Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – Week 16 of Chicago Marathon Training

I have one more week to go until I run my second full marathon and guess what? I’m still FREAKING OUT.

This entry will be a little different from my previous marathon Monday entries in that it will focus on how my overall training season with Hanson’s Marathon Method went, my plans for this week, and my goals for the Chicago marathon.

Weekly Mileage – I logged 36.7 miles this week and although this is a 7.3 mile decrease from last week, I think it was the best decision for my body since the fatigue has been overwhelming lately.

Overall Training – “The hardest part of running a marathon is training for the marathon.” Yup. Absolutely. Although, I might end up disagreeing with this quote when I’m running mile 22 of the marathon. LOL. In this last training cycle, I have:

  • Averaged 6 – 8 hours of running a week
  • Run at least one 10 to 12 miler almost every week
  • Been out the door before 7 am on Saturdays for my long run (I miss sleeping in. HA)
  • Done crazy intervals (Honestly, how is a 3 x 2 mile run an interval? LOL)
  • Had several difficult runs (BOOOOOO!)
  • Run over 200 miles in a month

I tried sticking to Hanson’s plan as closely as I could, but there were multiple weeks where I couldn’t hit the target mileage. There were weeks where my pacing was god awful and there were days where I wish I hadn’t chosen this program. But I’m a week away from running the marathon and despite not feeling super confident about the race, I wouldn’t trade any of the running experiences I’ve had with this program for anything. I knew this plan was going to be tough. I knew that I could fail horribly, but I tried it anyway and I’m so glad I did. I accomplished so many things that I didn’t really think were possible and this has really taught me that you have to aim high to reach your goals.

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Taper Week – Taper, taper, taper! This week will be dedicated to resting as much as I can. That means sleeping early, eating right, doing much shorter runs (think 3 milers), and having more rest days. My legs have also been taking a really long time to loosen up during my runs so I’m thinking that some foam rolling and lots of stretching will be in the agenda for this week as well. πŸ™‚

Revised Goals – I can’t remember if I already mentioned this, but my original goal of a sub 4 hour marathon is no longer on the table. With my more recent runs, I realized that this was too ambitious of a goal. I have since revised my goals to the following:

Goal A – Run a sub 4:15 marathon (Pace: 9:40 min/mile)

Goal B – Run a sub 4:30 marathon (Pace: 10:20 min/mile)

Goal C – FINISH THE MARATHON

Goal A is still pretty ambitious since my one and only marathon time was an 11 min/mile. However, that marathon was the NYC marathon, which has hills. The Chicago marathon does not. Hooray! Also, my training for NYC was mediocre. I skipped a lot of runs and made a lot of excuses and averaged maybe 25-30 miles a week. I also had no finishing time in mind. This time, I ran my butt off during training averaging 40-50 miles a week and I have a specific time in mind. If for any reason, I can’t reach my first goal, there are back up goals and ultimately, I just want to finish another marathon.

6 days and counting guys and gals! If anyone wants to track me, my bib # is 36530. I’ll be starting a little after 8 am CT (That’s 6 am PT for my friends in CA ^_^). Wish me luck!!!

 

 

 

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Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts

Marathon Mondays – Week 15 of Chicago Marathon Training

There’s only 2 weeks left until I run my second full marathon and at this point in training, I just want to get it done and over with. LOL. I’m super impatient. Can you tell? Here’s how training went for this week.

Scheduled Mileage – Actual Mileage

Monday (5 miles) 5.1 miles

I started my new job on Monday and was very fortunate to finish early and get in the easy miles with my run group at Movin’ Shoes.

Tuesday (4 x 1.5 miles with 1 mile WU and CD)8.9 miles with intervals of some sort

Since I’m shorter on time with my new job, I decided to try and use my lunch hour as my run/lunch (runch) hour. I haphazardly created a route on Strava around my workplace that would give me 4.5 miles and ran out the door when lunch time came. What I didn’t realize was that the route I created was fairly hilly. Because 4.5 miles would have taken me a little less than 45 minutes and I only had 15 minutes to change, eat, and stop sweating before my meeting with my manager, I booked it up the hills. Never will I do that again. LOL. I checked out the gym and ran another 4.4 miles after work.

