BCHM Training with Hansons: Week 7

Week 7 of training for the Buffalo Creek Half Marathon using the Hansons' Half-Marathon Method was great! In addition to a solid week of runs, I had a consult with one of the Hansons' coaches. It was thorough and informative, got me really motivated, and actually led to an aha moment! I'll have a recap of the consult up this week.

Week at a Glance

Physical Health

Emotional Health

Better than ever, thanks to the motivational talk I had with the Melissa, one of the Hansons' coaches.


Thoughts About the Hansons' Plan

This past week marks the end of the first training block that included speedwork designed to improve the V02 max and anaerobic threshold. This next training block focuses on maintaining the V02 max and preparing the body to handle the fatigue associated with endurance running. This is the training block the book refers to as the more half-marathon-specific training and says: "We won't sugarcoat this phase; it is difficult, and you will be tired."

Gulp! Aside from that one run a week ago where fireworks interrupted my sleep and after my first speed session, I haven't been tired yet on this plan. I remember while training for the Pittsburgh Half in winter, when I reached my 40-mile peak week, I felt very tired and hungry. I don't feel either. If I just went by feel, it feels like I'm not running much at all. With no aches, pains, or tiredness, it's hard to believe this is my second 40-mile week in a row. I think that's really a testament to how the Hansons' plan adds new stresses very gradually so that your body adapts to it and you end up completing runs and racking up mileage that seemed impossible when you first looked at the plan. As for hunger, well, I said in that post how I am eating a ton, so I'm never hungry. 

I won't say that I've found this plan easy so far, but I do think it's much less difficult than I originally thought. Part of that is likely because I haven't gotten to the hardest part that begins this week. I'm not used to being tired, so it's something new that I'll have to deal with. But I've been wondering if I should be increasing my goal race pace, if I'm not challenging myself enough. I had planned on training for a time goal before training, but it wasn't in the pace charts in the book so I decided on a slightly slower time goal. After talking with Melissa, the Hansons' coach, I've decided to shoot for the slightly faster time goal starting this week. If I can't hit the faster paces, I'll need to adjust, but I at least want to try.

Weekly Recap

Easy run: 6 miles, 1:20:50, 13:28 pace
The 73 degrees and 90% humidity contributed to a very slow start. I felt sluggish for the first 3 miles, after which my body woke up, realized I wanted to run, and got peppy. I finished the run feeling really refreshed, despite the nasty heat and humidity.
Athleta Amalfi Blue Chi Tank Extra Long
Athleta Skort
Lulu Aquamarine Bangbuster

In the evening I did 30 minutes of yin yoga.

Speed workout: 7 miles in 1:24:06
A severe thunderstorm with pouring rain, lightning, and thunder started just as I was getting ready to leave my house at 5 a.m. I waited 45 minutes until it lightened up and then headed out. There was still a light rain during my run, but it felt great. This speed session was 5 x 1K (.62 mile) repeats at 5K pace (9:39) with equal recovery. I had no problems with the intervals except the very last one. It seemed like no matter how hard I was trying, I couldn't run faster than about 10:00. I pretended I was in the race and forced myself to dig deep and push hard to meet my target. Time goal was 6:00 and I did 5:58, 5:57, 5:53, 6:02, and 5:56. Because I had started running so late, I skipped my cool-down mile (my first skip on this plan) but did at least get some cool-down on the final recovery period. Overall I felt really strong on this run and proud that I pushed hard to finish strong.
Lulu Regal Plum Sculpt Tank,
White Hit Your Stride Skirt
Rad Plaid Run Hat

Rest day! I did 25 minutes of yoga hip openers.

Tempo run: 6 miles in 1:09:49
It was 75 degrees and very humid. I'd decided to try to increase my goal race pace to 10:55 during this run instead of 10:59, but I wasn't sure I'd be able to do all 4 miles at that pace because it was so swampy and warm out. But I completed all 4 at race pace (plus warm-up and cool-down miles) without any problems. I was feeling so good at the end that with a half-mile to go at race pace, I let myself open up and go for a fast finish. This was another run where I felt really strong and awesome. If I can do so well when it's so hot and humid, I feel like I'm in great shape for my cool-weather mid-October race. Splits were 10:47, 10:53, 10:53, and 10:36.
Lulu Iris Flower/Pretty Purple Stripe What the Sport Singlet,
Pretty Purple All Sport Bra
Black Pace Rival Skirt
Slate Mesh Bangbuster

In the evening I did 25 minutes of strength training (the routine from Racing Weight).

