Prep Phase Week 3 of 6: Pittsburgh Half Marathon

I should know by now that what I expect isn’t going to happen and the unexpected will. That being said, I still had a solid week of training which I’m very happy with all things considered.  My legs have been feeling ready to pick up the pace (finally the rust is gone) and my lungs have cooperated, too.  The weather left something to be desired, though.

Monday – 30 minutes ab & butt
Tuesday –  Total Rest
Wednesday – 30 minute run w/ Dunkin and 30 minutes upper body
Thursday – 35 minute “leg speed” run, PT exercises
Friday – 15 minutes of PT exercises
Saturday – 5k of rowing
Sunday – 70 minute long run


 

Things that went not according to plan?  The weather for the weekend being insanely cold, so much so that I actually call it “too cold”.  Saturday’s 10 miler was postponed for this upcoming week (but I’m already racing).  It really put a damper in my training but I bounced back.

Monday – StrongBody Streak
I made it 8 days in a row before taking a day off, woo! I did a Nike Training Club app workout for abs and butt.  One of these days maybe I’ll actually put an effort into eating better and actually get abs.  I was graced with good genes in that aspect but to be frank, I’d rather eat my pizza logs than see a 6 pack.

Tuesday – Rest
I was pretty exhausted at this point.  Dunks was being a pain in the ass at night and after a solid week of running with the added strength, it was just enough to make me lay on the couch after work and nap.  Whoops.

Wednesday – 30 minute Dunkin run, 30 minutes upper body
11:03 pace/70% MHR
After a few days of Dunks being mopey and lazy, he finally was ready to go outside.  I took him for a short run and it must not have been all that exciting because I can’t remember one thing about it.  It is exciting to see my heart rate at 70% overall for this because I don’t recall ever being able to stay this low, let alone with a dog.  I came home and did 30 minutes of another NTC workout for my upper body.

Thursday – Leg Speed, 15 minutes core
9:05 pace overall/81% MHR
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!  I needed this.  I’ve done a few tempos so far and felt okay, but haven’t done anything that really required picking it up.  These were :30 strides with 1:00 jogging recovery, or slow running, if you can’t come to terms with using the word “jog” (it doesn’t make you any less of a runner, I promise!)  I warmed up with just over a mile to get to a street that is one way with a bike lane on each side.  It’s perfect for this kind of run.  The goal in the :30 is to run pretty fast, but controlled.  I did ten of these before my cool down and was hitting an overall 7:09 pace for 5 or 6 sets, the rest were 5:50-6:30.  Given that I was running on slightly snow covered roads and it was nearly 0 degrees Fahrenheit, I’m kind of ecstatic that my legs remember these paces.

Friday – 10 minutes core
Nothing special here, just getting it done to get it done.

Saturday – Rowing for-ev-er
Since the race was cancelled and it was way too cold to run, I went to the gym for our running group (ironic, eh?) We hung out for the hour on the rowers and I have a nice blister to remind me of it.  In the end, I rowed nearly an entire 5k.  We practiced form, went easy, did some power-10s, and essentially made my glutes burn more than ever.  It wasn’t running… but it was a solid aerobic and leg strength workout.

Sunday – 70 minutes easy
9:40 pace/79% MHR
The temperature broke ever so slightly and I was able to tolerate a run outside.  I considered going to the gym for the treadmill and knocking out 10 miles but I knew deep down I wouldn’t last more than 40 minutes.  So I just bundled up and decided to see what happened.  It was cold, but sunny and I was really looking forward to a run through the city.  The majority of the run was on 3-4 inches of soft, un-shoveled snow which gave my stabilizing muscles quite the workout but once I lost myself in the run, I forgot all about that.  I only came in after 70 minutes because my neck gaiter froze and I had some parts of exposed skin; I felt like I could have gone forever.  The best part of this run was coming home and checking my splits against my heart rate.  The conditions weren’t great, but my paces felt so relaxed in the snow and are beginning to creep back up into a favorable place!


 

I only ended up running about 15 miles which was definitely less than I wanted, but given the weather I’ll take it.  I especially consider Sunday a “win” because I didn’t think I’d last outside more than 30-40 minutes!  Thankfully, I think after this weekend the weather will be on the up and up.

I’ve got about another 6 weeks to cover with a couple races (8k and 15k) before I really start to think about my goal versus my current capabilities.  It’s hard to judge right now since I just started adding in real workouts, but by the middle to end of March I think I’ll have had enough solid workouts to get a good idea while still having time to make improvements.  I know there’s a real possibility that a PR is out of reach in Pittsburgh — which is okay — but I need to evaluate since fall event prices will go up and that’s what’s going to determine my fall plans.  Being a runner involves a lot of planning ahead sometimes!

Upcoming this week is a little lighter during the week since I have a half marathon on Sunday.  As per usual, I’m running Lake Effect Half Marathon on a base maxing out at an 8 mile long run.  It just wouldn’t be Lake Effect if I was woefully under prepared!

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Brittany

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

4 thoughts on “Prep Phase Week 3 of 6: Pittsburgh Half Marathon”

  1. Those are great paces during your leg speed workout, and even more so given the conditions outside! Are you thinking if you hit your half goal at Pittsburgh that you’ll target a full in the Fall? I’m trying to decide if I want to enter the lottery for the Marine Corps Marathon. I loved the experience of Chicago, but if I’m in PR shape in the fall I’d lean towards a local, smaller marathon. Like you though I want to get in before the rates go up!

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    1. Yes, I’m thinking about targeting a Fall full. I’m concerned because if I don’t hit my goal, I might want to do a half instead to get it. So many decisions! Plus I’m going to be buying a house in the fall and who knows if I want to travel to a different state or location and what if I get burnt out and ugh DECISIONS!

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