Wednesday, August 31, 2016

I Ran 400 Miles in August

I ran 400.46 miles in August - a new monthly PDR. My previous monthly PDR of 375 was set two months ago. I can safely say that unless I move to a much colder climate someday, I will never run that kind of mileage in the month of August again for the rest of my life! The heat and humidity combo over the last four weeks made almost every run an uncomfortable, laborious, dehydrating slog with drenched shirts and shorts that I literally had to wring out in the sink when I got home. I could bitch about it, but I realize I chose to run in the swampy air and am lucky to have had the energy and opportunity to do so. Even if my marathon falls short of my expectations, I can be proud of myself for pushing through the muck and not bitching too much in the process.

In any case, you can probably tell I'm feeling somewhat drained by my marathon training at the moment. I'm considering taking a three and a half week taper instead of the two and a half one I had planned. I feel I have much much more to gain fitness-wise by getting myself rested and refreshed over the 3.5 weeks prior to the marathon than running an additional high mileage "junk" week and only giving myself less than three weeks to get my racing legs back.
Before my run this morning
So that means next week is my last long week and then it's taper time! I'm looking forward to the shorter runs and maybe getting some pep back in my step as the weather cools off and those nasty "heat indexes" fall off of the weather forecasts. Simply getting through next week in one piece will be my main goal - then I will treat myself to those incrementally shorter weeks and some hearty eating, which comprise a quality taper. I will top off my last long run at 20 miles three weeks out, but that will be by far the hardest run that my taper will entail. Fresh and fit for the start line will be my goal over the next five weeks!

98% of the hay in the barn. It's almost here....

August By the Numbers
Miles Run
400 miles
Rest Days5 days
Average Miles Run Per Calendar Day  (i.e. 400/31)
13 miles
Average Miles Run per Run Day (i.e. 400/27)
15 miles
Number of "Marathon Equivalents" (i.e. 400/26.2)15 "marathons"
Number of Runs45 runs

Friday, August 12, 2016

Chicago Marathon 2016 Training Update

Finishing the Carmel Marathon in April
I came up a mere 21 seconds short of a 2:59:59 marathon in Carmel in April. Since then, I have doubled down on my efforts to help ensure that I will be fit enough to give myself a chance at redeeming myself in October at the Chicago Marathon. In order for redemption, I have changed my normal marathon training plan in only one regard:

Run more miles than ever before. A lot more miles.

Not faster miles, not miles at any particular pace - but a lot of miles at any pace. It was an audacious plan which has been difficult due to this summer being relatively hot and humid one in Chicago. As someone who dreams and loves running in the arctic chill, these are not ideal temps to be hammering out 80+ mile weeks. But, you know what? I am trying not to complain. So I put my head down and power through the goop. If I have a 10 mile run planned for the middle of the day, I get outside, start running and then mentally countdown the miles remaining until I can take a cold shower, chug a glass of ice cold water and lounge in an air conditioned room when I get home. If it's gonna be hot on race day, I'm at least giving myself a chance by not cowering from the heat during training.

Anyway, here is a comparison of my 22 week training mileage from my previous two marathons (Chicago 2015 and Carmel 2016) mapped against my current training plan for Chicago:

The green line is actual + forecast for my 2016 Chicago Training (taper is on the right - weeks 20,21,22)

For those of you keeping track at home here are the totals:

I'm running 45.8% more miles this time around
So, if everything goes to plan, I will be putting in over 45% more mileage in the lead up to the Chicago Marathon in October than I did in the lead up to the Carmel Marathon in April. Here's hoping that that will translate into at least 21 second faster result. Fingers crossed for decent weather conditions and that I come up with a proper pace and fueling plan!

I'm going to take a three week taper this year and am planning on taking a cutback week soon. So, I only have four more weeks of high mileage remaining. It's almost here...