Chicago Marathon Training ….

While most runners in the CHI are a full 8 or 9 weeks into marathon training, I’ve only just begun.  Granted, I’m “kinda” in half marathon shape.  As in, I can run a half marathon if I don’t have to add any speed to the equation.  My body isn’t exactly in the right spot so I’m more of a shuffler than a runner at this point.  In fact, my feet even scuff at times because I just can’t  get those hamstrings to engage!!  Well, time is ticking and the Chicago Marathon will occur weather I’m ready or not, so last week I created a training plan.  No worries, this isn’t a “BQ or Bust” type plan but rather a “Finish It” plan.  And that, I can do.  I can finish it even if I shed a few tears along the way.

Saturday’s calendar showed a 15 miler.  That probably seems easy for those of you who are marathon training, and very daunting for those of you working the C25K plan.   My brain processed it right in the middle.  I knew it wouldn’t be easy but that I should be able to cover the distance.  I was fortunate in that I didn’t have to run alone.  Hubby’s schedule is changing and I believe that it will give me back Saturday mornings for running.  And I mean running on real trails, not withering away in agony on the treadmill.   Plus the run club has  a big crew on Saturday mornings so this makes me “Happy, Happy, Happy”.  (Yes, we are big Duck Dynasty fans!!)  Smile

Saturday morning F’N Runners, minus another 6 who were already out on the trial:


I put in 6 miles before the crew arrived, a bit faster than I wanted, just shy of 9 min/mi pace.   I knew that wouldn’t bode well for the rest of the run but I was with other people apparently let it happen so am apparently the one who was willing to suffer the consequences.  Knowing that my pace would only be slipping, I settled in with the 10-10:30 group who were also running long on SAT morning.  I kinda felt like I was holding them back, which is almost always how I feel when I run with other people.  Who knows if that’s really the case or just my crazy brain talking?  Regardless, I ran with those lovely ladies for an additional 4 miles.  Fun times.  I talked non-stop and probably drove them crazy was thrilled to be running with a chatty crew.  Alas, the time came when I needed to turn back and they continued forward.  I had one poor lady make the flip with me.  And wow, it didn’t go well.  I pretty much struggled the last 3 miles back to the car.  I had to walk off and on.  Normally walking isn’t a problem with me but I had a partner.  Total guilt fest.  She said she didn’t mind.  Maybe she did, maybe she didn’t.  Who knows but it made me feel bad. 

All in all, I covered 15 miles.  That’s a win on the training plan because it’s in the done column; however, I still worry that ruined that lady’s run!!

Do you feel guilty when you run with others and they stick with you even when you are having a bad run? 

**  Amanda – TooTallFritz **

14 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon Training ….

  1. I don’t run with others, so haven’t had to face that. If I was the other – I would be glad that I was with you in case it hit the point you couldn’t walk!

  2. Absolutely!! But then I also remember those times when “they” need to stop and walk a bit etc – I have never minded (who’s gonna complain at a chance to catch their breath!?!?) so my guess is they don’t really mind. It’s great to have company no matter what!

  3. I can’t speak for running, but I always feel guilty if I feel like I’m slowing down the group when we’re cycling. Mind you, I usually ride a “no drop” group, but if I’m obviously the slowest person I end up begging them to drop me. It’s inevitable that one person will stay with me though, claiming that they really want a “nice easy ride.” Which makes me feel even worse, because I’m pedaling my bum off. So I can kind of relate… you’re not alone. 🙂

  4. I bonked on my 16 miler Friday. Way too humid and I stupidly ran in Steger/Crete/Beecher where there was little shade. Begged hubby to meet for coffee after 8 and then hobbled another 4.15 home. I guess 12.15 is better than nothing. Let’s hope for a better 18 miler this weekend 🙂

  5. Numerous thoughts here. First, no never feel guilty…and actually I can’t recall when anyone held or fell-back with me if I couldn’t keep up! Anyways…it is the other runner’s choice if they want to stick with you…especially if they know you are experienced.

    Second…take another perspective. Not necessarily a bad run. Maybe in the sense how you feel, but from a training perspective…exactly what you want…deplete the glycogen reserves…so you get the physiological stimulus for the body to respond by increasing capacity to store more glycogen (as well as produce more enzymes to mobilize & metabolize it).

    The other aspect are these kinds of runs give you the opportunity to test out your “fueling” strategy…which from my perspective is just one component of hydration; water fluid replacement, electrolyte balance & carbohydrate supplementation. I use some runs (including long runs early to mid-phase training cycle) to with-hold carb supplementation and deplete the reserves and finish running on fumes….sometimes totally busted (run-slog-walk). Then on some of those long runs in latter phase and especially on the last 20-mi or “peak” long run, fuel it as I planned for the race. And if I have it all correct…run the long run without slowing or running out of glycogen.

    So know that your 15-miler got you the “stimulus” you need to improve. And the next time you do a 17 or 18-miler in a few weeks…you may still end-up struggling or running out of gas at 18-mi, but steel feeling charged at 14 or 15. A 2-3 week lag time in the adaptations to take effect. Which is why the “taper” before the race 2-3 weeks long!

    So…you done well…Running on Empty….!

  6. Great job on the 15! I think it must be awesome to be able to run with a group. I’m sure it would make time go by much faster! I rarely run with anyone, but I think I would be feeling bad if they had to slow down for me! Can’t wait to run Chicago with you!!

    • I used to run by myself all the time so absolutely appreciate the company! I think about you often slugging out those runs by yourself. And yes, I’m super psyched about Chicago b/c you are coming! It’s such a fun time to be in Chicago. So much energy and love and I’m happy you will be here to experience it! 🙂

  7. I do feel bad if I am holding someone back, but I figure that if they had to meet a certain speed goal for their training run, they wouldn’t have chosen to run with a group and/or would not have offered to stay with me. I always appreciate it when someone is kind enough to hang with me. On the other side, I really like being the “encourager” and being able to help someone that is struggling. It must be the teacher in me! I especially enjoyed the couple of times that I was able to help at cross country camp and was able to try to motivate the kids in the slower group (I could never keep up with those fast group kids!). I think that we all play different roles in group training, and people wouldn’t hold back if they didn’t enjoy your company. I’d usually rather run slower with a friend than run by myself, unless I had a specific training goal that I needed to meet that week. I love our running group!

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