Half Marathon Training: Week 4

Weekly Training: February 29 – March 6

Monday: Gym – After my long run the day before, I was feeling pretty tired on Monday. I won’t bother writing out what I did at the gym, because I didn’t put much effort into anything and felt like I was wondering aimlessly from exercise to exercise. 

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Running & Reflecting – photo courtesy of fellow group member

Tuesday: 3M @9:10 – This was definitely a step outside of my comfort zone. Marathon Sports was hosting a group run & private shopping night (with 20% discount) for a local running group that I’m part of, but not super active in. As soon as the event was posted I committed to going, but the closer it got the more I wanted to back out. It was fun and I’m glad I went, but still a bit awkward for this semi-introvert.  I did take advantage of the 20% discount to pick up a new sports bra, some GU, and a metatarsalgia pad to hopefully alleviate some of the discomfort I’m having in my right foot on runs. I also got to test out a pair of Brooks Launch shoes that felt very spring-y and much softer than my Wave Rider’s. During the first half of the run I thought the softer forefoot might be an improvement over my Mizuno’s, but on the way back the discomfort, which I can only describe as a nerve firing in between my toes, started up. 

 

Wednesday: Plan: 5 x 1000m @7:33 – Actual: 10 min w/u, 4 x 1000m @7:35 (.3M RI @10), 1M c/d = 5.75M @8:45 – Since my little one had a doctor’s appointment Tuesday morning and I knew I’d be running later that night at the Marathon Sports event, I moved my speed work to Wednesday. As is becoming my (bad) habit, I skipped out on the last interval. These didn’t feel terrible, but by the 4th one I was struggling to make it through the whole repeat. I feel like part of my struggle is doing these on the treadmill vs. outside. Looking back at old training logs I can see a difference in my speed work paces once I started running them outside. Right now I’ll stick with running them on the treadmill since my husband runs in the morning before he leaves for work. I am able to run during the day so I wouldn’t hijack his running time, but as it starts to stay light out later I can maybe do some runs after our girls go to bed. There’s a local track nearby so that should be easy enough to do, but with heavy commuting traffic I probably won’t attempt tempo runs at night. There’s a reason drivers here are known as Massholes! 

Thursday: Plan: 6M Easy – Actual: 6M @9:31 – Pace felt comfortable. I’ve been feeling so bored on the treadmill lately. I have a couple podcasts I like (Run to the Top, Totally Married, and Another Mother Runner), but they don’t engross me as much as a good show. Any suggestions for good podcasts or running music? 

Friday: Plan: 1M Easy, 3M @ Short Tempo, 1M Easy – Actual: 1M @9:20, 3M @8:13, 1M @9:09 – 5M @8:37 – Friday morning was “Beach Day” at my oldest daughter’s school and I got to help out in the classroom. Between getting to go in to read a book for her “VIP” week at school, helping decorate the classroom for Beach Day, and then volunteering at the party, I’ve had an awesome few weeks of getting to see her in action at school. As a parent, it’s so incredible to get to see her in this little world that’s all her own. After I got home and put my youngest down for a nap I ran on our home treadmill. Hooray for Scandal! The pace felt comfortably hard, as tempo pace should, and I was really, really happy to have Netflix to watch during this. Knowing how mentally hard my runs at the gym have been lately, I think I would have psyched myself out at running 8:13 pace for this. 

Saturday: Plan: 9M @HMP+20 – Actual: 9M @8:21- So, my long run pace was only 8 seconds slower than my short tempo pace this week and last week I ran it at my mid tempo pace. Yet it feels SO much easier to run it outside. Both runs were faster than I had planned, and I can’t tell if my fitness is just improving, or if I’m running harder than I should. I definitely don’t want to leave my best runs out on the training floor and then be burnt out for my race, but I also want to push myself to being a better runner. Both efforts felt like moderate intensity, they didn’t feel like I was all out pushing, but definitely harder than a typical Long Slow Run. I’m running a 5k next weekend that I’m planning to use to gauge my fitness.  I did put the metatarsalgia pad I picked up Tuesday night in my shoes and while they felt good the first 4 miles, I still had discomfort from time to time. It’s not painful, but it’s a distinct annoyance when it’s happening. 

Sunday: Rest

Weekly Total: 28.75 Miles

Over a training cycle how do evaluate & reevaluate your fitness and goals?

