Grand Rapids Training 2013: 5 Weeks Out!

Grand Rapids Marathon Training Week 6

This week, I ran 45 miles

+ 2 core workouts.

+ 1 strength workout.


5.5 easy miles, 8:10 average pace.

I had a lonngggg weekend. And my body was demanding a full night of sleep. I didn’t think it needed 11 hours of straight slumber but when I woke up at 8 AM and realized I had slept through my alarm, I thought , ‘welp, guess I needed it!’ (thankfully, I didn’t miss any work calls or meetings.) I delayed the run until late afternoon and went to the gym because of a heat index of 99 degrees. Yeah, Chicago just got the memo that summer is ending and it decided to cram it all into 2-3 days. Swass.

Last week, I decided to run all of my recovery runs Garmin-less but that’s kind of hard to do on a treadmill. 🙂

+ Core!


10 miles with 30 sec surges, 8:03 average pace.

Another treadmill run. Record-breaking heat in Chicago today…in SEPTEMBER. It’s been awhile since I ran 10 miles on the treadmill. Observation: very few people stay on a treadmill longer than 20 minutes at the gym. The 8 x 30 second surges felt good, but I ran them likely slower than I should have (around 6:30-6:22). Does anyone else find it hard to run controlled on a treadmill? You’d think it would be easier but I always feel like an uncoordinated baby giraffe on that thing.

+ Core!


Rest + Recover.

1 Hour Yoga: Some quality time with a Rodney Yee yoga DVD. Lots of hip openers. I’m feeling better already, although I think whatever I’ve been fighting off for the past 5 days has finally won. Sore throat–hope it goes away soon! I’m glad I spent an hour stretching and breathing. Feeling “blah” all day is no fun.


8 mile progressive tempo, average pace 6:56.

I could find a few reasons why this didn’t go the way I’d hoped, but I’m choosing to ignore those.

Good things: 

  1. I got my butt out of bed to run this workout before work. Win. (And oddly, more energetic than yesterday. Throat wasn’t worse than the day before.)
  2. I’m not sure I’ve ever finished a workout in the 6:xx average pace before. This is a good sign.
  3. I just wanted to cut the workout short and cooldown the last 0.5 miles but I decided to punish myself push it for 1-2 too many water breaks (which are mainly why I’m so frustrated with the workout—too many stops!)
  4. If I adjust the target paces for the misery index (134), a 7 min pace should have been more like 7:10. It’s the little things.

Left quad feeling a bit wonky. Yoga yesterday helped.

Splits: 7:47 (0.5 w/up), 7:12, 7:05, 6:54, 6:50, 6:45, 6:42, 6:29 (last 0.5)

I’m slowly working my way through Matt Fitzgerald’s book, Run: The Mind Body Method of Running By Feel, and this quote jumped off the page at me this morning:

“The capacity to tolerate suffering is as critical to success in running as are the various components of physical fitness. And like those physical adaptations, the capacity to tolerate suffering can and must be trained. The runner who is serious about realizing his full potential in competition must suffer for the sake of suffering in training.”

Lately, some workouts have felt like one big SUFFERFEST. I’m keeping my head up and working as hard as I can.


4 mi treadmill recovery, 8:18 pace. Left leg just will not get with the program it seems. It’s been uncomfortable on a few runs lately but this was the first one that started to worry me. Ran a super easy pace and just tried to let it do its thing. I foam rolled and stretched while watching TV at night and hoped it would be better the next day.


17 miles with 3 fast finish miles. 7:42 average pace, with last three miles at: 6:58, 6:55, & 6:43. 

I started this run around 10:30 thanks to the fall temps we’re having in Chi this weekend. Ahhh, sweet sleep. Procrastinated while noshing on breakfast, drinking coffee, and reading Running Times. Finally went out with Manuel Alejando C. (WHO RAN 9 MILES, HIS LONGEST RUN TO DATE!). From the start, I knew the left quad would give me trouble. Thank goodness I have a massage scheduled for tomorrow. Otherwise, I’d see if I could squeeze one in today. Hoping it’s not serious IT band issues and I just need to give it a rest. Ran easy 7:45-8:00 for the first 14 and then fast finish the last 3 mi. The target was 7:00-7:05 and somehow, the legs “turned on” and I ran 6:58, 6:55, 6:43. I wouldn’t say I really enjoyed this run but happy to just get through it.

