Chicago Marathon Training – Week 12

After my long run last week, this week felt like the week I had to nail all my sessions and get the confidence boost that is desperately needed leading into the final few weeks before Chicago Marathon.

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

Monday – 1200m loops Av. Pace 8:49

My legs took a bit of time to warm up, but once I got going I felt quite strong. The loop included some undulation too, so it was a pretty good workout.

I was running flat out, but it did feel good; I got faster and felt stronger with every lap.

Tuesday – Rest day

Slowly becoming one of my favourite days! hehe

Wednesday – Tempo run 11 miles – av. pace

After last week saying about having to wait until the evening for tempo runs, plans changed this week and I headed out in the morning. I didn’t have time to think about it and after the warm-up, I picked up the pace. The first tempo mile was 8:45, which is my prescribed pace, but to be honest I think for tempo’s I have been running closer to 8:55-9:05 pace. I was feeling ok, so just went with it. The following miles were 8:55, 8:51, 8:56, 9:00, 9:06.

The route that we do is an out and back (Just because it’s flat) After the turn around, I struggled. The wind had picked up and my legs just lost all speed. I completed another mile at 9:09 and then when I started the eighth mile, I had nothing. The wind blew strongly into my face and I felt like I was going backwards. I was really thirsty, so just decided to call it a day.

I headed for some water and then myself and Tina ran/walked back. I still covered 10.24 miles, but only really 7 quality tempo miles. Maybe I should have been more controlled in the early miles? Maybe I hadn’t had enough to drink the day before?

Two runners.
The smiles were forced! hehe

Thursday – Club Session

Tonight’s session was a little different as after out warmup we did some core exercises. I remember think at the time, I just want to run, but the core exercises were good, fun and also very telling on how much work I need to do on my core!

We then completed some timed reps, where were concentrating on consistent running. We ran out for 1:30 minutes and then after a decreasing recovery time, we had to run back and obviously worked to get back to the starting point.

Team Balancise at a club session. Run Club
Team Balancise

Friday – Rest

My second favourite day!

Saturday – Easy Run – 5 Miles – DNS

I decided to skip this run. My long runs have been SO hard and I always feel like I haven’t recovered enough from these Saturday runs. I know that I am training to run on tired legs, yet my long runs have hurt from mile 1.

I needed a good long run, so thought I’d just see what impact this run was actually having.

Sunday – Long Run – 22 Miles – av pace: 10:27

You know you are a runner when your weekend alarm is earlier than weekday! My alarm today went off at 5:00 am! I had my usual porridge and tea. I drank extra water and I foam rolled. My hip flexors were very tight from Thursday’s run club session (Mountain Climbers!!)

Run selfie!
Just about to head out for 22 miles.

I had 6 miles to do prior to meeting up with Simon and I headed out just before 7 am. The weather was fresh, but the sun was shinning and you could tell that the temperature was going to rise as the day went on.

My legs felt better than previous weeks and I stuck around the 10:20 min/mile pace. Once I met with Simon, the pace upped a little and I was ok with this. We were around the low 10’s, yet our prescribed pace for long runs were 9:45.

A hill at mile 10 saw our pace drop and then it stayed around the 10:30 pace. As we approached a fairly big hill around mile 14.5 and 15, I had a real pain in my toe. I had to stop and take my sock off. It felt like my toe was bent and just need to be stretched out.

Action shot of two runners
Smiles at half way.

Once we at the top of the hill, I stopped again. I felt thirsty and needed to regroup. I kept telling Simon to go ahead, I didn’t like the thought of slowing him down and keep making him stop. We headed off again, and then about a mile and a half later I had another wobble. I felt I was just getting slower and slower. I was around mile 17 and just wanted to stop.

Simon suggested slowing down and just getting to 20 miles and see what happens then. I felt so relieved to slow down. We ran the next 3 miles around 10:45 pace. As soon as we hit 20 miles, we were on a flat loop and then downhill and I felt like I got a renewed energy. The pace actually picked up for the last two miles; 10:34 and 10:36.

I averaged 10:27 overall, but that was with 3 stops to regroup. It wasn’t a perfect long run and I am frustrated that I keep stopping. I know it has been warm, but I have been carrying water. I have been sipping regularly and taking my torq gels every three miles. I’m wondering if I need electrolytes in my water! I would normally, but both the New York Marathon and Chicago Marathon do not allow you to wear a hydration backpack, so I wouldn’t be able to have my own electrolytes.

Chicago provides Gatorade at their aid stations, but I haven’t been able to get it in the UK to train with, so just stuck to water. The joys of international marathons! Maybe on the day, I’ll take a chance with the Gatorade, I’m pretty sure I did when I did the New York Marathon.

So, now it’s taper time and although this is exciting, there is still hard work to be done!

What do you think are the key things to concentrate on during these final weeks? Let me know below

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