Do you belong to the “Long Slow Run” camp or the “In order to race fast you have to run fast” camp? 

 

 

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Half-Marathon Training: Week 1

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For some reason song lyrics always come to my head when I sit down to write. My alternate title for this post was going to be “I got 99 problems, but a treadmill ain’t one”. 99 being the number of minutes I spent on my treadmill yesterday logging my long run. A new longest distance treadmill record for me, but when this ———> is what your weather app has for the temperature outside, the choice is pretty easy. Shorts, a tank top, and my treadmill it was!

 

Last week I briefly mentioned that after much thinking and little action I had finally signed up for a goal half-marathon. The 3 I had my sights on were: the Newburyport River Run 1/2Boston’s Run to Remember , and the Horseneck Half. Newburyport and Horseneck had the advantage of being new courses for me, and supposedly beautiful courses at that. Horseneck was the least expensive of the 3 at $55, and the Run to Remember the most expensive at $85. The Run to Remember had the distinct advantages of being by far the closest race to me, the earliest start time (7am vs 9am), and having real bathrooms with a place to wait indoors before the race. So what was holding me back from registering? The cost and the fact that there is some serious bottlenecking for the first 1-2 miles of the race. In the end, convenience, real bathrooms, and a chance of avoiding end of May heat with an early start time won out, and I registered for the Run to Remember. This week put me at the start of my 16 week Run Less, Run Faster training plan, but since I’d already started following it awhile I ago I adjusted some of the runs rather than starting over at week 1 or jumping ahead to week 11.

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Weekly Training: February 8 -14

Monday: Gym – This week I remembered to document my gym time so I’m actually sure that I made it. 45 minutes of strength and stretching

Tuesday: Since I had originally planned for a March or April half-marathon my training this week would have been RLRF’s week 11, so I decided to modify it the workout. 2x400m @ 7:24, 800m @7:30, 1600m @7:47 and then back down again. I decided to try again at RLRF’s recommended paces for these distances and was feeling the extra work. The 1600 pace felt comfortable, but the others were really pushing it. I ended up skipping my last 400, because I was fried by that point. Overall I ran 6 total miles at 9:10 average.

Wednesday: Plan: 6M Easy – Actual: 6M @9:29 – This run felt a bit labored, probably still tired from my run the day before. I should have eased off pace a bit to make it truly an easy run, but I wanted to get it over as quickly as possible.

Thursday: Plan: 1M Easy, 5M Mid Tempo, 1M Easy – Actual: 1M @9:33, 5M @8:35, 1M @9:28 – My mid-tempo paced miles felt really comfortable the whole way through. They felt so much easier than my run the day before, even though they were faster. 

Friday: Gym – 40 minutes of strength & stretching

Saturday: off (aka the day I should have run so I could have done it outside) Really what I should have done was head to the gym so I could have watched geeked out over the Olympic Trials Marathon while I fit in my own run on the treadmills. I looove Des Linden and Meb Keflezghi, and was so happy to see them make the Olympic team. They both seem so genuinely nice. Watching Amy Cragg, the women’s winner, and Shalane Flanagan, who clinched the 3rd spot, work together was so inspiring. Shalane was clearly in bad shape the last few miles and looked like she was lost at times. You could see that Amy, was concerned for her and kept checking on her, even grabbing and opening water for Shalane to dump on her head. I read afterwards that Amy kept telling Shalane to just get to the next mile or the next aid station where they could get water and she would feel better. That she slowed to stay with Shalane and talk her through it, only taking off when she could see Des closing in behind them, was such a nice sign of friendship in a competitive sport. It was interesting to watch how each of the competitors raced and what they do to motivate themselves. Des and Jared Ward (the 3rd place finisher for the men), both spoke about how at times there was a break away that was too fast for them and they had to be confident in their own pace and race strategy – which clearly paid off. Jared, who teaches statistics, wrote his master’s thesis on optimal marathon pacing and ran splits of 1:06:31 the first half and 1:06:29 the second half! That is impressive consistency!

Sunday: Again, I didn’t feel the need to run 14 miles this early in training for a half, so I modified it to 11 miles. 2 episodes of Scandal + 15 minutes of Making of a Murderer got me through this run! 

Weekly Total: 30 miles