Note to self: new shoes ASAP (!) + foam rolling every night this week. Also, I didn’t run my shakeout yesterday until 5 pm. Next time, I’ll run it earlier and let the legs recover for a longer period of time.

Highlights o’ the Week:

  • Added to my running playlist: The Kills- No Wow.
  • REGISTERED AND CONFIRMED FOR BOSTON 2014!!  After running it last year, I knew I’d be going back. I know everyone has their own reason for going to Boston. I’m excited to train for a race that will no doubt be special for many. Hopefully, it will be the experience that I wished I’d had last year. It’s going to be one big lovefest.
  • On Monday night, I was clicking through the channels and landed on Clear History on HBO. I watched it by myself and was literally laughing out loud through most of it (which is rare). I wouldn’t consider myself a fan of Larry David but this movie was hilarious.
  • The Man and I went out for a midweek treat dinner to Hot Chocolate in Wicker Park. We had the carrot ginger soup, sauteed bean appetizer, eggplant parmesan, burger, and we shared a bottle of this year’s Allagash Fluxus. NOT TO MENTION the chocolatey goodness of dessert and a “half and half” hot chocolate (half hot chocolate, half espresso…..mmmmmm).

Pics o’ the Week:

2013-09-09 09.23.55

BOSTON 2014 Confirmation. Looks like I’ll be training through another brutal Chicago winter!

2013-09-11 18.53.01-2

A midweek treat with the Man at Hot Chocolate. Eggplant parmesan and Allagash Fluxus FTW

2013-09-12 06.38.01

The lakefront was beautiful (as always) on Thursday morning. #nofilter

2013-09-12 18.13.56

The honeycrisp have arrived!!!

2013-09-14 10.17.19

Ahhh, fall temps. I love you.

– J

13 thoughts on “Grand Rapids Training 2013: 5 Weeks Out!

  1. Susan - Nurse on the Run says:

    I love following your training because our paces are mostly similar and your mileage and workouts seem manageable. I somehow manage to get wrapped up in thinking that I need to run a million miles super fast…and I appreciate your recovery runs and need to work on incorporating them (Garmin-less?) into my running lifestyle.

    So excited to see how you do at Grand Rapids, and congrats on Boston!!

    • Jenny says:

      Oh believe me, I feel the same way. I don’t think I’ll ever be someone that can knock out high mileage weeks AND intense workouts. I think the Garmin-less runs will be good for me. What’s your next race, girl?!

  2. Jen says:

    Funny, I just picked up “Run” by Matt Fitzgerald last night to re-read it and ran across the same section about suffering. Book twins! 😉 I definitely need to work on suffering, both mentally and physically — I’ve been running a lot of my miles too easy and without focus.

    Hope the leg thing clears up with some rest and the massage!

    • Jenny says:

      The book is a really great read! I’ve been reading a chapter every few days (heh) and I always find something helpful. The leg needs to stop being difficult!

  3. KrisLawrence says:

    I think I am the only weirdo that does not love Honey Crisp apples. The texture is almost too crispy for me. LOVE “Run” Anything Matt Fitzgerald is great. I think I own over half of his books.

    Congrats on a great training week and big congrats to Manny for a 9 miler! That is really impressive 🙂

  4. Meghan @ Shoe Stories says:

    Totally agree with that quote! I always say, I’d rather suffer in a workout first than be greeted with the feeling in a race for the first time in awhile….Will have to check out that book.

    Re: Boston 2014 – A reNUUNion *must* happen! I am so pumped as well (it will be my first)!!!

  5. Andrea says:

    Hey! Any chance you are running the 20 miler in Chicago this sunday (the 22nd) ?? I think I am going to do it and was just wondering if anyone else in the area was up for it! I am just using it as a training run and long run ((i.e not racing it!)

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