Chicago Marathon Training Log – Week 18

Well I did it, I ran my first marathon!!!!!  I cannot wait to fully recap my entire race weekend experience.  Like I shared on social media on Monday, the race went far how I had hoped that it would.  I trained to be able to run a much faster race than I did, but factors out of my control made it difficult to maintain the pace that I had trained to run.  The important thing is that I did not give up and that I crossed the finished line, and can officially call myself a marathoner!

During the week leading up to the race I tried to find that delicate balance between staying active and letting my body rest up for the big race.

Monday, October 2nd

I completed my last 5 mile training run by testing out some of my race day essentials, including a brand new pair of running sunglasses (my old pair was badly scratched and desperately needed to be replaced), as well as the visor that I wore during the race.

Last Monday evening’s run was all about testing out some of my race day essentials

Tuesday, October 3rd

I took full advantage of taper time and spent some time at the playground with little man.  Chasing him around the playground counts as cross training, right?

Wednesday, October 4th

After work I headed to the gym for cross and strength training.  I spent 30 minutes on the elliptical followed by 30 minutes of full body weight training.

Thursday, October 5th

Thursday was an incredibly busy day.  Before I left school I had to ensure that my sub plans were ready for Friday.  Once I got home I headed out for my last training run.  Since I still needed to pack and was tight on time, I only ran 4 out of my 5 planned miles.  After completing my run I felt strong and more than ready to take on the streets of Chicago.

I felt great after finishing my last marathon training run.

Friday, October 6th

Before getting on the plane, I headed to the chiropractor for one last adjustment before the race.  After arriving in Chicago I immediately headed to the expo, and afterwards had a very enjoyable dinner with my family.

Saturday, October 7th

I spent Saturday morning keeping busy chasing after little man at a playground.  I then took an over two hour nap while he napped.  I cannot remember the last time that I napped for that long, but it was a great way to relax and rest up for the big race.

Sunday, October 8th

Sunday was race day.  According to my Garmin I ran 26.98 miles in 5:13:27.  I’m excited to share the full story about my experience, not only running the race itself but also pre and post race with Team RMHC, the charity that I ran with.

I’m a marathoner!!!!!

Total Weekly Mileage – 39.19 miles (17.53 miles more than week 17)

Total Chicago Marathon Mileage – 507.91 miles

I have so many thoughts and pictures that I want to share with all of you, and am planning on dividing my recap of Chicago Marathon weekend into multiple posts.  Although I still have two other races from September to recap, I want to jump ahead and start writing about all of my experiences from Chicago first.  Stay tuned!

QOTD: For those who also ran Chicago, how did your race go?

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

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It’s Chicago Marathon Weekend!!!

Almost a year after signing up with Team RMHC, as well as 18 weeks of training, Chicago Marathon weekend is finally here!  I have so many emotions going into this weekend, but overall I’m excited about heading to Chicago, seeing family and friends, and most importantly running my first marathon.

I will be running the race on Sunday with my friend Kathleen (this will be her second time running Chicago).  For almost a year now we’ve been planning on running the race together.  Our pace is almost identical and we both trained using 4:1 intervals on our long runs.  I am incredibly thankful to have had a virtual training partner throughout this journey, and I cannot wait for us to take our victory lap together on Sunday.

The last race that we ran together was the Shamrock 8k back in March 2015

The weather for Sunday’s race is looking like it’ll be sunny and warm.  As of this morning, the forecast is calling for the temperature to be in the low to mid 60s at the start of the race and the high 70s when we cross the finish line.  Its certainly warmer than the ideal marathon weather conditions, but as long as the humidity stays on the lower side then I should be okay.  I did plenty of training over the summer in the heat, but it was always the humidity that slowed me way down.  Fingers crossed that the humidity stays in check!

