Wandering with a Purpose

Tag: marathon training

2021 Chicago Marathon: Training Week 6

Between the humidity and lack of planning, this was a tough week! Sounds like the same update from last week, but week 6 was even more challenging! Thankfully, it was a down week for mileage. The humidity will be here for another two months and mileage will continue to increase, so I need to just stick to it and be patient.

One of the Instagram accounts I follow (@Run4PRs) always has really good tips and is giving a lot of hot weather tips lately.

Monday

This morning I was excited to go on a two-mile walk, but at the end of my walk, I realized I was going to stay in Greensboro tonight and wouldn’t be able to run on Tuesday! Today I should have run 3 miles! I also couldn’t go to Pure Barre since I would be driving. I didn’t eat well and just felt off all day. Sigh, I had a big work meeting on Tuesday morning, and that took most of my focus. This is why you are supposed to schedule a weekly planning session on Sunday!

Tuesday

Today was supposed to be 3 miles, but I didn’t plan. It was too hot for me to run in the evening, so I didn’t get a workout in today. Worst of all, I didn’t bring my charger Monday night to charge my Apple watch, so I didn’t get any part of any ring closed! I also got a visitor, Stubby, the Corgi that I dogsit sometimes on the Rover app. Since he is young, Stubby has a lot of energy and requires a lot of attention.

Today the Chicago Marathon team sent out our corral placement numbers! I was placed in the second to last corral group (M) which is part of Wave 3. It required some research to understand this, but it is because of my estimated finish time of 5:00. I hope I can do it in that time, if not less. Ideally, I would finish with a sub 5:00 time, but I also get nervous that I won’t finish at all! If I run an 11:00/mile pace, that is about a 4:50 finish time. It’s starting to get real!

Wednesday

A neighbor joined me for the 5 miles on my schedule today which made for a nice and faster run. I felt pretty good; I think I walked only 2 times. Unfortunately, I didn’t stick to running a heart rate plan like I was supposed to do. My average HR was 161 BPM with an average pace of 11:42/mile. Maybe I can consider this a tempo run? It was incredibly humid again, and I just felt gross. It was a good run overall; it’s just a miserable time of year. It’s funny how different it is to run with someone vs. running alone. There is a different mindset, and since I respond more to external pressure, it does help keep me going.

In the evening I ended up going to Pure Barre and was the only student because of a big rainstorm. It was a good class – I always leave there feeling stronger, so even though the dogs weren’t happy, I’m glad I went.

Thursday

As if this week couldn’t be more off, this morning’s run was awful. Since Stubby has so much energy, I tried to see if he could run with me but that was a fail. Since the humidity was uncomfortable again, we walked for almost two miles because I took him home then went out for a 1.5 mile run. I was so uncomfortable. It’s wasn’t a fun run at all. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough walking to wear out the pup!

Friday

My normal 6 am Pure Barre class felt great this morning. Stubby and I went on a short walk, but I get nervous about him with the humidity. Needless to say, he got his crazy laps in around the coffee table.

Saturday

This is my usual cross-training day, so I walked Stubby for 1.5 miles because I didn’t want to overwhelm him with the humidity, even though we woke up around 4:30 am. After that, I did my 3 mile run to make up for missing Tuesday. Still got all of my miles in! The rest of the day, I was especially lazy and just spent time with the dogs since they felt neglected during the week.

Sunday

Today was my last single-digit long run. Only 7 miles, but going off the theme of week 6, it wasn’t comfortable. I didn’t feel strong because of the humidity. I kept telling myself, the important thing is to get the miles in. Since I knew this would be a tough run from the beginning, I decided to start with a 3 minute run / 1 minute walk pattern. This saved me and made it more manageable. I couldn’t fathom going out and running 7 miles. This may be the pattern I pick for the marathon, so I need to figure out what the right run/walk should be. I kept my average heart rate to 148 BPM and performed at a 12:20/mile average pace.

An account I follow on Instagram (I forget which one!) posted about running in the heat/humidity and said 3 steps: run slower, hydrate, and swear. I thought it was really funny but totally true for this week. Not that this will change for week 7, but I should be better planned.

