February 25, 2018

Weekend Wrap-Up: Week 6 of Half-Marathon Training

Almost halfway through half-marathon training! It's actually gone by so quickly, aside from the first week. The first week was the worst but, thankfully, the training has gotten much better. Jerry and I are now done with week 6 of my 13 week plan, and it's been going really well for both of us.

This week, I focused more on my heart rate and trying to keep it low during my easy runs. Ideally, I would keep my heart rate at or under 144 bpm (180 minus my age) for the duration of my easy runs.

I'm not entirely committed to heart rate training right now, because I care more about developing the habit of running four times a week than I do anything else; but sometime soon, I'd like to really take the heart rate training seriously like I did for my 10K training. I've been slowly trying to migrate into it, though.

My schedule for the week looked like this:

Tuesday - Speed work (intervals)
Wednesday - Easy run (3 miles)
Friday - Easy run (3.5 miles)
Sunday - Long run (8 miles!)

So, here's the rundown of the week's training...

Tuesday - Speed work

My intervals were:
5 minutes easy
6 x (2 minutes hard; 3 minutes walk)
5 minutes easy

The last time I did intervals, I only had to do 60 seconds at a time--so I did them at 7.6 mph. Since this time, I was doing 2 minutes at a hard pace, I decided to try 7.2 mph (an 8:20/mile pace). Let me tell you, two minutes is a LONG time when you're running at a hard pace! I literally didn't think I was going to be able to finish the workout, but I wanted to try. Jerry had done his intervals at 8.0 mph, and I was frustrated that I couldn't keep up with him!

I managed to do all six intervals at 7.2 mph. I was completely spent after that. It took everything out of me! It's so hard to believe that used to be a fairly easy pace for me. I did a half-marathon at at 8:30-ish pace, and now I can barely do two minutes at a time? I'm not complaining... I just find it unbelievable.

Anyway, I was thrilled to have finished this workout without dropping the pace. I really felt like I gave it my all.

Wednesday - Easy run (3 miles)

This was an interesting run for me. Since the foot pod was SO accurate when compared to the treadmill, I was curious to see if it was actually accurate by using it outside on a known course. So, I turned off the GPS on my watch, and the only thing that was measuring my distance was my foot pod. I decided to run a familiar route that I run all the time, so I would know if the foot pod showed the same distance as the GPS did on previous runs.

Well, I kind of screwed it up. I got distracted by a dog that ran up to me, and I waited for the owner to come get the dog. Then I started running again, and I forgot to turn right instead of left. I realized it a couple of minutes later, and I was bummed. So, I just did a different route, and when I got home, I measured the route that I ran onto my Footpath app (you can trace roads and measure routes).

Using the foot pod, my Garmin showed a distance of 3.12 miles. And measuring the same route with the Footpath app? 3.12 miles. I couldn't believe it! The foot pod is just a little plastic thing the size of a quarter that hooks onto my shoe. I can use it on the treadmill, on the indoor track, etc, and now I know just how accurate it is. Pretty cool!

I felt fantastic on this run, too. Just very energized and the run felt very easy. My pace was 11:10 and my heart rate was 146, so that's really good compared to the usual.

Friday - (Easy run - 3.5 miles)

I did this run outside with Jerry, because he was off work. The weather app showed the temp at 43 degrees, but it felt SO COLD. I focused on keeping my heart rate low again, trying to aim for 144. I actually managed to finish with a 144 bpm heart rate. My average pace was 12:12/mile, and it just kept getting slower and slower through the run. The last half mile, I had to run at 12:37 to keep my heart rate at 144! My legs felt very tired and heavy, though.

Sunday - (Long run - 8 miles)

I was nervous for this run. Eight miles feels so long right now! When I first started this training, running eight miles again seemed impossible. The last time I ran this far was over a year ago when I was in San Diego. The weather app showed winds of 20 mph, so I knew today would be challenging.

Thankfully, Jerry was able to run with me! It's much more fun than running alone. I planned out a route for us at the State Park, and considering the park is right on the lake, I figured it would be crazy cold with all the wind. I wore the really warm pants I'd bought at Salvation Army, and a long-sleeved top (actually, the same top I'm wearing with the pants on the post I just linked to) with a wind breaking jacket over it. I wore a Buff over my ears, and warm gloves. I was prepared for the cold!

Once we got there and started running, I immediately realized that I dressed too warm. The sun was out and the trees were blocking the wind for the first few miles of the run. I was super whiny (poor Jerry). I took off my jacket, but with everything in my pockets (cell phone, key fob, chapstick, and a little tub of Aquaphor) my pockets were heavy and flopping around. I just hoped that when we got out into the open, instead of in the trees, it would get much colder and I'd need the jacket.

That's exactly what happened. When we hit the three-mile mark, we got a headwind, and it was COLD. I was very glad I didn't ditch my jacket somewhere (which I'd thought about doing). One we hit the halfway mark, I felt much better.

The run was harder because of the headwind, but knowing we were more than halfway done helped. We talked non-stop, and the last four miles went by very quickly. The whole run did, actually!

When we got back to the car, we stretched (which felt SO good) and we were both really proud of ourselves for running eight miles. We were thrilled to have gotten it done!

Overall, this week went really well! I still can't really believe I'm up to running eight miles already (again). It feels good :)

At Jerry's suggestion, I decided to start doing a "long run treat" again. On the days that I do my long run, I'll get a special dessert or something that I don't get to eat often. Today, I decided to get a cannoli from Monica's Bakery. I am going to eat it when I'm done with this post. It looks delicious!



  1. I trained for the Indy Mini with my husband 2 years ago, and I loved it! It was so much fun training together and just going through the whole experience together. It was tough for me and he was always so upbeat, it made me love him even more :-). It's nice reading about your experience training with Jerry.

  2. I have a question....are you fueling during the long run? When I was training, once I got to 8 miles and up I started really hurting. I realized after the fact that I probably should have been fueling during those long runs, but I never did. I wondered if that was just me or if other people have the same issue when they start increasing mileage like that.

  3. Katie, I just bought the book you used for Marathon training. Should arrive today. Is this where I can learn more about heartrate training?

    Rikilynn, I always started fueling every 45 minutes from mile 7.


Feel free to leave a comment! I had to turn on comment moderation due to a ton of spam comments, but I will approve your comment ASAP.

Featured Posts

Blog Archive