Chicago Marathon: Training Week 15

TAPER TIME!!!!

My last long, long run of the cycle is complete and now I can move on to tapering. To say I’m excited would be an understatement! Unlike other training cycles, this one felt like it went really fast. It may be because I was starting from scratch, or because the training plan I followed wasn’t as demanding as the one I followed last time. At some point I’d like to sit down and really compare the plans long run vs. long run, and I’ll be interested to see what I think after Chicago. My goals for the Chicago Marathon are so different than when I ran my first marathon. When I ran Smuttynose (which they sadly canceled after the year I ran) I was really focused on running a sub-4 marathon. All of my runs were very pace focused, while my runs this go around are just to get the mileage in. I wasn’t nervous going out for my 20 milers this time around like I was last time. I knew I’d be able to complete them, and knowing I wasn’t trying to hit a certain pace helped.

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Monday: off

Tuesday: 5 miles @9:28 – Runs and paces are feeling more comfortable. This felt very easy which was nice, and though I was tempted to pick up the pace a little I wanted to save my energy for Saturday’s long run.

Wednesday: 5 miles @9:30 – After the great shoe debacle last week, a new pair of Wave Rider 17s arrived and I was eager to try them. Call me crazy, but I STILL felt a weird pressure under the ball of my foot. It almost feels like my sock is bunched up, only it’s not. I’m hoping it’s all in my head and they’ll be just as comfortable as my current shoes come race day.

Thursday: 5 miles @9:30 – Another treadmill run and another chance to watch Scandal! I’m only 1 episode away from the first season’s finale and can’t wait to see it! Felt nice and comfortable on this run.

Friday: off

Saturday: 20.12 miles @10:05 – This wasn’t quite the magical rainbows and unicorns run that my last 20 miler was. I wasn’t surprised that this one felt harder, because I’ve never felt that good that late into a run as I did during my last 20 miler. My sleep was terrible this week, nutrition wasn’t great, and it was a bit warmer than my last 20 miler. While it wasn’t awesome, it wasn’t awful either. It was pretty much how you’d expect to feel running for 3 hours 23 minutes and 5 seconds. 

I had the same plan and route as last time. Run 10 miles on my own and then meet my friend to run the last 10 together. Again I was looking forward to listening to music on my way to meet her. Except when I went to get my iPod out of my diaper bag it was covered in hand sanitzer that had leaked. Oops! I once sent my husband’s iPod through the washing machine and it came out just fine, so I hoped that mine would be able to handle the hand sanitzer. After cleaning it and charging it it was still on the fritz. Sometimes the music would come on, sometimes not, and sometimes the music would keep playing even after I switched the iPod to off. I decided to give it a shot on Saturday and for the first 3 miles it worked just fine. Then out of nowhere the volume was at full throttle and it wouldn’t go down no matter how many times I pressed the buttons. So I tucked my headphones into my tank top and could still hear the music perfectly, it was like a mini boom box. A couple miles later and the whole thing stopped working. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted. 

At mile 8 there’s a water fountain where I normally refill my bottle. I’d been about 15 feet behind the same guy for the past 3 miles and wanted to keep him in sight so I decided to skip it. Big mistake. Big. HUGE. (Pretty Woman, anyone?) I ran out of water shortly after and had planned to take a GU at mile 10, but had to wait until mile 12 when I could grab some more water. I felt sooo thirsty the entire rest of the run. We stopped at mile 18 to run into a store that has a water bottle filler (that’s the technical term) at the fountain and I’ve never been so happy to have a full bottle of water. Lesson learned. 

During the first 10 miles I run up the Newton Hills, including Heartbreak Hill. Being early in the run they don’t seem that bad, but on the way home at about mile 15 we run up a hill that seems torturous. My friend and I talked about how if the marathon course went in reverse this one would be considered Heartbreak Hill. I actually think it’s harder than Heartbreak, although it could be because of where it comes in my run. 

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Heartbreak Hill

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Heartbreak-ier Hill

Looking at the elevation profiles they’re pretty similar in length and steepness. But I still say the 2nd one is worse and I’m sticking to it. Splits: (1) 10:23 (2) 9:42 (3) 9:48 (4) 9:24 (5) 9:24 (6) 9:35 (7) 9:21 (8) 9:19 (9) 9:26 (10) 9:33 (11) 10:06 (12) 10:26 (13) 10:38 (14) 10:38 (15) 10:22 (16) 10:29 (17) 10:17 (18) 11:59 (19) 10:46 (20) 10:20

Sunday: off – And very, very sore!

Weekly Total: 35.12 miles

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4 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon: Training Week 15

    • Isn’t taper sooo nice?! I really don’t know about my time goal. When I first started training I was eyeing the 4 hour mark – HA! I signed up to commit to running after having a baby a year ago, but if pressed my time goals would align with yours. I would love to be under 4:30 and closer to a 4:15 if it’s a good day. You look very well trained to hit your A goal. Hitting 9:3x paces in 95 degree whether and negative splitting your 20 miler – you are awesome!!

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  1. Nice training week…I’m hoping to run under 4 at Chicago too and just finished peak week…similar to your week, ending with 22 in Sunday, will see how it works out in 19 days!!

    Good luck!
    James

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