Chicago and Marine Corps Marathon Training Recap, Week 4

Still reeling about this beautiful race venue

Well, week four of marathon training has come and gone, and as expected; it was mostly gone. I didn’t hit the scheduled 42 miles on the plan for this week, which wasn’t much of a surprise. I knew this would be an off-week for two reasons. For one, the week should have started with a five-mile run, but instead I had a half marathon on the calendar for Sunday, which meant a rest day the following day. The half marathon was in California, which involved a two-hour time change and four-hour flight home the following day.

Second, I knew my training would fall off for the latter half of the week because I was planning a bridal shower for my beautiful soon-to-be daughter-in-law, and knew I would be tied up with last-minute planning by the end of the week. Did I mention I’m The Great Procrastinator? To complicate things further, the entire week has remained brutally humid, with a few torrential downpours in the mix. I (ever so briefly) entertained the thought of some midweek dreadmill runs, but never made it down there because of everything else I had going on.

So lackluster as it was, here is the week in review:

Sunday, 7/16:  Half marathon along the beautiful Destination Races Wine Country Napa to Sonoma course. My first three miles were faster than my usual by about a minute per mile, but then my pace fell off as the temperature continued to rise. Happy as always just to finish, you’ll hear no complaints from me ~ especially about a race where there’s wine at the finish!

Hot and Humid 5-mile recovery run

Monday, 7/17:  An early morning wakeup call was on the calendar for today. Car rental return and a four-hour flight back to Chicago made for an eight-hour travel day. ‘Nuff said.

Tuesday, 7/18:  5 mile recovery run. Slow and easy is an understatement. Oh, that humidity!

Wednesday, 7/19:  Zero

Thursday, 7/20:  Zilch

Friday, 7/21:  Nada

Saturday, 7/22:  Another steamy 5 miles. A little better on the pacing despite the humidity. I think I just wanted it to be over!

When will this humidity end?

So overall, I wouldn’t call this a horrible week with a total of 23 miles completed. Did I meet the scheduled mileage on the training plan for the week? Not even close. But starting the week with a half marathon will allow me (in my mind!) to call the rest of the week a recovery week. Looking forward to some (slightly) better temperatures this week with hopefully a break in the humidity. Seriously, it’s been brutal!

How is your fall race training going? Do you stick to a strict training plan, or adjust as you go along?


  1. Starting the week with a half marathon is hard! I would say you had a great week of training. Taking off a few days in the middle of the week was probably great for your body to recover!

  2. Travel days really mess up training! I’ve had a few long days of work that had me traveling and I just couldn’t fit in my workout 🙁
    So far my training is going well for my half marathon in September. I have a specific training plan but alter it to meet my other sports (soccer, yoga etc) and family needs.

  3. How fun to be planning a shower! My training is far off the tracks right now but I’m holding out hope there’s enough time to get back in a groove. The weather and downpours are ridiculous.

  4. I have never followed a training plan exactly as written…because most training plans can’t foresee the unexpected. That said, I do try to stay as close as possible to what is prescribed because each training run or workout is fine-tuned to work as a unit. But yes, a half marathon does constitute a little R & R the week afterwards 😉

  5. It’s inevitable that life will interfere with a marathon training plan. This week sounds like a good week to adjust your training given the weather.

  6. I would call it a recovery week too! That half marathon had to be beautiful! I hope they had some nice chilled wine at the finish!

  7. I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself. It’s important to recover after a big race and lots of travel, and a shower is a wonderful reason to take a break!

    I try to stick to a plan, but things sometimes fall by the wayside. Just keep on going and you’ll get back on track.

  8. Sometimes we just need to have an off week — planned or unplanned! 🙂

  9. Today was perfection! I love days like this in the midst of summer. We traveled back from Door County and there wasn’t a run scheduled, but I sure love having the windows open!

    1. Author

      It is amazing! Watch for it, though–it sells out in less than an hour! I’ve run it the last two years and registration opened the 2nd Friday in November at 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time. I’m not sure it will be the same this year.

  10. I’m starting my training next month, and am focusing on conditioning right now. I’ve got a marathon in December! My first! I’m scared and excited at the same time. eeek!!

    I like to stick to a plan as closely as I can too. knowing what’s coming is always relaxing to me for some reason.

  11. Despite not sticking to your plan 100%, I’d say you still had a great week. You have to take time to recover after a race, and you had a shower to host. You were quite busy, and still pretty active, so try to not be too hard on yourself.

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