2021 Chicago Marathon: Training Week 5

Where did 5 weeks go? This was a good week overall, but my schedule got off. Thins were too busy to do a good blog post, but I hope to record better next week.

Monday

Yeah, so I didn’t get to Pure Barre or do yoga. I got a walk in, but that’s about it.

Tuesday

I got my 3 miles in and had a good HR run! Average pace of 11:32/mile and my average HR was 141 – that is called progress.

Wednesday

I’m not sure if this run or my long run was a bigger accomplishment for me. 5 miles done on a weekday! I did it! I was worried about timing, so I didn’t focus on heart rate (average was 159 BPM). Overall, pace was 12:09/mile, so not too bad. Starting this week, I will increase mileage on Wednesday. I will do another 5 next week before doing the next two weeks at 6 miles.

Thursday

This day was a big regret. We were supposed to have the tropical storm hit and the radar looked A LOT rainy…except it wasn’t. Chicken Kristin decided to avoid the rain, but it avoided her. I went to Pure Barre in the evening, so I at least did something, but I really regret this since I had been doing such a good job with my routine.

Friday

To make up for missing my 3 miles yesterday, I planned to run to Pure Barre on Friday morning then run home. It was a slower start with slower dogs, so I almost didn’t run to class. In the end, I did and was so glad! I didn’t have time before work to finish a full 3 miles, but I got in 2 miles. At least I would just finish my weekly mileage down 1 miles.

Saturday

This was my first double-digit run in a very long time. A year at least? I was really nervous to start the day. I decided to move my long run to Saturday because a teammate’s wedding celebration was on Saturday night and there was a potential for rain on Sunday. Trying to learn from my fueling lesson last week, I had a Honey Stinger waffle that I picked up at the running store. This has have been mentioned in other blogs, so I thought I would try it out. It was delicious and ended up being a good fuel for me. I didn’t eat anything else.

My run started out really well. I felt really strong and ran the first 2.5 miles. I noticed my HR was getting high, so I opted to walk for a bit and started a 3/1 run/walk pattern around mile 3.5. I did a great job until mile 7 and the sun started to really come out. I slowed down a lot around mile 8, but I finished! My average pace was 12:31/mile and 151 HR. I got in my miles, and that is what is important!

Sunday

Unfortunately, I was a lazy, lazy bum today. I didn’t close a single ring! Nothing else to record here, unfortunately.

2021 Chicago Marathon: Training Week 4

This week absolutely flew by which must mean that running is becoming a routine. The first step needed to run a marathon! The big news this week is that RunDisney is returning with in-person events! For any RunDisney fan, this was desperately and much anticipated news. While I love seeing all of the Dopey training posts on Instagram and am very envious, I think I will try to do the Fairytale Challenge in February for the first time. I’m also going to plan costumes for the affair, so I’m quite excited. Even though I’m planning for the Chicago Marathon and that is my focus, I need to have goals lined up for afterward to keep me motivated.

But good luck to all of those training for marathon weekend and Dopey 2022! I love thinking about my 2020 Dopey experience and plan to do it again in 2023.

Monday

Monday – the dreaded yoga day. I did yoga for a hot minute before getting too bored to continue. Then I tried again, so I didn’t stop once but twice. I walked and did some other bodyweight exercises, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do a full yoga session. Why is it so challenging? So many people talk about the benefits of yoga for marathon training, and I understand there must be a huge benefit, so why can’t I just do it? Sigh…

Tuesday

Summer is in full gear, so it’s important to get out to run early. Today was my normal 3-mile run which went well. I am still focusing on heart rate since I don’t think speed work will help much until I lose weight. I had a great run in both metrics and how I felt finishing with an average pace of 11:43/mile and a heart rate of 141 bpm! Big accomplishment. I restarted my full Pure Barre membership, so I am going to get in as many workouts as I can. My schedule let me fit in an evening workout, so I finished a barre class. All on a Tuesday! At least that makes up for my lack of yoga yesterday. Getting stronger can help improve my running to make marathon day easier. Pure Barre does a lot for core strength which can also help make you a better runner.

