Chicago Marathon Training: Week Fourteen

photo 1

Week fourteen was a funky training week. It was probably the most I’d fallen off schedule, so far. It kicked off with a fantastic long tempo run. After that, the weather reared its ugly head. High temperatures, crazy humidity, and a terrible storm all played their part in derailing my week. Real life got in the way, too. When it rains, it pours was true on so many levels. As Coach said: keep progressing with the plan. By the weekend, I was rested and ready to tackle my longest run of training – 20 miles followed immediately by 45 minutes of cross-training.  I worked the Philly RnR Half Marathon into my long run.  Turned out to be a huge confidence booster: strong legs at the end of 20 miles.

However, the best reaction to my less-than-perfect training week came from Beganics, with this tweet. Amen, Kevin, amen. A well-timed reminder that weeks like these sometimes happen, and they too shall pass.



Run: Tempo.

I love you, tempo run! Beautiful 11-miler through Central Park w/ 8 mi at tempo, on a gorgeous day.

Coach said this was a benchmark tempo, and should feel like I’m holding back. Indeed, the pace felt very comfortable. I’m kind of giddy over the fact that this comfy tempo pace was my 5k pace just this past March!

Smiling from ear to ear over this one.

Note: I programmed the run as a custom workout on my Garmin. Therefore, don’t have individual splits for the 8 mi part, just an average.

Conditions: Sun – 71F – felt like 71F – 46% humidity – 8 mph wind

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

Shoe: Saucony Kinvara 4  

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 15 min wu; 7-8 mi @ 7:30-7:40; 5-10 min cd
  • Actual = 11.05 mi – 1:24:37 – 7:39 avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (wu) – 1.85 mi – 15:00 – 8:07 min/mi avg pace
    • (tempo) – 8.00 mi – 59:37 – 7:27 min/mi avg pace
    • (cd) – 1.21 mi – 10:00 – 8:17 min/mi avg pace


Run: Easy.

If I cut myself slack based on the fact I was tired, and the heat/humidity skyrocketed again, then this run felt fine.

Also, ran around 1:30 pm. Hello, midday sun.

A bit sluggish, but overall felt okay. No comment on the splits. Don’t even know what was happening there. Brought half the bridle path dirt home with me on my ankles. Is it time for mile repeats yet? Would much rather be doing that.

Conditions: Sun – 84F – felt like 88F – 60% humidity – 7mph wind.

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 60 min easy @ 8:20-8:35
  • Actual = 6.96 mi – 58:24 – 8:23 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = (1) 8:36; (2) 7:57; (3) 8:47; (4) 8:18; (5) 812; (6) 7:59; (7) 8:57


Run: Easy.

I’d been out on my feet all day, was dehydrated, and the weather was incredibly hot/humid. Wasn’t feeling great, so canned the run. Wasn’t happy skipping the workout, but felt it made sense overall.

Coach supported my decision.

Conditions: N/A

Fuel: N/A

Shoe: N/A

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 60 min easy @ 8:20-8:35
  • Actual = 0.00 mi
  • Splits = N/A


Run: Mile Repeats.

This was meant to be mile repeats. But, I got caught in the terrible deluge that hit NYC.

Started out when it was cloudy, but the sky quickly became dark and the wind picked up. I continued to run along the west side highway bike path, noticing there were still many people out cycling and running.

The massive downpour and lightning hit quickly. The rain didn’t phase me that much (it’s just water), but the lightning made me jump a few times it was so close.

Eventually, I decided to call the workout quits when it was only me and one other woman left on the path.

Conditions: Torrential Rain – Lightning

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Type A5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 20 min wu; 5 min drills; 3 x 1 mi @ 6:45 (3:00 walking RI); 10 min cd
  • Actual = 5.47 mi – 43:07 – 7:52 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (wu) – 2.52 mi – 19:55 – 7:54 min/mi
    • (1) – 6:45
    • (2) – 6:52 (slowed down because I couldn’t determine my footfall in the heavy rain and with the deep puddles.)
    • (cd) – .76 mi – 6:34 – 8:38 min/mi avg pace


Rest Day.


Rest Day.


Run: Long + Cross-train

Built my long run around the Philly RnR Half Marathon.

Had registered for this race long before I’d signed up for the Chicago Marathon. Decided to build the race into my long run – on the condition that I didn’t run any faster than my long run pace (8:30-8:40).

Got out the door an hour and a half earlier than the race start to get the extra mileage in before the run. Knew if I had to run more after the finish line, it would be hard to get moving again.

Ran approximately 6:35 miles before the race, along the river and Kelly Drive. Such a quiet, cool morning. Not many people on the bike/running path there. Kept to the gravel path to give my legs a break, when possible. And, enjoyed the solo miles while watching the fog roll off the water.

I made it to the start corral 15 minutes before the gun time. I met up with Ashley, who was in the same start corral. We decided to run together and keep the pace relaxed, easy. Was thankful for her company, as we caught up with each other while running. Stayed together for 10 miles.

After parting ways with Ashley at mile 10, I dropped pace for the last three miles. Felt great to have more than enough gas for a nice final kick. Was a great confidence booster!

Tendons in front of my legs (from ankles to shins) oddly felt sore after this run. But they felt completely fine several hours post-race.

Plan then called for 50 min of cross-training immediately after. Hightailed it from the race finish to the hotel to hop on the elliptical.

Since I wound up running 5 minutes longer than plan, I cut the cross-training down by the same amount.

Conditions: Sun – 50F

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (2 packets, pre-run) + Protein bar (post-run, pre-elliptical)

ShoeSaucony Kinvara 3

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 2hr 45 min @ 8:30-8:40 pace; 50 min x-training
  • Actual = 20.01 mi – 2:50:06 – 8:30 min/mi avg pace + 45 min elliptical machine
  • Splits = (1) 8:22; (2) 8:13; (3) 8:26; (4) 8:23; (5) 8:23; (6) 8:30; (7) 9:02; (8) 8:40; (9) 8:45; (10) 8:56; (11) 8:44; (12) 8:42; (13) 8:49; (14) 8:45; (15) 8:53; (16) 8:56; (17) 8:03; (18) 7:58; (19) 7:50; (20) 7:35

* Miles 1-6.35 were pre-race; miles 6.35 – 20 were during the race. Official RnR half marathon time was 1:54:49 at long run pace.

Weekly Totals

  •     6 hrs 41 mins
  •     43.49 miles running

See all weekly workout recaps here.


5 Comments on “Chicago Marathon Training: Week Fourteen”

  1. I think so many of us can relate to this post- it’s hard to deal with weeks where it seems like nothing can go your way! It can be hard to acknowledge that sometimes things are out of our control. I’m still impressed with what you did! Good work 🙂

    • Thanks! It’s hard not to get a bit distracted by these kinds of weeks. But, def helps to remember that it’s the accumulation of training that matters…and not an individual workout here and there. 🙂

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