Chicago Marathon Training: Weeks 10-15

I’m less than 3 weeks out from Chicago Marathon and figured that now would be the perfect time to give you a quick recap on training from weeks 10-15.

As you’ll recall, I was leveraging the Hanson Marathon Method for this training cycle. There are many benefits that I felt from using this training plan – their concept of “cumulative fatigue” is spot on. The difficulty I found from the plan was that I was SO constantly tired trying to run 6 days a week and do CrossFit that I ended up burning out. I’d go over 10 days without any true rest day because my running rest day would be filled with CrossFit which is far from rest.

So, I decided to make an adjustment to the remaining two months of my training to ensure the best success for me possible. In the middle of week 10, I decided to revert back to using Hal Higdon training plans for Chicago – specifically the Marathon Training Guide – Intermediate 1 program. This gave me the opportunity to do a few things that fit with my current schedule:

  1. Have one true rest day a week
  2. Have one day for purely cross-training (i.e. CrossFit) – this, to me, was very important!
  3. Run longer than 16 miles for a long run – mentally, I decided that I needed to get in the two 20 miles for my own personal preference

Verdict? So far, so good! I’m constantly getting in solid mileage of 35-45 miles per week which is strong for me, I’m getting in solid cross-training, AND I’m not getting burnt out.

Just a couple of quick notes regarding my two 20-mile long runs:

  • The first 20-mile long run I ran was in week 13 a few weeks ago. It coincided with a trip down to LA to visit friends and so I ran from Playa Del Rey down to Redondo Beach out-and-back for 20 miles. Running along the beach on the Marvin Braude Trail and The Strand was awesome. Not so awesome was the upper 80-degree weather that resulted in extreme heat, sweat, and over-hydration. I filled up my water bottle a total of 5 times during the run! And got a gnarly sunburn.
  • The second 20-mile long run which I did just this past Sunday was much, much better. My friend, Lauren, was so awesome and offered to be my own personal bike sherpa. She not only biked the majority of the 20-miles with me, but she held my fuel in her backpack, refilled my water bottle, and provided endless entertainment and conversation. One note for all bike sherpas out there: at some point in the long run, just talk and talk and talk without expecting any response from the runner. At the end, I was getting some bad rumbly tummy issues and after the run, for 8 hours, I curled up in a ball with extreme stomach pains and frequent bathroom trips. TMI, sorry.

It’s now taper time and I’m so ready to run Chicago. I’m looking forward to visiting the city, exploring, eating my way through, and of course meeting and hanging out with all of my Oiselle team ladies!

I also am looking forward to dishing the details on the awesome plan I’ve been following for the past nearly 3 weeks to extremely clean up my diet. I’ll include recipes, high-level daily meal plans, and hopefully some good results. One thing to note is that I believe that my extreme stomach issues after the 20-mile run was a result of having too clean of a diet and introducing back things like Gu and Honeystinger all of a sudden. Has anyone experienced that? TOO clean of a diet?

That’s it, folks. With that, I’ll leave you with a recap of past several weeks of marathon training in picture form with a few foodie pictures thrown in. Enjoy!


Back in August, attending an awesome Jasyoga event called Run + Reset + Donuts in which we ran a few miles, did an awesome yoga for runners sesh, and enjoyed mini donuts from Mighty O Donuts (an amazing vegan donut shop in Seattle!).









Ever had coconut water? Yes? Well, have you had chocolate coconut water? Do it.


Setting of a beautiful run. I’m so grateful that this is literally my backyard of South Lake Union.


Always remember to have your legs up the wall a la Jasyoga.


Post-long run meal of Serious Biscuit – banana, peanut butter, and honey with a fresh biscuit. Winning combo.


Another post-long run treat of a Molly Moon’s milkshake at the Lil Woody’s in Ballard.


Homemade Yumm Bowl. Seattle peeps, get ready for the first ever Cafe Yumm to come to downtown Seattle in October!! Get updates on the Seattle location building progress here.


Awesome day at Green Lake.


