Chicago Marathon Training Week 15: 8/28-9/3 (Weekly Wrap)

Hello Weekly Wrappers and welcome! I’m so honored to be guest hosting the Weekly Wrap- one of my favorite linkups- this week for HoHo Runs and Misssippi Piddlin! This linkup has kept me accountable to my training for the Chicago Marathon and helped me have a place to search out my feelings about marathon training…as well as provided me with some wonderful new blogs to start following. I’m very grateful to these amazing ladies for continuing this link up week after week. Please be sure to stop by the many awesome blogs that link up and show them some love!

My Chicago Marathon training is slowly (and also quickly!) winding down. We are already in week 15 of the training program…only a month left to go! Last month I hit my first 100 mile month EVER thanks to marathon training. That was a HUGE goal for me. Previously my highest month had been 80 miles…I didn’t understand until I started marathon training how easy it is to hit 100! Here’s my rundown this week:


Monday, August 28- Plan: 5 miles, Actual: 3.12 miles

I was a bit short on time today because I wanted to get home since I’d had a long day at work. I ran the store 5k with the group as it was the last 5k we have on a Monday now that we are switching it to Tuesdays. However, I’m excited for this new change! I think it will bring more runners back to our store, and I really hope that’s the case. I’ve missed the runners since there have become so many options for nightly 5k runs with the local breweries…it’ll be nice to see some of those faces again!

Tuesday, August 29- Plan: 3×2 mile repeats, Actual: Rest day

I’ve been swapping Tuesday and Wednesday workouts lately. Ever since I moved and stopped going to the Tuesday track workouts, I’ve found a new group that does some speedwork/bridge repeats on Wednesday mornings, so that’s been working out well for me. I’ve met some really nice ladies at this group, so I think I’ll continue to do my speedwork on Wednesday’s for the remainder of the training this time around!

Wednesday, August 30- Plan: Rest day, Actual: 3×2 mile repeats

Today was the bridge run and I knocked out 3 x 2 mile repeats like I would have done yesterday had I been following the plan! It was a really great run, however, my watch apparently thought I wasn’t working hard enough because it once again labeled me as “unproductive.” Whatever, watch, I felt like I was working hard! I almost had negative splits on my repeats too, but a tricky mile 3 kept me from actually having them!

Thursday, August 31- Plan: 9 mile tempo, Actual: 5 miles

Whew…today was bad. First off, I overslept because I took some meds to help me get a good night’s rest (wasn’t feeling well) and ended up sleeping through my 5 am alarm. So I resolved to go running at night. I knew I needed at least 5.08 miles to make my goal of 100 miles for the month and I was bound and determined to get those 5 miles. However, my plan called for 9. I really intended to do the 9, but by the time I got home with traffic and refilled my gas tank, it was already almost 8pm. I knew I wasn’t going to be out until 10pm running. I decided to try and go for as many as I could in the hour I had to work out. I got to mile 2.5 and…I had to poop! No joke- I really had to go to the bathroom bad! I tried so hard to make it back to my car…but it didn’t happen. I had to go behind a pile of concrete that was being worked on by a construction company (luckily they had already left for the night) and go to the bathroom. I felt doubly bad because I had nothing to clean it up with…just a bunch of sand (it was on a beach) and my hands. I basically just sucked it up, pulled my pants back up, and walked back to my car. Luckily I had napkins in my car to clean up a bit with, but I felt super grossed out. I’ve peed in the woods on a run before but never had to go #2. Ugh. And then I took the looooongest shower when I got home. At least I had a gorgeous sunset to start my run with!

Friday, September 1- Plan: Rest day, Actual: Rest day

This was the first day I actually did what was on my plan…lol. Took the day off. I mean, I worked, but I didn’t run or anything. Which is good because my achilles was feeling a bit off this week.

Saturday, September 2- Plan: 6 miles, Actual: Rest day

Yep, I skipped my run this morning. I was up late the night before plus I was feeling a little sick so I decided to sleep in instead. I honestly regretted it later but it was too late by then.

Sunday, September 3- Plan: 16 miles, Actual: 17 miles

Guess I felt bad about missing my run from the previous day so I added an extra mile in today. But really…today I felt super strong and badass on my run. The weather was nicer than it had been for a really long time…it was in the low 70s with lower humidity and it was overcast so the sun didn’t even bug us when it came up. I started with some new friends at 5 am and we got the first 11 miles in before the sun rose. Then I continued on for 6 more miles by myself. It was just a pretty good run! Definitely a confidence booster for the marathon.

As I’m writing this, I realize I have one more super long run weekend and 2 more medium long run weekends before I start taper…is it really that close right now?? I can’t believe I’ve survived a summer of marathon training. One more month of some high mileage and discipline on my runs and I’ll be done with my first marathon training cycle! All the books and training programs I’ve read suggest two weeks of absolutely no running post race- can I just say how much I’m kind of looking forward to that lol? It’s about time I took a break from all this training! All I’m hoping for is a strong September, good first marathon and to have fun post race with all the yoga I’ll be doing to help with recovery!

