BCHM Training: Week 3

Week 3 of Buffalo Creek Half Marathon training is done, and it was a good one! My enthusiasm for the Hanson's plan I'm following hasn't waned. This week I've been continuing to get up about 4:15 a.m. to eat a light breakfast before heading out at 5 to run. I'm a morning person and go to bed early, so that's no problem. The problem is that I'm so excited to run that I've been waking before my alarm--some time after 3 a.m.--and can't go back to sleep. What is wrong with me?! I'm hoping that the excitement starts to wear off so I can get more sleep!

This past week saw the introduction of one of the something-of-substance runs, a tempo run at race pace, but the rest was all easy runs. Things will get much harder this upcoming week, when two components are added: 6 runs a week instead of 5 and speed workouts. The 6 runs a week don't intimidate. I'm excited to start running 6 days a week. But the speed workouts are the part of the plan that scare me most and what made me wonder if I could even do this plan. This week I'll be posting more about how the Hanson's plan treats speed workouts.

This past week I feel I made some strides in overall fitness. Even though I'm just 3 weeks into the plan and have done almost all easy runs, I'm already feeling more stronger and fit, with hills much easier and my easy pace dropping a bit at the same heart rate. I do wonder if my recent weight loss contributed to that--I'm down 6.6 pounds as of last Wednesday--but I think there really is something to be said for just consistent training made up mostly of easy runs. I also think--finally!--that my body has adjusted to the heat and humidity a bit since it hasn't been bothering me as much.

I did 4 strength sessions this week. Total mileage was 27. This will be my last weekly mileage in the 20s. It will be all 30s and 40s from here on out.

I did 30 minutes of lower body and core strength work: 6 sets of 15 jump squats, 3 sets of 10 Plyometric lunges, 2 sets of 10 single-leg bridge raises, 1 set of 20 clamshells, 3 sets of 12 complete crunches, regular plank, and side planks.

Easy run: 5 miles, 1:07, 13:20 pace
It was 74 degrees for my run but I felt great and was easily able to keep my heart rate in the easy range. I wore my new Sculpt Shorts I got from the Lululemon warehouse sale and will post a review soon...but yes, you can see that they show sweat--I did not pee myself. :)
Athleta Black Chi Tank Extra Long
Lululemon Regal Plum Sculpt Shorts,
Pretty Purple All Sport Bra,
Regal Plum/Black Flyaway Tamer

In the evening I did 15 minutes of upper body strength training: Rows, shoulder presses, biceps curls, triceps raises, chest presses, supermans, and push-ups.

Rest day! I did 25 minutes of yin yoga.

Tempo Run: 5 miles, 59:36
The schedule called for 3 miles at goal race pace (10:59) with warm-up and cool-down. I was curious to see how this pace felt. In winter training, it felt so easy. Well, it definitely did not feel easy on this run! Even though it was cool, about 62, it felt pretty tough. My heart rate was way higher than it should have been too. I was really trying to hit 10:59 as close as I could and be consistent, but I overcompensated at first because I was worried about going too slow. I have a lot of work to do to get comfortable with this pace and to be more consistent. Splits: 10:44, 10:52, 11:00.
Lorna Jane Excel Mesh Tank
Athleta Heathered Black Relay Skort
Lululemon Purple Fog Energy Bra & Beachscape Bangbuster
Easy run: 5 miles, 1:05, 13:05 pace
It was cool--just 60 degrees--and felt great! 
Lululemon Surge Cool Racerback
Electric Coral Pace Rival Skirt
Creamsicle Energy Bra
Mesh Bangbuster

Easy run: 8 miles, 1:46, 13:17 pace
It was supposed to be cool in the morning and heat up quickly, so I got to North Park at 6:30 to beat the heat. What a difference! North Park is the place to go for runners, walkers, and cyclists because there are so many places to run with a lot of porta-potties and water fountains. That means it's usually a zoo. But at 6:30 in the morning, it was quiet and so peaceful. It was 65 cool degrees and shady almost my whole run. There was steam rising from the lake, and most of the time I was by myself. I did the standard lake loop plus a loop that goes up a big hill on McKinney Road. McKinney passes through a heavily wooded area, and it was there that I shared the road with many deer and turkeys. I saw so many deer all along the run, and it was so nice to see deer, turkeys, geese, and bunnies out in the first morning light. As I was running, it occurred to me: This is why I run. To be outside enjoying nature in a way I otherwise wouldn't if I weren't running. I loved this run! It was also a great workout, with some really good big hill climbs. I felt great the whole run.
Athleta Heather Stripe White/Grey Chi Tank &
Raspberry Relay Skort
Lululemon Heathered Coal All Sport Bra & Run Visor
After the run I did 18 minutes of lower body and core strength: weighted squats, dead lifts, clamshells, planks, and complete crunches. I followed that with about 15 minutes of hip opening yoga stretches.

In the afternoon it was hot and sunny, so we headed to Riverview Park to walk Django in the shade.
A photo posted by Jennifer Kent (@jennifer_kent) on
Easy run: 4 miles, 51:56, 12:59 pace
The heat and humidity were back with a vengeance. It was 73 degrees when I went out at 6 a.m., and even though it was just 4 miles, I was drenched in sweat when I was done.
Lululemon Pigment Wave Multi Sculpt Tank,
Black Energy Bra,
Black Pace Rival Skirt I,
Run Visor
Afterwards I did 10 minutes of upper body strength training. Then I showered and my husband and I headed out for Open Streets, where a street from Downtown through the Lawrenceville neighborhood is closed to cars from 8-Noon, with different events going on all along the route. It was so much fun! It was very hot and sunny, but we were able to walk mostly in the shade, which helped. We walked from our house all the way to the end at the Allegheny Cemetery in Lawrenceville, which took us almost 3 hours and was 6.3 miles. This is such a great event! It is such a fun, happy vibe with so many people out and enjoying the day. The volunteers are awesome. At intersections where there are car crossings, the volunteers ring cowbells to let everyone know they may have to stop, but they pretty much ring the cowbells and cheer for everyone nonstop. There are so many different events and things to do--from places set up just to play to dance music playing to a place to set up to try unicycling. I was having so much fun I was dancing in the street every time we came across music playing. I couldn't help it! This is the last scheduled Open Streets event (there were three this summer), but I really hope they do more. It's such a fun way to get out and explore the city.
What I wore:
Splits 59 Black Devon Tank I
Lululemon Regal Plum Energy Bra,
White Stride Skirt,
Sketchy Palms White/Black Run Hat,
Dottie Dash Slate Party Om Bag
A section through the Strip District:
A photo posted by Jennifer Kent (@jennifer_kent) on

Me walking through another section in the Strip District:
A photo posted by Jennifer Kent (@jennifer_kent) on

A section in Lawrenceville:
A photo posted by Jennifer Kent (@jennifer_kent) on

While it was fun, walking for that long in the heat really beat me down. We didn't do anything for the rest of the day except relax. We were both too tired to take Django on a long walk, but he had no problem just relaxing with us.

Eating a peanut butter & carob chip treat:
A photo posted by Jennifer Kent (@jennifer_kent) on

Happy running and working out this week!

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