Chicago Marathon Training Preseason Week 1



After the Phoenix Marathon fiasco, I have to admit I went into a dark place for a while. I lost my running mojo, ate unhealthy (more so than already), and was just overall not in a happy place.

I had trained so hard for that race. I felt like I was in the best shape of my life, was so confident that I was going to crush my goal. And to not be able to showcase my hard work, well, it was devastating. And it was difficult to come back from that.

So here I am now. Rejuvenated. Ready. Committed. Super pumped to start marathon training for Chicago. I have the same goal: sub 4:30; but now, more so now–even though it’s always been part of my plan for every race, I want to finish.

As part of the Ronald McDonald House Charity team, I was provided with a training schedule that I could use. After looking over it, I liked it! I’ll modify a few things but over all, it looked reasonable, doable, challenging enough. I usually rely on my go-to guy Hal, but I don’t think he’ll mind if I spice things up a bit 🙂

The plan is 20 weeks long (whoa). So I’ve decided to use the first 2 weeks as a sort of pre season to get me ready for the long run. I haven’t been running consistently at all since Phoenix Marathon so I know I need to build up my base again.

Here are my Week 1 Preseason Stats:

Monday was a holiday and my husband had to work 😦 I took the kids on a playdate with a friend and while we were all hanging out, my little guy reached into a fountain to touch the water, slipped, and banged his little head on the concrete. I immediately became hysterical as I had never had my kids have an accident to that degree-he was bleeding profusely from a spot next to his eyebrow. We went straight to the Emergency and I called my husband who left work to meet us.

Needless to say, there was no working out that day.

I kept my little guy home on Tuesday. He was such a champ. In fact, right after the incident, he was back to his normal self. When we were at the hospital, he was laughing, and climbing on the waiting chairs, being his typical boy self. Luckily he didn’t need stitches but I was glad I took him in anyway. I kept him on Tuesday just to monitor him and make sure he was still okay, which he was. ❤

No work out.

Wednesday I took both kids to school and as soon as I got home, went for a run. It was my first run in a week and you could tell as my paces were so off. My 4 mile splits were: 9:44, 10:07, 10:09, 9:23. My legs felt super heavy and it just overall wasn’t a good run.

I wasn’t feeling encouraged about this preseason business.

Thursday I had an early hair appointment and took the day off.


When you have so much hair you need two stylists to blow dry #hairprobs

Fridays are usually my rest days but since I hadn’t run the previous day, I decided another 4 miler would be good.

Over all my paces were a little better, still all over the place, but my biggest mistake was starting later in the morning and already, at 8:30, it was too hot to run.

Holy hot city central

Holy hot city central

I wasn’t sure if I was going to long run Saturday or Sunday but I woke up on Saturday ready to go so I went. My husband and I decided we’d long run on whatever day the other didn’t. (He’s starting training too!)

I met up with my local run club at 6 a.m. with 6 miles on the schedule. I wanted to run them steady and at a more consistent pace than my previous two runs. I ended up doing so, but muuch slower than I’d hope.

At least I was somewhat consistent...

At least I was somewhat consistent…

As I was running, I was bummed to see miles 3, 4, and 5 tick a well past 10 minute mile. But I didn’t try and speed up after the first time I saw it, or even the second time. I just told myself, “Helly, this is what you feel good at right now so just keep going.” And then mile 5 ticked off the same thing and I figured, this is just where I’m at right now. It just is what it is. I’m fine.

It’s easy to become discouraged seeing times/paces you’re not used to. It happens to me a lot and it happened on Saturday. But I kept reminding myself that I was at the beginning of my training and the whole purpose of training is to improve. And I will improve. I know it.

I’d plan on taking my kids to my MRTT Sunday meet-up for a recovery walk while my husband did his long run but out of nowhere, my kids slept in! They usually are awake promptly at 5:30 but at 5:45, they were still snoozing. My husband said for me to go on and he’d stay with them and run later. I’ll never turn down an extra opportunity to run! 🙂

So I met up with my girls and decided I’d do an easy 4 miler. Most of the girls were going longer but my buddy Jennifer @We’reRunningAMarathon? said she’d keep me company. She’s also training for Chicago so I’m so glad I’ll have a summer training partner.


After running 4 out of the past 5 days, my legs were tired so I wasn’t expecting much from this run. But, I was so glad to see that my pacing was better this time around. Maybe my body is remembering what to do! 🙂

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 7.50.44 AM

I ended May with 56.24 miles. A lot more than I thought I’d run that month. Def win!

There’s week 1 of Preseason! I’m planning on doing more than running in June–I’m going to try and follow Blogilates‘ June Stretch Challenge

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and their monthly workout schedule (you can find that one on their website).

I know I need to do a lot of strength training, core work, and hip strengthening and I really enjoy the Blogilates videos (thanks Salt!).

I’m also doing a 10k a Day Steps Challenge with my MRTT moms. You can say that I’m a little motivated 😉

I hope you have a great Monday and week!! ❤ , helly

–How did your May total mileage look like?

–Do you train for training?

–Do you like to follow monthly challenges?

27 responses

  1. I think your pre season looks perfect – doing what you want, when you want. You won’t be able to do that as much when your training hits so having a relaxed attitude now will a benefit to you later!! I just added up my miles…I hit 238! It was also my peak marathon training month, so that’s why 🙂

  2. I think base building is always an essential part of marathon training. It’s such a massive undertaking that the training itself sometimes needs its own preparation! I don’t necessarily have monthly challenges with running, more about “lets see if I can go a month without drinking soda” haha. And I hit 220 in May. I was definitely happy to start increasing miles after taking some rest post Boston. Hope you have a great Monday!

