Happy Sunday! Before I get to the recap, I wanted to share some exciting news. My blog post “10 Fueling Ideas That Aren’t Pasta, Bagels Or Potatoes” was published on Women’s Running Magazine’s website! If you haven’t seen it and want healthy meal ideas, please check it out!
This past week was #14 of training for the local 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.
You know at the end of a race when you’re tired and it’s tough and you can’t see the finish line yet but you can hear the announcer, music, and cheering at the finish line? And you start to get excited that the end is near, and there’s maybe a little more bounce in your steps? That’s how I’m feeling now.
I started training November 30, and it’s been a long and tough road. Some weeks and runs have been great and left me feeling like Superwoman. Other weeks I seriously considered quitting–not just this training but running in general. But I stuck with it, and here I am 14 weeks later, getting very excited that the end is close and just feeling great. Maybe I got a second wind this past week, or maybe my body has just adjusted to all the miles. If there’s anything the Hansons’ training has taught me, it’s that the body is a miraculous thing and will adapt to things I never imagined possible. This past week I was excited about all my runs just like I usually am at the beginning of training, my paces felt great, and I just felt really good. This is my fifth week of 40+ miles, and it’s like my body is finally saying, “No problem! I can handle it!”
This past week I also got a big dose of confidence. The paces that felt “OMG this sucks!” hard the past few weeks are now feeling good to comfortably hard. I’m pushing when my legs are tired and just want to stop. I’m starting to believe that, regardless of what my finish time is, I’m going to have a great race.
But I’m not at the finish line just yet. Before my two-week taper, this upcoming week will be my last really tough week, with more miles than I’ve ever run in a week before. I’ll have my second 9.5-mile weekday run of the plan, another long run at race pace, and my last long run of 12 miles. I scheduled tomorrow off from work so that I can do that 9.5 mile run without worrying about being late for work and to also give myself the whole afternoon to rest up for my peak week. I’m ready for this week. I want to finish this plan like I want to finish my race–feeling strong and awesome.
Week at a Glance
- Days running: 6
- Miles this week: 43
- Miles this training cycle: 496.64
- Miles this month: 37 (February ended at 163.67 miles.)
- Miles this year: 365.42
- Time running: 8 hours, 36 minutes
- Strength training sessions: 2
- Stretching: 6 days
- Foam rolling: 5 days
Easy Run: 6 miles | 1:15:50 | 12:38 pace (50 degrees and raining)
I always wear my Garmin but don’t look at it on easy runs and just run by feel. So I was surprised that this run ended up being a nice progression run, starting at 13:13 pace and ending at 12:15 pace.
In the evening I did 15 minutes of body weight strength training.
Strength Workout: 5 miles | 57:02 (37 feels like 33)
I was excited about this run. I’ve come to really like running at the 10:30 goal pace for these runs. It’s tough but not awful, so it’s a nice challenge. Unfortunately, I must have been so excited that it affected my sleep because I woke up in the middle of the night and had trouble falling back asleep. I’m committed to getting 8 hours of sleep a night, so I got up late to get my sleep in. I ended up leaving an hour later than I usually do, so I didn’t have time to do the full workout. I should have done 2 x 3-mile repeats but it ended up being only 1 repeat with splits 10:21, 10:12, and 10:29.
Evening run: 2 miles | 24:00 | 12:01 pace (64 degrees)
I wasn’t really planning to do an evening run to make up for the missed miles, but when I took the dog on a walk on the trail after work, the weather was so nice I wanted to run. It was 64 and breezy, and I dressed in a tank and shorts for the first time this year. I don’t usually like evening runs, but this one just felt wonderful.
Rest day! I’ve been doing strength training on my rest days. This week I decided to make this a total rest day–no strength and not even stretching or foam rolling.
Tempo Run: 8 Miles | 1:30 (22 degrees, feels like 12)
After my 1.5-mile warm-up, I started on my 6 miles at half marathon pace 10:40. I was pleasantly surprised at how good the pace felt. It only started to get tough with only 1.5 miles to go, but I was able to push to hit my paces. Splits: 10:41, 10:31, 10:39, 10:37, 10:42, 10:34. I finished with .5-mile cool-down.
Easy Run: 5 miles | 1:05:33 | 13:07 pace (30 degrees and snowing)
I felt like I was running in a snow globe. The snow was soft and thick and made a beautiful white blanket on the trees, but it didn’t accumulate on the trail. Perfect!
Long Run: 11 miles | 2:07:30 | 11:35 pace (30 degrees)
I met Jamie and Anna at North Park and ran 6 miles with them. Then I did something stupid. I didn’t follow my plan (crazy for me!). I always do my Thursday runs at goal race pace on the flat river trail near my house. While I try to add in the few small hills along the trail, I know that doesn’t come close to all the hills on the race course. I really wanted to try some miles at race pace on the course. So after I said goodbye to my buddies, I started running at goal pace 10:40. That first mile included the biggest hill of the 5-mile lake loop I would be running twice during the race, and while I hit my pace with a split of 10:39, I was pretty spent. The second mile at race pace was much harder. My body was just not having it. I finished that mile at 10:47 and pretty much felt dead. And that’s when I realized I was at the farthest point from my car and still had 3 miles to go. UGH! I seriously thought I might have to walk back, but I chugged slowly along as I recovered from the race pace miles, and then in the last 2 miles got back to my typical long run pace of. But I was beat, and this is probably the only long run that I wasn’t able to finish strong.
I’m usually not tired after my runs (I swear it’s the spirulina!) but was so tired after this run that I had to take a nap before I had the energy to take the dog on a walk to the park in the afternoon with my husband.
Easy Run: 6 miles | 1:16:19 | 12:43 pace (34 degrees)
After this run I did 22 minutes of strength training with weights. Later in the afternoon we took Django on a walk on the trail to and through Washington’s Landing, then up the Rialto Street steps to Troy Hill, and back down Troy Hill Road.
It was cool and gloomy all weekend, but it’s supposed to warm up to the 70s this week. Can’t wait!