Week 6 of training for the Buffalo Creek Half Marathon using the Hanson’s Half-Marathon Method is in the books, and while it contained a low point, it turned out to be a really great week! I’m trying a new format for my recaps this week to make them more skimmable.
Week at a Glance
- 6 days of running with 3 SOS (something of substance) runs and 3 easy runs
- 40 miles of running, a tie with my previous weekly mileage PR
- 8 hours and 21 minutes of running
- 2 sessions of yoga
- 2 sessions of strength training, plus a few strength exercises on other days
- Stretching every day, once after every run and a second time either at lunch or in the evening
- Foam rolling every day (calves, quads, hips, and hamstrings)
- No injuries!
- My hip felt a bit achy on Thursday, likely because I forgot to stretch after my run. With some stretching and foam rolling, it went away. No other aches or pains.
- I don’t mess around with sleep. Because I get up between 4 and 4:30 a.m., I need to be in bed by 9 p.m. People can make fun of me for going to bed so early, but I’m committed to getting my sleep. This week I made sure I was in bed by 9 and was well-rested all week except for Wednesday night (story in the recap).
- In general, I feel completely fantastic! I feel very strong and very fit.
Thursday’s tempo run at race pace was a low point. I was extremely tired before, during, and after the run, and it made me question whether I could really do this plan. The book promises that I will be tired, but that’s later in the plan. Could the fatigue be hitting me this early? And if so, how will I handle 10 more weeks of it? I wondered if I should just quit the plan and not run the race. Yes, I was very cranky! But as the week wore on it became obvious that being tired was just a result of my sleep being interrupted Wednesday night. For the next few days until today, I’ve felt completely fantastic and my confidence is back. Mentally, I feel great!
- I’m following the Racing Weight guidelines for eating more carbs the longer you run–well, trying to, anyway. I actually cannot eat all the carbs I’m supposed to for how much I’m running. I’m sure I could if they were refined–bring on the white bread and noodles and pretzels! But when it comes to the oats, brown rice, barley, quinoa, and all the other high-quality carbs I’m supposed to eat, it’s just hard to eat as much as the guidelines say I should. But I’m making an effort, and I’m still tracking my Weight Watchers points. I’m up to eating four bananas a day, and I’m getting pretty sick of them. I’m eating a lot of lentils, which is no problem because I love them, but not much beans unless I cook them from scratch. The effort to eat more carbs is paying off, though, because I feel really strong for my workouts.
- At the beginning of this month I switched modes from losing weight since
I’d gotten very close to my goal weight and instead planned on
maintaining. For the past two weeks I’ve actually lost a little more
weight, even though I am eating a ton (of all the high-quality carbs).
I’m writing a separate post about this.
- I’m also taking the Cellucor Alpha Aminos recovery drink after the SOS workouts, and it really helps with recovery. I’m no longer tired in the afternoons after my SOS workouts.
Here’s an example of my breakfast before and after an SOS workout:
- Pre-Run (4 a.m.): 6 dates (30 grams carbs), 1/2 whole wheat bagel (25 g carbs), 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter and jelly (a little more carbs), 1 cup juice (30 g carbs), 1 salt stick cap
- During run (5 a.m.): 1 Clif Shot gel (30 g carb), 1 or 2 salt stick caps, depending on how I’m feeling, Nuun
- Post run (7 a.m.): 1/2 whole wheat bagel (25 g carbs), 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter (3 g carbs), 1 cup soymilk (18 g carbs), 1 banana (27 g carbs), Cellucor Alpha Aminos recovery drink
Total carbs: 188 (daily total I’m aiming for is 471)
Total Weight Watchers points: 22 (Note that when I was losing weight I ate 30 points a DAY!)
Thoughts About the Hansons’ Plan
I feel like I’ve settled into a really good groove with the plan. This is the third week of running 6 days a week, and it’s no longer a big deal. The speed workouts are also no longer a big deal, as I’ve completed three of them successfully. I generally look forward to each run–I’m eager to tackle the SOS workouts and do them successfully, and I really relish the easy runs. Just last week I said I no longer was waking up before my long because I was excited to run, but I actually did wake before my alarm twice this week because I was excited.
The other thing I’m really loving is doing my long runs Saturday instead of Sunday. The actual Hansons’ plan calls for a Sunday long run but there is flexibility in when you do it. I chose Saturday so that I had the option of running with the Steel City Road Runners. It’s nice to do my long run early in the weekend and then have the rest of the weekend free. Sunday is a recovery run and is the only day of the week I don’t set my alarm (though I still get up pretty early), so I designated Saturday nights as my “party” night. (This basically means I have one or even two drinks and go to bed at 10 instead of 9!)
Easy run: 5 miles, 1:07, 13:33 pace
70 degrees. Took it nice and easy to save energy for Tuesday’s speed workout.
|Athleta Amethyst Haze Mesh Muscle Chi Tank
Lululemon Slate Go the Distance Shorts &
Mesh Bangbuster, Black Energy Bra
In the evening, I did 30 minutes of yin yoga followed by planks, push-ups, and foam rolling.
