My Goals for This Weekend’s Races

This weekend I will be running not one, not two, but three races.  When I signed up for these races, I never intended to be running these with a PR attempt in mind.

On Saturday I will be running the Dulles Day 10k (I’ve previously run this race in 2013, 2014, and 2015).  My main motivations for signing up for this race were to complete my first post 20 miler long run on a flat route, and since strollers are allowed on the course I figured that little man would enjoy the experience as well.  Preston is signed up to run the 5k, and although we haven’t decided who is going to run with the stroller, that decision will certainly impact my pace on Saturday.

Running on the runway at Dulles Airport during the Dulles Day 10k in September 2014
Photo Credit: PR Races

My one and only goal on Saturday is to have fun.  Yesterday’s run, which was my first run since running 20 miles on Sunday, was incredibly difficult.  Not only did I run with the stroller, but it was also in the mid-80s when I started my run just after 5 p.m.  On top of that my legs were still very heavy from Sunday’s long run.  Overall, it was a very challenging run, so I know that trying to push myself to a new PR this coming Saturday is anything but a good idea.  Plus, if I am running with little man I know that I’ll want to take lots of pictures of him on the runway.

On Sunday I will be running the Clarendon Day Double (I’ve previously run the 10k in 2014 and 2015).  This year I decided to sign up for the double, which involves running the 5k first, followed by the 10k.  In between the two races I also have to make my way back up the “hill of death” in Rosslyn.  Since I have 12 miles on my training plan for this weekend’s long run, I thought that signing up for the double would be a fun way to complete my long run.  While the double is 9.3 miles and not 12, I figure that with also making my way back up the hill that I’ll get pretty close to the 12 miles, and afterwards I’ll run any of my remaining miles.  Just like with Dulles Day, I’m not looking to push my pace or push to a new PR, I’m simply looking to have fun during my long run.

At the Clarendon Day finish line in 2015

Another reason why I won’t be pushing myself during any of this weekend’s races is because I’m also starting to come down with a cold.  I woke up this morning with the scratchy throat that I usually get before I fully come down with cold symptoms.  My fingers are crossed that this cold won’t knock me out completely and that I’ll still be able to run all three races this weekend.

QOTD: Have you ever attempted to race while sick?

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Chicago Marathon Training Log – Week 15

On October 8th 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!

Spoiler alert: I completed my 20 mile training run and am now in taper mode!!!!!!  I cannot believe that I am only three weeks away from the big race.  This training cycle has just flown by, and before I know it we’ll be packing up to head to Chicago for the marathon.

This past week was another busy one.  Little man was sick, and I suffered through a migraine, both of which impacted my training.  But I was determined to get all of my miles in, no matter what it took.  My strength training did take a back seat again, even after declaring last week that I needed to make it a higher priority.  Hopefully now that I’m in taper mode it’ll be easier to fit it into my busy schedule.

Monday, September 11th

I was determined to have a good training week, and I kicked off the week with a strong 5 mile run.  It was the first time in a couple of weeks that I have seen my average pace for a run below 10 minutes per mile.  The heat and humidity, along with marathon training, has certainly slowed me down this summer.  Even though I am not a fan of fall, I’m secretly looking forward to it continuing to cool off so that I can see my faster paces again.  Shh!

I haven’t seen my average pace below 10 minutes/mile for a couple of weeks now. It felt so good to run a bit faster during Monday’s run!

Tuesday, September 12th

After work I headed to the gym, where I spent 40 minutes on the elliptical followed by 30 minutes of weight training.  It was my one and only strength training workout for the week, but I definitely made it count and walked out of the gym with sore muscles.

Wednesday, September 13th

Since it was an absolutely beautiful afternoon, I decided to do a walking commute to pick little man up from daycare.  In hindsight, I should have done my second run for the week instead since I was out of commission on Thursday.  Nonetheless, I enjoyed the beautiful weather during my 2.51 mile walk.

Thursday, September 14th

A migraine that started Wednesday afternoon got worse overnight and throughout the day on Thursday.  By the time that I was done with work for the day, I wanted nothing other than to come up and lay down, so it wound up being an unplanned rest day.

Friday, September 15th

Thankfully my head finally stopped pounding Friday morning shortly after I arrived at work, so I was able to head out for my second run of the week when I got home.  The run wasn’t anything special, but it did feel good to know that I was able to get my run in and not have to miss it.

