Kicking Off My 20-Week Chicago Training Plan!

TODAY IS THE DAY. Day one of Chicago Marathon training!

I’m following a 20 week Hanson’s plan, so I’m starting a couple of weeks earlier than others who are doing a more traditional 16 or 18 week plan.

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Since I have 20 weeks of focused work ahead of me, I took things pretty easy this weekend. Saturday I just ran easy for 60 minutes.

It was during this run that I decided on Sunday I would not run at all and instead I would go to the pool. It’s getting HOT out and what better way to spend my last non-marathon training day than lounging in my favorite bathing suit?

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After the run Adam and I went down to the beach for dinner and we saw a rainbow! I’m not entirely sure why since it didn’t rain out, but it was pretty anyway :).

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Sunday, true to my word, I put on my best floppy hat, sprayed on some sunscreen and headed down to the pool.


I picked a shady spot, put in my earbuds and … fell asleep! I really hope I didn’t snore! ? ?

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Even in the shade it was quite toasty so when I got home I whipped up a smoothie: banana, frozen peach, frozen mango, coconut water and a splash of almond milk.

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The smoothie was okay. I normally use a different brand of coconut water but the grocery store was sold out. I’m not entirely sure I like this brand.

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Either way I sipped away at it while writing up THIS post!

I feel like I’ve been impatiently waiting since last October for today to come. I’ve been so anxious to begin training for Chicago again that I feel all over the place now that the day is here!

I’m excited! I’m nervous! I’m ready to do this!

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Time to put in the work so I can reap the rewards 20 weeks from now. Let’s do this!

Did you do any relaxing things this weekend?
When will you start training for your fall marathon (if you’re running one)?!




  1. May 23, 2016 / 5:02 am

    I love the start of a new training plan! Our pool opens next weekend, but it still hasn’t been warm enough that we would be able to use it. Hopefully the weather gets itself together for Memorial Day Weekend! Enjoy your fist day of training:)

    • Kristina
      May 23, 2016 / 10:21 am

      ME TOO! There’s nothing like opening a fresh excel sheet ready to be filled out with running data, haha!

      I hope you have great weather for Memorial Day! I hope it’s not TOO hot here!

  2. May 23, 2016 / 5:21 am

    I’m excited for you! I know you’ll kick you-know-what with your training 🙂

    • Kristina
      May 23, 2016 / 10:21 am

      Haha thank you! 🙂

  3. May 23, 2016 / 6:39 am

    This time of year I always THINK I want to lie out but then I go outside and I’m like OMG HEAT. I’m glad you enjoyed your last restful Sunday lounging, though. I’m so excited for your training to start!

    • Kristina
      May 23, 2016 / 10:22 am

      Hahha me too! I was really happy there was a lounge chair available under the canopy so I could enjoy the pool without absolutely roasting!

  4. May 23, 2016 / 7:56 am

    I have two more weeks before I officially start my training plan, but I’m already excited! 🙂 We lived in an apartment complex for awhile that had a pool–now we live in a house which I love, but I definitely miss the pool!

    • Kristina
      May 23, 2016 / 10:23 am

      I don’t take advantage of the pool enough, but when I go I always love it!

      Two weeks to go – the countdown is on! I feel like my plan doesn’t *really* start for two weeks as well. The first couple of weeks of this 20 week plan are really low mileage, especially for Hansons!

  5. May 23, 2016 / 8:14 am

    It would be so nice to be able to head out to a pool and just be. I don’t get that. And when I hit up my deck my dogs think they need to cuddle with me! Hello nose in the face! haha! I am so excited that you are starting training! I can’t wait to read updates and how the plan works for you! I should start training next week!!!! I love that fall cycles are coming in…we are going to have some great reads this summer!

    • Kristina
      May 23, 2016 / 10:25 am

      Awwwww nose in the face sounds adorable! That’s so sweet 🙂

      YEAH! I’m super excited that so many people are starting their fall marathon training plans now! Can’t wait until you get started!

  6. May 23, 2016 / 8:45 am

    I tried that coconut water a week ago and I swear it tastes weird compared to Zico and other kinds of coco-water. It’s like vanilla-y or something. Good luck with marathon training! I’m attempting Hanson’s as well for a mid-Sept marathon, I’ve never done it before but glad you will be writing about it so I can follow along.

    • Kristina
      May 23, 2016 / 10:26 am

      YES!!!! You are right, it tastes vanilla-y! I could’t put my finger on what was wrong with it, but now that you mention it I am 100% sure you are right! Ugh, I need to replace it asap!

  7. May 23, 2016 / 8:47 am

    The beginning of a plan is so exciting! This is the first time I followed a very strict plan for a marathon so I was actually surprised at the excitement I am feeling ticking the workouts off the calendar.

    I am so jealous you have a pool!!!!! I didn’t realize this. I also don’t like the word “jealous” because I feel like it implies that I wish I had a pool instead of you, which is totally not the case. I want you to have a pool I just want to have a pool too. Are there often kids down at your pool? That’s the thing I hate a lot- kids at pools.