What are your tips for the first marathon? How long did you taper for your marathon? Recovery time? 




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55 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon Training Week 15: 8/28-9/3 (Weekly Wrap)”

  1. Thanks so much for guest hosting the Weekly Wrap this week 🙂

    Congrats on your awesome long run this week! There is so much confidence that comes when you have a really great long run. Chicago is quickly approaching! I have 2 more weeks of hard training and then it’s time for the taper 🙂

    I think the typical taper time is 2-3 weeks. My one tip is to take it easy during this time. You’re going to feel like you “should” be doing more, but don’t. This will ensure that you get to the starting line well rested and ready to go!
    Kimberly G recently posted…Chicago Marathon Training Recap – Week 15My Profile

    1. Everyone says that I’ll want to do more lol…at this point I feel ready to do less! I’m sure that will change when I’m in the middle of taper. But yes, my taper is two weeks…I have two more weeks of normal training. Really can’t believe it’s here already!

  2. I think I tapered for three weeks for my first couple of marathons, then I went to two weeks for the others. Also, I only trained up to 20-miles….I’m just too paranoid about injury. I’d rather save the “extra” miles for race day LOL
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…It’s almost Go Time!My Profile

    1. I’m using a Hansons plan, so my longest is the 17! I read so many things that say its bad for your body and too hard to recover if you run for more than 3 1/2 hours in your training, so I’ve been doing back to back running days with my longest being the 17 miles. I’m just going to “trust the training” and hope that their theories are correct…apparently this approach has worked for thousands of other runners, so hopefully it will for me too!

    1. Really just committing to getting it done. It’s NOT fun to wake up at 4 am, but knowing that if I didn’t go that early I’d be absolutely miserable probably helps as well 😉

    1. Thanks for linking up! It was really nice to get some “cooler” (in Florida terms haha) weather for once! I’ve also seen that it’s supposed to continue on into this weekend so that’s a good thing as well.

  3. You sure did have a great sunset! To answer your question about tips for your first marathon, I have a coaching tab on my blog and if you click on it you’ll see “Race Preparation” drop down. On there I have all kinds of tips for the last couple of weeks leading up to the marathon and race recovery. Hope you find it useful!

    Thanks for hosting the linkup!
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…Running During A Tropical Storm And OBX Half Marathon Training (Week Six)My Profile

    1. Oh that sounds awesome, I’ll definitely head over and check it out! I could use all the tips possible, especially since I’m traveling out of state for it! I want to make sure I don’t forget anything…knowing me I will though.

  4. Oh my goodness!! I would be terrified to be caught away from my neighborhood and need to go #2! I usually run close to home for that exact reason!

    1. My neighborhood is right off a major expressway so it’s not really great for running. Typically the routes I pick have bathrooms of some sort- port o potties or public restrooms, but for some reason this 10 mile running and biking trail doesn’t have a single bathroom the entire way down! At least I know that now so I’ll know not to pick that one for my long runs!

  5. You are so close to your taper! When I train for marathons, I usually do a three week taper. I think the hardest part with your first marathon is committing to the taper. You will feel like you just want to go out and do more – don’t cave! You’ve already done all of the hard work. Take this time to rest and let your body recover. When you get to race day, just stick to your pacing plan and make sure that it feels good. If it feels too hard in the beginning slow down even more. And remember to have fun!! From what I’ve heard Chicago is a 26 mile party so I’m sure you will enjoy it. Thanks for hosting this week!

    1. I’m sure that when I get to the taper I will be going crazy. Right now less running sounds brilliant. I’ve heard great things about Chicago as well, so I’m super excited to be headed up there next month!

  6. Well, since I’m just now beginning my very first full marathon training cycle ever ….I have nothing to offer but have plenty of fears!

    Your ‘pooping’ story sounds like something straight out of Wendy from “Taking the Long Way Home” mouth! You two should get together and share pooping stories! Lol

    Great week Montana! Sounds like you are ready for 26.2!
    Teresa recently posted…Weekly Wrap: Labor Day Weekend ….literally.My Profile

    1. Haha glad to hear other people have gone through the same thing! You will do great and surprise yourself on your training for your first full…I was terrified of hitting the long runs and my longer tempo runs but it hasn’t been as bad as I thought- just take it one day at a time.

    1. Right?? It seemed so far away when I first began training and now it’s already September! I can’t even believe it!

  7. Great job on your 17 miler! Sorry to hear about having to go #2 on your run. That almost happened to me last week but I was able to hold it off. I take at least a week off of running post marathon. Hope your marathon goes well!

    1. Thanks! I’ve heard different theories so I think listening to my body will be the key here.

  8. Sounds like your watch is as rude as mine! I remember working out really hard one day, only for it to tell me, “You are running slower recently”. Ggrr! I love your honesty about your No. 2 incident –
    when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go! And there is no other way you could have handled it. But yes, I can imagine that shower afterwards was indeed very loooong! Congrats on co-hosting the link up! Looking forward to following your progress in the next month!

