Chicago Marathon Training: Week Nine

The Chicago Marathon is just nine weeks away and it feels pretty crazy that I am half way done with training already.

Coming off of my calf funkiness last week, I decided to just run easy this week. I had a massage scheduled at the Y on Tuesday morning, and I was hopeful that it would get out the tightness and knots that were lingering around and making my leg cranky.

The beginning of the week was a little crazy. I went out for my morning run on Monday which was pretty uneventful. Afterward, I noticed that the water in the shower wasn’t getting as hot as usual. When I got out, I checked the furnace and was pretty sure the pilot light was out. My husband and I both tried to light it, but it wouldn’t catch. The upside to renting a home is that I just had to call our property manager to arrange to have it fixed. Unfortunately, the plumber couldn’t come until Tuesday morning. Since I do my strength class on Tuesday morning, I decided to just shower after class before I headed home. My massage was scheduled for before work, so I took my class, showered, went home, ate breakfast, got ready, and drove right back.

But then my masseuse didn’t show up. Annoyed is an understatement, I was downright pissed. The staffer working was really apologetic and tried to help the best she could, but I was pretty angry when I walked out of there. Though they offered to reschedule me with someone else, I got some suggestions from some fellow runners and was able to get in with someone elsewhere on Wednesday during lunch.

My Wednesday mileage bumped up to nine miles, but I just took it easy instead of running a tempo. Our hot water heater got fixed on Tuesday, so luckily I was able to shower at home which is what I prefer. My massage later in the day was really painful, but exactly what I needed. Thursday morning my calf still felt a bit cranky, probably from all it had been through the day prior, but I was able to get in my 75 minutes on the treadmill at an easy pace. I decided to watch Parks & Rec during that run and was reminded of how difficult it is to laugh while running on a treadmill.

Once the knots and tightness were worked out of my calf, I felt better getting back to some self-treatment and started heating it per Hanna‘s suggestion. When I got up for my run on Saturday morning, it felt about 95% back to normal. I had a lot of friends who had fall-like weather on Saturday, but it was still in the high 70s here that morning. Luckily, the humidity was down which helped a lot. It was a pretty uneventful run and I enjoyed getting to know some of my training teammates a little bit better.

I finished Saturday’s run strong. In mile 12, two of the other runners dropped back and it was just myself and another runner who is training for an ultra. During the last mile of my run, I did start to feel tired. Then those creeping thoughts started. You know the ones, “How am I going to run 26.2 miles?” “Can I really run a whole marathon faster than my current training pace?” “If I’m tired running my long run at an easy pace, how am I going to run a marathon at a faster pace?”

I still think marathons are pretty damn scary and it can be hard to feel confident during training when shorter runs at easier paces feel hard. Sure, there’s the taper and all of that, but anyone that runs races of any longer distances knows that saying, “Well, I’ll be tapered and there will be a crowd and a lot of energy,” doesn’t exactly erase those creeping thoughts.

A huge part of achieving my goal on race day will be overpowering my brain when it starts to tell me I’m tired and I need to stop. Luckily, these next six weeks of training before my taper will give me a lot of opportunities to work on that part of it. Fitness? Check. Speed? Check. Mental toughness? I’m coming for you. This will be a main focus of mine until taper.

On a non-running note, Saturday afternoon/evening my husband and I hung out with my brother-in-law. He has the new Nintendo Switch, so we went over to play some Mario Kart. After a few games, we were ready to switch gears. My BIL nonchalantly asked, “Do you guys want to play giant Uno?” I don’t know what it is about playing Uno with giant cards, but it is somehow way more fun and hilarious than regular Uno.

I have so many thoughts swimming through my brain about race day which I should probably get down soon. I will also be running a tune-up race within the next few weeks. I haven’t decided on a goal/strategy for that race yet, but that will be a nice switch from my usual long run.

Other than that, all I have to say is: HURRY UP, FALL! 🙂

2 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon Training: Week Nine

  1. Jennifer @ Dashing in Style

    Great strategy to run easy for the week to get you back to normal! Did you read How Bad Do You Want It? If not & you need to work on mental toughness, read it! I agree that it takes a pretty big leap of faith to think that training will get us to race pace on race day, but I think that for all races. Like for 5ks, how will intervals help me run faster continuously? But it does. Believe it!


  2. I definitely get those creeping thoughts too. I raced last weekend and thought the entire time “how am I going to run double this at the same pace?” I’m trying to learn to trust the training plan and just go with it. Good luck with the rest of your training!

    Liked by 1 person

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