    • Kristina
      May 23, 2016 / 10:33 am

      I know what you mean, if there were a lot of kids at the pool I wouldn’t go! All of the splashing and screaming isn’t for me. I like a nice, calm pool where I can float on a raft!

      Our apartment complex is made up of people like us – young professionals without kids. I see a lot of dogs, but not really any kids… just the way I like it LOLOL! I think because our rent is almost double what a family could pay for a mortgage, our building is just not a good financial option for families. I know if Adam and I had kids we wouldn’t live here.

      • Kristina
        May 23, 2016 / 10:33 am

        “Young” professionals. I mean, I guess we’re still considered young. I don’t even know anymore!

        • May 23, 2016 / 2:09 pm

          You live in my kind of complex. 🙂 Yah it looked like all “young” people at the pool.

  8. May 23, 2016 / 9:45 am

    Happy first day of training!! Whoo hoo!!

    I don’t understand how anyone lives in Florida, lol. But ask me again in January 😉

    The pool sounds amazing. And it’s not even that hot here!

    • Kristina
      May 23, 2016 / 10:35 am

      Thank you! 🙂

      Hahah, every July/Aug I question why I live in Florida!

  9. May 23, 2016 / 11:05 am

    How exciting! I used Hansons for my last marathon and am currently using it again for my next. I love it. Can’t wait to see how your training goes!

    • Kristina
      May 23, 2016 / 6:10 pm

      Thanks Lily! I want to go back and re-read your training recaps!!! I know saw you great results with Hansons before!

  10. May 23, 2016 / 5:07 pm

    I love starting a fresh new training plan!!! Matt and I are again going back to Chicago in October and we are very excited! We actually hired a coach who has created individual training plans for us. I was very torn between the Hanson’s plan and working with this coach. In the end I decided with the individualized plan and I like that there will be feedback/communication when I have questions. I’m going to give it a go and see what happens!!!

    Your smoothie actually sounds super good!

    • Kristina
      May 23, 2016 / 6:11 pm

      That’s so cool, I bet you will see amazing results working with a coach!

      I’m so excited to have a second chance to meet up in Chicago!!!!!

  11. May 23, 2016 / 10:03 pm

    I’m looking forward to reading about your Chicago marathon training! Very exciting!

    • Kristina
      May 25, 2016 / 10:49 am

      Thanks Jenny! I am looking forward to following your blog as well!

  12. Susan
    May 24, 2016 / 11:40 am

    Well, as you know, I don’t train for any races but I LOVE to follow along and hear about everyone’s experience and also learn all the tricks of the trade (even though I have no need to use them). You are going to kill it. I would love to have a pool in my neighborhood. I seriously would find a way to get in it every day (most likely post running). Your Sunday sounds awesome. Good to get in some rest before you embark on your training journey.

    • Kristina
      May 25, 2016 / 10:50 am

      Thanks Susan! 🙂 I love reading tricks of the trade for triathlons even though I’ll never use them, so I know what you mean! I think if I ever did do a tri I could get through the transitions pretty quickly because I have picked up a lot of tips over the last couple of years haha!

  13. May 24, 2016 / 2:44 pm

    It is so nice to be able to check off the work outs!! That is my favorite part of a plan.
    I think a pool day was perfect before you start checking them off!
    I am actually thinking about a Fall plan…because i have no sense at all ;/

    • Kristina
      May 25, 2016 / 10:55 am

      I was thinking yesterday that I need to get a wall calendar. I used to fill in each day with a highlighter when I completed my workout. At the end of the month seeing all of the little blocks shaded in was so satisfying! I’m going to go order a new calendar!

      Hahaha well, you obviously have to listen to your body, but if you take the summer easy and let your foot rest, I bet trying a fall plan would work out well!

  14. May 24, 2016 / 7:46 pm

    Pool? I am wearing a sweater and a sweatshirt–it’s 50*. Tomorrow it is supposed to be 70 though :).
    Have you ever tried pool running? I think I would if I had a pool. (But a nap by the pool would be my top pick).
    It is that crazy end of school year busy around here, so there was no relaxing over the weekend. I did spend 6 hours at a track meet–sounds bad, but it was very inspiring.
    Congrats on the first week. I am excited for you!

    • Kristina
      May 25, 2016 / 10:57 am

      Brrrr! Those crazy swings in weather would drive me mad. Even though it’s HOT I like knowing that it will be hot every day, haha.

      I used pool running when I had an injury a couple of years ago. I found it to be a little bit boring, especially for my “long run” but I did love that I could vary intensity just like real running!

  15. May 27, 2016 / 11:00 am

    You really do live in paradise. Justin was asking me where I would want to vacation in the U.S. with Axel, and aside from Hawaii, Florida is at the top of that list. Do you ever venture down to the Keys? If we were to visit Florida, what would you recommend? Not the party scene of Miami. Haha. 🙂