March 04, 2018

Weekly Wrap-Up: Week 7 of Half-Marathon Training

I could not be more exhausted right now. The whole week kind of wore me out, but today especially makes me feel like I could just fall asleep for hours and hours.

Jerry and I have officially finished our training for week 7--this was a big milestone, because now we only have 6 weeks to go! We are more than halfway done. Unless you count the actual mileage--haha, then we've got a long way to go.

Our schedule for the week looked like this:

Tuesday - Speed work (tempo run)
Wednesday - Easy run (3 miles)
Friday - Easy run (4 miles)
Sunday - Long run (9 miles)

Tuesday - Tempo run (30 minutes total)
(5 minutes easy running, 20 minutes at tempo pace, 5 minutes easy run)

This was the first speed work I'd been able to do outside. The streets were clear of ice and snow, and running outside sounded much more appealing than doing it on the treadmill. (Believe it or not, sometimes the treadmill sounds better to me.)

Usually, I get nervous for tempo runs. They're hard! And because I'm only doing speed work once a week, I wanted to try to have a good pace for the tempo portion--faster than what a tempo typically would feel like. On this day, however, I wasn't nervous. I was just curious as to what my actual hard pace would be.

I started with the five minute warm-up at a nice, slow pace; then I started running hard enough to where it was uncomfortable, but not so hard that I didn't think I'd be able to finish the run. I started to second guess myself after about five minutes of that pace, though, haha. I tried not to look at my pace too much, and just run by feel.

I couldn't wait to hit the 20 minute mark and then jog the rest of the way home. My Garmin was set so that each portion was a lap of its own, so I wasn't sure what my actual mile splits were. I just had to wait until I got home to check it out.

First, I had to let Joey come outside and check out my breath so he could see that I wasn't eating all sorts of good things while I was away (he's so weird--he's not a licker, but he likes to smell people's breath).

I was really surprised and excited to see my pace for the tempo portion!

My tempo pace was 9:17/mile for 2.15 miles. That may be nowhere near what I was running before, but now that I'm considering myself a "beginner" again, I'm pretty psyched about it! Remember my first run when I started to get back to running, and I had to push really hard to hit a sub-11:00 mile? So, this half-marathon training is definitely helping me get some fitness back. It feels good.

And I am super proud of the 9:17 pace I ran on Tuesday!

Wednesday - 3 miles easy

Again, I ran this one outside--the weather was perfect for a run! Jerry came with me. I decided to actually make this run about my heart rate--I wanted to keep it at or below 144 bpm (180 minus my age). The first mile felt really difficult for some reason, and I was having a hard time talking. But my heart rate was good, so I just hoped to tough it out.

I was very chatty, and I told Jerry a long story about something or another, and the run went by really quickly! I glanced at my heart rate every so often, and was surprised to see that it was staying low--especially with all the talking I was doing. It was a true "conversational" pace, which is what an easy run should be.

I felt great during the run, and very happy to see that I kept my heart rate low for the entire three miles. My average heart rate was 142 bpm (maximum of 148, which was when we had to dart across the street quickly). And my pace happened to be 11:14/mile at that heart rate. Very surprising!

Friday - Easy run (4 miles)

We had a terrible snow storm on Thursday night. It was just warm enough for the snow to be the heaviest, wettest snow possible. In other words, slush--everywhere. It was the texture of a Slurpee. And there was flooding all over the place.

Overnight, it got really cold. Our power went out from 10 pm until 3 am, and the house was freezing! All the slush outside turned to ice, so there was no way I was going to run outside. I did my four miles on the treadmill while watching an episode of The Shield.

I was SO HOT running inside the house, even with a big fan blowing on me. I couldn't keep my heart rate down for anything, and I had to get done with my run in time to pick up the kids for school. So, I just ran the slowest I could while still having enough time to take a two-minute shower and head to the school.

Sunday - Long run (9 miles)

I can't believe our long runs are almost in the double digits! Today's long run was the final one before next week's "step back" week (less mileage). I was thrilled that Jerry was able to run it with me, and make the time go by faster.

We haven't run any long runs together until training for this half-marathon. Running today was certainly the longest run we've done together. Jerry had never done one of my favorite routes that starts in the city where I grew up, and it goes right past the neighborhood where Jerry lived in high school, so I wanted to show him that route. (Jessica and I did that route a lot when we were training for the Cleveland Marathon.)

Jerry was our "mule"--wearing the CamelBack and carrying all of our random stuff.

The time goes by so quickly when I run with Jerry! We talk the entire time. This particular route has several milestones that I look forward to hitting, which also makes it go by fast. I wasn't even going to bother with my heart rate today, because I just wanted to enjoy the run and chat. I just tried to keep the pace "conversational".

It was an out-and-back route, so we turned around at mile 4.5, and from there, it was just a matter of getting back to the car. That's one thing I love about out-and-back routes!

I glanced down at my watch at one point and saw that we were at mile 6.95, and our pace was 11:06. I asked Jerry, "Hey, do you want to make this one sub-11? We just have to sprint for a super short distance." And he said sure, so we took off for the last 0.05 of the mile. We hit the mile mark with a 10:57 pace. And then spent the next quarter mile catching our breaths, hahaha.

We were both so excited to get back to the car and stretch. I've gotten to the point where I really look forward to stretching after a run--it felt so good! Then, we were planning to take an "after" pic, and Jerry saw the perfect backdrop:

And yes, yes we are. But we have fun, and that's all we care about! :)

Our splits for our long run:

I was surprised to see we had a second sub-11 mile in there, because we weren't trying for it. But I always tend to start running faster as I get closer to the end, so I'm sure that's what I did; we also had a tailwind.

Overall, our week went great! I can't say that I was miserable during any of the runs. I was thrilled with Tuesday's tempo, the easy run with Jerry on Wednesday was fun, Thursday's wasn't much to speak of, but it wasn't bad; and today's run was a huge accomplishment in that we ran nine miles. The last time I ran this far was in March 2016!! Two full years ago.

Next week, we have a step back week, which is nice. Our long run will be six miles.

Today, I planned to get another cannoli from Monica's for my "long run treat"; but they closed before we got there :(  I forgot that they close early on Sundays. So, I ended up going to Kroger and getting a piece of lemon cake.

I took a tiny bite when I got home, and it's delicious. I'm actually kind of glad that I didn't get the cannoli, because lemon cake is my favorite kind of cake, and I don't get to eat it very often. I'm mentally and physically exhausted, and relaxing with a movie and my cake sounds amazing.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!


  1. Fantastic runs! I am jealous because running right now is so difficult for me. Strength training currently has my heart. Enjoy the miles and your hubby :)

  2. I forgot you used to get delicious treats after your long runs!!! I used to look forward to readying about them and how many points you estimated them being! LOL I could live my snack eating through you!!! LMAO 😂

  3. I have the same "Suck It Up Buttercup" headband that Jerry is wearing. (I actually have two different designs of it.) It's my favorite. :-)

  4. I had to laugh at your comment about Joey smelling your breath. Both of my dogs do that too. It cracks me up.

  5. These recaps are so fun! I live in central NY so your weather is about 24 hours ahead of us. We had that slushie snow all day Friday. GAH. I'm over snow/winter!

  6. Awesome progress! I just started a 12 week schedule for my first half coming up in May!
    Good luck to you!

  7. I know you like tea, and if you like lemon cake you should try Tazo glazed lemon loaf tea.


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