Other than having fun, I have three goals for Sunday’s race:

1.  Keep up with Kathleen
2.  Don’t give up mentally
3.  Keep running

Kathleen’s goal since the start of training has been to finish in less than 5 hours.  As long as there is a 4 at the front of her finish time she will be happy.  We have both trained to be able to run a sub-5 hour marathon.  We have discussed that if I start to struggle in the last miles that she will go ahead of me and meet me at the finish line, but hopefully with the crowd support, her tough love, and my determination we’ll cross the finish line together.  My other two goals are to not give up mentally (I really really really hope that I don’t hit the dreaded “wall”), and to keep running, even if in the later miles I have to reduce my running intervals and increase my walking intervals.

We head to Chicago today, and as long as our flight is on time I will be at the expo by mid-afternoon.  I know that there are a ton of other bloggers and readers also running Chicago on Sunday, so hopefully I’ll be able to say hi to at least a few people.  I’ll be taking tons of pictures, so be sure to follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  I also have my own hashtag for the weekend, #KathrynRunsChicago.

And who doesn’t need a little inspiration while running a marathon?  The Chicago Marathon will have large screens set up in the Bank of America Cheer Zones at miles 13 and 26.  You can click here to submit an inspirational message that I will hopefully see on the course.  I’ll definitely need some inspiration to help get me through the second half of the race.

Thanks for everybody’s support throughout this entire journey.  I am incredibly grateful for all of the encouragement that so many people have provided from the time that I started discussing the possibility of running my first marathon.  I look forward to catching up with everybody after the race!

QOTD: Who else is running the Chicago Marathon 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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2017 Goals – 3rd Quarter Check In

Hard to believe, but we’re already three quarters of the way through 2017.  This year is just flying by!  With another quarter down, its time to check in on my yearly goals.

1.  Log 1,000 miles.

Progress Report: A

My current 2017 mileage total is 917.7 miles.  With three months remaining in the year, and less than 100 miles to go, its clear that I underestimated my abilities for the year.  I’ve been talking about needing to do so for awhile now, but its finally time for me to increase my mileage goal for 2017.  Instead of striving to log 1,000 miles, I’m increasing my goal to 1,150 miles.  Although I won’t be running nearly as much in the weeks following the marathon, I still plan to remain active with walking and spending time on the elliptical.  And since I believe that every mile counts, I want to push myself by increasing my original goal by 150 miles.

Little man and I logged quite a few miles together during the third quarter of 2017.

2.  Run my first marathon.

Progress Report: N/A

Only four days remain until I run the Chicago Marathon.  Based on how training went, I have no doubt that I’ll cross the finish line.  I cannot wait to be able to call myself a marathoner!

I cannot believe that the marathon is only four days away!

3.  Make strength training a priority.

Progress Report: C+

As the mileage increased during marathon training, I lost focus on my strength training.  This is one of the things that I’m looking forward to dedicating more time and energy to after the marathon.

4.  Stay on top of my blogging.

Progress Report: C

I am not going to lie, I have been losing focus on this blog this year.  I have put time and energy into other things, which has taken time away from my ability to blog.  During the third quarter, I wrote and published 75% of the posts that I had planned to write.  (I had planned to take a blogging break while away in Antigua back in August and never intended to write while away.  That week off doesn’t affect these stats.)  Thus far this year I have written 85 out of 110 planned posts (77%).  These stats are just slightly down from where I was after the second quarter.

5.  Put my family first.

Progress Report: A

Part of why I have been losing focus on blogging is because I have been trying to dedicate as much time as possible to my boys.  Little man is growing up so quickly, and I thoroughly enjoyed all of the time that we got to spend together while I was home for the summer.  My husband and I also took a much needed vacation together.  Although my time and attention has been taken away from other things, I do not regret that whatsoever because it has allowed me to focus on my little family.

Last Saturday at the Dulles Day races

QOTD: How much progress did you make during the third quarter of 2017 towards meeting your 2017 goals?

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Chicago Marathon Training Log – Week 17

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!

I cannot believe that race week is here!  One week from today I will be able to call myself a marathoner!  The past 17 weeks have just flown by, and I’m sure the last couple of days before we head to Chicago will go by just as fast, especially since I have a lot on the agenda for this week, including a couple of chiropractor appointments, packing for race weekend, and writing sub plans for Friday.

