Chicago Marathon Training Log – Week 15

On October 7th I will be running the Chicago Marathon as a member of Team Ronald McDonald House Charities.  Please consider visiting my fundraising page and supporting this worthy cause.  Thanks!

Last week felt like a redemption week when it came to working out and my marathon training overall.  The timing of a “redemption week” couldn’t have been more perfect as I reached the peak of marathon training on Saturday with my running of the infamous 20 miler.  And to further add to the exciting week, I reached my minimum fundraising goal on Friday!!!  There’s certainly a lot to celebrate from last week.

Monday, September 10th

Despite the rainy and dreary weather, I was determined to get out for a run after work after being sick and not being able to workout much the week prior.  It felt great to sweat for 4.25 miles.

It felt so good to be able to workout for the first time in 5 days.

Tuesday, September 11th

After work I spent 30 minutes on the elliptical and then did 40 minutes of full body weight training.  Just like on Monday, it felt great to sweat and get a workout in after a difficult week the week prior.

Wednesday, September 12th

I headed back to the gym after work on Wednesday for a 5 mile run on the treadmill.  Due to the 100% humidity it was a very sweaty run.  After my run I completed a half mile cool down walk.

25 days out from the marathon it felt great to complete a strong run.

Thursday, September 13th

Since I was tight on time prior to picking little man up from daycare I didn’t have time to get to the gym for a workout.  So instead I did a walking commute to pick him up, and added some extra mileage to the route on the way home.  I wound up walking a total of 3.16 miles.

Friday, September 14th

Although I took a complete rest day in anticipation of my 20 miler on Saturday, Friday was still an exciting day since I reached my minimum fundraising goal mid-day.

Fundraising this year was much more challenging than it was last year, so I was incredibly excited to receive this e-mail on Friday.

Saturday, September 15th

Saturday marked the peak of marathon training with the infamous 20 miler.  It was a cool 69 degrees and cloudy when I started my run, and by the end was 79 degrees with some sunshine peeking through the clouds.  I opted to run on my go-to hilly long run route.  Although Chicago is super flat I’m hopeful that by running on all of the hills that I have that it’ll help to make me that much more prepared for race day.

Despite the hills and 100% humidity I pushed through and averaged a 12:20 pace.  This was nearly a full minute slower than my 20 miler last year.  While seeing this difference was initially discouraging, I have since reminded myself that I completed these training runs in different locations and under much different conditions.  The most important thing is that I pushed through the challenges of running on hills in very humid weather.  Despite having to slowly reduce my run interval and increase my walk interval the further that I ran, particularly in the last couple of miles, I still crossed the 20 miler finish line and am that much closer to race day.

Yay for having completed my 20 mile training run!

Sunday, September 16th

Although I didn’t complete a formal workout yesterday, I spent a good portion of the afternoon and early evening volunteering at a local consignment sale.  During the sale I wound up walking over 6 miles!

Total Weekly Mileage – 35.81 miles (21.50 miles more than week 14)

Total Chicago Mileage – 400.58 miles

QOTD: How training milestone(s) did you reach last week?

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap link up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

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Friday Five – Potpourri v. 24

Since there’s quite a bit on my mind this week and a lot of different things going on I thought that a Potpourri post would be more than appropriate for today.

1.  Tomorrow marks the peak point of my marathon training, as I have my 20 mile training run on tap.  Earlier in the week I was starting to worry that Hurricane Florence would force me to have to run 20 miles on the treadmill.  Thankfully Florence’s track shifted throughout the week, and isn’t predicted to have its major impact on the DC area until early next week.  I’m incredibly thankful for many reasons, including the fact that I will not have to dig deep and find the motivation to complete my 20 miler at the gym tomorrow.

My 18 miler a couple of weeks ago was my longest training run to date for this training cycle, during which I felt great. I’m hopeful for the same to happen tomorrow during my 20 miler.

2.  You may have noticed on social media that I am in the final fundraising push.  As of this morning I am 88% of the way towards meeting my Ronald McDonald House Charities fundraising goal.  Fundraising has been nowhere near as easy this year as it was when I ran Chicago with the team last year, but since so many families benefit from RMHC’s services I refuse to give up in my efforts to raise funds for this incredible organization.  If you haven’t already, please consider making a tax deductible donation on my fundraising page.  All money donated goes directly to helping provide food, housing, and support for the families of children who are sick and in the hospital.

