Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon Weeks 6-8

So it's been a long time since I last posted. I have still been getting in my training, but some other stuff has come up in the mean time. Mostly another bout of depression (always a real treat) followed by a cold. Thankfully both are over now. The other good news is, even though my allergies are now acting up (story of my life), I finally tried the steroid my allergist prescribed for my Bad Days. I was a little hesitant to take it because I wasn't sure if the prednisone would keep me up for a week straight, but instead it just made me feel a little wired for six hours, but my allergy symptoms were completely gone. That's huge for me!

What else has happened since I last blogged? First, I had my birthday, and I had a great weekend celebrating with Michael and my parents. I'm also happy to be 23, because I feel like 22 still sounds like college age. I'm not sure why I care, since everyone who sees me will still assume I'm about 14, on a good day.

But in the biggest (and most exciting) news, I got a new job! I'm hesitant to say anything negative about work on my blog, so let's just say I already feel like a whole new person knowing I have just two weeks left in my current position. As a bonus, my commute will go from being 50 minutes one way to 20. Plus (and I'm so geeked about this), a trailhead for the Towpath is less than 10 minutes from my new office, so I'm hoping to get out there for a lot of runs after work, rather than coming home first and procrastinating.

I hope you made it through that big info dump! Now that I will have more time and be less beaten down when I get home, I'm hoping to get back into blogging regularly. Maybe I'll even recap Missoula from two months ago!

Anyway, I want to keep a record of my training for Chickamauga, but I understand if no one reads through three weeks of training! The main takeaway from this period is I've decided to cut out strength training. I'm glad I did it for some of the cycle, but it started to feel like a chore instead of fun. I know if I ever want to get to Boston, I might have to do some more chore-ish things, but right now I still want training to be fun!

Sunday, August 30

Monday, August 31
AM - 4 mi easy (11:14 min/mile)
PM - 10 min spin WU, NROLFW Stage 3A-1

Tuesday, September 1
PM - 7 mi easy (11:13 min/mile)

Wednesday, September 2
AM - 4 mi easy (11:33 min/mile)
PM - 10 min spin WU, NROLFW Stage 3B-1

I noted for this workout that my legs felt so tired and heavy from so many humid runs in a row. I am so glad fall weather is finally here!

Thursday, September 3

Friday, September 4

This has been my only unplanned rest day of the cycle. I was supposed to run seven miles, but I had my first round interview in the morning and then got stuck at work for month end. I didn't want to miss Michigan State's kickoff (priorities, people!), so I took a rest day.

Saturday, September 5
PM - 10 mi long (11:23 min/mile)

Run Miles - 25 mi
Bike Miles - 4.6 mi
Lifting Time - 2:01
Total Time - 7:06

Sunday, September 6

We celebrated my birthday with my parents by eating Melt and lemon bars. A very good day for eating!

Monday, September 7
PM - 4 mi easy (11:23 min/mile)

Tuesday, September 8
PM - 5 mi easy (11:02 min/mile)

Wednesday, September 9
PM - 3.8 mi hills

This was my second time doing four sets of hill repeats instead of two, and it was so much easier! It really shows how much of running is mental.

Thursday, September 10

Friday, September 11
AM - 1 mi WU, 6 mi tempo @ 9:55, 1 mi CD

Michael and I had a six hour drive to Illinois after work, so we got up before 6 AM to get this run in. It sucked getting up, but I actually felt great during the tempo miles since it was cooler and a lot less humid. I was very, very tired at work, though.

Saturday, September 12
AM - 16 mi long (11:22 min/mile)

Luckily our hotel was 10 minutes from a really pretty park that had a paved eight mile loop trail. It was awesome to get a change of scenery, and "only" having to do two loops made the run mentally easier.

Afterwards we headed to celebrate my grandma's 90th birthday! She was only expecting her children to be there, so all the grandchildren and great-grandchildren were a huge surprise. My grandma is one of the happiest people I know, and I'm sure her longevity is strongly related to that fact.

Then we were able to sneak away to watch the Oregon with my uncle, who is absolutely hilarious. A Michigan State win was the icing on the cake.

Run Miles - 36.8 mi
Total Time - 6:43

Sunday, September 13

Monday, September 14
PM - 4 mi easy (11:19 min/mile)

Tuesday, September 15
PM - 8 mi easy (10:56 min/mile)

The humidity was finally gone, and this run made me remember why I love running!

Wednesday, September 16
PM - 3.8 mi hills

I woke up with a cold (that I caught from Michael). It worked out okay because I had to go offsite for training, and there was a Rite Aid on the corner, so I grabbed some cold medicine and actually got out around 3:30. I went to the gym from there - I don't think the cold slowed me down, and my headache finally went away while I was running.

Thursday, September 17

I felt much worse Thursday, and I was a little annoyed because I had to skip my allergy shot. (You're not supposed to get them when you're sick, I assume so your immune system isn't further stressed.) However, it was nice just to sit on the sofa all evening.

And I just want to quickly note I'm not viewing this cold as an overtraining warning since a) I caught it from the person I live with and b) I got over it in only a few days, while it seems to be lingering for most other people.

Friday, September 18
PM - 1 mi WU, 6 mi tempo @ 9:54 min/mile, 1 mi CD

I called in sick to work because I still didn't feel well and I had my second round interview, so it was easiest to just be gone the whole day. Michael got us wings for dinner, and I ran afterwards. I was so thirsty from the wings I thought I would die, but otherwise the run felt really good.

Saturday, September 19
PM - 17 mi long (11:21 min/mile)

Well, this was the first run of the training cycle that didn't go according to plan. The last five miles were supposed to be at my goal pace, but I just didn't have it in me. I had a bit of a bonk (I suspect more from not eating enough on Friday and Saturday, rather than my fueling during the run), so I just stuck to my long run pace and didn't beat myself up about it.

Putting the last three weeks in writing is good perspective now at how much I was handling physically and emotionally, so I guess it really is no surprise I had a bit of struggle. But I just reminded myself, hey, I had run 17 miles!

Run Miles - 40.8 mi
Total Time - 7:27

So there you have it - the last three weeks of my training. I'm feeling really prepared for this marathon, and I know I still have lots of time to build on that. I'm currently debating throwing in a race to test my fitness, but I'm still not sure how to fit one in. Maybe replace a tempo run with a race and move my long run to Sunday?

This week will be a little tricky because Michael's parent are visiting (and will finally get to see our house!), but they said they don't mind at all if we run, so I think it will work out fine. And most of all I'm so excited fall is here! I forgot how amazing it is to run when it's not humid.


  1. Your tempo times are so solid! You are going to rock this marathon for sure!! If you want to race I think you have the right idea, just replace a tempo and shift your long run. Good luck!

    1. Thanks! It was a scary goal for me to aim for a sub-10 pace, but it's making feel good that I've been able to do. I think I might make a race on Halloween work - I love holiday themed races!

  2. LOL, I still have to recap a race from 2 months ago too! That makes me feel better that I'm not the only one. Great job with the 40 mile week! :)

    1. Thanks! And it's amazing how fast time passes - it feels like I ran Missoula a couple weeks ago.