Rock N Roll Chicago Training – Week 7

This week was exactly what I needed. I went into this week lacking confidence and seriously considering revising my goals for Chicago.  The runs the past two weeks had been so tough and my paces had regressed so much that I honestly was thinking I was a bit crazy for trying to hit a sub-2 in July. Further, the stress of feeling like my goal wasn’t within reach was making running unenjoyable. That’s the risk you run with setting your heart on a lofty goal, that you’ll become so fixated on the goal that you’ll lose the joy in running.

This week, I decided to not care about my goal. I traveled to Chicago for work and just wanted to enjoy myself.  Not only did I really enjoy myself, but my runs were much better. Having fun while getting a confidence boost couldn’t have come at a better time in my training. Here is how the week shook out:

Monday: Planned-rest day. Actual-rest day. 

This was my travel day to Chicago.  I worked a half day and was in my hotel by 4pm. That evening, my coworkers and I went to Big Star for amazing tacos and a few margaritas….and tequila shots. I usually don’t drink like that, and especially not the evening before a run. I really had a good time though!

Tuesday: Planned – 5 miles easy. Actual – 5 miles @ 10:58 pace. 

I’m going to be really honest here: I was in rough shape Tuesday morning. Not only was I hungover, but I was having gut issues from my GERD as well as lady troubles.  However, I had arranged to meet Cyanne so I dragged myself out of bed and tried my best to pull myself together.  I knew she wanted to go at a slow pace so I figured I’d give the run a shot….it would either make me feel better or way worse.  Good news: it made me feel better.

The weather was amazing, about 48°f and it was so nice to run through the city with Cyanne as my tour guide. It was also so great to catch the sunrise at 5am!  I’m used to my 5am runs being really dark. The pace was easy and the conversation was great. It was the perfect way to start my day!

Hanging out with Cyanne to start the day!

Hanging out with Cyanne to start the day!

Wednesday: Planned – six miles. Actual – six miles @ 9:36 pace.

I took it easy at dinner Tuesday night and was in much better shape for Wednesday’s run. The temperature was really cool, 43°f with a cool breeze. I was amazed at how good this pace felt…not challenging at all. I ran along the lakefront trail and the sunrise was absolutely breathtaking. It was one of those runs that really remind you why you run….for moments like that.

Beautiful sunrise over the city

Beautiful sunrise over the city

Thursday: Planned – six mile tempo hill run. Actual – five mile hill run @ 9:43 pace. Splits : 9:49/9:36/9:36/9:54/9:34

I flew back to ATL Thursday morning, so this had to be an evening run. This run really surprised me. I decided for speed work this week to do hills so that I could sneak in some strength, too. I went to Chastain park, which is super hilly and an incredibly challenging course. It was cooler weather then we’ve had recently in the evening, but still pretty warm compared to the other runs I did this week.  It was 73 degrees but with a strong breeze. I really thought this run was going to suck hard. I was wrong!

When I started out, my legs felt really heavy, so I was surprised to look down at my watch and see my pace. My endurance felt good! I figured my legs were tired from all the walking I did in Chicago throughout the week. 

When I hit mile two and saw my pace was around 9:30 I started wondering if my watch was broken. Besides my legs being tired, this pace didn’t feel like I was overreaching. The hills got my heart rate up, but besides that, I was able to maintain pace. I cut the run short because my Garmin was about to die and I was spent. Really pleased with this run! After the run, I had to go home, eat, and pack my bags again!

Friday: planned – rest day. Actual – rest day.

I flew into Boston to see Brian for the long weekend! He moved up there this week and will be spending the next two months working at MIT. We had lunch at Meadhall in Cambridge which had a great beer selection and fantastic burgers. Then, we did a historical pub crawl where we had yet more beer and learned a bit of history. We finished the night at The Union Oyster House which claims to be America’s oldest restaurant.  Lots of walking and carbs in all forms!

Historic pub crawl!

Historic pub crawl!

Saturday: planned – rest day. Actual – rest day. 

This was the first day in almost two weeks I was able to sleep in and it was glorious. We didn’t get out the door until 11am! We had brunch at Area Four and then headed to Harpoon Brewery.  The tour was all sold out so we just had some (more) beer! I also tried their cider which was fantastic! The UFO White Ale had to be my favorite though.

Hanging out at Harpoon Brewery!

Hanging out at Harpoon Brewery!

Then I got to take Brian to his first ever race expo! I had to pick up my packet for the five miler I was running Sunday. Brian seemed a bit overwhelmed but played a good sport and even took my picture with my bib. In an expo first I didn’t buy anything at the expo!!

We then took a nap (glorious!) and had a great seafood and steak dinner at Legal Seafood. Afterwards we headed to ImpovBoston for a great improv show!

Improv show!

Improv show!

Sunday: planned – 8 miles. Actual – 2 mile warmup, 5 mile race (Boston’s Run to Remember)

Race day! I was really excited for this race.  Running through Boston is really special, and the weather was perfect….no clouds in the sky and 55°! I’ll post a more extensive review later, but I really enjoyed this race. I wanted to try to run it in under 47 minutes and I nailed it, finishing in 45:58! It was a great confidence booster and such a fun way to see part of the city!

Medal from the 5 miler!

Medal from the 5 miler!

Afterwards, Brian and I had a great brunch at The Friendly Toast.  We spent the afternoon walking around Fanueuil Square, having yet more beer and food, and then capped the evening off with a sunset cruise. My legs were spent but it was another amazing day!

Date night down on the Long Wharf before our cruise!

Date night down on the Long Wharf before our cruise!

Now, it’s back to the grind and the start of a summer without Brian. Luckily I have a fun girl’s weekend planned next weekend to celebrate Christina’s upcoming birthday! I’m looking forward to taking it easy this week to prepare for another fun weekend. Oh, and rehydrating…

How was your week?

Like what you see? Share it!

Jess

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