Step-by-Step: Emily Randazzo’s Chicago Marathon Training Diary Part II

Part II – Going the Distance

By Katie Morell

The last time we checked in with Emily, she was recovering from a difficult 17-miler (most of it run through the rain). And even though she lost a toenail “it was black and blue and just fell off,” she was ready last week to get back on the run again. Her mission: two five-mile runs, one eight-mile run and (gulp) an 18-miler, her longest yet.

For the eight-miler, she opted to run home from her office in the Loop—a cathartic experience. “I leave my cell phone at home and strategize my route ahead of time,” she says. “Then, I change at work, bring my apartment keys, a debit card, my CTA card and my building I.D. It is the most liberating feeling to be able to dodge people through the Loop as I make my way to the lake.”

Instead of two five-milers, Emily ran one four-mile run and biked on her other running day. It was a nice change. “I just didn’t feel like running; it was so nice to take a bike ride,” she says. “I woke up the next morning refreshed.”

Long run Saturday

Emily gets her long runs out of the way on Saturdays and has a specific prerace regimen; last Friday was no exception. “I came home from work, went over to Trader Joe’s and bought a pepperoni pizza and some broccoli, then spent the evening reading and relaxing,” she says. “I had a beer and was in bed by 10 a.m.”

Her alarm beeped to life just eight hours later. Emily hopped out of bed, got dressed, strapped on her Garmin watch (GPS device), ate a Clif Bar, and was on the road jamming to her Girl Talk playlist by 6:30 a.m.

By 8 a.m., she was on the Lakefront path dodging droves of tourists waiting to see the Chicago Air & Water Show. “It was a little hectic down there because everything was blocked off,” she says. “I kept getting yelled at because of not going the right way and going through barricades.”

Emily was feeling great until about mile 11. “I got to Castaways on North Avenue Beach, and I just hit a wall,” she says. “I pushed through it but really didn’t feel better until mile 15. I was lucky, though, because it started raining right after I got home.”

How did she feel when it was over?

“Great!” Emily beams. “As bad as I feel during a run, I always feel great when it’s over.”

Next time: Nutrition Training. Gummi Bears might be the best thing this runner could eat.

Read Part I, Part IIIPart IVPart V, Part VI

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