Chicago Marathon Training – Week 13

TAPER TIME….. This is such a bizarre part of my running programme. I felt relieved once my 22-mile training run was over, knowing that it was time to taper, but I also know that I still have some hard runs and big miles to cover this week, so it’s not exactly time to ease off! If you are not sure what taper is, this article from Runners World explains here.

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

Monday – Run Club Session – DNS

My daughter had a meeting at her Brownies group which I needed to attend. So I missed my club session and I did consider going out for a run on my own, but I didn’t. Not really sure why!!!

Tuesday – Rest day

Even though I didn’t run yesterday, I still took today as a rest day. As it is getting so close to marathon time, I am trying to foam roll more, so I made sure that I did roll.

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

Now it’s taper time, I did hope that the tempo miles would be decreasing too, but no! It was a hot day and I tried to ensure that I was drinking lots throughout the day, I even got electrolytes too, hoping that would help.

We selected our normal route, the out, and back on gravel. We started more conservatively with the pacing, with the plan of speeding up towards the end. I experienced some stomach cramps around mile 7, not sure if that was a reaction to the electrolytes or not, but I had to stop. Luckily, we stopped right next to the water fountain, so I got some water too.

We had a little stop around 8.8 miles too. What is it with all the stops?! I’m pretty sure most of it is my head giving up!

The joys of marathon training. Two runners bent over trying to catch their breath.
The reality of marathon training.

After regrouping, we actually pushed and was determined to make our last mile the fastest. We must have looked a sight rounding up to 10 miles by running circles around the car park! But we did achieve our fastest mile.

Thursday – Run Club Session – 300’s & Rounders

My legs were so heavy and painful during the warm-up, I was dreading this session a little. We headed to a local field, that has an undulating 300m loop. The hill at the start of the loop is short and sharp and I really struggled at the start to get up it, but as my legs warmed up it wasn’t too bad. As the run club had completed shorter reps on Monday, we run 2 laps of the loop so we were doing 600’s, with one loop time recovery.

After a set time, we then played a game of rounders with a twist. If you missed the ball you had to sprint the 300m loop. If the batting team scored a rounder, the whole fielding team had to sprint the loop. It was actually lots of fun, but I didn’t run all that much. Hehe!

Friday – Rest

Sports Massage time! I needed this.

Saturday – Easy Run – 6 Miles – Av. 9:36

I decided to run a Parkrun sandwich for this, as it meant that I got to meet up with my friend Sarah.

Two women pulling funny faces after running.
Why wouldn’t you pull a funny face?

It was a glorious morning and my after parking my car a mile away, I ran to the park. I remember saying to Sarah when I saw her I hate running as my warm up felt hard. But as soon as Parkrun started and I was running with lots of people, I loved it! I had to hold the reigns tight to stop myself racing, but I felt good all the way round.

Sunday – Long Run – 16 Miles – av pace: 10:30

I knew this was going to be an unusual run as I was planning to run it solo and in the afternoon. I am more of an early bird, get up and go kind of runner, but my daughter was at Brownie camp and I wanted to be there to pick her up.

As the day got later and later, I knew I was struggling to go out. The thought of running familiar routes just didn’t appeal. So I headed to the treadmill! I know lots of people would think this is a crazy idea, but I don’t mind running on the treadmill and I set up my computer so I could watch Netflix. I though watching a couple of episodes of the Good Witch (which is my go to series at the moment) would be great. The thought of not having to carry drinks and gels etc would be nice. Not having to think about a route, worry about pace etc would all work.

Running treadmill set up.
This set up was supposed to be great!

Well, it did for a while. But pain in my foot, stomach issues and then bad chaffing stopped me at around 12 miles. I DO NOT know why I didn’t put my normal chafe roll on, but I suppose my head wasn’t completely into this run and it showed in the preparation.

Not completing my prescribed run irritated me all evening. I also know that this failed run and my numerous give ups will really get to me come marathon day. When times get tough in the race, which they will; it’s a marathon, I will think about all the runs I didn’t complete, finish, gave up, walked!!! Not ideal, but I know that’s what will happen!!

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