Chicago Marathon Training Log – Week 6

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!

The summer heat and humidity was most certainly present last week.  Like always, summer running was a challenge, and last week certainly tested both my physical and mental strength to push forward despite high heat and humidity.

Monday, July 9th

I kicked off the week with a walk to and from two different playgrounds with little man.  Altogether I walked just over two miles.  That evening I headed to the gym for cross and strength training.  I spent 30 minutes on the elliptical and then did 40 minutes of full body weight training.

Tuesday, July 10th

Tuesday morning little man and I headed out the door for a stroller run.  The morning humidity made it extra challenging, and while running up a hill at the 4.15 mile mark I told myself that I was done.  After calling it quits with my run I walked another 1.52 miles.

Little man and I make a great team, especially on challenging runs.

Wednesday, July 11th

Little man and I started our day off with a walk to the grocery store.  He loves being able to push the little shopping cart around the store and by us going early in the day it helps with preventing having him run into anybody with his cart.  We returned home with the stroller loaded up with our purchases.  Our round trip mileage was just over two and a half miles.

Little man loading up his shopping cart

What the stroller looked like on our way home from the store.

Thursday, July 12th

Thursday morning was the first time all week when I finally felt a break in the morning heat and humidity.  Even after running 5.25 miles with the stroller I felt like I could have pushed myself to keep running, except that little man and I had to get to the library for toddler story time.

The break in the heat and humidity was much appreciated, especially on a morning when I ran with the stroller.

Friday, July 13th

Knowing that I had a double digit run the next day I opted to take a full rest day in order to allow my body to rest up for the challenge that I knew that the long run would prove to be.

Saturday, July 14th

Hills plus wind made for an incredibly challenging long run.  I opted to run on one of my go to out and back long run routes that has several grocery stores, fast food restaurants, and convenience stores along it so that should I have needed more water than I left home with that I’d have options available.  The one downside to this route is that it is incredibly hilly.  My average pace was much slower than I would have liked, and got slower the further that I ran, but I didn’t give up and that’s what is most important.  After running 12 miles I completed a 0.76 mile cool down walk.

The steep hill on the left was one of the countless hills that I ran during Saturday’s long run.

Sunday, July 15th

A busy day filled with lots of errands and family time resulted in an unplanned rest day.  It happens.

Total Weekly Mileage – 31.09 miles (7.75 miles more than week 5)

Total Chicago Marathon Mileage – 155.51 miles

QOTD: Do you ever walk to complete your errands?

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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2018 Goals – Midyear Check In

Its hard to believe it, but 2018 is already half over.  It feels like I just wrote my 2018 goals, and here I sit reflecting on my progress halfway through the year.

1.  Log 1,200 miles.

Progress Report: B+

As of yesterday, my 2018 mileage total is 564.3 miles.  To be completely on track with my mileage goal, I would need to have a current total in the low 600s.  While I am slightly behind, I have no doubt that I’ll catch up, especially as my mileage continues to increase with marathon training.

2.  PR in all race distances.

Progress Report: C

Given that I have only run three races this year, two half marathons and a 10k, and two of those races were Disney races which I never run for time, I am not disappointed in my lack of progress with this goal.  Despite what I initially thought at the beginning of the year, racing has not been a priority for me this year.  That does not mean that I don’t want to push myself during the few races that I will still run this year, but my priorities have shifted to focusing on some of my other goals, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Smiling during the second half of what was a very difficult half marathon for me. I went into the Loudoun Half Marathon in April with ambitious goals, but wound up struggling on race day.
Photo Credit: Potomac River Running

3.  Lose 5 pounds, and keep it off.

Progress Report: F

I am currently only 0.4 pounds lighter than I was on January 1st.  I’m not going to lie, my weight loss journey this year has been a roller coaster.  I was just shy of reaching my goal back in April, but slowly the weight that I lost crept back on.  I know that some of the weight that I have regained is muscle, but I will also admit that I haven’t been consistent with making healthy food choices.  Making good food choices needs to be a much bigger focus for me during the second half of the year.