It felt so good to just be able to run on Friday

Saturday, September 16th

My rest day before my 20 miler included driving up to south Jersey and heading into Philadelphia to pick up my bib for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly Half Marathon.

Sunday, September 17th

I will recap my half marathon and entire 20 mile experience at a later date, but for now I’ll share that it was an incredibly humid morning, which I know affected my ability to push myself more than I did.  I was drenched shortly after starting my run, and my clothes were so wet that I felt like they weighed me down during the run.  I even had to stop and change my socks during the race because they were so wet from the humidity and my sweat.  I ran 5.47 miles before the half marathon, logged 13.39 miles during the race, and then ran another 1.20 miles after the race.  I was a bit emotional after finishing my 20 miles, knowing that I am that much closer to calling myself a marathoner.

I definitely earned this mimosa after running 20 miles on an incredibly humid morning

Total Weekly Mileage – 36.81 miles (8.28 miles more than week 14)

Total Chicago Marathon Mileage – 417.48 miles

QOTD: How do you reward yourself after a challenging training run?

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap link up.  I’m also linking up with Courtney for the Training Recap link up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

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Friday Five – Potpourri v. 21

With so much going on right now, I thought it appropriate to do a Potpourri post today.

1.  This past week has been a very long and very trying week.  Little man is sick with a cold, which has resulted in several nights of interrupted sleep for all of us.  I also suffered through a migraine on Wednesday and Thursday, which I’m sure is partly a result of the lack of sleep.  And no, I didn’t just stay home one day to try and recover.  Its way more difficult to put together last minute sub plans than it is to just push through.

2.  This weekend I’ll be completing my longest run ever – 20 miles!  Since I am registered to run Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly on Sunday, I plan to arrive downtown early in order to run most if not all of the extra miles before the half marathon starts at 7:30 a.m.  Its going to be a very early morning, but I know that if I don’t get the miles in early then I will be very tempted to not run all 20 that are on my plan for the day.

3.  My excitement for the Chicago Marathon continues to build as each day passes and race day gets closer.  Earlier this week I finished plotting out suggested places along the course for my family to cheer from.  The official marathon program was made available this week.  And rumor has it that Nike will start to release pictures of the official merchandise this weekend.  I cannot wait to see what will be available!

Getting ready to read through the program on the computer

4.  Preston and I have been looking ahead at our fall calendar, and it is shaping up to be quite a busy, but fun, fall.  We have something going on almost every weekend between now and Thanksgiving.  Its a bit exhausting just thinking about everything that we have coming up.  But one thing is for certain: I’d much rather be busy than bored.

5.  Speaking of fall, those who know me well know that fall is far my my favorite season of the year.  I would much rather be hot than cold.  However, the dropping temperatures and lower humidity have definitely had a positive impact on my running, and hopefully I’ll start to see some speedier paces sooner than later.

QOTD: What was one highlight for you from this past week and/or what are your plans for this weekend?

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 8th 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 couple of challenging weeks of training, this past week was the first week when I was finally able to get all of my planned runs in.  I also met my September cross training goal and went for two walks in addition to my run.  The only thing that was on the back burner last week was my strength training.  Even though last week was only a four day work week, it felt long and was definitely exhausting as I finally felt like I was getting back into the swing of the regular school routine.  I made too many “I’m tired” excuses and pushed the idea of strength training aside.  I definitely need to be better about making strength training a higher priority this coming week in order to help me avoid injury, especially as race day gets even closer.

Monday, September 4th

Little man and I went for a 2.86 mile walk together (I walked, he rode in the stroller).  It was a great way for me to stretch my tired legs after having run 18 miles the day prior, as well as to enjoy the beautiful preview of fall weather that we were blessed with for most of the week.

Tuesday, September 5th

Tuesday evening’s run was all about getting back home before the start of a thunderstorm.  It started raining as I neared home, and the rain felt incredibly good since the air was quite humid during my run.

Tuesday evening’s run also brought my mileage total for 2017 to over 800 miles.  Last year I logged just under 755 miles (just over 500 of which I ran), so its incredible that’s it only early September and I’ve already surpassed last year’s totals.

Wednesday, September 6th

I had a chiropractor appointment after school, and before picking up little man also had to make a stop at the grocery store.  It was also raining Wednesday afternoon, making a running or walking commute to daycare an unrealistic option.  By the time I got him to bed I was pooped, so it wound up being a rest day.

