First, thanks to everyone who read my post on wearing shorts and for your kind comments. I’m so grateful to be part of such a supportive community of bloggers and runners! I’ve actually run in shorts twice since that post (!) and will be posting a review this week on different shorts I’ve tried.
Last week was my fifth week of training for the Buffalo Creek Half Marathon using the Hanson’s Half-Marathon Method, but it was the first week that included all three SOS (something of substance) workouts. In previous weeks I’ve done two SOS workouts–a speed workout and a tempo workout at race pace. This week was the first that included the third SOS workout–the long run at moderate pace.
While I’m no longer waking up an hour before my alarm goes off because I’m so excited to run, I’m still motivated and enthusiastic about the plan. This week was the toughest one yet, but I’m just trying not to focus on the fact that I have 8 more weeks just like this one but with more mileage (10 more weeks in the plan, but the last two are taper). I’ve been taking this plan day by day so I don’t stress myself out about what’s coming.
Each week I’ve seen improvement. Hills are easier, my endurance is improving, and my paces feel easier. In general, I’m feeling stronger and more fit. But maybe the biggest benefit I’m getting from this plan is the huge boost in confidence. When I complete hard workouts that I thought I couldn’t when I first read the book, I feel like Superwoman.
I’m still trying to figure out how to fit my strength training in. I think I’m going to switch from doing separate lower and upper body workouts to the strength workout in the Racing Weight book, which is 4 exercises for all endurance athletes plus 5 exercises specifically for runners. Going through each exercise once takes 20 minutes, which seems doable twice a week.
This week I also made sure to focus on injury prevention. I brought my yoga mat into my office and have been doing 10 minutes of stretching at lunch. In addition, I read an article in the recent issue of Runner’s World that said runners over 40 should foam roll every day, so I’m going to aim for that instead of the once a week that was my original goal.
Mileage this week was 36.75 with 7 hours and 44 minutes of running. The week went like this.
Easy run: 4 miles, 54 minutes, 13:27 pace
A beautiful sunrise and nice breeze made this a great run. It was 70 but breezy.
|Oiselle White Mesh Tank
Athleta Fiji Green Fair Isles Skort
Lululemon Zing Pink Light Energy Bra &
Mesh Jeweled Magenta Bangbuster
In the evening I did a few planks and push-ups followed by 30 minutes of yin yoga.
Speed workout: 7.75 miles in 1:36
This workout was 8 x 600 repeats at 5K pace with equal recovery. Target for each repeat was 3:36 (9:39 pace) and I was between 3:34 and
3:36 for each one except the last, which was 3:30 for a strong finish. This was my first time doing 600s, and I really liked them! It was easier to settle into my pace but short enough that each interval went quickly. I felt strong the whole run. It was 66 bu 100% humidity, and I was soaked when I was done as you can see in this pic.
|Lululemon Heathered Black Cherry What the Sport Singlet,
White Hit Your Stride Skirt, Grey Mesh Bangbuster
Rest day! I did 20 minutes of yoga hip opening poses.
Tempo run: 5 miles, 59 minutes
This was an awesome run with the middle 3 miles at race pace (11:59). It was a cool 60-degree morning with a gorgeous sunrise, where Downtown was bathed in a celestial gold-pink light. I had no problems running at race pace. Splits were 10:52, 10:55, 10:55.
|Lululemon Heathered Jeweled Magenta Swiftly & Mesh Bangbuster
Athleta Black Relay Skort
In the evening I did 20 minutes of strength training: 4 x 15 squat jumps, 2 x 10 plyo lunges, 2 x 10 single leg squat jumps, 3 x 10 push-ups, forearm plank, and side planks. I know plyometrics are great for runners to do, but they always make me so sore! I was sore all day Friday and Saturday from this workout.
Easy run: 4 miles, 52 minutes, 12:57 pace
It was a cool, 60-degre and beautiful morning that made me fall in love with running
all over again. I really enjoyed it relaxing into the run and just being out before the rest of the city wakes up.
|Lululemon Bumble Berry Cool Racerback,
Purple Fog Energy Bra,
Mini Pop Black/Mink Berry Stripe Go the Distance Shorts
Angel Mesh Bangbuster
In the evening I did 20 minutes of core work, stretching, and foam rolling.
Long run: 10 miles, 2:01, 12:06 pace
I went to bed early Friday night, planning to get up early to beat the heat. My body was not down with that plan. It was so hard to wake up, which is very unusual for me. Instead of starting at 6:30 a.m. like I wanted, I had to run fast to meet the Steel City Road Runners group to run with them at 7:30, when it was 71 degrees out. Unfortunately, the only people going at my pace were run-walkers, so after logging the first mile at 11:57 with a faster group, I slowed down to try to keep to my 12:16 target pace. Before I read the Hanson’s book and slowed my paces, a 12-minute mile was my usual easy/long run pace, but I hadn’t tried a long run at this pace all year. I liked having a target pace for my long runs because it gave me something to focus on, and the miles went pretty quickly. Still, it was very hot and I got very tired at the end. Plus, I’d only brought one Salt Stick cap and my tummy started hurting from the heat at mile 3. I stopped at the SCRR garage at mile 8 to check out and get more water, and the last thing I wanted was to run 2 more miles. But the whole point of the Hanson’s plan is to practice running on tired legs, so I knew I needed to dig in and get it done. I did and finished strong, but afterward I was completely beat. Next time I’ll definitely bring more Salt Stick caps.
|Lulu Regal Plum Sculpt Tank & White Run Visor
Skirt Sports Streak Gym Girl Ultra Skirt
After the run I did lots of stretching and foam rolling and then drank two servings of the Cellucor Alpha Aminos recovery drink I recently got. I do think it helped me have more energy later in the day, which was good because we drove to Ohiopyle for a little hike with Django. It was really hot there too, but Django got to lie down in the river a few times to cool off, so he was happy.
Easy run: 6 miles, 1:22, 13:39 pace
Again I had a hard time waking up, and the last thing I wanted to do was run 6 miles. It was hot again–80 when I finished. But I took it really slow and easy and after my body woke up a mile or so in, I actually enjoyed the run despite the heat and finished feeling refreshed. Truly a recovery run!
|Athleta Heather Stripe White Chi Tank & Yellow Skirt
Lulu Creamsicle Pop Energy Bra & White Run Visor
Later in the day I did 20 minutes of the Racing Weight strength routine followed by stretching and foam rolling.
This week I want to try to get more sleep. Being tired when I woke up this past weekend is a sign that my body is starting to get tired from training, so I want to make sure I have enough rest.
Happy running and working out this week!