Chicago Marathon training: week 3

IMG_9385Howdy, y’all! I can’t tell you how happy I am to be reaching the end of week three, mostly because I spent a good chunk of the week cramming for a midterm and then immediately taking off for a wedding weekend in New Hampshire. This week’s training had a number of fun new additions. On Thursday, I went to my first SEAC > Speed workout, which included a 2 mile jog to the store, another mile to Boston Common, and then fast hill repeats up and down Beacon Hill. Combined with another couple of miles home, this one was definitely a doozy, but a lot of fun! I met a couple of new folks, one of whom is also training for Chicago. I’m still easing my way into the Heartbreakers crew, but everyone I’ve met has been fantastic. Keep an eye out for a future post on how to find training buddies–not an easy feat!

Oh we fancy, huh?
Oh we fancy, huh?

On Friday I scooted out of work early and J and I hopped in the car to drive 2.5 hours up to his friends’ wedding, which was at a ski resort at the foot of the White Mountains. The wedding was fun, laid-back, and very personal–a lovely weekend all around. We even got to take a chair lift in our wedding clothes to get to the summit ceremony–so cool! As I always do when I’m travelling, I went and asked the hotel staff to recommend a running route. I lucked out and ended up chatting with a super badass lady marathoner who gave me some great ideas. The problem was, any way I went I would literally be running up a mountain. So out I went, at 10 am, in the warm sun, and climbed close to 1,300 feet. For reference, that’s more elevation gain than you lose across the entire Boston Marathon course. My 9:32 pace definitely felt MUCH harder than any of the low 8:00-range long runs I’ve done so far!

Which mountain? THAT mountain.

Either way, it was beautiful and I was so happy to get it done and enjoy the rest of the wedding, followed by a sunny Red Sox game for Father’s Day.

IMG_9375On Tuesday night I met up with some of my training buddies from last summer for a track workout. It was my first time doing track without pacers, so I definitely went out a little bit fast, but it was a fun challenge to work on feeling out my own pace (and so nice to catch up with the Boston Fit crew–miss you guys!)

Here’s the overall weekly recap:

Week 3

  • Thursday: morning yoga, 7.8 miles (hills, drills, and thrills)
  • Friday: OFF
  • Saturday: 12.1 miles at 9:32 pace (running up a mountain and such)
  • Sunday: OFF
  • Monday: 3.5 miles at 8:44 pace
  • Tuesday: morning yoga, 6.8 miles (track workout)
  • Wednesday: 3.3 miles at 8:49 pace

Can’t complain too much about the lovely weather we’ve been having! We’re off to relax by the lake up in Maine this weekend. I might give my first 6 day week a whirl if I’m still feeling good. First 13+ mile long run since last summer… here I come.

Chicago marathon training: weeks 1 & 2

image2 (2)
Listening intently. Trying to stay awake.

Howdy y’all! It’s been a busy few weeks kicking off wedding season with lots of travel, starting an intensive summer course at school, hectic times at work, and oh yeah… officially starting to train for the 2016 Chicago Marathon!

I switched up a lot of the pieces of training that didn’t work for me last year, and I couldn’t be happier I made the decision to join the Heartbreakers, a team based out of local stores Heartbreak Hill Running Company/South End Athletic Company. image1 (3)I absolutely loved the group I trained with last year but this new group offers lots more chances for speedwork, access to one of the best coaches in the biz, and some incredibly fast teammates who I know will push me in the way I need–all within a couple miles of my apartment. Plus, team members get tailored training plans with in-depth weekly guidance specifically for NYC and Chicago runners. And you can’t beat the swag! Even if I look like a nerd in trucker hats. #tinypeopleproblems

Given the fact that I’ve been doing a fair amount of running this winter/spring, I’m jumping right into an intermediate training plan. I know this may not sound like a big deal, but given that this is my only second marathon, it feels like a leap for me. However–I’ve been hitting PR’s in almost every recent race and feeling stronger than ever, so I think this is the right time to kick things up a notch. The plan has me running 6 days a week, which I’ll likely work up to slowly, but 5 has been feeling pretty good. Here’s a recap of how things have gone so far… I definitely need to work on varying my speed and taking the slow days slow, but I’m happy about a strong start.

The most beautiful day ever. NBD.
The most beautiful day ever. NBD.

Week 1 [plus a couple of bonus days]

  • Saturday: 10 miles @ 8:15 pace
  • Sunday: OFF
  • Monday: 3.8 miles @8:27 pace
  • Tuesday: Track! I don’t wear my watch for these, but I ran 1 mile to/from and we did warm ups, drills, and then 200 @ mile, 400 @ 5k, 800 @ 10k, 1600 @ marathon, 800 @ 10k, 400 @ 5k, and 200 @ best. Plus some corework for good measure. Appx. 5 miles total. Woof!
  • Wednesday: 5 miles @ 9:28 pace (recovery run with the work crew)
  • Thursday: 5.5 super windy miles @ 7:59 pace (miles 3-4 @ 10k pace–7:11 and 7:26)
  • Friday: Hip Hop Yoga @ Yogaworks Back Bay
  • Saturday: 10 hilly miles @ 8:12 pace
  • Sunday: OFF

Week 2 [so far]

  • Monday: 5 miles @ 8:17 pace
  • Tuesday: 5 miles @ 8:30 pace
  • Wednesday: 3 miles @ 8:30 pace (to and from 60 minute of yoga)

I’m having a lot of fun documenting my training on Strava and Instagram (#leahrunschicago), so feel free to join me either place to follow along on my training journey. I look forward to lots more marathon-related posting–where I’ll talk a little bit more (teaser alert) about why this is my year to aim to qualify for Boston (eek!!!)