Thursday, September 7th

Since my new running shoes had arrived on Wednesday, Thursday’s run was quite exciting since it was my first run in my new Wave Inspire 13s.  I am a loyal Mizuno wearer, and since I can no longer find Wave Inspire 12s in my size, these shoes are my first 13s.  It felt great to run in a new pair of shoes, my sore knee finally felt well supported, and my blistered heel didn’t start bothering me until the very end of my run.  Overall, it was a very successful run!

My new Mizuno Wave Inspire 13s. I absolutely love the color of them!

After returning home I did 20 minutes of strength training.  It was my only strength training session of the week.  Oops.

Friday, September 8th

I had thought about going for a walk with little man after school, but the opportunity to go to happy hour with coworkers at the end of a long week was a much more appealing idea.  I didn’t make the best food and drink choices given that I had a long run the next morning, but it was nice to relax with coworkers.

Saturday, September 9th

Since I had only worn my new shoes once, I decided to lace up my old pair of shoes for my long run.  Even with running on a very hilly route, I felt surprisingly good for the majority of my run.  I made a pit stop at CVS at 10.46 miles to refill my Camelbak, change the band aids on my heel, and put on a dry sock, but after leaving CVS I struggled to find my rhythm even though the majority of the last three and a half miles of my run were downhill.  I was glad to finish my 14 mile run.  I have no doubt that my choices at happy hour impacted how I felt during my long run.  Lesson learned.  After my run I walked another 1.14 miles.

It was an absolutely beautiful morning for a long run!

Sunday, September 10th

Sunday was spent doing lots of chores and errands.  It was a very busy, but productive day.  It was one of those days when I felt quite accomplished at the end of it.

Total Weekly Mileage – 28.53 miles (0.14 miles more than week 13)

Total Chicago Marathon Mileage – 380.67 miles

QOTD: Do you find excitement in running in a new pair of shoes for the first time, or do you dread breaking in new shoes?

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap link up.  I’m also linking up with Courtney for the Training Recap link up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

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Friday Five – One Month Countdown!

One month from today is the Chicago Marathon.  One month.  That’s it.  Its so hard to believe that the big goal that I’ve been focusing on for nearly a year is going to be reality in just one short month.  I have no doubt that the next month is going to fly by, especially since I have a lot on my mind regarding my first marathon.

Only one month to go until I run the streets of Chicago!

1.  Like I shared on Wednesday, I am currently working on drafting my playlist for the race.  Any and all pump up song suggestions are welcome!

2.  I am currently in the midst of my peak mileage weeks.  Despite the blister on my heel and my sore knee, I was able to complete my 18 miler last Saturday.  My long run this weekend is a tad shorter (14 miles), and then I’ll tackle the monster 20 miler next weekend.  The idea of running 20 miles is both exciting and incredibly scary at the same time, but I’m thankful that 13 of my 20 miles will be run during the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly Half Marathon, which should help me dig deep and find extra motivation if and when I start struggling.

After last Saturday’s 18 miler

3.  Yesterday I started pulling up the course map and a map of the Chicago “L” to start working on figuring out points during the race to suggest to my support crew on where they can go to during the race.  I’ll have my husband, little man, and my parents there on race day supporting me, and I’m hoping to be able to see them at a couple of points during the race.  Any suggestions on places along the course that are ideal for spectators would be appreciated, keeping in mind that one person on my crew is a toddler and the adults will be pushing a stroller.  (I have already considered the logistics of the start/finish line area and do not plan on having them try and meet me there.)

4.  My friend Kathleen, who I will be running the race with, and I are both on track with our training and well on our way to hopefully being able to meet her big time goal for the race.  This will be her fifth marathon, and she has a big goal that she’s trying to meet.  Although my main focus is on crossing the finish line upright, I want to support her in reaching her goal.  We’ve already discussed that if I start to struggle that she’ll go ahead and meet me at the finish line.  Even though we run at almost the exact same speed, I would hate to hold her back from reaching her big goal if I start having to walk more than I’d like to.

5.  Yesterday I ran for the first time in what will very likely be the shoes that I run Chicago in.  It made for an extra exciting training run yesterday.

My new Mizuno Wave Inspire 13s. I absolutely love the color of them!

QOTD: When is your next goal race?

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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Putting Together My Chicago Marathon Playlist

I cannot believe it, but Friday marks exactly one month until the Chicago Marathon.  The past almost year since I first signed up to run the race with Team RMHC has flown by, and I cannot believe that crossing the start line of my first marathon is right around the corner.