Speed workout: 8 miles in 1:37
It was 71 with 100% humidity. I was drenched when I was done. This workout was 6 x 800-meter repeats at 10K pace (9:53) with equal recovery and 2 miles warm-up and cool-down. Time target was 4:55 for each repeat and I did 4:55, 4:51, 4:54, 4:54, 4:55, 4:51. I felt really strong and awesome and even ran the cool-down mile much faster than I usually do. I ended up taking 3 salt sticks for this run–one before, one halfway through with my gel, and one toward the end when my tummy started to get upset. The salt sticks help me so much. As soon as my stomach starts to hurt, I take one and it almost instantly gets better. I don’t know how I’d survive hot runs without them.
|Another successful speed workout!
Lulu Aquamarine Runner Up Tank,
Electric Coral Pace Rival Skirt,
Clear Mint Fringe Fighter
I did stretching at lunch plus another session in the evening followed by foam rolling.
Rest day! I did 20 minutes of hip opening yoga poses followed by foam rolling. It felt so good!
I went to bed at 9 p.m., but my dog decided he wanted to come to bed with me. I don’t sleep well when he’s in bed with me (a separate post on that because it’s pretty funny), but I can’t say no to him. So after tossing and turning for an hour, fireworks started at 10 p.m. and went on for nearly a half-hour and sounded like they were directly over my house. The dog was freaking out and I was mad. I worked myself up into such a frenzy over it that I couldn’t fall asleep until well after they ended, so I probably only got about 5 hours of sleep.
Tempo run: 6 miles, 1:11
It was only 58 degrees and wonderfully cool. I’d been looking forward to running in the cool temps all week but couldn’t really enjoy it because I was so tired. The schedule called for an increase in race-pace miles to 4. My goal in these runs is to run my target 10:59 as consistently as possible, but I just couldn’t focus and my consistency suffered. Splits were 11:01, 10:54, 10:58, and 10:51. At least I was able to complete the workout, which was good given that I was so tired.
|Lulu Heathered Clear Mint Swiftly Short Sleeve & Fringe Fighter
Athleta Dress Blue Splatter Be Free Knickers
In the evening I did 20 minutes of the Racing Weight strength routine followed by stretching and foam rolling.
Easy run: 5 miles, 1:11, 13:30 pace
It was 64 and cool, and I really enjoyed this easy run.
|Lulu Black Mesh What the Sport Tee, Zing Pink
Light Energy Bra, Mauve Flyway Tamer
Athleta Raspberry Relay Skort
In the evening I did stretching and foam rolling.
Long run: 10 miles, 2:00, 12:06 pace
I had planned to get an early start to beat the heat but it didn’t really matter since it was 71 at 5 a.m. Amanda met me at 6:30 a.m. and ran 6 miles on the river trail with me. I was so grateful for the company because the miles went really fast! I stopped at 6 miles to refill my bottle with the water Amanda brought that was still cold (which was SO awesome) and started my music and then was off to finish the run. I had so much energy and felt really great the whole run. I took 2 gels and 4 salt sticks, plus had the same carb-heavy pre-run breakfast as in the example above, and I’m sure all that helped. This run gave me a lot of confidence because the problems I had with last week’s long run left me a little shaken. My target pace for these runs is 12:16, but I had no problem running a bit faster. I think getting an early start, eating carbs before I head out, and taking lots of salt sticks is really key for me to have successful long runs. Next week my long run increases to 12, and I want to slow down a bit and try to be closer to my 12:16 goal pace.
|Wringing the sweat from my top!
Lulu Pigment Wave Multi Sculpt Tank &
Black Pace Rival Skirt
(White Run Visor not shown)
|My shoulder after the run. I was leaving a sweaty trail behind me
as I walked from the trail to my house because sweat was pouring off me.
My clothes were completely absorbed with sweat, and the sweat just kept on coming!
In the afternoon I wasn’t tired at all like I usually am. We took Django on a walk through Riverview Park, but it was so hot for him that he stopped and wouldn’t walk anymore well before we were back to the car. Greyhounds actually have a different body composition than other dogs. They don’t have the insulating fat that other dogs do–they’re pretty much pure muscle–so they are more susceptible to heat and cold than other dogs. Because of their different body composition, they require different anesthesia than other dogs if they go for surgery. Before the walk we gave him a bath so he’d be wet and cooler on the walk, and we always bring ice water for him. But it got close to 90 degrees, so he was still really struggling. When he stopped walking, we had to just keep encouraging him and praise him every time he took a step forward. We finally made it back to car, and he immediately zonked out for the rest of the afternoon when we got home.
Easy run: 6 miles, 1:19, 13:15 pace
It was 71 degrees again when I started running at 7 a.m., but I just set my Garmin to only show heart rate and kept my HR nice and low. I had no problems and felt really amazing and refreshed when I was done.
|Lulu Heathered Black Cherry What the Sport Singlet,
Purple Fog Energy Bra
Slate Go the Distance Shorts
White Run Visor
After the run I did 25 minutes of the Racing weight strength routine, stretching, and foam rolling.
Happy running and working out this week!