Week 5 of 8 – Pittsburgh Base Building

Winter is starting to creep into Western New York and it sucks.  I remember running at Delaware Park at the beginning of January on more than one occasion a couple years ago when it was pitch black at 6pm and the wind was blowing with a sub-zero wind chill.  This year it’s approaching 35 degrees and I’m whining about it.  I really need to toughen up.  How many more months until Spring?  Or daylight?

Monday – Rest
Just simply walkin’ the pooch.  In the first snowfall of the year.  And I hated every minute of it.

Tuesday – Easy Run (40 minutes)
I was able to get away from the kids (J and Dunks – kidding!) to get my own run in after work.  I’ve been struggling to get up before work now that it’s colder out and for a while, it was like I forgot that I could just come home and run.  As soon as I got about two blocks away, my asthma started to act up.  Typically this doesn’t happen, but a couple weeks ago I dropped my steroid inhaler in the toiler which renders it useless and I had to wait a week for a new one to come in (thanks to my work’s health insurance, everything has to be done via mail).  So I think that week without it really took a toll on me.  I kept running while trying to calm my breathing because sometimes it just goes away after 10 minutes or so, but this time it wasn’t.  About half way through the run, I stopped to gather myself — thankfully my asthma isn’t really bad and once I stop exercising, it goes away — then I continued on my run.  I was fine after that, but after spending a good 20 minutes struggling, I was more tired than I should have been and I cut about 20 minutes off to just go home.

One glass of punch in and I should have known how the night would turn out.
On New Year’s Eve – One glass of punch in, should’ve known what to expect.

Wednesday – Easy Run (35 minutes)
It was about 40 degrees without any wind when I got home from work and I had a lot of energy, so I took Dunks for a short run.  I took him near his favorite park, which he hasn’t been near since Sunday and we ran up a steep hill three times for fun.  Even though I’m still trying to keep my runs on the easy end, I’m looking to add hills as often as possible until hills become something that won’t trash my legs.

Thursday – Rest
We were having a couple friends over for New Year’s, so all I did was take Dunks for a walk.  What I was expecting of the night, was low key and relaxing… what I got was low key and relaxing, with a lot of champagne rum punch.

Friday – Rest
Happy New Year?

Post run coffee, breakfast, and snuggles in bed.
Post run coffee, breakfast, and snuggles in bed.

Saturday – 45 minutes with jump squats
I went to the run group at the gym and I’m really glad I did; it started snowing hard in the middle of our run, so had I not gotten myself up at 7am I may not have run at all.  After warm-ups, we had options of a 3, 4, or 5 mile route.  I went for the 5 mile route, but turned around too soon and ended up doing just over 4 miles instead.  To simulate hills, we did 10 jump squats every 5 minutes, after the first 10 minutes.  So in our case, we did 70 jump squats.  I’m glad I had two friends running with me so we could share misery and the awkwardness that accompanies jump squats on the sidewalk of a busy street!  It was a great way to get a long of bang for your buck, in my opinion.

Sunday – 65 minutes easy
Damn the heart rate monitor.  Just, damn it.  It’s humbling, but I know I need it.  After Saturday’s hard run, I knew Sunday’s longer run had to be closer to the recovery end of things.  I tried to stay in zone 2, but that was too challenging for me while running on icy cemetery roads with little hills.  Instead, after the first mile of struggling with this, I aimed for low zone 3, allowing myself to upper zone 3 when I was going up hill (<80% max heart rate).  I was much more successful!  My average was in the 11:00/mi range, with my miles ranging from 10:30 to 11:30, which is much slower than I would have done on my own, but probably needed.

You pick: death by ice or geese?
You pick: death by ice or geese?

I finished the week with a mileage high since the marathon at 17 miles.  It’s funny because 17 miles was a pretty big milestone to hit during marathon training on a regular basis and last week it was just no big deal.  In fact, last year as I got ready for the Buffalo Half Marathon, I only hit the 15+ miles per week mark three times before the race.  Granted, Buffalo wasn’t a goal and I wanted to stay smart about my training, which meant getting my body used to running multiple times per week again, even if it was just 30 minutes three times a week.  I’ve come such a long way in a year.

This upcoming week probably won’t be near that since it’s Wednesday as I type this and I haven’t run yet (rest day, CrossFit, then oops rest day) because I’ve been feeling a little sick.  I could push through the fact that I feel a little under the weather, but with a race on Saturday I’ll just hold off.  It’s no so much as the race I’m holding off for, but the fact that I’ll have a night with Laura and Heather so I don’t want to feel bad for that!


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Just a 20-something homegrown Buffalo sports loving, distance running, gin drinking kind of girl.

9 thoughts on “Week 5 of 8 – Pittsburgh Base Building”

  1. Winter does suck. The one silver lining is that we are creeping towards more daylight and I can at least function in the winter when it’s not pitch black by 4:15 pm. And I saw a daylight calculator today that said we’ll gain almost an hour of daylight by this time in Feb!! The jump squats sound really interesting. I may try them during treadmill runs, but I’ll save them for the privacy of my own home 🙂


    1. I have definitely been noticing this week that I leave work at 5 and can see a tiny bit of daylight which is so so great! Yeah the jump squats I’m reserving for either when I’m with people or on the back end of a running route where nobody sees me!


  2. Winter is the worst. My job is fortunately flexible enough that I can take a long lunch and do most of my workouts during the day. Speed work has been tough, though, because I hate the treadmill and because the tracks have been covered in snow for weeks.

    I’ve never done any heart rate training, and I suspect it would probably be good for me. I know most runners run too fast on a lot of their training runs, and I’m sure I’m no exception. But I seriously haaaaaate running slow because it feels like a waste of time (silly, I know!), so I’ve been avoiding it.


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