Chicago Marathon Training – Week 11

My highest mileage week EVER and all session completed this week! So that’s better than last week!!! I can almost smell taper time…..

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

Monday – Recovery – 4 miles

My coach had suggested taking an extra rest day today, as after Sundays half marathon (Bedford Half – read about it here) my left glute and hamstring were tight and sore. When I heard that my friends were heading out for 4 miles and at a slower pace, I thought I would give it a go.

I didn’t know how my leg would be, so said at the start that if I needed to stop I would do. We ran and chatted. My legs were really tired and heavy, but I knew it was helping. We covered 4 miles and I was happy to finish at 4 miles. The only negative was my Garmin 645 telling me that my training was ‘unproductive’!

Tuesday – Rest day


Wednesday – Tempo run 11 miles – av. pace 9:10

I love having someone to do my tempo runs with, it somehow makes them feel easier. But having to wait until the evening to do them means that I spend the entire day thinking about doing it!

I don’t think I worry about the run quite as much any more, it’s just there is the back of my mind for the entire day.

We have had to move the start time to a little earlier lately though, as the evenings are definitely closing in and its a battle to get it completed before we lose the light.

We completed our out and back route; it was tough towards the end but one mile warm-up and ten miles tempo tick!

The smile is pure relief that it was over!

Thursday – Club Session 400, 800, 1200, 1 mile

I was SO tired today; even had an afternoon nap prior to run club today. Skipping the session was very close today, but marathon training is tough and I need to keep working hard. It is going to be worth it.

During the warm-up my legs felt really heavy and then when I saw that the loops we were completing included a hill in too, I knew that this session was going to be a constant battle.

After each loop, we were supposed to do a 400m jog recovery, but I actually took a stationary break between 2 of the loops.

Friday – Rest

SO, SO needed this rest day. I did try to stretch and use the foam roller today, as my body needed it.

Saturday – Easy Run – 5 Miles – av pace: 9:44

Sadly, a former Chairman of my running club died after a heart attack back in June. A memorial run was organised by my club and his partner to celebrate his life and raise funds for the British Heart Foundation. (If anyone would like to donate you can here.)

I had 5 miles on the plan, so decided to run to the meet up point, run the 5k memorial run and then back to the car to make up the 5 miles.

When I woke up on Saturday morning I didn’t feel ok. I can’t quite explain why I just felt my anxiety was high. I felt tearful, uptight and unable to concentrate. I only had two things to do that day; my run and go to my brother’s house to help celebrate my nephews birthday, yet my mind felt totally overwhelmed. It didn’t help that the two events overlapped time-wise and I just felt that it meant I couldn’t really do either of them well.

If I had got up early and got my run out of the way, I’m sure it would have helped me shift my anxiousness, as when it was finally time to run, I enjoyed it and felt much better. There were so many people there celebrating Keith’s life. RIP Keith.

Sunday – Long Run – 20 Miles – av pace: 10:33

I was unsure this run would actually take place. As I knew that I was going to my brothers on Saturday night, I had planned to have a little amount of food at his house and then have pizza when I got home. (My go to pre-race, pre-long run meal) I had a jacket potato when out and left earliest to get back fuel and get an early night.

When we got home, I felt ill. I sat on the sofa and could not keep my eyes open. I was hot, my throat was sore and my eyes would not stay open. I fell asleep on my husband for about 3 hours. By the time I woke up, it was too late to eat and to be honest I didn’t really feel like eating.

My alarm went off at 5am and I got out of bed. I felt OK, but not great. I had my porridge (falling down me) and then fell back to sleep. Luckily I had alarm for 6:40am. When I woke up I felt a little sick. I got myself ready and told myself that I would just start the run and if I didn’t feel great I would stop. I was supposed to do a few miles prior to meeting others, but I left a little later and ran just 2 miles before meeting others.

I warned the people I was running with that I didn’t feel great and was just going to start and see what happens. We had decided to run loops of a 5 mile route 3 times, so I knew that I could stop if I didn’t feel well. Luckily, I seemed to run off the sickness feeling.

My long runs have been a real struggle this marathon training cycle. I think it is mental more than anything else. Originally, I used to get worked up about trying to hit certain paces, but I have even put that to one side and just concentrate on getting the miles logged now.

Around mile 10, I just feel like I got bored and it was a mental battle to tell myself that I could do it. The funny thing is, in all the mental torment, I often feel like I am slowing down and shuffling along. But when I look at my watch often I am not!

I was very lucky that club mates had come out to support and kept me going. I know that had I been on my own I probably would have stopped. Next week I have my longest run and I would really like a ”confidence-boosting’ run. Not so much in the time I run it in, the paces I hit, but more about enjoying the journey and not having a constant mental battle with myself.

Dream Team

Last week was my highest weekly mileage EVER, so there is no wonder my long run felt hard and I have to keep remembering this. It’s time to trust the process and know that once I am tapered all the tough weeks and miles in my legs will hopefully make Chicago Marathon an amazing experience!

One thought on “Chicago Marathon Training – Week 11

  1. Another great read Ruth … you’ve got this nailed . I need to get the tracker for the CM. Can you let me know your number when you get it 👍😘💪

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