Pittsburgh Half Training: Week 11

11 weeks down, 5 to go! This was another great training week, one that's showed me how ready I am for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon.

The weather was again unseasonably cold at the beginning and end of the week, which irritated a lot of runners, but not me. I like running in the cold, and this kind of cold (in the 30s) is so much better than the 0 and feels like -15 degrees we had this winter. I'm not too eager for the cold to give way to heat and humidity. So no weather complaints from me, at least running-wise. However! My furnace broke last weekend, when it got really cold and snowed, and we had to live in a 50F house for a few days until it could be fixed. I have never felt so cold, and it made me grateful to have modern comforts like a house and heat.

With our furnace broken, the dog, cats, and I all huddled
together under blankets in bed. It reminded me of the
lifeboat in Life of Pi since the one cat hates the dog, so
whenever the dog moved the cat would growl and hiss at him.

Week 11 Grade: A+

I did 45 minutes of total body strength training.

Easy run: 5 miles, 1:05, 13:02 pace
It was 30F in the morning and had snowed a little the night before, but it only stuck to grass and wasn't on sidewalks. Our furnace guy couldn't get the part we needed until Tuesday morning, and I think my body was very tired from being so cold for two solid days. For the first time this training cycle, it was hard for me to get out of bed. I'm usually excited about my runs, but the idea of leaving my warm covers to go into my cold house, and then to go from my cold house to the cold outside, just wasn't appealing. When I started the run, it was clear that my legs were very tired. This was the first time during this training that I've felt really tired like that, so I went slowly. I think living in the cold for two days had an effect on my body. But, I got it done and was happy to heat up a bit from the run. My furnace was fixed that morning, and we were all so happy!

I did 50 minutes of yin yoga in the evening followed by foam rolling.

Half mile repeats: 5 miles, 1:00
My favorite kind of speedwork! Did 5 half mile repeats with quarter mile recovery for 3.5 miles plus 1.5 miles warm up and cool down. Target was 5:03 or less. Splits were 4:56, 4:58, 4:51, 4:54, and 4:55. The last one started to feel hard, and I could see how doing 10 would be a tough workout. But overall it was a good run, and it felt good to run fast after the slow miles the day before. The 35F felt wonderful, and I was lucky to run before the rain started.

Easy run: 6 miles, 1:15, 12:32 pace
It was 49 and drizzling occasionally and lightly but felt really good. This was truly a recovery run, where I ended the run feeling better and more refreshed than when I started. For these past three runs I did a route combination of river trail, bridges, and the area around the stadiums.
Wearing just a lightweight long sleeve top
and lightweight shell. Feels good (but weird!)
not to wear all the layers.

Later I did 45 minutes of total body strength training followed by foam rolling.

Also, I got my replacement Garmin Forerunner 220, just in time for Saturday's race.

Rest day! I did a 30-minute hip-opening sequence from Yoga Journal. I love this video! It feels soooo good.

I ran the Just a Short Run Half Marathon at North Park. The temps Saturday morning when I woke were 14 (felt like 3) and was 16 at race start. I actually wasn't cold for the race, though, thanks to my layers. This was a training run to practice my fueling. My other goal was to run easy until mile 10 and then pick up the pace and finish strong. I met both my goals and had a really fantastic run! This race showed me how ready I am for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon, and how far I've progressed as a runner in general. I'll post my race report later this week.
Before the JASR Half Marathon
I felt really good after the race and wasn't sore or tired at all. We took Django on a short walk in the afternoon since it was only about 20F.

Pace/recovery run: 6 miles, 1:12, 12:07 pace
I had 6 miles at race pace (11:00) on the schedule, but since I ran four miles at race pace during Saturday's race, I only needed to run 2 more to get my pace miles in. I told myself that if I felt good, I could do more than 2. It was about 24F when I went out but very sunny so didn't feel very cold, except for a strong occasional wind. I ran the Pittsburgh Half Marathon route I ran last week, from the bridges through the Northside, and across the West End Bridge. But instead of continuing on Carson Street, I just headed back. I started my pace run after a 1-mile warm up, and I realized that my body was tired from Saturday's race. I could get to my race pace, but it wasn't easy like it has been. I didn't want to push myself since I didn't have to, so I did just 2 miles at race pace (11:01 and 10:50) and then did the rest as easy miles.

After the run I did the recovery yoga video from Runner's World.

In the afternoon we took Django on a walk to West Park and back. This is the position he uses when he is waiting to go on his walk. It doesn't look very comfortable, but he can be standing from this position in a millisecond. You can barely see it, but he is lying on top of his stuffed chicken.

During the walk, I saw spring flowers for the first time! It's nice to see signs of spring, but last year it was 30F and snowed on April 15 (per my running journal), so we may still have a few weeks of cold weather to go.
First sign of spring flowers!
Happy running and working out this week!

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