always something–gotta keep up the stretching, corework, and foam rolling for sure.

Pre-run cheese

This week is a particularly special one since J and I are celebrating our 4th anniversary. Happiest of happies to my number one fan–I’m SO lucky to have you in my life!!

Week 9:

  • Thursday: PM 90 minute yoga (AM run recap listed last week)
  • Friday: easy 3 miler with J
  • Saturday: 14 miles with a fast finish, 8:29 average
  • Sunday: OFF
  • Monday: 5 miles at 8:39 pace
  • Tuesday: Track! See Strava for workout details, speedwork at 6:25 average, 90 minute yoga
  • Wednesday: 4 miles at 8:40 pace
  • Thursday: 2 mile w/u, 2 miles at tempo (7:14, 7:00, 7:50), 1.5 mile c/d

Chicago marathon training: week 7

IMG_9721So… this update has to start off with a little bit of less than awesome news. During my run on Wednesday I felt something funny tweak in my hip, and since then I’ve been dealing with some soreness in what I think is my TFL (tensor fasciae latae). I was supposed to run a local 5k today but I’m going to take today and tomorrow off in order to hopefully get things back in order in time for my long run this weekend. Here’s hoping ice, foam rolling, ibuprofen, and stretching will do the trick!!

sunset.blogIn order news, I had a lovely and relaxing long weekend in Maine with my mom. Even though she lives down the street it’s always nice to get to spend some really good quality time together, complete with reading, lake swimming, and some late season strawberry picking. She even set an early alarm on Saturday to take a bike ride while I did my long run! Be sure to follow along on the insta for more on all of my adventures in Maine and beyond.

I was able to get in runs all three days we were up at the cabin, and then I got back to town in time for a tough track session. I’m having so much fun with these workouts–I even may have found a new Chicago training buddy who runs my pace! Like I’ve mentioned, getting to feel comfortable and meet new people in these big group workouts takes some time and effort, but it’s 100% worth

Week 7:

  • Friday: 5.6 miles at 8:42 pace
  • Saturday: 11 miles with a fast finish, 8:27 average
  • Sunday: 2.5 miles at 9:30 pace
  • Monday: 4.2 miles at 8:22 pace, 6 x strides
  • Tuesday: Track! 6×200 @ 5k, 4×300 @ mile, 2×400 @ 5k, 1×800 @ best, interspersed with burpees, planks, and mountain climbers
  • Wednesday: 5.5 miles at 8:47 pace
  • Thursday: 60 minute yoga/OFF

This past week was a cutback week, meaning that the mileage was a little bit lower and the long run was a little bit shorter. This weekend I have a 16 mile long run on tap, and the weather is looking pretty toasty, so it’ll be an early morning wake-up for sure. Here’s hoping my hip situation clears up quickly–anyone have any tips/advice for great frontal-outer hip stretches?

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap, hosted by HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin!