Marathon Training – Week 8 Recap

I’m almost halfway through my marathon training!

This means that in 9 short weeks, I will be running 26.2 miles. Please send help. And, if you place a wheelchair with an oxygen tank and a gallon-sized margarita with my name on it at the finish line, I’ll love you forever.

lake 1

This week’s training went fairly well for me. I was able to fit in all of my scheduled runs for the first time in almost a month!

Week 8 Fitness Schedule

  • Sunday: 90-minute walk around Lake Michigan in Milwaukee
  • Monday: 3-mile run
  • Tuesday: Yoga Sculpt
  • Wednesday:Yoga Sculpt
  • Thursday: 6-mile run
  • Friday: 3-mile run
  • Saturday: 11-mile run in Chicago!! (This was supposed to be 13.1 but I’ll get to that in a minute…)

I can feel some of my stress starting to ease. Note the key word here… some.

When I visited my doctor last week due to my stress-induced hair loss issues she told me – excuse my her French… that I need to “chill the f*$! out.” She’s cool and just says it how it is which I really appreciate in the medical profession. Anyways, all of this stress is causing major issues with my hair (obviously) and my exercise-induced asthma (not good when you’re trying to train for a marathon) and it is starting to give me anxiety.

Stress can cause a variety of responses from your body, one of which is chest pain. Yep, I’m having issues with that now too. Obviously, I don’t deal well with multiple stressful situations occurring at the same time!

Even though mine is solely being driven by my asthma and stress/anxiety (trust me, I’ve had every test and scan in the book performed – I’m as “healthy as a horse” according to the lab technician…) – is terrifying and should be taken seriously. Needless to say, I am taking her word to heart and trying to reduce the amount of stress in my life as much as possible.

lake 2

My job is thankfully not stressful but after Friday, I won’t have any job to worry about. This should mean that I’ll be able to fit in another hour or two of sleep each day which is desperately needed at this point.

I also made some time to bake last night, I am getting a massage this afternoon after work and I have quite a few “goodbye” happy hours and dinners planned with girlfriends this week – all of which are huge stress relievers!

So, what does all of this talk of stress relief have to do with my marathon training? When my doctor told me I need to calm down and chill out, she also talked to me about running. Remember how I was having those really bad training weeks a few weeks ago? She told me that my body is so emotionally stressed/drained/exhausted at this point that adding in the physical stress of marathon training is too much for it at the moment.

Ugh… not what I wanted to hear.

Her advice was to continue training but to stop when I feel like I should stop and to not go one step farther. If running 15 miles per week was the only stress I was putting on my body, I would be fine but since I have the added stresses of moving, packing, finding a new job, etc. – I need to focus on one thing at a time.

lake 3

This brings me back to my 13.1 mile run that turned into an 11-miler on Saturday. Kyle and I headed down to Lake Michigan bright and early on Saturday morning so I could fit in a good 2-hour run before 9am. I started off well and tried to run at a slow-for-me pace. I was happy to see multiple Chicago Marathon running groups along the lake and also happily took advantage of their water/Gatorade booths. I figured that since I’m also training for a marathon, they’d be okay with me drinking a few ounces of their water ;)

running group

Anyways, the first 5 miles of my run were awesome… and then I turned around.

Hellooooo, Windy City! I was wondering where the wind was for those first few miles and apparently, it was at my back. No wonder my pace seemed quick while I thought I was running slow! The next 5 miles were not rough but they weren’t great either. And then I hit mile 10.

Wowsers. I walked for about 1 minute after Mile 9 and then for 1 minute after Mile 10 and by that time I knew I was out of energy and oxygen. I ran for 10 more minutes to make it to a little over 11 miles and then decided to stop per my doctor’s instructions.

To be honest, I wasn’t even the slightest bit bummed that I didn’t make it to 13.1 – I hadn’t had a long run in over 3 weeks and this was my longest run in my training so far so I was pretty proud!

Kyle was somewhere close by walking and enjoying the views with Mitchell so I texted him “need water now” and he quickly found me and gave me a big bottle of H2O :)

My overall thoughts about the run?

  • I ran too quickly – My average pace was 9:50 minutes/mile. I need to slow it down to at least 11 minutes/mile on my next long run.
  • I drank too much water/Gatorade at the Chicago Marathon stations. I must say, however, that I am glad I can experiment with this before my actual race day!
  • I loved running a new route and having new scenery to gaze at and enjoy. Lake Michigan reminds me of an ocean, at least in the summer months! Plus there is some amazing people watching in Chicago ;)
  • Sorry Minneapolis runners but Chicago runners are SO much more friendly and social than they are here in Minnesota! I probably had around 15 runners introduce themselves to me and ask me what event I was training for – I also had quite a few comments regarding the brightness and awesomeness of my shoes.
  • Compression socks/sleeves are the best recovery gear ever. Amazing.

compression socks

I can confidently say that I am happy with where I am at in my training program and that I know I’ll be able to do this, even if there is some walking involved!

