This week marks my eighth week of training for the Chicago Marathon. I’m just one week away from the halfway mark of redemption in the windy city. This is the point in the season where the body is starting to get a little tired, and every ounce of inspiration – and humor – is appreciated.
“I’ve learned that finishing a marathon isn’t just an athletic achievement. It’s a state of mind; a state of mind that says anything is possible.” ~John Hanc
“Few things in life match the thrill of a marathon.” ~Fred Lebow
“First you feel like dying. Then you feel reborn.” ~Asics
“It’s not 26.2 miles … it’s 10 water stops.” ~Unknown
“The thirst you feel in your throat and lungs will be gone minutes after the race is over. The pain in your legs within days. But the glory of your finish will last forever.” ~Unknown
“You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can’t know what’s coming.” ~Frank Shorter
“If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.” ~Kathrine Switzer
“At mile 20, I thought I was dead. At mile 22, I wished I was dead. At mile 24, I knew I was dead. At mile 26.2, I realized I had become too tough to kill.” ~Unknown
“Toeing the starting line of a marathon, regardless of the language you speak, the God you worship or the color of your skin, we all stand as equal. Perhaps the world would be a better place if more people ran.” ~Dean Karnazes
“Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?’” ~Peter Maher
With 10 weeks left to go until race day, these 10 marathon quotes reminded me why I choose to train for marathons: They push you to your limits but give you the greatest sense of empowerment. They change you and make you stronger. They are full of surprises and unexpected moments that teach you about yourself, about running and about life. They are hard but they bring joy and laughter (when they aren’t bringing tears).
This week, I hit 40 miles in my training.
I’m proud to have hit that weekly mileage with my long run still only hovering around 12-13 miles. It was a confidence-building milestone on my way up to the high 50s or low 60s at the peak of training. This season, I’ve changed up my approach a bit:
- I’ve chosen to run higher mileage than my previous marathon training cycles to see if that will help me get to the next level. I’m running easy runs after hard days to reap the benefits of running on tired legs, which I will have to do during the second half of my race. I’m continuing to run a speed day, tempo day and long run, with 3 additional easy runs during the week, however, I will soon replace my shorter speed work intervals with longer intervals (e.g. 2 and 3-mile repeats) to build strength.
- I’m strength training twice per week at Barre3 (combines pilates, yoga, ballet and strength training), focusing on small movements to strengthen my upper body, core, glutes, hips, hamstrings, quads, feet and calves. (And I’m loving this!) I haven’t been doing much cross-training in the way of biking or swimming, but I hope to add one day a week of either back into my regimen soon.
- I’ve been utilizing some different nutrition aids, including EnduroPacks (4-part daily vitamin process for endurance athletes) and Generation UCAN before some runs. I’m still testing out what I think about both these products, but so far I like them. I’m still eating my normal pre-long run breakfast (everything bagel, hard-boiled egg, fruit, water, salt pill) and taking salted caramel GUs every 45 minutes while running (alternating with water and sports drink when possible). I’ve also been focusing on eating cleaner lately (or at least trying to).
As a reminder, I’m running this year’s Chicago Marathon on MDA Team Momentum to raise money to help save and improve the lives of people fighting muscle disease. You can read more about why I chose to do this and make a donation here. I would really appreciate your support!!!
Here’s what this week’s training looked like:
- Monday: 8-mile easy run in the rain with my pal Elizabeth from Running For Bling
- Tuesday: I was in Arizona Monday afternoon through Thursday afternoon last week. Tuesday morning: 3.75-mile run in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains in Tucson (this was anything but easy given the steep and intense hills); Evening: 1 hour of Barre3 class (I was so excited there was a location across from my hotel in Tucson!)
- Wednesday: 6 miles of speed work on the hotel treadmill in Tucson, including an interval ladder: 400, 800, 1,200, 1,600, 1,200, 800. I did these between 6:40 and 6:59 pace depending on the interval distance. My heart rate was right on target for all these intervals and recovery periods.
- Thursday: REST
- Friday: 12.05 miles with Elizabeth around Atlanta, followed by a deep-tissue massage and facial later that afternoon
- Saturday: 5-mile easy run
- Sunday: Morning: 5-mile tempo run with 3 miles at 7:35 pace; Afternoon: 1 hour Barre3
What goal race are you training for, and how is your training going? What is one of your favorite marathon quotes?