Copy of Copy of Chicago Marathon Training

Chicago Marathon Training – Week 9

At times this week, I felt like I had a breakthrough. I’ve had some very good sessions, felt like my paces were improving and thought ‘Chicago Marathon here we come’. Well, that was until the weekend happened! Read on to find out what happened.

If you haven’t caught up with all the other weeks training, have a look here.

Monday – Club Session – 400’s, 300’s and 20 second sprint

With 18 miles in my legs from the previous days long run, I was a little apprehensive about this session. I set off on the warm-up ahead of everyone else and then watch almost all of them pass me. My legs felt quite heavy, but I just kept plodding along. Gradually my legs started to feel better and I was quite lucky that we had a long warm-up. By the time the main session started 6 x 400’s, 3 x 300’s and 8 x 20-second sprint with 10-sec recovery I felt really strong. My paces were pretty decent too, so that was a total shock to me.

Tuesday – Rest Day

Massage with Tina and yes it hurt. My left glute has been hurting, so there was a lot of work on that. Ouch! I really do need to make sure I stretch more!

Wednesday – Tempo Run – Av Pace 8:45

After a very emotional day, I can’t say I was looking forward to this. I didn’t have anyone to run with and I just couldn’t get my head around sorting a route, so I decided to use the treadmill.

I genuinely thought that there was a chance I would just give up after 3 miles, but after my mile warm-up, I set the treadmill to 8:47 min/mile pace and started running. 8 miles felt like a long way, but I think my emotion from the day kicked in and was channeled during this run as I completed all 8 miles. It was sweaty, it was mentally and physically tough, but it gave me a real boost once completed.

Thursday – Club session – Gully run

We have a local park that is very undulating and lucky for us, our coaches have a 1200m loop that includes about 50 steps in!! Let me just tell you that these steps are not evenly spaced, so they are a killer. Some of our club members run them, I don’t think I EVER have!

Usually I enjoy working hard during this session and then my legs just fade and I get slower and slower. Not today, I still didn’t run the steps, but I ran the rest of the loop strong and I got faster with every loop.

Friday – 6 Miles easy – Av Pace 10:

This felt far from easy. My legs were still sore from the session the previous evening. Today was a super busy day, so I had to start this run at 7 am. I was tired, my legs felt heavy and were not my friend. But it was a lovely morning and I had Christine with me keeping me going. It wasn’t at my prescribed pace, but I wasn’t too concerned I was just happy to bank the miles.

Every one needs a Christine in their life!

Saturday – 20 miles Long Run – Av Pace 10:45

When my alarm went off at 5:10am I was surprised how quickly I jumped up to get this run over and done with. I had my cup of tea (how Very British!) and some more to drink, but I couldn’t decide whether to eat or not. I knew I didn’t have enough time to digest porridge and whilst trying to decide time just disappeared. I headed out for 5 solo miles and then was meeting with others. My legs were SO heavy, but I just kept putting one foot in front of the other.

I could feel my heavy quads for the entire run. I don’t think there was any point during this run that I felt relaxed and running normally! I kept justifying that I was learning to run on tired legs, so this was good practice for the last few miles of the marathon.

I keep having wobbles around 13 miles for some reason, but today I think it was earlier. The temperature was increasing lots and I was just over running. From about mile17 I needed to adopt a run walk strategy just to get me to the end. All I keep thinking was ‘All aboard the struggle bus’ and the song ‘everyday i’m shuffling’.

I am pleased that I didn’t give up and I got the 20 miles banked, but I would have liked it to feel a little easier. I knew that the Friday had been busy, so I probably hadn’t fuelled and hydrated well enough. Maybe I now need to be setting my alarm for silly o’clock to get porridge in me before I run. Who knows, but now is the time to try it and learn from each run, so that on race day I have it all sorted.

Sunday – REST day

YIPPPPEEEE! Although my delayed holiday meant a 4:10 am alarm! Not such a rest day. Bring on my holiday!

Being away means that my week is going to have to be flexible again, but a few niggles and a tired body could probably do with a little step back.

Girl running on track

Chicago Marathon Training – Week 6

Week 6 of Chicago Marathon Training done and dusted. It was tough, but no one said running a marathon would be easy. Details below of how week 6 sessions went and now it’s only 10 weeks until marathon day!

