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We’re into week 3 of Chicago Marathon training. So far things are going well. No major issues, runs have been completed successfully.

What I’m noticing them most is how much progress I have made in the last 3 years since I started running. It’s not quite as much of a struggle – easy runs are actually easy. Hill runs are, well, they still suck, but at least now I can successfully complete them without wanting to die.

I am able to ramp up some intensity, and go into long runs with some confidence. The first round of marathon training was fun, in that I got to complete each long run knowing that was the farthest distance I’d ever run. This time around, I’m looking for that feeling of completing some of my long runs more comfortably than I had before. And while my long runs right now aren’t “that long” in the grand scheme of things, I am still feeling very good about being able to complete these 1 – 1.5 hour runs and feel good after!

Another big area of progress for me is speed. I like to get faster, what runner doesn’t? But I’m not too terribly much of a competitive racer. I like the challenge of long distance running, but I am fairly content with finding running progress in other areas – like being able to run a whole half marathon without stopping to walk (less water breaks). Progress! However, a few months ago I resolved to “get over it” when it came to this mental barrier of 10 minute miles. And, it’s worked. I am regularly able to run my shorter weekly runs at or below 10 minute miles (less the hill runs, but I’m getting there.)

Today I ran 4 miles, in under 40 mins. I don’t know that I’ve ever done that before. And – AND – I could’ve kept going. THIS is the moment I’ve been waiting for my in my running. A line has been crossed. A good one. I am so pleased to be starting out my training cycle on such a positive note.

Happy running, all!