Category: Marathon Training

Chicago Marathon Training Recap Week #4


*Week #4, September 14-20

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: 8 miles
The plan was 2 miles easy, 2 x 1 mile tempo pace with 1 minute walk in between, 2 miles easy, 1 mile tempo, and 1 mile easy.

I switch my Tuesday and Wednesday runs because I had dinner plans on Wednesday and knew I would not have enough time to run 8 miles.

Total 8.10 @11:00 average pace.  Splits are:
Mile 1-10:56
Mile 2-10:51
Mile 3-9:49
Mile 4-10:32
Mile 5-11:43
Mile 6-10:55
Mile 7-11:23
Mile 8-11:59

Wednesday: 4 miles
The plan was to run them all easy.

It was a half day at school and I spent the afternoon in meetings.  I was very tired and really the last thing I wanted to do was run.  I emailed my coach asking if I could skip my run.  She texted back telling me to run the 4 measly miles.  And I did.  It was very sunny so I felt really hot throughout my run.  Not my best run but got it done.  Total 4.02 @11:44 pace.  Splits are:
Mile 1-11:35
Mile 2-11:10
Mile 3-12:03
Mile 4-12:10

I know I run slow but did not realize I was running that slow.



I wore my pretty bracelets from MudLOVE.


Thursday: 4 miles
The plan was to run at an easy pace.

The run with Fleet Feet got cancelled because of the weather.  It rained in the evening along with lightning. And it is better to be safe than sorry.  I still ran 4 miles.  Felt much better on this run.  It was a little humid but still felt comfortable.  Total 4.02 @10:38 average pace.  Splits are:
Mile 1-10:54
Mile 2-10:36
Mile 3-10:57
Mile 4-10:04

After the run I relaxed in some compression boots courtesy of the Chicago Recovery Room.  Simply amazing!  I was in them for about 20 minutes and could have stayed longer.  Oh, and I am sure if I would have had more time, I would have taken a nap.  What are recovery boots?  “The NormaTec compression boots provide a dynamic,  patented,  pulsing action that effectively mimics the muscle pump of the legs, hips and arms.  It greatly enhances the movement of fluid and metabolites out of the limbs after an intense workout to help you recover quicker.”  Source:


Friday: OFF
I did not run but I did get a well deserved massage.

Saturday: 20 miles
The plan was for this run to have negative splits.

It had rained really hard on Friday evening.  I told my coach that I wouldn’t run if the weather was the same on Saturday morning.  Luckily it wasn’t.  It did get chilly and windy at the start but the weather improved later on during the run.

Total 20 miles @11:33 average pace.  I ran this as a run/walk (5/1) run which I liked very much.  I was sore before mile 9 so I took two Tylenols at mile 10.  They kicked in almost towards the end of my run.  Splits are:
Mile 1-11:15
Mile 2-11:21
Mile 3-11:15
Mile 4-11:42
Mile 5-11:50
Mile 6-11:33
Mile 7-11:40
Mile 8-11:50
Mile 9-11:42
Mile 10-12:00
Mile 11-11:36
Mile 12-11:16
Mile 13-11:25
Mile 14-11:02
Mile 15-11:58
Mile 16-11:48
Mile 17-11:43
Mile 18-11:23
Mile 19-12:19
Mile 20-10:41


I lost my phone between 18.53 miles and the finish line.  I know the mileage because I sent a text to my coach and a friend letting them know of my status.  Two minutes later I realized I did not have it anymore. Someone did find it (I tracked it via Find iPhone), and that person was already at the finish line.  Well, once I finish the run, I tracked it again and saw that said person with phone was moving along Lake Shore Drive and heading downtown.  Well, to make a long story short, I ended up getting a new phone and the person that found it sent me a text TODAY letting me know that he/she had found my phone.  I have mixed feelings about it.  I mean, that person could have sent me a text yesterday right?

Here are some pictures of the long run with Chicago Endurance Sports.  I am in the right picture in the purple jacket with the rainbow colored compression socks.

Photo credit: Mike Norman from Chicago Endurance Sports.

