February 12, 2018

Weekly Wrap-Up: Week 4 of Half Marathon Training

Wow, it's been a while since I've written! Jerry was off work Friday-Sunday, so I spent very little time on the computer. I've also been doing a lot of sewing in my spare time--not making anything in particular, but doing clothing alterations (my latest "hobby", I guess! ha).

Anyway, I'm not even going to try to catch up on everything, but I'd still like to post my training wrap-up for the week.

Week 4 was a step-back week, meaning the mileage was cut down instead of increased. For this plan, I've included three step-back weeks--one every fourth week. This was the schedule for my Week 4:

Tuesday - 30 minutes easy (this is usually a speed work day)
Wednesday - 3 miles easy
Friday - 2 miles easy
Sunday - 4 miles easy (this is usually a long run day)

I wish I could say that this week was fantastic, but I cannot. We have gotten SO much snow, and then a bunch of freezing rain on top of it yesterday; I surely would have broken a hip if I tried to run outside. Actually, I almost fell when I stepped out the door yesterday.

I don't hate the treadmill. I like it, in fact, most of the time. But I do feel the need to run outside here and there (ideally, at least for my long runs).  I'm very glad that my long run was only four miles this week, but because of the weather, I had to do all four runs on the 'mill.

The schedule doesn't look like a lot of running, and it's actually not much at all in the grand scheme of things. But my mindset just wasn't where it needed to be. I need to get outside! I'm hoping that the snow will melt this week (at least enough to where I can get in a couple of outdoor runs.

Anyway, this weekly recap is going to sound whiny and annoying, but half-marathon training isn't all sunshine and flowers, so I'm just going to be honest about my thoughts each week.

Tuesday - 30 minutes easy

This run felt like forever! I think I was anticipating it to fly by because it was only 30 minutes (now that I've been running so slowly, 30 minutes would only be about 2.5 miles). I set the treadmill at 5.0 mph (12:00/mile) and left it there the whole time.

Again, the Garmin's pace was completely off throughout the run because I wasn't using the foot pod. (I could make the pace very fast or very slow just by swinging my arms fast or slow). So, I got out my foot pod and decided to try it for Wednesday's run and see if it would make a difference.

Wednesday - 3 miles easy

Used the foot pod for this run, and experimenting with that actually made the run go by quickly. This was my best run of the week, because I was in a good mood. I couldn't believe the difference in accuracy when using the foot pod!

For the first two miles, I kept the speed at a steady 5.5 mph (11:00/mi). The first mile ended up at 11:08, which made sense because I started the Garmin when the treadmill was at a stop, so it had to come up to speed. The second mile was 11:02--so, pretty much spot on where I would expect (11:00).

During the third mile, I tried speeding up and slowing down a few times to experiment with the foot pod. I wanted to see if the pace changes registered as they should when I changed speeds. Again, it was nearly perfect. I was excited to have found a solution--I really wanted my Garmin to match what the treadmill was reading.

Friday - 2 miles easy

Two miles easy... is there anything at all to complain about? Well, I surely found enough. I just did not feel like doing another treadmill run, and I was really resentful of it. Jerry and I had plans with my friend Andrea for appetizers and Keno at the bar and I really needed to dye my hair because my roots had gotten bad--my random gray hairs were no longer subtle.

I didn't want to get sweaty and then dye it, but I also didn't want to dye it, shower, and then have to run. So I basically just procrastinated until I couldn't any longer, haha. I decided that I'd run, then dry my sweaty hair, and then dye my roots and hope for the best.

I was feeling so resentful of having to run at all that I just angrily got on the treadmill and ignored that I was supposed to run "easy". I didn't watch anything on my iPad or listen to music--I just stared at the screen and increased my speed to get it over with.

I got notifications that both my heart rate monitor and my foot pod had low batteries, which just added to my great mood. Surprisingly, the two miles went by pretty fast despite not having anything to distract me.