Wednesday

Semi-long run Wednesday this week was another 4 miles. I finished with an average pace of 12:10/mile but also achieved my average heart rate goal of 141 bpm. This pattern should mean my aerobic fitness level is improving, which is my goal. I need to have the fitness level to sustain 26.2 miles. Felt really good again but was super sweaty – the humidity is awful!

This is going to get more challenging in the upcoming weeks. I have to fit in 5 miles next week, and I’m really nervous about timing for this.

Thursday

My final weekday run was another 3 miles. I felt great again finishing with a 12:04/mile average and 149 bpm heart rate. Another wickedly humid morning, but it was done! I’m really proud of how these morning runnings are becoming natural. I lay out my clothes the night before and have a morning routine that gets me out the door.

I signed up for Pure Barre again, but wasn’t sure what “Pure Empower” meant as the class name. Little did I know I was going to do burpees at Pure Barre! This version of class is a cardio version of Pure Barre. It was a fun class, but I wasn’t really expecting it. A challenge with doing strength training in this type of environment is form is really important, but it’s hard to have good form when moving so quickly. Needless to say, I was very tired that night.

Friday

After a hard workout the night before, I was at another Pure Barre session at 6 am. I like this class and enjoy it in the morning. You feel strong for the day, and I really like the teacher. Pretty low-key activity day, but then I had work and getting ready for Independence Day weekend!

Chicago Marathon also posted on Instagram is that race day is 100 days from TODAY!!

Saturday

I usually cross-train on Saturday and originally planned to swim this morning. Then I got to thinking about fireworks on Saturday night and how staying out late will make for a rough 9 miles the next morning. Using the logical side of my brain I thought, “why don’t I do my long run on Saturday morning?” For someone who doens’t like to deviate from a plan, I was pretty proud of myself for arriving at this conclusion! So, long run on Saturday!

This week I spent a lot of time reading Disney race recaps and information on running basics. Fueling is always a big topic, and I read somewhere that if you finish off a long run slower it can be because you 1. start out too fast, 2. don’t fuel properly. Hmm. I’m sure I have both of these troubles. 9 miles is a mental hurdle for me, so I wanted to make sure to eat enough to start my run, plus I brought a berry Huma and a salted caramel GU gel to take at miles 3.5/4 and 7 (if needed) and packed a plain bagel and peanut butter to eat before the run.

I hate eating before I run, but I learned training for my first half, that I have to eat if I run over 4 miles. I hate it, but it’s necessary. My usuals are toast with peanut butter or a peanut butter Cliff bar. A few weekends ago I tried to eat a banana, but that wasn’t enough. I also have to have enough time to digest my food before going out and usually try to give myself an hour.

The actual run…
Finished my 9 mile run

Well, we had AMAZING weather on Saturday. Seriously 62F in July is unreal in North Carolina. I woke at 5 am had water, Nuun, and ate my bagel. I didn’t finish eating until 5:45 am, and I wanted to get out at 6 am. I waited until 6:20 since it was so nice out. My first two miles were around an 11:40/mile pace which is strong for me, but in the third mile, I didn’t feel right. I had to walk a lot taking my pace to 15:00 minutes. Finally, all I wanted to do was throw up. I knew it was the bagel, and it wasn’t sitting with me right.

That third mile was rough. I threw up a few times which made me feel worlds better. I walked into the fourth mile forcing myself to take it slow, then incorporated more running and got stronger into miles 5 and 6. My 7th-mile split was high at 14:02 because I took the very hilly route, but I finished my ninth and final mile at a 12:04/mile pace! I felt so strong at the end and so proud of myself. My average heart rate for the run was 157 bpm, and as Hal Higdon suggests, I got my miles in regardless of pace!

Sunday

No running for me today. I slept in until 6 am and had a lazy morning snuggling with the puppies before going on a walk. I just love those kinds of relaxing mornings. More importantly, today is July 4 and Independence Day! Happy Birthday, America! The fact that we live in a society where we can be free to pursue our passions like running is a gift. I listened to podcasts about forgotten American heroes and gave thanks to all of those brave men and women. I’m so appreciative for the life I lead and the country that allows me to be me.

