Chicago Marathon Training: Week 9

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Good Afternoon and Happy Monday! This past week of running was the best of any training plan in the past! Mostly because I broke the 90km barrier for the week, but also because I got to participate in the Saucony Run Your World Tour event on Wednesday! You all know my favorite running brand is Saucony, so there was no way I was going to participate; I just didn’t realize it would mean two hard runs in one day!

Let’s see what the week looked like!

[ week 9 / 7 weeks until the Chicago Marathon ]

Monday – W09D01 – Recovery Day! I was pretty wiped after yesterday’s long run, so I really enjoyed taking it easy today. My son is back in camp and I’m starting my second week off from work. It’s been really nice sleeping in and recharging!

Tuesday – W09D02 – Steady Run – 12 kilometers/55:51/4:39 pace | (Strava Results). The weather has been a little wonky this Summer; it seems like every day it threatened to rain! Today was no different; in fact, it did drizzle a bit on my run, but if that was the only thing to happen on my run, I’d be pretty cool with it!

About halfway through my run, I was breathing with my mouth open and sucked in a bug! It wasn’t a tiny bug because I felt it in my through and then it was down the hatch! It creeped me out a bit and I wasn’t quite sure what happens to bugs if you inhale them, so I googled it when I got home and apparently, it’s worse for the bug than the human. LOL

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Wednesday – W09D03 – Workout – 2xLong Hills | 2×1,000m 2:00 rest | 2xShort Hills | 2xLong Hills | (Strava Results). I have a few go-to places for hill work and intervals, but not many places to go for both at the same time! Today’s workout called for long hills (500m) and short hills (300m) as well as two 1,000m intervals! To get this type of workout in, I turned to a friend of mine who knows the best spots! My friend Sherab suggested I do my workout behind Sunnybrook Hospital. It’s very close to my home and there is a really good hill that leads towards a few trails. Ironically, when I first started running, I visited this location several times; however, I haven’t been there in almost 4 years!

The workout was tough, but the change of scenery made it fun! Thanks for the tip Sherab!

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Bonus Run! Saucony Run Your World Tour

If you’re following me on Instagram, you probably know I am a strong supporter of the Saucony brand. I started running in Saucony running shoes almost immediately after I learned to run in 2013 and it’s the only brand of shoe I have worn since. All of my training runs and races (one exception being the North Face Endurance Series Half Marathon in 2015) took place in Saucony shoes. What I love most about Saucony is their selection. I’ve purchased shoes for long training runs, speed sessions, and racing. I also purchased trail running shoes with gore-tex to keep my feet dry while sloshing through puddles!

In 2016, Saucony Canada reached out and offered to help me on my journey to Boston. Since then, I’ve been a social media influencer sharing my love for the brand!

On to the event! Saucony launched the Run Your World campaign back in June. To get a sense of what the campaign is about, click here.

Tonight, Saucony Canada kicked-off the Run Your World tour in four Canadian cities (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary). Saucony teamed up with BlackToe Running to host the Toronto event. The idea was teams of three register for the event ($15 per team and all proceeds went to local charities!). At the start of the event, each team member received a race bib and a map showing three locations in the area where they needed to run to, snap a photo, and post to Instagram. The first team to make it back to the store wins! There were roughly 35 teams registered for the event!

The event was also a great way to hang out with some running friends I don’t get to see that often like Heather! I also got to meet Steph! I know her on IG but never met her IRL!

My friends Andy Saito and Charles Minor were on the same team, but Charles let us know he wouldn’t be able to make it. As we were checking in, I noticed BlackToe Running had some members of their race team and Saucony had one of their Hurricane athletes! Suddenly this was not going to be a casual walk around the city; this was going to be a race! Having done a tough workout earlier in the day, I wasn’t sure how my legs would react to the news!

Andy and I decided which path we would take to capture all three photos and after a few words from Kelly at Saucony Canada, we were off! Andy and I were absolutely flying towards the first landmark (3:30ish/km pace!) Just as we were about to reach the first landmark, we got passed by a few speedsters from BlackToe racing.

Andy and I blazed through the city and I finished in 5th place! Considering how fast the teams ahead of us were, I was really happy!

After the event, we took advantage of the photo booth and emojis as well as the vibrating rollers!

I was absolutely wiped after the event and really glad I got to attend to not only reconnect with the Toronto Running Community, but see my good friends at Saucony Canada! Thanks BlackToe Running and Saucony Canada for hosting us!

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Thursday – W09D04 – Recovery Run – 10 kilometers/51:31/5:09 pace | Strava Results). I was absolutely wiped today thanks to the double workout! My legs felt like jelly the entire run. With another big workout tomorrow, I tried my best to keep my pace slow!

Friday –W08D05 – Workout: 12km Progression Run + 2km cool-down | Strava Results). Progression runs are tough enough when you only have to do them for 8-10km, but tack on a few more kilometers and they are are really tough! Really happy with the way this workout turned out and I just realized I’ve been sharing the wrong chart when it comes to my workouts.

The pace distribution chart below is a better indication of how progression runs should work. I really nailed it starting at the 6km mark through the 11-12km mark. The last two kilometers were a cool-down hence the drop.

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Saturday –W09D06 – Easy Run (6.5 kilometers/33:45/5:11 pace | Strava Results). Super easy today after a tough week of running. Tomorrow will be my longest run of the training program, so I need to ensure I have plenty of fuel in the tank! I’m a huge fan of smoothie bowls now and the one below is probably the best-tasting one I ever made! My wife says this isn’t a bowl per say, and she’s right, so I blame foodies on Instagram for calling it a smoothie bowl! You can find the ingredients for this and other “bowls” I made by visiting my Instagram page!

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Sunday –– W09D07 – Long Run (35 kilometers/3:01:38/5:11 pace | Strava Results). Today’s run was tough but amazing! I had two things in my mind the entire morning; this will be the longest run of my training plan and when I’m done, I will surpass the most kilometers ever run in a week since I started running four years ago!

I met my buddy Dom at his house at 7:30am and we ran a few blocks away to meet-up with our buddy Daniel. Daniel crated the route for today’s run and it was a doozy! We started off on the railpath and then ran through High Park and Baby Point in Bloor West. We then headed towards Old Mill (one of my favorite parts of Toronto to run through) and then through the Humber Trail. The end of the run took us north on Jane and across St. Clair back to the start. The route is essentially hills on top of hills; great for building leg strength and getting really, really tired!

When the run was done, I felt sore, but most importantly, felt like I really accomplished something amazing! Running 95 kilometers in a single week may not seem like a lot to some people who run 120 or more, but to me it’s a big deal. Finding the time to run is one thing, but having the energy to do it is something entirely different!

So happy with the way things are going for me during this training cycle and I am really grateful for the awesome plan Coach Colin developed for me!

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Nine weeks of training down. Seven weeks to go!

Total kilometers this week – 95 (new record!)

Hope you have a great week and thanks for reading!

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