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Wednesday (Rest)Rest

Thursday (10 mile tempo run with 1 mile WU and CD)5 mile tempo with 1.5 mile WU and CD 

Remember about a month ago, I had difficultly breathing on my runs. Yeah, it’s happening again. I’ve been plagued by what I think is severe allergies to something in the air. I thought the allergies would be better indoors and on a treadmill, but it wasn’t. I had to keep stopping because my throat was clogging up and I couldn’t breathe well. I had to keep blowing my nose and spitting out stuff. To say it sucked is an understatement.

Friday (5 miles)5 miles

TGIF! Ran an easy 5 miles on the treadmill after work. Allergies were still in effect unfortunately.

Saturday (8 miles)  – 11.7 mile long run 

Since Thursday,’s fiasco of a run, I had been trying to keep my allergies at bay by taking medication for it. By Saturday, they were a little more manageable and I was able to knock out 11ish miles.

Sunday (10 mile long run)5.1 miles 

I was debating with myself the entire week whether I could do another 50 mile week, but by Wednesday, I settled for 44 or 45 miles. My shins and knees were acting up on Sunday so I decided to opt for 44 miles.

Total mileage (50 miles)44 miles

Thoughts of the week: I don’t like missing mileage, but with my current situation, I think that I did the right thing by opting for lower mileage. I think I forgot to mention it last week, but my knee freaked out after a run and I couldn’t extend my leg without my knee feeling like it was going to pop. I had to extend my leg extremely slowly and even then, my knee felt locked. My knee was better this week, but I could feel that it’s still not 100% so I don’t want to risk putting more stress on it. The rest of training will most likely consist of easy runs with mileage in the high 30s or low 40s. Hopefully, that will be enough recovery and I’ll be able to finish strong in the marathon.

Question for you: Do you have any advice for tapering? Or even for the week before the marathon? I’m all ears!

 

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts

Marathon Mondays – Week 14 of Chicago Marathon training

OMG. 3 weeks left and counting. I’m doomed! LOL. Jk. Only sort of doomed. πŸ™‚

Scheduled mileageActual mileage

Monday (7 miles)7 miles

Since I was still in Texas and it was still hot as hell, the next few days of running were strictly on the treadmill. It was unfortunate, but it wasn’t unbearable. I ran an easy 7 miles and called it a day.

Tuesday (3 x 2 miles with 800 m recovery and 1 mile WU and CD)4 x 1 mile with 800 m recovery after 3 x 1 mile and 1 mile WU and CD

Intervals should be easy on a treadmill, right? You can adjust the speed to what you need it to be. Too bad my body wasn’t having it. I couldn’t hold the speed for 2 miles at a time and had to do 1 mile intervals instead. Boo.

Wednesday (Rest)9 miles with increasing pace

I was traveling to Boston on Thursday so I moved my tempo run to Wednesday. Unfortunately, my muscles were still really tight so I just decided to start out really easy and increase the speed slowly as each mile passed. I never got to my tempo pace, but I wanted to listen to my body. With only 3 weeks left, I can’t afford an injury right now. I also got booted out of the gym early because my boyfriend wasn’t with me. All residents must accompany guests to the gym. Boooooo.

Thursday (10 mile tempo run with 1 mile WU and CD)Rest

Again, HALLELUJAH! Honestly, I love rest days SOOOOO much especially when you spend half the day traveling.

Friday (6 miles)16 miles

Since I was in a completely new city (Boston) and my friend wasn’t available until noon, I decided to do a little sightseeing by way of running and boy did I sight see. In 16 miles, I was able to explore numerous neighborhoods and even got to run along the historical freedom trail.

