Chicago Marathon Training Week 5 – Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks

Week 5 of Chicago Marathon training started routinely this week but picked up steam on Thursday with one of the hardest training runs I have done. It was interval training time! Try running 1.5 mile intervals times 3 at a pace of just above 7-minute-mile with a three-and-a-half-minute easy jog to recover. The last interval was sheer torture, and the last half-a-mile had me sucking air constantly!

On Friday, we were off for our mini-vacation to Grand Teton National Park. It’s been blissful here with amazing wildlife and incredible scenery. Within a couple of hours of reaching our hotel (Jackson Lake Lodge), we saw a grizzly bear frolicking in the meadows a few hundred yards from us. We also saw moose with baby from the hotel deck.

Uinta Ground Squirrel – Grand Teton National Park

On Saturday, we set off for a long hike around Phelps Lake. Grand Teton is teeming with wildflowers, wildlife, pristine blue lakes and snow-capped mountains. Fortunately, we found near-perfect weather with clear skies, no wind and temperatures ranging form the low 50s to the high 70s.

Bison – Grand Teton National Park
Mule Deer or Black-tailed Deer – Grand Teton National Park

Early on Sunday morning, I completed a progression run of 6 miles at an elevation of above 6,000 feet. It’s not easy running at this elevation but the incredible scenery all around me eased the pain. We drove to Yellowstone, walked around the Old Faithful geyser basin, headed to West Yellowstone (crossed into Montana briefly) and then hung out in Hayden Valley to spot bison, elk, bald eagles and a host of other animals and birds. Unfortunately, we missed seeing a wolf by a few minutes from a perch high above Hayden Valley!

Elk – Grand Teton National Park

Here is my training summary for the week:

We are still enjoying the lovely forests in and around Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.

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