    1. Thanks! Definitely a first for me as far as going to the bathroom on the run. And yes, my watch is rude. I took it off yesterday because I didn’t want to hear it tell me to “move” after running 17 miles!

    1. I was debating sharing it but then I was like, “They’re runners they’ll understand!” It definitely wasn’t ideal but I knew I needed to so yeah glad I found a private spot!

  9. I”ve had to umm…stop… in the woods a few times over the years. Last winter my favorite portapotty disappeared and there was no choice for me but to stop. I always carry wipes with me just in case and they came in handy that day. I felt really bad leaving that in the woods. I did confess on my blog, just to make myself feel better.

    1. Yeah it does suck, but when you gotta go, you gotta go! I should start having emergency wipes on hand.

  10. There’s a running store in Boulder that hosts runs from local breweries each Monday. I don’t know if that’s something your store would want to do, but they get a pretty good crowd.

    1. Yeah lol my watch is constantly notifying me of new milestones. I’ll be in a second marathon training cycle at the end of this year so maybe I’ll see “fastest 17 miles” or something 😉

  11. So sorry to hear about your poo experience on Thu. I can’t even imagine. Luckily it happened at 2.5 miles, so you could still hit your 100-mile goal for August. 🙂 Great job on your long run, too. Chicago will be here before you know it, so it’s great to have had a confidence-boosting run at this point in your training.
    Clarinda recently posted…Week in Review – 9/03My Profile

    1. I know it’s so close! I’ve had some great runs this training cycle…way more than I expected during a summer training cycle. I’m excited to see where my pace goes this fall when it cools down some!

  12. Thanks for hosting Weekly Wrap this week!!! And your Wednesday zebra shorts are absolutely amazing. I love that pattern! My “first marathon” advice would be to HAVE FUN and truly take advantage of that taper week. Fit in some running here and there, but trust your training and allow your body to recover before race day. You’re certainly putting in the work and it will pay off!
    Amy @ Life to the Full recently posted…Reflective Gear for Four-Legged Runners | Stunt Puppy Collar ReviewMy Profile

    1. Thanks! I know the taper is going to be so hard because I’m so used to running 5 times a week and doing speed work, etc. My hardest part is slowing down on the easy runs! I always go faster than I’m supposed to!

    1. Yes, I worked with a coach to add in an extra rest day but it’s Hansons style. I enjoy the SOS workouts and I enjoy the back to back long runs…I feel like it helped me during Gasparilla so I did it again for this cycle. How did you like your Hansons?

  13. Sounds like marathon training is going well!! Sorry to hear about having to go #2 on your run. Hate when that happens! I did Chicago as my first marathon last year! It’s a great one to do for your first. I suggest just running to finish, not any specific time. Have fun and enjoy the course!

  14. ah, the notorious runner’s poo…I think every marathon runner has a a story. At least you were able to find a place without anyone seeing!

    Congrats on the 100 miles and wow what a beautiful sunset! Absolutely gorgeous.

  15. I’ve never ran a full marathon, but I’ve been training for my first ultra (50k). The plan I’m following has a three week taper. It has me feeling crazy because of how much less running I’ve been doing which in turn makes me doubt how prepared I am for the race! Thank you for being the guest host of the Weekly Wrap!

    1. THanks for stopping by and linking up! Yeah I still feel a bit underprepared even though I followed my plan as close as possible given life events. Hopefully I can get over that before race day! Trust the training, right?

    1. Yeah i figured it would at some point! It happened once before but that time I was able to make it to a bathroom in time 🙂

  16. Sometimes you have to listen to your body – if it’s telling you to rest a bit more than normal, there’s a reason. (Just don’t let it tell you to be lazy!) I did the whole no running after my first marathon and I have to say, I regretted it a bit – I found it hard to get motivated to start again. If I had to do it over again, I would definitely take a few days after to rest and recover, but then start with easy cross training and then easy runs and not take the whole two weeks off.
    Heather recently posted…Weekly Wrap: August 28 – September 3My Profile

    1. That’s what I worry about…taking too long off and not wanting to start running again. I have another marathon not too long after the first so I don’t want to be unmotivated to train.

  17. I haven’t run a marathon but for other races I’ve always tapered for the longest time that’s recommended for that distance. By that point of training I’m definitely feeling rest > work.

    1. Yeah I’m definitely feeling ready for some rest. It’s been a long and grueling summer of training!

  18. Thank goodness for a pile of concrete! The workers may have been quite surprised the next morning, however. I’m thinking your watch has a bad attitude and needs replacing. You’ve had a great training cycle and you picked a great marathon as your first. My advice is to just enjoy it. Run relaxed and soak it all in. You’ll never run another first marathon. Thanks so much for being our guest host! I hope you made some new connections.

    1. Thanks Holly! Sorry it took me so long to reply- with the Hurricane coming our way I was offline for a week. Thanks for having me host. I really enjoyed it!

    1. I’m doing my first marathon this fall so I’ve never trained for one before! Learning as I go.

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