Category: Marathon Training

2016 Chicago Marathon Training Week 1

I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap.

Hoping everyone had a good week!



Chicago Marathon training is here!  I am excited (and nervous) to be training using the Hansons Marathon Method.  In a nutshell, this training is based on the concept of cumulative fatigue. You train your body to run often so that you are frequently running on tired legs.  The idea is to run this way so that during the last miles of a race you are prepared to push through the final miles. These plans are 18 weeks and have you running 6 days (easy, speed/strength, tempo, and long runs) a week with one rest day.   Sounds exhausting right?  I know, I know.

Week #1, June 6-12


  • PLAN – OFF

It was the first day of summer break!  I did errands and took it easy the rest of the day.

This is how I was feeling too.



  • PLAN – OFF

I woke at 4:30am to make it to TRX.  Well, I got to the gym and there was a problem with the key so no one was able to go inside.  I went home and went back to sleep.

Later that day I got a special delivery from Running Warehouse.  It was my order with 4 pairs of Brooks PureFlow 4.  For some reason the Launch were not working out for me so I went back to my other favorite shoes.  They’re on sale and I am tempted to buy more pairs.



  • PLAN – OFF

I got a massage and it felt wonderful.  The masseuse mentioned that I was tensed (mostly in the shoulders).  I have appointments to get one every two weeks and I know they will help me during marathon training.


  • PLAN – 6 easy miles, 10:15-11:30 pace
  • ACTUAL – 6.02 miles @11:07 average pace

First official run of marathon training.  Felt tired and I was glad it was an easy run.  Later in the evening I attended a “Marathon Training Prep with Bart Yasso”.

Lola wants to make sure I stretch prior to my run.



  • PLAN – 6 easy miles, 10:15-11:30 pace
  • ACTUAL – 6 miles @10:50 average pace

Got a late start to my run.  By the time I was ready to head out, it was HOT so I went to the gym. I alternated a different song for paces 11:07, 10:43, and 10:21.  I enjoy the variety and before I know it, I am done with my run.



  • PLAN – 8 easy miles, 10:15-11:30
  • ACTUAL – 7.02 @11:08 average pace

It was a HOT one with CES.  I am a pacer for the 10:30 red group and run with two other pacers (1 blue and 1 red).  The difference between those two colors is that the red group runs one more mile than blue.  I am supposed to run with another pacer but she was asked to run with the blue group because it is a larger group than red.  They were scheduled to run 6 miles and when they turned around at 3 miles, I kept running to run another 1/2 mile and then turn around to add that extra mile to my run.  Well, I got so HOT and took many walking breaks.  I could not find the rhythm I had going during the first 3 miles and was so happy when I was done with my run.


  • PLAN – 6 easy miles, 10:15-11:30
  • ACTUAL – 6:02 @11:13 average pace

The weather was so much better than yesterday.  A big difference of about 30 degrees.  I started off too fast and then slowed down on my way back.  Also, the headwind bothered more than I wanted it to.  

Later that evening I finished reading “After You”.  I’ve already read the book and saw the movie for “Me Before You”.  Great book and movie!


Week 1 went well.  All of my run were easy so that helped.  Next week I start on my speed workout which consists of 12 x 400s.  Should be interesting.

Total mileage for the week: 25.06 miles

Total mileage for this training cycle: 25.06 miles

Total mileage for the year: 508.12 miles

Hansons Training Plan

I am sure you’ve heard of this method right?  Well, in a nutshell it is based on the concept of cumulative fatigue.  You train your body to run successfully when you are tired at the end of a race.  These plans are 18 weeks and have you running 6 days (easy, speed/strength, tempo, and long runs) a week with one rest day.   Sounds exhausting right?  I know, I know.


I’ve heard so many great things about it and well I decided to go ahead and try it out.  For now I am slowly getting into the groove of running so many days per week.  My goal is to also implement this as I train for the 2016 Chicago Marathon which starts the first week of June.  I finally registered!

Chicago Marathon Entry 2016

Am I scared?  Yes.  Nervous?  Absolutely!  I’ve never run 6 days a week.  During the last few weeks of my training for the RnR NOLA in February, I was running 4 days a week and I had days in which I was tired but then also had days in which I felt great. 

A few weeks ago I put together my plan and added my runs to my calendar.  I am two weeks into it and so far it is going good.  Part of it could be that I was on Spring Break last week and was taking it really easy.  This week I’ve been more tired than usual (I realized I need more than 8 hours of sleep each night).  I do not feel sore and surprisingly am recovering better than I expected.  



Have you used this plan before in your training?  How did it go?  Thoughts and/or advice?

