3 miles at a easy/moderate place. Felt fan-freaking-tastic to only have to run 3 miles! The sun was shining, 70 degrees and I just ran. No set pace in mind though I did still check my watch occasionally. Old habits die hard.
Pretty happy to see I haven’t lost much if any fitness having not run for a week. I was smiling to myself, hard to believe just 7 days ago these legs ran 26 miles!
I don’t normally post stuff like this but I know body image is a huge struggle and “fitblrs” often promote the unattainable. Have no idea if this is true but puts it in a different perspective :)
Yeah I think 20 miles/week is definitely doable, even on the treadmill when the cold finally sets in.
I was thiiiiiiiis close to going for a run after work. It was a beautiful 75 degrees and sunny. All the soreness from the marathon is gone but my hamstrings and arches of my feet still feel a little tight so *sigh* I decided to pass. My goal this winter is to let all the niggles (hamstrings/plantar fasciitis) heal up and focus on strength training.
I read an article on FB from either RW or Competitor that talked about maintaining your running base during the winter to help keep your speed/pace so you aren’t starting all over from scratch in the spring. I had originally planned on taking the winter off from running but I also want to work on improving my speed next spring/summer for a fall marathon. New goal is to break 3:50. If I can reasonably maintain my running fitness over the winter then I should be able to shave 5 minutes off my time through training.
I suppose I should also reactivate my gym membership since this girl does not run in the cold.
Nope! That’s what is unique to the Hansons Marathon Method but is often misunderstood. According to the book, it’s based on the guideline that long runs shouldn’t exceed 25-30% of weekly mileage and that 2-3 hours is the optimal window for the long run. Runs longer than this in miles or time become counterproductive because of the muscle breakdown and the time needed to recover.
The 16 mile long run is much more than what it appears. With the HMM, the training has you running 6 days a week and is building upon cumulative fatigue. You’ve run a tempo and two easy runs before the long run and then you have another easy run the day after the long run then a speed work day before you finally get to take a rest day.
While this training method may not work for everyone it worked well for me and I will be using it again next year.
lanseerc and seechrisrun both wrote amazing race recaps from a first timer and experienced runner perspective that there isn’t much I can add.
So here are just my personal ramblings somewhat in order.
Cliff Notes Version:
- Chicago Marathon is without question one of the best organized marathons and has a phenomenal crowd support. The volunteers knew exactly what to do and were efficient. Hands down one of the best races I’ve ever run.
- Chicago is a mostly flat course. It has some inclines when you go over bridges, which none are horribly long or steep but they exist. The declines are really fast.
- Lock the porta-potty door
- Stick with your fueling plan, take water at every station
- Mentally prepare yourself that miles 20-26 will be the most challenging. You can tackle them but this is the point in the race that you will have to focus mentally and physically. Your mind wants to give up so plan your strategy to handle this. You’ve put in too much training to give up now, when you are so close to that finish line. DO. NOT. GIVE. UP.
- I didn’t walk at any point during the race. I think if I would have stopped at the aid stations, it would have been very difficult to get going again.
- If you follow the Hansons training plan, seechrisrun said it best “think of the first 16 like your long run and the last 10 like your tempo”. This helped me mentally overcome not having run farther than 16 in training.
- Don’t be afraid to self-promote and tell people about your race.It helped knowing I had people tracking my progress both in training and during the race because that held me accountable, no giving up.
Word Vomit Version:
Sunday we got up around 5am and I ate half a PowerBar and sipped on some water. We grabbed the hotel shuttle and made it to the race entrance gate around 6:30-ish. I said good-bye to Scott and went through security. I wasn’t sure how long that would take but I was through it in about 10 minutes and dropped my bag off at the bag check.
Stood in line forever at the porta-potties. Ladies/Gents - please for the love of humanity, LOCK the door when you go in one of these. I saw at least 5 “woopsies” while I stood in line. The lines were long and I was really wishing I hadn’t been sipping so much water. I made it over to my corral with time to kill. Aaand then I felt like I had to go pee again. Could I hold it for 4 hours? I had no choice at that point.
I was in corral F and we started right at 8am. I knew the tall buildings at the beginning of the race were going to affect my Garmin so I planned on just using the distance and total time for the first few miles. I never did see the first few mile marker signs, too much to take in around me, so I’m glad I didn’t try to manually hit the mile laps.
The first few miles flew by and I panicked that maybe I didn’t eat enough before the race. When I ran my half in April, I ran on an empty stomach and totally bonked. Because of this I started taking my gels way too early. I originally planned to take a gel every 4 miles but took my first one at mile 2 and then took my next at 5 miles, 10, 14, and by mile 18 and 20 I tried but just couldn’t choke them down. My stomach was fine, but the gels were too disgustingly sweet by that point.
Once we got away from the tall buildings my Garmin was back on track but my paces were all over the place. I couldn’t figure out how to run at a somewhat consistent pace so I aimed to hit the half around 1:55 and knew I would be on track. I hit it around 1:50 - beat my half time by 10 mins! Look at mile 13 - 7:16 pace!
Miles 14-18 were fine, still under a 9:00/min pace. By mile 20 I started to hurt. My knees and quads were aching, I’m assuming from running a few down hills? By mile 22 they were screaming, my feet ached. By mile 24 I wanted to die. My body ached but I just kept telling myself “you got this, the faster you run the faster you’re done, 2. MORE. MILES.”. I don’t think I hit the wall. I was slowing down and I was hurting but I knew I could keep going.
By mile 25 I finally recognized where I was on the course from all the YouTube videos I have watched over and over this summer taken by runners. I knew exactly what Mount Roosevelt was going to look like and how long it was. I no longer thought about the pain. I was determined, this was the last mile. I knew I was in the window to finish under 3:55. Head down and arms and legs pumping as fast as I could get them to move and I was over that hill in no time. I turned the final corner to the finish and have never been so thankful to see a short finish chute! BAM! - finished in 3:53:59. Goal achieved!
No post race photo so this one around mile 10 will have to do:
Stuck in front of not one but two chattering toddlers on this jammed packed flight and one adult that seems content on taking both arm rests.. Shoot me.
Thoughts and recap to come later. I’m very happy with this finish!