Marathon Training: The Plan

I’m running my second marathon.


Yup, it’s happening. Chicago Marathon 2013, here I come. If you recall, I ran my first marathon in March 2012 – the Shamrock Marathon in VA Beach.  It was REALLY tough, but so great.  It has taken me awhile to be really ready to run another, but I think I am ready. (I better be!)  So, a few months ago, I signed up for the Chicago Marathon and got a coach for the training.

Now that I am a few weeks into marathon training, I thought I’d tell you a little about it!  Katie has written a whole plan for my training, and I’m not going to give you every detail of it, but it is an awesome plan.  She has me doing a few easy runs, a speedwork or tempo run, and a long run each week. I love having a variety of runs each week – it keeps it interesting.

I’m loving the training, but honestly, it’s been REALLY hard.  The summer heat and humidity hasn’t helped, but regardless of the weather, the training hasn’t been easy and I haven’t been totally confident all the time.  I have my ups and downs, and some runs give me SUCH a confidence boost, but, during the long runs, I haven’t felt like the running is getting any easier. Normally during a training cycle, I feel able to run faster/longer in the long runs with no problem each week – building up is natural and not so difficult. This time, though, I have been completing the runs, but each long run feels just as hard as the last, if not harder. I have still had to walk just as much and feel just as tired as I did at the beginning of the training cycle. It’s pretty demoralizing at times!  I’m powering through, but just wanted to be totally honest and open with you all about that.

On the other hand, though, some of my runs have been TOTALLY awesome. The speed work and tempo runs HAVE been getting easier, unlike the long runs. Last week, I had 4×800 on the schedule, and I nailed it. Not only was I on pace, but the 800s got progressively faster and I felt GREAT. I definitely could have pushed the pace, and next time I will. Today, I had a 4 mile tempo on the plan, and I nailed that one, too! For some reason, today’s workout at 6:30pm in the heat/humidity felt SO much easier than Sunday’s long run at 7:30am, when I tried to beat the heat/humidity. Granted, it was overall hotter on Sunday than it was today, but surely the faster pace in the hotter part of the day today should have felt harder than an easy pace in one of the coolest part of the day on Sunday?? No such luck, though.


Overall, I know I need to trust my training and go along with it. Katie is SO talented and a wonderful coach, so I know her plan is good for me and will prepare me for the marathon.  I’m going to continue trying to figure out why things haven’t been feeling right – why runs aren’t as easy as I think they should be, and why some runs don’t give me much confidence – but put the majority of my energy into doing as well as I can and not focus too much on what I can’t do and can’t change.

I CAN push myself, even if it’s not easy and not comfortable.

I WILL make my training as successful as I possibly can, and I won’t let a few bad runs bring me down.

I will focus on today and I won’t let what is coming up in my training scare me. I’ll be ready when it comes.

What are YOU doing to make today as great as you can?


  1. SO proud of you for doing ANOTHER MARATHON.
    i still am in awe that anyone can run that amount of miles in one sitting.
    i’ll be thinking about you as you train!! wish i was still in cville to do some runs with you!

  2. Lizzie, this is awesome!! I’ve been throwing around the idea of doing a half marathon in the fall and I think you’ve convinced me! I don’t think I could ever do a full marathon though so you are inspirational! Keep it up girl
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  3. Lizzie—thanks for keeping us all motivated! (And ever inspired with the shoe/sock combo.) I think I’ll run tomorrow, now that I’ve read your post. :) Lots of love from Lookout Mountain. Miss you!

  4. Congrats on entering the Chicago Marathon. As a Chicagoan I can tell you it’s a great race and you will enjoy yourself in all aspects the city has to offer.

    Someone just told me to focus on today and not to get so anxious about tomorrow. I guess the philosophy works in all aspects of life – even running.

    Best of luck and look forward to reading more updates about your training.

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