4.  Focus on self care.

Progress Report: B

Although I have been much better about taking care of myself than in previous years, I also know that there is always room for improvement.  I have been better about balancing my family’s needs with my own, and am much better at recognizing when I need to ask for more help.

5.  Keep my family as a top priority.

Progress Report: A

I can confidently say that making time for my family has been one of my top priorities this year.  Little man continues to grow right before my eyes, and I am trying my best to spend as much quality time with him and my husband as possible.  Although this has meant spending less time on other things, including blogging, I don’t regret this choice whatsoever.

On the carousel on the boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ this past weekend

QOTD: How much progress have you made towards meeting your 2018 goals?

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Chicago Marathon Training Log – Week 5

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!

The theme of last week’s training was challenging.  Not only is summer training often a challenge, but we were also out of town from Wednesday-Sunday, which added an extra layer of challenge to my training.  Despite the challenges that I faced I refused to give up and kept pushing forward.  I did the best that I could, and that is all that I can ask of myself.

Monday, July 2nd

After working out seven days in a row my body was in desperate need of a rest day, so that’s exactly what I gave it.

Tuesday, July 3rd

The heat here in Virginia went from bad to worse on Tuesday.  After being under a heat advisory for several days in a row, we were under an excessive heat warning on Tuesday.  Since being safe was my top priority, I completed my run on the treadmill at the gym.  It was difficult enough to breathe and complete my run inside so I cannot imagine having attempted to run outside.  After my 4.50 mile run I walked an additional half mile.

Given that it felt like 112 degrees outside when I drove to the gym, there was no choice but to complete my run on the treadmill.

Wednesday, July 4th

Before heading out of town to celebrate 4th of July with my in-laws in New Jersey I headed to the gym for cross and strength training.  I spent 30 minutes on the elliptical and then did 30 minutes of full body weight training.

Thursday, July 5th

We spent the day in Strasburg, Pennsylvania, which was about a 90 minute drive from my father-in-law’s house.  Our day included riding the historic steam train on the Strasburg Railroad.  Little man is currently obsessed with anything and everything trains so he had an absolute blast during our day in Strasburg.  Needless to say, working out didn’t happen, though I did do quite a bit of walking.

Little man had an absolute blast riding the train.

Friday, July 6th

Another busy day with family resulted in not being able to get a chance to run until after dinner.  I didn’t wait long enough after eating dinner to start my run, which I completed on my sister-in-law’s treadmill.  I struggled during the majority of my run, and eventually admitted that I needed to cut my run short.  I walked half a mile afterwards, partly in hopes that I would feel better and would be able to resume running, but that didn’t happen.

This is my “At least I tried!” face.

Saturday, July 7th

We took a day trip to Ocean City, New Jersey, which with traffic was about a 90 minute drive from my father-in-law’s house.  During our day there I walked just under five miles on the boardwalk while little man napped in the stroller.

I could exercise all day long with the beach and ocean as my backdrop. I absolutely love anything and everything that has to do with the beach.

Sunday, July 8th

After spending the early morning with my father-in-law we started our drive home mid-morning.  After arriving home and eating lunch, I had a small window in which was my one and only opportunity yesterday to complete my long run for the week.  When I started my run just before 2:30 p.m. it was at the height of the day’s heat and sunshine.  I didn’t even have the time to drive to the gym to complete my run on the treadmill, so I sucked it up and headed out for my run.  It was slow going, but I was happy just to be able to get my run in at all.

The bright and shining sun certainly beat down on me during my long run.

Total Weekly Mileage – 23.34 miles (9.22 miles less than week 4)

Total Chicago Marathon Mileage – 124.42 miles

QOTD: How did you celebrate 4th of July?

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 – Week 4

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!

If I had to choose a theme song for this past week, it would be Buster Poindexter’s “Hot Hot Hot”.  I’ve lost count of how many days in a row we’ve been under a heat advisory, and the high heat and humidity is forecasted to continue this week.

Although the extremely hot weather made it more challenging to get all of my workouts in, I somehow managed to workout every single day last week.  I’m not sure that I’ve ever worked out seven days in a row before, but boy did it feel good to sweat everyday.