Sunday: Yoga and 4 recovery miles
No yoga but I did run 4 miles.  I almost did not do it.  I set out at 7pm.  It wasn’t dark yet but I knew it would get dark pretty soon.  I was feeling pretty good until I had one mile left.  I had a green light to cross the street but the car on the left of me was planning to do a right turn, did not see me, and then almost hit me. He realized what he did and apologized.  Well, as I was running, another car coming from the west was planning to make a left turn also did not see me and almost hit me again.  Ugh!  I was so angry and just ran as fast as my legs could take me.  Then to top it off, as I was getting closer to cross a street, I saw a car on my left coming closer to make a right turn.  The driver did not stop at the stop sign.  I did stop.  I need to make sure to get out earlier or wear more Christmas lights so drivers can see me.

Total 4.01 @10:47 average pace.  Today’s pace was 9 seconds slower than Thursday’s.  Yes, I am happy about it considering that I ran 20 miles yesterday.  Splits are:
Mile 1-11:15
Mile 2-10:44
Mile 3-10:53
Mile 4-10:14

*Runs on treadmill are done on 1% incline.


  • I seriously doubted myself during my long run on Saturday.  When I was done with my run, I told myself that there was no way I could run 6.2 more miles.  I will be running my 7th marathon so I know that I will finish.  However, it is so interesting how the mind can really mess you up to the point of having serious doubts.
  • Finally taper time!  Seriously, the best 3 weeks before a marathon.
  • I have been running with a CamelBak (which I love) during my long runs.  I’ve been having neck/shoulder pain during my runs but do not know if it is because of said item or because I have poor running form/tension.  So I am not sure whether to run with it or not during the marathon.

Chicago Marathon Training Recap Week #5


*Week #5, September 7-13

Monday: OFF
Day off from school and from running.

Tuesday: 3 miles and 10 strides
The plan was to run them all easy.

A humid day but luckily not as hot.  I did not want to run cause I was tired.  Waited as much as I could before going out for my run. No more cold nor cough and felt so much better than last week. Splits are:
Mile 1-11:16
Mile 2-10:24
Mile 3-9:52

Also, did 10 strides.  Could feel myself flying.  The numbers I saw on watch were 5:55 for fastest and 6:55 for slowest. 🙂

Did a total of 3.38 @10:09 average pace.

Wednesday: 7 miles
The plan was for 2 miles warm up, 2 miles at 11:00, 1 mile at 10:00, 1 mile at 11:00, and 1 mile cool down.

I almost missed this run.  It was my mother’s birthday so we went out to dinner.  Of course I ate too much and then went home to take a nap.  When I woke up, I felt better and then went out for my run.

The last time I ran 7 miles was on 7/18/15 (7.07) for an average pace of 11:53.  This run (7.03) was done @10:44 average pace.  Felt good but then was a little tired at the end.  Weather was in the low 70s which was good weather to run. Splits are:
Mile 1-10:55
Mile 2-10:55
Mile 3-10:28
Mile 4-10:14
Mile 5-10:01
Mile 6-11:11
Mile 7-11:30

Thursday: 4 miles
The plan was to run at an easy pace.

I had to do a couple of errands with my mom and sister on Thursday so I did my run on Friday.  Ran total 4.02 @10:38 average pace.  Negative splits!  Boom!  Of course my intention was not to do negative splits but it short of happened.  Splits are:
Mile 1-11:23
Mile 2-10:40
Mile 3-10:27
Mile 4-9:58

Came home to foam roll and I had some company.  Love my Lola.


Friday: OFF

Saturday: 18 miles
The plan was for this run to have negative splits.

Lately I am not having good luck with my long runs.  Two weeks ago I ran 18 miles.  It rained a bit but wasn’t too bad.  The forecast for Saturday was similar to two weeks ago but it was pouring by the time I arrived at Fleet Feet.  Plus, it was a little chilly.  Definitely not a good combination.