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Sight seeing at its finest
This was probably the best decision of my Boston trip. πŸ™‚ Although, the 16 miles were not all in one go. Ideally, it should have been one consistent run, but since I wanted to sight see, I made stops along the way. Hopefully that didn’t hurt my training too much. Bleh. I’d run and if I saw something interesting, I’d pop in to see what was there. I also went to convenience stores and bought water. LOL. Can’t have heat stroke in a new city. That’d be bad. πŸ™‚

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Statue of Paul Revere along the freedom trail
Saturday (6 miles)6.2 miles

Someone on Friday mentioned that if my 16 mile route didn’t include running by the Boston marathon finish line, that I did it wrong. LOL. Sooooo I went back out and ran a route that specifically ran by it. It was awesome. πŸ™‚

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The closest I’ll ever get to the finish line unless a miracle happens and I can run like lightning
Sunday (16 miles)4.2 miles

On Saturday, I flew back and what was supposed to be a 5.5 hour flight ended up being 10 hours. Since I was tired as hell, I just ran a easy 4 miler and called it a week.

Total mileage (57 miles)51.6 miles

Thoughts of the week: This was peak week for Hanson’s Marathon method. Thank goodness. I didn’t think I’d make it to this point. LOL. Although I missed the target mileage, I’m still pretty proud of myself traveling and still being able to continue my training plan with a few modifications. It’s also the most mileage I’ve ever run in a week so yay! On another note, remember when I resolved to run 1000 miles this year? Mission accomplished! Yup. I achieved it this week. I’m stoked. πŸ™‚

Question for you: The next few weeks are critical for me. Hanson’s marathon method doesn’t actually really taper until the absolute last week and that worries me because I’ve been so fatigued lately. With my current mileage, how much should I decrease by? Hanson’s has me running 50 and 49 miles for the next two weeks, which is still really high considering I wasn’t able to hit 57 this week. I was thinking about shooting for 45 and 44 instead. What do you all think? What kind of taper works for you? 

 

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Training

Marathon Mondays – Week 13 of Chicago Marathon Training

Less than a month until I run the Chicago Marathon. Holy crap. Here’s my recap of how my marathon training went this past week.

(Scheduled Mileage) Actual Mileage

Monday (6 miles)7 miles

Since Mondays are easy miles, I try running more miles than scheduled because I know I’ll be exhausted by Sunday.

Tuesday (2 x 3 miles with 1.25 mile recovery jog and a 1 mile WU and CD)8 easy miles

This was my worst run of the week. I had to run a few errands in the morning so by the time I was ready to run, it was noon in peak heat. I decided to run by the bay because it’d be a little bit cooler. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. With the heat and lack of shade for 4 miles, I got destroyed during the run. My calf muscles were extremely tight and it took 4 miles for them to loosen up. Each mile in, I had to stop and stretch. I was so mentally and physically drained that I ended up doing an easy 8 miles instead of trying to push myself for intervals.Β I also miscalculated and didn’t realize I was supposed to do a little over 9 miles. Oops.

Wednesday (Rest)9 mile tempo run with 1 mile WU and CD

I was traveling on Thursday so I decided to try for an 9 mile tempo run on Wednesday and rest on Thursday. It was still really warm and I ended up waiting until Wednesday evening to run. It was an okay run and I hit my tempo pace more or less. I did make a few stops along the way because it got dark and I got lost. LOL.

Thursday (9 mile tempo run with 1 mile WU and CD)Rest

Traveled to Texas for vacation so it was a rest day for me.

Friday (6 miles)8 miles (4.5 outdoors and 3.5 indoors)

If you didn’t know, Texas is very warm right now. I woke up a little late and was only able to run 4.5 miles outdoors before it got too warm. It was also my first time really exploring Bastrop and honestly I thought I’d get eaten by wildlife. The city is very much considered the countryside and my paranoia was getting the best of me. LOL. I finished the rest of the miles on the treadmill later that day.

