Final Countdown – Rock n Roll Chicago

It’s race week!!!

I am so, so excited for Friday to arrive and race weekend to begin. I just love racecations and I’m really looking forward to seeing some of my favorite runners and to all the activities we have planned.

The past couple of weeks have been solid in my training. I’ve been going to yoga 3-4 times a week. The classes I’ve been attending are gentler restorative or deep stretch, and it has helped my legs get loose. I’ve also been good about cross training and trying to mix up the efforts of my runs.

Here are some highlights from the past two weeks:

– For the Fourth of July holiday, Christina came down to visit and we ran the Peachtree Road Race! Since we are not running Chicago together, this race for me was about having a good time with Chrissy. I was able to pace her to her new PR of 1:04 and we had a blast in the process.

Lots of fun at the Peachtree Road Race!

Lots of fun at the Peachtree Road Race!

– I hired a coach for my marathon training coming up. I’m not doing full blown coaching, but more of a “light” approach. Jesica is creating a custom training plan for me with distances and pace goals based on my current fitness and goals. Right now, my main goal is to run the entire marathon and finish strong. If I do this, I most certainly will PR. When it gets closer I’ll have a better idea of a time goal.

– In order to build my plan, Jesica asked me to run a 5k distance, so I worked this in as my last hard effort before the race. I did a half mile warmup and then totally surprised myself by running a 5k in 27:29. I’ve never raced a 5k, so I really didn’t have any frame of reference. This was a great confidence booster though. As a bonus, I plugged that time into a race predictor calculator and it said I should be able to run a half in 2:05 which is my goal for Chicago!

– I went to visit Brian in Boston this past weekend. He had to work Friday morning, so I took that opportunity to get my last long run of this training cycle in. Brian took it upon himself to map me out a route for the 9 miles and I have to say…he did a great job. The route took me to a pedestrian path that followed the Charles River. The weather was great and it was a relaxing run! We spent time together and one of my favorite things we did this weekend was an exhibit called “The Science Behind Pixar” at the Museum of Science. We also checked out the regular exhibits while we were there!

Over one of the bridges in Boston

Over one of the bridges in Boston

Enjoyed the trail along the Charles River

Enjoyed the trail along the Charles River

– In very exciting personal news, this week I accepted a new job! For quite some time, I haven’t been very fulfilled in my current position, but I’ve been picky when looking for a new opportunity. The right one finally came along and I am so excited to start.  I’ll have my first day the same week that I start marathon training for Richmond. Since getting the offer, my runs have felt so much lighter and enjoyable. I’m hoping to ride the confidence boost into the race this weekend!

Now, let’s talk goals for Chicago:

Secret A Goal: I still have a teeny part of me that would love to hit a sub-2. However, I’m not going out the gate trying to hit this. This goal is more of an “if everything lines up perfectly and I’m really feeling it” type of goal.

A Goal: this is my big goal. I’d really like to hit 2:05. This would be a huge improvement over my current PR of 2:12.  I think it’s an attainable, but challenging, goal.

B Goal: PR – under 2:12

C Goal: Course PR. I ran this race last year in 2:23.  If I’m not feeling the race, I’ll be able to do this at a comfortable pace and not jeopardize marathon training.

While these goals are important to me, I’m reminding myself that there is just a little over 18 weeks until Richmond, and I need to be careful to be sure I don’t overdo it. I have plans to take off a couple weeks after this race from running for recovery, but I still need to keep the bigger picture in mind.

Someone recently told a friend of mine about race day: you’ll know when you wake up if it’s your day. This week is all about the rest and taper, and then I’ll know Sunday morning if it’s my day for a big PR!

If you don’t already, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter for lots of updates and pictures  throughout the weekend. Even though I don’t use MapMyRun for tracking normally, I plan to have it live update Twitter throughout the race.

Finally, please let me know if you’ll be in Chicago this weekend! There is an official meet up after the 5k on Saturday, and I’d love to see you there!

Any last word of advice before I tackle half marathon #5?

Like what you see? Share it!

Jess

One Comment

  1. Well – you’re doing to kill it. I just know it. But – above that – we’re going to have an amazing weekend and run our 2nd Chicago half. So excited!!!!

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