Monday, July 31, 2017

My first 60+ mile week ever! Chicago Marathon Training

Which goes to say that it is also my highest mileage week since I started running in 2010. And I still have 10 weeks of training (well 8 really, subtracting taper) until I race Chicago Marathon

Early in the week I completed a run I would have thought was impossible a month ago. Eight miles at speed with out stopping (in a non-race situation). The first four miles were a little bit faster than goal marathon pace (8:30-8:40/mi) and the second four miles were at half-marathon(ish) pace (8:15-8:25/mi). I figured after completing this run, my hardest on my schedule, the rest of the week is just getting the miles in. I'm glad it was scheduled for Tuesday!

Working with Coach Becki Spellman has helped me get comfortable running marathon pace, so after my 2 mile warm-up the first 4 work miles almost felt easy. They were hard and I had to work to maintain pace but I felt okay running them. I've finally learned to ease into pace and not take the first work miles too fast. The second 4 work miles did not feel easy and I definitely had to use mental strength to not give-up. One thought that helped me was knowing how great I would feel once I completed the workout. And I definitely did. This workout pumped me up and made feel like I can run Chicago at the pace I'm training. Splits: 8:32, 8:37, 8:38, 8:39, 8:23, 8:14, 8:16, 7:54. I can't believe I ran a sub-8 mile for my last work mile. I just wanted to get done so I ran it fast. I ran all 8 miles on the track to simulate the "flatness" of Chicago.

Week 13: July 24-30

New shoes for August

Monday:8 miles easy (8.1 miles, 9:27/mi). Jasyoga: Booty Lock Mitigation

Tuesday: 12 miles with tempo-2 miles easy, 4 miles at 8:30-8:40/mi, 4 miles at 8:15-8:25/mi, 2 miles easy.Splits: 8:32, 8:37, 8:38, 8:39, 8:23, 8:14, 8:16, 7:54 (12.1 miles, 8:48/mi). Jasyoga: Quick Hamstring Reset

Wednesday: 6 miles easy (6.1 miles, 9:29/mi).

Thursday: 10 miles-first 4 miles easy, second 4 miles faster (think 20 seconds faster than easy), last 2 miles easy.

Friday: 8 miles easy (8.0 miles, 9:11). New shoes again (same model, new color -Brooks PureCadence). Training for a marathon and 200+mile/months burns a lot of rubber. 

Saturday: 18 mile long run (18.1 miles, 9:48/mi). My legs were super-tired as this was the culmination of 9 days running without a rest day. I was able to push through and run strong to the end. I felt good about this run and this week. Jasyoga: Recovery Boost for Runners.
Long run done! Looking forward to rest day!

Sunday: OFF. 1 hour yoga class at Ritual Brew. Enjoyed my day off!

Total Weekly Miles: 62.4 miles!!! (9 hours, 47 minutes)
2017 Miles: 868.3 miles

I've joined the training link up on Eat Pray Run DC. See the link up HERECourtney is training for the Berlin Marathon. :) 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Chicago Marathon Training: Week 12

With a little help from friends, another 50+ mile week is in the books. Slightly cooler temps helped too. 

Feeling stronger and more confident in my ability to race well on October 8. As of today, the Chicago Marathon is in 75 days--subtracting 2 week taper and rest days means 55 days of training left. I can do this!

Week 12 (July 17-July 23)

Monday: 5 miles easy (4.4 miles, 9:57/mi). I like when I have 5 or less miles scheduled for a Monday. It means I get to sleep in and wake up naturally (for me = 6 am). But it also means I have to cut my run a little short to make sure I'm not that late to work. I also did Jasyoga: 5 minute Quad Reset.

Tuesday: 10 miles easy or really 6 miles easy + 2 miles with 30 seconds stride/2 minute jog + 2 miles easy (10.2 miles, 9:39/mi). First 6 miles with friends; last 4 by myself. This workout really wiped me out. I don't know if it was the running six miles before the reps or just training load fatigue. The reps themselves were no problem. It was the 2 miles easy after the reps. They were a slog fest.

Wednesday: 8 miles easy (8.1 miles, 9:21/mi). Run felt a lot better then the day before. Jasyoga: Pre-Run Warm Up

Track: We each do our own workout
Thursday: 9 miles with progressive tempo. 2 miles easy + 3 miles at 8:30-8:40/mi + 3 miles at 8:10-8:20/mi + 1 mile easy (9.0 miles, 8:45/mi). I was nervous about this run because picking up speed in the 2nd half is hard for me and I tend to mentally give-up. I went into the run knowing I would really have to work hard the 2nd half. I've been running my marathon-pace and tempo runs on the track to simulate the flatness of Chicago. I live and train in rolling hills. Running a lot of miles without stopping on the track can get a bit boring, but every mile or so I change direction to mix it up. SPLITS: 8:39, 8:30, 8:38, 8:12, 8:12, 8:08. I'm very pleased with my results. Jasyoga: Pre-Run Warm Up

Friday: OFF. I loved this rest day. I didn't do any work. My next scheduled rest day is 9 days from this one. I enjoyed it. :)

Saturday: 16 miles long run (16.2 miles, 9:15/mi). First 4 miles by myself + 12 miles with friends. I had to go to the mall to shop for clothes for a wedding and bachelorette party (e.g. non-running clothes). So for me, this 16 mile run was the easiest part of the day!