Chicago Marathon Training Recap Week #1


*Week #1, October 5-11


  • PLAN – OFF


  • PLAN – 3 mile warm up (11:00-11:30’s), 1 mile at 10:00, 1 mile at 11:00, 1 mile at 10:00,
    walk 5 mins cool down
  • ACTUAL – 6 miles @10:16 average pace

I don’t remember much about this run except that I did really good.  Splits are:
Mile 1-10:51
Mile 2-10:15
Mile 3-10:12
Mile 4-9:46
Mile 5-10:38
Mile 6-9:52


  • PLAN –25 minutes on spinning bike (10 minutes warm up then alternate 3 minutes fast with 5 easy)
  • ACTUAL – 26 minutes on spinning bike

This seriously was the last thing I wanted to do.  But I went to the gym and before I knew it, it was time to go.


  • PLAN- 3 miles and 10 strides
  • ACTUAL- 3 miles @9:57 average pace

The plan was to make it to a fun run with Bart Yasso hosted by Eddie Bauer.  I stayed too late at school and knew I would not make it on time for the run.  Plus, I did not want to deal with traffic heading to the north side of the city.  I did this run by my house.  It was weird knowing that it was my last run before the marathon.  Splits are below:
Mile 1-10:24
Mile 2-10:05
Mile 3-9:20

Yes, negative splits!!



  • PLAN – OFF



I did make it to a fun run hosted by Runner’s World and Fleet Feet Chicago.  I did not run but went to see Bart Yasso, Sarah Hall, Josh Cox, and Deena Kastor.



The rest of the day was spent relaxing in bed.  I love how Lola loves to hang out with me.



  • PLAN- Chicago Marathon
  • ACTUAL- Chicago Marathon in 5:21:17 finish time

What a race!  Love, love this marathon.


*Runs on treadmill are done on 1% incline.


  • I chafed pretty bad during the race that it hurt more to walk because of it than from the actual race. I am doing much better now but wow it was painful.
  • My goal was to PR (5:16:53) but that didn’t happen.  I know I shouldn’t rely too much on my watch but according to it I ran 27.64 miles.  Now, I know in all of my races it is always a little off but never this much.  Another friend posted his time and distance and his came out to 27.10 miles.  So weird.
  • Yesterday after the race I told myself I would never run another marathon.  I was sore, tired, and hungry.  Can’t wait to sign up for the marathon next year!!  🙂
  • So what now?  For now I am going to take some time off to recover and then start training for RnR NOLA in February.  I’ve never officially trained for a half marathon and am excited about it.

Chicago Marathon Training Recap Week #2


*Week #2, September 28-October 4


  • PLAN – OFF


  • PLAN – 3 miles
  • ACTUAL – 6 miles and 10 strides


I did Wednesday’s workout because I was planning to go downtown for a fun run with City Fit Girls.  The weather was in the low 60s which is ideal running weather.  My legs were tired in the first mile but then felt better and I pushed it a little.  Ran faster than I was supposed to but just ran by feel.  Total 6.02 @10:22 average pace.  Splits are:
Mile 1-11:06
Mile 2-10:10
Mile 3-9:52
Mile 4-10:01
Mile 5-10:39
Mile 6-10:26


  • PLAN –6 miles and 10 strides
  • ACTUAL – 3 miles @10:13 average pace


I did not make it downtown.  Instead, I came home and took a nap.  I know it was only 3 miles but I didn’t even want to do that run.  It always happens that the run that you do not want to do always ends up being a great run.  Must have been the nap.  🙂  Splits are:
Mile 1-10:42
Mile 2-10:16
Mile 3-9:41


  • PLAN- 1 mile warm up, 4 x 400 @ 8:30 with 400 recovery, 1 mile cool down
  • ACTUAL- 4 miles @12:53 pace


I went to the gym to do this run.  I was surprised I had to do a speed workout a week before the marathon. I thought taper week was all about taking it easy.  I did warmup and cooldown at 11:18 pace and 400s at 8:32.  I walked during each recovery.  The 8:32 pace felt hard but manageable and I had to hold on for a few seconds towards the end.  However, I felt much better during the 3rd and 4th one and ran longer until I had to hold on again.


  • PLAN – OFF


  • PLAN- 10 miles with last 3 being at 10:30’s
  • ACTUAL- Total 10 miles @11:43 average pace

I almost went back to bed when I saw the weather.  I had no desire to run in the rain and “cold” weather again.  I woke up late so I decided to run later in the day.  I looked out the window and saw that it had stopped raining so I got ready and went to Fleet Feet.  I had to run alone since the groups had already left for their run.


