September: The Month of Promises

Hard to believe, but another summer has come and gone (or almost gone for those who are holding onto the fact that summer doesn’t officially end until Sept. 22nd!).  Seemingly without warning, we are starting to get hints of fall here in Eugene: shorter days, cool mornings, and even a little coloring in the trees.  Change is indeed a-coming.  These changes also bring with them promises of what lie ahead.

From our earliest days as kids heading back for another year of school, September has always been a month of promises.  Entering the final 5 weeks before this year’s Chicago Marathon, those promises have taken on a new meaning.  Every run, and each workout, provide dreams of what could potentially be: a chance to be better than ever before come October.

Team Run Eugene teammate, Dan Kremske, and I at last weekend's Wine Country Half Marathon.

Team Run Eugene teammate, Dan Kremske, and I at last weekend’s Wine Country Half Marathon.

There have been times during this pursuit when things don’t come easy and running isn’t always fun.  But a confluence of factors has made these last few months of training among the most enjoyable of my career.  Whatever is going on…it has me excited about the prospects of next month’s Chicago Marathon.

The last two weeks of my training are below.  I’m not big on doing back-to-back weeks of high mileage, so after doing 150-miles a few weeks ago (8/11-17), I gave my legs a little rest from the volume during the last week of August before bumping things back up this past week.  This coming week will be the last time I go over 130 prior to the marathon; I like to start backing off 10-15% of the volume during the final month.  I’ve found that 110-125 miles per week is still high enough to where I don’t peak too early, but low enough to have my legs start feeling fresher for workouts and runs.  I’ll continue to tell anyone who is stupid enough to listen that being a good marathoner (runner) requires stringing together week after week of consistent training.  There are no off days in marathon training; you can take as much rest as you want and need after the race!

8/25-31 AM PM Total
Monday 12 miles 6 miles + 10 x hill sprint 18
Tuesday 3 mile warmup. 4 x [3 x 800]. 200m in :45 between 800s, 400m between sets. 3.5 mile cooldown. 13 miles total. 6 miles 19
Wednesday 12 miles 6 miles 18
Thursday 12 miles OFF 12
Friday 3.5 mile warmup. 4 mile cutdown; 8 x 200m. 4.5 mile cooldown. 13 miles total. 7 miles 20
Saturday 10 miles OFF 10
Sunday Wine Country Half Marathon (1:06:33). 3 mile warmup. 5 mile cooldown. 21 miles total. 5 miles 26


9/1-7 AM PM Total
Monday 14 miles 7 miles 21
Tuesday 12 miles 6 miles 18
Wednesday 4.5 mile warmup. 12 x Hendicks Hill Loop. 4 mile cooldown. 13 miles total 7 miles 20
Thursday 9 miles 6 miles 15
Friday 3 mile warmup. 5 x 2 mile, 2:00 rest. 3 mile cooldown. 16 miles total. 6 miles 22
Saturday 12 miles 6 miles 18
Sunday 26 miles, with 10 x :30 on / :90 off during last 5 miles. OFF 26

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