Monday, June 25th

After driving to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware that morning with little man and my sister, I decided that after sitting in the car for several hours to go for a powerwalk on the beach.  Exercising in the sand is anything but easy, but it felt good to walk just over two miles barefoot in the sand.

The beautiful Atlantic Ocean was my backdrop for a two mile powerwalk.

Tuesday, June 26th

Since my sister was willing to hang out at the hotel with little man and help him eat breakfast, I was able to escape for a run.  Despite having heavy legs as well as a huge blister on the bottom of one of my toes, there was no way that I could pass up the opportunity to run at the beach.  After my run I completed a 1.63 mile walk.

What isn’t there to love about running at the beach?!?

After my run we checked out of the hotel, spent the rest of the morning at the beach, and then started the drive home at lunchtime.  It was a short and sweet overnight trip to the beach, but any time with my toes in the sand is better than none at all.  Sadly, during the drive home we had to drop my sister off at the airport.  It was great to have her visit with us for a week and a half.

Wednesday, June 27th

Wednesday evening I met my husband in the parking lot at the gym after he was done with work for the day, where we passed off little man from one parent to the other so that I could get a gym workout in.  I spent 30 minutes on the elliptical and followed my cardio workout up with 30 minutes of full body weight training.

Thursday, June 28th

Little man joined me for a very hot Thursday evening run.  Nothing about running with the stroller in 91 degree heat was easy, but I felt quite accomplished after running five miles.

Its hard to smile after running 5 miles in the heat.

Friday, June 29th

Little man and I kicked off our Friday with an early morning walk to the grocery store.  Two and a half miles later we arrived back home with the bottom of the stroller filled with fresh food.

Saturday, June 30th

With a heat advisory in place, I knew that it would be essential to get out the door for my run as early as possible in order to avoid completing my long run on the treadmill.  Despite getting out earlier than usual on a Saturday morning, it was already 81 degrees when I finished my 10 miles.  I felt strong during the majority of my run, but the heat and hills definitely started taking their toll on me during the last three miles.  I’m quite proud of the fact that my average pace for my run was 11:03, especially given how hot and humid it was that morning and the fact that this was my first double digit run since April.  After my run I walked another mile to get back home.

One of the goals for last week’s long run: find as many shaded sidewalks as possible.

Sunday, July 1st

I wanted to kick off the new month on a strong note, and did so off with a gym workout, which consisted of 30 minutes on the elliptical followed by 30 minutes of weight training.

Total Weekly Mileage – 32.56 miles (6.12 miles more than week 3)

Total Chicago Marathon Mileage – 101.08 miles

QOTD: How hot is it in your area?

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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July 2018 Goals

Like I’ve shared a couple of times, May was a very challenging month for me.  One of the big reasons why it was as challenging as it was was due to the fact that I didn’t set any goals to help me stay focused.  I changed that for the month of June, and boy did it make a huge difference.

1.  Log at least 100 miles.

Grade: A

As of today my mileage total for the month is 92.1 miles, and I have a ten mile long run on tap for tomorrow.  It feels good to know that my hard work paid off this month and that I will reach my mileage goal.  My current 2018 mileage total is 514.5 miles, and after tomorrow’s long run I will still be about 75 miles shy of where I should be in order to be 100% on track for the year.  But I still have half a year to turn things around and get back on track.  I have no doubt that as the mileage increases with marathon training that I will be able to in fact get back on track with my yearly mileage goal of 1,200 miles.

All smiles after my longest run so far this month

2.  Lose at least 2 pounds.

Grade: C

Even though I ended the month almost two pounds heavier than I started the month at, I’m fairly certain that its mostly muscle weight that I have gained.  I cannot be disappointed about that whatsoever.

3.  Work out at least five days per week.

Grade: A

Not only did I work out at least five days per week every week this past month, but two weeks I exercised six days in a week.  Now that I am out of school for summer vacation, it is very easy to want to be outside and active with my little man.  We’ve been going for lots of extra walks, and sometimes that also results in spending time at the playground with him.