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Running around Bastrop, Texas

Saturday (10 miles)10 miles (5.5 outdoors and 4.5 indoors) and an hour of rockclimbing

Again, I split the run into two parts – 1/2 outdoors and 1/2 indoors due to heat.Β I don’t really enjoy running on the treadmill, but this was the only option since I couldn’t get up early enough (I’m not a morning person) and didn’t want to get heatstroke in the sun. I also ended up bouldering for about an hour.

Sunday (8 miles)6 miles and dance classes

The plan was to go to the Greenbelt in Austin to run, but by the time I woke up, the temperature was already mid 70s. It would have taken another 40 minutes to get into Austin and by that time it would have been 80 and I don’t do well in 80 degree weather. Instead, I went into Austin and took some free dance classes (Intro to Hip Hop and Intro to Ballet for Adults) to mix things up a bit. I ended up getting the miles in on the treadmill later that night while catching up on the BibRave Podcast.

Total mileage (49 miles)49.1 milesΒ 

Thoughts of the Week: With less than 4 weeks to go, I’m getting really nervous about the marathon. Because I’ve been struggling with pacing and hitting my target mileage each week (thank goodness I hit it this week), I think I’ll try for a sub 4:15 marathon time instead. A sub 4 might have been too ambitious, but I don’t regret trying for it at all. 27 days to go. YIKES!

Question for you: I will be moving onto Boston for a few days, butΒ I’ve been having a hard time finding safe routes to run while traveling. How do you find routes to run? Any suggestions for routes to run in either Austin or Boston? Thanks in advance!

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Training

Marathon Mondays – Week 12 of Chicago Marathon Training

With an ongoing heatwave in my city, week 12 of marathon training was not pretty. Sigh. I did what I could and this was the result.

(Scheduled mileage) – Actual mileage

Monday (7 miles) – 7.9 miles 

My usual group run only runs up to 6 miles so I ran 2.9 miles earlier in the day and ran 5 miles with them. I was feeling fairly strong so I decided to run an extra mile that day just in case something happened later in the week.

Tuesday (3 x 2 miles with 800 m recovery and 1 mile WU and CD ) – 3 x 2 miles with 800 m recovery and 1 mile WU and CD 

I tried doing these intervals on the track, but since they were so long, I got bored and deviated a bit and just ran around the campus. I also started out a bit too fast, which made me miss one of my split goals and I think made my legs a bit more tired later on in the week.

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Wednesday (Rest) – Rest

I felt pretty exhausted and welcomed the rest.

Thursday (9 mile tempo with 1 mile WU and CD) – 9 mile tempo with 0.7 mile WU and CD

My boyfriend was in town this past week and so I made it an effort to run earlier in the afternoon instead of doing my usual evening runs so this tempo run was attempted at 3 pm. It got way too hot too fast and I made the decision to run the tempo portion on a treadmill while watching Moana. LOL. Running on the treadmill was really tough and I ended up having to stop a few times because I started overheating despite the air conditioning being on. Go figure. The warm up and cool down was basically me running to and away from the gym.

Friday (6 miles) – Zero miles

This was a pretty upsetting day for me. I had a lot of errands to run and it was also my last day in graduate school so I was busily packing away my things. Having spent 9 years in the lab, I had accumulated quite a bit of stuff and it took me a lot longer to finish everything. Result? I ended up missing my Friday run completely. Bleh.

Saturday (8 miles) – 13 miles

Since I did my 16 miler last week, this week was actually supposed to only be 10 miles. But, because I missed my Friday run, I tried making up for it by running 13 miles instead. This was so hard because it was extremely warm even at 9 am. I think it hit 80F by the time I finished. It was tough. I cried during my last mile, but I finished it and felt better later in the day.

(Note: I always do my long runs on Saturdays because I run with a group. The scheduled mileage is taken directly from the Hanson’s marathon method beginner’s plan, which has their long run scheduled on Sundays).