Schatzi and Churchill posing in their American finest

Lessons from this Week

  • I need to figure out my pre-run fueling strategy for long runs. I don’t think a piece of toast is enough, but I also don’t think I can handle any more than that. There will also be the added complication of more time between wake up and the start of the race once marathon day is here. I have several more weeks to figure this out, so I’ll keep researching ideas.
  • I’ve been really conflicted about how to structure my weekday runs. I learned in my last training session for Dopey the benefit of hill running but also what a speed workout is. For his Novice 1 training plan, Hal Higdon doesn’t recommend any of this. He stresses getting the miles in. While I’m not a complete novice and want to do more to improve, I am starting to think this approach is probably right for me. I’m going to continue focusing on heart-rate running and losing weight.
  • I started tracking my food again, so we’ll see if I can do a better job at planning my diet. This could be one of the biggest benefits for my marathon performance.

Looking forward to WEEK 5! The weeks are just flying by!

2021 Chicago Marathon: Training Week 3

The big highlights for this training week were increasing mileage on Wednesday and Charlotte Racefest 10K on Sunday.

Monday

Schatzi's yoga pose

Yoga Monday – done! I finished a whole yoga workout, which was good to finally do it. The stretching is very beneficial, and I need to strengthen my core. The whole point is to learn to clear your mind and focus on your breathing but…sigh. It’s so boring! There was an obstacle, but I was impressed she could hold the pose for 30 minutes.

Tuesday

The standard 3-mile Tuesday run was another heart-rate run. I did a great job on it averaging an 11:46/mi pace and an average heart rate of 148 bpm. I felt great, even though it was a very thick morning with 94% humidity. Ahh, summer is here and it’s only going to get worse!

Wednesday

It was like God knew how nervous I was to go up to 4 miles today, so He sent me a beautiful cool morning! It’s the only good explanation for getting such an amazing morning at the end of June. My run was fantastic this day. I was going to do a heart-rate run, but it was too pretty, so I just went. I finished the 4 miles with an 11:21/mi average pace but my heart rate was 164 bpm. I have the same mileage again next week, but Wednesdays will be a challenge going forward. Do I keep this as a heart rate run? Should I do tempo work or something? I’m not sure if there is a strategy for doing a semi-long run mid-week.

Thursday

Two beautiful mornings in a row?! What is going on here? Too bad this wouldn’t be the weather for the race on Sunday, but again, I’ll take it. I tried to do a heart-rate run, but I didn’t slow down enough. I averaged this 3 miles with an 11:35/mi pace and heart rate at 154 bpm, which isn’t too bad.

Friday

So, Fridays are strength days, which is supposed to be a Pure Barre morning. I couldn’t figure out how to buy individual classes on the app, since I can’t rationalize spending $140/mo for unlimited classes (I can’t only make the Friday morning one). I went for a walk with my sister, Shadow. I did some other body weight exercises, but I didn’t add a check on my training plan since I didn’t really do what I should have done. Sigh…I need to make a phone call.

Saturday

This is cross-training day, so I did a 45 minute walk (partly with Shadow). It was a humid morning and just a walk around the neighborhood, so not a lot to talk about there.

Sunday

me and my CRF medal

2021 Charlotte Racefest! Read my full race recap here. Since racing is BACK, and I enjoy the race environment, I am trying to sign up for more races to do with my long runs. I have a few scheduled, but I got into this one really last minute. There were 5 miles on the schedule since it was a down week, so this 10K would be perfect!

  • Goal A: run an 11:30/mile pace
  • Goal B: heart rate run
  • Goal C: finish the race

At the end of the day, I accomplished Goal A, but it wasn’t by planning or being methodical. I was proud to earn my second fastest 10K time of 1:10:02!

Onwards!

Week 3 is in the history books. Instagram has more posts for #2021ChicagoMarathon and runners are getting into their training. It’s very motivating to see. A lot of people ran 13-14 mile long runs this week. I need to focus on my training plan and not compare myself, but they are awesome! Here’s to week 4!

2021 Chicago Marathon: Training Week 1

Marathon training is finally here! What a long time coming. At this time last year, I was preparing but was fearing the worse. I don’t remember what day it was canceled, but it was about a year ago. Now, it’s a different story. GAME ON!

