Chicago Marathon Training: Week 10


Wow guys, let me start by saying this: I am so sorry I have fallen behind with posts lately! I have been traveling on top of marathon training, and while I have been writing, it takes time to get everything together into a post. So without further delay, week 10.

Ah, Monday morning - the biggest struggle bus of the week. After a weekend full of miles, the clock reset, and it was time to start the weekly mileage count once more. I was sleepy, but Dad was meeting me on his bike, so there was no excuse to skip this run. I got up, put on the gear I had selected the night before, and laced up my shoes. Temps were in the low 70’s, but the humidity was still in full force. Dad and I chatted as we weaved through the streets, and I may have thrown out the idea of a Disney trip around Christmas time - what can I say, I want to get full use of my annual pass before it expires. Six miles at a recovery pace completed before it was time to head to work.

Track Tuesday was my next interaction with running for the week, and my training plan called for 800m repeats at the track. This time I doubled up on accountability buddies, and Dad and Mike both agreed to meet me at the track. Dad found me while I was running to the track as a means of my warm up miles, and Mike was putting down his water bottle as we reached the track. Mike and I ran two laps together, but then it was time for me to pick up the pace. I had to do 6 repeats total, and I pushed a reasonable amount to get myself moving for the first one, and came in a little fast. It was also very quickly made clear that the humidity that morning was going to make it into the kind of run that required me to join the sports bra squad.

The first three repeats went better than the later three - as the sun crawled into the sky the temps went up, and the humidity got harder to handle. But I kept pushing, and gave the repeats what I had, even if they were a little slower than I would have preferred. But at least I made it through 6 sets of repeats, at a hard effort. I was relieved to hit the cool down portion of the run, and really took my time running home.


I have been trying to pair hard run days with strength training, to keep my hard days hard and my easy days easy, and on Tuesday night I headed to planet fitness with Sophie to pick some stuff up and then put it back down. Since I had another workout day ahead of me on Thursday, we stuck to arms and core to avoid lingering sore legs.

On Wednesday I took a rest day, but I made up for it Thursday, with a double workout. First up, a tempo run, which the weather forced onto the treadmill. I actually didn’t mind it as much as I expected to, as chugged along while watching Veronica Mars on my phone. I managed to not stop the treadmill at all for the duration of the run, and eventually Sophie got to the gym and hopped on a near by treadmill for a few miles. When we were both finished, we did the kind of strength training that I love to hate: Leg day.

of course, by the time the next morning rolled round I was a little bitter about leg day, for as necessary as they are they sure make running harder! I managed to drag myself out of bed, and Dad met me on his bike for a local run. We totaled 6 miles for the morning, at a good recovery pace.

I like to have at least one day a week that I get to “sleep in,” and on Saturday morning I had scheduled a yoga class with Mike at 9:15, and the idea of getting up at 6 am to do my long run didn’t feel super appealing. I was signed up for a race on Sunday,

So, I slept in until it was time for yoga, and we had a good time at emerge. It was a special “picture day” class, where they were shooting promotional photos for the studio, so we had a rotation of 5 different teachers throughout the class. It was interesting, because it meant getting to sample all different class styles. One of the instructors killed my core in her 15 minute slot, and I made a mental note to check out her class in the future. 

By the time the class was over I was hungry, so I grabbed some lunch and procrastinated my run for a while. Eventually it was time to get on the treadmill though, so I queued up some Veronica Mars, my current binge watch show, locked the cats away in the bedroom, and got moving. My quads were feeling dead after all of the miles that I put in this week, so I took the first two miles a little but easy. When I realized the soreness wasn’t going to subside, I cranked the treadmill up to the pace I wanted to be running this long run at, because if it was going to be hard it may as well be at the pace I wanted. 

The miles slipped away, as one episode played into another. I took a quick break to re-fill my water bottle and check on the cats, who were happily soaking up sunshine, at the halfway point, and a quick potty break at mile 9. The breaks added up to a little more time than I would have preferred, but I’m bad at holding myself accountable when I’m at home on the treadmill- that’s why I often still head to the gym for indoor runs. 

Once 12 miles were complete, my average moving pace came in at a 9:04, which I was really happy with. That’s right around my goal pace for Chicago, but I need to stop taking breaks when I’m on a treadmill, or maybe stop relying on the treadmill, since I don’t take breaks like that when I run outside. 


I headed into the Bronx with my family after the run, for pasta night at the bungalow. As always, the view from the dock of the Whitestone bridge was a treat. 

Sunday my 9th Road Runners race of the year was on the docket - the Manhattan 7 miler, with Mike and Sophie. I had driven to the last few races, so Mike agreed to cart us into the city. He picked Sophie and I up bright and early, and we headed into the city. Since the race was on a Sunday we didn’t need to pre-book parking, as many of the streets near central park have metered parking that don’t charge on Sundays, so it is usually easier to snag a spot. Our gamble paid off, and we found a spot quickly enough. We walked into the park and headed for race day central. Mike and I headed towards the porter potties, as we were running a little short on time, and Sophie went to the NYRR tent to pick up all of our bibs. By the time we had made it through the porter potty line, the race was about to start. I pinned my bib to my shirt as we walked to the starting corrals, and by the time we got to them they had already collapsed, so we hopped in with corral J as they shuffled forward. Sophie was less than excited to be running seven miles, but we didn’t have too long to dwell on it before crossing the start line.

It was warm out, but at least it wasn’t over 100 this weekend, like the other ones this summer. We didn’t have any pace goals, and just planned to stick together through the seven miles.


We managed to navigate the crowd that happens at the beginning of any race and stay together, and over the first few miles I had to tell Sophie and Mike to slow the pace more than once - I wanted to keep us at a pace that was maintainable for everyone, so that there wouldn’t be any crashing over the last mile or two. I figured we could always pick up the pace later if we wanted to, and knew that there were many hills ahead.

This race even had the dreaded Harlem hill, which we have avoided for most of the road runners races we had done this year. When we finally approached the hill we dialed the pace back a little, but managed to get through it without needing a walk break. Once we hit the downhill I knew we only had to get through the three sisters before the finish line, so I didn’t worry about regulating the pace as much. Sophie started pulling ahead of Mike and I, but was usually still within view.

When we finally spotted the finish line we were all relieved to be done running, but were a little disappointed that there were no finishers medals for this race - it is a part of the five borough series, and the other races in the series all had medals, so it would have been nice to have a complete set at the end of the year. But, we did get the standard bagels and even an ice pop, which was nice and refreshing.

My total mileage rang in at 48 miles even, which I was really happy with. Seems like I have officially hit those high mileage weeks that come with marathon training.