Week 5 of Training for the Illinois Marathon went about as expected.
That was certainly interesting. I thought the marathon that I ran back in November was tough, but this race may have beat it out. Not only was it cold, but it was also windy. Not only was it windy, but the varying course conditions (snow, ice, slush, mud, pavement, puddles) made for some kind of run. Though I suppose that when you sign up for a Half Marathon in January, what can one expect? I can say that last year’s Polar Dash was quite different since it was about 50 degrees that January day.
My wife, bless her soul, decided to make the trek down to the lakefront with me. I don’t know why she did given what the weather was calling for, but hey, I am glad she supports me in these crazy endeavors. We arrived about 9:00, and found parking relatively close to the Start/Finish area. I decided to get out of the car at about 9:40. This would give me time to start getting acclimated to the weather (and it was cold) as well as make my way to the Start/Finish line.
I didn’t need to do any kind of gear check since my wife was with me. I was able to leave everything with her as well as keep my warm winter coat, gloves, hat, and pants on until just before the race.
Goals, goals, goals. Where to begin… Writing these down always makes them real. Right? It always makes me a little nervous writing them down because what happens if you don’t reach them? Did you fail?
Some of these might make sense to some. Some might not to others. Who knows, but here they are along with why I have set them this way. Anyway here goes nothing.
- 5K – 20:58 (6:44/mile)
- 10K – 43:33 (7:00/mile)
- Half Marathon – 1:40 (7:37/mile)
- Marathon – 3:45 (8:34/mile)
For the 5K, I really thought I was dialing into that last year. After my 5K in Naperville and the Shamrock Shuffle 8K in Chicago, averaging 6:45 seemed like it was well within reach. Unfortunately my calf issues started shortly after the 8K in April, and this meant I couldn’t get it done last year. I would really like to run faster, but this seems like a great place to start, so I guess we will see come this Spring.
After taking about 5 weeks of easy recovery after the marathon and then a couple of additional weeks to begin building back up again, it as to start thinking about the Illinois Marathon and the training required for it. For Naperville, I had been using the Nike Training Plan provided by the Naperville Running Company. (By the way, NRC won the award for the Best Running Store in the US last year. I recommend stopping by if you’re in the area.)
I did modify the plan that had been provided a bit though. I added in various workouts – 3/1 runs, pace runs, a bit of speed work – in hopes that I would be better prepared for 26.2 miles. All in all I thought the training went well, but this time I decided to change things up. I am using the Hal Higdon Intermediate 2 Plan. I felt like I had some success using his plans when I started “seriously” running again, so I was like – what the heck…
Once again, it’s only January, and my racing calendar is already starting to fill itself up. After my disappointing (can finishing my first marathon really be disappointing though?) Naperville Marathon last fall, I am really looking forward to all of the races this year.
- F^3 Lake Half Marathon
- St. Paddy’s Day 5K
- Illinois Marathon
- Nancy Young Dolphin Dash
- Rock and Roll Half Marathon
- Late Summer/Early Fall Half Marathon
- Fall Marathon
- Noon Lions Turkey Trot
The F^3 Lake Half Marathon should be fun and exciting because who doesn’t like running along Chicago’s lakefront in January. I was spoiled last year when I ran in the Chicago Polar Dash Half Marathon because it was 50 degrees that day. I am not counting on that this year, but it still should be great. Plus, unlike the 10K I ran at Thanksgiving in Arizona, I will be fully recovered from my marathon. In fact, I am into week 5 of my current round of training. Also, since I was on vacation before the race in Arizona, my race week fueling was completely shot.