Road to Chicago Weeks 7-9

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Relaxing on Kata Beach, Phuket Thailand

I’m finally at the half way point in my marathon training program! Nine weeks down, nine more weeks to go! I can’t believe it’s gone by so quickly. I thought 18 weeks would drag and that I would get burnt out after a month into training, but I’ve held up well so far. I’ve definitely had my highs and lows however.

Week 7 Bryan and I took an amazing vacation to Thailand, Bangkok and Phuket specifically. I had every intention on working out daily while in Thailand. I had packed running tanks, shorts, socks, running shoes, and my Garmin. I would run 5 days of the trip and get in a few swim sessions in the pool. That did not happen. Yes, we woke up at 5 and 6 a.m. everyday, but we showered, had a breakfast buffet and were out the door to explore. In Bangkok we visited temples, went to the world’s largest weekend market, and had fun in the famous red light district of Soi Cowboy. We had lost a day in Bangkok due to a flight delay in Chicago so we tried to cram in everything that we had planned for three days into two days. And it gets exhausting! I had come to terms that I wouldn’t be working out in Bangkok. Maybe once we got to Phuket with its laid back beachy vibe then I could run on the beach. Nope, didn’t happen. Again we were getting up at 6 a.m. showered, had a breakfast buffet and started our day. One day we took a speedboat to Koh Phi Phi islands and snorkeled and swam. The next day we took a boat to the Phang Nga Bay to sea and cave kayak. And the other days we beached it. Laid out on the beach soaking in the sun, walking the shore line, and playing in the water. But I’ll get into more about our trip to Thailand in my next post. So the one day that I attempted to workout…well, I took a nap instead. Hey, it’s called vacation for a reason. Bryan at least got in one workout while in Phuket. Week 7 total mileage: 0 miles.

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Does playing in the ocean count as working out?

Week 8 was a struggle to get back into the swing of things. After having an amazing ten day vacation in Thailand, I was pooped to say the least. And I needed a vacation from our vacation. We got back from Thailand Sunday afternoon and Monday I had to work. Talk about jet lag while seeing patients all day. After work I made myself go to hot yoga. Struggle bus. For the first time in my over three years of going to yoga, I fell asleep in hot vinyasa. It took every effort to get into simple postures. So I took my corpse pose earlier than normal before the rest of the class and fell asleep. It wasn’t until I heard the yogis around me packing up their mats and towels that I woke up. In yoga they tell you to listen to your body and what my body needed was sleep. Tuesday was a rest day because I needed to unpack and do laundry. That Wednesday I went for my first run in 12 days. I knew I was going to be a bit rusty and I had lost all the momentum I had built during weeks 4 to 6. I did a 7 mile easy pace at 9:50 pace. It definitely wasn’t easy. I had to put in work to get to those 7 miles, but at least I did it. And the bright side? My left Achilles, ankle, and foot did not hurt at all. Maybe I really needed a week off to recover. I took a rest day on Thursday because I knew I had a 14 miler on Friday. I luckily had Friday off since I had to work Saturday. So Friday, I slept in, went to Earth Fare to stock up on some fresh produce, visited my friend at the salon, and relaxed. I kept putting off my run. I was still so tired from jet lag. So when Bryan got home from work he laced up for his 20 mile run. It was the motivation I needed to get my butt in gear. And surprisingly the 14 mile run felt great. I did an easy pace at 10:14 and my legs didn’t feel tired at all and it was my longest run thus far. Saturday was a rest day since I had to work and because I was registered for my first triathlon on Sunday. I used my sprint triathlon as both my cross training day and my tempo run. It was nice to breakup the monotony of running by swimming and biking also. And running off of the bike didn’t feel bad at all. It actually felt better, like I was warmed up so my average 5K pace was 8:47. Week 8 total mileage: 24.1 miles + sprint triathlon (500m swim & 20K bike) & 1 hot yoga vinyasa session.

