Chicago Marathon Training: Week 3

Alright guys… I have just been a horrible blogger lately. This week, my goal is to remedy that a bit. Despite my lack of blogging about running, I have been running a lot. Maybe even a little too much (IT band made itself known yesterday, so I am backing off). But, even with some squirrelliness in my leg, my runs last week were solid and training is going great. I’ve also made a successful transition to morning running. As soon as the sun comes up, the temps begin to approach 95-110 degrees, so morning running is really the only answer. This means waking up at 5 am (ouch) to be out the door before 6 and off the roads by 8. As my long runs get a little longer, I may have to be out there even earlier. I’ll worry about that when I get there.

I am using the Hanson’s Advanced Marathon Training Plan with a goal time of 3:45. These are my paces:

Goal Marathon Time: 3:45
Goal MP: 8:35
Strength: 8:25
Speed: 7:33 – 7:52
Easy: 9:35 – 10:35
LSD: 9:05 – 10:35

This was my training for the week:

M: 6 miles GMP 4 miles GMP + WU & CD (it was 97 degrees out… give me a break)

T: Easy 6 Miles (9:45/mi)

W: Track Workout – 8 x 600 + 400 Recovery lap + WU & CD (2:34, 2:39, 2:35, 2:35, 2:29, 2:47, 2:40, 2:38)

T: Easy 8 Miles (9:22/mi) – oops…

F: 10 Miles LSD (9:12/mi)

S: Rest (actually, hiking)

S: Easy 6 Miles (9:47/mi)

Total Mileage: 44 Miles

Beautiful morning for some 600 repeats!

In addition to the running, I also did yoga and body weight strength workouts each day. As you can see, a few of my paces were taken just too fast. I think this lead to my IT band making itself known towards the end of the week. The track workouts were supposed to be between 2:49-2:56, which not a single repeat was. I am having some trouble with not taking track workouts fast. To ward off potential injury, I am taking a week off from track work and taking an extra rest day. I definitely don’t think my IT band is injured, but I could feel it coming on, so I am not going to play around. This needs to be nipped in the bud now.

I’m seriously not kidding about these temps. 

Last week was also the first back-to-back long run. For the rest of training, my longest easy run is the day before my long run, which contributes to the cumulative fatigue you get through this plan. I gotta say, I liked it! The long run felt natural, but I was definitely more tired than I typically am during a 10 mile run. Also, the long runs are taken quite a bit faster than I am used to. It was nice to go a little faster.

Over the weekend, Frank and I did some hiking and camping with some friends. During the campout, we tried to see if both of us could fit in our friend’s kayak. Success!!

I think I was trying to wiggle away as he squeezed me a little too hard. 🙂

Next week is going to be a little chiller than usual. I am cutting out a track workout and cutting back the mileage a little to give my IT band a break. I’m going to keep up with my yoga and body weight strength training, but I am going to cut out squats and lunges. During the weekend, I’ll be out in Arkansas with a few friends to climb some routes at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch again. Should be a great time!

I know, I owe you a race recap still…I’ll get that out some time this week.

How was your week? How has your training been going? Any plans for 4th of July weekend?

Heading into Race Week

One week exactly from the A1A Half… and I’m a little nervous. I really don’t know what to expect and honestly, I have no idea what pace I’ll be running it at. I’ve been totally all over the place this week. There was a ton of snow on the ground at the beginning of the week, which made my legs felt like they were carrying lead. I finished my week off great, though! My second long run was definitely a high point.

Due to the crazy blizzard last week, I had two long runs this week. I had planned to run the first on monday, but I was so sore from galavanting through a blizzard on sunday that I decided to push it off. The run went well, but I was definitely tired by the end. I had a recovery run on Wednesday, where I spent 30 minutes complaining to my running buddies about how sore I was from the day before. Thursday I took a much needed rest, but spent most of my day bouncing around with energy. I guess the training is working. Friday’s tempo run went great and I finished feeling strong and ready for the half.

Saturday was spent cross country skiing ALL DAY LONG! I think I skied close to 14 miles total. It was a perfect day for it too.

My friends and I by our snowman after many hours of cross country skiing.
The South Bend Adventure Club by our snowman after many hours of cross country skiing.

I gotta say though, my long run was definitely me at my best. I ended up going with my roommate who is training for the LA Marathon. She was running 20 miles and I was doing 10. Normally I take my long runs at about 10:00-10:30 pace. However, with her, we were going closer to 9:30 and I felt great. I had minimal suffering and I seemed to be just winning the mental game that I battle with so badly when my milage is above 8. For the first time, I was really feeling ready for this half.

Training this week

Monday: Yoga + Rest
Tuesday: 10.56 mile long run
Wednesday: Ran 3.12 miles for recovery + yoga
Friday: 5 miles tempo (1 mile warm up, 3 tempo, 1 mile cool down) + yoga
Saturday: Cross Country Ski
Sunday: 10 mile long run + yoga
Total: 28.7 miles

This is my highest milage since my ankle injury over a year ago and I felt really really good. However, I am kinda glad to be heading into the taper week. My goals are just to keep being positive and trust the training I’ve done.

Taper Week

Monday: Yoga + Rest
Tuesday: Run 4 miles
Wednesday: Run 3.1 miles
Thursday: Run 2 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: A1A Half Marathon

How was your training? Any big running plans coming up?