I’m excited to run Chicago with Team RMHC for the second year in a row.

3.  Earlier this week I saw this reminder posted on Facebook.  If you’re a long time reader of my blog then you may recall that due to some health issues I have been facing over the past year that my running pace has taken a hit.  Despite my best efforts I just haven’t been able to run at the same pace as I could in the past couple of years.  While it doesn’t normally get me down, there are those moments when I do think back to my faster days.  However, this post reminded me that getting out there and running is much better than simply sitting on the sidelines and watching everybody else.  I am running my own race.

So very true!

4.  This weekend I am participating in a local children’s consignment sale.  I participated in the organization’s Spring sale back in March, and am excited to clean a few things out of the house and make some extra cash this weekend.  I’m scheduled to volunteer at the sale on Sunday, and since I had a great time during my volunteer shift back in March I’m looking forward to the same again on Sunday.

In the midst of a sea of kids clothes during the Spring consignment sale.

5.  To all of those in the southeast that are in Hurricane Florence’s path, please stay safe.  I’m thinking about all of you and praying that Florence doesn’t beat down on all of you the way that she is predicted to.

QOTD: What is one thing on your mind this week?

I’m linking up for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup.  Many thanks to the wonderful ladies at Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for hosting!

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Chicago Marathon Training Log – Week 14

On October 7th I will be running the Chicago Marathon as a member of Team Ronald McDonald House Charities.  Please consider visiting my fundraising page and supporting this worthy cause.  Thanks!

Life rarely goes as we’d like for it to, and overcoming obstacles will make us stronger in the long run.  Last week I faced just that, and although it meant that I was unable to run or otherwise train from Thursday-Sunday, and also meant that I had to skip my long run for the week, I’m trying to remain optimistic that it won’t set me back for Chicago in just under a month.

I constantly remind myself, and last week especially, that I’m running Chicago in memory of my friend Tammy who herself faced an uphill battle in her fight against cancer.  But she refused to give up, which is incredibly inspirational and a constant reminder for me in my marathon training.  Life isn’t perfect, and we’re all faced with challenges that we have to overcome, but its how we handle and respond to those challenges that is most important.

Last week my training was put to the test, but I refuse to let it stop me from doing what I need to do to get to the start line on October 7th.

Monday, September 3rd

Labor Day was an incredibly busy yet productive one at my house.  Little man and I started the day off with a 5 mile stroller run, followed by a 0.86 mile cool down walk.  That afternoon my husband and I spent a couple of hours cleaning up the garage and doing some yard work.  I was quite active during my day off from work.

I loved having my little coach yell “Go Mommy Go!” during Monday’s run. It helped distract me from the 100% humidity.

Tuesday, September 4th

After school I headed to the gym for a workout.  While there I spent 35 minutes on the elliptical and followed that up with 40 minutes of full body weight training.  I felt incredible strong as I walked out of the gym that day.

Wednesday, September 5th

Yet another afternoon with the heat index reaching over 100 degrees resulted in another afternoon run on the treadmill.  After running a strong 5 miles I completed another half mile cool down walk.  Just like I had felt on Tuesday, I felt great throughout my workout.  It had been a great confidence building run and I wish that every run could feel the way that my run on Wednesday did.

Feeling great at the end of my Wednesday evening run

Thursday, September 6th

Thursday was when my week turned completely around.  After an incredibly active three days, Thursday had been the start of not being able to work out for the rest of the week.  I wound up sick, and actually went home early from school on Thursday.  I’m usually somebody who tries to push through and tough it out when sick, so to admit that I needed to go home mid-day was a tough pill to swallow.  I spent the rest of my Thursday relaxing and napping on the couch.

Friday, September 7th-Sunday, September 9th

I was too tired and too weak the rest of the week to be able to work out.  Even though I hated the fact that I didn’t work out for four days in a row, including having to skip my long run, I know that it was the right decision.  While it means that I missed logging some critical miles just one month out from the marathon, my body was screaming for the rest, and I needed to listen to it.  Despite wanting to have pushed through working out during our recent heatwave, which included numerous days in a row of excessive heat warnings, its clear that my body was not up to that challenge.  I know that I’ll need to take it easy this week as I try to start running again, and that it will be important that I not push myself too hard too quickly if I’m going to run a marathon in a mere 28 days.