My training program is an 18-week program from Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 Program. This is what many people told me they used for their first marathon. I used the Disney training programs for my other two. This one is simple and focuses on building up mileage. Through my research, I know I should add in speed, tempo, and hill workouts, but I’m not quite sure where to put that. For the first two weeks, I am still going to focus on heart rate runs as I did at the end of pre-training.

Monday

I was mentally pumped up for my first day of training – yoga – but less pumped up for yoga. Long story short, I didn’t do it. Not a great start to the training season, but I think I need to have a better plan than just saying “do yoga.” I know it’s good for me, and I feel better after I do it, but gosh I hate doing it. So slow – just proof I need to focus better!

Tuesday

Today was a much better day. I woke up at 5 am for my morning routine before leaving at 6 am to go on my standard 3-mile run. I’m still focused on heart-rate training. It was a beautiful morning. Ran at 11:51 pace with an average 158 heart rate. Not great, but I was feeling good.

Wednesday

Same routine, same route. I keep aiming to keep my heart rate around 144, so I did better at 153 bpm with a 12:09 pace. The humidity was getting worse today, but alas, it is June in North Carolina! I was tired but feeling really good.

Thursday

My third run of the week – same routine, same route. I like this route a lot. There are a few small hills, but it is a flat route which is hard to find in my area. At some point during training, I think I will turn my 3-mile Thursday run into a hill workout. I did much better with my heart rate – 147 bpm! My pace was an even 12:00. When I look over my stats in Strava, I think I’m getting better. Apple Watch tracks your VO2 Max, but I think it’s supposed to be a high number. My number went down from a year ago, and since pre- pre-training in November, it continues to go down. A little confused about that, but I think I’m getting better. It was really humid today, but I felt good.

It is hard to keep going slowly to worry about heart rate. I keep reminding myself that training is not a race. This is the time to be disciplined and to practice the discipline needed to make myself a better runner.

Friday

Pure Barre day and I loved it! It’s such a good workout, and I always feel good after I leave. I have little strength, so I’m horrible at planks, but that’s why I go. I need to build up my core strength. A plus today is that I saw on my Apple watch that there are a lot more workout types than just what is on the main screen. I usually log my barre workouts as “Other” but saw today there is one for barre!

Saturday

Cross Training Saturday! I was pleased to see from my Apple Watch discovery yesterday that there is also a workout called “Paddle” which I gladly used today on my paddle boarding adventure. I LOVE to paddle board. For some reason I love it despite the fact that I am terrified of the lake and don’t swim in it. Perhaps it is my motivation to stay on the board. I went out for a 30-minute paddle. It was earlier in the morning, so the only boats out were fishermen. It gave me a good time to think. I always find mornings on the lake a good time to reflect and thank God for the life he has given me.

After coming in and having a banana and peanut butter (why does this always hit the spot?), I geared up for my 30-minute swim. After doing this two weeks ago, I knew I needed to prioritize this in my training.

Sunday

I went to bed early on Saturday, but I didn’t sleep well since the puppies decided to take up the whole bed. I woke at 5 am to make sure I ate (my banana last week wasn’t enough for me to cover 6 miles). I had a PB&J sandwich and water. I left shortly after 6 am. I wanted to get out before the heat was too bad, and while humidity was high, it wasn’t as bad as it has been. I focused again on keeping my heart rate around 144. I was able to run about a mile before having to walk to get it down. This route is very hilly, so my heart rate jumps a lot going up the hills.

Around mile 2.5 I wondered why this was hard. I felt like I wasn’t getting any better in running. I’ve been reading blogs of people who run in the 8 or 9 minute pace range – some in the 7! I was struggling to keep my heart rate down in the 12 minute range. Everything felt like a struggle, but at the same time, I was feeling good. Around mile 4, my thoughts changed. I felt like I was feeling strong and could keep going. Even at 6 miles in, I could have kept going. Maybe I am making progress. I finished the run with an average of 12:09/mile pace and average heart rate of 148. I’ll take it!

2021 Chicago Marathon: Pre-Training Update 7

Pre-training is DONE! I’m so proud of myself for sticking with my plan, and I am geared up to start training for the 2021 Chicago Marathon! I’m filled with a mixture of emotions: excitement, anxiety, hesitancy, pride. It’s a lot to sort through, but I’m definitely proud of myself for “fulfilling my intention.”

