Prep Phase Week 2 of 6: Pittsburgh Half Marathon

I just feel really great about this week.  There’s a groove and I’ve found my way into it.

Participating in the StrongBody Streak has given me something to achieve every single day, even if I’m resting and I’m somewhat enjoying making sure that even if it’s 15 minutes before bed, I do something.  I also re-evaluated how I’ve been thinking about my running.  Lately I’ve felt guilty because the bulk of my miles occur from Friday to Sunday, with all my runs falling between Wednesday and Friday.  Feeling guilty about that is silly though!  The guilt is simply because of the labels for each day but remove that and look at everyone as just a 7 day period, it’s instantly better.  I’m considering printing out a schedule without any labels to offset the games my mind is playing on me. 

Monday – Rest
Tuesday – CrossFit
Wednesday – 40 minutes w/ 2 tempo miles
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 2 miles easy
Saturday – 75 minutes easy
Sunday – 60 miles with hills, 1 mile cool-down w/ Dunks

Monday – StrongBody Streak Day 1
I did a simple workout of whatever came to mind for fifteen minutes.  Today was a combination of miniband walks, banded squats, single leg squats, single leg Romanian deadlifts with a 10lb dumbbell, sit-ups, push-ups, a forearm plank and reverse plank.

 Tuesday – CrossFit
Skills/Practice: Snatch grip deadlift, 3 position Snatch pulls
Workout:  4 round for time of 10 snatches and 10 toes to bar

Needless to say, my grip was shot.  For snatch grip deadlifts, I did 5 sets of 4 at 75 lbs. We were supposed to do our 90% max but since I don’t know what that is, I worked up to what I knew I could do for the entirety.  I used just the bar for my snatch (33 lbs) during the workout and got more comfortable with the movement, which is all I could hope for in this case because I’m totally unfamiliar with this movement.  I wore shorts and the bar kept getting stuck on my legs, despite using chalk, and I have a couple bruises.  So yep, I really need to practice the snatch.

Wednesday – 40 minutes w/ 2 miles at tempo, StrongBody Day 3
9:17 pace average/80% MHR – 8:27 tempo pace/84% MHR
This has been my go-to mid-week workout lately.  I’ve been running the same route lately because it’s easy (long roads) and has Strava segments.  Compared to last week, my tempo pace was a little faster and felt a bit harder, but I don’t have heart rate data to look at.  Two weeks ago, my pace was slower but my heart rate was about 3% lower, too.  Honestly, there’s too little data to really analyze at this point.

In the evening, my 15 minutes involved all things glute – banded bridges, walking bridges, bird dog, angry bird dog, and more push-ups.

Thursday – StrongBody Day 4
Fifteen minutes of walking lunges, core, thrusters with dumbbells, MYRTLS, and more push-ups.

Friday – 2 miles easy, StrongBody Day 5
9:09 pace average/77% MHR
I tried to take Dunks for a run and after half mile of attempting every direction, I realized he wasn’t feeling it.  I came home, hopped on my bike and got too nervous that the neighbors could hear the vibration through the floor.  J encouraged me to go for a run, so I did.  It was FREEZING outside and I only had capris so two miles was the most I could manage!

The evening 15 minutes consisted of core and hanging knees.  I was too tired to do anything taxing, so I did a lot of crunches.  The hanging knees is simple, but an easy form “drill” to help with knee drive.  Something is better than nothing!

Saturday – 75 minutes at The Ridge, StrongBody Day 6
11:14 pace average/74% MHR – 10:10 pace average on roads/77% MHR
I met a friend at Chestnut Ridge for a planned 9-10 miles.  She hasn’t been running too much, so I knew there was a chance we’d go slower but the camaraderie was more important to me than pace.  After two miles on the trail, we realized the ice was too big of a risk for us and headed back to the car, deciding to hit the roads instead.  Unfortunately by the time we got to clear pavement, my legs were trashed and we opted to only go 3ish more miles.  The run was comfortably tough, more like a solid workout for my legs rather than endurance.

I finished my fifteen minutes of StrongBody just before the clock hit midnight.  I focused on arms a little more this time — bent over single arm rows, squats, dumbbell swings (no kettlebell at home), plus thrusters, bicep curls, and push-ups.  I finished with a few short forearm planks, then longer side planks on my knees.

One of the cemetery hills
One of the cemetery hills

Sunday – 60 minutes w/ hills, 1 mile cool-down with Dunks, StrongBody Day 7
9:14 average pace/80% MHR
It was so beautiful outside for this run.  I headed to the cemetery for my entire run; with the hills and lack of traffic it’s a great option for runs that are under 8 miles.  I think any more than that and I’d get bored.  My easy/long run plan changed on the fly and I decided to run comfortable, but push quickly with power up every single hill.  I’d say the first 25-30 minutes was really tough, my legs were still toast from Saturday.  Eventually they warmed up and my second loop was great.  I added an extra hill at the end which would be PERFECT for my mid-week hill runs, except the cemetery is closed when I come home.

When I came home, I grabbed Dunks and took him out for a mile.  He started off ready to go, which was promising because lately he’s been lacking motivation to be active at all.  After half mile though, he stopped me and jumped on me, crying.  This is his new thing.  He literally stops mid-walk when we aren’t going in the direction of where HE wants to go and jumps on us, then walks in the direction he wants to take us.  This time, he just stopped and cried but didn’t take me anywhere, so we just headed back home.  He hasn’t been in the mood to run or walk lately, so I wasn’t about to force him.

My fifteen minutes of StrongBody consisted of the Nike Training Club 15 minute core workout.  It was surprisingly tough for a couple movements!


So I finally had a week over 20 miles… 21.2 miles to be exact.  My legs are feeling it, but that’s to be expected when 14 miles were done over two days.  I’m hoping to have the same or a little higher mileage for next week.  I registered for a ten miler on Saturday which is going work well because the weather is supposed to be awful (cold) and I don’t need any excuses.  It’s going to be 13 degrees, through open country roads with 5 miles downhill and 5 miles up hill.  That’ll be fun… I don’t even know how to run a ten mile race!



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

12 thoughts on “Prep Phase Week 2 of 6: Pittsburgh Half Marathon”

  1. Yay for finding a groove, always a good feeling! I love that you are doing the strong body challenge! I committed to the yoga challenge just to get me consistently doing it more often. Have fun with the 10 miler this weekend, those hills and cold will make you stronger. Also, lake Effect will feel easier because of that going from hill 10 to pancake 13! YES, that reminds me that I get to see you in 2 weeks for Blues Boozy Brunch and running!


    1. I don’t know that I’ve ever “found” a groove for training because this feels so good haha. I love the yoga challenge! Maybe I’ll find some kind of yoga challenge next month, I def know I’ll be needing it.


  2. Yay for finding your training groove! Your StrongBody Streak is giving me some ideas of strength moves to add to my own workouts. This is something I love about reading other people’s blogs. I fall into such a rut (especially with strength) and I love finding new ideas from other people.


  3. Nice job! Glad to hear you are feeling good about your training. Good luck on your race – I’ve only raced one 10 miler, and it was on a sticky humid day so I did poorly and now that has soured my view of the 10 mile race (but it’s still one of my fave training distances!). 13 degrees is RULL cold. Our high on Saturday is 9, and I have an 18 miler so I’m not sure what I’ll do. I can’t run for almost three hours in that. Sunday’s not looking much better.


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