The Buffalo Creek Half Marathon is just two weeks away! Usually when my goal race is approaching I start to get a lot of anxiety. Not this time. This time, I can’t wait for it. My confidence is at an all-time high, I know that I’m capable of pushing when it gets really tough and I just want to quit and/or puke, and I no longer have any doubt that I’m going to have a great race.
This past week was my worst week of training. My vacation really messed up my momentum and enthusiasm (damn you, Salt Lake City!), and coming back to warm, humid weather didn’t help. I had the worst run of this training cycle this week as well as some “Maybe I should quit running and just do Zumba” thoughts. It took so much out of me to just get into the swing of running that I didn’t do any yoga, strength training, and not even my usual daily stretching and foam rolling! But my head is back in the game now, and I’m in a great place as I start tapering.
This upcoming week my mileage will start decreasing, and I’ll do only two instead of three SOS (something of substance) workouts. The week after will be even less mileage and all easy runs. Here’s how the past week went down.
Week at a Glance
- 6 days of running with 3 SOS (something of substance) runs and 3 easy runs
- 42.75 miles of running
- 8 hours and 31 minutes of running
- No yoga or strength training
- Stretching four days
- Foam rolling two days
- No injuries, aches, or pains.
- Still feeling fantastic.
A couple weeks ago I wrote, “My confidence is growing and growing. I’m
starting to feel like there’s no way I won’t have a good race.” Now, there’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll have a good race. I know because I’m going to make it happen. This training has given me the physical and mental strength to run my best half marathon, and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to execute a good race. I’m so ready!
Finally! I think I’ve found a good balance between all-the-carbs that I should eat and all-the-fruits-and-veggies that I want to eat–smaller portions. Duh. My salads tend to be so giant, and I am used to eating five tomatoes at a time. But if I have a smaller salad, I’m able to still eat a small baked potato before I get full. Success!
Thoughts About the Hansons’ Plan
I will always use a Hansons’ plan, for a 5K up to a full marathon if I decide to do one. I feel so strongly that this plan is the best for me that I can’t see myself doing any other plan, and I haven’t even run my race yet! I’ve never felt so strong, fit, capable, and confident. The Hansons’ plan is tough, but for me it’s definitely been worth it.
Easy run: 4 miles, 47:25, 11:51 pace
Our delayed flight didn’t get in until 1 a.m. Sunday night, so I slept in pretty late. I had to drive an hour away to my friend’s house to pick up my dog (who had the best time with my friend and her greyhounds), so I just didn’t have time for all the 5 miles I was supposed to do (nor time to take a picture). It was warm and humid, but I was surprised how much easier the run felt now that I was back to low elevation.
Strength run: 7.75 miles in 1:34
On the schedule was 4 x 1.5-mile repeats at 10:40 pace with half-mile recovery. It was 68 degrees with 100% humidity, and I was pissed off. How is it so warm and humid at 5 a.m. on September 29? Plus, it was my first day back to waking up early and going to work after a wonderful 9-day vacation. I wanted to book a one-way flight back to Salt Lake City. I felt the humidity immediately. The first repeat was tough. By the second, it was so hard that I was walking half of my half-mile recovery. And I did a really stupid thing. I was on a very dark, isolated part of the trail, and I saw two guys walking toward me who obviously weren’t commuting to work. One of them moved over so that he was blocking my path. I should have turned around and ran to the more lit and populated part of the trail where I’d come from. But I was just so pissed off about the heat and humidity and being back in Pittsburgh instead of Salt Lake City that I charged him like a freaking bull. When he moved over like an inch as I was about to pass him, I totally pushed into his shoulder as I passed and called him an asshole. Neither of the guys said anything, but I flew past them and made sure I put a lot of distance between them. At the time, I was ready to stop running and fight him but looking back I realize how stupid I was and what a dangerous situation I put myself in. Since then, I have stopped running on that part of the trail, and I swear I won’t yell at people or body check them anymore. Okay, so after that happened, I started my third repeat…and I just couldn’t do it anymore. It was so hard, I was so hot, my head was so not in the game, and I gave up. I stopped my Garmin and took a walk break. I did that three times during the repeat. This was the first time I quit instead of pushing, and I felt like crap. I didn’t have it in me to do the final repeat, so I stopped at the third repeat. This is when I started thinking about taking up Zumba instead of running. I was so pissed off about everything that I didn’t take my post-run picture either. Worst run of the training cycle.
Rest day–total rest. I needed it.
Tempo run: 8 miles in 1:31:06
It was 53 and cool, which I really needed for this run. I had 6 miles at goal pace (10:50). Even though it was cool, I started struggling after mile 2. But I dug deep, kept pushing, and didn’t walk or quit until I got all 6 miles in, and I finished strong too. While this was a struggle and my splits were a little slow, this run proved to me that I can push when it gets hard and I want to quit. I did wonder why I was struggling so early into the run on a cool morning. My guess is that my body is just tired–this whole plan is about building fatigue, and after 13 weeks this is how that cumulative fatigue is affecting me. Splits were 10:45, 10:49, 10:53, 10:58, 11:01, and 10:49.
|Athleta Sparking Purple Chi Top &
Grey Be Free Knickers
Easy run: 5 miles, 1:03:31; 12:43 pace
It was 48 and cold. I was very happy. 🙂
|Athleta White Elite Stripe Half Zip &
Purple Relay Capris
Long run: 12 miles: 2:22, 11:50 pace
I used my last long run as a dress rehearsal to practice everything I’ll do on race day–drinking from my handheld every 15 minutes, first gel and salt stick at 30 minutes and next two every 45 minutes, putting my music on 5 miles in to keep myself from starting too fast, and just being alone with myself and practicing my mantras and staying in the mile I’m in. I thought this run would suck. It has been forever since I’ve done a long run on my own, and I’ve come to loathe the flat river trail for long runs. The Buffalo Creek race course is flat, but I much prefer running on rolling hills. It was a cold 43 degrees and raining. I briefly considered moving the run to Sunday, but I knew a rainy long run would be great practice in case it’s raining on race day. Well, the weather turned out to be perfect. My body loved the cold weather, and the rain kept people off the trail so that I had the trail mostly to myself. (The trail is very popular on weekends and gets very crowded, with the majority of people clueless about trail etiquette.) It rained the whole time except for a span of about five minutes, but overall it was just an awesome run. I implemented everything well, and having a 15-minute countdown until I could drink again really kept my mind engaged and kept me looking toward the next time I could drink. I ran the first half between 12:00-12:10 pace. When I was halfway through, I felt so good and strong that I had no problem picking up the pace and ran the second half at 11:35-12:00. I ran the final mile at 10:53, my goal race pace. I started to get tired in the last two miles, and in the last mile I got really nauseated despite the cool weather and three salt sticks I took. I usually get nauseated when I push hard, and I’m sure it will happen in the race. But I was able to push through the fatigue and nausea and finish strong. And, I finished in exactly 2:22:00; 2 is my favorite number (and birthday), so I take that as a good sign! No picture because it was raining.
Easy run: 6 miles, 1:13:02, 12:11 pace
It was 50 degrees, cloudy with a bit of sun, and just really nice. I enjoyed this run. I just bought new crops I’ll wear for my race and wore them on this run. Love them! I’ll be posting a review this week.
|Lulu Pretty Purple Swiftly LS
Ultra Violet Space Dye Twist Pace Rival Crops
Happy running and working out this week!