I cannot believe that the marathon is less than a week away!

Despite it being taper time, this past week was another active one, though it was nice to have more time to spend with my little family than I’ve had in recent weeks.

Monday, September 25th

Given that I ran three races last weekend, and the bulk of the mileage was on Sunday, I more than earned Monday’s rest day.

Tuesday, September 26th

Summer’s last hurrah (or what I’m going to assume was our last day of intense heat and humidity), pushed me to the gym to complete my run.  I thought that running in the air conditioning would feel good, except it was so stuffy in the gym and it didn’t feel like the air conditioning was turned up very high.  This resulted in five very sweaty miles, and I left feeling like I would have struggled just as much had I run outside.

Feeling gross after that five mile run

Wednesday, September 27th

After work I headed back to the gym where I spent 30 minutes on the elliptical and 30 minutes doing full body weight training.

Thursday, September 28th

The weather was night and day from what it had been on Tuesday, and the cooler air felt wonderful during my run.  In fact, I was able to push myself to run a tad faster than I have been able to recently, thanks to the much nicer weather.  It was a nice little confidence boost with the race right around the corner.

Feeling great after being able to run a tad faster than I have been able to recently, thanks to fall finally arriving.

Friday, September 29th

I ran a ton of errands after work, so even though it was a rest day I spent a ton of time on my feet walking around.

Saturday, September 30th

My last long run before Chicago was a hard one.  Between the 20+ mph wind and running with a fussy toddler, I wound up doing a lot more walking than I would have liked during an 8 mile run.  The run was it was, and the important thing is that I got the miles in, even if some of them were very slow going.

Its a good thing that he’s cute because him being fussy is part of what made my run difficult.

Sunday, October 1st

Another busy days of errands and chores kept me on my feet, even if I wasn’t “working out.”

Total Weekly Mileage – 21.66 miles (7.92 miles less than week 16)

Total Chicago Marathon Mileage – 468.72 miles

QOTD: What last minute advice do you have for me going into race weekend?

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

Posted in Chicago Marathon Training, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 61 Comments

October 2017 Goals

I have always had a love/hate relationship with the month of September.  Its always an exciting month as the new school year gets underway and my family transitions back into a “normal” routine.  However, with summer being my favorite season of the entire year I am sad to see the days become shorter and the temperatures start to cool off.  Although the days have been becoming slightly shorter, it still feels like summer outside right now, which I am quite happy about.  The only reason I would like to see it start to cool off is because of the positive impact it would have on my running.

As usual, this past month was quite busy, which helped with reaching some of my monthly goals and made it difficult to 100% reach others.

1.  Log at least 135 miles.

Grade: A

As of today, my current mileage total for September is 127 miles, and I have an 8 mile training run on the calendar for tomorrow, which means I should have no problem reaching my goal.  Yay!

I am also incredibly excited about the milestone that I reached yesterday with my 2017 total mileage.  Last night’s run brought my 2017 mileage to 904.1 miles.  My goal for the year is 1,000 miles.  There is no doubt in my mind that I will log 95.9 miles between now and December 31st.  In fact, I’m pretty confident that I’ll log much more than it.  Its so exciting to know that I’ll reach one of my 2017 goals well before the end of the year.

2.  Strength train at least two times per week.

Grade: B

Most weeks I met this goal, but I really wish that I had made this a higher priority this past month.  It shouldn’t be an excuse since strength training is important, but too many other things took my focus away from strength training.

3.  Foam roll and stretch consistently.

Grade: B-

Although I did stretch after every run I only focused on foam rolling when my legs were sore and needed to be rolled.  I wish that I had been better about foam rolling regularly.  I really hope that I don’t pay for this decision on race day.

4.  Be more on top of my blogging.

Grade: B

Although I did better with my blogging in September than I did in August, I still missed writing two of my planned posts.  I also didn’t comment on nearly as many other blogs as I would have liked.  But at least my September blogging was better than my August blogging was.