Sunday (16 miles) – 5 miles

With the weather still being very humid, I ran 5 miles at a very easy pace. My legs felt like lead for almost 4 miles of it and I contemplated stopping almost every mile in. It also didn’t help that it started sprinkling about a mile in. Bleh.

Total mileage (56 miles) – 45.4 miles

Thoughts of the week: So I haven’t been as good about my training as of late and I am a bit worried about the last few weeks of training. I don’t know if I can keep the mileage up with the next few weeks asking me to hit 49-57 miles a week. I’ll also be traveling the next two weeks to very hot parts of the U.S. so it’ll be very tricky to see if I can do it. I’m also EXTREMELY FATIGUED despite missing my target weekly mileage. Eek! Help, anyone?

Question for you: What kind of training program have you followed? Did it work? I’m hoping to follow Hanson’s Marathon Method as closely as I can to see if it’ll work for me, but I’m curious to see what others ones people have had success with.

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts

Marathon Mondays – Week 11 of Chicago Marathon Training

Week 11 of Chicago marathon training is officially over and boy did the week drag on and on and on. I was sick and plagued with allergies all week long that running made it really difficult for me to breathe. Because of that, it was no surprise that I didn’t hit my weekly goal. Here’s a quick run down of how it went.

(Scheduled mileage)Actual mileage

Monday (5 miles)5 miles

After the AFC Half marathon, I was super happy to just run an easy 5 miles. Unfortunately, the run didn’t go very well. I was extremely congested and at times, my allergies got so bad I couldn’t breathe because I was experiencing heavy post-nasal drip. Trust me, it was not pretty.

Tuesday (4 x 1.5 mile with 1 mile WU and CD)No miles

Because of Monday’s fiasco, I decided against running my intervals. I didn’t think I’d have the strength to do it AND I still had to prepare for my defense, which was the next day. A day of rest, wouldn’t kill me, right? At least, that’s what I kept trying to convince myself.

Wednesday (Rest)Rest

Oh and I also defended and got my Ph.D. No big deal. LOL. J/k. It is a HUGE DEAL! πŸ™‚ I’ll write a post on this later.

Thursday (9 mile tempo run with 1 mile WU + CD)7.2 mile “easy” run

I still wasn’t 100%, but decided to try and do the tempo run anyway. It really bothered me that I was missing out on so many miles. I, again, had breathing problems and had to constantly blow my nose to make sure I could breathe properly. Then around mile 3, I had digestive issues and had to pause my run. I considered calling it then, but I was really worried about the low weekly mileage (especially with only a month and a half left til the race) and decided to keep going. At 7 miles, I was done.

Friday (5 miles)5 miles

These set of miles were thankfully better than Thursday’s. I wasn’t as motivated to run since I had one hell of a week, but managed to get it in.

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Saturday (8 miles)16 miles

I was only scheduled to do a 10 mile long run this weekend, but because I might be going to Vegas next weekend (to celebrate my graduation), which is also the same weekend as my second 16 mile run, I somehow convinced myself that I should do the 16 this weekend.  The run didn’t start out great. My calf muscles were really tight and I still wasn’t sure how bad my allergies would be, but I felt better after 6 miles in and after passing the 8 mile mark, I was committed to finishing the 16.

Sunday (10 miles)5.7 miles

Woke up and just dragged my feet to get ready. To get myself a bit more pumped about running, I decided to listen to a podcast on my run. The BibRave Podcast this week was on Tim Murphy, one of the co-founders of BibRave, and his experience during the Leadville 100 Trail race. There’s also commentary from his team and pacers and it was such a motivating podcast to listen to while I was trying to run. I was originally only going to do 4.7, but because Tim had done 100+ miles, I thought “Why not? Another mile won’t kill me” and ended with 5.7 miles. πŸ™‚

Total mileage (49 miles)39 miles


Thoughts of the Week: This week I missed the most mileage I’ve ever missed during the training program. It sucks, but because I also got my PhD this week and interviewed for a job while still sick, I’m going to give myself a pass and consider this still a win. πŸ™‚ I’m still very fatigued, but I still have 6 weeks to go and anything can happen in that time. πŸ™‚

Question for you: How was your week? Anything exciting happen?