New Weekly Updates

As I mentioned, as part of my training, I have been reading a lot of blogs and following Instagram accounts for other runners. One that I’ve been devouring is The Runner Beans, a blogger named Charlie based in the UK. I’ve enjoyed reading about her running journey and her tips as someone who is somewhat a new runner and trying to get better. Before many of her races, she posts training updates each week, and I really enjoy reading about the types of workouts she does. I am going to do this to keep myself accountable for marathon training since I am doing it on my own. It will also be a fun way to document my journey to the start line.

Monday

This was supposed to be a strength day, but I just took a walk. I really struggle with strength training because I don’t enjoy it. Everything I read shows how important it is, so I need to prioritize it. I signed up for Apple Fitness+ which is pretty good. The sessions are easy to use and filters allow you to find different lengths or types. I just need to get my lazy self up to do it!

Tuesday

Three-mile run. I’m still doing heart rate training trying to run as close to a 144 heart rate as I can. In theory, this will help me run faster by improving my aerobic fitness ability. Tuesday was a particularly hard day – my heart rate monitor on my Apple Watch wasn’t working. My average heart rate was 173 and an 11:44/mi pace.

Wednesday

Another 3-mile run. I did a better job keeping my heart rate lower (154 bpm) and a 12:26/mi pace. This was global running day, and I enjoyed seeing all of the posts on Instagram from runners about the day.

Thursday

I did a 5K in celebration of Global Running Day (not sure why) but also to earn the NYRR Global Running 1M Strava trophy. Only had to do a 1M, but oh well. I also earned the June 5K. Heart rate was 152 ppm and a 12:02/mi.

Pure Barre
Friday

Friday’s are scheduled to be a strength day. I signed up for Class Pass and decided to go to the Pure Barre by my house. I stopped my membership there over the winter because I couldn’t handle working out in a mask and was tied of online class. Wow, I missed it. Class was back to normal and kicked my butt! This is the type of strength training I need. I love this class and plan to do this every Friday going forward.

Cyclebar Welcome
Loved this welcome on my locker!
Saturday

Saturday is cross-training day. With my Class Pass, I decided to try out Cyclebar. It’s a spinning class similar to Fly Wheel, but the team was so friendly and helpful. I had an awesome class and plan to integrate this into my training, too. What a great, low-impact workout. I would love to ride a real bike some time, but maybe this can help me get into shape for going on a bike trip somewhere.

Sunday
Finished my final 6-miler of pre-training!

My final 6-miler! I went out around 6 am with a focus to cover the mileage and keep my heart rate around 144. While I am able to run more consistently, I get in a groove then see my heart rate go to 167 or so. Then I walk to bring it back down, which takes a lot of discipline. This morning was very humid which affects me poorly. We’re getting to that point of the year in NC that I need to remember to just focus on the miles. The run is done, and I feel great! Average HR 147!

A look back…

Pre- pre-training started on November 23, 2020. I followed Hal Higdon’s very beginner plan for this. My goal for this period was to have the habit of running 3 days/week and build up my ability to run. I didn’t want distance to scare me, so it was mostly 1.5-2 mile runs. I wish I would have known about low heart rate training then. It kept me throughout the winter – in the cold and dark – plus it helped me regain the confidence I had been missing in running. I wanted to lose weight, too, but that didn’t happen.

pre pre training for chicago marathon

I started pre-training on March 15, 2021. This was the Hal Higdon longer Novice program. My goal for this was to take me to running consistently 4 days a week. I learned during my first half marathon the importance of these short runs in avoiding an injury. This process was great because the mileage wasn’t daunting, so I still focused on the habit of getting out there. I completed almost all of my runs, so I would consider it a huge win!

The most important thing is that I feel great! Running is fun again, and I get such a high when I’m finished. Stay tuned! Big things to come next week!