If you’re new to ONW or missed my earlier posts, check out my previous weeks’ marathon training recaps!

How do you deal with stress? Do you have any tips or ideas of things I can do to de-stress and chill out?


  1. Kelsey Yoki says:

    I’m not that great when it comes to dealing with stress – I tend to hold it all in, then hit a tipping point and everything feels like it falls apart. A goal I had this summer was to find ways to destress. One thing that helps is just scheduling time to sit, whether you read or watch TV! I also try to talk to my loved ones, and make sure I try to take control of things I can, like my eating and exercise!

  2. Always listen to your body! As frustrating as it may be, it knows why is best! I’ve totally been there!
    Jackie recently posted…Shopping Mission!My Profile

  3. You go girl! Way to push yourself, but also to be smart and know when you need to stop. Sometimes that’s harder than fighting through.

    For me, it tends to be the little things when it comes to de-stressing. Going to bed a little earlier, drinking LOTS of water, getting lost in a good book, going for a walk or indulging in some trashy TV with a glass of wine. For the most part, your typical every day girl stuff, but just reminding yourself to take time for YOU. I often have to remind myself that it’s OK that I can’t please everyone and do everything. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. :)
    Sarah @ Chocolate and Pavement recently posted…New Hampshire Lovin’My Profile

  4. Oh gosh, I think Minneapolis runners are way nicer than Chicago runners, ha! I am so used to everyone waving and smiling at each other but whenever I run in Chi everyone just looks down! Maybe I need to head to the lakeshore to run next time I am there to find the happy people. Congrats on your long run!
    Katie @ daily cup of kate recently posted…#AugustPinterestChallengeMy Profile

  5. I think that is the perfect approach to your marathon training. It is more relaxed so hopefully you can have fun with it and make it a stress reliever versus a stress inducer. xoxo
    Melanie @ BeautifullyNutty recently posted…Clean Almond Chocolate CookiesMy Profile

  6. Oh stress…. I know it well. I have a tendency to get way too worked up about everything, especially when I have a lot on my plate, so I’ve been working on finding ways to real for a long, LONG time. That being said, I’m still not the best at it and tend to get myself worked up way too easily. Some things I find that help, though, are reading, journaling, baking, walking, talking to friends/family, doing puzzles, stretching, and most of all… working on my attitude. I found the thing that helped me the most was learning to identify stressful thoughts and challenging the [usually irrational] belief behind them. You really have to learn to trust yourself and truly believe that no matter what, at the end of the day you have what it takes to make it through anything that life throws at you.
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. how i start my [early] day .My Profile

  7. And I have noticed that St. Paul runners are actually nicer than Minneapolis runners – just a general thing I have noticed. . . But I am super glad that Chicago runners were nice to you! that makes a big difference. And good job listening to your body and stopping at 11 instead of pushing it to 13. I think that was the right decision. And I am super jealous of your Lake Michigan views – can’t wait to go for a run by the lake when we visit. :)
    Katie @ running4cupcakes recently posted…Grocery Challenge: Recap!!My Profile

  8. Ugh, I’m so sorry your crazy chest pains are still coming. So not the business. Keep getting massages, pedicures, and drink lots of wine. That should cure that stress in no time ;).

    Really though, I will totally be waiting for you at the finish like with margaritas. Get ready for it.
    carly @ snack therapy recently posted…All Professional and StuffMy Profile

  9. Whenever I’m stressed I play/cuddle with my pets. Something about them just takes away all the stress of my day (it’ll get better when you can be with your pup every day!). I also look at lots of kitten/puppy pictures on Pinterest. It really does work!
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs for Food recently posted…Rainy TuesdayMy Profile

  10. Congrats on a good training week!! I have asthma as well so I KNOW what a pain in the butt it can be when it comes to running. Kudos!!

    As for stress, I don’t handle stress well either. My hubby is super laid back and never lets anything get to him and he never seems to have the same stress related issues I do, so I’ve been trying to take on that approach to life. Easier said than done of course, but it’s getting better. Also, acupuncture!! It’s really helped me as well as breathing exercises. Sounds super hippy-dippy, I know, but I’ve noticed a big change.

    Hope you find some peace soon :)
    Emily @ The Good Era recently posted…Take Time TuesdayMy Profile

  11. Love that you baked to destress. Totally my cure to every stressful event. The trick is then not eating what you made. Not sure I have accomplished that one. Keep it up Becky, totally know you will rock this marathon!
    Rachel @ My Urban Oven recently posted…And More WaterMy Profile

  12. Okay…plan and simple…stress stucks!!! Last year I went through a stressful time in my life (my hair was falling out too) and my way to cope with it was to do yoga and I also went to acupuncture. If you haven’t tried acupuncture (and you’re not afraid of needles), I would highly recommend it (email me if you want to know more about my experience with it…maybe I’ll even do a post on that soon). It’s totally amazing and helped me through that stressful period.

