Chicago Marathon Training Week 9

I seriously can’t believe we are now half way through training. I don’t know why but I don’t even feel like I’m training for something. I don’t know how to explain it but I don’t feel that same anticipation and readiness like I did before NYC Marathon. It feels surreal. I’m thinking it’s because it will be my first marathon/race in general that is outside of the tri-state area. One I have to fly to! :-O

Anyway, last week’s training was decent. I hit 30 miles. I know my goal was 35 but I skipped my 5 miler yesterday because of this weird twinge I’m having in my left shin. It started after my long run and hasn’t fully gone away. I have been icing, stretching and massaging meticulously.

Here’s last week’s training:

Monday: 6 miles. We did a 2×2 mile tempo workout with a 1 mile warm up and cooldown. We were supposed to stay within 9:30 range, and I did for the first 2 and kind of the the third but really fell off on the last one. Mile 1: 9:29, Mile 2: 9:33, Mile 3: 9:44, Mile 4: 10:30. We took a 5 min. break between each 2 mile rep. Honestly, almost gave up on that last one. It was killer. I did this same exact workout during Philly Half training and had the same results (really falling off on the last rep).

I also posted this picture on Instagram on Monday, wanting feedback:


A photo posted by Patty Rivas (@pattyrivas13) on

Here’s the caption/question I asked: 

Alright runners I need your advice. Trying to fix some muscle imbalances that I know I have but just don’t know how to fix it.

As you can see in picture 4, when my right leg steps, my left hip drops. However, you can see when my left leg steps, my right hip doesn’t really drop. So does that mean my right hip is weak?

Also, why does my leg kick inwards before straightening out? Also hip weakness? Coach Marc has told me to do running drills and core, which I NEED to be better about.

What are your favorite hip exercises? I mean, do clams really work because I really never feel it!

Thanks in advance for your input :)

Tuesday: Off. Took a 2 mile walk.

Wednesday: Easy 5 mile run.

Thursday: Long run. Ran 10 miles before the NYC Runs 5K in Central Park (recap here). Total 13.25 miles. I was REALLY tired after this. So I would have to run 13 MORE miles to finish a marathon??

Friday: Off. Took off because of that shin pain. It was really sore Friday.

Saturday: Easy 6 miles. Felt fatigued and pace fell off in the last 2 miles.

Sunday: Off. 2 mile walk instead. Like I said, shin still hurting


I don’t know. Honestly I am kind of stressing a bit. My long run did not feel strong. I also feel like 30 miles isn’t enough to run a marathon. I know I am just getting in my own head. I know I have 9 more weeks to go and still have time. But I just don’t know, at this point, how I will do in the marathon when I can’t even do 6 miles without feeling really tired, out of breath and slowing down in the last 2 miles of a 6 mile run??! Granted, yes 2 days earlier I ran 13 miles and my body is tired. I am trying to give myself my own pep talks haha.

Is anyone else freaking out or has in the past? 

My goal for this week is to get as close to 40 miles as possible, and strength train/do core 2 times minimum. I have a 16 miler this week which also is making me nervous because I’m thinking how am I going to get through that??

Like I have said in the past, it seems my mental strength is just not there. It is something I need to work on.

Please feel free to leave any input, tips, mental tips, etc. in the comments – I would greatly appreciate it!!


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  1. Don’t worry! You’ll be fine! You still have so much time left and you have to remember that you’re training during the summer and it has been a hot one. You are bound to be a bit slower, get hotter faster and need more hydration throughout you runs. So much of training is mental, so just keep reminding yourself that you are strong and you can do this!
    Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted…Easy Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork Bowls (wheat/dairy/soy free)My Profile

    • Thank you so much Nicole – I really appreciate your comment! You’re right, it has been hot. And the constant stopping and needing to walk or catch my breath is what messes with my mind because I’m like why can’t I even just run SIX mile straight?!?