When I was done, I tried to replace the battery in my heart rate monitor, and I accidentally stripped two of the screws. Ugh! The screws are SO SO SO tiny and very easy to strip. I used a size 000 screwdriver, which is the correct size, but after stripping the screws, and therefor not being able to remove them, I wasn't able to get the back casing open. And now I have no way to replace the battery.

(From what I remember, there is an accelerometer in the heart rate monitor, so maybe that is why the pace was so incorrect without using the foot pod. Just a thought.)

Sunday - 4 miles easy

A "long" run of four miles? Again, what could I possibly complain about?

I procrastinated all day long. Jerry did his run in the morning, and I was even annoyed at his good attitude about it. He said he likes to get it done early because it puts him in a good mood for the day. Sometime last year, I became a night owl and definitely NOT a morning person. Which is so odd, because I've always been a morning person!

So, I've been doing my runs in the afternoons or evenings. Seeing Jerry do his in the morning made me feel like I should have done it then, too. A little before 4:00, I finally made myself get ready to run. I was cold, and even though I knew that I would warm up quickly when I started running, I dressed in long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. I also didn't turn on the fan before I started running.

Out of spite (for what, I don't know) I didn't distract myself with TV or music or anything. I covered the console of the treadmill with a towel, and just ran. I knew I was running too fast for an easy run, but I didn't care. And again, the time seemed like it went by so much faster than it does when I watch a show on my iPad, which is so odd.

When I finished, I was SO hot; I went outside and sat on the porch steps, which were coated in ice. Jerry had been cleaning the garage, and he came in just then. So I talked to him, and after a few minutes, I was in a much better mood. I finished up with one of my physical therapy stretches for my back.

So, I got my runs in this week. While my attitude sucked, I did feel much better after each run. I wish I could bottle that sort of enthusiasm to open when I really need it.

Just to add a little positivity to this whiny post, the kids had a snow day on Friday, and we got even more on Saturday. With the temps being fairly decent (in the 20's), Jerry, the kids, and I played outside in the snow. I hadn't really played in the snow like a kid in years! We had so much fun.

Joey LOVED having the kids chase him. And it was impossible to catch him!

Jerry and I always joke about that scene in Forrest Gump where Forrest and Bubba sit like this while it's raining, and Bubba says, "I'll lean against you and you just lean right back against me... this way we don't have to sleep with our heads in the mud." We were reenacting that scene here, haha. 


  1. I love your statement that "half-marathon training isn't all sunshine and flowers"--so true!! Endurance is not always pretty!

    1. This week has been going much better, thankfully. But it's very true--training sucks sometimes! ;)

  2. That last pic and story! You guys are just so cute and sweet.

  3. I recently saw a great tip recently on how to unscrew stripped screws. You put the tip of the screwdriver through the edge of a rubberband, so that the rubberband is between the stripped screw and the screwdriver when you try to unscrew it. The rubber from the rubber band is supposed to provide enough grip to be able to unscrew. I haven't tried it, but it's worth a try.

    1. I read that, too--and it worked for me on another project! But these screws are just way too small. I tried it, but they are so small that I don't think there is any hope.

  4. We all have our ups and downs in running and in life. Thanks for keeping it real!
    A question for you. How/when do you start your Garmin on the treadmill? Do you start the treadmill and then hit "start" on your Garmin? Do you include the warmup/cool down? Curious. Thanks!

    1. I have been pressing start at the same time that I press start on the treadmill. It takes several seconds to get up to speed, but that doesn't bother me. I want to get credit for every second that I'm on there! Haha.

  5. You should post about your sewing too. I'm finally getting back into it now that I have a dedicated craft room.

    1. I think I will start posting about it, as soon as I start doing more interesting things! ;) Lately, I've been taking in the waist of several pairs of jeans, and hemming them if needed. I really should start a fun project soon! I've been very into sewing lately.


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