I started off OK with my group but then got really cold.  I did not want to risk getting sick like I did two weeks ago so I headed back to the store and did not finish my run.  Of course it stopped raining and the sun was out when I reached the store.  Ran total 6.37 @11:50 average pace.  My coach told me to do my run on Sunday.  Splits are:
Mile 1-10:45
Mile 2-11:15
Mile 3-11:14
Mile 4-10:57
Mile 5-12:47
Mile 6-13:53

Sunday: 18 miles
Went to bed really late after my mother’s birthday party and woke up very early to take my sister to the airport.  Came home and went back to sleep.  One thing led to another and I did not run at all.

*Runs on treadmill are done on 1% incline.


  • I have 20 miles on Saturday and am slight worried about it.  But I think I will be OK, right?
  • It is finally cooling down in Chicago.  The forecast for Saturday is low 59 with high 73.  I am really hoping we have decent running weather on October 11.
  • I had so much fun on Saturday hanging out with family members.  We ate, drank, and sang till almost 11pm.  It was almost midnight by the time we cleaned up and went to bed.  I woke up at 5:30am to head to the airport.
  • Love seeing the numbers on my short runs.  I definitely see an improvement.  Plus, the cooler weather has helped.  As for my long runs, well, that is another story.  I know they’re meant to be run at a slower pace but it sort of bothers me that they’re that slow.

Chicago Marathon Training Recap Week #6


*Week #6, August 31-September 6

Monday: OFF
I was sick with a cold.  Definitely was not happy about it.  I had been sick in July but this time it was much worse.

Tuesday: 4 miles
The plan was to run at an easy pace with 10 strides.

It was a hot and muggy day.  Did not feel well at all.  I stopped several times to catch my breath.  I also had a cough which made it even worse.  Total 4.02 @11:37 average pace.  Splits are:
Mile 1-11:20
Mile 2-11:11
Mile 3-11:55
Mile 4-12:05

Wednesday: 8 tempo miles
The plan was for this run to have negative splits and to start around 11:00-11:30 and end around 10:30-10:45.

^^ That did not happen.  I was still not feeling well.  I didn’t have a cold anymore but my cough was much worse.  I woke up a few times at night and was also coughing throughout the day.  I managed to run 4.00 miles @11:57 average pace.  Splits are:
Mile 1-11:15
Mile 2-11:29
Mile 3-11:25
Mile 4-13:39

Thursday: 4 miles
The plan was to run at an easy pace.

Did not run at all.

Friday: OFF
I left school early to go to the doctor.  I was convinced I had bronchitis and was expecting a prescription for antibiotics.  Well, it turned out that all I had was a “normal” cough due to my cold.  My doctor did prescribe medicine for it.

Saturday: 20 miles
The plan was for this run to have negative splits.

I was out late the night before at a cotillion and did not get up in time to run with my group.  My coach told me to run on Sunday instead.  Well, I knew it was supposed to be very hot on Sunday so I decided to just do my run that day.  I went out on my own at 11:00am but it was too late.  Even though it was cloudy, it was still very humid.  I had my CamelBak filled with HEED sports drink, hammer gels, and various other supplements and was ready to tackle this long run.  Only managed to run 5.65 @12:14 average pace.  Splits are:
Mile 1-10:52
Mile 2-10:59
Mile 3-12:17
Mile 4-12:00
Mile 5-13:12

Sunday: Yoga and 4 recovery miles
No yoga but because I did not finish my run on Saturday, my coach told me to run 10 on Sunday.  I went to the gym.  No way was I running outside–even if it was 10 miles.  I do not remember the last time I ran at the gym.  The gym I went to is new so each treadmill has its own TV monitor.  However, all I was able to watch were old episodes of “Roseanne”.  It was entertaining but I was definitely bored after 5 miles.  Once I was done with 5, I took a break to get more water and hopped back on it to run 5 more miles.  Whew, finally done with 10 miles.

*Runs on treadmill are done on 1% incline.