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7M at easy pace wasn’t so easy after taking 12 days off for my Thailand Vacation….but worth it!
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5K portion of the Tri Indy Sprint Triathlon

I started off week 9 with hot yoga on Monday. The best way to start the week in my opinion. Tuesday was a rest day for some reason, not really sure why. Wednesday was my first day of 800m intervals. It should have been my third session, but life got in the way. It was definitely hard going from 400m repeats to 800m repeats. I couldn’t go as fast as my 400’s. My 800m repeats ranged from 7:11 pace to 7:50 pace. I was pleased that I kept them all under 8:00 minute pace. Next time I’d like to keep them all under 7:30 pace. Thursday was another rest day because I got too excited when I came home from work to see a surprise triathlon bike waiting for me! So obviously I had to get acquainted with my new Quintana Roo. Friday was also a rest day because Saturday I had a 15 mile run planned. I slept in Saturday morning because I don’t get to very often. Had oatmeal and instead of starting my run while it was still relatively cool, I got distracted. I did laundry, cleaned, organized, and relaxed with the furbabies. Then at 2:00 I was finally ready to start my run. However, when I turned on my Garmin GPS it wouldn’t turn on. It was dead. I charged my Garmin watch all night and it was dead! Shut the front door! I was pissed, nothing like a mental blow of not having your GPS watch to track your mileage and pace for your biggest run ever. So after a few minutes of freaking out and contemplating running my watch over with the car, I put it back on the charger and watched it charge for an hour. Barely two bars, but good enough for me. I knew that if I didn’t leave for my run now regardless of how much juice it had that I wouldn’t run at all. So I left for my 15 mile run on two bars of battery. I set out on a new route that Bryan had mapped out for me. It took me from 16th street all the way to the Whiteriver Greenway. I followed the Greenway to 30th street where it turned into the Canal Towpath. I then took the Canal Towpath all the way to Broadripple where I then got on the Monon to take the Monon back towards downtown to 16th street to my apartment. I loved the route. It was peaceful, not crowded, and an area I had never run before. Now it did have it’s sketchy moments where I was the only person on the path and I pictured some creeper popping out of the woods to grab me. But at least I had my music to distract me. I was on pace for my easy run until mile 8. I took half of a Hammer gel (I had to salvage my one gel because Bryan depleted our stock taking them to Louisville with him for his 2.4 mile swim, 80 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run). It just wasn’t enough. I could feel my body starting to slow down due to lack of nutrients and my watch was flashing low battery. Any second now my watch would turn off. When I made it to Broadripple, I walked down Broadripple Avenue to the Monon while finishing off my Hammer gel. I was jealous of all the people sitting outside at Chumley’s and Kilroy’s drinking beers and eating onion rings. I was tired, starving, and thirsty and it was 86 degrees outside. Somewhere on the Monon my mind took over and I was barely shuffling along. I could see salt forming on my arms and legs. I was so dehydrated. Finally, I found a water fountain and filled up my water bottle and shook my legs out for a few. That’s when my watch finally died at mile 12. Damn…how am I going to know my pace now? That’s when I lost all motivation. Since I didn’t know my pace, I didn’t have anything to push me the last few miles. As I approached the fair grounds, I became jealous of all the people eating fried food and playing carnival games. Why am I doing this again?!  Even though I was only supposed to run 15 miles, my route mapped out was actually for 16 so I could make it to the Monon water fountain to fill up. It was good because I needed water, but bad because I had an extra mile than anticipated. So that last mile and a half was rough. It was a mixture of running and walking. But when I made it home…I couldn’t be happier. It wasn’t the best run I’ve had but at least I did it…16 miles. My longest run yet. Sunday I took my new tri bike out for a spin. Bryan and I rode to Broadripple for lunch and back, approximately 14 miles. Week 9 total mileage: 20 miles + 1 hot yoga vinyasa session & 14 mile bike ride.

Now that I’m at the half way point there is no turning back now. My base mileage is complete and I really need to step up my game and get in good quality speed work and long runs. I have a 17 mile run this weekend, so I need to get in all my runs and get my mojo back. These next 9 weeks are going to come sooner than I think.

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5 thoughts on “Road to Chicago Weeks 7-9

  1. Nice work getting your miles in and bouncing back into after a long vacation- being away from home always makes it hard to stick to a plan- and when you are on a trip like that, what’s really important?! I say exploring and soaking it all up! 🙂 Good luck with the next 9 weeks- I’ll be there cheering my husband on!

    1. Thank you for the encouragement! Thailand was definitely worth taking a week and a half off for 😉 P.S. I love reading your blog, it’s very inspirational and you and your husband are amazing runners. He’ll do great in Chicago! Maybe we’ll see you two there!

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