FORGING IRON | WEEK 19

A (very late) race week recap! I escaped Hurricane Matthew to get to the Windy City for the Chicago Marathon, and while I didn't quite hit my goals for the race, it was one of the coolest experiences of my life.

MONDAY

Strength - Upper Body

Worked with David today, focusing on chest and triceps. I will be running later, I need to cram in a few more good runs because I plan on taking Friday and Saturday off before the marathon on Sunday.

Warm Up

  • Row - 5 minutes

Part 1

  • Incline cable fly
  • Upright row with plate
  • Push-ups

Part 2

  • Incline bench press
  • Cable high pull
  • Wide grip tricep dips

Part 3

  • Machine chest flyes
  • Dumbbell shrugs

Running

Tonight's run felt fucking amazing. What a great way to start race week!

I ran my usual 10K route at a strong pace of 7:30/mi. That's right, I averaged 7:30/mi for 6.2 miles, and I was pretty consistent through the entire run, with a range of 7:21 to 7:41 per mile. That's awesome.

I felt really strong and focused throughout the entire run, with good breathing. The weather was cooler thanks to Hurricane Matthew which should be here in a few days. The clouds were a little menacing and lightning was striking in the distance, so that could have also contributed to my faster pace.

As far as the hurricane goes, it's set to hit early Friday morning. Which is the same time at which I am supposed to be flying out of Tampa. I swear to God if this storm grounds my flight and makes me miss this race...

TUESDAY

Strength - Core

Just one workout today, and spent that time with Deano. Overall it was a pretty moderate session, because she was clearly not trying to kill me the week before my race. We also got interrupted a couple times during the session because I am trying to hire a new cleaning company for the gym

Part 1

  • Russian twists
  • Heel touches

Part 2

  • One-legged bridges
  • Bicycle crunch

Part 3

  • Plank walk
  • Burpees with dumbbells

Part 4

  • Ab roller with barbell

Part 5

  • Jackknife on stability ball
  • Jackknife hold on stability ball

WEDNESDAY

Strength - Full Body

Well as usual, another ass kicking at the hands of Jahmale. It doesn't seem to matter whether we are doing a full-body workout or just focusing on legs, I feel like keeling over anyways. I need to run tonight too, so that should be interesting.

Part 1

  • Dumbbell clean and press

Part 2

  • Single arm snatch
  • Dumbbell swing

Part 3

  • Plank row
  • Plank fly
  • Leg lift to reverse crunch

Part 4

  • Overhead plate hold
  • Seated cross-body lat crossover

Part 5

  • Kneeling reverse grip shoulder press
  • Inverted row

Running

I took tonight's run a little easier than Monday's run, but still ended up finishing with an overall pace of 7:45/mi. I think I tweaked something last time because my hip has been a little sore since then. Hopefully that subsides enough by the time the race gets here, because if I can get out of here and to Chicago, it would be pretty shitty to be sidelined with an injury I sustained a few days before the race.

THURSDAY

Running

Well Hurricane Matthew is currently making landfall on the east coast of Florida, but I still needed to get one last run in before I leave for Chicago tomorrow morning. Took this run fairly easy given the fact that I had to time my run so that I was running when a hurricane band had just passed. Ended up averaging just under 8:00/mi tonight and I'm feeling good. I'll take the next couple days off to give my legs and body time to rest, and then it's time to run 26.2 miles. I seriously cannot wait.

Oh, and here's what the radar looked like on my run tonight:

FRIDAY

Rest

Ready...

SATURDAY

Rest

Set...

SUNDAY

Race Day

Go.

I am totally and completely exhausted. Words can't even describe how much my legs hurt right now. But here's a recap of my Chicago Marathon experience:

First off, the course was so cool. We started off in Grant Park in Downtown Chicago, running in between skyscrapers and through tens of thousands of cheering spectators. I was in Wave 2 with the rest of the charity runners, who raised a ridiculous combined total of $14.1 MILLION dollars for their various charities. Unbelievable.

Anyways, the race starts and I immediately feel like there's a rock in my right shoe. WTF? So I quickly get to the side of the road and inspect my shoe. Nothing. I put it back on and get running again, a little quicker now to catch up to my original place. I'm still feeling that pressure in my foot like there's something in my shoe, so I assume it was my Superfeet insole being too worn down and needing to be replaced. Not a great realization to have DURING a race. It hadn't bothered me at all up to that point though, so why would I buy new insoles and risk possible discomfort or blisters?

Thankfully the discomfort slowly went away and I was able to get into a good rhythm. I was keeping my pace right where I needed it to be, 8:30/mi. I felt so good. I kept that pace going comfortably for over 14 miles, I was really feeling it. But then my hip started hurting around mile 15 or so. I'm not sure if there's a slight misalignment in my lower back or if I stepped wrong, but my right hip started really giving me pain to where it felt like being stabbed every time my right foot hit the ground. This slowed me down but I didn't stop, I still felt good enough to keep going strong.

Mile 21 is when things got dicey for my legs. Up to that point it was just some hip pain. But around mile 21 both of my hamstrings and both of my calves started to tighten up and cramp. I began slowing down more for the aid stations, over-hydrating with water and gatorade to try to alleviate the cramping, and even stopping to stretch out the tightness. It was incredibly frustrating to me, but I wasn't going to let that stop me. I've still never hit that "wall" that people talk of, when they are mentally spent. Even during the ultramarathon I ran last summer I never hit the point where I wanted to quit. Now to be sure, I'm not saying I'm not a quitter. I've quit in a lot of things in my life, but never something like this when all it requires is me pushing my body a little harder. So on I went.

One of the biggest things that helped me cross that finish line was seeing my parents and Natalie at miles 3 and 13. I've ran a lot of races where I didn't have that moral support and just relied on myself before finishing a race and going home alone. But today, on such a big day, I had an amazing support team there to cheer me on and keep me mentally strong. And when I hit mile 21 and started cramping, I started thinking about all of the people I raised money for, especially Natalie's mom who is dealing with ALS. I knew that what I was feeling was nothing compared to what they feel on a daily basis, and that I owed it to them to stay strong.

I ended up finishing the Chicago Marathon in 4:22:16, well behind the goal I had set of 3:45. While I am disappointed that I didn't hit my goal, I know that there are many runners who would have been thrilled with my time, and that I will do better the next time I run a race of this magnitude. Every failure or disappointment is another chance to learn, and I learned a lot today.

I'll be posting a video compilation of my entire Chicago trip soon, pieced together from a LOT of Snapchat videos and live photos from the weekend!

WEEK 19 SUMMARY

It was a truly crazy week of training amidst a hurricane before jetting off to Chicago for the Chicago Marathon, but it was a week that I will never forget. I am so thankful for everyone who donated and wished me well on this trip, I cannot express in words how much it means to me to have that kind of awesome support.

Thank you.