Little man and I both love any and all time that we get to spend outside together

4.  Weight train at least two days per week.

Grade: C

I was on track with this goal until mid-month when I had my nasty fall during a long run.  After the fall, my body was quite sore and I found it difficult to want to do any strength training.  I am starting to feel up to weight training again.

Overall, June was a successful month on the fitness front and I’m looking forward to July being just as if not more successful.

1.  Log at least 115 miles.

This is a 15 mile increase over my June goal.  With my long runs increasing in distance for my marathon training, this goal should be more than manageable.

2.  Work out at least six days per week.

With me spending extra time outside and taking extra walks with little man, I want to see if I can push myself to complete an extra work out each week.  This goal is going to be a stretch for me, especially since I will be out of town twice in July.  But we’ll see what I’m able to accomplish.

3.  Weight train at least two days per week.

Weight training needs to happen, especially as my marathon training continues to ramp up so that I can prevent injury.  I need to make weight training a higher priority than I did in June.

4.  Stay on track while away from home.

Like I already mentioned, I will be out of town twice in July.  We are headed to New Jersey to spend the long 4th of July weekend with my in-laws, and then little man and I will be flying to Illinois towards the end of the month for a visit with my family.  So while I am looking looking forward to our upcoming travels, being away from home will also make it more challenging to stay on track with my marathon training and health and fitness goals.

You will notice that for the first time all year losing weight is not on my list of monthly goals.  With the amount of travel coming up over the next two months, it will be difficult to accurately keep track of my weight.  As long as I stay active, keep up with my training, and make healthy food choices, then I cannot be disappointed with my weight when I return home mid-August.

QOTD: What are your goals for July?

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Chicago Marathon Training Log – Week 3

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 falling during my long run last Saturday, my focus this past week was on getting back on track with my training.  Even today, nine days since my fall, I’m still dealing with some minor aches and pains.  My wounds on my knees and right shoulder are still quite tender, but are slowly healing up.  Even though I wasn’t able to work out the way that I would like to, especially when it came to strength training, I’m still quite proud of the fact that I remained focused and determined on moving forward this past week.

Monday, June 18th

Monday was my last day of school for the 2017-2018 school year.  It was a teacher workday, and I spent a good part of the day packing up my classroom for the summer.  Once I was finally done and had checked out with my principal I headed to the gym to kick off my summer vacation with a run on the treadmill.  I’ll be honest, I was a bit intimidated of the idea of running outside only two days after my fall.  But given that the feels like temperature outside was 105 degrees, I was actually happy to have a very valid excuse to need to complete my run on the treadmill.  After my run I walked an additional mile.

Tuesday, June 19th

After spending my first full day of summer break with my little man and my sister, I went to the gym for cross and weight training.  I spent 45 minutes on the elliptical and did 30 minutes of full body weight training.

Wednesday, June 20th

I kicked off the day by completing my training run.  It felt great to get my run out of the way first thing, which allowed me to focus on spending time with my little man the rest of the day.

We drove up to an orchard in Maryland, where we picked blueberries.  We had an absolute blast spending the day outside together.

Picking blueberries is very serious business

Thursday, June 21st

Because we spent the day in Annapolis, Thursday was a planned rest day.  My body was more than in need of it, especially after not having had a full rest day since the previous Friday.

Friday, June 22nd

Even though it was raining, my sister and I had promised little man that we’d walk to the bagel shop for a Friday morning breakfast treat, and we didn’t want to break our promise to him.  So instead of getting in the car and driving to the bagel shop, we bundled up in rain gear, put little man in the stroller, and still made the mile and a quarter walk.  The smile on little man’s face made the walk in the rain worth it.

Okay he might not be smiling in this picture, but trust me, he was quite excited about being outside and our outing to the bagel shop.

Saturday, June 23rd

I was worried all week about how my long run would go one week after falling.  It had rained all day Friday, which left the roads and sidewalks quite wet and slippery on Saturday morning.  The thought of running on the treadmill crossed my mind several times, but I eventually convinced myself to run outside, and I’m so glad that I did.  I felt quite strong throughout my run, and even though I had eight miles on my training plan wound up pushing myself to run nine miles.  After my run I walked another mile before heading home.

