Chicago Marathon Training Weeks 7 & 8

Eight weeks in, eight weeks out…

Marathon paced miles will be the focus of my training from here on out. I’ve been doing a little bit of that here and there but now there will be a lot more. Like a lot. This also coincides with a pretty significant and consistent jump in weekly mileage.

My goal marathon pace is 8:23-8:30. Which equates to a really. really. tall order marathon finish time. You can do the math. That way I don’t have to type the numbers and see them and then break out in a sweat/need to immediately use the bathroom.

So, Week 7:

Monday: Speedwork. 8 TM miles with 1M @7:30, 1M @8:23-8:30 x3. These types of runs I seem to feel stronger as the run progresses. Maybe it’s all psychological because I know I’m almost finished.

Tuesday: Rest.

Wednesday: 7 easy paced TM miles plus 1 mile of 5×20 second strides outside.

Thursday: 8 easy paced TM miles.

Friday: I moved my long run at the last minute because of an unexpected day off work, and the fact that Kelly’s husband was willing to do it with me, you know, for FUN! (no, he is not normal–but how lucky am I to have not normal friends?). I hit everything pace-wise (9:10-9:20), including my GMP miles in the middle (2 miles, twice), then completely lost it on the last 6. I don’t know whether it was the heat, the sun, or just me, but I felt like complete shit. I do not particularly care to be way over pace, so it was pretty discouraging. 18 miles in 2:45:13, 9:10 average pace. I think one contributing factor was my lack of appropriate fueling. You would think I’d have this figured out by now, but I just don’t. And the chafing? I’d never had anything this bad…..I’m giving it an R-rating. Possibly an X. Yeah, definitely an X.

Thank you to the person I stole this from on Instagram. Wise words.

Saturday: Rest.

Sunday: 7 easy TM miles.

49 miles total for the week.

And moving on, Week 8:

Monday: Speedwork. 8 TM miles with 1M @8:23-8:30, 1M @8:10, 1M @8:00 x2. Felt good!

Tuesday: Rest.

Wednesday: 7 easy paced TM miles plus 1 mile of 5×20 second strides outside. I am never 100% sure if I’m doing these correctly. But the last one felt pretty strong so I think that’s a good indicator that I’ve got it figured out.

Thursday: 8 mile TM tempo run with the middle 6 at GMP. I always try to aim for the faster end of the range.

Friday: Rest.

Saturday: With the way that my previous long run went, I obsessed over this run for days, I really did. But I nailed it. Running can be such a mind fuck. 90% humidity at the start, but I was right on target with pace (9:09 average) and the last mile was the fastest at 8:40. I made some adjustments to my fueling strategy (or lack thereof) which I really think made a huge difference. Thank you Kelly for biking next to me and carrying all my shit for the last 13, and more importantly for making those miles fly by–you have no idea how much you helped me. I couldn’t ask for a better friend.

Really, really happy with this. I felt strong the whole way, and it was probably the best 20 miles I’ve ever run. A huge mental win. You’ve got to take the good days when they are given to you. 20 miles in 3:03:19.

Oddly enough, I did not even feel like complete death afterward. Meaning, I actually got things done around the house! Whaaaaat?

Sunday: 7 easy paced TM miles. And somehow my legs did not feel like complete garbage.

And then your friend who happens to be an excellent cook makes you a fresh peach pie. And you eat it.

51 miles total for the week.

Last evening of summer fire and s’mores.

From Run the Edge.
Halfway, baby!


  1. My friends got me a shirt that says “Chase Your Better” and it’s been motivating me with my training. The days you catch a glimpse of your better are freaking awesome. And the days you end up slogging are horrible but they help you catch your better the next go-around. Keep it up! You’re doing great.

    • Wendy, I love it! I need one of those shirts:) Wise words and thank you so much. Best of luck with your training as well!

  2. You are really killing it!!! You should give Kelly up and send her to me though. I need her more! Keep it up! Chicago is going to be incredible!

  3. WHOA!! Great job on your training!! Um, if I run this many miles, do I get a pie, too? 😉 Way to go!!

Leave a Comment