Monday – 12 x 400m – Av Pace – 7:34 min/mile

It appears that when I can’t make Run Club, my coach sets me a much harder session!! That sucks as I am away a lot this holiday time, so it looks like I have to suck it up and get on with the hard training sessions. Making it to a track to complete this session was amazing. I LOVED IT! It was so nice to run on a track. I obviously got a little over-excited running on a track, as my warm-up mile was way too fast!

Girl running on track
Obviously this photo wasn’t posed for the ‘gram’ hehe

Tuesday – Rest Day

I did plan to do a home strength session and it just didn’t happen. So rest day.

Wednesday – Doug Anderson 5K race – Av Pace 8:26 min/mile

It wasn’t quite what I had hoped for, but you can read all about it here.

Race photo
It almost looks like I am enjoying this race!

Thursday – Club Session – Av Pace – See photo

This session was SO hard. My legs were not my friends, but luckily they let me complete the session with paces that were not too bad! My legs felt heavy during the warm up, then we did 3 x 4 mins @5k pace. Luckily, I knew my pace from the day before! The 3 x 2 mins – faster than 5k pace; I wasn’t totally sure I had any faster in my legs, but I worked hard. The 7 minutes tempo. My coach has increased my tempo pace, so I was aiming for 8:45 pace and got it pretty much spot on. Then to finish the session 3 x 1 minute. I worked hard, but my legs were not happy by these sprints!

Splits from run club training session.

Friday – Rest Day

I desperately needed my legs to be ready for the weekend of running, so I spent plenty of time on the foam roller and completed a yoga stretch session for runners.

Saturday – 6 mile easy – Av Pace

Sorting a route for this run just wasn’t happening. I needed to get it done and I didn’t really want to think about it too much. I also didn’t like the idea of tackling ANY inclines, so I opted for the treadmill. Tunes on and in the comfort of my own garage it meant #sportsbrasquad too.

I decided to concentrate on form whilst doing this run, so different KM’s were to concentrate on arm position, then arm drive, then glute engagement, foot placement etc. It made the run go by ok.

Sunday – 18 miles Long Run – Av Pace

I am SO bored with writing about how bad my long runs are going during this training cycle. The silly thing is, I think it’s my mind that is letting me down more than my legs. I wasn’t overly confident heading out, but I had to give it ago. After last weeks tough run, I was nervous about this and then when mother nature called giving my painful period cramps I just went with it!

I was lucky enough that I had club mates with me for the first part of the run. I had said that I wasn’t too bothered about keeping to pace and even when we hovered around the 10-minute/mile pace, I felt ok but not as comfortable as I thought I should have! On reflection, it was probably the 6 miles the day before that caused this. I have never run Saturday and Sunday during other marathon cycles, so I suppose I am just getting my body used to running on tired legs!

3 Ladies running.
All smiles for the early miles during this training session

Solo from mile 10 onwards and I thought I would be able to grind out 8 more miles. But I just got slower and slower and kept stopping. Many times I had to give myself a talking too. I was drinking far more water than usual, so when I ran out of water around mile 12, I knew I was going to struggle to get to 18 miles.

Trying every trick in the book to keep myself going; mantras, why I was running, how I would feeling once I was finished, but none of it worked. At 16 miles, I quit and headed for the nearest shop. Let’s just say my coca-cola did not last long!

When quitting at 16 miles, I thought to myself that I would jump on the treadmill later that evening to finish off the run – that DID NOT happen.

At times I have worried about not hitting all my sessions, or not feeling how I think I should feel, but keep reading back over the previous marathon cycles on here is helping me realise, I am training hard than I ever have before and some speeds are faster than before, so again, I just have to ‘trust the process’ as Marathon Talk Podcast would say!

Chicago Marathon Training

Chicago Marathon Training – Week 5

Marathon training week 5. It wasn’t pretty and I am glad it’s over! Let’s hope week 6 is better!

Monday – Club session – Bleep test, 400’s and 75m sprints – 3.54 miles in total Av. pace 8:38

It was an extremely hot day, so our club session was modified. We were running on grass (which I’m not a fan of, as it makes you work harder!) After a mile warm-up, we started the bleep test. If you have never heard of this it is a 20-metre multi-stage fitness test.

Group photo after run club

Basically you run between two cones 20 metres apart continuously between beeps. The beeps are spread out at the start, so you start quite slow, but every minute the beeps move up and level and get closer together.

I used to have the pleasure of doing this test every Friday night of our England basketball training sessions! You would, therefore, think I would be better at it! I find it mentally very tough and often give up! I think I got to Level 6.something, but I could just be making that up!

