8 weeks until Chicago!

Last week we moved into the single digit territory in the countdown to the Chicago Marathon. My training is back on the rails for the most part and I'm starting to feel fit. After the two weeks of pits, or as they are labeled in my training journal "POOOOP" I got back to work quickly.

Week 7 - 61 miles (LR* 15 easy, W* 2 x 3 mile @ 6:25 pace)
Week 8 - 64 miles (LR 16 last 6 @ 6:15s, W 4 x 400s, 5 miles @ 6:00 pace, 4x400s)
Week 9 - 70 miles (LR 18.5 easy, W 2 x (3x1mile))
Week 10 - tbd (LR 18 last 6 @ 6:10 pace, W tomorrow) 
*LR = long run, W = workout

Now there are under 8 weeks left until the big day. I'm dialing my diet and rest and I'm hammering my training. Notably from here on out, no booze. I'm cutting back empty calories (Wonka diet on pause) and adding thoughtful fuel. I'm trying to get more than 7 hours of shut-eye a night.

This last weekend my parents were out visiting from Massachusetts. And we set off on an adventure to Winthrop. I wanted to book the Rolling Huts, but all the huts were taken. So I booked two of the safari tents on site. Big difference. The tents were very rustic (read: no one slept). We stayed for a couple nights.

blurry tents at night
The first night about 20 minutes after drifting to sleep on my little army cot, I was awoken by a very loud drunk woman. Her big HA HA HA laugh and loud proclamations like, "My dog SH*TS on the SIDEWALK ALL the TIME" went on and on as I lay sleepless. I could only hear her and another voice at the community fire pit. After 20 minutes I decided enough! I threw on my hoodie and shorts and marched my booty right out there. As I neared the pit I noticed it was not one or two or ever four people at the fire. Instead is was pretty much the ENTIRE camp. Even this one couple that I'd seen running around with a toddler.

Before I knew it was standing right there in the little sliver of land left around the fire. The HA HA HA woman welcomed me. I didn't have my glasses on but I could see smiles in the fire light. I had no time to back out, so I delivered my little "keep it down" speech to all the happy faces and I turned to go. I chanted in my head, "don't run, don't run"... but I only made it two steps out of the fire circle and I was sprinting barefoot for my tent. I felt like such a turd.

Needless to say I made no friends in the tents. And the next morning there were no hellos, just little snickers as I went by. But I had bigger fish to fry. I had an 18 miler with the last 6 under 6:20. I set out around 9:30am and headed out on route 20 towards Okanagan forest. I wheeled around packed trails when I needed a reprieve from the pavement and was comfortably clipping along at 7:15 pace. At mile 7 I started the climb into the pass. Luckily I turned at 9.2 miles and headed back. Took my one gel at 11 and at 12 started cranking.

I was straight into a headwind and uphill to start and I overcompensated on effort. Clocking in a 6:00 flat! Then a 6:03, 6:07, 6:11, 6:07, 6:12. I felt strong. I kept trying to slow but worried I'd slow too much. The mile splits just wheeled by. The last .25 got gritty, but I held on. The headwind was steady and the hills rolled. It was a good confidence booster for me.

After a shake out walk and two bottles of Nuun I headed to the river with a peanut butter sandwich and Runner's World Magazine. I sat in the cold water and enjoyed my snack and some reading.
ice bath

After a quick shower we all headed out to hike. We'd been told that Hart's Pass would be a good drive and hike. I will say that's not true if the car is full of 4 grown adults terrified of heights. As I drove my Hyundai up and up and up ... my stomach sank lower and lower. My mother was making loud exhales like she was breathing into a huge paper bag. The oldies station plinged along as we all tried to lighten the mood.


The cliff to my left became sharper and sharper and every time a car needed to pass it was all we could do not to just start screaming in sheer panic. About 3.5 miles up at Dead Horse Point my mother yelled, "I can't take it anymore! I'm getting out!" And she did. She ran all the way down the mountain. We were left perched there, danging it seemed, and there was only one way to go. My husband and father were silent as I tuneless hummed to Elton John and tried not to poop my pants. My car crawled over each rock until we reached a place where I go turn around.

between the 18 miler and this drive, my HR was higher on the drive. guaranteed. 

After we followed the dust trail to my terrified mother and picked her up, we headed for some overly tame redemption hiking at Rainy Lake. Hello, paved trail.

I was going to give-up booze on Sunday, but let me tell you after Hart's Pass I needed just one glass or two of Merlot. I will say that darn road is on my life list now. I would have finished it, and now I really want to. I just might need to be drugged, in the trunk...

I have a feeling the views would be worth it...this is only 1/2 way up


  1. I thought your mom was pretty awesome when I met her, but now I REALLY love her. Glad y'all survived the crazy drive, and props on your amazing training. I am in awe.

  2. I got nervous just reading this!!! I know exactly how you felt driving up scary roads like that...I do not do well with them either. I love that your mom just took off, that's pretty hilarious and totally understandable.

    So, so happy your training is back on track!!! Glad you had a killer run even after having no sleep.

  3. Last year when I worked at a college and lived rather close, I am pretty sure I was notoriously the "you kids get off my lawn old fun ruiner" when they would be screaming outside my apartment window at 2am when I had a long run on tap the next morning.

    I'm glad your training went well this week. Eight weeks to go is when I am going to start finetuning my training as well. That looks like a gorgeous hike though. I'm scared of heights myself but only if it involves jumping down somewhere.

  4. Beautiful scenery! Great job on your training!

  5. Glad to hear you are back in the marathon training groove!! My BP went up just looking at those cliff pics... I would have jumped out of the car with your mom!!!! SCARY!!!


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