Sunday, June 24th

After logging ten miles on Saturday my body was more than in need of a rest day.

Total Weekly Mileage – 26.44 miles (4.71 miles more than week 2)

Total Chicago Marathon Mileage – 68.52 miles

QOTD: How do you encourage yourself to get back up and at it after an injury and/or setback?

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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Copycat Panera Strawberry Poppyseed Chicken Salad

On Wednesday, my sister, little man, and I took a trip to a local orchard where we picked blueberries.  We came home with over four and a half pounds of some of the freshest blueberries that I’ve ever tasted.  Naturally, we’ve been trying to make as many dishes with blueberries as possible in order to eat them before they go bad.

The delicious blueberries that we picked

Last night we put together a salad bar that allowed each of us to customize a salad to our own liking.  Other than the spinach for our salad base, and some chicken that we grilled, the rest of the salad ingredients were delicious fruits, which allowed us to make our own Copycat Panera Strawberry Poppyseed Chicken Salad.

Ingredients:

Spinach (which can substituted for any lettuce of your liking) (1-1.5 cups per person)
Strawberries, rinsed chopped into bite size pieces
Blueberries, rinsed
Pineapple, cut into bite size pieces
Can of mandarin oranges, drained
Pecans
Chicken breast
Poppyseed dressing (either store bought or homemade, separate recipe below)

Ingredients:

1.  Grill one chicken breast per person until no longer pink on the inside.  Once cooked, let sit for at least five minutes before slicing into bite size strips.
2.  While the chicken is grilling, prep all fruit, a large handful of each fruit for each person.
3.  On the stove, roast a handful of pecans for each person.
4.  Arrange fruit, chicken, and pecans over spinach or other lettuce.
5.  Drizzle poppyseed dressing over salad.

Our kitchen counter was transformed into a mini salad bar

There are several brands of poppyseed dressings available at local stores, but the homemade dressing that we made is also very easy to make.  The recipe below makes approximately four servings worth of dressing.

Poppyseed Dressing Ingredients:

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp poppy seeds
1 tsp dried mustard
1 tsp salt

To make the dressing, whisk all ingredients together in a small mixing bowl and let chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.  Rewhisk before drizzling over salad.  Store any extra dressing in an air tight, sealed container.

QOTD: What is one of your favorite restaurant dishes to make a copycat version of?

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Chicago Marathon Training Log – Week 2

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!

Marathon training is quite the roller coaster: a roller coaster of events, of emotions, you name it, its a roller coaster.  Last week was a very clear reminder of this, as it was filled with both highs and a very low low.

Monday, June 11th

I kicked off week 2 of marathon training with a very strong run.  With it only in the mid-60s as well as being very cloudy when I set out for my run, I knew that it would be a great evening to push myself just a tad more during my run.  I really wanted to negative split, and that’s exactly what I did.  It was a reminder that if you want something badly enough that you just have to put your mind to it and make it happen.  And that’s exactly what I did.  After my 4.43 mile run I walked another half mile.

It felt incredible to kick off the week with such a strong run.

Tuesday, June 12th

After school I headed to the gym where I logged 35 minutes on the elliptical and then did 40 minutes of full body weight training.

Wednesday, June 13th

Wednesday wound up being an unplanned rest day.  Little man had been up several times in the middle of the night (it turns out that he was getting sick), which made me tired just from that.  By the time I got home from work I had a slight fever myself and was very achy.  It was clear that my body was working hard to fight something off.  I knew that I needed to listen to my body and rest instead of getting a workout in.

Thursday, June 14th

Since my husband had stayed home all day with a sick toddler, I decided to give my husband a break during my run and to run with the stroller.  I haven’t been running consistently with the stroller recently, and this run was certainly a reminder of just how hard it is to run with it.  My run was a slow and steady one, with extra walk intervals because of the extra weight from the stroller, but my husband appreciated the break, little man enjoyed his time outside, and I still got my run in.  It was a win for all of us.

