Monday, July 4, 2016

chicago marathon training 2016: week 7

Week 7 of Chicago Marathon Training
Monday, June 27: Rest/Stretch/Roll
Tuesday, June 28: 6 miles at CP, 40/30, 1:18:39, 13:06 average pace
Wednesday, June 29: Strength Training (week 2, workout 1)
Thursday, June 30: 8 miles at CP, 40/30, 1:50:21, 13:47 average pace
Friday, July 1: Strength Training (week 2, workout 2)
Saturday, July 2: 18 miles at CP, 30/30
Sunday, July 3: Rest/Stretch/Roll

Week Total Mileage: 32
Marathon Training Mileage: 200.67
YTD: 626.99

First workout up this week was a Medium Run. 6 miles at Conversation Pace with 40/30 run/walk intervals. It. Felt. Awesome. I was feeling kind of slow and sluggish the first 2 miles, but when I saw what my pace was I was surprised. I definitely was expecting my legs to feel like lead since only two days ago I had done 16 miles. They didn't. I just sort of let them go at the pace they felt comfortable with, and if it weren't for mile 2, I would have negative splits for the whole run. Still, negative split from mile 2–6 is awesome for me, and I was so proud when I was done. The temps were perfect for a summer run — unusually 'cool' with 68 degrees, cloudy, and 60% humidity. Pretty sure having a cloudy/coolish (compared to the 80s and 90s we've been having) day really helped me out here. 

Strength training went well this week. I was back to week 2 of the plan, and man, these exercises are still tough! That one-legged deadlift seems to be my worst enemy, as I wake up with sore glutes anytime I have done that exercise. 

8 miles on Thursday was interesting. It was my longest run on a weekday that didn't count as my long run. And it was the longest run to have 40/30 intervals for the entirety. Up until now, it has only been used up to 6 miles. I was feeling pretty good most of the run. It was back to warmer temps, but was feeling ok. At mile 4 I had a weird pang in my knee, but it went away just as quickly as it came. Then at mile 6 it came back with a vengeance. I had to stop and stretch and walk when I should have been running. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to make it home. I kept on moving, and eventually it mostly went away so I was able to finish up the 8. It didn't hurt too bad when walking, just running. I don't know if something flared up from doing so many miles or what, but I was afraid it wouldn't go away for my long run Saturday. I made sure to ice it and I taped it for my LR, in hopes that it wouldn't be around. 

On Saturday, I was actually awake early and ready to get running – a rarity for me, as I prefer to sleep in the morning haha. Unfortunately, I woke up with a horrible stomach ache. I gathered all of my gear, but ended up needing to lay down a while longer. I didn't get to the trail until close to 9 and the parking was jam packed. Luckily, I found someone leaving and was able to pull in after they left. I sun screened and bug sprayed up and was on my way. The first few miles were so slow, due to the stomach ache. I gave myself 3 miles for the ache to go away before calling it quits and trying again on Sunday. Luckily, around mile 2 they subsided and I was able to run the rest of my miles without much trouble.

I was pretty surprised at how well I was feeling after the first 9 miles. I had taped my knee up, and was having no trouble with it. I refilled at mile 10 and mentally broke up the run into two more parts of 4 miles. It made it easier to keep running rather than thinking 8 more. I kept a pretty good pace and was feeling good until about mile 16 where I got a bit tired and the sun decided to make its appearance. Temps ranged from 65–74, mostly cloudy (thankfully), and 60% humidity. I was able to maintain the 30/30 run/walk intervals for most of the run until that 17th mile, and then I did a little more walking. I also ended about .75 miles from my car, so once I hit 17 I stopped the watch and walked the rest of the way as a cool down.

When I got back to the car, I mixed up my newly acquired Ultima Replenisher Raspberry packet with some ice water I had in a cooler. It tasted really good and was really refreshing, especially since I really had to ration out the water I had with me on my run the last few miles. By mile 16 I was nearly out, so I told myself the treat for finishing 18 miles strong was that I would get to finish what was in the bottle. Problem was, I was so thirsty on the walk back all I could think about was that Ultima/cold water in the car ready for the drinking. When I got home I chugged some chocolate milk, showered, ate some watermelon and feta cheese, and then relaxed the rest of the day until dinner time, when I headed up to my favorite brewery for my favorite food truck (grilled cheese and loaded fries!). Yum. Probably not the best way to reward myself, but I did feel like I had earned it haha.

I ended up with a 14:32 pace, which is pretty fantastic for me. I had to go back and look at my past runs to compare, and I found a 19 miler in September where my pace was 15:40, so an improvement of over a minute per mile (I know that was a mile longer, but couldn't find any data for another 18 miler, though I'm sure I have it somewhere...), and it was pretty warm out, to me at least. How awesome is that? I also had very little pain the next day. My quads were a little sore, but no pain so bad I had trouble walking or using stairs haha.

I'm sure I've said this so much already in the past few weeks, but I'm very pleased with how training is going this cycle. Sweat Tracker has been helping me improve immensely, and I know for certain I wouldn't be seeing these improvements without their help. 

PS If you're interested in trying Ultima Replenisher yourself, head on over to the website and use code BIBRAVE2016 for 25% off + free shipping. 

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