Chicago Marathon Training Plan - Week 17

I've been struggling with how to approach Chicago. After running 3 solid marathons with a 3:25/3:26 finish time, I'm disappointed. I also need to accept responsibility. I know I skipped some things here and there. Maybe I didn't show up to my track nights with the right attitude (because I'm still learning to love track). Maybe it's because I don't have a coach anymore, and I'm not pushing myself as hard as I should be. Rather than dwell on what I should've done or can't control anymore, I'm thinking about what I can do next. I have a serious drive to kick butt in this marathon because I'm afraid if I don't, Boston 2017 might very well be the last marathon I do.

I've done the generic pyramid build up of 40-50 miles a week these last 2 cycles with no improvement. I feel stronger, but it's not reflected in my finish times. I've had about 11-12 weeks between marathons, which has only allowed me to build up to one 20 mile run and then swing back down into taper. I've decided to up my mileage this training cycle to hit at least 70 at the max and doing about 55-65 on average. I'm also committing to at least 3-4 days of strength training a week. Whether this is a short 10 minute kettle bell or an ab workout, I need to work on my overall body strength.

This schedule requires a huge time commitment. My life pretty much consists of work and running with little time for much else already. It's always been difficult for me to not feel guilty when I skip a run or a workout. I end up trying to make it up somewhere else which isn't a good idea. This will be the first training cycle I've planned out so far in advance, so I know what every week will look like. I'm going to have to adjust the schedule where necessary for LIFE (like a music festival where I need to figure out when to run for a 5 day stretch filled with wine and festival food. I'm definitely freaking out about that!).

The training plan starts this coming Monday, and will be 17 weeks long. I'll be posting my workouts on Sundays, at the beginning of the week to keep myself accountable. I'll then post a week end recap on Saturdays with how the training actually went.

Here's my workouts for next week (week 17), which also happens to be when said musical festival is. I've adjusted it already to move my workouts up and rest on the day we're traveling instead of on Sunday. I'll be doing extra rolling and stretching in order to ensure I don't injure myself and can recover quickly for the next workout. I won't be able to recap this until the following Monday when I get back from the festival.

Wish me luck! This training cycle is going to be a beast!