Chicago Marathon 2019 Training Update

Yesterday, I ran EIGHTEEN MILES, which means we’re officially 5 weeks out from the marathon!

Part of me feels like this has lasted forever and part of me cannot believe I’m only a few weeks away from the marathon. It’s like one of my favorite podcasters (and fellow Kansas City native), Gretchen Rubin, says: “The days are long but the years are short.” Anyone else agree?

I’ve done so much traveling this summer, which means I’ve also run in a lot of different places: Colorado Springs, San Francisco, Dallas, Kansas City, Mequon, and of course all around Denver! I even have gotten almost to the end of each direction on the trail right next to my apartment - I had no idea where it went before and now I sure do!

As for the actual running, training is going fairly well. It has not been amazing but not bad either. Below is my training plan and, as for the runs, I’ve stuck to it fairly well. Although I switched out some runs in the first several weeks with HIIT workouts or Cycle classes (I needed the transition), I’m really hitting them all well right now.

However, my ambitious plans of keeping up strength training and HIIT work have not gone so well… I think I overestimated my mental and physical capacity to keep up with so much energy and time spent working out. Plus, with traveling, it made it very hard to stick to a real schedule. I’ve certainly made an effort to get in strength training 1-2 times per week, throwing in abs here and there, but I definitely did not get in what I had hoped. I cannot remember the last time I did leg strength for running… which I know is important!

I guess it can’t hurt to do it now as long as I don’t go crazy with it, right?

My other current struggle is that work is back to regular hours (7:30-4, leaving at 7:08 on the dot…) so I have considerably less time in the morning to fit things in, not to mention it’s pitch black until 6 am. I’ve been doing a lot of running in the dark! I’ve also consigned myself to the fact that I will simply be late on Wednesdays for the next few weeks… Good thing my job is a little flexible on that front. I would consider running in the evening but 1) I hate running in the evening and 2) it’s still so HOT!

I have to say though, taking in consideration that I had major surgery last Fall and wasn’t even running consistently before then, let alone in the months after (i.e. not at all), I’m pretty proud of how far I’ve come and been able to accomplish thus far.

In a perfect world, I would have done a LOT more strength training, done some speed work, and eaten a lot better… but this summer has been more about survival with training and saying yes to fun life experiences. I just have to be okay with that! I know, barring any injuries or something crazy (everyone, knock on wood), I’m capable of at least crossing the finish line and that was my main running goal from the start.

P.S. If you’d like to know WHY I’m running the marathon, check out THIS POST. If you’d like to donate to Team Julie and support my cousins and me, click HERE!

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2019 Chicago Marathon Training Plan

It’s here! Marathon training officially begins this week and I still can’t quite believe that this is happening…

You might be asking, WHY are you running a marathon? Trust me, I’ve asked myself this question many times since signing up in November. After declaring long-distance running was no longer my “thing” a few years ago, I never thought I’d run a marathon again. However, this year I have a very important reason for signing up.

In October, my Aunt Julie passed away from a Cholangiocarcinoma, which is a very rare and under researched bile duct cancer. Last year, my cousins formed a team to run the NYC Marathon to raise money for the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation and when I heard that they planned to do the same this year at the Chicago Marathon, I had to join in. Lucky me, I also convinced one more cousin to be a part of the team who I ran Chicago with in 2012.

To be honest, I’m half running to raise money and half running to support my cousins. Losing Julie reminded me of how important it is to support our family and be a part of one another’s lives. I used to be very close to her four children until I went off to college and only saw them on holidays and I have always regretted losing touch. However, every day is an opportunity to try again and that day in November when I signed up for the marathon was definitely an opportunity taken. Albeit, a slightly crazy one.

So here I am: about to start training for a marathon! Below is my training plan but before we get to that, I’d like to ask each one of you reading to considering donating to Team Julie (yes, it should say Elizabeth Green). I hope to write more in depth about her and her family in the future but what I will tell you is that Julie cared so much about every person in her life and she was absolutely the type of person who never met a stranger. She was inclusive and caring and always ready to have fun. Please consider honoring her memory, honoring someone you love, or simply supporting me and my family by making a gift. Every little bit counts.

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That looks really scary all written out, doesn’t it?!? It certainly does to me! Especially since I already know that I tend to get more tired that I used to and I have a few summer trips planned and, oh wait, that thing called work taking up way too much time... But I know I will do my BEST, whatever that might be!

I based this plan off of Hal Higdon’s Novice Marathon Training plan but moved the Tuesday runs to Monday and added the option of doing a HIIT workout instead of a 3 mile run on Thursdays. I’ve learned over the years that I simply feel better when I’m doing strength training and HIIT exercise so I want to do my best to keep those up while still feeling prepared to run 26.2 miles by mid-October.

If you’ve run a marathon, please feel free to share tips below! Especially any favorite strength or ab workouts that help with running form and staying healthy during training. Now I just have to decide what running watch to get…

I’ll keep you all updated! Follow my runs on my Instagram Story for more day-to-day training and photos.

My Running Wish List

Since marathon training officially starts next week and I’ve actually been running again the past couple of months, there are a few things I’ve realized I need and/or want to help with training. I say this is a “wish list” because I can’t really buy everything on this list, especially not all at once. But a girl can dream, right? Let me know in the comments what your favorite running items are and any suggestions you have for me!