Hot & sweaty long run
Sunday: 6 miles easy (6.1 miles, 9:12/mi). My husband had a soccer tournament in Orange County so it was a change of scenery for me and a lot cooler temps than inland. 

Total Weekly Miles: 54.1 miles (8 hours + 24 minutes)

2017 Miles: 805.9 Miles

I've joined the training link up on Eat Pray Run DC. See the link up HERECourtney is training for the Berlin Marathon. :) 

Monday, July 17, 2017

First 50+ Mile Week of this cycle! Chicago 26.2 Training: Week 11

Hot summer running leads to huge fall racing PRs, right? Lately, it seems that all my long runs have been slogs no matter how early I start. At least at this point in training I don't have to worry about pace during my long runs. It's just about time on my feet. I'll enjoy it now because it won't last long. 

I've completed my base-building phase. I've completed my strength building phase. Now sh*t's getting real. I've just completed my first 50+ mile week for the Chicago Marathon. I'm now embarking on my marathon-specific training which means fast finishes at the end of long runs when I'm tired or starting slow and building speed in workouts. This is a weakness of mine and I'm looking forward to improving. 

Week 11 (July 10-16)

Monday: 6 miles easy (6.2 miles, 9:21/mi) Jasyoga: 5-min Hamstring Reset +core

Tuesday: 6 miles easy (6.0 miles, 9:29/mi). 

Wednesday: 2 miles warm-up, 2 x 1 mile @8:15-8:20/mi, 2 x 800m in 4:00 min, 2 x 1 mile @8:05-8:10/mi. 2 minute recovery between each rep. Rep times: 8:16, 8:14, 3:55, 3:53, 7:50, 7:45. I loved this workout. It was tough, it was hard but I pushed through and hit my paces. (9.2 miles, 8:48/mi).

Thursday: OFF. Jasyoga: 5-min Hamstring Reset 

Friday: 8 miles easy (8.0 miles, 9:30/mi). 30 minute Tabata class pre-run and Jasyoga: Power Your Push Off

Saturday: 5 miles easy (5.2 miles, 8:56/mi). Paul ran the first two miles with me. :) Jasyoga: Flexible Running Hamstrings

Sunday: 18 mile long run (18.0 miles, 9:54). Oh boy, was this a slog. It was 73F when we started at 5:30 am. I also probably started the run dehydrated because of drinking beer and not water the night before. My running group and I have had previous discussions. 2 beers the night before a long run = okay. 3 beers the night before a long run = not okay. I will now add this: 3 beers before a long HOT run = super not okay. 

Total Weekly Miles: 52.6 miles (8 hours 16 minutes)
2017 Miles: 752 miles

I've joined the training link up on Eat Pray Run DC. See the link up HERECourtney is training for the Berlin Marathon. :) 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Steamy tempo run on July 4th
I can't believe it's been 10 weeks since I started training for the Chicago Marathon and I can't believe I had the audacity to ask my coach 3 weeks ago if I was going to be getting more miles and more mid-week longer runs. Thank you, Coach Becki! I'm feeling strong and fit and I now know that this is when the grind begins. I may have said the same thing last week. 

Week 10 (July 3-9)

Monday: Plan said OFF, but I skipped Sunday's run because of travel ( & maybe wine the night before). 4 miles easy (4.0 miles, 9:27/mi). I also had an appointment with my physical therapist--just for a mid-cycle tune up. Oh boy, he worked me. My glutes were sore for days. I also had a one hour massage and did a Jasyoga video (Low-Back Love). A vacation day from work made this all possible.

Tuesday: Happy 4th of July! I also I had my longest mid-week run of this cycle. It also happened to be an alternating tempo. 11 miles with 2 miles warm-up, 8 miles alternating between goal marathon pace and a moderate-effort pace, 1 mile cool-down. Paul ran the first two miles with me. He walked back with water for me. Because it was a tempo and I didn't want to stop, he handed off the bottle to me. I felt like an elite! ;) Tempo miles: 8:24 (too fast), 8:59 (too fast), 8:39, 9:08, 8:39, 9:33, 8:34, 9:22. The last two miles were ROUGH. (11 miles, 9:02/mi). 

The other direction isn't easier.
Wednesday: 6 miles easy (6.1 miles, 9:51/mi). Nothing spectacular about this run, but it felt like a super Monday after 5 days of no work and a 5 am alarm. 