October is going to be quite an exciting and interesting month for me.  The highlight will be running my first marathon.  I am very uncertain at this point how the rest of the month will look when it comes to my fitness.  I plan to take some time off from running after the big race to let my body recover, but I don’t know how much time yet.  I’ll be playing things by ear a lot in October, which means that my monthly goals look quite different for this month than they usually do.

1.  Log at least 75 miles.

Between now and when I cross the finish line of the Chicago Marathon next Sunday, I’ll log at least 36.2 miles.  Although I have no idea how much running I’ll be doing during the rest of the month, I do want to keep moving, whether it be walking or spending time on the elliptical.

2.  Run my first marathon.

This should be of no surprise, given that my focus over the past several months has been on training for Chicago.  I’ll share my specific goals for the race next week.

3.  Foam roll, foam roll, foam roll.

Foam rolling is going to be crucial, especially in the days leading up to and the days just after Chicago.

4.  Listen to my body.

After crossing the finish line, its going to be imperative that I listen to my body.  The last thing that I need to do is try and convince myself that I need to resume running and other physical activities too quickly after running my first marathon.

5.  Don’t push myself too hard.

Much of the rest of October after the race will be focused on recovery, and just like it’ll be critical that I listen to my body, I also need to make sure that I don’t resume fitness activities too quickly or at too much of an intensity.

QOTD: What are your goals for October?

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!

Posted in Motivation | Tagged , , , , | 45 Comments

2017 Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon Recap

Disclaimer: As a Rock ‘n’ Blogger I received a complimentary global tour pass, which I used for entry into this race.  I also received complimentary VIP access.  As always, all opinions are my own.

When I started planning out my Chicago Marathon training, I had a suspicion that my motivation for long runs would be difficult to find, particularly towards the end of my training cycle.  For that reason, I looked at incorporating races into my training plan where they would best fit.  When I realized that this year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon fell over the same weekend as when I would need to complete my 20 miler, I knew that it was a no-brainer – that Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly needed to be added to my 2017 race calendar.

Having run this race two times previously, I knew to expect a flat course for the race, which is one of the reasons why I enjoy this half marathon as much as I do.  Another reason is the convenience.  Since my father-in-law lives less than 30 minutes from downtown Philly, running this race gives us an excuse for a weekend trip up for a visit.

We left Virginia early Saturday morning, and after a family brunch I headed into the city to pick up my bib.  The expo was held at the Philadelphia Convention Center, and after battling some Saturday afternoon traffic downtown, I was in and out of the convention center in less than an hour.  After picking up my bib, I briefly walked the expo floor, which included the purchase of some new Experia socks that I found for a great deal, and then I was on my way back out of the city.

Race morning was an early one for me.  My alarm went off at 4:00 a.m., I took a quick shower, and afterwards was when my stressful morning started.  I couldn’t find my tea, and with 20 miles to run I was in desperate need of some caffeine.  I quickly searched for an open Starbucks, but with most not opening until 6 a.m. or after, and knowing that I needed to start running my extra miles before that, I started to panic.  Thankfully, I found a Starbucks that opened in Philly at 5 a.m., which was on my way to, and only a mile away from, the parking garage where I had reserved parking.  After leaving the house later than I had wanted to, I was in and out of Starbucks in less than five minutes.

But my stress didn’t stop there.  The parking garage that I had reserved a spot through SpotHero with wasn’t open when I pulled up.  My parking confirmation said that I could enter after 5:30, but the sign on the wall indicated that the garage didn’t open until 8.  After circling around for about 15 minutes I finally found an open lot with available space, but was frustrated that I had to pay a second time for parking.  (Thankfully, my follow up with SpotHero a couple of days after the race resulted in a full refund as well as a credit to my account for the inconvenience.)

After parking I made my way to the start area, about a mile away, as quickly as I could.  I knew that in order to run all 7 of the extra miles prior to the start of the race that I needed to start running by 6:00.  At this point, it was after 6 a.m., so I knew that I wouldn’t be able to run all of my extra miles.  After quickly dropping my gear bag off at the VIP area and a quick run into a porta potty, I finally started running my pre-race miles at 6:35.  I accepted that I wouldn’t be able to run 7 miles, but vowed to run as far as I could.

