Rock N Roll Chicago Training – Weeks 9 & 10

Yikes! I’ve been so crazy busy the past two weeks that I’m pretty behind on blogging.  In fact, I haven’t even been keeping up with my Believe journal, which I’ll get back into this week.  Work has been especially busy, and not having Brian around to split the household responsibilities with hasn’t left me a lot of time…and the time I do have, I’m using to sleep! Ha!

The past two weeks have been solid in my training.  It’s still hot and humid here in Atlanta, but my body seems to have adjusted.  My times are better, but I just HATE sweating so much. Running with others helps to distract me, thank goodness.  And I’m lucky to have found running friends who are my kind of 5AM-run kind of crazy!

Instead of breaking down each workout, I’ll just give you the highlights.  I’ve been doing strength training once a week, as well as 2 easy runs a week, 1 day of speedwork, 1 day of crosstraining, and one long run a week. I’ve also been doing my yoga for runners class.  I haven’t been swimming because the later small group class I’ve been signed up for keeps getting cancelled, so I’ve been doing the elliptical and stationary bike for cross training.  This week, I’m going to try going to the gym myself to do swimming.  I’m nervous about this because I am still pretty self conscious about my swimming, but I know I won’t get better without practice!

The past two long runs have been 12 milers.  Last weekend, I met up with Amy to run at Riverside Park, which was a new route for me! We met early (6:30) but were still roasting at the end.  I ate like crap during the week and definitely felt it during this run.  It was quite a struggle.  It was a bit of a wake up call for me that I need to be better about nutrition…marathon training will be here soon and this will not cut it!  Thank goodness Amy was there to keep me from walking.  I’m happy to have found a running buddy who will also be fall marthon training, and a lot of our long runs should closely align! I enjoyed Riverside Park, too!

This weekend, I drove to Charlotte to visit Christina. We originally were going to run a 6k trail race and add 5 or so miles onto it, but the race didn’t start at 11am.  Since it was forecasted to be 95+ degrees and neither of us were actually excited about the race, we decided to skip it and do a long run instead.  Since both of our 12 milers the weekend before were a bit of a struggle, we wanted a redo.  I really focused on hydration and better nutrition (though I’ll admit still not where it needs to be) and this run was much better.  We got started a little after 5am and it was already 75 degrees….ugh!  My heartrate was high early, so we took a short walk break every 2 miles or so and really took it slow. Overall, I felt a lot stronger during this run and as always, it was great to share miles with Chrissy.  It was also great to share her route with her!  We then proceeded to eat and lounge by the pool for the afternoon which is just what we needed!

Chrissy during our 12 miler!

Chrissy and I during our 12 miler!

There are only 5 weeks between now and Chicago, and I’ve been thinking a lot about the race and my goals for it.  I’ve decided to revise my goals for this race.  While I’m certainly going to go out and give the race my best effort, I want to still enjoy the race and not be disappointed with my results.  Additionally, I don’t want to over-do it since I’m start marathon training the following week. My current PR is a 2:12 half, and I’m going to shoot for 2:05 in Chicago.  I think this will be a challenging, but attainable, goal and a HUGE improvement over my last half marathon.  I do still think that there is a chance I could hit the sub-2 if everything lines up right, but it’s not my goal for this race.

I feel like by making this decision, a huge weight has been taken off my shoulders and I’ve been able to enjoy my runs again.  After every run, I had been distressed that I wasn’t close to where I feel like I needed to be instead of celebrating the crazy progress I’ve made.  In just one month, I’ve been able to shave a minute off my easy-run pace.  A whole minute!! That’s crazy, and I’m really proud of myself for working this hard and getting stronger.  I’m looking forward to continuing to do speedwork over the next few months and seeing where it takes me.

I’m so excited for what July has in store.  For Independence Day weekend, I’ll be running the Peachtree Road Race.  Christina and I finalized our patriotic outfits this weekend and I know this race will be a BLAST and really get us (even more) pumped up for Chicago….and then….MARATHON TRAINING!

How have your runs been, and how have you been beating the heat? What races do you have coming up?

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Jess

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