August 25, 2011

Chicago Week Four


This week was an actual "recovery" week, giving me three rest days instead of the usual two. I actually followed my plan pretty closely (except for cutting the medium long run a bit short) and nailed most of the workouts, including a killer tempo run! This week was just what I needed since I'm now in the middle of a build week that is testing my limits!

While no running happened today I did get the opportunity to participate in a 4 hour training session on Trigger Point Therapy through my work. Not only did we get to learn more about the tools and how to use them to aid recovery, but we also got to practice on ourselves. I felt bruised and exhausted by the end but also felt much looser and I learned some awesome new techniques. I could feel the difference in my next few runs, reminding me that I definitely need to use my kit more often! For those of you who aren't familiar with TP, I plan on doing a post with more information soon.


run: 10 mi, 9:09 avg pace.
I didn't have to work til 11:30 so I took advantage of the later start and ran to work again. Commuting on foot once a week has become such a convenient way to fit in my medium long run and get it out of the way first thing. This week I felt great from the start and by mile 2 I was consistently within 5 seconds of marathon goal pace for the remainder of the run, even clocking a few sub-9 miles in the second half. Finished at the Starbucks near work to grab a smoothie before heading in to work!


run: 9 mi (4 tempo), 9:02 avg pace.
I don't know if it was due to all that Trigger Point I did on Monday or if it was just a good day, but this was just one of those awesome runs that leaves you smiling. It was longer than my usual tempo runs, but only had 4 at tempo pace so I just did a longer warm-up and cool-down. I had the day off so I waited til early evening when it had cooled off and it was just gorgeous out on the bike trail. I hit my goal pace, 8:30/mi, easily and felt smooth and strong with consistent splits: 8:26, 8:27, 8:23, 8:16. I often have to stop for quick breaks during my tempos, but this time I only stopped once to get water. I ended up back at home with a couple cool-down miles to go so I grabbed my pup and finished the run around my neighborhood. It's runs like these, even if they only happen once in a blue moon, that make running worth all the time, energy, pain, and sweat.

I also wore a new outfit for the first time and loved it! I got some compression-style Nike shorts to hopefully help with the chafing issues I've been having as well as a bright pink Nike tank. Despite the hot weather we've had the last few months I realized I only had a few tank tops, so I decided I needed to add another to the collection (even though fall is fast approaching!). The color is fun and the material is really light and airy. I've worn it at least 4 times in the last week! The shorts definitely did the trick, too. They have a tighter hem at the bottom of the leg so they don't ride up even a tiny bit, the material is ridiculously soft and stretchy, and they are the perfect length coming just a few inches above the knee. And of course, no more chafing problems! Both winners in my book.
my new favorite outfit : )

run: 5 mi, 9:24 avg pace.
I randomly had Saturday off and had a recovery run planned for the morning, but slept in instead and didn't head out til late afternoon. After having such a great run the day before I was hoping for the same but it was pretty lackluster. Not good, not bad.

run: 16 mi, 9:36 avg pace.
I set out for my long run solo this week since I had to fit it in before heading to work. I got started a bit later than planned but was pleased to find the morning nice a cool with a bit of cloud cover. I didn't really have a solid route planned; I thought maybe I'd do an out-and-back one direction then add on a loop the other way, but the further I got the easier a straight out-and-back seemed. The plan didn't call for any specific paces this week so I kept it fairly easy and tried to just listen to my body. I kept telling myself that long runs should be a bit slower than race pace and not to push it, and I consistently hovered between 30-40 seconds slower than marathon goal pace.

Not long after passing William Pond Park around mile 4.5 I passed an older gentleman shuffling along. Oddly enough though, as soon as I passed him he picked up the pace and started running just behind me like I had a shadow. I figured I'd lose him after a while, or maybe he'd try to pass me, but he just stuck with me for the next few miles until I headed back! I kept thinking I should turn around and say something, but then I thought maybe he just liked the company or was using me as motivation (or maybe just for drafting purposes?). Admittedly it kept me moving over the looong 3 miles til the turnaround (I didn't want to get passed by him!), so I guess I didn't mind too much : ) I stopped to stretch and refuel a few times over the course of the run, but in looking back at many of my long runs, I think I spend too much time doing this. I know that these are training runs and I don't intend to eliminate these breaks completely, but the clock won't stop on race day for me to take a break, so I'll hopefully be cutting back on future long runs. With my late start I didn't finish til much later than planned and had to rush to get to work, but made sure to make myself a recovery smoothie to take with.

swim - 0 yards
bike - 0 miles
run - 40 miles


  1. Is it just me, or have you gotten REALLY fast!? Holy bananas, woman! You are going to rock Chicago and I can't wait to be there to see it firsthand!

  2. I bet you are going to drop a lot of time in Chicago. I think we have similar marathon PRs but your runs this training cycle have been way faster than anything I've been able to do!

    I love spandex shorts, I won't do my long runs in anything else!