One of the many things on my to do list prior to Chicago is putting together my playlist for the marathon.  I know that the further that I run on race day, the more physically and mentally challenging the race will become.  This will make it imperative that my playlist is full of songs that will help keep me energized and pumped up.  Starting to think about my playlist comes at the perfect time when the topic for the Tunes Tuesday linkup this month is Pump Up Jams.

Some of my favorite Pump Up Jams that I plan to include on my Chicago Marathon playlist are:

Thunderstruck by AC/DC

We Didn’t Start the Fire by Billy Joel

I Gotta Feeling by The Black Eyed Peas

Livin’ On A Prayer by Bon Jovi

Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) by C+C Music Factory

Running on Empty by Jackson Browne

Rhythm Nation by Janet Jackson

Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey

Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson

Panama by Van Halen

QOTD: What are your go to pump up songs?

Thanks to JanelleKim, and Steff for hosting the Tunes Tuesday linkup.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

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Chicago Marathon Training Log – Week 13

On October 8th 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!

What a week!  Much of the week was spent sidelined by the blister on my heel that I got during last Saturday’s long run.  With Chicago right around the corner, I refuse to let this blister keep me from moving, so even though it was difficult to run I found other ways to stay active.  Even though I did complete my long run yesterday, my blister is still a prominent fixture on my heel, so I still need to be careful in order to let it continue to heal.

Monday, August 28th

I returned home from the first day of school with my new students to fall like weather.  The temperature was in the low 70s and the humidity was very low.  It was perfect summer running weather, and I wanted to take advantage of it, despite the open blister on my heel.  I bandaged myself up, but putting my running shoe on was still incredibly painful.  That should have been my sign to not go for my run.  But I’m stubborn, so I still headed out the door.  I only made it 1.85 miles down the sidewalk before it was too painful to continue.  I sat down on the sidewalk and took my shoe off to discover that not only had the band aid moved but that the short run had made my blister larger in size.  There was no way that I could continue running.  So what did I do?  I walked 1.85 miles back home in just my socks.  I’m sure I looked absolutely crazy to everybody driving by, but I had no other choice.

I only made it 1.85 miles before the open blister on my heel was just too painful to keep going. So what did I do? Walked 1.85 miles back home without shoes on. I felt quite defeated as I walked back home.

Tuesday, August 29th

Refusing to sit still, I headed to the gym after school.  I crossed my fingers that I’d be able to get a full workout in, and thankfully the elliptical didn’t bother my heel, so I completed a 40 minute workout on it.  Afterwards I did 30 minutes of weight training.  Surprisingly, it actually hurt more to walk around the gym in the weights area than it did to use the elliptical.

Wednesday, August 30th

I didn’t have time to get to the gym before picking little man up, but I still wanted to get a workout in.  So what did I do?  I put on my athletic sandals, put little man in his stroller, and went for a 2.40 mile walk.  I know that walking in sandals in far from ideal, but it was the only way that I could walk without irritating my heel.

Just because I was facing a setback didn’t mean that I could sit on the training sidelines.
Since my heel was still extremely sensitive due to the open blister, I put on my athletic sandals and walked.

Thursday, August 31st

Thursday evening was Back to School Night at school.  Because of traffic in Northern Virginia, it made little sense to drive home to just have to turn around about an hour later in order to make it back to school on time.  So I just stayed at school and grabbed an early dinner with some coworkers.  I didn’t arrive home until around 9:30.  After being out of the house for over 15 hours, my bed looked like a much better idea than trying to work out.

Friday, September 1st

Our first home football game at school was Friday evening, and there were food trucks brought to school for some pre-game festivities.  Preston and little man met me at school, where we grabbed some BBQ from one of the food trucks for dinner before staying for the first part of the game.  We arrived home around 8:00, and again, I was far too tired from a long day to work out.

Saturday, September 2nd

I usually complete my long runs on Saturdays, but between it pouring all day and wanting to give my heel another day to heal before attempting to run, I decided to push my run a day back.  Instead, I did a 30 minute full body strength training workout.

Sunday, September 3rd

After being uncertain for the entire week whether I’d be able to run at all, I was very cautious Sunday morning as I bandaged myself up and put my running shoes on.  For the first time since I first got the blister, my heel wasn’t bothered too much by putting a running shoe on.  Yes, it was sensitive but it wasn’t painful, so I took that as a sign that it was time to attempt running again.  I had 18 miles on my training plan, and as I headed out the door I had no idea how the run would go or how many miles I would be able to run.  I took it pretty easy with my pace, and thankfully running didn’t hurt.  It was far from how I felt during Monday’s run.

