Catching Up: Marathon Training Update Week 4

I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since the Chicago Half Marathon. Time really has gone by quickly and I’m getting more and more anxious as I see my countdown calendar on my phone tick down.

17 days and counting! Can you believe it?

In 17 days, I will be able to consider myself a marathoner. Marathoner=badass. It’s official. No question about it. I may be ‘tiny’ and I may have midget feet, but I can definitely kick ass when it comes to running. And that’s just what I’ll do on October 9th.

These past few weeks have been a mixture of emotions. I feel like one day I’m super excited to run, the next day I’m just too tired to run, and somewhere amongst all of that, I find the time to get nervous about race day!

I’m not really nervous about waking up that morning, getting to my corral on time, or even that my Garmin will poop out on me that day. I get nervous when I think about timing. So let’s break this down.

  • Yes, this will be my first marathon.
  • No, I don’t have anything to prove.
  • Yes, I should have as much fun as I possibly can.
  • No, you should not be upset if you don’t run a BQ on your first marathon.
  • Yes, you should be smart.
  • No, you should not let other runners get into your head.
  • Yes, I should tie my shoelaces super tight.
  • No, I should not be mad at myself for taking a pit stop. It’s a marathon damn it.

Yes No Yes No Yes No…YES? Lately it’s just been a mental battle. Let’s just say the taper madness has begun–I think I realized that just now. Ok, moving on. Because you can’t dwell on how few miles you’ve run this week. You’ve gotta recognize how many miles you ran last week and how much of a badass you are.

After another PR at the Chicago Half, I was pretty much on Cloud 9. My body was tired after 18 miles total that day, but I think I realized how much my body has changed in the past 8 months and what I’m truly capable of if I set my mind to it.

(Btw, if you haven’t check out this article on deception and it’s role in a long distance athlete’s ability to push harder than ever, do it now. It will give you something to think about.)

Yes. This is me. I did this. Look how far my legs can carry me in one week!

That’s pretty cool. I took an appropriate amount of rest after my half on Sunday and slowly eased back into a heavy training week (and apparently ‘peak week’ of my training cycle). Tuesday called for a short oil change, which made me feel a lot better.

On Wednesday, I had 10 x 800s on the schedule. I was originally going to run this workout before work but I’m good at hitting the ‘snooze’ button multiple times. Instead of shortening the distance or the reps, I decided I’d pack my gear and>>Home. The Urban Commute.” href=””> run straight home from work. (If you’ve never done it and it’s feasible…you definitely should). I ran from the office to the lake during my warm-up and started my 800 m repeats in the cool air. It was just cool enough to wear shorts and a long-sleeve running top. I felt super heavy when I started but eventually the ‘kick’ returned and I was able to power through. All of my splits were under 3:40 and the last two splits were the fastest. I feel like 10 x 800s was less strenuous than the 8 x 800s I did last month—again, Jenny, this is a good thing! And we must dwell on the GOOD for the next 17 days!

2.5 warm-up, 10 x 800 m repeats under 3:40 with 3:30 active recovery, 2 mile cooldown.

Splits: 3:38, 3:39, 3:38, 3:37, 3:36, 3:35, 3:35, 3:35, 3:34, 3:31


I also realized at this point that I had yet to purchase my marathon pair of Kinvaras! I’ve gone through three different pairs (in three different colors) and wanted to make sure I picked the most badass color out there for the big 26.2. I’m NOT a pink kind o’ gal, but I decided to get the HOT PINK ONES!

They arrived in the mail yesterday. Aren’t they pretty?

The end of my week got a bit hectic and I didn’t have time to dedicate to a good run so I pushed it ’til Saturday. (My mom got back from a solo week-long trip to Helsinki and I had some time to spend with her and my grandma on Friday. I love how spontaneous she is! Maybe that’s where I get it from…). On Saturday, Chanthana, Sara, and I had planned a fun brunch at Yolk to celebrate the beginning of our taper for the Chicago Marathon. It was a nice day and I was running late anyway so I decided to run to brunch! Again, commuting my running is so much fun. PLUS, I probably got their faster on foot than I would have by public transportation. FACT!

About half of the group had just completed their last super long run of the season and were starving for some yummy breakfast food. Others (ahem…me) were “carbo-loading” for their own long runs the following morning. I ordered the banana nut french toast with syrup and peanut butter. It was DELICIOUS! And then…I ran home. And no, my stomach didn’t hurt one bit! I must have some type of iron stomach because I typically don’t have those kinds of issues. Please, stomach, let this be the case on October 9th, 2011 between the approximate times of 7:30 and 11:00 am!

On Sunday, I woke up, fueled with some oatmeal, Gu Chomps, half a cup of coffee, and some Gu Brew (weird mixture, I know). And then, I ran 22.2 miles. I did it!

It was overcast and windy and slightly misty but it was a great day for a run. My legs were pretty dead tired at the end and I tried to push for a stronger pace during the last two miles but my legs were kinda zapped. To be expected after a steady 20 miles, I’d say. It’s not even 4 days later and I still can’t believe that I ran 22.2 miles and feel like a rockstar already. That’s pretty neat.

Taper, welcome to my life.You are my friend. I like you. You allow me to dedicate some more time to yoga, stretching, foam rolling, and falling asleep on the couch at an hour much earlier than any normal adult would allow.

I am going to hot yoga tonight and I might squeeze in a few miles afterward. Not sure what’s on my plan for this weekend yet, but mentally? …Anything less than 20 is going to feel like a breeze. 🙂

PSA Alert!!!!!

If you haven’t heard about the new ‘world record’ versus ‘world best’ women’s marathon regulations, check out this article. It will make you mad. Especially if you’re a woman. And a runner.


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