Chicago Marathon Training Recap Week #2


*Week #2, September 28-October 4


  • PLAN – OFF


  • PLAN – 3 miles
  • ACTUAL – 6 miles and 10 strides


I did Wednesday’s workout because I was planning to go downtown for a fun run with City Fit Girls.  The weather was in the low 60s which is ideal running weather.  My legs were tired in the first mile but then felt better and I pushed it a little.  Ran faster than I was supposed to but just ran by feel.  Total 6.02 @10:22 average pace.  Splits are:
Mile 1-11:06
Mile 2-10:10
Mile 3-9:52
Mile 4-10:01
Mile 5-10:39
Mile 6-10:26


  • PLAN –6 miles and 10 strides
  • ACTUAL – 3 miles @10:13 average pace


I did not make it downtown.  Instead, I came home and took a nap.  I know it was only 3 miles but I didn’t even want to do that run.  It always happens that the run that you do not want to do always ends up being a great run.  Must have been the nap.  :-)  Splits are:
Mile 1-10:42
Mile 2-10:16
Mile 3-9:41


  • PLAN- 1 mile warm up, 4 x 400 @ 8:30 with 400 recovery, 1 mile cool down
  • ACTUAL- 4 miles @12:53 pace


I went to the gym to do this run.  I was surprised I had to do a speed workout a week before the marathon. I thought taper week was all about taking it easy.  I did warmup and cooldown at 11:18 pace and 400s at 8:32.  I walked during each recovery.  The 8:32 pace felt hard but manageable and I had to hold on for a few seconds towards the end.  However, I felt much better during the 3rd and 4th one and ran longer until I had to hold on again.


  • PLAN – OFF


  • PLAN- 10 miles with last 3 being at 10:30’s
  • ACTUAL- Total 10 miles @11:43 average pace

I almost went back to bed when I saw the weather.  I had no desire to run in the rain and “cold” weather again.  I woke up late so I decided to run later in the day.  I looked out the window and saw that it had stopped raining so I got ready and went to Fleet Feet.  I had to run alone since the groups had already left for their run.


This was a tough run because it was cold and windy along the lakefront.  I struggled.  I almost gave up after mile 5 but saw another running group and decided to run with them (run 4/walk 2) and then ran the last 3 miles alone.

Splits are:
Mile 1-10:50
Mile 2-1105
Mile 3-14:53<==I stopped to take some pictures and forgot to turn off Garmin.
Mile 4-12:10
Mile 5-11:02
Mile 6-13:02
Mile 7-12:41
Mile 8-10:51
Mile 9-11:02
Mile 10-9:38 <==Pleased with it.  I was annoyed that I could not get 10:30s for miles 8 and 9.

I went back to the store and was pleased to see my name on the list of runners.

The end of the day calls for a nap and/or resting with Lola.



  • PLAN- Yoga
  • ACTUAL- Half an hour of yoga

My coach made it clear that I was not to miss my yoga class.  I was only there for half an hour.  I could not keep up with the moves/positions and got frustrated.  I came home to stretch and foam roll.

*Runs on treadmill are done on 1% incline.


  • My last week of training before the marathon.  Do I feel ready?  Absolutely!  Am I scared and nervous?  Absolutely too!
  • Taper madness?  I am the opposite.  I don’t want to run anymore this week.
  • I am looking forward to shorter runs.  My next big race is RnR NOLA Half Marathon in February.  I’ve run 62 half marathons and have yet to finish one under 2 hours.  My fastest is 2:17:01 at the ING Hartford Half Marathon on 10-12-13.  So my goal for this race is to finish under 2 hours.

Chicago Half Marathon

On Sunday, I ran my 62nd half marathon, the Chicago Half Marathon.  The last time I ran this race was in 2009.  This race is my last one before the Chicago Marathon.  The only reason I ran it is because of the CARA Marathon Incentive Program.  So now I need to volunteer at the expo, run the Chicago Marathon, apply on December 1 (yes there is an application) and cross my fingers that I get in for next year.  Now that I think about it, it does sound really crazy for a supposedly guaranteed entry.  I mean, it isn’t really guaranteed because there are a limited number of spots available and once they’re filled, you’re out of luck!

Back to the race.  I was told not to race it but instead to use it as a training run.  And that is pretty much what I did.  I was up very early at 4am, got ready, and drove to the race.  Luckily I found parking right away and waited for about half an hour before heading over to use the bathrooms.  It was very dark.



I met up with another Chicago Endurance Sports runner (Amy) to run together.  The weather was just perfect.  No rain and overcast.  Definitely ideal running weather.

I do not remember hearing the National Anthem but we were kind of far so maybe we didn’t hear it. Anyway, a few minutes later we crossed the start line.

We settled into a nice and comfortable pace.  I had my iPod but ended up not using it.  Yep, I ran the whole race without listening to music.  I love the course!  And I love even more that we ran on Lake Shore Drive instead of the running path.  That would have been very tight and a disaster.

I took an Advil at mile 4.  My calves were tight and my feet were bothering me since the beginning.  The Advil kicked in a few miles later.  I wonder if maybe for the marathon I should take 2 of them earlier in the race.

Amy and I got separated after mile 8 but then I caught up to her.  I saw the 2:20 pace group and did my best to stay with them but they were running a little bit faster than I could/wanted to.  With 2 miles to go I told Amy to go ahead and I did my best to finish.

Throughout the race I had my watch to only show average pace.  I was hoping to keep it at 10:55 which is pretty much what it was on throughout the race.  However, that number crept up once I took my walking breaks and then I could not bring it down.  I then changed it to show just the time.  I ended up finishing in 2:24:41 (according to my watch) which is an 11:01 average pace.  I am very pleased with my finish time.


Seriously the best medal ever!



A cute shirt and one that I will definitely keep.


One of my friend sent me the picture below.  I remember seeing them when I crossed the finish line and thought about waving but did not want to look stupid.  But it is still pretty cool!


Overall it was a great race.  The course is awesome.  There was plenty of crowd support and enough water stations.  We lucked out with the weather so it made it an even better experience.