Follow my Maree’s 26.2 Journey Blog to get the inside story on training for your first marathon.

I guess I was spoiled on the day I did my 17-mile run, because now the temperature outside is scorching. It’s also very hot and humid in my apartment because I don’t have air conditioning, so all I really feel like doing is sitting inside with three fans blowing on me at all times. However, since the Chicago Marathon is a little over a month away, I don’t have any time for laziness. Plus, I’m getting more and more excited for race day in October.

To compensate for the heat, I’ve been getting up at 6:00 or 7:00 a.m. to go running. I also bring along a small water bottle off my fuel belt with FRS Energy Drink inside. When the heat is so intense, it’s good idea to be drinking something besides water, even on shorter runs.

Yesterday, I ran north into a suburb called Evanston, which has a lot of great lakefront paths, and, as an added bonus, water fountains along the way. I had a lot of fun people watching on my run; there are fewer runners in the suburbs and more people walking their dogs. It’s pretty entertaining getting to see all of the different dogs out walking in the morning, and it makes me miss running with my dog Chance at home.

After my run, I got to dip in Lake Michigan before heading back to my apartment. My place is about a block from the beach, so swimming is a great way to end my run, especially when it’s so hot. The Great Lakes are notorious for being really cold, but on days like today when the heat index is in the upper 90s, the cold water feels really good after a run. I was finished with my workout by 8:45 a.m., and it was already in the upper 80s outside.

Loyola Beach, Credit: Google Images

I’ve been talking with my friends who are running the marathon with me quite a bit to try to set up a time to run together. We all have really busy schedules, but I’m hoping that we can go for a run together this week. From what Ashley has told me, it seems like she runs a bit faster than I do – an average of nine-minute miles. Chris told me she’s a “speed demon” and that he can barely keep up with her. I’m looking forward to some running competition and motivation besides the adidas miCoach, so I can’t wait to run with Ashley sometime soon. Plus, if I find myself getting tired, I can just hang back and run with Chris.

My training schedule is a little off because I had to move, and I’m still getting into the swing of things back here in Chicago. This week I plan to do a couple six-mile runs and an eight- or nine-mile run, and hopefully this weekend I’ll get in a long run. I’m feeling confident about the marathon; on my last 17-mile-long run I felt like I could have run the whole 26.2. It’s a great feeling to know that I’m so close to reaching my goal.