Chicago Marathon Training: Week 5 Recap

Hi all!! I hope everyone had a good weekend as we enter MID JULY!! Where has the time gone??

I know what I’ve been doing–running!! And this week was a pretty good week in that department.

Last Monday I spent my usual 45 minutes on the bike and did a few core strengthening videos at home. Nothing too exciting.

Tuesday morning I had all the intentions of doing some strength training videos but I had my monthly lady visitor (sorry guys, tmi) and I was not in the mood for anything at all. In fact, I pretty much laid in bed all day until it was time for me to run.

I made it out to my run club at 6 and had 5 miles on the plan. It was super hot–nothing new–and I wasn’t feeling well. I think that’s why I ran so fast, 9:17/mile–I wanted to get it over with lol!

Hot run.

Hot run.

I still wasn’t myself Wednesday and continued to rest until it was time for me to run. Wednesdays are speed work days with my run club so I made it out to the track with the hopes I could muster the energy for a good run.

On the plan were 6x800s. My coach asked me what my goal pace was (4:00-05) and he said he’d pace me. This was both a good and bad thing. Good because it would hold me accountable, bad because it would hold me accountable.

I nailed the first 800 at 4:04 and the second at 4:02. Things were getting speedy with the third one at 3:58 and the fourth one was back at 4:03.

I was loving the consistency; I was on a roll!!

And then my hands started to itch….

here we go again. 😦 I let my coach know I was feeling an allergy attack coming and that I was going to have to cut the workout short.

I was super bummed.

Thursday morning I managed to crawl myself out of bed to run with the 5 at 5 crew. I was still feeling the effects of the previous night’s Benedryl so I took the 5 miles nice and easy, 10:09/average.

Friday was a rest day I took full advantage of.

My long run schedule for Saturday had 14 miles and I knew I would have to have an early start. I woke up before my alarm (at 3:15!!) and in my still half asleep brain, forgot to pack fuel in my water pack! I didn’t realize this until I had already met up with my friend crazy enough to run with me at 4 in the morning. She had extra fuel I could use but I was worried as it was not anything I had tried before.

The plan was to run 6 miles and then meet up with the rest of our run club at 5 a.m. Our friends we were meeting up with had 8 miles on their schedule so it worked out perfectly in that I’d have company for my entire run.

My splits for this run were all over the place. From the start, I just couldn’t get into a good rhythm.

Nowhere near as consistent as my 800s on Wednesday lol!

Nowhere near as consistent as my 800s on Wednesday lol!

When we finally met up with my 5 a.m. friends, my 4 a.m. buddy needed a potty break so I hung out with the other gals. While I waited, I took the unfamiliar Gu and knew it was not going to work (Mocha is not my go-to flavor). My other friend had some Honey Stinger chews (which are super yummy) but I think with the combination of that and mocha, my stomach was just not feeling it. I had to stop to use the restroom when I got to mile 8.

And it was just hard to get going. I couldn’t maintain a steady pace and the whole run just felt uncomfortable. When we got to the bridge that signaled one mile left, I did some quick math in my head and saw that I was near to averaging my goal LSD pace of 10:00/mile. I’d have to pull off a pretty fast mile 14 to help pad the average but I’ve been liking finishing strong anyway so I went for it. Mile 14 was 9:06!

Splits still all over the place but yay last mile!

Splits still all over the place but yay last mile!

It was a tough run but I was still very pleased that I got it done. Plus, it’s these tough ones that make us mentally stronger, right?

Total mileage for the week: 26

–How do you get yourself into a nice rhythm when you just feel off?
–Do you have a preferred flavor/type of fuel?

I hope everyone has a Happy Monday!! ❤ , helly



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?





Chicago Marathon Training: Week 3 Recap

Happy Monday!

I feel like Weeks 3+ are when the real deal starts. Like, you’re excited and gung ho about training at the start but once you’re settled into a plan and the weeks go by, that’s when the discipline really starts happening.

Monday is cross training day so I spent 45 minutes on the bike (10.25 miles) and worked out core, hips, and glutes.

I took advantage of grandma being in town and met up with my run club’s Tuesday morning 5 at 5. I always want to go to these because it’s such a fun group and it makes the miles fly by. But it’s tough with my work schedule since I have my super loooong commute. I’m on summer break now, so yay!!

It was still a tough run though. The overall average was good but my splits were all over the place as I tried to keep up with a friend who was doing intervals (I did one ja!) before turning around at the 2.5 mile mark.

My Garmin was being super weird and said that I’d done this run in the future and not at 5 a.m. Huh? Get it together Garmin!

Apparently, I time traveled last Tuesday to today!!

Apparently, I time traveled last Tuesday to today!!

As I type this, it’s not even 10:41 lol!

Wednesday morning I did some more core work and worked out my legs a bit. Then I hit the track a little early before my run club buddies to get some extra circles in under the watchful eyes of the tiger.

4 miles at the track #TeamRMHC

4 miles at the track #TeamRMHC

I was up early again on Thursday for round two 5 at 5. This time, even though my overall pace was almost exactly the same as Tuesday, the run felt muuuch better and I felt like the miles were done with a much more comfortable effort.

It was the shirt. #WeRunSocial

It was the shirt. #WeRunSocial

Got in some arm and core work in the afternoon for an overall great Thursday.

Friday was a rest day. It was welcomed.

My husband and I woke up early on Saturday with 13 on our schedule. We were able to do our long runs on the same weekend day since grandma was still here (she left today 😦 ). He immediately got going though and I didn’t see him after we started–which was unfortunate because I ended up cutting my run short. I can do Arizona heat but humidity? Oh boy….

I had 3 friends keeping me company and we struggle bussed our way through the run. Two of them only had 6 miles on their plans and my other friend was going to finish the long run with me (I love my girls).

So after we dropped off the 6 milers, my friend Raq and I continued on. I told her I was going to cut it at 10 and she said for me to do my thing; she was just along for the ride. We got to mile 7 before I said 8 would be enough.

I was bummed I couldn’t get my full long run in but I also knew that I had a long training ahead of me. Cutting one long run short wasn’t going to be the worst thing ever. Plus, it was the third week of increased long runs–9, 11, and 13. I had gotten in the 9 and 11, so cutting back the 13 to 8 didn’t seem all that bad…or maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better? Lol!!

I waited for my husband and when I saw him turn the corner I could tell that he was struggling as well. He had done the full 13 and told me that he sooo wanted to have cut the run short too.

My splits:

at 5 in the morning!!

The weather at 5 in the morning!!

I was happy I was able to still maintain the long run average pace of 10:00/mile I’ve been doing despite the heat/humidity struggles.

Overall, a good week. I met my 10K Steps 6/7 days, got in 22 miles for the week, and was able to do some strength training. I’m working on my diet but holy hell, that’s so hard. When you think about it, there’s a lot we have to do when training–getting the miles in, strength training, hydrating, eating right, getting sleep–sheesh!!! 😀

I hope everyone has a fantastic week!!! ❤ , helly

–Pick your poison: Heat or Humidity?

–Do you feel guilty cutting long runs short?

–What’s the hardest thing for you during training? (Me, my diet for sure!)