Poppy’s Chicago Marathon training log – July and August

I am about seven weeks behind (yikes!) on updating my training log here. Since my last update, I have been back on the marathon training horse with the Bank of America Chicago Marathon being my goal race. I’ve basically done a bunch of mileage and some higher volume workouts at mostly between half marathon and marathon pace. The past several weeks have been busy outside of running as well with many visits to and from old friends of ours, a mini vacation at my mom’s while my hubs was on a work trip, my daughter turned 3 years old and my son started Kindergarten. The last two things happened on the same day. Summer has gone by quickly with all that has been going on in my house and I can’t believe Chicago is a little over four weeks away now! My past several weeks of training are below.

week of 7.17-7.23.17

Monday: 5 miles in the a.m. w/ kids in double before kiddo garden club, 8 solo miles in afternoon.

Tuesday: 6 miles in the a.m. w/ kids in double, 4 solo miles in afternoon.

Wednesday: 13 miles w/ 6.4k of on/off 200s. Goal was 42s for ons, 52s for offs, but was more like 40-41/50-51. Overall mile average for the 6.4k was 6:10 pace.

Thursday: 11 miles, middle 4 solo while the kids played at Bucknell, other 7 were to/from pushing the kids in the double.

Friday: 6 mile family run in a.m. (hubs pushing the double the whole way, woo!), 4 solo miles in afternoon.

Saturday: 13 miles w/ 5 miles of progression in the middle. Paces for progression were supposed to be 7:00-6:50-6:40-6:30-6:20. I started off a little too fast and ended up running 6:45, 6:42, 6:29, 6:21, 6:11.

Sunday: 18 miles, first 3 w/ hubs and kiddos and the rest solo.

92 miles for the week

week of 7.24-7.30.17

Monday: 6 miles in the a.m. w/ kids in double, before garden club again, 7 solo miles in afternoon.

Tuesday: 11 miles, middle 4 solo and other 7 to/from Bucknell w/ kids in double.

Wednesday: 14 miles w/ 10 miles of steady state. Goal pace was 6:30. Did this on my nearby neighborhood loop that runs just over a mile. Ended up averaging right at 6:30 for 10.25 miles.

Thursday: 6 miles in a.m. w/ kids in double, 6 solo miles in afternoon.

Friday: 20 miles. Did my long run today as we were down at the Eastern Shore of Maryland over the weekend for a college friend’s birthday party.

Saturday: 8 miles w/ the hubs in the a.m. before driving 4+ hours to MD.

Sunday:  5 miles in the a.m. from our hotel in Easton, MD, 7 miles in the evening, ~2.5 of which were w/ the hubs and kids.

90 miles for the week

week of 7.31-8.6.17

Monday: 16 miles w/ workout. Plan was “14-16 w/ workout: 8 x 1m @ 6:15-20 (613-18 if 1600s) w/ 60s rest. Option to piece together intervals (and have recovery be up to 60s per mile of interval length (e.g. 4×2 w/ up to 2min, 2 x 4m w/ up to 4min. no option for 1 x 8m though. if feel really good keep it at 2 x 4m, take just 2 min rest, and then option for last 2m of second rep can be 605-10 range).” Ended up doing 2 x 4 miles, but really it was 2 x 6.4k since I was on the track and taking 1600 splits. Workout splits were: 24:56 via 6:14.83, 6:13.92, 6:14.57, 6:12.84
3:52 800m jog recov, 24:34 via 6:13.33, 6:12.50, 6:06.91, 6:00.84.

Tuesday: 6 miles w/ kids in the double in the a.m., 5 miles w/ E in the single in the afternoon while C was at play-K at the library.

Wednesday: 11 miles, usual routine of 4 solo miles in middle and 7 miles to/from Bucknell w/ kids in double.

Thursday: 12 miles w/ workout plan of 8-16×200 @ 42. Did 16 and all of them were at 40-41, recovery 200s progressed over the course of the workout from 55 down to 48. Did a 4 mile shakout run in the afternoon.

Friday: 9 miles w/ kids in double in a.m., 4 miles w/ them again in the p.m.

Saturday: 21 miles solo.

Sunday: 6 easy miles.

94 miles for the week

week of 8.7-8.13.17

Monday: 7 miles w/ kids in the double in the a.m., 5 solo miles in p.m.

