Chicago Marathon Training, Week 7 Recap

After last week’s marginal training, I came back with a vengeance. I got in all my workouts in some form, despite tired/sore legs some days. I even managed to do 2 days of PT for the knee, and some ab work throughout the week too. Feelin’ good about it!

Sunday, July 28th: 9 mile long run • 10:49/mile
This recap got its own special blog post. Went pretty well!

Monday: 4 miles bike ride • 35 minutes
After my 9-miler on Sunday (especially because my knee was acting up), I thought it might be a good idea to give my knees a rest from pounding pavement. I went on a bike ride with Matt instead. It was fun, and my sore legs needed some movement to stretch them out.

Tuesday: 60 minutes cross train • bike ride
I went biking with a group of lovely ladies all around town for an hour, despite some sprinkles off & on. It felt like a fairly hard ride (my legs must have been tired from Sunday still?).

Wednesday: 4 miles 3.29 miles • 9:47/mile
There’s running in the rain…and then there’s running in a MONSOON. During this run, I was keeping a speedy pace (for me) and feeling great, when suddenly I noticed a massive amount of dark clouds barreling in my direction… I stopped to snap this picture:

Storm coming during a run. That doesn't look good!

Hmm, that doesn’t look good…

And two minutes later, the storm was unleashed upon me. Normally I would run in the rain, but it was coming down so hard, I could barely keep my eyes open, and my contact was floating around in my eye! I booked it home a mile in the torrential rain. So, if you saw a wet rat traipsing about in a neon yellow tank top Wednesday afternoon—not to worry, that was just me.

Thursday: 7 miles • 11:14/mile
This was an enjoyable, jumbled run. I met up with my marathon training buddy, Liz, and we did a mix of bike trail, road & grassy trail miles. I heart trail running. The first several miles on pavement were at a good clip; but the trail miles really slowed us down (which was just fine!). Also, FYI: A small ice cream cone after a tiring 7-miler tastes SUPERB.

Friday: Rest
My legs were ready for some rest. Proud that I accomplished some great workouts all week, as well as ate quite healthy. (Did I just write above that I had an ice cream cone?) I lost a pound this week, too. Boom.

Saturday: 14.3 miles • 10:55/mile
I DID IT! My longest run ever.

Until next week, when I run 15. Ha. Oh my…

The pace is off for this run; my Garmin started when I did, but only tracked time instead of distance, for some reason? The first .3 miles weren’t calculated in. Adding in the stop to try to fix the darn watch, it said my first mile was 15 minutes! I feel good knowing that I would have been happy with a 10:55 pace, but I did even better…even if I don’t know exactly what it is.

This run was kind of up-and-down, which showed me how important it is not to get too into your head when running this far. I felt great the first few miles, even said so out loud to Liz, but during mile 4, my hips and legs started to feel very achy. I was kind of nervous how they’d fare for the following 10 miles, but I pushed it out of my mind and just focused on putting one foot in front of the other, and got lost in the random music playlist I had put together. (Note: Good music can make such a difference!)

We had been stopping quite a few times to stretch out achy limbs, adjust water belts, take bathroom/water breaks, etc. It’s always tough for me to get in the groove again after stopping mid-run, so as soon as I refrained from that, it seemed to help me feel less achy. From now on, I’m going to stop during my long runs as little as possible, only if I need to stretch something out or refill a water bottle, and see if that makes a difference!

When we finished, I was pretty excited—I mean, 14 miles is just long! But despite the long distance and running for about two and a half hours, I can’t say I ever really got “bored” during the run. Plus, it was so fun to be greeted by my running club members with applause and congratulations on my longest run PR. Even though many of them have run marathons and can run a pace WAY faster than me, they all understand that feeling of pushing yourself to new heights, and setting & reaching goals. It is so great to have that kind of support group. If you aren’t in a running club, join one!!

Now here’s a gross picture of me & my post-long-run celebratory mimosa:

Post-long-run celebratory mimosa!

My hip flexors and quads are a bit sore today (Sunday), but the rest of my body feels pretty good. Best part: No pain in the knees. I better keep those PT exercises up this week.

This week’s schedule:
• Sunday: 60 minutes cross train
• Monday: rest/PT
• Tuesday: 4 miles
• Wednesday: 7 miles
• Thursday: 4 miles/PT
• Friday: rest
• Saturday: 15 miles

How were your workouts this week?

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