Chicago Marathon Training Week 17 – It’s Marathon Week!

Marathon week is here!! Honestly though, I really don’t feel like I’m running a marathon this weekend OR even leaving for Chicago on Thursday. It probably won’t hit me until we actually land in Chicago.

This will be me and my mom’s first time in Chicago AND first time running a race outisde the tri-state area. I have had my doubts (still do) but I keep telling myself that the training is done and to think of Sunday as just another long run I need to do this week…a 26.2 mile long run :-O

Here’s what we did last week:

Monday: Off

Tuesday: Last real workout. 1 mile warm up, 1/2 mile in 5:05, break, 1 mile in 10:30 (was supposed to be 10:20 but we ran on the roads and this part was hilly), break, 1 mile in 9:50 (was supposed to be 10:00 but felt good!). 1 mile cooldown.

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 8 miles. Last long-ish run. Goal was 10 but we were outdoors and it was raining/cold. Coach Marc had 8-10 on the plan so 8 was ok…would liked to have done 10 but oh well.


A photo posted by Patty Rivas (@pattyrivas13) on

Friday: Recovery 3 miles

Saturday: Off. Meant to run 4 miles but was up at 5 am for an XC meet in PA, didn’t get home until 4 pm, and was exhausted. Figured if I want rest, taper time is the time to do it! ;)

Sunday: Easy 3 miles. I actually felt really good on this run. I know it’s because of the tapering but felt like I could run forever! Averaged 10:19 pace for this which would be nice if I could do that in a marathon, but definitely will be starting off much slower on Sunday.

As you all know, I have had my doubts this whole training period. Many weeks I wanted to hit 40 or so miles but I never did. Closest I got was 37. I felt like I wasn’t running enough BUT I also did not want to force myself because the reason I would take days off or run less was because of shin pain.

My longest run was 17 miles, and most of my runs were in the 13-15 mile range. I believe you don’t need to run 20 miles in practice. I ran 18 as my longest before NYC Marathon in 2013 and PRed by 30 minutes. I prefer running until I hit 3 hours. I did not hit 3 hours this training round (I did hit 2:45), so who knows. I  mean 2:45 is not that far off from 3 hours right?

Here is what I’m afraid of:

  • Really struggling the second half. I mean we all struggle, but just feeling like I did in 2011. I NEVER want to feel that way in a race again.
  • My shin pain getting to be too much or hurting right when we start the race.
  • I’m not afraid of not finishing, I think I can finish (KNOCK ON WOOD) so I’m just keeping that in mind right now. I WILL finish – time doesn’t matter. Well, it does matter but I will be happy just finishing.

Here is what I’m telling myself to boost my confidence:

  • Thinking of it as “just” a 26.2 mile long run this weekend that needs to get done.
  • I trained for 18 weeks and although my mileage was lower than I would like, I would say I was consistent with running 5 days a week.
  • Just taking it mile by mile and enjoying the crowds and scenery. Courtney of Eat Pray Run DC made a good point on her blog which resonated with me: I am lucky to even be able to run 26.2 miles. THAT is what matters most…and the fact that I am able to do it with my mom!

If you’re running Chicago this weekend or a race in general good luck! If you have any words of wisdom or pieces of advice on the course, racing, mental strength, please leave a comment!


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  1. Good luck Patty! Maybe one day I’ll sign up for the Chicago Marathon.
    Daisy @ Fit Wanderlust Runner recently posted…Judgement Day Half Marathon RecapMy Profile

  2. Enjoy Chicago, best of luck! You’ve done this before, you’ll be fine!
    Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat recently posted…Braving the ElementsMy Profile

  3. This is it! What you’ve been working for! Yay!

    Trust your training. Take it one step at a time. And ENJOY!

    You’ve got this!
    Jenn recently posted…week in review: 9.27 – 10.3My Profile

  4. You will LOVE Chicago! My only concern is that it may get a little warm for you but the fans are among the best anywhere. Start on the left, run the tangents, don’t get wigged out when your Garmin goes crazy when you run under the tunnel in the first mile. You’ll be great! I’ll be just past mile 13 cheering!
    Marcia recently posted…Twin Cities Marathon Race ReportMy Profile

  5. You will do great! When I think about how long 26.2 miles is my mom always tells me “you only have to do this once.” Even though this will be my third time doing it ;) Somehow, that mindset resonates!
    Emily @ My Healthyish Life recently posted…Marathon Training & WeightMy Profile

  6. so many good lucks going out to you! it was fun to follow you on your journey!!
    Mar @ Mar on the Run recently posted…Ragnar DC Recap – Day 1My Profile

  7. Girl, you have put in the training and you are right, the next 26.2 is your victory lap!! Throw all of your fears out the window and don’t look back. Look straight ahead and know that whatever happens out there, you tried as hard as you possibly could. And THAT is something to be proud of!!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…MCM Training Recap Week 13My Profile

  8. This race is so flat you will be happy no matter what! You’re going to do great. Stay positive.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…After the marathon…..My Profile

  9. Good luck in Chicago!! I’m sure you’ll do great – you’ve just got to shake off the nerves a little while longer. Look forward to hearing how it goes!
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…Tough Mudder Training Week 6 RecapMy Profile

  10. Good luck! I may be going into Marine Corps Marathon with a 15 mile long run EEK! So, consider yourself better prepared than I am.

    Just make sure that you have fun too. That’s why we do this, afterall.
    MCM Mama Runs recently posted…I get knocked down, but I get up againMy Profile

  11. I love your positive self-talk! I’ll send lots of positive energy your way for a strong race. At this point you just have to trust your training and your body and let whatever happens happen.

    You got this!!
    Ariana recently posted…3 Simple Ways Exercise Can Boost Your EnergyMy Profile

  12. Good luck on Sunday! I will be running as well and feel a lot of the same things you are at the moment. I’m really worried about the second half and fear my training might not have been enough. It’s scary, but I think we will both make it through :D
    Melissa @ Mel’s Miles recently posted…Chicago Marathon Training 09/28 – 10/04My Profile

  13. is there runner tracking? i need to go and set that up because i have so many friends running. you have put in the work and now all you can do is dig deep and enjoy it. the crowds are going to help push you through. so excited for you!
    courtney @ eat pray run dc recently posted…Wineglass Marathon Recap My Profile

  14. Good luck this weekend! I am running Chicago too. My biggest goal is to not go out too fast on the first half.
    Alaina @ The Simple Peach recently posted…Pumpkin Spice Latte Coffee SyrupMy Profile

  15. You are doing great! I can’t wait to follow your progress during Chicago, your positive attitude will definitely make a big difference.

  16. Sounds to me like you’re ready for this race. Mentally and physically. You’ve got this Patty. Enjoy Chicago!
    jill conyers recently posted…10 Styles of YogaMy Profile

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