I weaved through the neighborhood streets just north of the start area.  Many people that I passed gave me some weird looks since I was wearing my race bib and hydration vest.  I explained to a couple of people that I had to run 20 miles that day, which resulted in some even weirder looks.

The drive to run as many miles as I could had me pushing my pace a bit faster than I would have liked for the beginning of a long run, and I wound up running at a sub 11 minute pace, which was way faster than my long run pace had been in recent weeks.  After running 5.47 miles, I ended my pre-race run at the start line and jumped into my corral as it was making its way towards the start line.  I had debated whether I should run more of my extra miles and just start in a later corral, but ultimately decided that I would start in my assigned corral, corral 8.  After standing in the corral for just over a minute, I crossed the start line at 7:39 a.m.

I tried my best to not run too fast at the start of the race since I was already a quarter of the way through my 20 miles for the day, but the course crowding and excitement about the start of a half marathon got the best of me.  My first walk interval of the race was significantly shorter than one minute, which worried me since I had already been running for an hour using 4:1 intervals.  Thankfully, that one shorter walk interval didn’t wind up having a huge effect on me, and after weaving through the downtown portion of the course and making a loop around city hall I reached the 5k mark on the course at 33:52 (11:13 pace).  I was well on my way to maintaining my goal pace for the day, sub 11:30.

Running through the city of love

Just past the 5k mark of the race, and just shy of having run 9 miles thus far that morning, the humidity really started to take its toll on me.  It was in the low 70s throughout the entire race, but the 100% humidity felt like 1000%, and I was drenched in sweat only shortly after starting my run for the day.  The further that I ran, the slower that my pace became, and at the 10k mark of the race I had slowed to an average 11:22 pace.  At that point, I reminded myself that my pace prior to the start of the race was 10:53, so when I added all of my data up for the entire morning that it would help balance out my slowing pace.

Such an important thing to remember, especially during a difficult run

The humidity was so bad that morning, and I was sweating so much, that my feet felt like I had been running through puddles all morning.  Because of the blister on my heel that was almost healed prior to race day, I had thankfully brought along an extra pair of socks, and just prior to mile 9 on the course, I stopped to change my socks.  They were so wet that I could wring water out of them.  I am so thankful that I had put an extra pair in my hydration vest.

Feeling much better after changing into dry socks

The further that I ran on the course, the slower that my pace became.  I chalked it up to the humidity and the fact that I was running the farthest that I had ever run, and didn’t let my slowing pace bother me too much.  The course entertainment and crowd support kept me going, and I pushed through despite the awful running weather.  Thank goodness the course was flat and that it was an overcast morning.  I reached the 10 mile point on the course at 1:59:54 (12:00 pace), and celebrated the fact that I had less than 5 miles left to run that morning.

One of the many things that I love about Rock ‘n’ Roll races are the bands, especially the drumlines. They are so great at keeping everybody pumped up and motivated to run.

This Elvis impersonator ran the entire race barefoot!

I crossed the finish line of the race at 2:36:56 (11:59 pace).  According to my Garmin I had run 13.39 miles in 2:33:58 (my watch had stopped during my brief stop to change my socks).  After getting my medal, water, Gatorade, and some food, I quickly added up my mileage for the day and discovered that I only had 1.14 miles left before I would reach the 20 mile mark.  I downed the bottle of Gatorade as I made my way through the finisher’s chute, stuffed my medal into my vest, and holding the bottle of water and food slowly ran another 1.20 miles.  I received even weirder looks than I had during those pre-race miles.  After running a total of 20.06 miles, at an average pace of 11:17, I was finally done.  As I walked back towards the VIP area, I started to tear up, knowing that I had completed my peak run for marathon training and was finally in taper mode.

My first priority when I arrived at the VIP area was changing out of my incredibly sweaty running clothes.  Thankfully there was a changing tent in the VIP area, and I didn’t have to try and change in a stuffy porta potty.  It felt so good to put some dry clothes on, after which I treated myself to a mimosa that tasted like heaven after running 20 miles.

