March 18, 2018

Weekly Wrap-Up: Week 9 of Half-Marathon Training

Nine weeks of training... done!

When I started this training for the Martian Invasion Half, I honestly didn't really have much confidence that I'd stick with it. I'd had a hard time getting back into running after taking so much time off, and considering that running was much more difficult than it was a year ago, I was a little worried that I'd bitten off more than I could chew.

However, I knew that I had to make a bold, public statement of my goal, and write/talk about it frequently so that I would feel embarrassed if I chose to quit. If I hadn't been so public about my goal, I can honestly tell you that I would have quit the first week. The power of saving one's pride is strong! haha

The training continues to get better and better, and the running has gotten easier. I still have good runs and bad runs, but that is true whether I'm in the best shape of my life or the worst.

Today was a big milestone--double digit miles! Jerry and I had our first 10-miler together. But, I'll write about that later. Here is the recap for the week of training...

Our schedule for the week looked like this:

Tuesday - Speed work (intervals)
Wednesday - Easy run (3 miles)
Friday - Easy run (4 miles)
Sunday - Long run (10 miles!)

Tuesday - Intervals
5 minutes easy
5 x (3 minutes hard, 3 minutes walk)
5 minutes easy

I always dread intervals; and then afterward, I feel fantastic and I'm glad I did them. The last time I did intervals was February 20th, and I had 6 x 2 minutes hard. I had run the hard parts at 7.2 mph on the treadmill, and when I was done with that workout, I was COMPLETELY spent. I honestly felt like I couldn't have done anything more.

So, this workout was similar, but the hard intervals were 3 minutes each instead of 2. That's a pretty big difference when you're running really hard. But, I decided to try and do the intervals at the same speed as the 2-minute ones a few weeks ago. That meant 3 minutes at 7.2 mph, and repeat that for a total of 5 times.

Somehow, I managed to do it! It was very tough, but I stuck it out. And honestly, when I was done, I didn't feel as "spent" as I was last time. I don't think I couldn't have done it much faster, but I definitely had a little left in the tank. So, I'm certainly improving.

Here are the intervals stats. I completely forgot about this app on my phone, and I like it better than Garmin Connect. It shows my heart rate along with all the other stuff, which I liked a lot during heart rate training.

Wednesday - Easy Run (3 miles)

This run was not as planned. I did not run 3 miles on Wednesday. Hell, I didn't even run on Wednesday at all! I had a rough day as far as my anxiety and even depression goes, and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I knew that I couldn't skip it altogether (when I started my training plan, Thomas said that if I didn't skip any of my training runs, he would come visit--a huge incentive).

So, in the 11th hour, I decided that I'd just run on Thursday instead (which is usually a rest day).

On Thursday, I was feeling much better. The weather was gorgeous, and I really do enjoy running in the evenings (which I've been doing a lot lately). Almost as soon as I started running, I decided to do my 4-miler instead of my 3-miler. When I'm feeling good, I try to take advantage of it!

This was one of the best runs I've had in a long time. I ran at what felt to be a super easy pace, keeping my heart rate under 150 (ideally, it would be 144 or less, but recently, I'm happy to keep it under 150). I felt really happy to be outside and doing a nice, easy exercise.

It was exactly what I needed after the crappy day I'd had before!

Poor Phoebe loves being outside, but we don't let her wander. There are coyotes and foxes and eagles in the state land across the street that would love to get a hold of her. So, I bring her outside with me sometimes and let her sit on my lap. She (clearly) loves it.

Friday - Easy Run (4 miles)

This run, as I mentioned, wasn't what was planned. Since I ran 4 miles on Thursday, I only had to run 3 miles on Friday. On this run, I decided to consciously try to keep my heart rate at or under 144 bpm. I like having a focus that has nothing to do with pace. I only looked at my watch every quarter mile or so, though. I didn't want to constantly check it.

Also, I had to stop at my parents' house to feed their cat, so I chose the 3-mile route that includes going past their house a mile in. Again, I felt really good during this run--the evening runs are fantastic for my mentality!

Sunday - Long Run (10 miles!)

This was the big milestone--10 miles. Double digits!

I definitely wanted to do this run with Jerry. We've done all of our long runs together so far, and will continue to do so when we can. (Although, we only have a couple left before the race.) He slept until 12:30, and we planned on leaving at around 1:00. I was shocked when I looked at the weather--it was 62 degrees outside!!

I dressed in my Heat Gear capris and a performance t-shirt. With as cold as it's been, I was super skeptical that I wouldn't freeze to death, but I'm starting to learn to trust the weather app. I'm always so cold on a regular basis that it's hard to trust when it's supposed to be warmer.

We wanted to go to a park that is about 30 minutes away, but Noah had to be at his piano lesson at 4:45, so I wasn't sure we'd have enough time. Ultimately, we decided against it, and played it safe--we planned to do two of the 5-mile loops at the State Park, which is less than 10 minutes away. In retrospect, I really wish we'd chosen differently.

The State Park has some really gorgeous scenery, and it would be the perfect place to run--if not for the paved path itself. It REALLY needs to be repaved--there are tree roots that have pushed the asphalt up and caused it to crack and crumble. It has a slant throughout the entire path, which is not good when it comes to causing injuries. (That's actually how I developed a stress fracture in my fibula.)

We did our 7-mile run at the State Park a few weeks ago, but only 5 miles of it was on the rough path (2 miles were on the newly paved path), so I didn't have any problems then. Today, doing all 10 on the bad path was a different story.

Halfway through the run today, my ankles were really feeling all the bumps, cracks, and slopes of the path. I stopped and stretched twice in the last couple of miles. My left IT band was bothering me, too, especially on the very sloped parts of the path. I told Jerry that if it started to feel like it might be injured, I was going to walk the rest of the way to the car. The last thing I want is to get injured going into week 10 of training!

We finished the run, and our legs were definitely feeling it. We stretched, and we had to get home to take Noah to his lesson, so I planned to use the foam roller on my IT bands later. By the time I got home, I wasn't hurting, but I definitely feel like my legs will be sore tomorrow. My hamstrings feel tight, so I'm going to stretch those really well, too.

Anyway, we did it! We hit our 10-mile long run, and I kept my heart rate at 145 bpm (so close to the ideal 144!). My cardio felt great today--if not for the bad pavement causing problems with my legs, it would have been a near-perfect run.

The good company and conversation made the run go by pretty quickly. I've said it several times, and I'll say it again: training with a parter has made such a big difference in my attitude. It's so much nicer than running those long runs by myself!

And there we have it! Nine weeks of training. Now just four weeks until the race :)

I've been thinking quite a bit about what my next venture will be as far as running goes once the race is done, and I made a decision that I feel pretty excited about. I'll write about that soon!


  1. Great recap! Way to go on the double digit run!

  2. Just wondering if you are going to post your weight online? I have been using your website as a motivator!

  3. I really enjoy your running's fun to follow along as you train. Great job this week, despite the obstacles!


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