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! 🙂

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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?

Mid-Week Musings (Sick Edition)

It’s Wednesday and that means

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Okay, I’m gonna keep it real.

I’m hella nervous.

Not because of any time goal or even weather (it’s supposed to rain!) but because I’m STILL sick! UGH! Yesterday, I ran 4 miles with my run club and finished the run coughing up a storm. Everyone stared at me like a crazy person 😦

The cough isn’t even the worst part; my ears have fluid in them and it’s been making my head hurt like whoa. That is the worst.

Mine's a cold/cough/allergy combo special

Mine’s a cold/cough/allergy combo special

Yesterday at work, I went to our school nurse and of course she gave me the dreaded, “I don’t recommend you run.” Jajajajaja!! Not run!?! Blasphemy!! Especially since I feel like I rocked my training this time and besides this sickness, am feeling the most confident I’ve felt going into a race.

But this cough is for real. The ear pain is for real. And I need to accept that I might have to re-evaluate my goals.

It’s hard.

I talked to my husband about this at length last night and we both agreed that it’d be best if I go into to it as “normally” as possible. Let’s pretend there’s nothing wrong. 😀 But if I start to feel shitty and the body is not responding, then I’ll slow things down and reassess. And hopefully not DNF.

I’m happy to report that I haven’t cried. I’ve been totally mature (kinda) about the situation and I know that it’s something I can’t control. I can rest as much as I can, but beyond that, there’s not much else I can do.

Every morning I keep hoping that I’ll magically wake up 100%. One can hope.

–How do you handle sicknesses around race time?

–Any magic remedies you recommend?

Week 15 Phoenix Marathon Training Recap

This is it! I’m officially on my LAST training week of Phoenix Marathon. WOW.

Last week was a tough, tough week health wise. We were all sick and dad was out of town the entire week and this mommy was exhausted. I tried my hardest to make it all about resting and recovering for me. I’ve been soooooo sick and the taper crazies have been at an all time high as paranoia over whether I’ll get better by Saturday lingers in my head. My kids were also sick last week and either one or both of them stayed home from school the entire week. 😦

Luckily, it looks like we’re all on the mend. Fingers crossed that we all continue on the healthy train.

Okay, last Sunday and Monday I did nothing but Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate. My knee was still being funny and that along with my cough was stressing me out big time. Monday, I was off from work because of President’s Day so I was able to just hangout at home with my kids (who were also sick that day).

Tuesday, I mustered up energy to meet up with my run club for my usual 5 miler. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be considering how awful I felt. It might’ve been just what I needed to make me feel better 🙂


Wednesday I was supposed to go to track but I was just not feeling good. It had been a long night with my kids, my daughter especially, who was sick and wanted to sleep with mommy. I took a rest day and planned for a run on Thursday.

I was able to get in a pretty decent 4 miler the next day. Again, I felt good despite lack of sleep and a stuffy head.


Fridays are my usual rest days and my husband came home from his work trip 😀 I was SOOO excited for him to be home. I don’t function well without him and then on top of that, being sick made him being gone that much more tough to handle.

I managed to get a decent night’s sleep and my run the next morning, Saturday, was planned for 6 a.m. (sleeping in for me!). I met up with my run club and talked with a few friends. I was wanting to go 8 miles and most of my buddies were shooting for 6. I erred on the conservative side since I still wasn’t feeling good and oh boy, was I glad I did.

Those were tough 6 miles and they did nothing for my confidence level. My legs had the same heavy feeling they had when I ran Lost Dutchman the week before. I just felt sluggish and each mile felt like eternity. My average time definitely felt a lot worse than what it actually was: 9:33/mile.

But I got it done and I celebrated my last long run of the training cycle by heading straight to my daughter’s last soccer practice 🙂 Technically, next week is her last day but because of mommy’s marathon, we’re missing the official last day.

Goooooo team!

Goooooo team! (My daughter’s in the pink–total mommy fail for not having her in uniform lol!)

On Sunday I had big plans to go to a book signing. I’m an English teacher and I am always looking to see what authors are visiting the valley. Well a couple of weeks ago, I got an e-mail notification from one of my favorite bookstores that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was doing a signing of one of his young adult books! Basketball? Books? YES!!!

I got to the bookstore early despite having been assigned a group letter (I was C and yeah, it went all the way to Z!). My buddy and got in line and then one of the bookstore people asked if I’d hold the Group Letter for my group: my first official pacer job! 😀

I'm having fun pacing, not sure about the guy behind me though lol!

I take being a pacer seriously 😀

Two hours of standing later (yeah, that def wasn’t conducive to my tapering), I finally got to meet the big guy!



It was so awesome. If you’ve been a reader of mine for a while, then you know that I’m a pretty huge basketball buff. Getting to meet Kareem is definitely a top moment for sure!

All in all, a decent week. I’m finally feeling better and I plan on just resting as much as I can as the big day approaches. I’m trying to have the same relaxed mentality I had for Fiesta and RnRAZ when I went in without much stress and ended with great results. I think it’s harder this time because this is THEE race I’ve been training for you know?

Total Miles: 15 miles

Water Intake: B+ (I did good this week! Only missed 2 days and not by a lot!)

–How was your running week?

–What athlete would you like to get an autograph from?