Tuesday: 17 miles w/ planned workout of: “16-17 w/ workout: 3 x 4k @ 6:08-6:12 pace w/ 800m @ 3:30 pace. If things feel hard, aim to keep to 608-12 but slow down the 800m (340-400). If feeling good (things not too hard) then you can first have the recovery come down into 3:20-3:25 range. If you have done that and still feel very good, then 3rd 4k can move into 604-608 range. practice gels (okay to take during rest).” Was a bit intimidated going into this workout b/c I haven’t done this lengthy of a workout w/ a brisk recovery in a while. In the end, I felt good and the workout went well. Workout splits were: 15:20 via 6:08.08, 6:09.01, 3:02.81, 3:25 800 recovery, 15:20 via 6:09.21, 6:07.88, 3:02.21, 3:18 800 recovery, 15:07 via 6:03.97, 6:03.33, 2:59.19 – 52:30 for 13.6k (6:12.7/mi avg). Also did a 3 mile shakeout w/ the kids in the double in the afternoon.

Wednesday: 6 miles in the a.m. w/ the kids in the double, 6 miles solo in afternoon.

Thursday: 12 miles, middle 5+ solo while kids played at track, other 7 to/from Bucknell w/ kids in double.

Friday: 6 mile family run in a.m.

Saturday: 22 miles w/ 14 miles of steady state. Goal pace was 6:40, but I ended up running right around 6:30s for most of this, averaging 6:32 pace for the 14 miles of uptempo.

Sunday: 8 mile family run in the a.m., 4 solo miles at my mom’s in the evening.

96 miles for the week

week of 8.14-8.20.17

This week I was at my mom’s w/ the kids as my husband was up in Boston for a work trip and I figured I’d let the kids have a week of swimming at Grandma’s pool before school started for my little guy.

Monday: 6 miles in the a.m., 4 miles in the p.m.

Tuesday: 16 miles in the a.m. w/ workout of 8-10 miles at MP (goal of 6:15 pace, with exception of last mile, which was allowed to be a bit faster if I felt good). Since I was doing this on the track, the plan was to only look at 1600 splits (versus 400 splits) after the first 3200. I did ok w/ this for the first few miles, but then I went too fast and overcompensated by slowing down too much, then overcompensate again by going too fast. Finally, I just made myself settle in and trust my instincts w/ how pace and effort felt and I got back on track. Splits: 6:12.92 (93, 3:06, 4:39, 6:12), 6:11.98 (3:06 800), 6:14.71, 6:09.39 (boo), 6:21.07 (boo again), 6:06.87 (Seriously. Through 800 in 3:02), 6:12.10, 6:10.08, 6:09.59, 6:01.46 (through 1200 in 4:34) – 61:50 for 16k (6:13/mi, 6:11/1600 avg). Did a 4 mile shakeout in the evening.

Wednesday:  12 miles in the a.m.

Thursday: 4 miles in the a.m. before an all day iliopsoas massage class (I may need to do a post on what I learned there), 4 miles over lunch break from class.

Friday:  13 miles in the a.m. w/ workout of 2 x (4×800). Plan was “12-14 w/ workout #1 (either order this week): 2x(4×800) w/ 1:30 w/in set, 3-4 min b/t sets. each set goes roughly 254->250. okay to be a little bit out of range based on how hard/easy things feel but keep in mind this is not only workout this week. do not strain for fast times.” This was the most humid weather I’ve worked out in this summer. DP was 73 the whole time. Was surprised to hit the 800s. Felt good and I think the all day class of hip flexor work yesterday may have had something to do w/ it. Husband-coach and kiddos were there during workout and I was given a bonus 1600 at MP at the end. Splits: 2:52.19 (77r), 2:51.77 (82r), 2:51.06 (80r), 2:46.92 (3:51r), 2:50.09 (78r), 2:49.15 (80r), 2:47.20 (80r), 2:45.77 (~90r, watch malfunction here), 6:09.51 for MP 1600. 6 mile shakeout in the evening w/ the hubs.

Saturday:  8 miles in the a.m. w/ the hubs, 4 miles in the p.m. Last run at mom’s.

This guy became an expert cannon baller at grandma’s pool this week.

Sunday:  22 miles solo back at home.

