The Final Push

I’m finally getting around to this post completely due to an obscene amount of late night caffeine because I have a lot of laundry to do.  Living in an apartment building that makes doing multiple loads of laundry difficult, therefore I loaded up on coffee and Nuun (and beer) during girls night to keep me up at midnight specifically for this. Plus I’m lazy; too lazy to take the time to do laundry (past two times I paid for wash and fold) and too lazy to post. To be fair, I have to post using a tablet which makes writing and editing awful and I have also sucked at reading/commenting lately. Woof.

So the Pittsburgh Half Marathon is in a week. I closed out training with a couple solid workouts and I guess we will see where that gets me soon. Honestly, I felt good about my last long run and thought sub 1:40 could happen. Then I saw the weather and thought, “Whatever happens, happens.” That’s where I’m at. I know I have a second chance at Buffalo.

My “peak week” wasn’t even technically peak by mileage. I hit a higher mileage at the end of February by a couple miles. In terms of quality miles however, it was definitely peak. I felt good, but tired in the end and those tired legs have turned sore and are now requiring extra TLC during taper. 

Wednesday 4/13/16, I had mile repeats scheduled which I did around Hoyt Lake near my apartment. It’s about a mile around, takes a mile to get to (easy for warm up and cool down) and doesn’t involve stopping for traffic mid-run. The problem is I seem to struggle HARD here. This is where I got mentally burnt twice at the start of long runs and also ran with a headwind throughout an entire run another day, despite the path being a freakin’ circle. 

Anyways, the workout called for 5-6 mile repeats at something like 7:28-7:36 pace. Mentally, I felt ready to go. I got there and started my runs but felt kind of awful. Since I use the “workout” feature on my garmin, it doesn’t give me actual splits until after the run. I make my watch face give me instant pace and do my best off that. I ended up with 4 mile repeats (half mile recovery run) and headed home early. After checking splits, two were spot on (7:30 and 7:26) with the last being off (7:35 and 7:44). 

Dunk and I hiking

On Saturday, April 16th, I had to do my long run mid-day due to a vet appointment and dinner plans. I wanted to do 14 miles so bad, but ran 12 strong on a bike path nearby. It was about 75° outside which made it the first warm day of spring and the sun was beaming. I did a 7 mile loop first so I could go back to the car for water instead of carrying and then refuel, followed by two 3 mile loops — well the last was like 2 miles because it was so hot. I was happy to finish with an 8:40 overall pace with 8 being under 8:40 and they all felt easy. That was exactly the confidence boost I needed to think maybe sub 1:40 isn’t totally out of reach this spring.

So that finished out “peak week” for me but I still had one solid workout planned before taper which I finished this past Tuesday. Tuesday was 6-8 stay state miles which I reduced to 4 because my legs were feeling the tougher mileage and to be honest, I didn’t follow my training plan to the point where 6-8 would be good this closer to race day. My miles were supposed to be around 7:59 to 8:25 pace if I recall, I hit 8:00, 8:00, 7:54, 7:54. How is that for consistency?

" Taper is here!" Beer

I’m happy to be tapering and so are my legs! I don’t know who you people are that get crabby during taper but we are certainly not alike! I’m also going to force myself to be at peace with whatever weather Pittsburgh had in store, even if it’s 70° and thunderstorms. This training cycle has been everything but perfect so weather that I didn’t consider would only be fitting for me.


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

12 thoughts on “The Final Push”

  1. I also don’t get crabby during taper. I seriously don’t get why people hate it so much. Not having to run so damn much IS A GOOD THING, PEOPLE!!

    I don’t know…the weather doesn’t really look *that* bad to me? I’m seeing highs of 68-73 for the day, with 55-65 during the race and cloudy. I mean, it’s not ideal but it doesn’t sound awful to me. Although of course, things could change! Are you planning to run with a pace group at all?


    1. The first time I looked my app had 76 with thunderstorms. It’s looking better as each day passes though! I can tolerate 50s though. I don’t think I’ll run with a pace group, I usually don’t. It’s too crowded and I start to feel the pace is always too fast even when it isn’t. I’ll probably start just ahead of 1:45 and hope to never see them again but catch up to 1:40 lol. How about you?


      1. I’m considering it. I’m not really making this about time anymore – just go out there and see what happens type thing – but I worry about pacing myself in marathons so it’d be nice to have something to help keep me steady and help me push up the hills. But I also kinda just want to run my own race. I don’t usually run with pacers either. It will prob be a game time decision. I might start with the 3:45 and if it doesn’t feel good let them go; if it does stick with them, make a move later and then make sure I don’t see them again!


      2. I think that’s a smart idea! I would probably consider starting with a pacer group if I were definitely closer to one group over another, but if I start 1:45 in afraid that’s too slow. And if I go 1:40, definitely too fast. Good luck on Sunday!!


  2. I can get crabby during taper but honestly I get more crabby during an injury. I’m excited for you Brittany and to see what you can do next weekend. I’ll be stalking you, of course.


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