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?

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