BCHM Training with Hansons: Week 14

Well, I did it. I survived the Hansons' Half-Marathon Method training plan! Last week I had only two hard workouts and less mileage, and this week is low mileage and all easy runs so it's smooth sailing from here until race day...which is just a few days away on Saturday!!! This week I will be posting my final thoughts on the plan and what types of runners I think would do well using it.  I'll also be posting my race-day plan.

This past week was emotionally tough for me. I haven't written a post about it, but when I got home from vacation I found that my 9.5-year-old cat Orla, who has been permanently infected with feline leukemia since she was a kitten, was unsteady on her feet and falling over. My first thought: cancer. Orla is the fourth cat I've had with feline leukemia, and all the others died of cancer from it. Orla has been the healthiest of those cats and has lived the longest (the majority of cats with feline leukemia do not live very long), but I know she will eventually get cancer. Well, she might have it and she might not. She has responded very well to both an antibiotic and steroids, so we do not yet know if she just has an ear infection or a cancerous tumor in her ear. Time will tell, but for now she has a great appetite and is doing as good as we can hope. Here she is--please send positive thoughts to us!

A photo posted by Jennifer Kent (@jennifer_kent) on

I felt burned out on the Hansons plan last week. I just don't want to do the hard workouts any more and feel like I really need a break from running in general. So last week was the first, other than when I was on vacation, that I purposefully didn't follow the plan. I scaled my hard workouts back and changed some of my easy runs to shoot for time instead of miles. I'll do the same this week--for example, I'll run 50 minutes instead of 5 miles. This was an "approved" modification to the plan from the Hansons coach when I talked to her about running so much on the plan because I'm a slower runner.

One final note is because it's now so dark in the mornings, even after I'm done running, it's too dark to take outfit pictures. I'm bummed about that because I love planning and documenting my running outfits. I think I might just switch to taking photos of the clothes themselves so at least I can still document my outfits.

Here's how the week went down. Total mileage was 31.5.

Easy run: 4 miles, 53:25, 13:21 pace
It was 50 and cool, but my legs were really tired.

Strength workout, 4.5 miles
The schedule called for 4 x 1-mile repeats at 10:40 pace with .25-mile recovery. I was loving the repeats at first. The pace felt easy, I felt strong, and I was loving the cool weather. First two splits were 10:41 and 10:36. As I started my third repeat, I realized I had a bathroom emergency coming on. I had no choice but to immediately turn around and run home. Luckily, because I stopped running on the dark, isolated part of the trail that's farthest from my house, I wasn't too far from home. I managed to complete the third repeat at 10:49 just before I got to my door. I not only didn't do the fourth repeat, but I didn't do any cool-down running. I just didn't have it in me to go back out once I was home.

Rest day! I did 25 minutes of hip opening yoga poses that felt so good.

Tempo run: 5 miles in 58:33
The schedule called for a 7-mile tempo run with 5 at race pace. Mentally, I didn't have it in me. I decided to do 4. Well, on my first warm-up mile, my stomach felt awful, and I just did not want to be out running. I decided to just turn around after my warm-up mile and quit after two miles. But then after the warm-up mile, I made myself do at least one mile at race pace. After that, I made myself do another. At that point, I really really wanted to just be done, but I made myself do a third one and pushed to finish strong and then tacked on my cool-down mile. Splits were 11:00, 10:52, 10:44. While I scaled this run back, I'm proud that I still pushed to get 5 miles in instead of quitting after 2 like I wanted to.

Easy run: 5 miles, 1:07, 13:31 pace
It was 66 and felt warm when I went out. My body wanted to go slow, so I honored that.

Easy run: 8 miles, 1:35:55, 11:59 pace
I met my running buddy Amanda at North Park for this run! It has been forever since we ran together because we haven't been able to get our schedules to sync, so we had lots to talk about, and the miles few by. It was 50 degrees. I've noticed that my hands are pretty cold on these cool morning runs. Even at the end of this run, when I was warm and sweaty, my hands were still really cold. So, I've decided to wear gloves for the race. If I get too warm, I can always put them in my pockets.
Wore my Buffalo Creek Half Marathon race shirt from two years ago!

In the afternoon, we drove up to the Laurel Highlands to go hiking with Django. The fall leaves are in full bloom there, so it was a great time to go. Django was so excited that he stood up to see out the windows for the entire car trip of more than one hour! We hiked the 4.5-mile Wolf Rocks Trail at Laurel Summit State Park. Django really loved it. He wanted to be the leader and did a great job keeping to the trail and keeping us at a brisk pace. It was a beautiful hike on a beautiful day!
Django wondering if he was getting any of my granola bar.

Some wacky lens Dave used--but caught Django licking his lips!
The view from Wolfs Rocks.

Easy run: 5 miles, 1:01, 12:14 pace
Nothing much to say about this run except it was cool, so I was happy!

Last week I did start breaking in my new shoes. I have been wearing the same model--Asics GT 2000--for three years, ever since a local running store recommended them for me. While I've bought different colors, this color in the GT 2000 2 is my favorite. White, black, and purple go with pretty much everything I have! I think I've bought five pair of this color, and this is the third pair of shoes in the exact same color in my current rotation of running and walking shoes.

Look for my posts on my final assessment of the Hansons' Half Marathon plan and my race-day plan this week! Happy running and working out!

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