I modified one of my usual out and back route for a couple of reasons.  I knew that there were several gas stations and stores that I could make pit stops at if needed on the modified route.  It was also a route that Preston could easily pick me up on if I needed to stop.  I ran into a CVS at mile 11 to refill my Camelbak, and then sat on the sidewalk outside to change out the band aids on my heel and to change into a dry sock.  I’m so glad that I had planned ahead and had brought along extra band aids and an extra pair of socks.  During my pit stop, I did notice that my heel was a bit more irritated than it had been prior to the start of my run, but again, it was nothing like it had been on Monday.

As I left CVS I was uncertain as to whether I’d be able to finish all 18 miles.  My heel was definitely more sensitive, and the last thing that I wanted to do was make it worse.  But as each mile passed, I wanted to push myself even more to run all 18 miles.  And I did!  It felt so good to see 18 miles on my Garmin at the end of my run!

After not being able to run for a week I was very uncertain how this long run would go, or even if it would happen at all. After stopping at 11 miles to change out bandaids on my heel and put on a dry sock, I pushed through and finished all 18 miles that were on my training plan for this weekend! To say that I’m in disbelief that I was able to complete this run is an understatement!

I still need to take it easy on my heel in order to let it continue to heal, as it still has a long way to go.  At the beginning of the week I was beginning to worry whether I’d be able to fully prepare for Chicago.  Yesterday’s long run has given me the confidence that even with my blister that as long as I take care of it and take the proper precautions that I should be able to continue my training, even if it isn’t exactly as I would like.  My number one focus right now is on getting to the start line of Chicago, no matter how many modifications I have to make in the remaining weeks of my training.

Total Weekly Mileage – 28.39 miles (5.23 miles more than week 12)

Total Chicago Marathon Mileage – 352.14 miles

QOTD: How do you approach set backs to your training, especially when you’re only a couple of weeks out from your race?

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap link up.  I’m also linking up with Courtney for the Training Recap link up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

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September 2017 Goals

This past month was quite the roller coaster, filled with lots of highs and some frustrating times as well.  Some of the highs included setting a new personal distance record (when I completed a 16 mile training run at the beginning of August), going on a much needed vacation to Antigua with my husband, and the start of my 10th year of teaching.  My marathon training was going really well until shortly after we arrived home from vacation, when I started experiencing knee and foot pain, and then got a rather large and painful blister on my right heel which has prevented me from running since I got it.

Between the highs and the lows, it made for an interesting month when it came towards working towards meeting my August goals.

1.  Log at least 145 miles.

Grade: C

I’m not going to lie, August was a pretty disappointing month when it came to my mileage.  My final total for the month was 108.5 miles, almost 30 miles less than what I completed in July.  When it came to both my mileage and my marathon training, I was doing really well with keeping up with both until just after vacation.  My return to work significantly reduced my time allocated to working out, and that week was also coupled with significant knee pain that further limited my running.

My longest run of the month was my 16 miler at the beginning of August

In the big picture of the entire year, I cannot be disappointed though, as my current mileage total for 2017 is 777.1 miles.  I am currently 77% of the way towards meeting my goal for the year.  I only have to log a little more than 55 miles each month for the rest of the year, which I’m sure I’ll have no trouble meeting.  When I do my quarterly goals check in at the end of September, I’ll evaluate whether I need to modify my mileage goal for the year.

2.  Cross and strength train at least two times per week.

Grade: A

I had no trouble reaching this goal this past month.  The funny thing is that I seem to be incredibly motivated to do each of these twice a week, and its when I increase my goal to three times per week that I really struggle to add in extra workouts.

3.  Stay active while on vacation.

Grade: A+++

Between snorkeling, pool aerobics, and walks on the beach, in addition to marathon training, I more than stayed active while on vacation.  My only days of complete rest while on vacation were our travel days.

On the boat during our snorkel trip in Antigua

4.  Don’t overindulge while on vacation.

Grade

Although I enjoyed myself while we were away, I never felt as though I over stuffed myself.  There certainly was plenty of temptation to do so since we stayed at an all inclusive, but I’m pretty proud of myself for the food and drink choices that I did make while we were away.