After water and shade, we headed out to complete 400’s. We were supposed to give ourselves enough rest to keep the pace consistent. I progressively got slower!

We finished the session with 75M sprints concentrating on form. I wished I had videoed them, as what I think I look like is not what I actually look like!

Tuesday – Gym Session

Upper body workout at the gym.

Wednesday – 6 Mile Tempo Run – Av Pace 9:12

Tempo runs during marathon training are important, but I always dread them! It was another warm day, so I took the pressure off myself deciding very early on that if I needed to stop and break up this run with rest due to heat, I would. It meant that I was stressing about the run all day,

I met with Vic and Simon at 7:30 pm and luckily it had cooled a bit by that point so we headed off to see what would happen!

1-mile warm-up (uphill!), then 6 miles and all bar one, were sub 9-minute mixing. I was happy with that.

Team Tempo, happy to have completed the tempo run!
All smiles after the tempo is over.

Thursday – Rest Day

Cartoon - Train for a marathon they said, it'll be fun they said...
SO true, it’s hard, but it’s worth it! Marathons are hard work!

Friday – 16-mile Long run – Av Pace 10:44

Due to a wedding at the weekend, I changed my long run to Friday. The weather had turned big time! My alarm went off at 5:30 am and I knew immediately that my mind wasn’t ready for this run. I was beating myself up about having to complete this run. I contemplated not going SO many times.

About 10 minutes before I was due to head out, the thunder and lightning started. I rang my friend and called off. There was no way I was running in Thunder and Lightening.

You can imagine how much of a mental battle I was having after calling it off, especially when the weather started to brighten up. I watched the Chicago Marathon course video on Youtube.

I also filtered week 5 on this blog to read where I was at in my other training cycles. It appears that week 5 is always my tough week. In previous cycles, I have been ill and not completed the long run in full.

I took the positive; I wasn’t ill, so actually I just needed to get out and get this done. That would mean that I was further on than other cycles. 11 am, 5 and a half hours after I had got up, I got myself out of the door. I ran the first 6 miles on my own and yes, it started to thunder and lightening as I ran. I met with Christine to complete the final 10 miles.

We experienced all the weather and when the sun did come out it was HOT. I was grateful for all the cars that made me stop and wait to cross the road. I took additional breaks and at 13 miles, I had to walk. My legs really didn’t feel like they had recovered from Wednesday tempo run. I really gritted my teeth to get the full 16 miles completely.

Miles splits from my long run
Not all runs can be great!

Saturday – Rest Day

After yesterdays struggle bus run, I welcomed this extra rest day with open arms.

Sunday – Was supposed to be 6 miles, but ended another Rest day!

After sitting in the car for over 6/7 hours, arriving in Croydon at 7 pm meant that this ended up being another rest day! Not really what I wanted, but it is what it is, and I will just try harder next week.

Marathon training isn’t easy, but it’s always worth it.

Jumping shot

Chicago Marathon Training – Week 4

Week 4 has been interesting in the world of marathon training and I’m glad it’s now behind me! But marathon training isn’t linear, so I’ll just go with it and trust the process. There is still plenty of time until the Chicago Marathon.

Monday – 4-mile progressive run Av. Pace 10:30

Very tired legs today and solo parenting again so hit the treadmill for this session. I started super slow to let my legs warm up. I ended up doing a progressive run. I’m not totally sure of my actual pace as my watch is not quite in sync with my treadmill yet. The run started at 8km/h and finished at 12km/h. I really want to get a footpod but they are quite expensive!

Jumping shot
Jumping for joy after completing my tempo run!

Tuesday – Rest Day

This was a total rest day, not even a gym session, I am feeling quite tired at the moment, so resting is just as important as the hard work.

Wednesday – 1 mile Warm up, 5 tempo miles Av Pace 8:59

The usual full on panic about my tempo run and then it actually going ok. I couldn’t face another run by the lakes, so the route wasn’t even flat yet I hit all my paces and felt amazing once it was over.

Thursday – Warm up, 3 x 1.5 miles of an undulating loop! 🤮Av Pace 10:25

I felt rather sick for most of this race and it wasn’t all to do with effort! I also messed up as this loop is one we do in training, so I just ran the loop and it wasn’t until after that I remembered we overlap part of the loop to make it up to 1.5 miles. So I actually did 1.3 loops!

