Category: Marathon Training

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.

Speed Intervals and Injinji Socks Giveaway

On Thursday, I had my first “real” speed workout at a track on the north side of the city.  I’ve heard of that track but never been there.  I left work at 3:45 and made my way to meet my coach.  I am usually good with directions but for some reason got lost and could not find the place.  Luckily, I had left extra early and 10 minutes later of driving around finally found it.  Let me say that I had never actually met my coach in person. I was not sure how I was going to find/recognize her.  Luckily, she happened to be running around the track as I walked up and we just stared at each other.  Yes, it was her!!

I was nervous about my workouts.  She told me not to be.  We were doing 1 mile warmup, 4×400, and 1 mile cooldown.  The first mile was under 10 minutes.  Not bad, not bad.  The rest was even better!  I was impressed with myself.  Coach told me I had good running form and was not a heavy breather. Whew.  I was worried about that because I usually am a heavy breather.  The goal was to run each interval under 9 minutes.  Mission accomplished.


I enjoyed running at the track but there isn’t one close to where I live.  Oh well, I guess I can make the 40 minutes or so drive once a week or every two weeks.  Or I can just run them on the treadmill.

You ready for a giveaway?  For the past few weeks I’ve been running in Injinji toe socks.  Love them! It is a little weird to put them on but once you get the hang of it, it is a piece of cake.  I even wear them on nonrunning days.

I have two pairs of socks for two lucky readers.  One pair is white, size small, crew length and the second pair is black, size large, and mini-crew length.  Please make sure to write in the comments section the size you want (S or L) if selected as a winner.

To enter, go here: a Rafflecopter giveaway


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?