Prep Phase Week 1 of 6: Pittsburgh Half Marathon

It’s finally time to add some variety to my runs!  And not just random variety, but purposeful.

I used to think of base building as that way to get up to a high amount of miles and then try to sustain it.  Going into this training cycle, I still thought of it in that way too.  “I’m going to get up to 30 miles per week!” Yeah, not so much.  It’s all good though; I started to realize I was thinking about my training a little backwards.  Sure, getting up to a high mileage is great but if it isn’t sustainable, then what’s the point?  Base building has been the way for me to find what is sustainable, comfortably.  Now, it’s time to build off that to prepare me for race-specific training.

This week flew by, which is great for work but I literally feel like all I did was wake-up, go to work, think about being tired at work, come home, be tired, and go to sleep.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  J was spending a night with the Boys in Toronto so I had to move around some of my runs — at least that was the plan.  I attempted it, but wasn’t too successful.  There’s something about a mid-week long run that just doesn’t jive with me yet.

Monday – Rest
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – 40 minutes w/ 2 tempo miles
Thursday – .75 miles w/ Dunkin
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 40 minutes w/ Dunkin, 20 minutes biking
Sunday – 45 minutes w/ Dunkin

Monday – Rest
As per usual, the bulk of my mileage occurred over the weekend and therefore, I rest.

Tuesday – Rest
This wasn’t planned.  I wanted to do my 90-100 minute long run after work, but the weather didn’t break in the way I had hoped (was still really cold!) and it was incredibly windy.  I wussed out.

Wednesday – 40 minutes w/ 2 tempo miles
9:09 pace average – 8:33 tempo pace
The plan was 90-100 minute long run but I had a beast of a day at work and was not motivated.  The plan then turned into the hill run I had scheduled later in the week.  Once I couldn’t find a “medium” hill (what even is considered a medium hill?), it turned into 2 tempo miles in my 40 minute run, just like last week.  I felt great!  Since I was trying to find a hill, I wasn’t sticking to the same route and was taking a lot of turns — but my paces in comparison were great.  I can’t trust my heart rate because the strap was falling the entire time, but taking out some of the outliers I’d say I was very close to last week heart-rate wise (but with faster pace!)

Thursday – Attempt at Dunkin Run
The plan was a few miles with Dunkin, maybe 30 minutes depending on how he felt?  Well, J went to the store when I was getting ready to take him and we ended up passing by him getting into his car… Dunks was pretty derailed right there.  Seeing J get into the car and pull away ended up with 3 howls and a completely distracted pup who turned around every 2 steps.  Typically, after thirty seconds he’s good and we continue on our run but not this time.  He spent the first 1/3 of a mile running behind me until I turned around and he pulled ahead, excited thinking we were going to run back to J.  So, back inside of went.  Jerk.

Friday – Rest
With J spending the weekend in Toronto, we had Friday night to ourselves (and Dunks).  Low key night complete with unclogging the bathroom drain, Olive Garden take out, and trying to figure out which puzzle we want to order next.  We decided on Ralph Wilson Stadium, complete with the crowd. Go Bills!

Look at this guy in his lil sweater!
Look at this guy in his lil sweater! [I tripped over him right after taking this.  Don’t run and photo, you guys.]
Saturday – 40 minutes with Dunkin, 20 minutes biking
11:48 pace/72% MHR
I was pretty excited to go running with the 46 degree weather in Buffalo, but Dunkin had other ideas.  The snow had melted, the sidewalks were wet — and I have a prissy dog.  We managed half a mile and that was basically forcing him to run, so we went home.  I figured I’d try again later.  I hopped on my bike (got a trainer Friday!) for 20 minutes, since it’s all my lady bits could handle.  I didn’t use any resistance on the trainer because my tires are kind of flat and the sound was God awful.  Two episodes of the Biggest Loser and a few hours later, we tried our run again.  He was still not keen on it, but took a poop and then was a brand new dog!

Sunday – 45 minutes with Dunkin
12:11 pace/74% MHR
This guy took off like he hasn’t been outside in years.  We went down a street we don’t frequent and he was extra cautious to sniff each pole and pee in every bush.  The weather was beautiful, overcast and 55 degrees!  It was really peaceful outside, too.  I barely heard any cars, didn’t hear any people, and heard the occasional bird sing.  Spring, is that you?

No, really.  Spring, is that you?  Because I’m ready to run in shorts again.


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

4 thoughts on “Prep Phase Week 1 of 6: Pittsburgh Half Marathon”

  1. The groundhog says Spring is coming soon! Of course, in my negative nelly mode all I could think was “great, that probably means race day will be friggin hot again”


  2. Great week! Don’t worry about moving things around, you had an awesome week. When you are ready for the mid week long run, you will do it. Those mid week long runs takes a looooonnngggg time to love. It still takes me awhile to actually get out of my car when I have them on the schedule. But they do really work! Have a great week!


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