Total Weekly Mileage – 14.31 miles (4.19 miles less than week 13)

Total Chicago Mileage – 364.77 miles

QOTD: How do you overcome training setbacks?

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap link up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

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September 2018 Goals

After a very successful and productive July, I was quite optimistic that August would be just the same.  Although I started the month off full of motivation and enthusiasm, both of those fizzled a bit towards the end of the month as I transitioned back into the school routine.

Even though I’m disappointed with how I ended the month, overall August was a successful month when it came towards meeting my monthly goals.

1.  Log at least 130 miles.

Grade: A

My August mileage total was 126.2 miles, which was 97% of my 130 miles goal.  The reality was that I was only one workout short of reaching my goal, but as I shared in Monday’s weekly recap, last week was an incredibly exhausting week and I just didn’t have it in me to get that last workout in for the month.

My August miles brings my 2018 mileage total to 769.6 miles, which means that I’m only 30.4 miles from being 100% on track with my goal to log 1,200 miles this year.  I know that with focus and hard work that I can reach my mileage goal by the end of the year.

2.  Work out at least six days per week.

Grade: C

Most weeks I worked out four or five days per week.  I’ve come to the realization that as a working mother of an active toddler that I don’t have the time and energy to dedicate to working out all but one day each week.  And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

3.  Focus on healthy eating.

Grade: A-

With only a few exceptions I was very pleased with my food choices last month.  By fueling my body with healthy food I was able to stay as active as I did.

4.  Continue to stay on track while away from home.

Grade: A

While away from home during the first half of the month, I managed to not only focus on healthy eating but also staying active.

September is going to be an incredibly busy month.  Not only is it my last full month of marathon training, but it is also the first full month of the school year.  On top of that, my family has quite a few social activities on our calendar this month.  I will certainly be challenged when it comes to staying on track but I’m determined to do it.

1.  Log at least 140 miles.

Given that I have three double digit long runs this month, I’m optimistic that I can log at least 140 miles this month.

2.  Work out at least five days per week.

I think that working out five days per week is a much more realistic goal than six days was, especially now that I’m back at work.

3.  Reach my RMHC fundraising goal.

Regular readers of my blog know that I will be running Chicago as a charity runner with Team Ronald McDonald House Charities.  As of today I am 72% of the way towards reaching my fundraising goal of $1,000.  Given that I’m expected to reach this goal by October 1st, including this on my list of goals for September is a no brainer.  Even though reaching this goal isn’t completely in my control, I am more likely to receive additional donations if I continue to educate friends and family about the mission and success of RMHC.

4.  Incorporate self care into my routine.

As the school year continues on my daily stress will also likely increase.  In order to prevent some of consequences of high amounts of stress that I’ve been faced with in the past, it will be important that I take time for myself in order to help destress.

QOTD: What are your goals for September?

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Chicago Marathon Training Log – Week 13

On October 7th I will be running the Chicago Marathon as a member of Team Ronald McDonald House Charities.  Please consider visiting my fundraising page and supporting this worthy cause.  Thanks!

After a physically challenging week during week 12, week 13 of my Chicago training proved to be a very mentally challenging one, at least in the later part of the week.  Between the heat and an incredibly busy first week with students at school, my mental strength was put to the test last week.  At times I overcame the challenge, and at others I opted for extra rest.

Monday, August 27th

Most of last week included temperatures in the 90s and a heat index in the 100s.  The DC area was under an excessive heat warning multiple days last week, and Monday was no exception to that.  After work I had an appointment with the chiropractor, and had hoped that the closer that it got to sunset the more bearable the conditions outside would become.  That didn’t happen, and because I had planned to run with little man I couldn’t make a last minute escape to the gym.  Monday wound up being an unplanned rest day.

Tuesday, August 28th

In celebration of the first day of school with students I headed to the gym immediately after school for my first run of the week (we were under an Excessive Heat Warning for the second day in a row).  It was also once again hot and stuffy inside of the gym.  I had to run slower than I would have liked to but I pushed through and ran 4.50 miles.  Afterwards I completed a one mile cool down walk.

