This past week was #3 of training for the Just a Short Run Half
Marathon, which will be my 8th half marathon. I’m following the Hansons’
Half Marathon Method for the second time, though I’ve made some
modifications to the plan (more on that here.)
This was a tough week, mostly because I did stupid things when I should have known better. But it was also a near-perfect week in terms of getting all my strength, yoga, and foam rolling in. Let’s get to it.
Week at a Glance
- 6 days of running
- 30.51 miles of running (82.21 miles so far in this training cycle)
- 5 hours and 59 minutes of running
- 2 sessions of yoga
- 3 sessions of strength training
- Planks 6 days
- Stretching every day
- Foam rolling 5 days
Easy run: 4.01 miles | 52:51 | 13:12 pace (50 degrees)
I usually have no problem sleeping, but I had a restless Sunday night with little sleep. This was the only day I could do hill sprints, and I just didn’t feel like doing them. But, I made myself do 6 (I had 9 on the schedule), figuring something was better than nothing. Unfortunately, both my right hip and knee started hurting a little after this run. I had no aches and pains my entire last training cycle, so this was a wake-up call to start doing foam rolling more.
|Athleta Sour Apple Malibu Hike Half Zip
Lulu Black Chase Me Crops
In the evening I did 20 minutes of yin yoga followed by planks, push-ups, and foam-rolling. The yoga felt soooo good. Yin yoga is different from regular vinyasa-style yoga in that instead of moving from pose to pose, in yin yoga you hold deep stretches for long periods of time. This type of yoga strengthens the connective tissues instead of muscles, and I credit it for healing my hip injury years ago and preventing further hip injuries. Because my hip was acting up, I figured I needed to start yin yoga again.
In the morning I did 25 minutes of the Strong and Fast workout with weights from Runner’s World because I had a run planned that evening.
Easy run: 4.5 miles | 57:09 | 12:43 pace (45 degrees but windy, so felt cold)
This was one of the runs of the week I was worried about–an evening run through the holiday lights Downtown with Jamie and Anna. I only ever run in the mornings and was a little scared how an evening run would go. I work with Jamie, and Anna recently moved to Pittsburgh from DC. Guess who introduced us? Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC! I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned that, but I’m so grateful that Courtney connected us! We had our holiday lunch that day at work, but I planned to eat a very light lunch (I ate half it) and then ate a banana and some crackers around 3:30. I was worried about my stomach because it’s gotten upset when I’ve previously tried after-work runs. Well, this run was the most fun run I’ve had in a long time! We met near the trail where I live then ran on the trail to Point State Park then wound our way through Downtown, with me playing tour guide to show all the lights. We were laughing and having fun the whole time, and it was just such a festive and upbeat night. I loved it! Also, I had no tummy problems and felt great.
|Michi Hydra Crop Leggings
Athleta White Chi Top
Lululemon Silver Fox Miss Misty Jacket
|Jamie, me, and Anna in front of the tree at Point State Park|
Rest day! I did 20 minutes of yoga followed by planks and foam rolling.
I did the same 25-minute strength workout as Tuesday because I had a second evening run planned.
Group run: 5.98 miles
This run was organized by one of the local running stores, and was a group run through the holiday lights Downtown with a raffle and donations benefiting our Children’s Hospital. More than 400 people showed up! Because the run was starting at 6:30 and I knew I’d be home well past my dinner time, I ate a light dinner–an english muffin with peanut butter and an apple–around 4:30. I met Anna near the trail where I live, and we ran a very easy pace to Downtown because I didn’t want to work up a sweat and then stand around inside before starting our group run. It seemed like every single runner was wearing something Christmasy, and it was fun seeing everyone’s outfits. The vibe was very festive and friendly, and I was looking forward to the run. As soon as we got there, though, I looked for water because I was thirsty. At every single group run I’ve gone on, there’s been water before and after the run. I didn’t see any water, and I should have just bought a bottle of water for then and to take on the run. But I just didn’t think to do it, and that was a huge mistake. The other thing that was different about this group run is that while there were different distances–we decided to do the 4-mile route–there were no pace groups. Everyone just ran together. So, we started off together, and it was super fun. It was like our own little race of runners wearing red and green running through Downtown. Once we broke off onto the 4-mile route, we ended up with a group that was going faster than I’d have liked. I didn’t look at my watch the whole time, but I soon got really hot and sweaty. It was funny seeing different people’s reactions as we ran past. Some people cheered, and some cars beeped at us, but one disgruntled man said, “They runnin’ around like they think they own the whole damn place” as we ran past, which I thought was hilarious. We kept running with the group, and that was mistake number two. I was getting really hot and uncomfortable from the pace, and we ended up cutting the run a little short because I’d pretty much had it. Later I looked at my Garmin and saw the average pace was 11:30, which isn’t super fast for me, but that included all the stops at traffic lights. When we got back to the meeting place and went inside, I looked for water to no avail. I was dying of thirst by that point. We went to the bathroom so I could drink from the sink, but it was warm water (I still drank some). I also wanted to check the raffle to see if I won (I didn’t). Well, you know pretty much the worst feeling in the world is when you get hot and sweaty while running in the cold, go into a warm place for a little, and then go back out into the cold. So when we left I was freezing, thirsty, and not feeling great from the group run, and I just wanted to get home. Enter mistake number three. We booked it home. I had no idea we were running so fast, but when I got home and checked my Garmin, I saw that the 1.38 miles home was at a 9:47 pace, and the first mile of that was 8:49. My 5K PR pace is 9:31, so I don’t know why or how we were going so fast. By the time I got home, my stomach was in severe pain, and as the night wore on I was in agony. I’m not exaggerating. It was the same pain I remembered from my very first half marathon, when I’d made every fueling mistake in the book, and was in agony the entire day. I don’t know whether it was the apple I ate two hours before (because of the fiber) but think it was likely the lack of water and the faster pace that did me in.
