September 10, 2014

The Road to Chicago-Marathon Training Weeks 8-10

I've been so busy the past month that I haven't had time to update much on my training. Ya know, because I'm running that little 26.2 mile race soon? With all of my travelling, I've been flexible with my past few weeks of marathon training out of necessity. 



Long runs:

Week 8 my long run was the Charles Street 12 miler, plus 4 miles beforehand to make up for a skipped long run the previous week. In case you missed my recap , I ran at my marathon race pace for 9 miles of the 12 mile race and allowed myself to speed up at the end. I felt great!  

Week 9 was a really awesome long run. I got in 18 miles at Loch Raven Reservoir. It was a cooler morning, with lots of shade on the trail. A bunch of running groups were there so it was lovely to be getting in lots of miles with so many other people around! I felt properly fueled and needed a little bit more water, but hopefully water on the course during race day will solve that problem.  
Literally all smiles after 18 miles

I was scheduled to run 16 miles during Week 10 and got in around 15.9 during Hood to Coast split into my three legs pretty much at race pace or faster so that counts for sure!  I'll talk about how those runs went next week.

Right before my third leg at Hood to Coast repping #NP_BAL!

Weekly runs:

My training group did a few weeks of speedwork these past few weeks. 
Week 8 was some 3x 1-mile repeats at marathon race pace, and while I was keeping my pace a little faster than I should, I felt strong. 

Week 9 was some speedwork that was rained out so I did a version of it on the treadmill.  After doing not much treadmill running this summer, it was boring and hard. Thank goodness for Netflix

Week 10 was the week before and during the Hood to Coast relay. I missed my speed training due to staying late at work and ended up just getting in a sweaty Crossfit workout instead. I also missed a couple easy runs so my mileage wasn't as high as it would have been that week. 

As far as other runs, I've been trying to keep them easier and not focus on pace. I've been getting in a solid number of 4-5 mile runs but should probably get a few more closer to 6-7 like I had been earlier in training. 

With travelling there has been some missed easy runs, but I've always made sure to get in my long run and some tempo miles because they are the most important to me.  It's summer, and I've had an especially busy end of it. When I feel good on the high mileage long runs, it definitely quells my anxiety about race day (#breathedeeplyandrunchitown, for real!). 

Thumbs down: 

I've really been missing my strength training. Besides some weight gain, I've lost some arm definition and strength so now I'm itching for training season to be over so I can get back to more strength workouts and Crossfit.  I'm going to try to add in more quick arm and ab circuits to change things up, especially as I approach taper when my mileage decreases. 

Thumbs up: 
I think my fueling has been working well. I have the usual banana and peanut butter plus toast before my long runs.  I've tweaked what I used last training cycle- still taking GU gels every 5-6 miles, but now carrying a bag of fruit chews for when I need a little something in between. I carry Nuun Energy mixed with water in my fuel belt and plan on grabbing plain water on the course on race day.  It's nice that I haven't had to stress out about what works for me this summer!

 How do you deal with being flexible with summer training?  What are your favorite strength/cross-training workouts?

This post was linked up at Tuesdays on the Run


  1. filed under "things I thought I'd never say", I love hot yoga. I've been going weekly since mid-May and my upper back, shoulders, and arms are so much stronger. Helps with the sitting ina chair all day slouching/leaning problem.

    1. Same brainwave girly, I looked up yoga classes going on in my area tonight :)

  2. Even in needing to be flexible, sounds like you still have got training down pat! It can be really hard to get quality strength training in while getting ready for a full marathon, especially adding in a busy work schedule. Good luck with the remainder of your training!

  3. I recently watched that movie hood to coast. That sounds like such a great race. I have Marine Corp coming up and I am not on target with my training so I can relate. Good luck!

    1. I still haven't seen the whole movie yet-it's on my To-See List! I have friends who have run/are running Marine Corps and heard it's a great race! Good luck to you too!

  4. I've been mixing up my long run days anyway to get them in when I can. This summer has been tough with traveling and weekend trips. That's led to a few 14 milers on Thursday evenings and more solo runs than I care to run. Here's hoping to get in 2 20s with the Annapolis Striders before Steamtown.

  5. The only time I've been able to maintain strength training while marathon training was while training for my 2nd and only running 3x a week. My marathon time wasn't great, but I was just doing it to have fun and I really didn't want to be running 5-6x a week like other training cycles.

  6. ahh the joys of having to focus solely on marathon training and the lack of strength training options along the way...