  2. I’m obsessed with giving hip advice – probably because my exercises are from my physio!

    If clams don’t work, it’s possibly because your legs aren’t in the right position. You really want your hips at 90 degrees and your knees at about 45 degrees. When our glutes/hips are weak, we tend to use our hamstrings, so don’t lift too high, hold and slowly lower.
    Cook hip lifts are also good for engaging the glutes and not using the hamstrings instead of the typical bridges.

    One leg squats (pictures on my blog) and crab walks are also super helpful for weak hips.

    I wouldn’t stress too much about training at this point. Right now I’m only at 11/12 miles for my long runs and I’m about 9 weeks out from my race. 9 weeks is lots of time :)
    Ange @ Cowgirl Runs recently posted…Marathon Training Recap (week 3)My Profile

  3. :hug: You’ve got this. Nine weeks is a lot of time, and you are committed in training, so you will be ok. Promise. Do your strength training and drills and all that, and keep on pushing. You’re going to be great.
    Jenn recently posted…week in review: 8.2 – 8.8My Profile

  4. My trainer is sitting next to me. He says you are landing on the outside of your left foot and your right hip is open and pointed out. You look like you are running side to side. According to him not me. Good luck!
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Freekeh, Roasted Eggplant, Tomato & Pasta SaladMy Profile

  5. You still have plenty of time to ramp up those miles. How far are you planning for your longest long run to be prior to race day? 20 miles? 22 miles?
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon Training Log – Week 14My Profile

  6. Ditto to what Ange said! You’ll be fine, but getting in some hip and core strengthening exercises will be important. I find wearing compression socks during long runs helps with shin pain.
    Bri recently posted…How to properly taper for a marathon in three weeksMy Profile

  7. I say hip and core training will help you quite a bit. Do you do any meditation? That could help with your mental road blocks.
    Margo recently posted…Brooklyn Fit Chick Playlist: “Ray of Light” Ride with Madonna, P!nk, Foos, Gwen Stefani & MoreMy Profile

  8. You’ve got this! When I was training for races I always had the hardest part mentally, I would totally psych myself out. Sounds like alot of other factors are also kicking in so don’t be too hard on yourself.
    Becki S recently posted…Mr.BarBelle’s Mom Tells AllMy Profile

  9. I just started training for the Miami Marathon today. But now a days my goals are just to have fun and enjoy the experience and see who else I can get to come to this thing with me!
    Cristina @triathlonmami recently posted…Why I Went On A Road Trip And Why You Should TooMy Profile

  10. I rarely run any distance anymore without compression socks or tights. Just helps so much. I hope your shin eases up and you can get your training where you would like it to be. I think you have lots of time, too. Don’t stress as that will make it worse. Stretch lots.
    Elle recently posted…Get Lean Gluten Free Cookbook ReviewMy Profile

  11. Don’t get overwhelmed, you’ve got plenty of time. If it helps you feel better, in training for 8 marathons, 3 of which were BQ’s, I’ve never run more than 35 miles/week, and most weeks were less. It’s just not always necessary.
    Marcia recently posted…Marathon Training, Sinkholes and Wasps in the AtticMy Profile

  12. You’ll be fine! You’ve got lots of time to figure it out. Keep up with the strengthening. What’s been said above is good advice. Remember to train unilaterally to balance your strength.
    Debbie @ Coach Debbie Runs recently posted…Vegan Zucchini Apple Bread. Plus a Sun Warrior GiveawayMy Profile

  13. Stop that self doubt right there. You’ve got plenty of time to get your head in the game. One bad run does not a marathon make! Trust me when I tell you, you’ve got this!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Marathon training week 3: KIckstart My HeartMy Profile

  14. Very useful info.

  15. You are doing great. Mental strength is the HARDEST to grab and grow. Keep going you got this!
    Rachel recently posted…Life is NuttyMy Profile

  16. The freaking out at some point seems to be part of the training. Your mental strength will return stronger than ever and ready for race day. You’ve got this Patty!
    jill conyers recently posted…Very Berry Smoothie BowlMy Profile

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