Weekly Running Recap: July 7-13

What an awesome week for running, with the mornings being cool with low humidity. This was another in-between week before I start half marathon training. I'm using this time to try a few new things.
  1. A new warm-up before speed workouts. Because I'll be following the Hal Higdon program, I want to use his warm-up method, which is to do an easy mile, stop, stretch, and then run some strides. I've done this warm-up this and last week, and I have no idea if I'm doing the strides right. They end up being more like mini sprints, and I'm not sure how long I should recover in between. I think maybe I need to go a little slower and do more recovery because the strides wear me out a bit, which isn't the point.
  2. Cardio cross training. One thing that struck me from Run Less, Run Faster is how cardio cross-training (cycling, swimming, and rowing) contributes to your overall fitness and helps make you a better runner. I typically just strength train as my cross training, which is great but isn't cardio. This week I added in cycling. I really enjoyed it and think I'll continue it as part of my half marathon training.
  3. Taking walk breaks. When I started training for my first half marathon last summer, I started with Jeff Galloway's run/walk program. Not only was the constant shift from running to walking difficult (I find straight running much easier), but part of why I love running is to be present, focus on my breathing, enjoy the outdoors, and meditate...which I could not do when the switch from running to walking made me lose focus. Then, during that first half marathon, I got extremely sick at mile 11 and felt like I was going to throw up. I decided to walk until I felt better. Well, I never felt better (I was sick the entire day), and I could not run again (it was a major struggle to go into a slow jog in those final steps to cross the finish line), and I felt like a huge failure for not running the whole race...which is why I immediately signed up for another half and ran that one with no problems. But I think I still have the fear that if I start walking, I won't be able to start running again. Because of that, I do not walk through water stations or usually don't take walk breaks. I've read so much about the benefits of walk breaks, though, and even Hal Higdon says, "I don't specify walking breaks, but feel free to walk during your running workouts any time you feel tired or need to shift gears. In coaching marathon runners, I usually recommend that they walk through the aid stations to allow them to drink more." I would like to be able to walk though stations during races, so this week I practiced taking 30-second walk breaks at miles 2, 3, and 4 of my five-mile long run. I noticed that after the walk breaks, my form was better and I think my pace ended up being just a bit faster than if I'd run straight through. I want to continue trying out walk breaks on my long runs.
Onto the recap! Note that I did not take a rest day this week because I had a two rest days over the July 4th weekend.

Monday: 30 minutes cardio/plyo routine using the Bosu ball and 10 minutes of abs
Lululemon Antidote Cool Racerbak; Lorna Jane Ocean Comfort Bra;
VSX Black Marl Knockout Crop
Morning easy run 3.17 miles | 35:52 minutes
Lorna Jane Nectarine Dash Excel Tank;
Athleta Fiji Green Fair Isle Skort;
Lululemon Beachscape Bangbuster

30 minutes of upper and lower body strength training on weight machines during lunch
Lululemon Bruised Berry Wunder Under Crops &
Parallel Stripe Push Ur Limits Tank
Morning interval run with warm-up/cool-down easy jogs and four .25-mile intervals at 9:30-9:40 pace; 4.17 miles | 47:33 minutes
Athleta White Extra Long Chi Tank & Raspberry
Relay Skort; Lululemon Zing Pink Light Energy Bra
& Wee Stripe White Bangbuster
50 minutes of yin yoga in the evening and 10 minutes of abs
Athleta Silver Handkerchief Tank; Lululemon Inkwell In the Flow
Crops & Creamsicle Pop Energy Bra
Morning easy run 4 miles | 45:20 minutes
Athleta Pop Spacedye Tee & Midnight Blue Relay Skort
25 minutes of yoga in the evening
Lululemon ?some purple? Cool Racerback & Ziggy Flow Bra
Athleta dark grey (asphalt?) Chat Capri
32-minute bike ride (5.56 miles) in the morning on the river trail. Combined hill climbs on the bridges and interval sprints. So nice and cool!
Buffalo Creek Half Marathon Race Tee;
Lululemon Black Wunder Under Crop;
One of my feral kitties I care for in the background!

30 minutes of lower body weight machines and abs at lunch (photos outside the gym at the track)
Lululemon Forest Green In the Flow Crops, Med Grey Mudra
Tank & Creamsicle Pop Energy Bra
Made my friend take another pic of me to show the bra in the back
I have to say that the Mudra Tank is one of my favorite new Lulu purchases. It's thick and soft and reversible--you can wear it with the deep v in front or back. It also works well for casual wear. That night, I paired it with an Athleta skirt and a regular bra to run errands.

Two miles at 5k race pace (total 3.71 miles). This was a fantastic run from a mental standpoint, and I'll be doing a separate post about what I felt was a good positive attitude accomplishment. Also did a 20-minute recovery yoga after the run.
Lululemon Black Pace Rival Skirt, Aquamarine
Runner Up Tank; Cadet Groovy Stripe Bangbuster

Morning easy run 5.09 miles | 61 minutes
I went out later than I'd wanted, and it was very hot and humid. I tried a new tip I read about and wet my hair with cold water, then wet a hat with cold water to keep my hair from drying out. Because it was breezy, running with a wet head really helped keep me cool.
Athleta White UPF Tee & Aloha Yellow Fly By Skort
I recently ordered this skort and wore it running for the first time. Love it! The shorts underneath are mesh, so it was very cool. These are currently on markdown, but I think the majority of sizes are sold out. Also, I'd ordered the Berry Punch Chat Capris, but that color is very sheer so I had to return it.
The mesh shorts in the Fly By Skort really helps keep you cool.
Total miles for last week was 20.14. Happy running this week!

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