JASR Half Marathon Training: Week 7

Happy Sunday! This past week was #7 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.

The queen of cold weather running is back! Despite some bitterly cold temps this past week, I had no problems with being cold while running like I did two weeks ago on my after-work run. I really think the theory of our core temperature being higher in the mornings and keeping me warmer on early morning runs must have some truth behind it.

I had other challenges this week though. While the cold didn't bother me, the snow and ice made speedwork nearly impossible. I don't run on a treadmill because it goes against what I love most about running--spending time outside and enjoying the seasons--but if I'd been shooting for a big time goal, I'd have had no choice but to run on a treadmill. Since my main goal is to just get through another Hansons' training cycle as a foundation for my first full marathon this fall, I just did the best I could with the elements and ended up having the most enjoyable run I've had in a long time.

I also had some really rough runs too. Two weeks ago I said I felt like my legs were tired during runs. This past week I didn't experience that. When I looked back through the log of my last training cycle, I realized the major tiredness from the cumulative fatigue this training is supposed to pummel you with likely won't come until later. I think two weeks ago I may have been experiencing the effects of the first long, difficult workouts I've done in months. This week my legs weren't tired, likely because I didn't get my long, difficult speed workout in. But my runs were tougher than normal because I have a cold. UGH! I can't believe it. I never get sick! Never had the flu, never had any major illness (since getting my gall bladder out in college), and can't remember the last time I had a cold. My husband gets a cold every winter, and I've never caught his...until now (he's been sick the past two weeks). I looked back through my training logs, where I note how I feel on my runs. I started my first log December 2, 2012, and I never had a cold or was sick since then, so it's been at least three years since I've had a cold. I've still been able to get my runs in, but they've been harder than usual. I also didn't get in all the strength training I should have.

Okay, let's get to it! As usual, I'm joining Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for their fun Weekly Wrap.

Weekly Recap

Easy run: 5 miles |1:04:45 | 12:57 pace (15 degrees, feels like -2)
Lululemon Triplet Stripe Race Your Pace Longsleeve, Swiftly Longsleeve,
Toasty Tech Tights, Beat the Sleet Pants,
Purple Fog Spring Forward Jacket, Neck Warmer, Run Toque,
Lulu run gloves, EMS mittens

It was cold, but I really enjoyed this run.

In the evening I did 15 minutes of strength training with body weights.

7 miles | 1:34:17 (25 and our first snow)

Lulu Swiftly Longsleeve, Think Fast Pullover, Raindrop Jacket
Tech Speed Tights, Beat the Sleet Pants, Run Toque

We got our first major snowfall of winter! I had 6 x 800-meter repeats on the schedule, so I headed toward the stadiums. Last year they always kept their sidewalks clear, and that was where I did my speedwork. There was about an inch of snow on the ground when I went out at 5 a.m., and it was slow going even in that, especially because there were some icy spots hidden by the snow. Still, I loved it. The snow made everything bright and glowing, and I was making the first tracks in the snow, aside from a few bunny tracks. When I got to the stadiums, no one was out and the sidewalks weren't clear. I realized I was out a lot earlier than I used to run last year. I started my first repeat and just couldn't get any speed. I was about 1 minute/mile slower than my target pace. Repeat two was exactly the same. I'd just re-read what the book said about this workout and knew the goal was to get close to V02 max. I wasn't getting anywhere near that. I also knew the book said if you don't hit the paces, you don't fulfill the goal of that workout and thus don't get the benefits, making those junk miles. So, I decided to stop trying for speed and made it an easy run. And I loved it! I loved the snow glittering like diamonds under the lights from buildings, the feel of the soft snow as I ran through it, and the soft hush of the early morning. I loved that I was able to enjoy our first snowfall of winter instead of my first experience being shoveling it from my sidewalk and clearing it from my car like so many other people would be doing. This run gave me great perspective and reminded me why I love running--not to train, not to race, not to try to knock off seconds from my time, but to be outside exploring the world in a way I otherwise wouldn't. I didn't get my speedwork in, but I wouldn't have traded this experience for anything.