Another hot and humid day resulted in another afternoon run on the treadmill.

Wednesday, August 29th

Once again after school I headed straight to the gym.  Once there I spent 30 minutes on the elliptical followed by 40 minutes of full body weight training.

Thursday, August 30th

Because of Back to School Night Thursday was an incredibly long and busy day at school.  After a full day of school I quickly ran home to pick up little man from daycare and get him situated at home with his godmother before returning to school.  Even if I had wanted to work out there simply was not time.

Friday, August 31st

After an exhausting Thursday I just didn’t have it in me to workout on Friday.  I ran some errands on my way home from school and then relaxed at home with my boys after a long week.  Even though I was less than four miles from reaching my monthly mileage goal I just didn’t have it in me to head out for one last workout for the month.

Saturday, September 1st

There was a chance of thunderstorms all day long on Saturday and I didn’t want to risk getting stuck in a thunderstorm during my long run.  Despite the high mileage on my training plan for the day, I quickly modified my long run mileage for the next couple of weeks and headed to the gym for my long run.  I spent ten miles running on the treadmill while watching John McCain’s funeral.  Despite the distraction and feeling both physically and mentally strong for the majority of my run (I only started to become bored during the last two miles), I was so glad once I reached the ten mile mark.  Long runs on the treadmill are hard!  After my run I walked another mile to cool down.

Despite the mileage that was originally on my training plan, I’m more than happy with a 10 mile long run, especially one that was completed on the treadmill.

Sunday, September 2nd

Despite my intentions to head to the gym for a workout, I instead opted to spend extra time with my boys.  I also took a nap during little man’s nap.  I don’t regret my decision one bit.

Total Weekly Mileage – 18.50 miles (14.56 miles less than week 12)

Total Chicago Mileage – 350.46 miles

QOTD: How do you stay motivated during those very busy weeks?

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap link up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

Posted in Chicago Marathon Training, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Chicago Marathon Training Log – Week 12

On October 7th I will be running the Chicago Marathon as a member of Team Ronald McDonald House Charities.  Please consider visiting my fundraising page and supporting this worthy cause.  Thanks!

Last week was physically challenging.  After pushing myself at last Sunday’s Leesburg 20k (recap still to come!), my legs were very sore for several days.  Coupled with long days at school as I prepared for my students, my weekday runs were anything but stellar.  I’ll be honest, it had me worried for how my long run for the week would go, but thankfully my long run was the strongest of my three runs last weeks.

Monday, August 20th

To help stretch my legs out the day after the Leesburg 20k I did a walking commute to daycare to pick up little man that afternoon.  Its about 2.5 miles round trip from our house to daycare but I extended the route to 3.35 miles.  We both enjoyed the much needed time together after his first day back at daycare.

Tuesday, August 21st

Afternoon thunderstorms resulted in me heading to the gym after work to complete my run on the treadmill.  My run wound up being both mentally and physically challenging.  Not only were my legs heavy but it was also on the hot side inside the gym.  After pushing myself to run for 45 minutes I walked 0.75 miles and then did 30 minutes of weight training.

Running on the treadmill is never any fun, especially when your legs are tired and the gym is hot.

Wednesday, August 22nd

Between a long day at work and a doctor’s appointment late in the afternoon, I was too physically and mentally exhausted to work out by the time that I made it home.

Thursday, August 23rd

Thursday’s run was another hard one.  I was exhausted from the busy teacher back to work week, and my legs felt like they each had a heavy brick attached to them.  I took several extra walk breaks during my run, and despite the number of times that I wanted to give up and just walk back home I didn’t.  5.75 miles later I was very happy that I had pushed through and hadn’t given up.

I was so happy to be done with that run

Friday, August 24th

Between being at school for 13 hours (a full day of work followed by the fall kick off event and first home football game of the season) plus having my long run the next day I was more than happy to have a planned rest day.

