Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Week 4: Chicago Marathon Training

Um, that cannot be right, I'm already 4 weeks into my training for the Chicago Marathon!?!  It's crazy how quickly time flies, especially when you're having fun.  Though I have a HUGE goal for this marathon and want to do everything possible to make it happen, I also want this to be a fun and relatively stress free training cycle.  And so far so good.  Despite having some Achilles issues the past few weeks and the heat and humidity being insane, things have been going well, mostly because of my attitude.  Attitude is everything and I will not let the small stuff and/or the stuff that I cannot control ruin my training and race day experience.

Back to the training...this was a big week for me.  It was my first long run, I got some new inserts for my shoes to help with my Achilles/Plantar issues and I got to pace a 5k (yes, pace a 5k) for an extremely important cause.  So here is he recap of week 4...

Monday: Spinning and weights are the name of the game on Mondays.  This past Monday, I had forgotten my cycle shoes (they were in my car that was in the shop), so I had to teach in my running shoes.  I'm not a fan of having to use the cages, I prefer my clips, and just as I suspected, the change in foot position flared up the Achilles.  Luckily, with plenty of stretching and rolling, my ankle felt much better.  I was able to get  a few weights in but I had to rush off to work, it's a busy day at The Athlete Factory!

Tuesday: Track, ahem Treadmill Tuesday for some speed work.  Though I want to throw my phone across the room and shatter it into pieces when the alarm goes off, ok maybe a little dramatic but I would much rather get a little extra sleep and/or get some work done.  But once I get going, I'm good.  And of course I feel so awesome when it's done.  Went a little light on my speed work this week because every time I push it, I could feel my Achilles scream at me.  I feel like there is a fine line between honoring my body and pushing it.  So I'm doing my best to listen to my body and train smart.  Like I've said, I've got some big goals, but I can guarantee you they won't happen if I'm hurt.  Got to train smart!

Wednesday: I spent a lot of time stretching and foam rolling on Wednesday and did mostly upper in the weight room.  I went to Fleet Feet that day to get fitted for some inserts.  The lady at the store was so awesome and helpful.  I tried several pairs, took them for a test run around the store and settled on what I'm hoping to be the answer to my Achilles and plantar issues  It was back to work for a bit then off to teach yoga.  Though I teach one class a week, I really do not get to practice yoga as much as I would like.  My goal for the coming weeks, and for this training cycle, is get back to more classes.  I feel much stronger and healthier with a regular yoga practice.

Thursday: I had to flip my schedule around to be available to pace a race on Saturday, so my long run had to be Thursday.  It was my first official "long run" of the training cycle and I had a lot of nerves and excitement leading up to it.  My expectations were not terribly high for this one because A. it was my first long run since the half I paced a month before, B. it is insanely hot and humid outside and I knew that would be a factor, and C. My Achilles and plantar issues were still questionable.  The run started off pretty slow.  The humidity definitely got to me in the beginning and it took several miles to find my stride.  By the turn around, though, I had settled into a good pace, albeit still a little slower, but more consistent.  The last few miles were in the sun with little to no shade or breeze, so they were a little tough.  I ended up taking a couple of walk breaks in the last few miles to hydrate and loosen up my calf.  But I pushed through the final mile to finish strong.  Average pace ended up being around 8:35.  In the past, I would have been incredibly disappointed and beat myself up for the rest of the weekend.  But this time around, I am doing my best to stay positive and keep focused.  I have several more long runs in my future so I will need to make some adjustments to have better runs and ultimately a great race.
On a positive note about my long run, I got to test out my new hydration vest by The Orange Mud and I absolutely LOVE it.  (Click here to read my review)

Friday: Recovering from my long run, I decided to do a light upper body and core workout over at Planet Fitness.  It's sled day at The Athlete Factory (I will have to make a post just to explain the awesomeness of that one of these days) so though I wasn't working out there, I got my fitness on coaching and moving around 45lb plates.  Then Hunter and I grabbed some lunch, picked the kids up early to ride the SunRail and then spent a relaxing evening a home.  It was an early wake up call for this pacer!

Saturday: After the tragic shooting at Pulse night club earlier this month, so many people felt compelled to do something to help out.  From giving blood to donating money and time, to showing up to various vigils, our community really came together to show support.  Final Mile Race Management wanted to involve the running community and decided to set up a 5k.  In two short weeks, the race director, fellow runners, sponsors and volunteers came together to organize and fund an event that raised over $100,000 for those affected by the shooting.  Thousands of runners at the actual event and virtually participated in the Orlando United 5k this past Saturday and it was truly one of the most inspiring and emotional events I have ever been a part of.  The running community is like no other and that light shined so brightly this weekend.  The love, acceptance and respect for one another out there was truly a beautiful thing to witness.  I was so honored to get to be a pacer for this event and got to meet a lot of really awesome people.  In a time of such a tragedy it is amazing to see people come together to love and support one another.  Love truly does conquer hate!

Sunday: Finally a rest day.  We decided we wanted to take the kids to the beach so packed everything up, drove down there and discovered a random storm was coming through.  So we turn around and came back to the pool.  There wasn't a cloud in the sky at our house so it was a super fun afternoon for the fam at the pool.  Then it was back to the grind.

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