|Me and Anna before the group run|
Easy run: 3.02 miles | 39:48 | 13:10 pace (32 degrees)
When I woke up Friday, my stomach felt better, but as soon as I started running it started hurting again and hurt the entire day!
|Lulu Purple Rulu Top & Black Tech Speed Tights|
Easy run: 8 miles | 1:36:47 | 12:06 pace (26 degrees, feels like 19)
My stomach felt fine Saturday morning, so I decided to keep to my plan of doing my long run. Cold weather had come the day before, and it was extremely cold and windy. This was the coldest day it’s been this fall. I was by myself for this run and went to North Park. I planned to do the first 8 miles of the half marathon course. I was worried about my stomach and took a salt stick before I ran and then carried Nuun in a handheld. I was going to run past my car around 3.5 miles and considered just keeping water in the car instead of carrying a bottle. When it’s below freezing, I have to wear my heavy mittens because my fingers are always cold, and it’s a pain to carry a water bottle with them. But carrying it was the best choice, because I’d have been hurting without it. I’m not the type of runner who can run for very long without water, summer or winter. Well, this run was an exercise in mental toughness. The first mile of the half marathon course includes a long, steep hill. I’ve run two races with this hill, and it always feels like Mt. Everest in training but is no big deal on race day. It was Everest on this day. Once I got to the top, I was very hot and sweaty, but the cold wind made me really cold. And, of course, my stomach started hurting. Ugh! What was going on?! As I approached the point where my car was parked, I seriously considered quitting the run. But I reminded myself that it’s very possible my stomach could hurt on race day, and I knew I couldn’t quit. I told myself I could go as slow as I needed to, but I wasn’t quitting and I wasn’t walking. This was my first long run of this training cycle where I planned to take a gel, and I was very worried about how my stomach would be. But my stomach actually seemed to get a bit better after taking the gel. Go figure. It still hurt, but I tried to ignore it as best as I could and got the run done. I didn’t look at my watch but was surprised later to find that my pace was very close to my long run pace I’ll be starting in a few weeks (11:56), even though it felt like I was slugging along.
|Lulu White Pique Think Fast Hoodie
Black Grape Toasty Tech Tights
In the evening we had two holiday parties, one a Festivus party at our friends’ house who live an hour away. They have a Festivus pole and do the airing of grievances but stopped the feats of strength a few years ago (when drunk people were trying to chop logs with an axe…not good!) Both parties were a lot of fun. I was the designated driver, which I was fine with, but even though I took a two-hour nap to prepare, I was hurting on the late drive home. We didn’t get in until 1:30 a.m., which is super late for me.
Easy run: 5 miles | 58:48 | 11:47 pace (35 degrees)
With getting home so late the night before, I slept in and was very slow to get running. I didn’t get out until about 11:30 a.m.! It was really cold earlier but had warmed up by that point. The last thing I wanted to do was run, and I debated cutting my run short. Even though I had nothing to drink the night before, staying out so late really took its toll on me. I brought music to listen to, which I usually only do for speed workouts. This was, surprisingly, a good run! It was sunny, and I enjoyed listening to music. And my stomach didn’t hurt! As usual, I didn’t look at my watch, so I was surprised that I went so fast when I looked at the stats after. My easy pace range is supposed to be 12:20-13:20. My hip and knee had both stopped hurting by Wednesday, but after this run my hip started hurting a bit. Ugh! I’m such an advocate of doing easy runs truly easy on this plan, which is supposed to help prevent injuries.
|Lulu Coco Pique Think Fast Pullover & Ear Warmer,
Pretty Purple Swiftly Longsleeve
Athleta Wind Warrior Tight
Afterward I did 14 minutes of body weight exercises from the Run Strong and Fast routine followed by foam rolling.
This upcoming week I want to aim for foam rolling every day and keeping my easy runs at my easy run pace. I think I need to start checking my Garmin each mile at least to make sure I’m not going too fast. I also think I’m going to skip the hill sprints to rest up my hip. On Thursday I’ll have my first workout of the training plan–a 5-mile tempo run with the middle miles at race pace–so I want to make sure I’m in good shape for that.
Have a great week running and working out and getting ready for Christmas if you celebrate!