I’m hopeful that now that I’m getting back into the school year routine, and with my marathon right around the corner, that September will be a great month.  As my blister continues to heal it’ll be a slow start to the month, but hopefully I’ll be able to gradually rebuild my activity throughout the month and be back at it in full force by the end of September.

1.  Log at least 135 miles.

Since I didn’t reach my mileage goal last month, I’d like to try and log at least the same number of miles that I did in July.  Fingers crossed that my body cooperates!

2.  Cross and strength train at least two times per week.

Even though I met this goal in August, its going to be increasingly challenging to workout as frequently as I did over the summer.  Twice a week seemed to be my sweet spot during the summer, so I’d like to see if I can still manage to keep up with that.

3.  Foam roll and stretch consistently.

As the miles continue to increase as I get closer to Chicago, I need to make sure that I’m taking care of myself.  Consistently foam rolling and stretching will not only help my knee but my body altogether.

4.  Be more on top of my blogging.

I only wrote six blog posts in August.  Six.  I had many more posts than that planned, but time got away from me last month.  I’m starting to loose some of my drive and focus with blogging, and if I’m going to continue with it then I did to be better about prioritizing my time for it.

QOTD: What are your goals for September?

I’m linking up with Ange and Carmy for the Monthly Goals linkup.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

Posted in Motivation | Tagged , , , | 33 Comments

Chicago Marathon Training Log – Week 12

On October 8th 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!

There are only six weeks left until the big race.  SIX!  I cannot believe how close my first marathon is.  The past 12 weeks since I first started my training have flown by, and with today being the first day of school for the 2017-2018 school year, I’m sure that the next six weeks will fly by even faster.

Up until this past week, my body seemed to be holding up pretty well with marathon training.  Until we left for vacation at the beginning of August, I had been pretty much on track with my training plan, and then as I mentioned last week I reduced my mileage a bit while we were away, although I stayed plenty active doing other activities.  I felt great last Saturday when I ran 14 miles, and then on Monday I felt like my body really started to fail me.

It started with pain in my left knee, an area that I’ve never had issues with.  (Its my right ankle that I’ve had problems with since I was a child, and why I wear an ankle brace when I run, and my main injuries from my car accident in 2015 were contained to my lower back.)  But then on Thursday my left foot also started hurting.  Again, an area of my body that hasn’t really ever bothered me before.  I knew that my running shoes were in dire need of replacement before we left for vacation, but I didn’t want to have to worry about breaking in new shoes while we were away.  So worn out shoes, coupled with more than usual treadmill running over the past couple of weeks, I’m sure are the main culprits thatt led to my recent aches and pains.  Hopefully the pain will start to go away for good, since with Chicago right around the corner I don’t have time for any long term injuries.

On Monday I headed back to work after an incredibly short summer (our break this year was only seven weeks!).  After a full day at school, I headed to the gym and felt strong during my progression run.  I ran five miles, completing my last mile in 8:56.  I felt fine as I stepped off of the treadmill, but unfortunately shortly after I arrived home was when I started feeling the pain in my left knee.

My first day back at work couldn’t keep me from staying on tack with marathon training, even if that meant running on the treadmill after school.

On Tuesday my knee was more sore than painful, so I walked to daycare to pick little man up that afternoon.  The pain really kicked in as we neared home, and the pain was even stronger while I did some strength training.  I had to stop lower body exercises altogether because my knee hurt so badly.

I saw my chiropractor on Wednesday, and in addition to my routine adjustment he did quite a bit of work on my knee.  I left the doctor’s office with instructions to take it easy and to listen to my body.

On Thursday, I opted to skip my planned run since I was still experiencing some pain, though it was feeling a lot better than it had the two days prior.  Instead, I did cross training on the elliptical at the gym.  My knee didn’t hurt any more afterwards than it had when I started, so I took that as a good sign that I’d be able to do a long run on Saturday.  After the elliptical, I also did 30 minutes of weight training.  I was super careful with the few lower body exercises that I did, and spent much more time focusing on abs and upper body exercises.

In hopes of being able to my long run on Saturday, Friday was a complete and total rest day.  After a long week of back to school meetings and working on my classroom, a rest day was exactly what I needed.

