Chicago Marathon Training: Week 12

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Good Afternoon and Happy Saturday! I’m not sure why my last two updates took so long to post; actually, I know why this one took so long. It was mostly because I was distracted with Boston Marathon registration week. I registered on Wednesday and was basically checking email every 5 minutes until Friday evening when I finally received confirmation from BAA my entry was accepted! I’m going to write a blog post about my journey in the coming days/weeks!

[ week 12 / 4 weeks until the Chicago Marathon ]

Monday – W12D01 – Recovery Day! Feeling pretty good after yesterday’s long run! My stomach issues seemed to have been short-lived as well!

Tuesday – W12D02 – Easy Run – 8 kilometers/42:21/5:18 pace | Strava Results). The runs this week will be shorter mostly due to my race on Sunday. I won’t lie I’m actually happy about this as I was starting to worry about getting training fatigue! I even took it easy on today’s run and didn’t push the pace!

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Wednesday – W12D03 – Workout – 8x400m, 1:00 rest | 4x100m, 100m jog (Strava Results). Felt really good during today’s workout! I really like these shorter bursts of speed. I’ll do 400m intervals any time over 1000m-1600m! I know both have their advantages, but it can be harder to psych yourself up for longer intervals! Also happy to get this workout done in the morning! It may be getting cooler in the morning, but it’s much less stressful getting workouts done when you know you have more time.

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Thursday – W12D04 – Easy Run – 6 kilometers/30:16/5:02 pace | Strava Results). Today is the first of two back-to-back easy 6km runs. It’s so strange only running 6 kilometers, but with my race only three days away, I do need a mini-taper to keep the legs fresh! Kept the pace relatively easy today!

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Friday –W12D05 – Easy Run – 6 kilometers/30:30/5:05 pace (Strava Results). My second 6km easy paced run went essentially the same as yesterday except for this time I changed the route and ran on the Beltline so I wouldn’t get bored! Two days to go before my 10th Half Marathon!

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Saturday –W12D06 – Easy Run (3 kilometers/16:37/5:31 pace | Strava Results). 3 kilometers with my son! I could have done this run in my home it was so short, but my son has a race next weekend so I had to get him out of the house to train. He started off steady and on the turnaround, I challenged him to pick up the pace a bit. He started surging to 5:30/km and then pulled back. In the last 500m, I asked if he wanted to surge ahead again and this time he dropped a 4:45/km pace! It’s really going to be fun racing with him next weekend!

Sunday –– W12D07 – MEC Toronto Race #6 – Half Marathon (21.1 kilometers/1:32:23/4:23 pace | Strava Results). It’s race day! Spring marathon training cycles are better than fall for one reason; there are more options to test your legs in the late Winter/early Spring! There isn’t much racing happening in the Greater Toronto Area in the Summer with the exception of the Waterfront 10K.

I heard of the MEC Race Series before and have even come across runners participating during my long runs down by the lake. I’ve never participated in one of these events because they coincided with long runs I needed to do at the same time. What I really like about the race series is the no frills approach. There aren’t medals for finishers (only the top three overall men and women receive a medal) and they’re $15 for the 5K/10K, $20 for the Half, and $25 for the Full! You won’t find prices this low for other races anywhere (that I know of)!

The plan going into the race was to run it at marathon pace. I could have gone for a PB to see how strong I felt, but there was no way I was going to risk my anything with Chicago only four weeks away! Marathon pace for me is about 4:25/km.

I picked up my buddy Daniel and we headed to the start. It was cool (11 degrees); near perfect weather conditions for racing. I didn’t pick-up my bib at the MEC store, so we got to the start a few minutes early so I could grab my bib. Daniel and I hung out in the car a bit, then walked over to the start.

The race took place at Tommy Thompson Park aka Leslie Street Spit aka the bird sanctuary. It’s a flat course with two out and backs. While not a huge fan of out and backs because the turns tend to slow you down a bit, I do enjoy seeing people I know on the course!

I started off the first kilometer with a 4:32/km pace, then started to lock in on 4:25/km. I felt really good the entire time and focused on keeping my pace locked-in as best as I could; I fluctuated between 4:20-4:30/km paces. I also made sure I said hello to people I knew on the course! This helped keep me calm; something I tend to struggle with in races. Even though I was running at MP, it was still a quick pace for 21.1 kilometers!

I finished with a time of 1:32:23 which equates to a 4:23/km pace! Very happy with the results!

While it was a good day for me, it was an amazing day for everyone I knew who was racing in Erie, Pennsylvania yesterday! So many friends of mine earned their BQs yesterday and I’m most proud of my buddy and running partner, Dom! He qualified and ran Boston 2016; however, since then, he’s had a number of injuries that have kept him from having a good race. He went into Erie hoping to have final;y turn the corner and have a good race and ended up qualifying for Boston 2018! Couldn’t be happier for him and I’m really inspired by the way he never gave up and fought it way back! Congrats Dom and everyone else who qualified yesterday!

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One month to Chicago!

Total kilometers this week – 52.7

Hope you have a great weekend and thanks for reading!

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