Saturday, June 22, 2013

Little Victories - Weeks 4 and 5 of half marathon training.

I can't believe that it's only 50 days until the Zooma Women's Half Marathon!  I've been on this training journey for 6 months now, and I can't believe the progress I've made.

Sweaty girl!! Thanks SUMMER!


Last week's long run was a daunting 7 miler.  We are at the point in this training where I reach Personal Record for distance every week.  This week was 8 miles.  Wow.  I can't believe that I'm actually doing this.

I've established a pattern with the running week.  On Mondays I do a super-easy 3 miles with Oxford.  Ususally our pace is slow, and he likes to stop to talk to other dogs, and roll in the grass.  These runs are fun, and slow, but a great way to start the training week.  Tuesdays are my mid-week longer run.  They are usually 4 miles, and I find that my pace is quick and I feel good after.  The Wednesday run is another easy 3 miler, but I ususally do this one on my own and focus on keeping up the pace.  This is also the run during the week that tends to be less consistent.  It's at different times of day, under different circumstances, but these are usually easy.

I had an amazing long run in week 4.  I ran 7 miles in the rain and ran an average of 11:30.  Amazing.  I fueled up well the day of and day before, and really felt good about the run.  I had a little bit of tenderness in the knee afterward, but no muscle soreness and not much fatigue.  It was a great, well-fuled, cool, rainy run.

However, I have been trying to run when it's warmest to help me get conditioned to the heat and humidity.  The Hal Higdon program that I'm using isn't really about pace.  It's about covering the distance.  I have not failed to cover the distance, but this week, week 5 of my half program, is the first week where I missed a training run.  Yup.  I skipped one.  I increased my mileage the next day by 2 miles, but I skipped a training run.

I worked a 13 hour shift on Tuesday this week.  I was supposed to do a 4 miler when I got home.  It was 9:30pm when I left the office, and 10pm when I got home.  It's not a good feeling when "Good Morning America" is on when you leave for work, and and the 10:00 news is on when you get off work.  I looked around the apartment, and decided that it wasn't a good night for it.  I skipped.

Under normal circumstances, I would've hit the road anyway, but I made the radical decision to be kind to myself instead of pushing myself.  It had been a very hard day, and it's likely that the run would've done me a lot of good, but I'm pretty sure that the bubble bath had a few benefits too.  I'm not going to make this a habit, but I feel good about the decision.

This week's long run (8 miles) was... hot, humid, difficult...  Hal is about covering the distance, and I certainly did that... However, my pace was dismal.  I averaged a 13.30 mile, and it took me nearly 2 hours to do it.  I took it very easy.  It was nearly 90 degrees outside, and the humidity was thick.  There was a thunderstorm later in the afternoon and it rained for hours.  That is how humid it was.  I stopped for water at a few water fountains, as I circled around Wrigley Field I asked a street vendor for a small bottle of water, I stopped at a convenience store for a cold bottled water, and I stopped at mile seven for gummy bears at Licketty Split on N Broadway.  Even with all this water and my attept at re-fueling, I did not finish strong.  I finished, and pushed through, but I did not fuel up sufficiently, and didn't carb up the night before.  I need to find my "jam" on the refueling issue.  I know if didn't push my physical body that hard (I'm not sore today, and I don't have any joint tenderness today), but my endurance needs boosting.  I need to try gatorade endurance or some of that runner's goo...  Something.  I need to find out how to fuel for these distances!

So, here are the running maps from week 4 and 5.

Week 5 long run:  http://connect.garmin.com/activity/331174970

Week 5 training runs:  http://connect.garmin.com/activity/331174984
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/331174995

Week 4 long run:  http://connect.garmin.com/activity/328772430

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Training right along! Weeks 2 and 3 of 13.1 training

I had an amazing time running my 10k race with the Salute Inc "Got Freedom?" 10k.  I covered the distance in and hour and 12 minutes, and took my time.  The course was lovely and there weren't so many runners that I was crowded.

The 10k race was my "long run" for my first week of half marathon training, and time has zipped since then.  I can't believe that I'm already in Week 4! 

Rockin' the running skirt!  A toasty day for training!!


I have gotten used to the rhythm of training 3 days in a row (Mon, Tues, Wed), and then having a long run on Friday.  This gives me the weekend off, and gives me the opportunity to get plenty of rest.

Week 2 of half marathon training was pretty good weather, and was ok for endurance.  I had a bit of a tough time in the transition of running days.  I feel like I'm making steady improvements, but it's tough.

Week 2, Day 4 I ended up having to run it on Saturday.  When I set out it had just stopped raining.  I thought I was in the clear for weather.  The sun was breaking through the clouds on my way out.  I turned around after running 2.5 miles, and the sky behind me when I turned around was BLACK!  It looked like a twister was going to sweep me and Toto away!  About 3 minutes after I had turned around it started strongly and very suddenly pouring.  It was a nice run, but running through the crazy rain was... interesting.

Week 2, Day 1
Week 2, Day 2
Week 2, Day 3
Week 2, Day 4

One thing I didn't anticipate is that I need to start fueling and hydrating for my long runs like I do for my races.  Last week's 6 mile run was tough.  I had to walk more than I'd like, and I felt sapped at the end.

Week 3 of half marathon training was good in the beginning of the week, but my 3rd run of the week I tried to run right away in the morning with Oxford.  We didn't make great time, but had a good time.  Week 3, Day 4 I ran out of gas. 

Week 3, Day 1
Week 3, Day 2
Week 3, Day 3
Week 3, Day 4

This week so far, I feel like I'm adapting to the heat, and new training.  Having a great week!

I can't believe I'm a week into this training, and I only have 2 months left!  August 10th is getting closer!  I can't wait!

With the toughness of the long runs, I have doubts every time I'm in the middle of it, but when I get done it doesn't seem that bad.  I know that races are different than training runs.  Preparation is different, the energy is different... I just get nervous about covering the distance when I'm having trouble in the middle of mile 4.

Tenacity and consistency are the answer... and that I've got!!