JASR Half Marathon Training: Week 5

Happy first Sunday of 2016! Here we are--a new year, a fresh start. Are you as excited as I am?! I already have my January to-do list ready based on my 2016 goals and even got a few things checked off this weekend. What I'm not excited about is the end of my holiday break. I've been off since December 23, and it's going to not only be rough going back tomorrow but rough to balance running with work. Last week was the first week of higher mileage weekday runs in my plan, so it was great to be off work. But this week I'll need to start getting up at 4 a.m. again to eat and digest before going running because I've learned I need to eat food--not just drink juice or a gel--before going on an 8-mile run that includes hard speedwork. Oh, and you know how I'm always all "I love cold weather running!" Well, the cold weather is here, and I'm not loving it! The thought of leaving my warm house at 5 a.m. in the dark and cold this week just isn't appealing. I guess I just need to get used to it and suck it up! I did it last winter, and I can do it again.

Here's how last week went down. As usual, I'm joining Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for their fun Weekly Wrap. This past week was #5 of training for the Just a Short Run Half Marathon, which will be my 8th half marathon. I'm following the Hansons' Half Marathon Method for the second time.

Weekly Recap

Easy run: 4 miles | 50:01 | 12:30 pace (35 degrees and raining lightly)
Lululemon Turn Around LS
Heathered Slate Speed Tights

In the evening I did a 15-minute body-weight strength routine.

12 X 400 Repeats: 8 miles | 1:35:39  (47 degrees)
This was the first of the speed workouts on the Hansons' plan--400-meter repeats with equal recovery. While 400 meters is the shortest distance of the speed intervals and likely the easiest, this workout is the most daunting to me in the whole plan. Yes, I know it's only three miles of speed work. And yes, I know how quickly 400 meters goes by. But my mind just gets really hung up on doing 12 of them. I knew that this would be really great mental training for me, though. I prepped the night before like I'd do before a race--I ate well, went to bed early, and did visualizations that the workout would go well. After a 1-mile warm-up, I got to work. My target time was 2:23 each repeat, about a 9:35 pace. With each repeat, I focused on my form, my breathing, and getting quickly to my target pace and then holding it. The first 6 went pretty quickly and, seemingly, easily. Looking back, I have to think my brain was tricking me a bit. I bet if I only had 6 to do, they would have seemed much harder. But knowing that I had 12 to do may have helped the first 6 go quickly. After the 6th, I took a gel and salt stick, which I've had success with in previous workouts like this. It started getting pretty tough at the 8th repeat. Again, I focused and gave it my all for each one. Right before the very last one, I was my own biggest cheerleader. You can do it! You're so close! Just one more! Finish strong! But when I started that last one, my body rebelled. My legs felt like they were in buckets of cement, and I just couldn't move. I started that repeat at about an 11:00 pace and didn't think I could get to my goal pace. That's where I called on my mind to help me. You're doing it! You don't have an option! Push hard! Fight for it! It was brutal, but I did it. I really gave it my all. I ended strong, at a 9:31 pace. My splits were 9:36, 9:28, 9:34, 9:38, 9:33, 9:35, 9:28, 9:31, 9:33, 9:25, 9:39, 9:31. In my visualizations, I had imagined skipping with happiness after my 12th repeat, but in reality that 1-mile cool-down was just as hard as the repeats. About 3 in the afternoon, I got extremely tired. I remember this happening to me the last time I did this workout. By the evening, I was very sore and was sore and tired all day Wednesday. I'm not sure I've ever been so sore from a workout, but this run was a huge mental win for me.
Lulu Mesh with Me Long Sleeve & Black Speed Tights
Athleta White Chi Tank
Rest day! I did 30 minutes of yin yoga and soaked for a long time in a hot epsom salt bath because I was so sore.

Tempo run: 5 miles | 57:09 (35 degrees, feels like 29)
I had 3 miles at race pace 10:40 with warm-up and cool-down. It was cold and windy. The last one felt a little tough and I knew I was going too fast, but I was in a groove and couldn't slow down. Splits: 10:39, 10:31, 10:20. With this run on the last day of 2015, I ended the year with 1,362 miles of running.
Lululemon Triplet Stripe Race Your Pace Longsleeve, White Swiftly Longsleeve
Deep Zinfandel Brushed Speed Tights
  In the evening I did a 10-minute Pilates abs workout using the toning ring.

Friday (Happy New Year!)
Easy run: 4 miles | 49:43 | 12:27 pace  (30 degrees, feels like 22 with snow flurries)
With New Year's Eve the night before, I was so happy I had only 4  miles on the schedule!
Happy New Year!
Lulu White Swiftly Longsleeve & Purple Fog Spring Forward Jacket
Athleta Polartec Tights

Later I did 17 minutes of strength training with weights.

Long run: 9 miles | 1:47:31 | 11:56 pace  (22 degrees)
I met Amanda at North Park. I haven't run with Amanda since our half marathon last October, so it was a lot of fun chatting and catching up. I was grateful to run with her because it was so cold and chatting helped the time go by quickly. I've been so cold that I totally overdressed for this run and, as a result, sweated a ton. I had to stop at two places to do errands after running, so I was out on a very cold day in three layers of wet clothes. Not smart! That hot shower when I got home never felt so good.

Easy run: 5 miles | 1:00:11 | 12:03 pace  (31, feels like 22 degrees)
I think being so cold Saturday traumatized me, because I sooooo did not want to go out in the cold again and run. Luckily, Anna was meeting me to run, which I was so grateful for. The miles flew by, and once we got warmed up it really wasn't that bad. I think sometimes the thought of doing something is much worse than actually doing it!
Lulu Base Runner Hoodie
Black Tech Speed Tights
Later I did 20 minutes of strength training with weights.

My speed workout this week is 8 x 600s and the first morning I'll need to get up at 4 a.m. Wish me luck!

Happy running and working out this week!

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