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts

Marathon Mondays – Week 10 of Chicago Marathon Training

Well, well, well. I am now done with week 10 of marathon training and that means there’s only 7 weeks left! Holy crap. I’m less than 2 months away from running my second marathon. EEK!

Scheduled MileageActual Mileage

Monday (5 miles)5.1 miles

Who loves easy runs? This gal does! I was still feeling pretty sore from Saturday’s race so this run was at a very easy pace.

Tuesday (6 x 1 mile repeats with 400 meter recovery jog with 1 mile WU and CD) 6 x 1 mile repeats with 400 meter recovery jog with 1 mile WU and CD

With Hanson’s marathon method, the second half of the training program has me doing strength intervals on Tuesday. They differ from the first half because they are much longer. I was talking to a friend the other day and after I told him I was doing a 6 x 1 mile sprints, he looked at me in disbelief like that wasn’t a thing. In reality, it’s not reallyyyyy a sprint. You’re supposed to run it 10 seconds faster than your marathon pace, which for me would be a 8:59 min/mile. I had no idea I was supposed to do this so my intervals were a little faster. Oops. The good news is that my stamina for running faster and longer is increasing. I can actually feel the difference now. πŸ™‚

Wednesday (Rest)Rest

It’s amazing what a difference one day will make. On Tuesday, I felt super strong. On Wednesday morning, I woke up with a sore throat. Thank god it was a rest day. My lower back also started to hurt so I tried resting as much as I could. I drank a TON of fluids too.

Thursday (Tempo run 8 miles with 1 mile WU and CD)8.1 easy run miles

Since I was racing again on Sunday AND still had a sore throat, I took it easy. I was debating the entire day whether to try and run the entire 10 miles or just do 5 miles. I ended running 8 miles. It really irritated me that I didn’t finish the other 2 miles, but over the next few days, I didn’t regret the decision to run less.

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My 8 mile run around the bay
Friday (5 miles) –  6.2 miles

I was super stubborn about the missed mileage on Thursday and even though I still had that sore throat, I ended up running an extra mile on Friday. It was risky and I would never advise anyone to do this.

Saturday (8 miles)7.8 miles

I woke up feeling really congested, but rolled out of bed and joined the Movin’ Shoes long run group. I knew if I didn’t go with them, I’d never get the mileage in. It was tough and I ran it a lot slower than I normally do. I ended up also doing a run/walk towards the end of the run. My race was the next day and I didn’t want to stress out my body too much before then. I know I was supposed to taper, but the half wasn’t my goal race – Chicago is and I want to really commit to Hanson’s program.

Sunday (16 miles)13.3 miles

I was supposed to do my first out of three 16 mile runs today, but based on how I felt, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I finished the half in pretty good shape (I’ll recap soon), but I again didn’t want to push it. A little part of me thought, maybe if I rested up after the race, I could do another 3 miles. After a 2 hour nap and not feeling significantly better, I threw in the towel for the week.

Total Mileage (54 miles)50.4 miles


Thoughts of the Week: I was a bit disappointed that I missed this week’s mileage by 3 miles, but considering the circumstances, I’m still pretty happy that I hit 50 miles this week. FIFTY. 5-0! I remember looking at this program 3 months ago and thinking – I’m definitely going to have to adjust these 50 mile weeks. There’s NO WAY I can do 50. Now look at me. I ran 50 miles WHILE SICK. Booyah self doubt!

Question for you: Have you ever been super stubborn about doing something when you knew it wasn’t the best thing for you? What did you do?