Chicago Marathon Training: Week 9 (and Mt. Humphreys!) Recap

Well hello there halfway mark of marathon training!!

For such a momentous point, my running this past week was pretty underwhelming.

7 miles.

Yup, that’s all I ran.

Before I begin, I want to announce the winner of the Slick Laces giveaway….CONGRATS

Tricia Vaughn @MissSippiPiddlin.com

I’ll be sending you an e-mail soon to discuss details!! A big thank you to Slick Laces and all who entered 😀

And back to my training recap:

On Monday, I spent 30 minutes on the bike.
On Tuesday I ran 4 miles and on Wednesday I ran 3.
And that’s pretty much it for running, ja!

It was actually pretty funny that the only two days I ran were these particular two:

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Heat warning, shmeat warning

Tuesday I met up with a few friends in the evening and while the group usually does a 3 miler, I added an extra one. It was definitely hot (108 degrees at the 6 p.m. start) so I took it nice and easy.

Wednesday I was back at track for some more Yasso fun. I don’t know why I like doing these so much lol!

It was another 108 degrees at the start but somehow despite the heat, I was able to pull off 6 solid 800s.

4:00, 3:56, 3:53, 3:58, 3:58, 3:54

#eyeofthetiger

#eyeofthetiger

Thursday was the first day back at work for teacher meetings and right after, it was pick up kids and head straight to dinner/play date. No running. It happens.

Friday was another work day and right after my husband and I loaded our truck and headed up north for our Mt. Humphreys hike the next day 😀

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Road Trip!!!

It was a considerable weather difference in Flagstaff compared to Phoenix. So much so, that I was very, very glad I’d brought my jacket. It was raining like crazy and all we kept hoping for was that it would stop when we started the next morning.

It did.

We got going at 6 in the morning starting at 9,000 feet. You begin the climb right away and it was pretty much straight up for the next almost 5 miles.

It was sooo cold!!! I was triple layered with a running shirt, pullover sweater, and a jacket (that jacket saved me!) and I even had gloves on! My hands were freezing and were getting badly swollen the higher I climbed. One girl in our group didn’t make it all the way up because she was freaking out about her hands.

It was also extremely foggy so we didn’t get any views as we climbed. That kinda bummed us out but we were glad we were still able to do it and weren’t rained out.

Hello, fog!

Hello, fog!

There wasn’t a whole lotta picture taking climbing up as we were concentrating on getting to the summit. The trail is well marked but it gets a little dicey the closer you get to the top.  We reached one last flat spot with one last climb ahead and we knew we’d done it. We were finally at the top, 3,000+ feet and 3 and a half hours later.

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Humphreys Peak 12,633 ft.

We didn’t hang out long at the top; it was so cold and windy. Plus, there were no views as we were pretty much in the clouds.

So we headed back down and as we descended, there were areas where the fog cleared up enough for us to see some landscape.

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Even though going down was in some ways easier than going up, it still took us a while. We kept thinking we were further than we were only to be told by those going up that we were still a ways from the start.

The closer we got, the clearer the skies got and we told those beginning their trek that they’d fair better with the views than we did lol! It was all good though. In a way, it was kinda cool to have hiked it with fog all around us.

When we finally reached the plains at the bottom, we were so happy! It had been a long hike at a little over 6 hours. We had stopped along the way to eat (I packed jerky, an orange, cereal bars, and some twizzlers) but I was ready for a burger and a Coke.

Done!!

Done!!

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Even though we hadn’t gotten the amazing views Mt. Humphreys has to offer, it was still an incredible experience and adventure and I’m stoked I can cross it off my list. I can officially say I’ve been to the highest point possible in our state 😀

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And that was my week! Pretty uneventful running wise (7 miles) but hella awesome hiking (10 miles). <— Totally counted that as my long run, lol!

–Do you know what the highest peak in your state/province/area?

–Are you afraid of heights? Hiking your thing?

Have a great week, amigos! Back to school/work I go! ❤ , helly

 

 

Chicago Marathon Training: Week 8 Recap (with special guest: Ronald McDonald’s Boot!)

Happy August!!! Isn’t crazy how the 8th month of the year is here??

It was a busy week last week and not a standard training week as far as my runs are concerned. I had to do some changes to my schedule because of some family events and other surprises 🙂 .

Monday I was just lazy. I usually bike for 45 minutes but I just wasn’t feeling it for some reason so I gave myself a break. I intended to “make it up” later in the week and never did. Oops!

I kinda did on Tuesday though when I was able to get a double run in. First, I made it to the 5 at 5 group and ran a pretty good 5 miler, almost negative splitting except for one mile.

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Then in the evening, I met up at the local running store’s run for a 3 miler. I was able to negative split this one despite the heat.

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Wednesdays are usually track days but my kids had a school function later in the evening so I forced myself out late in the morning. It felt even hotter than what it was because of the humidity (54%) but I managed four negative split miles– 9:33, 9:18, 8:59, 8:35.

Thursday is when things got really interesting. My charity, Ronald McDonald House, posted a challenge on the Facebook page for runners to run a route shaped like a Ronald McDonald Boot.

For reference:

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I relayed the info to my husband who designed the best. route. ever. Like, for real.