Friday – Rest Day

Another complete rest day. I really should have done some yoga and stretching but it just didn’t happen!

Saturday – 6 Miles easy Av Pace 10:16

I was looking forward to this as I had arranged to run with friends and do a Parkrun sandwich. It didn’t quite to plan. I had had an awful nights sleep and my stomach was really not right.

We headed off to run to Parkrun, but after 1.6 miles I felt really lightheaded and wobbly. We stopped to walk and I headed into a local shop and bought the trusted Haribos to fix me. We walked the rest of the way to Parkrun and that short walk I had decided not to run, to run, not to run x 50.

I was feeling a little better as it got closer to running, so I decided to hang at the back take it easy and stop if I still didn’t feel well. I completed it and actually felt ok. We completed another lap to make up the mileage but it was very warm and I could feel myself fading so we called it quits at 5.3 miles.

We still had to get back to the car, so a nice walk and natter back meant I did get the distance and some, but just not all running!

3 ladies jumping
It was all about the jumps this week.

Sunday – Long Run 10 miles Av Pace 10:00

As this was a drop back week my plan only said 10 miles. I had signed up to the Virgin Sport ASICS London 10K a month or so ago. I was lucky that it fell on a drop back week and I thought I could get to London early run 4 miles prior to the race and then enjoy the race. This didn’t quite happen as I missed the train, so instead I ran the race, got home and then hit the treadmill in the evening to get my 10 miles banked!

I really wish I had someone to take my photo, then it wouldn’t have to be such a close up!!

I love running in London and will do a full blog post on the run this week, but the treadmill was TOUGH! It was warm and it just needed to be done. I looked at the time almost every minute and was ready to give up SO many times. But I took my motivation from @triandrungirl She has completed 40 miles on the treadmill this week, including a 14-mile run. If she could do 14 miles, I could keep going for 4!

The sweat was dripping off me so much at the end of the session, I actually looked up at the ceiling to see if there was a leak!

Next week is a new week and we go again. No-one has ever said marathon training is easy, but it is worth it! If you haven’t read week 1, week 2 and week 3, have a read now.

What are you currently training for? Let me know how it’s going below.

After run club smiles

Chicago Marathon Training – Week 3

Week 3 of Chicago Marathon Training has been and gone, so let’s see what happened! I was back to #runclub this week which was good.

Monday – 6 x 800m – Av. Pace 8:09/mi

Rather than just running an 800m loop our club pair us up with similar ability runner. We then set off in different directions until we meet – Ideally around 400m, you then turn and head back in the direction you have just come. This obviously keeps you working hard, as you should get back to the start at around the same time as your partner.

After run club smiles
All smiles once the session is over!

800’s are hard enough and this system keeps you honest and is hard work. My legs felt tired, but I worked hard.

Tuesday – Rest day from running

AM – Upper body & Core session

Wednesday – 1-mile WU 4 tempo Av. Pace 9:06/mi

As always this run feels me with dread, but once it gets going I really quite enjoy (??) it. We didn’t head out until 7:30pm for this, which was quite nice as the temperatures had dropped. We searched for a flat route and after sorting logistics of cars, we headed out.

During the warm up my legs felt pretty heavy and I did wonder how I was going to get to my tempo pace. But, as soon as my watch beeped the first mile I upped my pace and actually it felt ok, if anything I had to hold myself back a little as I knew I had to hold this pace for four miles.

I came away from this run feeling really positive and like I was actually making progress. (Tempo Miles: 1 – 9:00, 2 – 8:51, 3 – 8:47, 4 – 8:53)

Thursday – Gully Run at #runclub Av. Pace 10:05/mi

I was really struggling today. Everytime I stood up I felt dizzy. I rested during the day, but I just didn’t feel 100%.

Elevation Map of the Gully Run
Gully Run

The Gulley run with my club is a 1200m loop of a local park, that includes a set of steps in! It’s such hard work as the steps are not even and you really have to concentrate as your legs are burning! The loop is a little undulating as well so this is a tough loop. I took it easy to start with due to the dizzy feeling, but as soon as I was grouped with other runners, my competitiveness kicks in! After training, my husband took my blood pressure and for some reason it was low; which would explain my dizziness! Not sure why this occurred, I have never suffered previously, if anything my blood pressure has always been on the higher side of normal!

Friday – Rest day from running.

This day was SO needed, but I did make sure that I got in a Lower body and core session in.

