Chicago Marathon Training Recap: Week 11

Hello from China! My husband and I are here visiting my brother who lives and studies in one of its northern provinces. We’re spending the first part of trip in Shanghai and traveling north to Beijing on Thursday. We’ve been here since Saturday evening, and I think I’m as acclimated to the 12-hour time difference as well as I ever will be. I am eating pork dumpling everyday and making frenemies with the hotel treadmill.

Week eleven went a little differently than I had planned, beginning with my 18-miler. I knew I couldn’t run 18 miles in Shanghai without getting lost or survive that long on a treadmill, so I decided to get it done on Wednesday. This way I could run again on Thursday to shake out my legs and travel Friday/Saturday with less chance of soreness/discomfort on a 14-hour flight. However, when I did the math, I would need to set a ~4:00am alarm to finish the run before my work day, and I can barely handle a 6am wake-up call. I decided to split the run and planned 12 for the morning and 6 in the evening, only to begin the morning run over an hour than expected. I decided something was better than nothing and ended up getting just over 8 miles before work.


I finished the rest of the miles after work, and it was a total slog. I was tired. My stomach cramped for several miles. I wondered why I was running, but I got it done. Anytime something negative creeps into a long run, I try to practice what I’d do if it happened during the marathon because lord knows if my stomach begins to cramp in mile 6 or 26.2, I’m not going to stop. I’m going to deal with it. This gives me something I can reflect back to and remind myself that the problem can resolve itself. Better miles are up ahead.

Another hard part was a surprise foot pain – seeded on my right heel. I felt it sparingly through the week but by Wednesday night, I couldn’t ignore it. I decided to take Thursday as a rest day and run Friday morning before our traveling began, but by the time we finished packing the night before, I was barely going to manage 6 hours of sleep before our morning alarm and chocked it up to more mandatory foot rest. I reached out to the women of the Oiselle Volee for advice on the pain, and a couple things jumped out. 1) Tight calves – yup. 2) Change of shoes – yup. I’ve been wearing a new type of Hokas for some of my mid-week runs, and that change might have been contributing to the pain. I’m also going to look into dry needling for when I return. Happy to report that lots of calf foam rolling, stretching, and sticking to my tried and true running shoes has reduced the pain to almost zero, and Sunday’s workout went great.

So there you have it – a couple lows and only three days of running, but it’s still a rise in mileage from last week’s cut back week. Going to focus on upping the mileage again this week in China, and returning home for my peak week before taper town.

  • Monday: Pure Barre
  • Tuesday: 6 easy miles
  • Wednesday: (am) 8.3 miles (pm) 9.8 miles
  • Thursday: Rest day
  • Friday:  Rest day (travel day)
  • Saturday: Rest day (travel day)
  • Sunday: 2 mile warm-up, 3 miles, 2 miles, 3 miles at half marathon pace with a minute rest in between, and a 1 mile cool-down
  • Weekly mileage = 35

To finish on a high note, I ran 189.8 (but let’s call it 190) miles last month. I caught myself sulking about missing out on 200 (especially since the ankle pain stole another possible 7), until I checked myself. August’s 190 miles was 50 more than July and definitely the highest monthly (and weekly) mileage I’ve ever ran. That is more than enough reason to celebrate, and I hope to have many, many years of running. I’ll get that 200 one day.


And I did a little clicking around my Garmin data this week and discovered a very satisfying upward trend in my speed over the past 10 months. I remember refreshing that data Dec-May, feeling like I wasn’t making any improvement, but those little dots are (slowly) making their way up there.

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 12.02.23 PM.png

Anyone else see their goal races flash before their eyes when the threat of an injury looms close?! I was freaking out.

I’m linking up Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC’s training recap.

2 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon Training Recap: Week 11”

  1. I’ve had that same heel pain and it was 100% related to tight calves. Glad you got some good advice to nip it in the bud! Hope you are having a good trip. Next time I’m in OH, I’ll let you know 🙂


  2. Hello from Toledo! 🙂 I had lost track of your blog after the Owens Corning half, so I’m happy to find your blog again! It’s fun seeing the same places I run in your weekly recaps. I love the towpath especially, and that’s where I ran my long run last week!
    Hope you are having a great time in China!


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