Training Weekly: Chicago week 8/16

Let’s be honest, last week is going to be fairly impossible to top. So, I’m not going to try! Instead, my goals for week 8 are to quietly reach the half way point before scheduling a mini break down about the fact that there are only 8 weeks left to go! Standard.


30 mins stretching

Despite a terrible night’s sleep, I was pleasantly surprised with how good my legs were feeling after Sunday’s race. Please tell me I’m not the only one who struggles to sleep the night after a long run? Looking back, I think my biggest mistake was taking too long to start re-fuelling. And it meant that I had the most horrendous restless legs. I actually wonder if I had some sort of mild heat exhaustion too. I just couldn’t drink enough, and I kept waking up with my eyes stuck together, like even they were dry!

So, after spending most of the day topping up my fluids with caffeine to stay functioning at work, I decided to skip my recovery run and opt for a decent stretching session instead.


5x 1 mile repeats with 2 min 30 jog recoveries

30 mins barre

If Sunday was a high point, Tuesday was it’s countering force. My head was all over the place. I just couldn’t settle to anything. Having missed my usual gym class, I finally talked myself out for my intervals at lunch time. It didn’t get a lot better!

I knew mile repeats were a tough ask after the hills of Sunday, so I decided not to look at my watch and just run on effort level. I knew that I wasn’t giving it my all, but I did nothing about it. And the result was a session that I’m actually fairly disappointed in. I’m not upset with my times (7.15/7.21/7.13/7.19/7.16), I’m angry that I let my negative mindset rule my legs. I’d given up before I’d even started and that’s not who I’d like to think I am. I’d also planned to go to an outdoor circuit session in the evening for a change, but in typical British summer style, the rain was torrential and so I called quits on that too.

So, after spending the rest of the day hiding from my adult strop by meeting a friend for coffee, I decided to cut my losses and do an online Les Mills barre class, for no other reason than it made me happy! And yes, I wore my leg warmers.


7 easy miles in 1:01:02 (Average 8.38mm pace)

After an entire day of torrential rain, I was lucky that by the time I’d finished work, it had dried up. In fact, it had turned into a beautiful evening for a run. The result was a much needed, head clearing 7 miler around one of my favourite places, Hengistbury Head.


30 mins grit strength

30 mins theraband pilates/glute strengthening

The usual instructor was off sick, and so today’s grit was an adhoc weights HIIT class. Actually though, the structure was great and it was really nice to do something a bit different. Being a creature of habit, I still resorted to my evening pilates routine. I actually find this really beneficial, and considering there are no weights involved, my glutes definitely know about it by the next morning.


20.20 miles in 2:57:59 (Average 8.49mm pace)

1 hour body balance

I was dreading this run. The thought of 3 hours, just felt impossible. And to be honest, after a very negative start to the week, I was really questioning my motivation to run a marathon full stop. As we were planning to visit family in Devon for the weekend, I decided to get my 20 miles done rather than let it loom over me. So, before I could talk myself out of it, I headed out of the door.

My plan was to run to Poole and back, but I actually had no idea how far that would be. So 20.2 miles was a fairly good guess. It seems that one of the specialist skills you develop as a runner is a unique ability to pinpoint the distance to various locations from your front door with remarkable accuracy!

The good news, is that in the end, I really enjoyed this run. I hadn’t run around Poole and Sandbanks for quite some time so that kept me interested. I was also listening to the Marathon Talk interview with Renee McGregor about red-s, which was brilliant. There’s so much conflicting advice for athletes, but I was particularly interested in her info on the newest research on fuelling with carbohydrates, and avoiding fasted cardio. Definitely worth a listen, and I was glad that for the first time this cycle I’d brought 4 huma gels to fuel my long run. The result was that it was actually a fairly easy run and I didn’t finish feeling sick for the rest of the day. Who knew!

As you know, I’m a creature of habit, and Friday night is body balance night….. followed by sushi….. again…..


Bournemouth parkrun in 27:54 (Average 9.02mm pace)

I wasn’t actually planning to run today. Although I’d been aiming to run a different parkrun every Saturday in August, we’d planned to head to Devon for a family catch up and wanted to get away early. Then one of my husbands friends wanted to run at Bournemouth, and as a parkrun newbie, didn’t want to go alone. So in the end, I trotted around a chatty 5K before we hit the road.


Rest day

I slacked off my 7 miles for family time! No regrets.

Woooooooo, we’re half way there! Oh lord. To be honest, I’ve really struggled with this week. I’m not convinced I can, or even want to race Chicago hard. I’m currently battling the two voices in my head. One is saying ‘pull back and rekindle the love’, the other is saying ‘it’s only 8 more weeks’. I’ll let you know which one comes up trumps.

Hope you’ve had a great week!


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