Week eight was another cold one. I don’t know exactly how many workouts for my Fargo Marathon training have been completed on the treadmill. I imagine it must be close to 75% percent of them. This is significantly more treadmill running than I thought I would be doing.
I really don’t know what to make of all this indoor running. I don’t mind it. However, I know I would rather be outside. Conditions you encounter outside are hard to mimic on a treadmill. In Chicago, the terrain is mostly flat, so there’s no big difference in terms of elevation, but sidewalks, trails and streets are much harder than the treadmill surface. Plus you have wind, obstacles and other elements. Running on the treadmill cuts all those elements out. I’m just hoping it won’t hurt me in the long term.
This week, I logged 48 miles with a long run of 18 miles. I have long runs of 19, 20 and 21 coming up the next three weeks. These are the most important weeks of my training as I really start to get into higher mileage and upping the intensity. Now I need to focus on hydrating all the time and getting plenty of good, quality sleep.
Monday, Apr. 4
I ran a 12-mile tempo run on the treadmill. The entire run was done at 8.6 mph (6:58 pace), which is right at my marathon goal pace. Ideally, I could do more of these runs outside, but the weather has been so cold, rainy and all around nasty here in Chicago lately. Not saying I couldn’t run in that, because I did—just last weekend for my long run. I would just rather not run in bad conditions if I can avoid it. I do feel like running on the treadmill is harder in some ways than running outside. The perceived effort is harder because visually everything is the same and the lack of air flow means your body heats up at a faster rate.
Tuesday, Apr. 5
I ran a 4 mile easy run after I lifted weights.
Wednesday, Apr. 6
I ran 7 miles on the treadmill. Today was a speed day. My workout of choice was repeat 800s. Basically, I just started the treadmill and repeated easy/hard efforts every 3 minutes for 7 miles. My easy pace was 6 mph and my hard pace was 10 mph, which is a 3-minute 800 or 6:00 pace per mile. I ended up completing nine 800s. I definitely felt satisfied when the workout was finished.
Thursday, Apr. 7
I ran 4 miles easy after lifting weights. This is the typical Tuesday/Thursday ritual. These are my recovery days.
Friday, Apr. 8
Today was an off day. I took a nice break after six days in a row of running. Tomorrow will be my long run for the week, assuming there isn’t a foot of snow on the ground when I wake up or zero-degree wind chills.
Saturday, Apr. 9
I ran 18 miles for my long run this weekend. I think the temperature was 35 when I started but the “feels like” was around 20. The sun was shining but it was WINDY. No rain at least. I did an out and back on Lakefront Trail. My turnaround point was at Buckingham Fountain. The whole way out I was downwind, although the wind didn’t feel like much.
When you get close to Navy Pier, just south of North Avenue Beach, the trail dips out into Lake Michigan. This is the point at which runners/bikers/walkers are closest to the water. (One misstep and you could be swimming.)
The wind was blowing from the north/northeast and tide was high. When the tide came in, water covered the trail completely. I was lucky and missed it on the way out, but on the way back tide came in right as I got to this point. I was lucky not to fall over from the force of the water as it rushed passed me, dowsing my legs from the calf down. My shoes and socks got soaked and I still had more than 6 miles to run. The whole way back was also into a headwind. I got through the run, hitting my last 6 miles at or faster than marathon goal pace. My 18th and final mile was a quick 6:36! I finished the workout feeling proud of myself for sticking with it and finishing strong despite difficult circumstances.
Sunday, Apr. 10
I ran a short 3-mile recovery run around my neighborhood. Today was cloudy, cold, windy and rainy. So sick of this junk weather! At least I didn’t have a high tide to worry about today.