2021 Chicago Marathon: Training Update 6

I’m changing my update titles to have the year since (I think) this may not be the only time I run the Chicago Marathon. I’m finishing pre-training next week, and I’m feeling really good. Better than feeling really good is the excitement I am having for running. Over the last several weeks, I have been searching for blogs that talk about the blogger’s running journey to give me motivation and insight into running the Chicago Marathon. On top of that, I have gone down a rabbit hole of reading about their experiences at other races. A few I want to call out

I’m so glad people post about their journey and their experiences, which (even though my story is nothing exciting) is why I want to post about mine. It’s nice to learn from others and see that others have similar interests that I do.

My pre-training ends with a six-mile long run next week, but I think I’m going to do it tomorrow, too, instead of 3 miles. The important accomplishment is I consistently ran 4 days/week. I’m up to 3 miles on Tuesday and Thursdays (have done on Wednesday for a few weeks now), which will turn into hill or speed workouts in the future. I am also closing my rings almost everyday and trying to do some strength workouts on Apple Fitness. I’m not doing yoga/stretching as much as I should, but I am going to try to fit it in more each week.

A couple of other highlights I’m stewing over from my research

  • The concept of a shakeout run the day before a race. The Abbott 5K is held Saturday morning before the marathon, and I wasn’t sure if I should run the day before. Much of my research says a light, slow run can be a good thing. I decided to do this for the experience and then rest during the rest of the day. Maybe even find a yoga class.
  • Heart Rate Running. I wish I would have found this in November when I started my pre- pre-training. My heart rate is really high when I run, but it should be lower and get lower as I get healthier. This training says to be patient and train at a slower pace (keep my heart rate around 144) and this will help you longer term with running. I also think this slower pace can help with weight loss. I’m going to try this for a while before getting into speed training since I am starting to think about longer-term running goals. Several blogs said this helped them get faster, so I feel like I should try it.
  • The Abbott World Majors. I’m a sucker for checklists. I visited all 50 states by the time I was 30. I’m working to visit all 7 continents by the time I’m 40. I love checking things off. When I started running and learning about races in 2015, I heard about the world majors. That seemed crazy. Friends had run the NYC marathon, but they were good! I was always so impressed with my friends who ran Chicago. Those seemed like an impossible feat as I was trying to convince myself a half marathon was within my reach. I think this notion is why training for Chicago is such a big deal for me – I simply can’t believe that I’m doing this! Kind of like the NYC Half Marathon. I wouldn’t have had the nerves to sign up if my friend hadn’t encouraged me to do it with her. Until reading these blogs, I thought adding an Abbott Series checklist to my goals was impossible because of getting a Boston BQ. But maybe, with the right training and consistency I could do this. It would definitely be a fun checklist to attempt and a fun way to travel!

Well, those are my thoughts for now. My spirits are high, I’m learning a lot, and finding inspiration. Loving this!

Chicago Marathon: Training Update 5

The Chicago Marathon is only 162 days away! Seems like a long time, but I’m old enough to know that time is going to fly by. I’m in the middle of my pre-training schedule. Outside of my brother’s wedding last weekend, I’ve done a really good job sticking to my training schedule. I’m not doing a good job with strength training (I just don’t enjoy it), my diet, or yoga/stretching, but they are all on my radar. I know where I’m slacking, so I want to continue to focus on those areas.

I’m replacing tomorrow’s 3 mile run with the 4.5 mile run that I was supposed to run last weekend. Then next weekend, I’m up to 5. Pre-training puts me up to 6, and I’m ready for it. One of my goals is to have a solid 6-mile base. After 6 mile runs, I will start doing a run/walk combination in my training, but 6 miles and less will be a run-only (or walk when I must).

With summer around the corner, I am getting so excited! I have the Around The Crown 10K coming up, Chicago Marathon, and Charlotte (half) Marathon is now an in-person race. I love the idea of working towards something, and I’m so excited for an actual race day.

Running on the other hand…wow, it’s confusing. My biggest concern is about pace. While this isn’t necessarily my focus or goal during pre-training, I am starting to think about it. There are days when I have to have a walk break during a 2 miler. That worries me. Then there are times when I feel like I’m so slow, yet when I finish, my pace is in the 10-11 minute range (which is good for me). One day I even ran less than a 10-minute pace, and I couldn’t understand. How do I get a better feel for pacing? I’m going to keep being consistent, but that’s definitely a concern I have as I round out my last five weeks of pre-training. Just keep sticking with it!

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