Thursday: 8 miles easy (8.2, 9:53/mi). Hilly run with my early morning running group. We ran the same route last week, but in reverse. We soon figured out both directions are hard with lots of climbing. 

Friday: 4 miles easy. I didn't run. 30 minute Tabata class (Burpees). 

Saturday: 16 miles long run. I joined the Runegades for their weekly group run for my middle miles. It was a brutal run with lots of heat and hills. When I started the run at 5 am it was 77F. When I finished almost 3 hours later it was in the low-90s. We start and finish these group runs at Panera. When I finished I walked straight into the restaurant and ordered a frozen lemonade. I've never done that before. It was good, but gone in 10 seconds. (16.0 miles, 9:54/mi).

Sunday: OFF. I was a lazy bum all day and enjoyed it!

Total Weekly Miles: 45.3 miles (7 hours, 17 minutes)
2017 Miles: 698.8 Miles

Next week my planned miles reach 50 for the first time in this training cycle! 

I've joined the training link up on Eat Pray Run DC. See the link up HERECourtney is training for the Berlin Marathon. :) 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Chicago Marathon Training: Weeks 8 and 9

Summer has officially arrived! And with it comes heat. As an early morning runner (usual weekday start times =  5 am), summer heat doesn't bother me. It makes things easier. I just throw on a tank (or not, summer is sports bra season) and shorts and I'm good to go. I don't have to think about layering or becoming too warm because I wore a long sleeve. I don't have to worry about my fingers freezing because I forgot gloves. 

However, the last couple of weeks have been scorchers. We have had multiple days of triple digit heat where the temperature would rise to 90F before 9 am. That's hot. 
The day I realized training got REAL

Just like the weather, my training has become intense. I'm now firmly entrenched in the strength building phase. And I love it.  

Week 8 (June 19-June 25)

Monday: 5 miles easy (5.0 miles, 9:34/mi)

Tuesday: 4 miles easy (4.2 miles, 9:15/mi). Jasyoga: 5 min Hip Flexor and 5 min Hip Reset.

Wednesday: Mile Repeats. 2 miles warm-up, 6 x 1 mile @ 8:15-8:20/mi, 1 min rest, 1 mile cool-down.  (work splits: 8:10, 8:14, 8:11, 8:15, 8:15, 8:16) This is where the sh@t got real. Oh boy, tough work out. (9.5 miles, 8:58/mi). Jasyoga: Work-out Day Warm-up and Quick Post-L/R Reset

Thursday: OFF. Easy walk with Paul and Nani to coffee.

Friday: 7 miles easy (7.0 miles, 9:29/mi)

Saturday: 14 miles long run (14.0 miles, 10:01/mi). A very hilly, challenging run route. Jasyoga: Recovery Boost for Runners.

14 mile, very hilly & challenging run
on Global #SportsBraSquad Day!
Sunday: 4 miles easy (3.3 miles, 10:23). Slept in and dawdled. Very hot. Cut run short. 

Week 9 (June 26-July 2)

Monday: 4 miles easy (4.1 miles, 9:55/mi)

Tuesday: 6 miles easy (6.0 miles, 9:44/mi)

Wednesday: 8 miles easy (8.2 miles, 9:28/mi). Hilly route. Jasyoga: How to Activate Your Glutes and Quad Reset

Thursday: Marathon Goal Pace. 2 miles warm-up, 6 miles @ 8:35-8:45/mi. (work splits: 8:43, 8:36, 8:37, 8:17, 8:14, 8:21). My average pace for the 6 work miles was 8:28 /mi! I ran the work out on the track because I live/train in rolling hills and I want to learn how my goal marathon pace feels on flat terrain because Chicago Marathon is 26 miles of flat. This is the first time I ran 6 miles straight (w/o rests or recovery) on a track! It's a mental game, for sure. I felt like a superwoman after crushing this workout.
Wore my new singlet to harness superpowers
for my goal marathon pace workout

Friday: 4 miles easy (4.1 miles, 9:22/mi). 30 minute Tabata class. Jasyoga: Quick Unstick for Stiff Sides

Saturday: 12 miles long run. Woke up at 4am on a Saturday to get this run in before my parents picked me up for a 5 hour drive to attend a 50th wedding anniversary party (12.0 miles, 9:25/mi). Jasyoga: Quick Post-Run Reset

Sunday: 4 miles easy. Skipped this run. Drank wine and had fun at the party night before. Did not feel like waking up early before we started the long drive back nor did I feel like running when I got home. Jasyoga: 5-min Quad Reset.

Total Weekly Miles (Week 8-9): 86.6 (43.0+43.6) miles, 13 hours, 41 minutes
2017 Miles: 658 miles, 106 hours, 27 minutes

Now that I'm back to training, I've rejoined the training link up on Eat Pray Run DC. See the link up HERECourtney is training for the Berlin Marathon. :)