Chicago Marathon Training: Week 4

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Good Morning and Happy Monday! I’m now 1/4 of the way through this training plan! The mileage picked-up a bit this week and I had a really great long run yesterday! I don’t know what it is about this training season, but even though I’m working hard, I’m enjoying the process! It might have something to do with me not putting any pressure on myself to PR or BQ knowing I am all but guaranteed a visit to the big dance in 2018.

[ week 4 / 12 weeks until the Chicago Marathon ]

Monday – W04D01 – Recovery Day! Felt really good after the yesterday’s 30km long run. The Saucony shoes I ordered for my son arrived and I am really excited about going for a run with him now that he has proper running shoes!

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Tuesday – W04D02 – Steady Run – 12 kilometers/57:12/4:46 pace (Strava Results). What a beautiful morning for a run! It wasn’t warm at the start, but that’s because I was running through the Beltline which was mostly shaded. As soon as I popped out of the trail and onto the road, I could feel the sun getting stronger and it was only 6:30am or so! Kept it nice and steady for 12km!

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Wednesday – W04D03 – Workout  (warm-up |5x (2:00 1:00 jog | 1:00, :30 jog | :30, :30 jog) | cool-down | Strava Results).  Some of these workouts Coach Colin created for me are hard. The great thing about them is I don’t believe any two workouts are the same. What I do find tough is trying to remember how many sets I’ve done. Today’s run called for 5 sets and at one point I was second guessing whether I did 3 or 4 sets!

On paper (or at least on my palm where I write my workouts before heading out the door) today’s workout appeared less difficult than some of the others I attempted in this training cycle; however, after 1-2 times going through it, the 30 second rest at the end before jumping into another 2 minutes of hard running really takes a toll!

I used to never like workouts. Now I enjoy them a little bit. LOL

At the end of my workout, my good friend Anna was passing by and we snapped the photo below. I now see Anna and a few other running friends on an almost daily basis! I guess we’re all trying to avoid running in the late afternoon heat!

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Thursday – W04D04 – Recovery Run (10 kilometers/51:03/5:06 pace | Strava Results). I was hoping to get my recovery run in early today to save my legs for tomorrow’s insane workout, but I didn’t have time. To make sure I had enough in the tank for tomorrow, I tried to take it nice and slow. In the end, I didn’t go as slow as I should have, so we’ll see how it goes!

Friday –W04D05 – Workout (warm-up | 2000m, 3:00 rest | 1600m, 2:00 rest | 1000m, 2:00 rest | 800m, 2:00 rest | 2x400m, 1:00 rest | 4x200m, 1:00 rest | cool-down | Strava Results). My brother and his sons are flying into Toronto this afternoon, so I needed to get this workout done first thing this morning. Running hard for two kilometers is, well, hard! Then doing it again for one mile, then one kilometre, and a few more times is really taxing, so I took my foot off the pedal a touch for the first few intervals. Still happy to have all my intervals under 4:00/km!

 

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Saturday –W04D06 – Easy Run (6 kilometers/29:51/4:58 pace | Strava Results). My son decided not to run with me today because he wanted to spend time with his cousins! Totally understandable and we had to get on the road to spend the day at Canada’s Wonderland. My legs felt heavy from yesterday’s workout and I was happy about that; it meant I actually worked hard!

We spent the rest of the day walking around the amusement park and I was slightly concerned about what that would mean for tomorrow’s long run. Kept it pretty easy for 6 kilometers on the run, but I think we walked 10-12 kilometers the rest of the day!

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Sunday –– W04D07 – Long Run (33.6 kilometers/2:34:00/4:35 pace (incorrect pace due to GPS signal issues downtown) | Strava Results). Today’s long run was a test of mental toughness. I was a little tired from yesterdays trip to Canada’s Wonderland and I had to get up at 5:45 to get an early start on the run so I could get back to my family and my brother and nephews who were visiting from Brooklyn. The early start meant I would be running alone. Today’s long run would be the first time I ran solo for greater than 25 kilometers. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I hoped for the best and headed out the door.

My plan was to head south on Yonge Street from my home and once I hit the waterfront, I would run West towards the Humber Bay Arch Bridge and then back East towards Yonge. I carried my Presto card (Toronto recently launched Presto cards so commuters don’t have to carry cash or subway tokens) and $5 in case I needed to grab a snack along the way (I did carry two gels as well).

I was really surprised by how quickly the kilometers were accumulating. I ran with music and that distracted me for most of my run. It was also great to take in the sights of Yonge Street which change quite often from Eglinton Avenue to Queens Quay!

I stopped to snap a few photos near the waterfront and then again near Coronation Park to take my first gel and stop at the water fountain. I haven’t carried a water bottle the past two long runs because there are quite a few water fountains on the Martin Goodman Trail near the lake.

I was feeling really good and picked up the pace a bit as I approached the West end. I stopped once more near the 20km mark to snap a few photos and head back East when I realized I dropped my Presto card and my $5. I tried to figure out if it was when I took my phone out to change what I was listening to or when I was snapping the photo below at Coronation Park. Since I didn’t know for sure, I spent the next 6 kilometers running with my head looking down. I was also thinking of ways I could get the $3 fare to get back home (running home would mean an extra hour of running which would put me in the 40km range and my wife would not be happy considering we had plans).

Finally at the 26km mark and about 100 meters from where I snapped the photo below, I noticed a white piece of plastic on the ground. Presto cards are green on one side and white on the other. Because it was face down, it looked like any other piece of paper that was on the side of the path. I’m sure if it was green side up, it would have been gone. My $5 was nowhere to be found, but at least I could get home!

The rest of the run was a breeze, and a lot less stressful! I bumped into a few friends and ran with them for a bit, then headed towards Union Station to hop on the subway home. My GPS did get a little wonky as I approached Union Station which threw off my pace for my long run, but in the end, I could not have been happier with the way things went.

Running 33.5km solo was a HUGE confidence booster! I felt great the entire time. After the run, my family took a trip to the ROM and walked around for a few hours. I really think it helped to flush out my legs because I feel absolutely fantastic!

I’m having a really great training cycle and I’m feeling amazing! I can’t wait to see how the rest of the cycle goes!

 

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Total kilometers this week – 82.8

Hope you have a great week and thanks for reading!

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