I definitely earned my mimosa that morning

The VIP area

When I first arrived back at the VIP area, I had put my name on the massage list in hopes that the line would move quickly enough and that I would be able to get a 10 minute massage before heading back to the car.  Just as I was wrapping up eating my snack, I heard my name called.  That 10 minute massage was quite relaxing, and felt so good after running 20 miles.  Afterwards, I slowly made my way back to my car, and drove back to my father-in-law’s house.

Despite the absolutely awful humidity, it had been another great morning for a race.  I am so thankful that I ran the half as part of my long run.  Not only did the course entertainment and crowd support help me to stay motivated, but having access to extra water and Gatorade beyond what was in my hydration vest helped me significantly.  Had I not been running the race I would have had to stop at least once to refill my vest.  I greatly appreciated having access to the VIP amenities before and after the race, particularly not having a line for the porta potties, the changing tent, and the post race food spread.  It made running 20 miles a bit easier.

The delicious food spread

QOTD: When you have to run extra miles on race day do you run them before or after the race?

Posted in Races | Tagged , , , , | 36 Comments

Chicago Marathon Training Log – Week 16

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!  This past week was busy and long, and part of what made it so long was that I was sick for most of the week.

Monday, September 18th

Since I completed my 20 miler last Sunday, I took a complete and total rest day on Monday.  I usually prefer to start the week off with a workout but my body was still recovering from running 20 miles and needed the rest.

Tuesday, September 19th

I decided to do a running commute to daycare for my first post-20 miler run.  There’s no way to describe my run other than it was extremely hard.  Between the heat (it was in the 80s), my tired legs, and pushing the BOB stroller, I struggled during the entire run.  The fact that I struggled as much as I did during my  run should have also been a sign of what I would face later in the week: coming down with a cold.  Following my run I did 25 minutes of full body strength training.

Little man and I discussing just how difficult my run was.

Wednesday, September 20th

Although I had a sore throat, I didn’t have any other symptoms or signs that I was getting sick, so after work I headed to the gym.  I did a 30 minute workout on the elliptical, followed by 20 minutes of weight training.  I didn’t get to workout as long as I would have liked, as I needed to get to daycare to pick up little man.

Thursday, September 21st

When I woke up Thursday morning, there was no denying that I was sick with a cold.  Since I was just congested and otherwise felt fine, I decided to turn my run into a long walk, during which I picked little man up from daycare.

At I’m sick during taper time, and there’s still almost two weeks until the big race. Fingers crossed that I feel better sooner than later!

Friday, September 22nd

I felt absolutely miserable on Friday.  After running a bunch of errands after work, I came home and immediately fell asleep on the couch.  There was no way that I could have worked out had I wanted to.  I just had no energy.

Saturday, September 23rd

I had my first of three races of the weekend on Saturday, and when I went to bed Friday night I had no idea whether I’d feel up for running.  Thankfully, I felt a bit better when I woke up on Saturday, though I was still very congested, but at least I was no longer achy.  I ran the Dulles Day 10k as planned, though my pace was a bit slower than I would have liked given how flat the course was.

Running on the runway at Dulles Airport

Sunday, September 24th

My second two races of the weekend were the Clarendon Day 5k followed by the 10k.  Both races together made up the Clarendon Day Double.  When I registered for these races, I figured that it would be a fun way to complete my last double digit run before the marathon (I also ran and power walked 1.69 miles from the finish line back to the start line in between the two races.)  Just like with Dulles Day, my pace was slower than I would have liked since both races are a net downhill, but given that I was still sick all I could do was do the best that I could.

Total Weekly Mileage – 29.58 miles (7.23 miles less than week 15)

Total Chicago Marathon Mileage – 447.06 miles

QOTD: How do you manage your training when you’re sick?

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

Posted in Chicago Marathon Training, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

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!

Posted in Miscellaneous, Races | Tagged , , | 34 Comments