Saturday, August 25th

After two challenging runs earlier in the week I am so thankful that my 18 miler wasn’t mentally challenging.  It was a beautiful 61 degrees when I headed out for my run, though it quickly warmed up and was 81 degrees by the end of my run.  I did an out and back route, which included lots of hills and some areas with very little shade.  Despite the hills I managed to maintain a sub 11 minute pace during the first six miles of my run.  My pace slowed down dramatically during the last eight miles, and I wound up having to walk nearly every hill during the last three miles.  Nonetheless, I was quite pleased with how Saturday’s run went and my run earned a big thumbs up.  Afterwards I completed a 0.77 mile cool down walk.

After both of my weekday runs being quite the challenge I was quite pleased with how much more smoothly my long run for the week went.

Sunday, August 26th

Not only was I sore from my run but we also made a day trip to Pennsylvania for a big family BBQ.  We were gone for just under 12 hours and I was completely exhausted by the time we arrived back home.

Total Weekly Mileage – 33.06 miles (4.25 miles more than week 11)

Total Chicago Marathon Mileage – 331.96 miles

QOTD: How do you push yourself through the mentally and/or physically challenging training runs?

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap link up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

Posted in Chicago Marathon Training, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Chicago Marathon Training Log – Week 11

On October 7th I will be running the Chicago Marathon as a member of Team Ronald McDonald House Charities.  Please consider visiting my fundraising page and supporting this worthy cause.  Thanks!

Last week was a bit of a roller coaster.  Getting back into a routine here at home after being away for a couple of weeks, as well as getting ready to head back to work, made for a very busy week.  There were a couple of days when I felt very rundown, which resulted in a couple of extra rest days, but I’m thankful that the week ended on a high at yesterday’s Leesburg 20k.

Monday, August 13th

I kicked off the week, and my first weekday back at home, with both a dentist appointment and a visit to see the chiropractor.  It had been three weeks since my last adjustment, and my body is used to going at least once a week.  Let’s just say that after sleeping in multiple beds that aren’t my own, as well as six flights, that my body was in desperate need of that adjustment.  I was very sore from Monday’s adjustment and decided that an evening of resting on the couch was more important than trying to get a work out in.

Tuesday, August 14th

Little man and I completed our first stroller run in almost a month.  He was so excited that morning when I asked him if he wanted to go for a run with me.  I took full advantage of both his excitement and the fact that it was a cooler morning with lower humidity and ran six miles.  Afterwards I walked another 1.79 miles.  Running with the stroller was slow going, but the fact that little man was so excited to go for a run with me made the challenge of running with the stroller completely worth it.

Little man was just as excited about going for a run as I was.

Wednesday, August 15th

Early evening I headed to the gym.  While I was away my gym moved to a new location.  Although it is slightly further from home it is also now slightly closer to work, so when I head to the gym straight from school the commute time won’t be any different than it has been in the past.  The new location has all brand new equipment, which I thoroughly enjoyed being able to use during my 35 minutes on the elliptical and 40 minute of full body weight training.

To say that I was sweaty after that workout is an understatement!

Thursday, August 16th

Because little man and I had our last story time of summer break to attend Thursday morning I wasn’t able to get out for my run until later in the day.  It had been an incredibly hot day, with the heat index well into the 100s, so I waited until as close to sunset as possible to head out for my run.  It felt like 96 degrees when I left the house, and because of the heat I told myself that any distance at any pace would be an accomplishment.  I finished 5.25 miles just as the sun was finishing setting.

Thursday’s run may have been a challenging one, but I did get to enjoy a beautiful sunset during it.

Friday, August 17th

Friday was my first day back at work (yes, the new school year for teachers really started on a Friday this year in my school district).  After a busy day of working on setting my classroom up I came home feeling rundown and had a slight migraine.  Working out was far from my priority that evening.

Saturday, August 18th

Saturday was one of those lazy, dreary days.  Late in the afternoon I did muster up the motivation to complete a 25 minute strength training workout at home.  Given that I had my long run the next morning I didn’t push myself too hard but it felt good to sweat a bit.

Sunday, August 19th

Yesterday was the Leesburg 20k.  When I signed up for this race I did so knowing that it would be a great way to mix up marathon training.  Although I was doubtful about the weather while setting my goals for the race, it wound up being a gorgeous summer morning with the temperature in the high 60s and low 70s during the race.  The humidity was also only 80%.  I wound up being able to push myself a bit during the race, and finished the 12.4 miles (well, according to my Garmin I ran 12.58 miles) in 2:20:02.  I crushed all three of my goals, and PRed!  It was a great way to end the week!

