The past week of training is packed full of milestones. (I guess one thing that’s awesome about the road to my first marathon is that each run seems to be some type of milestone for me.) Last week, I did plenty of speed work and had the added stress of finding an apartment to move either September or October 1st. (More on that later.) It’s been a long week, but somehow I managed to stick to the plan. It’s been a gorgeous week, weather-wise with temps in the 70s most mornings. A pleasant detour from those few weeks when we had high 90s or low 100 temps! Fall is coming and I’m not sure how I feel about that after acclimating to the heat! This week was all sorts of crazy:
Friday, August 5th: 5 mile walk
The apartment search was in full swing last weekend and my legs definitely felt it. I spent about 3 1/2 hours on Friday evening just walking around the neighborhoods that I’m more interested in. You can only do so much searching online for an apartment. Plus, some great places are simply posted with For Rent signs. I kept a log of the addresses and numbers I called. And although I wasn’t wearing a Garmin to track the mileage, I am willing to bet it was more than 5 miles. I wore some sandals without much support and by the time I got home, I knew that I’d be fatigued in the morning.
Saturday, August 6th: 15-16 mile run
15.73 miles/9:19 pace/ 2:27
This has been my LONGEST RUN EVER! It’s definitely time to start ramping up the mileage of these long runs with the Chicago Marathon about 2 months away now. And while I’ve raced 3 half marathons in the past year, that’s the longest run I’ve ever done at once. I was excited to get out on the lake and be motivated by all the other runners this morning. Throughout the run, I had some knee and hamstring pain but nothing too major. I stopped at Mile 19 for a couple minutes of stretching. Pushed through the last 3 miles with enough energy mentally and physically, but the fatigue in my legs was definitely showing. I ran straight to Jewel (literally), went to the frozen food section, and snatched two bags of peas to put on my knees. (While I love the Moji One, I needed something more intense after almost 16 miles!).
[Saturday afternoon was spent apartment searching yet again. And this time I actually wore some old running shoes and comfortable running clothes. Manny and I stopped at Pizza Metro on Division for pizza and beer before heading home and relaxing the rest of the day. Perfect afternoon for pizza on a patio :-)]
Tuesday, August 9th: 16 x 100s
5.88 miles/9:52 pace/00:58
I slept through my alarm this morning…again! I’ve been such a baby lately when it comes to sleep. I love that it only takes me a minute or two to fall into a deep slumber. I haven’t felt this rested in awhile, despite the physical toll training has taken some weeks. So, in the evening, the plan called for 2 mile warm-up, 16 x 100s @ 20 seconds each (1 minute walking recovery), and 2 mile cool-down. I’ve never done 16 reps of anything when it comes to running so I was a bit intimidated. But the strides made me feel powerful and it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be to get through all 16 of them. I’m glad I put in a nice, long cool-down because my legs were heavy afterward. My slowest 100 was 21.44 seconds and my fastest was 17 seconds flat.
Wednesday, August 10th: Recovery Run
4.81 miles/00:40/8:22 pace
Coach was in town for business on Wednesday, so we planned to meet up at Fleet Feet for the fun run and chat with Sarah Stanley. We got a late start and miss the group start, but it was nice to get a run in together along the lake. Chris was envious of the Chicago breeze and the view of the skyline along the lakefront path. It made me feel grateful for having a beautiful place to run in the city. I even said to him “I don’t know what I would do without the lakefront path in my training”. And he replied, “I don’t either!”. It was an unofficial fartlek run, as he had me choose certain objects in the distance to surge to. I was hoping for a slower pace after my legs tightened up from my 100s the day before, but I suppose a shake-out was going to happen either way. Chatted over dinner at Chipotle and headed home to rest.
*Also, finally bought The Stick! I’ve been foam rolling all year but I knew I needed something to help me get deeper into my muscles. My legs haven’t been this tight all year and anything I can do to help them heal and recover before Rock ‘n Roll was a must. I spent about an hour that night at home rollin’ my legs every which way. Every runner should own a foam roller and The Stick.
Thursday, August 11th: Elvis is Alive 5k
3.17 miles/23:09/7:18 pace
So, I guess you know you’re a runner when you add an impromptu 5k to your schedule the week of a half marathon! After chatting with Coach the night before, we agreed that I needed a 5k benchmark race to work from. Considering I haven’t run a 5k since I was in high school, I agreed. I registered yesterday morning, which is unusual for me (I’m very detail and calendar-oriented. I plan plan plan!). I went to the race straight from work and followed these crazy dudes through Millenium Park.
I didn’t really have any expectations going into the race, but I knew I would probably be disappointed if my average pace were below 7:30/mile. I got a quick warm-up in with the #ffcheer team & lined up behind the Elvis competitors. I felt strong and tried to keep my form together through Mile 2. After that, I began to break down. I grabbed a cup of water at the water station and stopped to catch my breath for a few seconds. I tried to stay conservative through the next half mile so that I could finish strong, but it’s difficult for me to slow down my legs once I’ve been going a certain pace for 2 miles straight. My unofficial time was 23:09 (forgot to stop the Garmin at the finish so may be under 23:00), which I am very happy with. My first two mile splits were faster than 7:15 and Mile 3 was much slower. Looking forward to seeing if I can do better in the coming months.
So, this past week, I ran my fastest race pace EVER and my longest run EVER. Done and done! I guess you could say not much of a taper happened this week. Looking forward to resting and being lazy today and tomorrow before the Rock ‘n Roll Half on Sunday morning. I am treating it as a training run and hope that I can keep the race mentality out of my head for the majority of it. The last 5 miles or so will be at marathon pace and afterward, I’ll get to meet with some great people in the Chicago running community. If you’re coming out to volunteer, support, or run the race yourself, come the American Cancer Society DetermiNATION tent afterward to say hey!
Countdown: 2 days to Rock ‘n Roll Half, 30 days to Chicago Half, and 58 days to Chicago Marathon!