Pittsburgh Half Training: Week 4

Another good week of training in the books! We continued to have some frigid temps, snow, and ice to deal with, but I didn't have a problem running outside through it all.

Week 3 Grade: A

Recap by Day

40 minutes lower body and core strength training
45 minutes yin yoga

Easy run: 3.75 miles, 47:47 minutes; 12:44 pace
It was just 9 degrees when I went out in the morning, so I wore my face mask. It was comfortable and really helped keep me cozy. I ran near the stadiums and added in two bridge climbs. I try to cross at least one bridge on every run. I ran with my Garmin set to heart rate instead of pace to make sure I ran easy.
Lulu layers: Speed Tights, Beat the Sleet Pants,
White Swiftly Long Sleeve, Full Tilt Long Sleeve,
Spring Forward Jacket, Neck Warmer

In the evening I did 25 minutes of upper body strength training.

Hill repeats: 4.5 miles, 56:24 minutes
At 28 degrees, the weather wasn't bad. But all the hills near me were still covered in ice from last week, so I ran my repeats on one of the bridges. The bridges aren't as steep or long as I should be doing, so I made sure I pushed hard on every interval, sprinting as fast as I could. I did 11 bridge sprints with equal recovery for 2.5 miles of hill sprints plus two miles warm-up and cool-down. I do think the strategy of running super easy the day before a hard workout helps. Usually I get fatigued and feel like I'm dying during speedwork, but on this day I had no problem pushing as hard on the last sprint as I did on the first. I was really happy with this workout.
Lulu Base Runner Hoodie with Swiftly LS underneath
Tech Speed Tights

Easy run: 3.5 miles, 44:45 minutes; 12:50 pace
Thursday the temps were supposed to drop throughout the day, getting down to "feels like -3" by the afternoon. It was 12 degrees when I went out in the morning, so it was "warm" for the day.
Lulu Full Tilt Long Sleeve with Swiftly LS under,
Spring Forward Jacket, Neck Warmer
Athleta Polar Tech Power Stretch Tight

In the evening I did 45 minutes of lower body and core strength training.

Rest day! I like to do yoga on my rest days, but I haven't taken a true rest day in a while so this was a total rest day (not counting walking the dog in the morning and the long walk I took at lunch of course; I walk so much every day that I don't count it as exercise).

Pace run: 6.2 miles, 1:10
This was a great run! I did four miles at goal pace (11:00) with two miles warm-up and cool-down but couldn't resist adding .2 to make it a 10K. It was 28 but felt like 22 with a cold wind. I ran near the stadiums again and got 5 bridge climbs in at race pace. I didn't have much problem keeping to my pace until the last mile, when I started to feel fatigued. I pushed a little to hold my pace and was doing well. Then, with just .2 miles left, I realized I had been pushing harder than I should have and finished at a faster pace. The goal of these runs is to maintain my goal pace consistently, but I was still happy I finished really strong. I thought this was another really good run. Splits were 10:48, 10:53, 11:01, and 10:28.

And to make this run even better, I wore what is probably my favorite run outfit of all time! I picked up several new Lulu tops on sale (I'll post about it later this week), including this Coco Pique Think Fast Pullover. I have the same one in Cranberry and was so excited to find it on sale and in my size! The Coco Pique is so soft and warm. I know I say this every time I get a new Lulu top, but this may be my all-time favorite Lulu run top! I paired it with the Coco Pique Ear Warmer, Pretty Purple Swiftly Long Sleeve, and Deep Zinfandel Speed Tights. Yes, I love purple!

I tried out the new Nathan 8-ounce Quickshot Plus I got on sale from Athleta on this run. I bring water or Nuun on long runs. I'm such a big water drinker that I'd like to have some on shorter runs, but my 16-ounce Nathan handheld is usually overkill. The 8-ounce was perfect. I barely noticed it all, and the amount of water was just right. 

After the run I did 15 minutes of upper body strength training.

It was supposed to get up to 40 degrees in the afternoon, so I organized a greyhound playdate. We took Django to Schenley Park and met up with three of his male buddies plus a new female greyhound he hadn't met before. He is usually very boisterous and goofy around his buddies, but he is a ladies' man so he was on very good behavior around the female greyhound. The trails were unfortunately still covered in ice so the walk didn't feel very warm, but it was still fun to get out. 

Dave tried to get a picture of all five dogs looking at the camera, but...

Long run: 7 miles, 1:24, 12:02 pace
It was 45 degrees and felt warm when I took the dog on his walk, but I knew it would feel colder at North Park. I guess it's because of the cold air coming off the frozen lake? Sure enough, it felt at least 10 degrees colder there, and I was happy I dressed warmer than I was planning. I met Amanda, and we did the standard 5-mile lake loop, though backwards for a change of pace, and I tacked on two more miles. As usual when running with Amanda, it was a fun run and the miles flew by. We also ran by Shaun and Kim, and I saw Mike on my warm-up walk. It was nice to see so many people out training.

After I got home I did the recovery yoga video from Runner's World.
Lulu Heathered Slate Speed Tights
Athleta Extra Long Chi Tank & Half-Zip

In the afternoon it got up to 53 degrees! We took Django on a long walk from our house to West Park in the Central Northside and back. He usually gets comments out on walks, and people want to meet him. Today, it seemed like everyone we passed wanted to meet him, and he got lots of love.
Lulu layers: Black Wunder Unders, Purple Fog CRB,
Black Wee Stripe Race Your Pace LS,
Bumble Berry Dance Studio Jacket, Vinyasa Scarf
 On to week 5! Have a great week running and working out!

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