Rest day, and a very odd one. After work I started feeling really tired. Usually I'm never tired until bedtime, so this was really odd for me. "Maybe I'm getting sick?" I told my husband. "Nah, you never get sick."

I only did 10 minutes of  yoga since I was too tired for even that.

Tempo run: 6 miles | 1:10:52 (25 degrees, feels like 18)
Lululemon Swiftly Longsleeve, Think Fast Pullover, Spring Forward Jacket,
Toasty Tech Tights, Beat the Sleet Pants, Run Toque

I woke up with a cough and a touch of a sore throat but otherwise felt fine. I knew there would be snow and ice on the ground so decided to head to Downtown, which has a business improvement district that pays for clearing sidewalks and other cleaning and greening. I had 4 miles at goal pace 10:40 so needed clear sidewalks. I was surprised that the sidewalks weren't in better shape! They were mostly clear, but there was enough slush and ice to slow me down, and stopping for traffic lights slowed me even further. After I ran two miles Downtown at 11:09 and 11:06 paces, I headed over to the stadiums. Everything was clear around the Pirates and Steelers stadiums and all around the parking lots between them. Thank you, Pirates and Steelers! I was able to hit my paces, but overall it was really hard. My throat hurt a lot from the cold air, and I stopped after each mile to drink water to soothe my throat. My heart rate was also much higher than it usually is on pace runs. I think my cold just made this run harder. Last two splits were 10:41 and 10:34.

Easy run: 5 miles | 1:07:55 | 13:32 pace  (32 degrees)

Lululemon Swiftly Longsleeve, Base Runner Hoodie, Run Toque,
Athleta Polartec Tights

I was happy it was warmer at 32 degrees. Because it had warmed up the afternoon before and most of the snow melted, I thought I'd have no problems. But there were still many icy sections that forced me to go slow. Also, the cold air still really hurt my throat, and this easy run felt harder than it usually does.

Long run: 10 miles | 2:00:59 | 12:06 pace  (35 degrees)
Me (Lulu Toasty Tech Tights, Swiftly Longsleeve, rulu longsleeve, Miss Misty Jacket)
Anna, Jamie

I headed to North Park for my long run. I was meeting Anna and Jamie but ran 3 miles before meeting them since they were running 7. I was worried about being out so long in the cold with a sore throat, so I put vapo rub on my neck before I ran. It worked great! I had no problems at all with the cold hurting my throat like it had the past two days. I never looked at my watch and just planned to take this run easy instead of trying for my 11:56 long run pace so I was happy I wasn't too far off. I felt really great during and after this run with no tiredness at all.

Easy run: 6 miles | 1:15:06 | 12:32 pace  (24 degrees)
Lulu Swiftly Longsleeve, Herringbone Think Fast Longsleeve, Miss Misty Jacket,
Black Tech Speed Tights, Run Toque

When I woke Sunday, my cough and sore throat had gotten worse, plus I just wasn't feeling great. I considered skipping the run, but I know the general advice is to run if it's just congestion. I took some medicine, put on vapo run, and headed out, thinking I'd cut the run short if I felt too bad. My throat started to really hurt in the first mile, so I popped in a lozenge I'd brought with me. That worked really well, and my throat didn't bother me for the rest of the run. I felt better and better the more I ran and ended up really enjoying this run. I was so happy I didn't skip it because I ended feeling great.

Well, that runner's high ended shortly after I finished, and I'm still not feeling great. Tomorrow I have the day off and planned to do my 8-mile speed workout instead of doing it Tuesday. But tomorrow the bitter cold temps will be back and will be about 10 degrees, feels like -5 even if I wait and go later in the morning. If I were feeling great, it would be tough. I'm going to do the best I can while respecting that I'm not 100% right now. If I need to switch to an easy run, I will.

Happy running and working out this week!

Labels: , , , , , ,