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The only slight area of concern was that the back of the boot had me running through the Indian Reservation–which is quite a different area than where the rest of the route is. I wasn’t comfortable running that part alone. So my husband ran the route with me! 🙂

It was a route that was a little over 6.5 miles and we had to start late morning so it was warm. We had to run part of the route twice (the top half of the vertical back end). And at about half way through the boot near near where it curves, we took a wrong turn. Wah, wah!! We didn’t realize it til about over a half mile later and we knew going back would leave a huge line across the middle. We kept going even though we knew our boot run failed. When we got to the reservation part of the boot, sure enough, our concerns were validated as I turned to my husband and said, “Be careful with that dog over there” to hear him reply, “Um, that’s not a dog!” It was a freaking coyote!!! We did our best to run as quietly as we could past it and then skidaddled the heck out of there. A raccoon greeted us as well as we made our way out of the Res. It was definitely and interesting run.

We checked out the boot run on Garmin Connect and sure enough, our mistake messed up the boot and the front end.

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We were so bummed!!! I told my husband there was no way we were running through the reservation again and he agreed. We stared at the map trying to figure out how we could re-route it leaving out the res but still maintain the boot shape. Then, we had it!!!

We couldn’t run it again til the afternoon of the next day, Friday, and we knew that it was going to be scorching hot, but we were intent on getting it done.

At one o’clock in the afternoon and in 102 degree weather, we were ready. And this time, zero mistakes!

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You can see where we modified the route on the back of the boot where now it’s angled instead of straight and squarish. I ended up liking this design way better anyway 🙂

My family said we were crazy (it was 106 degrees when we finished) but I was so wanting to do this run because it was absolutely perfect. I mean, it’s a total boot!! And even cooler is that the bottom of it runs along McDonald Drive!! I mean, c’mon!! To top it off, there’s a McDonald’s on McDonald Drive. Yes, I took a picture 😀

A #TeamRMHC pic on McDonald Drive in front of a McDonald's :D

A #TeamRMHC pic on McDonald Drive in front of a McDonald’s 😀

I don’t know if I’ll win, but I’ll keep you posted. They should be announcing Wednesday.

Since Fridays are my typical rest days and I clearly didn’t rest, Saturday I decided to give it a rest. I needed it.

But I was back at it Sunday on the trails with friends and one of them snapped this awesome pic of me looking like I was trying really hard not to die ❤

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Which ended me with 33.58 miles for the week! I ended July with 124 miles–a tie for my highest ever. Luckily, I’m still feeling pretty good. Still truckin’!

Have a great week, amigos!! ❤ , helly

–How was your running week (and July!)? 

–Have you run a route shaped like something cool?

A Look Back at July

Summer is officially over for me this week as next Thursday and Friday I return to work. One of my goals this summer was to really take advantage of the time off and get a good base of running. I wanted to really establish good habits and a routine because I knew once work came, my time would be more limited. If I had already set up a good base, I’d feel more motivated to continue with my training full force.

I am VERY happy with how I did this past month–the first official full month of training. So much so, that exactly what I wanted to happen, happened. I’m so motivated to keep it going with my training 🙂

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A quick look at some numbers

My long runs:

Week 4- 8 miles at 10:07/avg pace
Week 5- 14 miles at 10:02/avg pace
Week 6- 15 miles at 9:57/avg pace
Week 7- 10 miles at 9:58/avg pace

I was very happy to see that I stayed consistent. This training I’ve been really working on making my long slow distance runs, slow. And while a 10 minute average isn’t really all that slow for me, it’s the pace I feel like I could run for a long time. I don’t feel like I’m over exerting myself and so far, I’ve felt like I could’ve kept going each time.

My speed work: (each workout was some variation of a drill that accumulated to 3 miles)

Week 4- 25:53, avg pace 8:37
Week 5- *16:08 avg pace 8:07 (*two miles; I had an allergic reaction)
Week 6- 24:04 avg pace 8:01
Week 7- 24:27 avg pace 8:08

Again, I am very happy with these numbers. Week 4 were mile repeats and Weeks 5-7 were Yasso 800’s (6×800).

Weekly Mileage:

Week 4-  21.83 miles
Week 5- 26. 02 miles
Week 6- 32.36 miles
Week 7- 22.12 miles

Thirty two miles in week 6 was my most ever for a week.

Monthly Mileage:

118.50 miles

I have a very exciting run today (that I’ll share with you once it’s done) that will increase this total mileage by about 5 or 6 miles. This will make it very close to my highest monthly mileage of 124 back in January.

The difference this time though, is that I don’t feel tired. (I was working in January however, so that’s a big factor.) I also think that my nightly rolling has helped my muscles and my Monday cycling days have helped. I cycled once each week, Weeks 4-7.

I have a good feeling going into August and back to work, that I’ll be able to maintain this momentum. I’ve seen my body change, I’ve seen improvements, and that’s all motivation to keep going strong.

This was a great July (even with the heat) 😀

Thanks for a great month, friends!! Here’s to an even better August! ❤ , helly

–How was your month of running?
–What keeps you motivated during your training? Seeing your numbers improve? Consistency with workouts?