All smiles after a great race!

Total Weekly Mileage – 28.81 miles (4.08 miles less than week 10)

Total Chicago Marathon Mileage – 298.90 miles

QOTD: Do you enjoy using races as a long run while training for another race?

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap link up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

Posted in Chicago Marathon Training, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

My Goals for Sunday’s Leesburg 20k

While I worked on drafting this year’s Chicago Marathon training plan back in the late Spring I also looked at possible races that I could run that would double as a long training run.  When I saw that the date for this year’s Leesburg 20k aligned well following the week after a 16 mile long run, I knew that registering for this year’s race was a no brainer.

I have run numerous Potomac River Running races, and as I’ve shared before I am a huge fan of this local race series.  However, its been four years since the one and only time that I have run the Leesburg 20k and I am excited to challenge myself to this race and course again.

Nearing the finish line of the 2014 Leesburg 20k
Photo Credit: Potomac River Running

The Leesburg 20k course is a challenging one.  It is an out and back course, mostly on the W&OD Trail.  Although parts of the trail are shaded, which is especially nice for a summer race, the trail in Leesburg is also quite hilly.  Thankfully, the majority of the hills are in the first two-thirds of the race, and the last third of the race is mostly downhill.  Back in 2014 this helped me finish the race strong, and I’m optimistic that it’ll help me to do the same this year.

Who doesnt love running a race that has the majority of the hills in the first half of the race?

Although one of my 2018 goals is to PR every race distance that I run, I also want to balance my desire to push myself with knowing that this is a long training run for Chicago.  Hopefully the weather will be in my favor Sunday morning during the race and I’ll feel comfortable with pushing myself.  Depending on how I feel will depend on which goal I push myself to reach:

Goal A – Finish the race in under 2:22:55 (11:30 pace) – Given that I’ve been struggling recently with heat and humidity during all of my runs, especially my long runs, I’m not sure that it will be realistic to push myself much more than an 11:30 minute per mile pace on Sunday.  This already will be a stretch for me given my recent long run paces.

Goal B – Finish the race in under 2:26:01 (11:45 pace) – My finish time when I ran this race in 2014 was 2:25:47 (11:44 pace), so reaching my B goal will likely also result in a PR.

Goal C – Finish the race in under 2:29:08 (12:00 pace) – If the weather isn’t on my side Sunday morning and/or my legs struggle to recover from the hills during the front half of the race then I need to accept that its okay for this to be a slower race for me.

I’m not going to lie, its hard to see these slower times and paces in the goals that I have set for myself.  However, I would much rather be realistic and honest with myself than risk pushing myself too hard during the height of marathon training.

QOTD: When you set goals for yourself do you try to be realistic or do you try and shoot for the stars?

Posted in Races | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Chicago Marathon Training Log – Week 10

On October 7th I will be running the Chicago Marathon as a member of Team Ronald McDonald House Charities.  Please consider visiting my fundraising page and supporting this worthy cause.  Thanks!

Another week of being away from home called for another week of flexibility when it came to my training.  You can plan everything to a T, but then factors like the weather that are completely out of your control require you to adapt and modify as necessary.  Two days of travel also impacted my training schedule for the week, but I’m still pleased with the workouts that I was able to complete.

Monday, August 6th

I kicked off the week with another scenic run in Miami.  I started off my 4.25 mile run by running through some of the neighborhood streets in Coconut Grove, which is where our hotel was, and then finished my run on the waterfront at Dinner Key Marina.  Once again the Miami heat and humidity challenged me, but I refused to let it stop me from completing my run.  After my run I completed a 0.75 mile cool down walk, and then later that afternoon did 30 minutes of water aerobics at the hotel pool.

Its hard to be disappointed about a slow run when you get to enjoy gorgeous views while running.

Tuesday, August 7th

For my last workout in Miami I headed to the gym where I spent 45 minutes on the elliptical and followed that up with 25 minutes of weight training.

