Category: Chicago Marathon

Chicago Marathon Training Week 2

Another exciting week of marathon training.  And no I am not  being sarcastic.

Week #2, June 16-22
Monday: 1 mile WU, 40 minutes @ 10:00, 1 mile CD
Done.  WU and CD miles at 10:32 pace and 4 miles at 9:52 pace.

Tuesday: Rest/Stretch

Wednesday:  Run 45 mins @ 10:45 pace
Went outside at 6am and it was already hot and humid.  Took it slow and ran for 45:14 minutes for total miles of 4.20 @10:46 pace.

Thursday:  1 mile WU, 3 x 400m @ 9:10 (1 min RI), 1 mile CD
Great workout! WU and CD @ 10:32 pace, 400m @9:09 pace.  After first interval, I made mental note to let Coach Sara know that it was easy and to give me more.  However, after second one, I was getting tired and decided they weren’t that easy after all.  Ha, after third one, I was tired and for sure knew I couldn’t do more.  Well, now that I have had time to reflect on it, they were challenging but yet I was able to do them.  Regardless, I still like them.

Friday: 45 minutes cross-train
I got a massage that morning.  My quads and calves were tight and the masseuse mentioned it one than once.  I did feel much better afterwards.  After my massage I went to the gym for 20 minutes on the elliptical and 10 on the bike.  Oh goodness, I need to find something else to do to cross-train because I get so bored on the elliptical and the bike.

Saturday: 8 miles @ 11:03 min pace
Great run! Ran 8 miles @ 11:05 pace.  Felt great the last two miles.  Oh, and almost perfect negative splits. 


Sunday: Rest/Stretch
This time I did make it to bikram yoga.  It felt so good being there.  There are a few poses I struggle with but I made every effort to do all of them.  


  • I ran with my water belt for my runs on Wednesday and Saturday.  I know it was only 45 minutes on Wednesday but it was a humid morning and I drank both water bottles before I was done with my run.  For Saturday’s run I had HEED Sports Drink.  It wasn’t a hot morning but it was definitely humid.
  • I’ve been going to Bikram Yoga River North and my only complaint is the parking.  Ugh, I hate paying for street parking every time I go there.  Last year I purchased a pass for 10 classes and I have 3 more to go before it expires next month.  I’ve looked into Corepower Yoga which is about 20 minutes from my house (with free parking).  I think it is pricy but as a full-time teacher, I can get a discount.  Another thing I like about this place is that if offers a variety of yoga classes (Hot Power Fusion, CorePower Yoga Sculpt, etc) and not just hot yoga.
  • Next Saturday’s long run is 7 miles.  Let’s see if I can run again negative splits.
  • I am (my legs too) itching for a race.

Chicago Marathon Training Week 1

The Chicago Marathon is less than 4 months ago.  This past week was the official start of marathon training.  Yep, that is 18 weeks of speedwork, easy, tempo, and long runs.  I will be working with Coach Sara to not only get me ready for the race but also to PR.  Of course my ultimate goal is to BQ but I know I won’t do it at this race.  Step by step is how I will get there.

My coach develops my running plan on a weekly basis.  She enters my workouts into Google calendar every Sunday for the week.  Each time I finish a workout, I let her know how I did, how I felt, and anything else I want her to know.  So easy and convenient.  I have been working with her since the beginning of May and love how she gives me a variety of runs and am never bored with any of them. However, I am finding out that I dislike tempo runs.

Week #1, June 9-15
Monday: 1 mile WU, 2 x 15 mins at 9:40 pace (2 min RI), 1 mile CD
I was in a bad mood that not even running made me feel better.  I only did 1 mile WU and then ran/walked for another 15 minutes for a total of 2.10 miles. Seriously, everything just bothered me (the sweaty gym, the smelly people around me, the songs on my iPod, etc).  I was mad at myself for letting things get to me.

Tuesday: Run 45 mins @ 10:45 pace
Ran on treadmill for 45 minutes for 4.19 miles @10:44.  I forgot my socks at home but did not want to go back for them.  So I ran without them.  My feet felt fine afterwards.  I was afraid I would get blisters but none at all.

Wednesday: Rest/Stretch

Thursday: 1 mile WU, 3 miles @10:00 pace, 1 mile CD
Last day of school.  Left school at 5.  Was tired and hungry and no desire to run at all.  I went home and took a long nap.

Friday: 45 minutes cross-train
Skipped it.

Saturday: 7 miles @ 11:00 min pace
Ran with the Clocktower Runners for 7 miles @10:50.  It was a gorgeous day to run.  There were so many people running along the lakefront and everyone looked happy and excited to be running.  


Sunday: Rest/Stretch
My plan was to wake up early for yoga.  That didn’t happen.  I did relaxed but cleaned a bit around the apartment, read a bit of “Mockingjay” and watched a few episodes of “Burn Notice”.  