This was a tough run because it was cold and windy along the lakefront.  I struggled.  I almost gave up after mile 5 but saw another running group and decided to run with them (run 4/walk 2) and then ran the last 3 miles alone.

Splits are:
Mile 1-10:50
Mile 2-1105
Mile 3-14:53<==I stopped to take some pictures and forgot to turn off Garmin.
Mile 4-12:10
Mile 5-11:02
Mile 6-13:02
Mile 7-12:41
Mile 8-10:51
Mile 9-11:02
Mile 10-9:38 <==Pleased with it.  I was annoyed that I could not get 10:30s for miles 8 and 9.

I went back to the store and was pleased to see my name on the list of runners.

The end of the day calls for a nap and/or resting with Lola.



  • PLAN- Yoga
  • ACTUAL- Half an hour of yoga

My coach made it clear that I was not to miss my yoga class.  I was only there for half an hour.  I could not keep up with the moves/positions and got frustrated.  I came home to stretch and foam roll.

*Runs on treadmill are done on 1% incline.


  • My last week of training before the marathon.  Do I feel ready?  Absolutely!  Am I scared and nervous?  Absolutely too!
  • Taper madness?  I am the opposite.  I don’t want to run anymore this week.
  • I am looking forward to shorter runs.  My next big race is RnR NOLA Half Marathon in February.  I’ve run 62 half marathons and have yet to finish one under 2 hours.  My fastest is 2:17:01 at the ING Hartford Half Marathon on 10-12-13.  So my goal for this race is to finish under 2 hours.

Chicago Marathon Training Recap Week #3


*Week #3, September 21-27


  • PLAN – OFF
  • ACTUAL – OFF and went to see podiatrist.

My feet don’t hurt as much as before but I have some horrible calluses that I cannot get rid of no matter how much I use my pumice stone.  The podiatrist simply shaved it off.  Definitely much better.


  • PLAN – 4 miles
  • ACTUAL – Did not run.


  • PLAN – 6 miles (2 miles warmup, 6 x 400 @ 8:30 with 400 recovery in between,
    1 mile cool down)
  • ACTUAL – 2 miles @11:18, 6×400 @8:32 (walked 400 after each one), 1 mile @11.18.  Total 6 miles @12:51 pace

I went to the gym to get this workout done.  I did not want to go but didn’t want to miss another workout.


  • PLAN- 4 miles
  • ACTUAL- 3.04 miles @9:52 average pace

I met a friend for my weekly run with Fleet Feet Chicks Night.  Ran faster than I wanted to but just went with the flow.  It was a gorgeous evening for a run and it definitely felt like fall.  Splits are:
Mile 1-9:50
Mile 2-10:03
Mile 3-9:41


  • PLAN – OFF


  • PLAN- 5 miles
  • ACTUAL- Did not run.

I don’t think I’ve ever run on the day before a race.  The weather was in the high 60s in the morning so ideally I should have gone out to run.  Instead, I chose to sleep in and stay in bed.  I’ve had to get up at 5am pretty much every Saturday since May so it felt good to wake up a bit later than that.  I felt a little guilty for missing my run but then got over it.  🙂

In the afternoon I made my over downtown to pick up my packet for my race on Saturday, Chicago Half Marathon.  The last time I ran this race was in 2009.  I bought two tubes of Nuun (Kona Kola and Lemon-Lime).  I almost bought another hydration belt from Fitletic but then realized that I have one that is still in good condition so don’t really need another one.  Then I saw some really cute shirts from BAW (and I regret not taking any pictures) but my nephew talked me out of it by reminding me that I already have enough running shirts.  So, I walked away with spending only $10.  Not bad.



  • PLAN- 13.1 miles
  • ACTUAL- 13.23 miles @11.01 average pace

I was doing pretty good till mile 8 and then had a rough time towards the end.  My goal was to bring down my average pace to 10:55 but definitely struggled.  However, I am still pleased with how I did.  Check out that huge medal!  Splits are:
Mile 1-10:50
Mile 2-10:53
Mile 3-11:02
Mile 4-10:57
Mile 5-10:45
Mile 6-11:02
Mile 7-10:53
Mile 8-10:57
Mile 9-11:25
Mile 10-10:51
Mile 11-11:25
Mile 12-10:54
Mile 13-11:25



*Runs on treadmill are done on 1% incline.


  • I cannot believe that in two weeks I will have finished running the Chicago Marathon!
  • Still not sure on whether to run with or without my CamelBak.  Today I ran without it and did fine without it.
  • Today I ran half of a marathon.  I was so glad when I was done.  I was tired and sore and was wondering how in the world I can run another half marathon to complete a full marathon.