On the Road to Chicago

This week kicks off my training for the Chicago Marathon. I’ve been excited about this for a while, but it’s finally here! Unfortunately, I did not have a break between Hospital Hill and Chicago training, so the first week of training is chill with a lot of recovery runs.

I’ve already gone on my first run of my Chicago training cycle. Even though I am still sore from Hospital Hill, I managed to go out for a 4-mile easy run through the National Forest here in Westminster, MA. It went pretty well and I was jazzed about beginning my training!

This is one of the runs I saw on a training run.

This is one of the runs I saw on a training run.

I chose a training plan that is a combination between Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 and Matt Fitzgerald’s Intermediate plan. This will take me from my first week of 22 miles, to my peak week at 48 miles and has two 20-mile runs, plus I’ll have some speed work and tempo runs. I am a little nervous about going long in the hot Kansas summer, so I’ll probably be doing my long runs in very early morning.

I am also going to be racing the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon on August 1 at Estes Park. This race is at 5000 feet, so I imagine it will be a challenging one, but it will give me a chance to practice my race day strategies. I am considering going for another PR on this race, but as we get closer to race day, I’ll reassess my plan.

There will be some nice views  at this race.

There will be some nice views at this race.

So what are my goals for Chicago? In all honesty, the marathon distance still scares me a lot. My main goal for Chicago is just to finish the race, but I will try to do marathon pace tempo runs with the intention to run a 4:00:00 marathon. It is more than ok if I fall short of that time. All that I want is to finish.

This is just the beginning. I still have over 600 miles to go before I reach that finish line in Chicago, and I’m pretty excited to get there.

What are you training for? What are your goals for the fall?

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20 thoughts on “On the Road to Chicago

  1. I think that’s a stellar goal! I was shooting for a sub-4 my first time and came in at 4:05! I hadn’t run any races before it (not even a half), so I think you’re going to be more than prepared for the mental part of the race! And physically, you’ll be ready! That area looks SO pretty for your first training run! Not a bad way to kick things off!

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  2. Practice running by effort as you prepare for Chicago or practice calculating splits in your head. When I’m gunning for a PR, I need my watch. I was trying for one at Chicago and was off by a minute and change because running in the city messes with your watch. You start the race and immediately go under a huge underpass and lose satellites! My watch was messed up from that point on, but I didn’t care because it’s such a cool race regardless. I had no idea where I was timewise and how close I was to a PR or I might have tried a little harder in the last 10K. I can’t be sure. Either way, it’s up there among my favorite races and you will love it!

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  3. This is so exciting, I can’t wait to follow your training!!

    I think it’s a good idea to do what you’re doing and have a loose time goal in mind but care more about just finishing and enjoying the experience. I had a similar experience to Nona last fall when I ran my first marathon. I had dreamed of finishing sub-4:00 and I came in at just under 4:02. I didn’t actually train for it or practice a sub-4:00 pace though, I just thought it would be so awesome to have my first marathon time start with a 3. But I didn’t feel an ounce of disappointment crossing that finish line just short of my goal, and I’ve never felt bad about it since, because I did an awesome job and I was so proud of myself not only for finishing but having a strong race – and I know the same will be true for you no matter what your time is!!

    I don’t have a time goal for my fall marathon, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t secretly hoping that my new, more balanced training strategy will get me a better time than I expected anyway 🙂 Training for a time goal in the marathon this spring really took a lot out of me and I want a break from that. I do however REALLY want to break 1:45 in the half marathon so I will focus a lot of my training on that!!

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    • Breaking 1:45 in the half is a big goal and it will certainly make you faster in the marathon. I’m sure you kick butt at it!

      Training for time can be really exhausting, and frustrating sometimes. I’ll worry more about time once I’m done with Chicago.

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  4. Love that picture overlooking the lake. I like to have A B C goals for my races depending on the primary goal. Some races are for PRs so I need splits, and others are running with the wife so I need discussion topics lol. Then I adjust my 3 goals based on that. Allows for a lot of flexibility.

    Training for the marathon in November, it will be my very first. I’m hoping to come in under 3hrs 30min. If I can get my speed work in I’d love to work towards a BQ.

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    • I like to come up with an A B and C goal as well. It really helps me feel accomplished even if I fall a little short. Since Chicago will be my first marathon, any time would be a good one for me. Good luck with your training as well, and with getting that BQ!!

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  5. I’m running my first full marathon in the fall, and quite honestly, I’m terrified of the distance. I’m also nervous about training in the humidity here this summer, but I know that I can do it! I don’t have a time goal in mind, I just want to survive:) I’m excited to continue to read about your training…it helps keep me on track reading about others too!!

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  6. The fun of training for a marathon is that fear, I think. The distance is daunting – I’d imagine for anyone, no matter how many fulls they’ve run! I like facing that fear and taking it by the horns. I love how you finished this post…there are 600 miles of training between you and the finish line right now. At the end of training, you’ll be a success, no matter your finishing time. (But sub-4 is freaking awesome to aim for!)

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    • People have asked me why I like races and why I am willing to pay to just run a race, but I feel like you are paying for the whole training season. By signing up for Chicago, I am starting a race now that just happens to end on Oct. 11. I guess I see Chicago as more of a victory lap after all of the hard work I will have put in this season.

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    • Thanks! I am sure that I never would have signed up for Chicago if it had not been for you. I’m excited to hear about your training, especially with all this speed work you’ve been doing lately.

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