I am running my first marathon this October in Chicago. Follow my Maree’s 26.2 Journey Blog to discover what it’s like to train for a marathon.

Today we finally got a break in the heat here in Chicago, meaning it is only 75 degrees as opposed to 90. I’m not complaining, though; this temperature is way more comfortable to run in. On Tuesday, the heat index was in the 90s, and it was uncomfortable to stand outside, let alone run. Luckily, I have access to an indoor gym on campus, so I used the elliptical trainer in there for about an hour. I really don’t like running on treadmills, so I generally tend to reserve my indoor workouts for cross-training on the elliptical, swimming or biking. I haven’t had access to a gym all summer, so I’m excited for the cross-training that I’ll be able to do now that I can use different workout equipment. Of course, I’m going to miss fun activities like biking outside and water skiing to cross-train, but gym workouts will be beneficial, too.

Elliptical Trainer

On Tuesday night, I went to bed planning to wake up early on Wednesday and go for a 13-mile-long run. Unfortunately, I woke up to find that it was raining outside. Still, I decided to suck it up and go running anyway. Better to run in the rain than in the heat, right? I brought along one bottle off my Fuel Belt with FRS Energy Drink inside, and I carried one GU packet that I ate halfway through the run. One thing I noticed on this long run was all the empty, discarded GU packets along the Lake Shore path. It looks like a lot of runners here use GU to stay energized while running. Around the five-mile marker it started pouring outside, but I was determined to get in my miles, so I pushed through it. After one mile of getting soaked, the rain cleared up, and the rest of the run went smoothly. I even ended up going farther than I planned and running 15 miles instead of 13. I’m feeling really ahead of the game for the marathon, and the long runs are getting easier and easier to do. I even ran the long run in my new Mizuno Wave Creation 11 running shoes, which I think are finally broken in for the marathon – they feel like they belong on my feet.

When I was three miles from my apartment, I saw my friend Chris, who is also training for the marathon, running the opposite way. I turned around and ran with him for a quarter mile or so before turning back to go home. Next time we’ll have to coordinate so we can run together; I think it is much more fun to run with someone than to run alone. Chris seems to maintain the same pace that I do, about a 10- or 10:30-minute mile, so we should be able to run together for the marathon.

This weekend the temperature is only expected to reach 60 degrees on Saturday – I’m excited for the great running weather!