Pittsburgh Half Training: Week 15

This is it! The Pittsburgh Half Marathon is ONE WEEK AWAY. Banners on the bridges went up early last week, race day is in the weather forecast, and local non-runners have started talking about the race. I started training January 12, and in my first recap I said training was fantastic. It has continued to be, for the most part, fantastic, with the result that I've never felt stronger and fitter and that I've never felt more confident, more excited, and less anxious about a race. I'm going to post my final thoughts on training this week. I'll pinpoint the things that I think have worked so well for me and share some Garmin stats that show how I've improved. I'm so excited about the race, and of course I want to give it my all and do well. But at this point, the race is really just icing on my training cake, which is probably why I'm not anxious about it. Because I've proven my fitness during training, I feel like the race is less a test that I feel pressured to pass--like I usually feel about races--and more a celebration of an awesome training cycle.

I'll also post the final profile in the Pittsburgh Marathon profile series I've done. This is a great profile I think you'll enjoy, so please check back tomorrow to read it.

Because this last week is a very light week (a 3-mile easy run on Tuesday and a 4-mile pace run on Wednesday) and there's so much else going on, this will be my last training recap. This week I'll be attending an event for the Pittsburgh Marathon bloggers on Thursday evening, the expo on Friday, the 5K on Saturday, and of course the half marathon on Sunday, so I'll have a lot to post about!

As for the weather, everything can change in a week, but at this point according to Weather Underground it's looking pretty good with  no rain and 52F at race start and about 60F when I'm done. It's supposed to get to 74F later in the day, which might not be great for those running the full.

Last week was a taper week, and I enjoyed the shorter runs.

Week 15 Grade: A+

I did 35 minutes of strength training in the evening.

Easy run: 4 miles, 48:10, 12:03 pace
It was 46F and windy, but my new Lulu Miss Misty Jacket kept me comfortable (review here in case you missed it). It was nice to run less than an hour for a change!
Lulu Pretty Purple Swiftly Long Sleeve,
Black Speed Tights I, Silver Fox Miss Misty II Jacket

Pace run: 5 miles, 58:35
I did 3 miles at race pace (11:00) plus warm-up and cool-down. Splits were 10:48, 10:56, and 10:48--all of which felt easy and were pretty low in my easy heart rate range. It was 43F and raining for most of the run, but I stayed dry and comfy with my new jacket. I'm so happy I got it!
Lulu Cadet Blue Swift Long Sleeve,
Black Speed Tights, Silver Fox Miss Misty II Jacket

Easy run: 3 miles, 37:13, 12:25 pace
It was 35F and felt like 28! Good thing I didn't put my winter clothes away!
Lulu Race Your Pace Long Sleeve,
Heathered Slate Speed Tights,
Purple Fog Spring Forward Jacket

I hadn't done yoga all week, and everything felt really tight. In the evening I did 15 minutes of yin yoga--felt so good!--followed by 10 minutes of legs, glutes, and core exercises.

Rest day! I did 35 minutes of yin yoga.

Pace run: 4 miles, 44:53
Just 2 miles at 11:00 race pace were on the schedule plus warm-up and cool-down. It was 31F and snowing in the morning! I'd hoped to try out a new running skirt so waited to see if it would warm up, but it never did. I ran part of the race course on the Northside, running the hill off the bridge around mile 4 twice. That hill always gives me trouble because I usually run it too fast and am winded at the top or too slow and my average pace suffers. My plan was to run it as close to 11:00 as possible. But, I was soooo excited about the race that I couldn't slow down for the life of me. Splits were 10:38 and 10:37. This tells me that I need to be really careful about not going out too fast on race day. I might even walk a bit at first to make myself slow down since a fast start will ruin my pace strategy.
Lulu Cadet Blue Swiftly Long Sleeve,
Bordeaux Drama Speed Tights,
Silver Fox Miss Misty II Jacket
 After my run I did the yoga-inspired core exercises from the new Runner's World. 

Long run: 6 miles, 1:13, 12:09 pace
My last "long" run! I wanted to take it easy, not run big hills, run the course once more, and practice visualizing the race. I also wanted to run in my Lulu Pace Rival Skirt to see how it works for a longer distance since I've only run shorter distances in it. I waited until it warmed up a bit to 46F, but I was still freezing when I went out. It was sunny and a beautiful morning but windy on the bridges, so I was both hot and cold during the run. I ran the Northside part of the course, over West End Bridge, and back on the trail.
Lulu Mauvelous Run for Gold Half Zip,
Black Pace Rival I Skirt, Run Hat
After the run I did the recovery yoga video from Runner's World.

And that's it! I have just two short runs this week with three rest days, followed by the 5K Saturday and the half marathon Sunday.

Have a great week running and working out!

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