Saturday – 5 miles with Secret London Run

I won a competition on Facebook back in April to run with Secret London Runs, which I have been fortunate to run with previously (Read here) We covered just over 5 miles, with lots of stops. I am going to write a separate blog post all about it, but for now, all I will say is if you like running, especially running in London, get yourself booked on one of these tours. They are amazing.

Even though our pace wasn’t fast and we stopped lots, my quads felt quite heavy and I was tired by the time I finally got home.

Sunday – Long Slow Run – Av: 10:25

My legs were achy (I suppose that’s what you get from marathon training!), I was still feeling a little light headed and dizzy, so I decided to slow this run down right from the start. I decided this run was about listening to my body and banking the miles.

Mile legs felt very heavy at the start and I stopped a few times to stretch them. I ran the first 9 miles solo listening to marathon talk and the miles ticked over nicely. Just prior to mile 9, I met with Christine, which was much needed company. We chatted along the next 6 miles and I was ready for it to be over and done with by the end, but I think that always happens when you know you are finishing at a certain distance. The positive was that my final 2 miles were my fastest (proof that I was wanting it to be over! hehe)

And just like that week 3 has been completed and week 4 awaits. This week is going to be a bit of a drop back week. I am running the ASICS London 10K on Sunday, which I am looking forward too.

Are you running the 10K on Sunday? Let me know in the comments below.

Are you marathon training? How is it going?

Smile or grimace face? The joys of marathon training

Chicago Marathon Training – Week 2

This week could be tough; my husband is away so I can not go to any of my club training sessions. I also have a family party on Saturday night, so my long run is going to have to happen on Saturday AM. But if I want to run Chicago Marathon, I have to get the sessions done, so here goes week 2 of marathhon training. (Read Week 1 here )

Monday – 10 x 400m – Av. Pace

My daughter had her Brownie meet up in a local park this week, so I decided I would drop her off and do my session in the park. The park appeared to have NO flat sections at all, so this session was ridiculously hard! I found a 400m section, but one way was uphill and the other downhill. My legs did not like me AT ALL, so this was a really tough session.

Smile or grimace face? The joys of marathon training
Don’t be fooled by the smile!

Tuesday – Rest day from running

AM – Upper body & Core session

Wednesday – 2 mile WU 3 tempo Av. Pace

I headed out straight after the school run, before I could talk myself out of this, or worry about it. The weather was gorgeous and I just got on with it.

Lake View

This felt harder than last week, but I was happy to complete my tempo miles in 9:00, 8:54, 8:54.

Thursday – 1 mile WU 4 x 1 mile – Av. pace

AM – Strength session – legs and core. Tiredness saw the last set of core exercises halved!

I was lucky that a friend had agreed to run with me, so we met and ran the mile warm up together. It was a VERY hot day, so drinks were left on a bench and the plan was to do laps of a lake which I was sure was exactly mile. We went off in different directions and I immediately knew I had set off too fast. I tried to pull it back, but the setting off too quickly made me pay towards the end of the mile. You can imagine my annoyance when the lake loop was less than a mile and I had to run past the bench and loop back! The first mile clocked in at 8:41. I knew then I had set myself up for a tough session, as none of the next 3 mile reps could be slower than that!

Friday – 4 miles easy – Av. Pace

The weather has been gorgeous this week, perfect to get out a run. So I jumped on the treadmill for this one! It just needed to be completed.

Treadmill selfie Marathon training
Marathon Training on the treadmill

Saturday – 13 miles LSR – Av. Pace 10:04

For some reason, I was dreading this run- stupid brain. Thinking I was too tired as I was on day 4 of consecutive days running. I had to run it solo and that worried me. I set off around 7 am, and the weather was perfect, sunny but a cool breeze. Marathon Talk podcast was selected and off I ran. I decided to tag the local Parkrun to the end of my run, planning to incorporate it into the last three miles, but then realised that I would have a long walk back, so I ran mile 10, 11, and 12 during Parkrun (too quickly obviously) which made the final mile towards home a little tougher than it should have been.

Running Watch Marathon Training
The longest ever Parkrun?

A little self-conscious and feeling silly, as I still had my hydration pack on which felt alittle excessive for a 3 mile run. I felt I needed to shout to everyone that this was part of my long run 🙂

Sunday – Rest Day – Av. Pace – SLOW!!!

This was very much needed and appreciated. Bring on Week 3!

How is everyone else marathon training going?