Marathon Training Recap


I''m finally sitting down to type out a few thoughts about the past months of marathon training. 

I ran my first two marathons in 2013 (April and December), so while it's not my first time to run a marathon, it's been 8 years and 3 babies, and it feels so much different. Another aspect of this run is the fact that I have never legitimately traveled to run a race before. I bought a plane ticket and a hotel room, and Chicago is a major world marathon with elite runners from around the world, so it feels different than any other race I've ever done.

Over the last couple of weeks, as I neared the end of this 18-week training cycle, I've been thinking a lot about why I wanted to do this. The truth is, I don't have a great answer. There isn't one specific reason but rather just the desire to set a goal and push myself really hard to see if I could get there. And the other reason is Chicago. It's always been a bucket list race for me, and I'm so excited to be back in one of my favorite places, seeing the city in a way that not very many people ever have the chance.


I put together my own training plan using a combination of the Run Less, Run Faster plan and the official Chicago Marathon training plan. I ran 4 days a week from June to October, except for a couple of weeks. I have never in my life consistently run that much. Since June 1 I've run 69 times, 384 miles, for 64 cumulative hours.

It's been challenging to fit in my runs between my job, the kids' schedules, and just daily life. Jordan has been so supportive and helpful and encouraging, and I couldn't have done it without him. When did I fit all those runs in, you ask? A lot of the weekday runs were done during my lunch hour. I work from home now, so I could head out for a run and be back home to take a quick shower. If I didn't get my run in during the day, I would either go as soon as we put the kids to bed, or sometimes Jordan would put the kids to bed.

I preferred to get my long run out of the way and do it Saturday morning. For the really long runs that were 3+ hours, I got up at 3 or 4:00 am so I could be home by 7 or 8. It was so hot this summer that I didn't want to do them during the middle of the day, but sometimes I would go while F was napping and the big kids did quiet time or watched a show. It felt like I was constantly thinking about when my next run was, how long it would be, and when would be the best time to do it. I really don't know how people train like this on a consistent basis! I'm so glad the race is here, because Jordan and I are both burnt out, to be honest.


I wish I could say my only goal was to finish, but that's not true. I do want to finish, obviously, but I can't help but have a time goal also. I like to set multiple goals, that way if I miss one, I can still feel satisfied with the next.

My A goal is to get a PR (personal record) and beat my best time of 4:14. My first marathon was 4:14, my second was 4:15, so getting a PR would be amazing. Part of me does think it's possible, but I honestly don't think it's likely.

My B goal is 4:30. That is the time and pace I trained at, and I would be super happy with anything under 4:30. I hit nearly all of my pace goals during my training, and I think this is a solid goal time.

My C goal is 4:45. I'd be pretty disappointed to get anything slower than that, but I also know that sometimes things happen, and ultimately I would be completely devastated to not finish at all, so with that in mind I'm shooting for 4:30 and leaving some room for the unexpected. 

My bib # is 32961 if you are interested in tracking me on Sunday! And if you have any questions about training or running, email me or leave a comment. I know this was a pretty quick rundown, and I probably missed something curious minds want to know.

I'm going to end with something I saw posted in Instagram by a running coach I follow. I'm posting it because I really liked it, and I want to have it here for me to read later when I come back to this.

"This was never about the marathon.
The true marathon was the journey to get here.
Getting on all those daily starting lines. 
You showed up to the next starting line through it all.
Over and over again. Day after day and week after week.
Well, you made it... Chicago.
And I hope you know now that you don't need a race to prove you're a runner. You race to celebrate that you're a runner. So, enjoy the party. Your party.
I hear they're even going to shut down the streets of Chicago for you. 
And you deserve it."

Kaity B. said...

Yayyyyy! Cheering for you so hard!! 📣

Birchwood Pie said...

Good luck tomorrow!!!

Laura Morgan said...

Oh my goodness I love that quote! I'm so impressed by how much work you've put into this for months. I just downloaded the app so I can track you!

tara said...

wishing you well + proud of you from afar!
thanks for sharing and i love the quote, too.

Lauren said...

OK I'm reading this a few days late, and can't wait to hear how it went!

Audrey Louise said...

I am in awe of anyone who runs, especially people who do marathons. Pushing your body to run all those miles- and not just once! Over and over in training! It's incredible! Congratulations on a race well run! I'm sure your family is SO proud of you!!