Learning When to Rest

recovery It’s easy to work hard. You just grit your teeth and go. The real work is learning when to stop, to slam down on the breaks and just chill. This is especially true for runners. Somehow, it gets in our heads that rest means loosing fitness. Even though we might feel a little ache in our hips, we keep going to get that next PR or that further distance. This has been a really hard thing to learn for myself. I tend to ignore the little aches and pains in my body and just go further and faster. This practice costed me a half marathon back in the fall and I refuse to let that happen again.

In August, I spent most of the month in Alaska on a biological field station in the North Slope (check out the pic! It’s super pretty there!).

This is Toolik Field Station. There are some awesome mountains there, and it is a generally pretty place.
This is Toolik Field Station. There are some awesome mountains there, and it is a generally pretty place.

The field station is small and you can’t always get away to go for a run. There is also has unlimited candy and rather buttery food. I spent the month not running, but instead eating a lot. I gained 7 pounds and lost a whole lot of fitness. Now, I have never struggled with weight, so as soon as I came home and started eating normally again, those 7 pounds came right off. The problem was, I hadn’t kept up my base milage that I had been working a year to get. Before I left for Alaska I was running about 25 miles a week, so when I got back to Indiana, I just went back to 25 miles per week.

This is my husband and I on top of a mountain in Alaska. Toolik Biological Field Station is a few miles behind us.
This is my husband and I on top of a mountain in Alaska. Toolik Biological Field Station is a few miles behind us.

I had my eyes on a half marathon in October, which would have worked out pretty well with my schedule. A few of my friends were running it, so I figured, I could work up to it without too much trouble. I had also signed up for a challenging trail race in southern Indiana to encourage me to run while I was in Alaska (clearly that didn’t work out too well). The race was only a 10k, but it was a pain. It was crazy hilly and just generally kicked my butt. I would have been ok had I stopped there… but the next day, I decided to go for a 9 mile run to make sure I could commit to the half distance. By the end of it, I had some pretty intense IT band pain and I knew that Half Marathon was not going to happen. I had needed a rest day more than I knew.

The opportunity to overdo things again came this week. Currently, I am training for a Half Marathon, and although I have been told I am ready for it, in my mind, I’m not. I had an 11 mile long run scheduled for Sunday, but Indiana was hit by a massive blizzard. I tried to do the run, but only made it 5.56 miles before I had to call it off (the snow was up to my knees in some places). I figured I would just go for a do-over the next day, but when I woke up I was achey and sore from running through the piles of snow. Instead of going on the run, I did some yoga and really targeted my sore areas. The next day, I woke up feeling great. I went for my long run that morning feeling awesome! That extra rest had made a huge difference for me, both by keeping me healthy, and also by making my run simply more enjoyable.

The important thing is to really listen to your body. I know I always want to go hard, but pulling back is just as important (if not more). It was a hard lesson to learn, but I think I’ve got it now.

How many days per week do you run? Do you sometimes take rest days even when they are not scheduled? 

Thanksgiving Week Training Update


The snow melted and it is currently 52 F outside. Unfortunately, I am not able to enjoy the warmer weather for my long run. While on a rather short and easy run last week, I started feeling the old IT band pain. So, with that, plans changed and I didn’t go for my long run sunday. As disappointing as it is, I would much rather just handle it now, back off a bit and get it feeling good than to battle with it like I have in the past. Luckily, it was just a twinge. My goal is to keep it under wraps with some light training this week. Running on a treadmill doesn’t usually hurt me, so I will start with that.

Monday (MY BIRTHDAY!): rest – give it another day off

Tuesday: If it is feeling good – 3 slow miles on the treadmill. Otherwise, rest.

Wednesday: Backpacking in Smoky Mountain National Park

Thursday: Backpacking in Smoky Mountain National Park

Friday: Backpacking in Smoky Mountain National Park

Saturday: Backpacking in Smoky Mountain National Park

Sunday: If I am feeling good – 5 slow miles. Otherwise, rest.

Total: Maybe 8 miles

There you have it. I am listening to my body and doing what it asks…backing off. Hopefully next week I will be better and can go for my long run then. It’ll be nice to concentrate my energies on walking instead of running. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your holiday plans!

Training Update

Training has been going well this week. I made sure to take a good rest on Monday after the Yoga Journal Conference. With all of that deep stretching and hard work, my muscles were feeling very overworked, which for me, is a precursor to injury. I followed up my rest day with two pretty easy runs to get myself back to my normal intensity. I still have some speed work to do friday (10 min warm up and cool down along with 30 min of intervals). I’ll finish up my week with my long run or 7 miles. Hopefully it’ll be warmer than 12 F (that’s what it was for my Tuesday run).

Monday: REST!!

Tuesday: 4 miles at 9:47 pace

Wednesday: 4 miles with running group at 9:21

Thursday: Yoga

Friday: 10 min warm up – 30 min speed work – 10 min cool down

Saturday: Hiking & Yoga

Sunday: 7 miles at long run pace & yoga

Total: 20 miles!

Freezing temperatures don't stop me!
Freezing temperatures don’t stop me!

I have been very slowly bringing up my milage to the milage I held prior to my IT band troubles. The first 20 mile week is a real milestone. I really attribute my good health to lots of stretching and strengthening though yoga. Hopefully next week goes just as well. I am going to be in the Smokey Mountains National Park on a backpacking trip with my husband where we’ll be covering tons of miles! It’ll be a chill week for running though, but I’ll get some in. 😉