  • I think this has been one of my worst training weeks due to being sick.
  • Cannot wait for cooler weather because I am tired of running in this heat.
  • I have to run 18 miles on Saturday, 20 the following Saturday and then taper time.  Yes, I am excited about it.
  • My next race is the Chicago Half Marathon on Sunday, September 27.
  • I am definitely feeling much better.  Thank goodness!

Chicago Marathon Training Recap Week #7


*Week #7, August 24-30

Monday: OFF
Best email I received on Monday.


Back to work.  I was in meetings all day so that was fun.  Here are some pictures of my room.

This one makes me smile.


Tuesday: 5 miles
The plan was to run at an easy pace.

It was my nephew’s birthday so I ran with him.  We ran 1.3 miles since he turned 13 and is officially a teenager.

I love this picture because it is of the times we’ve run together.  The one on top is when he was 6 years old and the bottom is from Tuesday.  Hopefully we’ll continue to run together.


Wednesday: 6 tempo miles
The plan was 2 miles warm up, 3 miles at 10:00 (if needed take 1-2 minutes rest in between each mile) and 1 mile cool down.

Boom.  Awesome run.  Ran 6.03 miles @10:17 average pace.  Wasn’t easy but wasn’t too hard either.  Splits are:
Mile 1-10:51
Mile 2-10:55
Mile 3-9:46
Mile 4-9:50
Mile 5-9:35
Mile 6-10:43

Thursday: 5 miles
The plan was to run at an easy pace.

Another run with Fleet Feet Chicks’ Night.  Tried to run them all easy.  I knew I would pay for it on Saturday. It was perfect running weather in the evening.  Dare I say perfect marathon running weather too?  Kept all paces under 11:00 which is not “all easy”.  Ran 5.01 @10:29 average pace.  Splits are:

Mile 1-10:29
Mile 2-10:25
Mile 3-10:32
Mile 4-10:46
Mile 5-10:17

I managed to log a total of 50 miles so I got my shirt.  Also, I got the chance to run in the new Ghosts 8. They’re OK but I was not impressed with them.


Friday: OFF

Saturday: 18 miles
The plan was to run them between 10:45-11:30 and to walk 2 minutes after EVERY 3 miles.

I was very worried because of the forecast.  I took a poncho just in case but ended up not using it at all.


Total 18 miles @11:21 average pace.  Ran faster than last week which surprised me.  It didn’t rain as much as I thought it was going to which was nice.  Also, it wasn’t hot nor sunny.  This time I ran in the Brooks Pure Flow 4 and my feet did not hurt like they did last week.  Still my right foot is giving me some problems which I think it is because of the bunion.  Ran with the 11:00 group and felt great running with them till mile 13.  My legs hurt (took 1 Tylenol at mile 9 but did not help, must take 2) so took some walking breaks. Overall, still pleased with my time and even more happy with my times for miles 16-18.  Splits are:

Mile 1-11:29
Mile 2-11:24
Mile 3-11:19
Mile 4-11:07
Mile 5-11:04
Mile 6-10:50
Mile 7-11:06
Mile 8-10:57
Mile 9-10:46
Mile 10-11:01
Mile 11-10:58
Mile 12-11:04
Mile 13-11:40
Mile 14-12:08
Mile 15-11:48
Mile 16-12:02
Mile 17-11:58
Mile 18-11:31

Thanks to a hole in my shorts (which I noticed afterwards) I chafed really bad close to my private parts.  I usually do not use Body Glide with these shorts.  You bet that from now on I will because the chafing was pretty painful and do not want to go through it again.


Sunday: Yoga and 3 recovery miles
Another great yoga class.  The instructor focused on the lower body which was exactly what I needed.  I wasn’t as sore as I was last week but I still felt great afterwards.  My plan was to run after my class but I had to get home to shower and get ready because I had a baby shower that afternoon.  Then I decided to run after the shower.  It is so weird but from one day to the next I got a cold.  Well, I came home and stayed in bed for a few hours to rest so I did not run.

*Runs on treadmill are done on 1% incline.


