Chicago Marathon Training: Week 4 Recap

I hope everyone had a great weekend and that those stateside had a *blast* celebrating our Independence 🙂

It was another solid week of training for me, thankfully. I’m very, very pleased that I’ve been able to maintain consistency in my workouts (even if I don’t always do the prescribed mileage). I know that when I go back to work in August it’s going to get tough squeezing everything in so I’m glad I will have had two good months of setting up good habits and establishing a strong base leading up to the final two months of training.

Monday is bike day and I’ve been riding for 45 minutes each week and this particular Monday, I was able to add an additional half mile in the same amount of time.

From 10.25 to 10.75 -- It's the little things :D

From 10.25 to 10.75 — It’s the little things 😀

Tuesday was the last day of June so I ran 1 mile in the morning to complete my One Mile June Challenge my MRTT group had going. I was to run a mile early in the month and one at the end and hope for improvement.


Left: June 1st; Right: June 30th

Unfortunately, there was no improvement but I was at least satisfied that the difference was only 10 seconds away and that I was still under 8:00. My buddies on Instagram and Facebook made me feel better by reminding me that it’s been insanely hot here, more so than in the beginning of the month–that could definitely influence my time.

In the evening, I met up with my running friends at a local shoe store for a 3 miler. I don’t know what it is about this Tuesday run but it’s where I’ve been testing out my progressive run. I’m kinda wanting to try it for longer distance.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 9.42.06 AM

I was very pleased to see the negative splits and even more so at the times that they were. Obviously, it’s easier to negative split if you start out slower than usual but for me, that 9:34 first mile is actually pretty fast lol! And then to finish with an 8 something mile, super yay!

Wednesday I headed out to the track for some speed work. I’ve been struggling with this–not with going to track but actually putting effort into the drills. I allow myself to succumb to the excuses of it being hot and then don’t try. But I found myself lining up with a veteran runner in our group and I told her that I was going to try and keep pace with her. She’s a very strong runner and faster than me, but not fast to where I couldn’t keep her within my sight.

The drill was 3x mile repeats. After a warm up, we got going and were chatting along as we ran. The first mile beeped 8:37 and I was super pleased. I knew that if I had been running on my own, there was no way I would see that pace.

Mile two– 8:41
Mile three– 8:33

This was a tough workout and I was so, so happy that I pushed myself. I know I need to do that more often as I feel like I often don’t give myself enough credit. I can run fast.

I was able to make it again to my run club’s 5 at 5 Thursday morning. My buddy, Runner Jenny, was only going 4 since she had to make it work so I decided to run 4 with her. It surprisingly felt easy considering my tough run the evening before, the heat (it was 88 degrees at 5 in the morning), and the humidity (51%). I didn’t push myself but just kept a relaxed pace, 9:44/average.

Fridays are typically rest days but the family headed to the zoo early and I got in a couple of miles walking around with the kids. We did get a ride from a camel though to give our legs a little rest:

Hump Daaaay!!!! Except not, it was Friday :D

We weren’t having fun at all. 😀

My run club had a 4th of July fun 5k early Saturday so we took the kids to the park and I ran the “race” with my friends. It was super fun and relaxed and I was able to cool off with an ice bath right after:


I moved my long run to Sunday because of the holiday run the day before. I knew many of my friends would be unavailable from celebrating the night before but one fellow MRTT mom joined me for my 8 miler.

I kept it steady at my long run pace–which has been 10:00/mile. I’ve been making a conscious effort to keep my Long Slow Distance runs slow and 10 minutes has seem to be the perfect pace. I’ve heard your long runs should be about 30-60 seconds slower than your race pace (ETA: this range can also be 60-90, 90-120. It’s what’s most comfortable for you) which is right around what I hope my race pace will be: 9-9:30.

Week 1 Long Run: 9 miles/9:56 average
Week 2 Long Run: 11miles/ 9:59 average
Week 3 Long Run: 8 miles/10:04 average
Week 4 Long Run: 8 miles/10:07 average

I’ve been consistently finishing each long run with faster miles; the last 2 miles usually about 15-30 seconds faster. I like that I’m finishing the long runs with energy to do so and also feeling like I could continue on for longer if needed.

I also included quite a few strength training videos–core, glute, arms, and legs, and met my hydration goals, finished the week with 22 miles and the month of June with 82.5 miles.

So far, so good!!

I hope everyone has a great week!! Happy July! ❤ , helly

–Do you run your long runs slower than your anticipated race pace?

–Have you ever caught a ride from a camel? What’s your favorite animal to visit at the zoo?

–How was your June mileage?





Happy Hump Day/Month!!!

It’s officially the middle of the year as we wrap up month 6!! I can’t believe how fast 2015 is flying by…

It’s been a bit of a bumpy ride– I started off the year with Rock n Roll Arizona 1/2 Marathon finishing 12 seconds away from a PR. I wasn’t bummed about it as I hadn’t been actively trying to PR (I had during my 1/2 marathon the month before) but I was bummed I didn’t have the presence of mind to see/realize how close I was. I know I could’ve finish 13 seconds faster.

I chalked it up as a learning experience. Heck, to have two 1/2 marathons within a month of each other at that time (1:55)–that’s a plus in my book!

February had a disappointing Lost Dutchman 10k. This was during my bronchitis bout and I felt and ran absolutely awful that day. I finished the race in 52:57 in 2014 and in 57:41 in 2015. Just awful.

But what stands out the most between January and June is my DNF at Phoenix Marathon. This was the race I had been training so hard for and to not be able to finish….it still stings when I think about it. Not as strong, but it still stirs the emotions.

I let myself be sad for awhile after that day, and I think it’s okay to do that. I just didn’t let the sadness linger for too long. I knew it wasn’t because of me, that the reason I couldn’t finish was out of my control. You always hear people say, “Listen to your body!” My body was sick and I wasn’t listening to it. I know better now.

I’ve come away from that experience with a lot of positivity. I had a great training cycle for Phoenix despite not finishing the race. I was confident that I would reach my goal that day had I been well. And because of that, I know I can do the same (and even better!) for October.

I definitely feel these past 6 months have made me a stronger runner. I can physically feel it and I mentally feel it. I knew that after the epic year that was 2014, I wouldn’t be able to replicate that. And why should I try? It’s a different year with different goals and different challenges.

That’s what keeps things interesting, right??

I have a lot to look forward to the next half of 2015. A lot. I’ll be climbing Mt. Humphrey’s in August, traveling to Vancouver in September, running the Chicago Marathon in October, Ragnar and the USA Half Marathon in San Diego in November, and back to the race where I snagged a 1/2 marathon PR last December. Except for the latter, all of these things will be new experiences!

And really, I already had a pretty epic 2015 race…..the one I ran with my brother

I hope everyone has a great week!! We’re almost to Friday!! ❤ , helly

Unknown –What are your high/low points of 2015 so far? Any epic races? Any duds?

–What are you looking forward to the next 6 months?