Marathon Monday: Week 11

Week 11 was a fantastic one! It included my longest run ever and my highest weekly mileage. 🙂 If you want to read about previous weeks in my training plan, check them out here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4,Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8, Week 9, and Week 10.

Monday was a cross training day and our last full day in Southern California. I didn’t do any specific cross training, but we did walk a lot, and spent some time playing in the water at the beach. We also went on a whale watching boat ride, which was a lot of fun (although I suppose doesn’t count as cross training ha).

Dolphins swimming near the boat!

Tuesday had 5 miles on the schedule. We flew out of LAX around 11 am, and got back to Chicago around 7 pm after a layover in Denver. By the time we got to my parents house, it was 9 pm, and we were starving. After we ate, I pulled on my running clothes and grabbed Nova to go for a run around 11 pm. Normally I’d be a little nervous about going for a run that late, but my parents live in a town of about 1000 people, so I’m not too worried about it there. 🙂 I did 4 miles with Nova, and she was dead tired, so I dropped her off before the last mile. I was pretty proud of myself for getting my run in even after travelling for the majority of the day!

On Wednesday I had to run 8 miles. The local running club in our area offers a monthly 5k at the Farmer’s Market, and the August one was on Wednesday. I knew this was a high mileage week, so I didn’t want to go all out on a 5k, but I figured I’d still go to the race and run with other people. I ran two and a half miles to the start of the race, then ran the 5k in 26:40. I did a cool down of 0.75 miles, and then ran home after hanging out for a few minutes. This turned out to be a great way to finish my 8 miles–they flew right by. 🙂

Thursday included another 5 miles. My friend invited me to a yoga class, and I thought that would be a good idea while I’m in the heat of marathon training. I planned to run after the class, but as soon as we were done, it had started to rain. I decided to go to the University’s co-rec to run my 5 miles on the treadmill. Luckily, the Olympics were on, so the miles flew right by. 🙂 These were the first miles I have done on a treadmill during marathon training!

The co-rec was super crowded because all the students are returning to campus

Friday was a rest day, which I definitely needed! I am going to a conference this week (Monday-Wednesday), so I had to make some changes to my presentation and then meet with my advisor. Always appreciative of rest days!

This week, the run on Saturday was 8 pace miles. I woke up, had part of a banana, and was off. I ran 1.5 miles warm up, then 5 miles at a 9:38 pace. Then I finished up with a cool down of 1.5 miles. It was much cooler than it has been in weeks, which probably explains why this run wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I stopped for water a couple times, but other than that, was cruising right along.

Sunday was the monster run. 18 miles. I tried not to think about it too much, because I didn’t want to psych myself out. I bought some Clif Shot Bloks to eat during the run, and decided to focus on completing hour after hour of the run. I knew it would take me about three hours and twenty minutes, so at each hour I had a few Shot Bloks and water.

The run went surprisingly well, and I felt good throughout the entire run. The Shot Bloks were delicious, and didn’t both my stomach at all–very reassuring! I will plan to use them as my fuel during the marathon. I went a little slower than I have been, but I figured that was a good decision if it meant I could make it through the whole 18 miles. I  ended up with an 11:08 pace, and a smile on my face! We went to a family reunion later in the day, and I wasn’t even overly tired.

Overall this was a great week! I completed all of my runs without too much trouble, and finished with 44 miles for the week. This is only my second time running more than 40 miles in a week, and although I slept more than usual, I felt great. I’m starting to feel excited to run the marathon in 7 weeks (but still slightly terrified ha)!


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