Wednesday, August 8th

I spent the majority of the day flying from Miami back to central Illinois.  It was a bittersweet day of travel for me because although I left my husband behind in Miami to complete his temporary work assignment I was reunited with my little man later that afternoon.  That evening we went to see the local minor league baseball team play. Although this left me with no time to work out spending time with little man was a much higher priority.

Thursday, August 9th

Midday I took little man for a walk around the neighborhood, and then after my mom got home from work I headed to the gym to complete my run on the treadmill.  After a couple of very hot and humid runs in Miami, I was in desire of a break from running in the brutal summer weather, but unfortunately I didn’t find much reprieve at the gym.  It felt hotter and stuffier than usual at the gym.  As the woman on the treadmill next to me said as we both finished up, “That was a tough run.”  Despite it being a difficult day for a run I still completed all five of my planned miles, and did so with negative splits.

It might have been a tough run but I’m still smiling because I finished.

Friday, August 10th

My original plan for the week was to complete my long run on Sunday.  However, after keeping a close eye on the weather forecast at home, and seeing that there was an 80% chance of thunderstorms all day long, I didn’t want to risk having to run 16 miles on the treadmill.  So even though I had just run 24 hours earlier, I decided that completing my long run Friday evening was my best decision.  Due to running on tired legs, as well as the high heat and humidity, it wound up being one of my most challenging runs ever.  After a busy day with little man I headed out in a feels like temperature of 93 degrees.  I quickly drank all of the water in my hydration vest.  Thankfully I had a couple of dollars on me so just past the 9 mile mark I stopped a gas station to buy a bottle of water.  During that brief stop my legs locked up though and I struggled from the moment that I left the gas station.  At times during the last 7 miles my run felt more like a shuffle, and I had to take extra walk breaks, but I refused to give up and still finished all 16 miles.

My last run on the trail in my hometown was quite the challenging one. I’m hopeful that pushing through on hot and humid days will make me stronger come race day.

Saturday, August 11th

Little man and I spent the day traveling home from Illinois.  There simply wasn’t time, or energy, to workout.

Sunday, August 12th

Given that my legs were still incredibly tired and sore from my tough 16 miler, I decided that another rest day was the smarter choice than trying to push through and still get a workout in.  I didn’t feel guilty about my choice whatsoever.

Total Weekly Mileage – 32.89 miles (3.44 miles more than week 9)

Total Chicago Marathon Mileage – 270.09 miles

QOTD: Do you take extra rest days after challenging long runs?

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap link up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

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Chicago Marathon Training Log – Weeks 8 and 9

On October 7th I will be running the Chicago Marathon as a member of Team Ronald McDonald House Charities.  Please consider visiting my fundraising page and supporting this worthy cause.  Thanks!

Its never easy to keep up with a regular training schedule when you’re traveling.  It takes a lot of planning, focus, and dedication in order to make sure that you can still get all of your workouts in when you’re away from home.  I’ve been away and out of my regular routine for a couple of weeks now has, which made my marathon training a bit more challenging than usual, but I’ve also been more eager than ever to get my workouts in.

Week 8:

Monday, July 23rd

I was very eager to get my run in first thing, mainly driven by the fact that little man and I had a busy midday and evening schedule.  I knew that getting my run in later in the day would be incredibly challenging, if not near impossible.  It had been storming for a couple of days in a row at this point, but after closely tracking the weather forecast I thought that I had just a long enough break in the rain to get my run in.  Boy was I proven wrong!  It was drizzling when I left the house just after 6:30 a.m. and was pouring less than two miles into my run.  Around 2.5 miles I knew that it was time to call it quits, and thankfully my husband came to rescue me.  I don’t think I’ve ever gotten so drenched so quickly!

That was one run that I don’t think will ever be forgotten!

Tuesday, July 24th

Since it was my last day at home before the big trip, I had quite the lengthy to do list, but I was also eager to get to my home gym for one last good workout.  After 35 minutes on the elliptical and 30 minutes of weight training, the fact that I was drenched in sweat was a sign that I’d gotten that good workout in.

Wednesday, July 25th

Between flying to Illinois with little man and celebrating my dad’s birthday that evening it was a long, tiring day.  I didn’t have it in me to workout after such an early start to the day.

