Chicago Marathon: Training Week 11

The Chicago Marathon is starting to feel real, and more importantly, achievable. Hotels and flights were booked as soon as we registered, and this week I made dinner reservations for the night before and night of the marathon. Between traveling with 2 little kids + 45,000 other marathon runners, I didn’t want to get stuck waiting an hour+ to get seated.

Despite battling insomnia this week, I felt really good during my weekday runs. I felt like I was starting to get my running mojo back. My long run this week – 18 miles – didn’t feel as great. By mile 5 I was tired and by mile 10 I was wondering how I was going to even finish it. The 18 mile long run was a low point during my last marathon training cycle. I remember getting home and feeling defeated about not having another 8 miles in me. There was definitely no runner’s high! So even though I ran my last 18 miler much faster, mentally I was in a better place at the end of this run.

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Monday: off

Tuesday: 4.5 miles @9:11 pace – Despite being tired from not sleeping much the few days before, I felt surprisingly good during this run. 1M w/u @9:31, 3M@9:00, .5M c/d @9:31

Wednesday: 8 miles @9:27 – Finally got some sleep! It was really hot and muggy out so I opted to run this one on the treadmill. We have an industrial type fan that I turned on and aimed at the treadmill which really helped. A much better long mid-week run than the week before.

Thursday: 5 miles @9:03 – Annnd my insomnia is back. Started to fall asleep around 1am when my oldest came in because of a bad dream. It took me awhile to fall asleep after that. I expected this run to be awful and felt surprisingly good. Planned to do a couple 800m speed-ups, but I felt good (and wanted to be done faster) so on the 3rd one I decided to just stay at that pace. 1M w/u @9:41, 2x800m @8:34 w/400m RI, 3200m@8:34, 800m c/d@9:40

Friday: off

Saturday: 18 miles @10:01 – Saw a lot of wildlife on this run. A mile in and I saw a family of 7 wild turkeys plus a baby turkey (Why did the turkey cross the road? To get away from the runner. Yes, this was one of the cheesy poultry jokes I spent the next mile thinking about) and at mile 5 passed a farm that has 2 dozen cows. There’s a little trail that runs along the farm and the cows were all milling about right by the fence. It was really cool running just 3 feet away from them. Like I said, this run was tough from early on. I couldn’t settle in and zone out the way I normally can. I spent a lot of time convincing myself to just make it to X and then re-evaluate. It wasn’t just mentally tough, my legs hurt. My left hamstring and glutes felt really tight and I would stretch whenever I had to wait at a traffic light.
My daughter’s old preschool is almost exactly half-way between our house and my in-laws, so when I ran past their house I told myself just to make it to the preschool. Once there I convinced myself just to make it to 16 miles (which I had run the week before) and then I could walk. At 16 I told myself to just run a little more to make it my longest run of the training cycle. Basically every .25-.5 mile I gave myself the same little talk until I was finally, blissfully, at mile 18. Phew.
Splits: (1) 10:11 (2) 9:59 (3) 9:57 (4) 9:50 (5) 9:54 (6) 9:51 (7) 9:46 (8) 9:43 (9) 9:53 (10) 10:04 (11) 10:02 (12) 10:12 (13) 9:49 (15) 10:00 (16) 10:24 (17) 9:59 (18) 10:31

Sunday: off

Weekly Total: 35.5 miles

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Portrait of a sweaty runner. I was really happy to be done running . . . and my 5 year old was making me laugh.

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