  • As you can see, each run is different which I love.  I know this week I missed my tempo run (not on purpose) but in the past weeks when I’ve done them, I realized that I do not like them.  The reason is because I cannot hold the pace (and I do try) for the number of miles I am supposed to.  I know they’re not supposed to be easy but I find myself stopping a few times to catch my breath.  I know it is petty and hopefully one day I will run them without stopping at all.
  • My favorite speed workouts are the 400s.  Yeah, those are fast but yet long (or short) enough and they’re over before you know it.  Hint, hint, Coach Sara.
  • I did not run with a water belt for my long run on Saturday.  Coach suggested I run with one and not rely so much on the water fountains along the lake.  It is getting hot outside and I need to make sure I am hydrated during these runs.  I hate carrying a water bottle in my hand but luckily I have a water belt.
  • I had a great run last Saturday and am looking forward to my run (8 miles) this Saturday.

New Running Place

As  a runner living in Chicago, I’ve done most of my runs along the lakefront.  There are so many runners out there that you’re bound to see many familiar faces and/or make new running friends.  I love that there are water fountains and bathrooms along the route.  Definitely important.  Oh, and the view is amazing!


I also run around Midway Airport.  Lately, I’ve also been running around my house which sometimes includes a stop at Dunkin’ Donuts.



On Saturday I met up with a few folks from the Western Cook Running Club at Brookfield Woods.  I first heard about this group on Kelly’s blog.  They host several meetups throughout the week such as Hump Day Hustle and Tuesday Night Tune Ups.  On Saturday we met at 7:30am.  There were about 8 runners that morning.  We all started together but then got separated because everyone ran in different paces.  That morning almost everyone ran in pairs.   I thought I had to run 6 miles but then realized I had to do 8.  The path was not crowded and there was plenty of shade. I saw the usual runners, walkers, and bike riders.

This made me smile!

Overall, I thought it was a great place to run and definitely plan on going back .  My only complaint is that there are no water fountains along the way.  I knew this so I took my water belt with two small water bottles.  It was a hot morning and I finished both of my bottles close to mile 6.  I’ve thought about investing in a hydration backpack/vest and now know that if I want to continue running there for long runs then I would need to take more water with me.

Do you have a hydration backpack/vest?  Which one?  How do you like it?

Chicago Marathon-Pilsen Style

I met up with friends yesterday morning in Pilsen for the Chicago Marathon.  I was glad to be a spectator again so watch all of the amazing runners.  I was excited about seeing Ryan Hall!!

Chicago Marathon-Pilsen Style

Chicago Marathon-Pilsen Style

Meeting time and place was at Nuevo Leon Restaurant at 7:30am (Mile 19).  I got to Pilsen around 7 and parked my car about 2 blocks away from the restaurant.  As usual I am the first one to get there and waited for my friends.  Luckily I had a magazine to keep me occupied.  I got bored waiting and got out of my car to walk a little bit.  My friends were letting me know how far along they were and I finally met up with them outside McDonalds.  We had to wait for another friend so we went into a coffee shop.  By then the race had started and I was happily watching it on TV.  we talked and talked and by then the leaders were halfway so that meant they were going to be at Mile 19 at about 30 minutes or so.

Chicago Marathon-Pilsen Style

We could hear the helicopters and the police sirens so that meant they were literally around the corner.  So exciting!!!  I was sad Ryan was not with the leaders.  What happened?  He was so confident about winning this year’s Chicago Marathon.

Chicago Marathon-Pilsen Style

Once the leaders passed my friends and I went to Nuevo Leon for some tasty Mexican food.  If you are in Chicago you have to go there.  The food is just delicious.  had rice, beans, and enchiladas.  I just realized I did not take a picture.  I guess I was too busy eating.  After we ate we went outside to wait for friends that were running in the race.

I managed to see two friends in the race.  I was so proud of them!!!  As a runner myself I know what it is like to run 26.2 miles.  It is time consuming, a commitment but also a rewarding experience.  I am a firm believer that ANYONE can do it.

Watching the runners was very exciting and motivating!  However, I will confess that I am nervous.  I don’t want to run another marathon close to 6 hours.  I know, I know.  I should be proud that I finished it and there is definitely nothing wrong with 6 hours.  The Hartford Marathon will be by 4th marathon but I want to improve on my finish time.  My PR was in 2010 with 5:40:49.  A friend of mine ran the Denver Marathon in 4:53:59 and someone else I know ran her first (Chicago) in 4:51:56.  I know I should not be comparing myself to them but I cannot help it.  Last year I did better from 2008 (a PR of about 19 minutes).  I remember that last year it was HOT and I struggled the last 7 miles.  I have been monitoring the weather in Hartford and the forecast is 70s and sunny.  Definitely not happy with that but I will take it.  I am worried about the hills.  I was told that there are hills but they’re not long nor steep.

Enough rambling.  I leave Friday morning so now it is time to relax, hydrate, and carbo load.  My concern now is that since I am wearing compression capris, do I need to wear compression socks?