    Also, I found that exercise also helped by stress. Now, I know you’re training for a marathon, so you’re getting plenty of exercise, but I’m talking about the kind of exercise that is fun and you do because you want to do it, not because you have to do it. Zumba is my stress release as of late and let me tell you, it totally keeps me sane!

    Your doctor is totally right though…listen to your body. Sometimes I thinking pushing yourself to the brink of exhaustion only makes it worse! You don’t want to be sick on top of being stressed.

    Bottom line is…you’ll get through it. I did! It’ll get better!!! :-) Email me any time!
    Holly @ eatgreatbegreat recently posted…A Day at the BeachMy Profile

  13. Ugh, stress. I’m the sort of person who lets it build up and then explodes in a cryfest during a completely inappropriate time. Not really the best way to handle things! When I do put an effort into destressing though, I find that dog cuddles (and people cuddles, I suppose) help, so that’s where Mitchell can come in ;-) I also like to take a few hours to myself to just relax with a magazine or an easy book, some chocolate, and a drink (knowing you, I’d suggest wine ;-))
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted…Wonderful Weekend Wedding.My Profile

  14. Stress definitely gets the best of me sometimes. It can be really hard to deal with especially when you let yourself get too stressed. Which I tend to do most of the time. Whoops;)
    For me it really helps to talk it out with someone, write, read, just get out of my head a little bit, and maybe baking or cooking a little something special too!
    Lisa recently posted…Start Your Day Off RightMy Profile

  15. An 11-miler long run in a new city is amazing! And you so deserved those compression sleeves after – love the neon pink color btw! I actually just told my boyfriend this morning that I need to get a sports therapy massage. Not the relaxing type, the type where they work on the knots in my back and potentially hurts so good. Sometimes that kind of massage helps to de stress me better than a normal one. I hope your massage is everything and more for you this afternoon!!
    Leslee @ Her Happy Balance recently posted…New things โ€“ A Website Find and a Cooking FirstMy Profile

  16. Glad you’re looking forward to the less stressful things coming your way! Soo important to focus on those positive things…like happy hour :) And I think even an 11 mile run is amazing!
    Katie @ Blonde Ambition recently posted…Wordless Weekend in PhotosMy Profile

  17. I literally just mentioned in a post that having a run that felt meh was so great for me compared to a run that felt blah. As much as Id prefer a run thats like YESSSS I’m really glad to be indifferent over being ughhhhhh.
    Ashley @ BrocBlog recently posted…DIY Like a ChampMy Profile

  18. You are so lucky to be able to start running in Chicago! I would LOVE to live near the lake!
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl recently posted…Spicy Tortilla Chip Bean BurgersMy Profile

  19. Good for you girl! I think I’ve come to similar conclusions about my own marathon training at this point. I’m five weeks out or so and my legs are starting to feel it (as is the rest of my body). If I make it through my runs, great. If I need an extra rest day, though, I’m not afraid to take it. My health is more important than anything and if my body needs that extra hour or two of sleep over that 6 mile run, so be it. I’ve spent too much time trying to do and follow things perfectly with negative health results and now i realize that nothing else matters (as far as fitness goes). I’ll cross that finish line as best I can on september 15 without sacrificing myself now and that’s a-ok with me!
    Caitlin recently posted…Fun Facts FridayMy Profile

  20. Sounds like you have a really great DR!!!
    Several years back I started getting random chest pains – to the point that I blacked out a couple of times. Many tests later they said not my heart. I started paying more attention to what brought it on and I think it is related to being dehydrated. I drink tons of water all day but sometimes cut back in the evening (and have a cocktail or wine) – the evenings that I quit drinking as much water or the times that I’m more likely to have a problem.
    Kim recently posted…What Does a Runner Look Like?My Profile

  21. I’m horrible at dealing with stress. I think it sounds like you did a good job listening to what your doctor told you and knowing when you needed to stop. Hello walking, crawling or running a marathon is still a marathon and I’m sure a lot of work to train for!
    Nicole @ Fruit’n’fitness recently posted…simple and healthy buffalo chickenMy Profile

  22. I thought running would be a stress reliever for me, but instead it made me more stressed! so funny. I don’t deal well with stress either…no fun.

    • Isn’t it crazy?!? I’ve given some serious thought to my running patterns recently and might need to tone them down even more if my body doesn’t start healing on its own. A 3-mile run is one thing but I just don’t think I was made to run 10+ miles on a weekly basis!

  23. So great to read that you are healthy! That hair will be growing back in no time ;)

    Lakeshore is THEE best run! The views make time fly!
    Christina @ the beautiful balance recently posted…Photos from the week 8/5My Profile

  24. Ah I love reading your training recaps! My long run goal time is about an 11 minute mile, too, and it’s nice to read along with someone who runs at a similar pace. I definitely feel it when I speed up too much and don’t pace well. What a more beautiful place to run than around the lake? Jealous of that view!
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey recently posted…The Future of RunningMy Profile

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