Saturday’s long run was…interesting.  I had 16 miles on my plan, which I knew was not going to happen, not only because of my knee but also because I had to take little man with me.  Prior to this past weekend, my stroller PDR was just under 9 miles, so I knew that 16 miles was completely unrealistic.  I set out to run 100% based on feel, partly because of the stroller, partly because of my knee, and partly because I made the silly decision to break in new running shoes that morning.  I decided to run using 3:1 intervals (3 minutes of running followed by 1 minute of walking) instead of my usual 4:1 intervals that I do on my long runs.  My knee wound up feeling okay throughout the run, I was able to push myself to 10 miles with the stroller, and it wound up being the new shoes that had me stopping at 10 miles.  Around mile 6 I felt what I thought was just a hot spot on my right heel, but less than a mile later stopped to adjust my sock to realize that not only had I gotten a blister but that it had also already popped.  Thank goodness there was a grocery store on my route that morning, and just past mile 8 I ran into the store for both a pit stop and to buy some band aids (thank goodness I had money on me!).

After buying a box of band aids I sat on the sidewalk outside the grocery store and put one on my heel, but the damage had already been done.  I very slowly pushed myself to run an additional two miles, and after that I was done (my upper body was also quite sore at this point from running with little man).  We still had at least two miles to go before arriving back home, which I walked.  A couple of times I contemplated taking my shoes off, putting them in the stroller basket, and walking home in just my socks.  Before setting out for the run I had told myself that I’d run as far as I could and then walk the rest of my planned miles, but at 12 miles I had to throw in the towel for the day.  The shower that I took after arriving back home was quite painful for my poor heel.

I took the “slow miles are better than no miles” approach to my long run on Saturday, but had to throw in the towel at 10 miles.

Needless to say, Sunday also wound up being a rest day.  It hurts to have a band aid on my open blister, let alone a shoe.  I have no idea how this coming week is going to go, so I’ll be taking things one day at a time.

Total Weekly Mileage – 23.16 miles (6.45 miles less than week 11)

Total Chicago Marathon Mileage – 323.75 miles

QOTD: What recent setbacks have you faced with your training?

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap link up.  I’m also linking up with Courtney for the Training Recap link up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

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Friday Five – My Fall Race Calendar

With summer quickly coming to an end, that means that fall is right around the corner.  And one of the highlights for me every fall is the start of race season.

There are so many fun races held every fall.  Its not hard to find numerous races held every weekend.  There are so many races to choose from, and it is very easy to over schedule yourself with fall races.

I am incredibly excited about the races currently on my fall calendar.  I have registered for all but the last race on my calendar.

1.  Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon – September 17th

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of the Rock ‘n’ Roll race series, and this will be my third time running Philly (I ran in 2015 at 32 weeks pregnant, and then again last year).  This year’s race is the same weekend as my planned 20 miler for marathon training, so my current plan is to run 7 miles before the start of the half marathon, and then use the race to help keep me motivated with what will be my most challenging marathon training run.

After completing Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly in 2015 at 32 weeks pregnant

2.  Dulles Day 10k on the Runway – September 23rd

This will be my fourth year running Dulles Day (I ran the inaugural 5k in 2013, the 10k in 2014, and the 5k in 2015).  I am excited to be returning to this race again this year after there being a scheduling conflict last year.  Running on an airport runway is incredibly exciting, and I cannot wait to share this experience with my little man since strollers are allowed on the course.

Running on the runway at Dulles Airport during the Dulles Day 10k in September 2014
Photo Credit: PR Races

3.  Clarendon Day Double (5k and 10k) – September 24th

Clarendon Day falls on the same weekend as my last double digit run for marathon training, so this race day will provide another great opportunity for extra motivation.  I’ve only previously run the 10k (in both 2014 and 2015), but by participating in the double, I’ll first run the 5k and then the 10k.  Oh, and in between races I have to make it back up the “hill of death” in Rosslyn.  I’m looking forward to this fun challenge!

At the Clarendon Day finish line in 2015

4.  Chicago Marathon – October 8th

To say I am excited about running my first marathon is an understatement.  For the most part, marathon training has been going well and I cannot wait to see how my hard work pays off in just six and a half short weeks.

5.  Jingle Bell Jog 5k – December 10th

Although I haven’t registered for this race yet, I am very seriously considering running this Christmas themed race.  I haven’t run a Christmas race since 2014, and would love to enjoy this race with my little man since strollers are allowed on the course.  There is also an Elf Dash that he can participate in.  If I sign him up, this will be his second race (his first being his diaper dash last November).

QOTD: What race(s) are you most looking forward to running this fall?

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!

I am also linking up with Deb for the Race Linkup.  Be sure to also check out her post for more race ideas.

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