  • Surprisingly today I did not wake up as sore as I did last week.
  • This Saturday is 20 miles for me.  Yikes!
  • My IT band(s) don’t hurt as much anymore.  I’ve been foam rolling after every run.
  • I usually get a cold about once a year.  I was already sick this summer and do not understand why I am sick again.
  • After having fall like weather this week, we are back to HOT summer weather this week.

Where is the worst part/area you’ve chafed?

Chicago Marathon Training Recap Week #8


*Week #8, August 17-23

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: 6 miles
I’ve been having pain in my IT band in both legs.  On Monday I went to get a massage and while it was painful, I felt so much better afterwards.

I wasn’t sure if I could run today.  I spent a few hours setting up my classroom and then went home.  I rested for a few minutes and got ready for my run.  I went out too late.  I stopped less than a mile later because of the train.  It was taking too long so I turned around to run a different route.  It looked fine outside as you can see from the picture (with some lightening 😉 ) but check out the forecast.



I made it home and it was darker than usual.  I know a little rain won’t hurt me but my sister told me there was a tornado warning in our county. The clouds do not lie.

Managed 1.87 miles @11:14 average pace.

Wednesday: 4 tempo miles
The plan was 1 mile warm up, 2 miles at 10:00, 1 mile cool down.

I wanted to conquer the world and make up for yesterday’s run. 🙂  Miles 1 and 2 were tough because I had headwind.  However, that made me go slightly faster for miles 3 and 4.  It wasn’t too hot outside but it was very sunny.  Total 4.01 miles @10:20 average pace.  The last time I ran 4 miles was on 7/22 and I ran them @12:18 average pace.  Splits are:

Mile 1-10:59
Mile 2-10:16
Mile 3-9:40
Mile 4-10:26

Thursday: 3 miles
The plan was to run at an average pace around 9:45-10:00.

Perfect evening for a run!  I misunderstood my coach’s instructions and thought she meant each mile was to be between those paces.  Well, I still did what she asked me to do.  Total 3.05 miles @average 9:50 pace. Splits are:

Mile 1-10:09
Mile 2-9:51
Mile 3-9:32

Yes, negative splits!!!


Friday: OFF

Saturday: 16 miles

The plan was to keep ALL miles 10:45 and above.

Total 16 miles @11:41 average pace.  Wasn’t as tough as I imagined.  Both feet hurt at the end of the run. Not sure if it is the shoes or my feet.  I am going to a podiatrist on Monday.  Or it could be that I haven’t run 16 miles in over a year. Splits are below:

Mile 1-10:33 <—————was running late so wanted to catch up to the group
Mile 2-11:11
Mile 3-10:50
Mile 4-11:14
Mile 5-11:37
Mile 6-11:44
Mile 7-12:02
Mile 8-11:27
Mile 9-11:47
Mile 10-11:39
Mile 11-11:30
Mile 12-12:28
Mile 13-12:02
Mile 14-12:13
Mile 15-12:15
Mile 16-12:11

This is how I felt after my run.


After my run I took an ice bath.  Lola kept me company to make sure I did not freeze in the tub.


Sunday: Yoga and 3 recovery miles

I like yoga but honestly the last thing I wanted to do is run.  I sent a text to my coach to confirm today’s run. Yep.  I thought it was more difficult to run the day after a long run than run after a spinning class.  🙂 I do feel better.  At least I’ll be able to walk normal when I go back to work tomorrow.

*Runs on treadmill are done on 1% incline.


  • My Brooks Launch 2 are AMAZING!  I am a big fan of the Pure Flow but seriously the Launch are just even better.  Let me clarify since I wrote above that my feet hurt after running 16 miles.  I think that maybe my feet are not used to running longer distances since the last time I ran 16 miles was last year.  They felt great when I ran during the week.  This week I will run in the Pure Flow followed by 18 miles on Saturday.  Not sure what else to do.
  • On Monday I had a physical exam and blood work.  I was informed that my cholesterol and glucose levels are normal.  A big relief because a few years ago I had borderline high cholesterol and was pre-diabetic.
  • Normally I do not take naps but I took so many this summer.  Now I will have to take them after school. 🙂

Do you do a recovery run after your long run?  How long?