Monday, September 4, 2017

Chicago Marathon Training Update

I’m sharing #MiOWhatsNext in my life as part of a sponsored series for Socialstars™.

Can you believe we are less than 5 weeks away from the Chicago Marathon?! I'm about 11 weeks into my training cycle and thought I was due for a legit "update" (as opposed to the snip-bits I post once a week in my Workout Recaps).

Let me jog your memory in case my goals aren't in the forefront of your noggin - I am shooting to PR/ BQ the Chicago Marathon in October. PR = Personal Record (meaning I am attempting to run my fastest marathon yet). BQ = Boston Qualifier (meaning I will need to run faster than a 3:35 marathon time due to my age and gender).


My current PR is from the St. George Marathon in October of last year. I ran that race officially in 3:30:50.

This go-around I wanted to get serious about everything (training, diet, sleep, hydrating, etc). I wanted to see what my body would be capable of, had I had my head in the game, gave myself all the tools available and truly gave it my all.

In the past I had used an online training plan (absolutely NOTHING against them, they just aren't personalized), but when a friend offered to coach me for this attempt I knew I needed to take him up on the offer. I have been working with a coach since April. The plan is specific to me, to my goals, to the course I am shooting to race on, etc.

I've mentioned it before, but working with a coach has really shaken up my workouts. In the past, I'd do my speed workouts during my short runs and my long runs would be at a slower/ comfortable speed. This training cycle has been the opposite - with my long runs containing quite a bit of speed (don't worry, I still have a track workout and day of hill intervals throughout the week). At first I was nervous about it, thinking I wouldn't be able to hold the speed, but I've found that even if I don't hit my paces I'm getting comfortable running the speeds I'll need to run for longer distances.

The hardest part of this training cycle has been the elements. We pay a HIGH sunshine tax to live in Southern California. Normally it's in the 70s and sunny for the majority of the year. Well, this year we have had CONSTANT humidity... And I don't mean like 25% humidity (which would normally be high for any other year), I'm talking 80-100% EVERY SINGLE DAY! Don't get me wrong, growing up in the Midwest I 'know' humidity, but when you've been out of it for years your body tends to revolt. If we wanted to live in the humidity we'd pay A LOT LESS and move.


I've had workouts where everything clicks and I feel like I'm flying... And runs where I have to stop every mile and end the workout early... I've had runs where my paces surprise me... And workouts where I question myself and if I'll ever be able to hit my goals... I've had workouts that have left me smiling for hours... And runs that have left me in tears...

My mental game is normally a weak link in my running, so when the runs get tough (and they do multiple times a week), I have to remind myself that the hard work I am putting in will pay off. And, shoot, if I can run and push the pace in these conditions, then when Mother Nature gets her act together (which hopefully she'll do sooner rather than later) I'll fly.

I think I tell myself this DAILY during this round of training... The soggy weather has NOT been helping!

I've appreciated having MiO handy during these last few weeks. With the intensity of my training increasing (and Mother Nature not backing down with her shenanigans), I've had to really make sure and stay diligent with my hydration game. I'm normally all for plain agua, doing my best to get 80-128 ounces a day, but at some point the ordinary water can be a little difficult to gulp down. I definitely can tell I'm drinking more water when I add MiO (and with a better taste). Thanks to MiO, I can continue chugging my H2O and chugging along like a well oiled machine ;)

After drinking standard water out of my handheld during my long runs, I'm ready to switch it up once I get back home.

I'd be lying if I said this training cycle has been easy or that I've hit all of my paces. But to better my best, I've gotta keep pushing. I don't want to show up at the Chicago Marathon starting line thinking about workouts I wish I would have pushed harder during. I want to line up with my head held high knowing I gave it my all - whatever that may look like.


Five weeks is still a long time and a lot can happen (although I'm sure it'll be here before I know it), but I pray training continues on track and I show up in Chicago confident, trained and ready to tackle whatever the race has to offer.

Running can be rough (and makes you question your sanity), but the hard is what makes it great... Or so I've heard ;)


What goals are you currently chasing down?

1 comment:

redaussie3 said...

I am running the chicago marathon too! This will be my second time running it and it is one of my favorites! I am using it as my last long run for my next 50K. I love Chicago and am ready to chow down on some deep dish pizza!