Post-Jasyoga sesh, we hit up the Oiselle HQ for some Hilliard’s Beer


And viewing top Fast Kate (Oiselle pro athlete, Kate Grace) moments with the speedy lady herself in the house! Love Kate and Sally’s expressions.


Hi, Kate!


Have you ever had Hammer Nutrition Gel’s Apple Cinnamon? This literally tastes like apple pie. I really enjoy Hammer gels as they’re very easy on the stomach and easy to consume.


Another beautiful day in South Lake Union for a run.


Post-long run rocking one of my favorite Oiselle outfits: Superfly Cap, Winona Tank, Roga Shorts.


Post-sweaty run on the treadmill.


Thank you, Skora Running for hooking me up with a pair of Form shoes. Took them out on a 5-mile run and they felt fantastic right off the bat. Some of the features of this shoe: anti-slip heelpad, no-tongue design, zero-drop, goatskin leather construction, etc. I look forward to testing these shoes out more after Chicago! Will report back with more detailed results.


View of downtown Seattle from South Lake Union. Geese crossing.


One day, I decided to do my first-ever RUNch (running lunch) in my workplace gym. For a work gym, this was pretty well equipped!




Have you tried Injinji toe socks? I’m loving them so far! I have two pairs and have run in them multiple times with comfort and no blistering.



After running Hood to Coast and obtaining a couple more bruised runners toes, I decided to take my teammate’s suggestion of getting a new pair of running shoes at another 0.5 size increase. My normal shoe size is 7 and I’ve been wearing 7.5. The ones below are the Nike Free Run+ shoes (my tried and true for years) and in a size 8. So far, I’m happy to report that my feet feel much better! When in doubt, try larger shoes.


Running with Lauren – I think this was an 8 miler on a Saturday?


Got my very first pair of hiking boots from REI!


Joe and I went hiking with his mom Kathy to Blue Lake up north of Seattle.







My favorite running path in Seattle: Burke-Gilman Trail.


View of the dock from the SE end of Lake Union as seen on a run.


On the plane ready to fly to LA with Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte and Oiselle Feather Trials Hoodie in Gold (a soon-to-be-released Fall 2013 color!)


While on vacay in LA, I ran my 20-mile run on Friday morning. Fueling with a Picky Bars in their new Runner’s High flavor.


View from the start of my run in Playa Del Rey. Absolutely beautiful!



Oh my. Heat during my run killed.


Running along The Strand.





The actual Beverly Hills 90210 beach house.


By the end of the 20 miles, I was so salty that the pups thought I was a salty popsicle.


On Saturday morning in LA, we hit up beach cruisers and pub crawled. One of my favorite activities to do in LA!


Here are some of our best friends, Jay and Lindsay, the LA hosts.


My husband, Joe, looking like a true Cali surfer.



Brought along my two friends, Oiselle and Nuun, for the ride.


After another super sweaty speed workout on the treadmill at home.


Showing off my superfly headwear.


Got to recently meet a new local Oiselle teammate, Portia, for a nice 10-mile (out of my 12-mile) run from the Seattle waterfront to the end of the Elliott Bay Trail and back. So nice to meet you, Portia!


Rocking the brand-new Fall ’13 Flyer Jacket. Perfectly light-weight and and breathable for drizzling and rainy day runs.


Another run around Lake Union. Spotted a lone paddleboarder.


Love the Flyte Tank.


View of the Seattle skyline from Gasworks Park.



Always time to foam roll.


The Sammammish River Trail as part of my last 20-mile run of marathon training.


Lauren was the best bike sherpa!


Still smiling near mile 17.



The Chicago Marathon is so close……. I can almost taste it!

7 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon Training: Weeks 10-15

  1. Yeah for a blog post and picture dump :). I’m so excited to virtually cheer you on at Chicago and here every detail about the race…I know you are going to love it and I’m 100% confident you are going to come out with a massive PR!

  2. Great post. I love the pictures. I have been using Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 1 plan also and love the higher miles I’m getting in. Enjoy your taper. I’m sure you will do great in Chicago!

  3. Sarah I have a feeling you will have a fantastic race in Chicago! It was easily my favorite marathon, and I can’t wait to hear a report 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s