Running with the stroller definitely makes for a very slow run, but slow miles are better than zero miles.

Friday, June 15th

I stayed home with my sick little man Friday morning, and then met my husband in the school parking lot to pass little man off so that I could attend my end of the school year faculty meeting and luncheon.  I’m glad that I was able to attend and celebrate the end of the school year with my coworkers.  The icing on the cake of the celebration was the certificate I received marking the end of my 10th year teaching, which has all been with the same school district.

Happy 10 years of teaching to me!

Saturday, June 16th

Saturday during my long run was when I hit my low point of the week.  I had seven miles on tap for my long run, and told myself that if I was feeling good that I would push myself to eight miles.  Unfortunately I had to cut my run short though, as I tripped and fell at 5.13 miles.  I landed face down on the sidewalk.  Although my face didn’t hit the ground, my knees, hands, and right shoulder did.  My shoulder wound up taking the brunt of the impact, and although I wanted to keep going I was in too much pain and was bleeding too much to do so.  Thankfully, my husband was able to come pick me up since I was several miles from home.  It was certainly a disappointing run, but I am thankful that this slight setback occurred early on in my marathon training.  There’s still plenty of time between now and race day.

Saturday’s long run gets a big fat thumbs down.

Sunday, June 17th

Sunday was all about celebrating Father’s Day, and we kicked off the day with a four mile family walk.  After lunch we headed to a winery about 30 minutes from our house to celebrate the wonderful father that my husband is.

My boys at the winery

It was a beautiful summer afternoon for a trip to the winery.

Total Weekly Mileage – 21.73 miles (1.38 miles more than week 1)

Total Chicago Marathon Mileage – 42.08 miles

QOTD: How do you mentally handle the roller coaster of marathon training?

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 – Week 1

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!

This past week marked the start of my Chicago Marathon training.  Just like this time last year, I’m incredibly excited about the road ahead as I prepare to run 26.2 miles through Chicago in October.  I learned from last year’s training experience that summer marathon training will be anything but easy, and that there will be lots of ups and downs.  But I’ve done quite a bit of reflecting, and am very excited about the road that lies ahead of me.

My first week of marathon training was very productive, which I’m sure was partly the result of the pure excitement of being back in training.

Monday, June 4th

My first run of marathon training was a challenging one.  After being a tad under the weather the weekend prior, as well as running with the warm afternoon sun beating down on me, I was certainly challenged during that run.  But with it being my first training run I refused to give up and completed all 45 minutes that I had planned to run.

I’m excited to be back in training and cannot wait to once again run with Team RMHC.

Tuesday, June 5th

After work I headed straight for the gym, spent 30 minutes on the elliptical, and then did 35 minutes of full body weight training.  I was definitely sore as I walked out of the gym.

Wednesday, June 6th

My body was still sore from Tuesday’s gym workout, but since it was both Global Running Day and an absolutely beautiful afternoon when I arrived home from work, I knew that I had to spend as much time as possible outside.  After completing my 45 minute run, I grabbed the stroller and walked to and from daycare to pick up little man.  Altogether, I logged just under 7 miles for the day.

It was an absolutely perfect afternoon weather wise to enjoy Global Running Day and a walking commute to and from daycare.

Thursday, June 7th

With a handful of errands to run after work, Thursday wound up being a rest day for me.

Friday, June 8th

Even if I had wanted to work out on Friday, my work schedule didn’t allow for me to be able to do so.  After school I ran out to grab some tea and dinner, and then returned to school to board a school bus for downtown.  My school had an 8 p.m. graduation ceremony at Constitution Hall.  I finally arrived back home around 11:30 p.m.  To say that Friday was a long day is an understatement.

Saturday, June 9th

Thanks to my husband’s graciousness, I was able to sleep in a tad after little man woke up.  After enjoying some morning cuddles with my little man once I woke up, I finally headed out for my long run around 10 a.m.  I had six miles on tap for Saturday, and felt incredibly strong during five of the six miles.  It wasn’t until the last mile that the heat started to get to me.  My fingers and toes are crossed that my strong long run from Saturday is a good sign of the long runs that I have ahead of me between now and race day.