    • Totally agree with you in that training needs its own preparation!!
      I’m not huge about monthly mile challenges but more so like the ones I talked about: steps challenge, water intake challenges, daily stretches etc. Last summer I did a 100 Days of NO Soda and I actually did it!!
      Super congrats on your May mileage!!! Have a great week 🙂

  3. Yay for getting back into running!! It sounds like you TOTALLY have the right attitude… this is the START of your training so don’t stress about those times. The important thing is you’re running and you are happy about it!!! 🙂

    I haven’t blogged about this yet, but after my big 10 mile race at the beginning of May (which was super long for me) I have been totally in that same dark place. I think I got really burned out I have kept my streak alive – I’m not ready to let that lapse yet! – but running has not been as easy or as enjoyable as it was all spring. I realized that something was off in mid-May and since then I’ve been taking it much, much easier and trying not to stress about slow paces or taking breaks in the middle of a run. I hope that in another week (or two… or three…) I’ll be able to come back with renewed excitement and energy just like you! 🙂

    • I’m glad you’re taking it easy now and that you’re feeling like you’re getting back to your normal self again. It took me a while too and I’m SO excited to be training for and looking forward to something soooo cool 🙂

  4. I’m so glad your little one is ok!! I think your pre-training is going great so far and I also think you’ll find your pace going back to what it was pretty quickly 🙂 Your body will definitely remember what it’s capable of soon! Aside for when I was injured last winter, I don’t think I’ve ever not been in training mode. Sometimes I’m in a “less intense” phase, but I usually have something on my schedule to keep me going. Otherwise I know I’ll skip workouts and not be so motivated :/

  5. I’m glad you’ve got your mojo back! This time of year can be tough to stay motivated because of the heat and humidity–that’s sort of where I’m at. But May was my highest mileage month yet for 2015, so I’m happy!

  6. I also really like breaking up my training into a “pre-training” phase. Especially when using a 20 week plan- that can be so overwhelming! I ran about 80 miles in May, which was my second highest for the year so far. Good luck as you begin your marathon training!

  7. So glad that you’re in a better place now.! I did notice that you didn’t blog as much and I know you worked really hard for Phoenix. A “pre-training” plan sounds awesome.! Especially if you’ve been a little out of your funk, you’ll be right back at it soon enough.!

    • Thank you Jessica!! Yeah, the funk combined with end-of-school year stuff kept me away from blogging. I’m really looking forward to some time off to train and enjoy running again 🙂

  8. I’m so glad your little man is ok! That must have been terrifying. 😦

    Training for training is completely fine :). I did a couple of months of that, this year. There’s always room for base-building!

    I’ve become a big fan of the whole running by feel thing, lately. And that’s when I started to see unexpected paces show up in training. I would look down at the watch, expecting to see something slower, and it was a nice little surprise to see that it was actually a little faster. And I bet the same thing is going to happen to you too. We can’t always expect our bodies to perform the way we want them to all the time. They’re going to have their days. And we need to them have those days so that on race day they’ll be more than ready to perform for us 🙂

    So excited about the return of marathon training week recaps! 😀

    • Yes, I def want to run more by feel and get/make my body used to running paces I want and comfortably.
      Thank you for being so excited about my marathon training recaps lol!! Sometimes I feel they can get redundant ja!

  9. Whoo so excited to see my first Chicago marathon training post in blog land!!!!!

    I could relate to this post so much. After my fall/winter season I was feeling kind of down about training, and then I developed hip bursitis which forced me into super low mileage for a few weeks. Now I’m feeling super pumped up and ready to GO for Chicago… you know, once I kick this bronchitis thing! Stupid cold. How is it 2015 and we still don’t have a cure for coughing?!

    • Oh no!! You’ve been going through some major tough times 😦 It was bronchitis that sidelined me in Phoenix–I hope you recover soon!! It felt like eternity for me too 😦 Sending healthy vibes your way!!!!

  10. Building a base is super important and with a 20 week plan I think you are wise to make the first two exactly what you are. 20 is definitely a lot and you know what you need. And of course your body remembers. Just wait til you start really training, you will see your miles come back like they were before. May was a good month for me. I ended up running 175 miles, the most since the New Year….not bad for a big old pregnant lady 🙂

  11. That must have been so scary! I’m glad to hear your son is ok! May was an off month for me. I kind of lost my motivation after SLO, which was odd since I was actually proud of how I handled that race. You’d think I would have been raring to run. I’m hoping to get back on the training wagon in the next week or so, I too am not a fan of the paces I’ve been seeing lately. Good luck with training!

  12. I know how you feel with marathon performance and kid knocking his head. It sucks! Sounds like you are on the right track – just be patient!!! (soooooo easy to say, I know!) Sometimes the best thing to do is just run and forget the paces. Don’t even look!

  13. Glad your little boy is ok!
    Summer is all about slow paces. I would hardly attribute your paces to being out of shape- I imagine a lot of it is simply the heat. I know I’ve slowed down quite a bit, but I’m fighting with the humidity out here too :p
    Come fall, we’ll be in fantastic shape & suddenly running will feel easy again when the weather changes. It’s easily my favorite time of year as a runner 🙂
    I love challenges! They motivate me to incorporate some type of strength training outside yoga or body pump. I’m doing a push up challenge using the app “30 Days” right now 😀

    • Ooooh, push ups!! I should really do those! My arm strength is well, non-existent.
      Yeah, I have to remind myself that the heat makes a difference. Fall will come and hopefully this heat training will have made me stronger 🙂