Little man was very excited about singing “Happy Birthday” to his Papa

Thursday, July 26th

Despite the fact that it was incredibly hot and humid for my first run in Illinois I was very excited about being able to run on the trail in my hometown.  I always love being able to run on the trail there!  After my run I walked another 1.19 miles.

It might have been an incredibly hot and humid run but regardless I always love being able to run on the Constitution Trail.

Friday, July 27th

Because of plans that we had on Saturday to take little man to a local farm I opted to move my long run for the week to Friday morning.  Despite the near perfect running weather, my body was tired and my pace quickly slowed as the miles increased.  I rarely run two days in a row, so I’m not surprised or disappointed by that.  I’m just glad that I was able to move my long run and still spend time with the family the next morning.

It was a gorgeous morning for a long summer run. It felt like 66 degrees at the beginning of my run and only 72 degrees 14 miles later.

Saturday, July 28th

After a busy morning at a local farm and little man’s nap, he was eager to spend even more time outside so my sister and I took him for a long walk, which included a stop at a neighborhood playground.  All three of us enjoyed our time outside together.

Sunday, July 29th

To close out the week I utilized my Gold’s Gym travel pass and headed to the gym in my hometown.  I left the gym with sore muscles after spending 35 minutes on the elliptical and doing a 45 minute long full body weight training workout.

Total Weekly Mileage – 32.65 miles (13.06 miles more than week 7)

Week 2:

Monday, July 30th

Monday was another long travel day for me.  I had an early morning flight out of the regional airport five minutes down the street from my parents’ house, a connection at O’Hare, and then flew to Miami where I met my husband.  He is on a temporary assignment for work in Miami, but took a couple of days off early in the week so that we could celebrate our wedding anniversary together.  We were very happy to be reunited on our 7th wedding anniversary, which we celebrated by driving down to Key Largo.  We had a low key celebration during our two nights there, but it was what we needed after such a busy couple of summer weeks.  By the end of the day I was far too exhausted from traveling to get a workout in.

On our hotel balcony in Key Largo

Tuesday, July 31st

I closed out the month with a five mile progression run on the treadmill.  The hotel gym was quite hot and steamy, partly driven by how hot and humid it was outside that morning, but despite the conditions I pushed through and got it done.  Afterwards I walked an additional mile, and later that afternoon did 15 minutes of water aerobics.

With this run I met my July mileage goal of 115 miles!

Wednesday, August 1st

Wednesday morning we drove back to Miami and had lunch with friends who were on their way to the Caribbean and had a very long layover in Miami.  After picking them up from the airport we had lunch at an adorable Cuban restaurant in Little Havana, after which we walked around the neighborhood.  According to Apple Health I walked over three miles that afternoon.

Thursday, August 2nd

Between my run and walking from the hotel to both Starbucks for breakfast and Subway for lunch I got quite a few miles in on Thursday.  I ran 5.50 miles on the hotel treadmill and did 40 minutes of full body weight training.  Altogether I logged over nine and a half miles for the day.

I’m not letting the Miami heat and humidity stop me from getting my miles in.

Friday, August 3rd

I kicked off my Friday at the gym where I spent 45 minutes on the elliptical and did 25 minutes of weight training.  I was feeling quite strong and sweaty at the end of my workout.

Strong is beautiful (and sweaty).

Saturday August 4th

I knew that this would be a challenging run because of the Miami heat and humidity but after having already completed two runs on the treadmill for the week I didn’t want to also complete my long run on it.  So instead, I headed out and braved the elements.  I had 8 miles on plan for the day, but wound up pushing myself to run 9 instead.  It wasn’t easy, and maybe I was delirious from the beautiful scenery, but I felt quite accomplished by the end of my run.  Afterwards I walked another half mile.

The beautiful scenery along Biscayne Bay

During a very brief stop on the Rickenbacker Causeway

It was a very slow and steady run but I got the job done.

Sunday, August 5th

My legs were quite sore from Saturday’s long run.  I more than earned my rest day.

Total Weekly Mileage – 29.45 miles (3.20 miles less than week 8)

Total Chicago Marathon Mileage – 237.20 miles

QOTD: How do you stay motivated to keep up with your training while traveling?

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap link up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

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