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.

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