103 miles for the week (my first 100+ week in almost two years)

week of 8.21-8.27.17

Monday: 4 miles in the a.m. w/ the kids in the double, 6 solo miles in the afternoon, after viewing the eclipse.

Tuesday: 13 miles, first 3.5 pushing the kids over to Bucknell, then the rest solo as the hubs met us at the track and took the kids and double jogger home so I could finish the run solo.

Wednesday: 8 miles in the a.m w/ E (the birthday girl!) in the single, after putting C on the bus for his first day of kindergarten. 5 miles in the afternoon w/ E in the single.

Thursday:  16 miles in the a.m. w/ workout of 4x3200m @ 6:00 pace, easy 400 jog. Splits: 11:57 via 5:59.62/5:57.60 (2:15r), 11:56 via 5:57.74/5:57.76 (2:15r), 11:57 via 5:58.40/5:57.97 (2:10r),
11:52 via 5:57.29/5:54.49 – 54:22 for 14k (6:15avg). 4 miles shakeout in the afternoon w/ E in the single.

Friday: 8 miles in the morning w/ E in the single, 4 solo miles in the afternoon.

Saturday: 7 miles w/ my brother, Jesse, who was in town for Emmy’s birthday party.

Per my daughter’s request, a purple and rainbow and My Little Pony birthday cake.

Sunday:  18 miles w/ workout of 10 miles (really 16k since I was on the track) at MP. Goal was 6:12-6:16. Did the MP portion 7 miles into the run and did an easy 1 mile cool down after. Practiced w/ gels and fluids today. Splits: 6:13.79, 6:13.85, 6:11.01, 6:13.29, 6:11.44, 6:12.89, 6:12.80, 6:10.87, 6:12.84, 6:08.37 – 1:02:01 for 16k (6:14/mi avg, 6:12/1600).

93 miles for the week

week of 8.23-9.3.17

Monday: 8 miles in the a.m., 5 miles in the afternoon. Both runs w/ E in the single.

Tuesday: Same as yesterday – 8 in the a.m, 5 in the p.m., both w/ E.

Wednesday: 16 miles in the a.m. w/ a light workout of 2-4 miles of uptempo at 6:20-6:30 after 10 miles on a hilly route. Got in 4 miles at 6:19 avg via 6:25, 6:19, 6:17, 6:15. 4 miles shakeout in the afternoon w/ E in the single.

Thursday: 8 miles in morning w/ E in the single, 5 miles in afternoon w/ E and the hubs. He kindly pushed the jogger the whole run.

Friday:  5 miles in the morning w/ E in the single, 4 miles in afternoon w/ E and the hubs again.

Saturday:  19 miles w/ workout. Plan was 4x4k @ 6:08-6:12 pace w/ 800 recovery @ 3:30. Did this while visiting my husband’s hometown, so he was able to join me for a bulk of this (even doing most of the pacing) and modify the workout. After the 4th 4k, he had me tack on an extra 800 @ 3:30 and then a 1800 done via 1600 @ 6:08-6:10 and a final 200 @ 45.  Splits: 15:28 via 6:10.50/6:10.62/3:05.92 , 3:24 800r, 15:21 via 6:09.27/6:08.82/3:02.76, 3:28r, 15:24 via 6:10.77/6:08.59/3:04.69, 3:28r, 15:23 via 6:09.28/6:10.06/3:04.10, 3:32r, 1800 in 6:52 via 6:06.98/43.19 – 21k in 1:22:19 (6:18.5/mi avg).

Sunday: 8 miles w/ the hubs in the morning, 5 miles solo in the evening.

100 miles for the week

If you’ve read through this whole thing, kudos to you.

Post long run chilling with the cuties.

I'm a licensed massage therapist with a background in biochemistry and also a mother of two. After almost two years of focusing on shorter race distances, I am back on the marathon training horse. My next goal race is the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. I write mostly about health and science as they relate to running as well as being part of a running family.

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  1. You are doing some hard work girl! Didn’t know you were running Chicago. Hope you crush it- sounds like your training has you well prepared. And I love your birthday cakes!

    1. Thanks! It was fun to make. My daughter is obsessed with the color purple. And rainbows. And my little ponies, especially Twilight Sparkle (b/c she’s purple) and Rainbow Dash (b/c she’s a rainbow).