Chicago Marathon Training Week 1

Sorry I have not posted in a while.  Things kind of spiral out of control since my last post.  Where should I begin?

After my last half marathon with hubby (Michelob Ultra 13.1 Chicago), I went back to marathon training in earnest for the San Francisco Marathon.  Initially, training went well and I was able to keep my mileage at 55mpw.  But since Summer has been here in full earnest for months, the temperatures were brutal and the humidity as well, so I had to make do with the LRs being partly on the TM.  But I still hit a 20 miler and a 19 miler.  Then, close to three weeks prior to the race, work went crazy.  I had to lower down my miles substantially and I thought, good, tapering at last, ha.  Up to the week of the race, I felt fine (tired, but fine), then, I got sick the Monday of the race.  Exhaustion, headache, joint paint, maybe a fever.  But I was so busy at work, I could only take Monday afternoon off.  So, I was unable to rest as much as I needed.  I felt fine by Wednesday (or so I thought), but woke up on Thursday feeling again like a truck had run over me, twice!  But, on we went to San Francisco only to DNF at Mile 18 with fever, joint pain and a headache.  I slept the whole weekend at the hotel.  It took me another week of feeling better.

After the marathon, I realized that, with work being as stressful and full of hours, make me experience something similar to overtraining, but the stressor being real life stressors.  One author calls this "overliving" (Loren Cordain & Joel Friel, The Paleo Diet for Athletes).  I was stressed to the max which made me vulnerable to what I ended up getting, some sort of flu.  We all deal with this at certain points in our running lives, but sometimes there is nothing more you can do but affect and reduce training because it's the only voluntary stressor you can give.

So, on I go to start training for Chicago two weeks after the San Francisco debacle.  I was fine with DNFing San Francisco, as I know it was the right thing to do, but I have not been this ill for years.  And I don't want to have that happen ever again, LOL.

Coach Walter gave me another great program to train for Chicago.  With 11 weeks and me not feeling my best, we could not push as hard as we did for Chicago last year.  I also asked for less miles than I would normally do to concentrate on Pilates (which I have been doing for months and love it) and some more cross training, which I have neglected for years.  So, the plan is not super high in miles and not as aggressive as my prior one but it is definitely the one I need and can handle right now.  Walter knows me too well.  :-)

Week 1 consisted of all easy runs.  This time, I make sure to adjust for weather and to take it easy, as I felt I was still healing from that flu I had.  The temps this week were brutal and the paces were slower due to it.  But I felt myself enjoying running again; something that was lacking from my life the last three weeks.  And I completed the week without issue.  I actually ran a bit more to accommodate running with hubby on two short days.

The total mileage for this week was 35mpw; finished 36 miles, with three runs partially or fully on the treadmill due to our heat indexes being above 100F even at early times during the day.  Very happy to be back on track.

As to what time to attempt at Chicago, I don't think I have a fucking idea.  I'll see how I feel later and closer to the race.  Not sure if I can even PR this year; I feel slow this year, slower than ever, ever since the surgery.  Work has been very demanding, which necessitated me to reduce my miles for this training session.  That does not mean I won't give my all during training, as I always do.  And Chicago is still ten weeks away, so who knows.


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