Feeling great after a strong 6 mile run

Sunday, June 10th

I finished out the week with a 35 minute full body strength training workout in my living room.  At a couple of points, little man laid on the floor next to me and mimicking the exercises that I did.  It was quite adorable.

Total Weekly Mileage – 20.35 miles

QOTD: How did you celebrate Global Running Day?

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

Reflecting on the Lessons I Learned Last Year During Marathon Training

One of the many benefits of this blog is being able to journal about my running journey and then being able to look back at what I wrote.  Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been taking some time to look back at some of my Chicago Marathon posts from last year, and have been thinking about what I want to make sure I do the same a year later, and what I want to make sure that I modify.  In other words, what worked and what didn’t work?

What worked?: Motivation

Running for charity last year was a huge source of motivation, especially when the going got tough.  There were numerous times last year when I struggled physically and/or mentally during training, and there were multiple times during last year’s marathon that I struggled.  But when I started to struggle, I reminded myself why I was running.  Running for Ronald McDonald House Charities in memory of my friend Tammy made last year’s training and race such a meaningful experience, and was a huge source of motivation when I struggled.  Tammy refused to give up during her cancer fight, and I cannot give up my fight to reach the finish line.

I had nothing but an incredible experience running with Team RMHC last year and cannot wait to run with the team again in 2018!

What didn’t work? My Fueling

One of the big challenges that I faced during last year’s Chicago Marathon was massive indigestion that led to two unwanted porta potty stops.  Gu Gels used to be my go to fuel of choice during all of my long runs and races, but I haven’t used a single gel since last year’s race and instead having been relying mainly on fruit snacks, which are much easier on my stomach.  I will be working this summer on having a small and not too heavy breakfast before my long runs, and I will not dare repeat the mistake that I made on race morning last year, which was to eat breakfast differently than I am accustomed to.  I will also be sure to incorporate drinking electrolytes during my long runs instead of just drinking them post run.

Receiving some much needed fruit snacks from my husband at mile 21 of last year’s race.

What worked: A Slow and Steady Pace

I haven’t discussed it in my much detail on here since some things do need to remain private, but since late fall I’ve been dealing with some health issues, which has resulted in some changes to medication that have affected my metabolism and led to some unwanted weight gain.  Its been a struggle to get the unwanted weight off, but one of the effects of the weight gain has been a slowed running pace.  All I can ask of myself is that I try my best, and as long as I’m doing just that then I cannot be upset about my slow and steady pace.  Marathon training during the summer will also naturally result in needing to run slow and steady, but as long as I keep moving towards the finish line then that is what is most important, no matter how slow my pace becomes.

What didn’t work? Avoiding Foam Rolling

I will fully admit that I did not use my foam roller nearly as much as I should have last year when I was training for Chicago.  I dealt with various aches and pains, particularly knee pain, last year, and I know that I wouldn’t have been affected as much by those aches and pains had I used my foam roller on a more regular basis.  That needs to change this time around.

What worked? Listening to My Body

In addition to the expected aches and pains of marathon training, one of the big physical challenges that I faced last year was the huge blister that popped up on my heel while wearing what wound up being a faulty pair of new running shoes.  I had to take unwanted time off from running in order to let the blister heal, and when I was able to resume running had to make modifications, such as stopping mid run during my long runs to change out band aids and to put on a dry sock.  I certainly hope that I won’t get another huge blister this year, but it will be important to listen to everything that my body tells me and to make any necessary modifications to my training.

I do not want to see a repeat of this again!

What didn’t work? Doing Long Runs in Brand New Shoes

Last August I knew better than to head out for a long run in brand new running shoes.  It was on that run that I got the massive blister that temporarily set me back.  There are no excuses, I need to plan ahead better and not complete any long runs in brand new shoes that have yet to be broken in.

QOTD: What suggestions or tips do you have for marathon training based on your past experience?

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