Easy run: 5 miles, 1:00:57, 12:12 pace
Goodbye heat and humidity, hello blissfully cool temps! It was just 61 degrees and felt wonderful. My pace fell pretty dramatically while keeping to the same easy heart rate range.
Oiselle Burgundy Vertical Drop Tank
Lulu Mink Berry Pop Stripe Go the Distance Shorts
It was nice hanging outside at night and grilling out. Django thought so too!

A photo posted by Jennifer Kent (@jennifer_kent) on

Long run: 12 miles, 2:22,48, 11:55 pace
Amanda met me on the river trail near my house to run her 7 miles with me. It was 58 degrees and just the perfect weather for a long run. The miles flew by while we were chatting, as they always do, and then I stopped after 7.5 when Amanda was done to put in my headphones and refill my bottle with the cold water Amanda had in her cooler. Isn't she awesome?! I headed back out and, before I knew it, the run was over. My target pace was originally 12:16, but since I'm increasing my goal race pace, this pace needs to increase a bit too, so I just tried to keep it between 12:00 and 12:16 (though ended up being on the faster side). I felt great the whole run, had no problems hitting my paces, and was able to speed up and run the last mile at an 11:15 pace.
Lulu Heathered Clear Mint Swiftly SS,
Cyber Stripe Grey/Clear Mint Run Hat
Skirt Sports Streak Gym Girl Ultra Skirt

In the afternoon there was a vegan festival, VegFest, in the park near me. I knew that a greyhound rescue group would be there, so Dave and I headed over with Django. There were a bunch of food vendors, and I planned to sample a few different things for my lunch. But there were like a million people there! And they were eating all of my food, ha ha! I'm happy that the event was so well attended, but I was really surprised that it was so popular. It was hard to even walk through, especially with Django. He's all up in everyone's business in general, and wants to check out every person, sniff all the food, and check out all the vendors set up. I had to keep a close watch on him to make sure he didn't get too near people with food in their hands and try to keep him away from the food vendors in general. And of course, all the million people there wanted to meet him. Granted, we were hanging out at the greyhound rescue booth for a while, where there was a female greyhound that Django loved, but even just walking around people were constantly coming up to meet him and ask questions about him. Django is a very good greyhound ambassador and wants to meet everyone, but being out with him is kind of like a job to answer everyone's questions about him....and I just wanted to eat my vegan food! Because the lines were so long, I basically went to the stand with the shortest line and got a vegan hot dog and a homemade Twinkie from Onion Maiden, both of which were delicious. But the lines were so long that I didn't try anything else. :-(
Django giving the female greyhound some loving.

The usual result of trying to get a picture with both dogs looking.

Oh! Shopping note of the week! I bought Lulu's Pleat to Street Skirt in Iris Flower when it went on sale this week. I really wanted this skirt when it first came out but I wasn't sure how the pleats would work when running (some reviewers said it was too flouncy) but I decided I could wear it casually if it didn't work out for running. The fit seems much larger than my Lulu skirts in the same size, and I wished I'd bought a smaller size. But since it's final sale, I figured I'd just try it out so wore it to the VegFest (with white Superb Bra and Splits 59 Devon Tank). I LOVE this skirt! I can't believe I never tried it before. It has five pockets total (two in the inner shorts and three in the waistband), it was so comfy, and it does not look like a typical running skirt. This skirt is still marked down on Lulu's website in two colors. If you're in between sizes, I'd size down.

Easy run: 5 miles, 1:01;41, 12:20 pace
Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC connected me with her friend Anna, who just moved from DC to Pittsburgh. I met Anna in the morning in Shadyside, and we ran through Shadyside, Bloomfield, and Friendship so I could show her some of the neighborhoods near her. It was a lot of fun! We are both project managers but had lots of other things to talk about. I'm looking forward to more runs with Anna! (I actually brought my camera and meant to take pictures of the neighborhoods since it's a different route than I usually run in but completely forgot. Doh!) It was another cool morning--just 60 degrees and cloudy. I'm loving this cool-weather trend!

I decided to try the Pleat to Street Skirt on this run. I was worried it would ride up since it was a bit bigger than my other skirts, but it didn't at all. And the pleats didn't really flounce around too much and weren't annoying. I've washed it, and the pleats stayed in just fine. Overall, I give this skirt a big thumbs up!
Lulu Black Mesh What the Sport Tee
Pretty Purple All Sport Bra
Iris Flower Pleat to Street Skirt
White/Black Sketchy Palms Run Hat

After the run I did 25 minutes of strength training, then we took Django to Riverview Park for a shady walk on the trails.

Happy running and working out this week!

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