The first week of Pittsburgh Half Marathon training was fantastic! I love how Lauren at Run Salt Run self-grades herself in her training, so I’m going to
steal that start doing that too.
Week 1 Grade: A
- I followed my training plan and had five great runs.
- I had four strength training sessions. I didn’t give myself an A+ because I shaved 10 minutes off one of my sessions.
- I did a plank every day. I am up to holding them for 1:30, but planks are hard! I keep thinking they’ll get easier the more I do them, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
- I did yoga every day.
- While I met all the above goals, fitting in five days of runs, four days of strength, and seven days of yoga is tough. If I didn’t have a husband–or had a husband that didn’t care about spending time with me–and a dog that wants to go on walks, I’d have no issue with spending so much time exercising. But for me, I don’t think it’s sustainable, which is why I’m happy I decided to taper on strength as my mileage increases.
- The weather was cold but bearable and not frigid like it has been. By the end of the week, most of the ice and snow from last week had melted. I had no problems running outside.
- I was very motivated for all my runs and am feeling strong mentally.
- My eating has been great, and I’ve been tracking all my WeightWatchers points. While I’m losing weight (slowly, as I’m gaining strength), I’ve been sure to fuel properly so that I have enough energy for early-morning runs.
- I cannot believe it’s taken me this long to get a headlamp! It has made my dark, early-morning runs so much better!
- Weekly mileage was 17.31. Monthly mileage is 40.06.
Recap by Day
40 minutes lower body and core strength training
50 minutes yin yoga
Medium Run: 3 miles, 33:24, 11:07 pace
The first run of training was a medium pace run, a pace between goal pace and easy pace. For me, that’s 11:15-11:30. At 19 degrees, it was very cold. I put on my new trail shoes that I got for running in snow and ice, but the trail was pretty much all ice so I stuck to sidewalks. I ran to Heinz Field and back. This run felt really easy and I felt fantastic, so my pace was a bit faster than it should have been. Mile 1: 11:07, Mile 2, 11:03, Mile 3: 11:14. I wore my new headlamp for the first time. Wow! I typically run under street lights on dark mornings, but I never realized how dim the lighting is until I wore the headlamp. It was great with helping me see and avoid icy spots and uneven spots on the road. It’s also really comfortable and doesn’t slip around.
|Lulu First Base Tank, Full Tilt Long Sleeve, Spring Forward Jacket, White Pique Neck Warmer
Athleta Wind Warrior Tights
|Asics GT-2000 3 Trail Shoes. Love the camo at the bottom!|
In the evening I did 25 minutes of upper body strength training followed by 10 minutes of gentle yoga.
Hill Repeats: 4 X .24-mile repeats, 3.31 miles, 40:20
I decided to kick off speedwork with hill repeats. It was 16 degrees and very cold, but I knew I’d warm up quickly. I walked up steep, long Troy Hill as a warm-up and to see how icy sidewalks were and then did one mile at an easy pace through Troy Hill. I ran back down the hill and measured out a .25-mile section that wasn’t icy. Then I ran up that section as fast as I could and jogged slowly down the same section. I did four repeats. It was really tough. During the first repeat, I was pretty much dying and thought there was no way I could do more. But then I remembered a comment Hoho Runs said, that hills are supposed to be hard, so embrace it. Then, I kept thinking how grateful I was that I could run up hills, that I’m strong and healthy. And I thought how no one else I know (non-runners, of course) is running up steep hills at 5:30 a.m., and I should be proud of it. All this made me mentally strong and helped me push on each interval. I was proud of my effort. Somehow I couldn’t get my Garmin to stop at an even mileage number, even though I tried twice, hence the weird final mileage.
In the evening I did 10 minutes of gentle yoga.
Recovery Run: 2 miles, 24:22, 12:10 pace
Temps were 18, felt like 12 when I went out. I didn’t look at my watch and went slow and easy.
|Lulu First Base Tank, Long Sleeve Swiftly, Base Runner Hoodie
Athleta Asphalt Polar Tech Tights
In the evening I did 30 minutes of lower body and core strength training. I had cooked dinner (vegetable korma–yum!) and wasn’t able to do a workout until later in the evening and by then I really didn’t feel like doing this workout, so I did skip some exercises. But I’m proud that I still got in a workout when I didn’t feel like it and only shaved about 10 minutes off the workout. After strength training, I did about 10 minutes of sun salutations and gentle stretching.
25 minutes Essential Yoga for Runners from the Runner’s World website
Pace run: 3 miles, 32:13, 10:44 pace
I ran with Steel City Road Runners. There were probably around 200 people for the training run, all packed into the SCRR garage to stay warm prior to the run. It was crazy! I talked to some people I’d met at SCRR runs before then lined up outside with the 11:00 pacer. They had pacers for paces from 7:30 (though I think that guy was by himself, ha ha) all the way to 12:00 or 12:30. Our 11:00 pace group was pretty big, with probably 20-30 runners. Kelly was our pacer, and she was great. She made sure everyone was feeling okay the whole run and that everyone knew where to go, and she had us walk one icy section we couldn’t avoid. I asked her about pace strategy for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. She said banking time in general is not a good strategy, and that for the race the pacers will run the hills at the same pace. She also said that pacers are usually running one to two minutes/mile slower than what they normally run to make sure they can stick to the pace. I’ve gotten other comments about how banking time is not a good strategy, so I guess that means I need to be able to run hills at my goal pace! Anyway, it is always fun to run with a group and meet new people, but trying to keep to a particular pace with a big group is tough. Everyone’s Garmins were reporting different paces, so while we did the first mile at an 11:02 pace, miles 2 and 3 were about 10:35. The whole point of pace runs is to learn what your race pace feels like, so I think I should probably do my pace runs by myself and long easy runs, where I don’t care about pace, with others.
|Yes, I’m wearing the same hoodie as Thursday, but I didn’t sweat it in then. 🙂
Lulu First Base Tank, Long Sleeve Swiftly, Base Runner Hoodie,
Black Tech Speed Tights, and Run With Me Toque
After my run I did 25 minutes of upper body strength followed by 10 minutes of yoga.
It was 19 and cold for the morning run, but it warmed up to the upper 40s by the afternoon. Plus it was sunny! It was definitely the nicest day in weeks. We took Django on a nice, long walk over to West Park in the Northside and back.
|Lulu Cadet Blue High Times Pants, Long Sleeve Swiftly,
Bumble Berry Dance Studio Jacket, Deep Zinfandel Gratitude Wrap
Long run: 6 miles, 1:12, 12:05 pace
I met Amanda at North Park. She was doing 9 miles because she’s training for the Pittsburgh full marathon, and I was doing 6. We decided to do the same course as in the Frigid Five Miler race last week. She did the course twice! To tack on an extra mile, I ran up that big, steep hill twice. Both times I ran the whole hill and didn’t walk at all. My pace was super slow (13:12 the first time and 13:28 the second time), but I have to say how proud I was to run it twice after having to walk it in the race last week. Overall, it was a great run. My strategy is to run hills as much as possible. I plan to train hard this training cycle so I can reap the benefits in the race. While my weather app said it was 42 this morning, it felt much colder at North Park. It started raining just as I was done with my run and was walking back down the hill to my car.
|Lulu Full Tilt Long Sleeve, Heathered Slate Speed Tights, Coco Pique Ear Warmer
Athleta White Extra Long Chi Tank
After the run I did 20 minutes of recovery yoga from the Runner’s World website.
I’m looking forward to week two! Have a great week running and working out!