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!


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.  Continue reading Prep Phase Week 2 of 6: Pittsburgh Half Marathon

Final Week of Base Building: Pittsburgh Half Marathon

This week left me feeling really good about where I currently am.  I’ve been recovering quickly, making progress in my strength training, and feeling stronger overall.  Running sometimes still feels like a chore and I’d rather cuddle on my couch with my dog (who wouldn’t?) but I don’t find it as difficult to get up and out the door.

Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 25 minutes w/ Dunkin
Wednesday – CrossFit
Thursday – 40 minutes w/ 2 miles tempo
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 85 minute long run
Sunday – 30 minute recovery run Continue reading Final Week of Base Building: Pittsburgh Half Marathon