Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Half training...Weeks 1-3

Now that I've officially decided to run a half marathon in January, it's time to talk training! Last Spring I did a a 10K training program on my Nike Plus app, and I had originally intended to start their half training program as well. However, when I looked up what the actual program entailed, I knew I was going to have a hard time fitting it to my schedule. For one, the first week had all weekday runs, Monday through Friday. Now, I can usually get in a few mid-week runs, but not five. And I don't really like running that many days back to back. I googled a few other training plans, got some suggestions from friends, but in the end I decided to just put together a training schedule that fits my schedule. Basically I just altered my usual running schedule by adding a few miles to each of my weekly runs. Simple enough. Most training plans usually last about twelve weeks, but since I finished my last 10K exactly fourteen weeks out, mine is fourteen weeks long.

Here's what my first three weeks of training looked like:

Week 1
Mon. Rest day (I had just raced a 10K so I took some time off afterward.)
Tues. Rest day (I'm off to a good start!)
Wed. 5 miles - track
Thurs. 4 miles - treadmill
Fri. Cross train
Sat. 8 miles - road
Sun. REST!
Total for week 1 - 17 miles

That eight miler was the longest distance I've ever run outdoors (not on the treadmill). That run was a great morale booster for me and made me feel confident about my decision. Also, based on my pace for that run, I adjusted my goals to not just run a half marathon, but to finish sub-two hours. That means from now on I'll be aiming for the magic-sub-two hour pace for all my training runs: 9:09 and under. AHHH!

I ran an out-and-back for my eight miler, so I stopped at the four mile mark to take a picture to commemorate how far I'd run!

Week 2:
Mon. 5 miles - treadmill
Tues. Cross train
Wed. 4 miles - treadmill
Thurs. 5 miles - treadmill
Fri. Cross train
Sat. 7 miles - road
Sun. Rest
Total week 2 miles - 21 miles

So yeah, I run a lot on the treadmill. It's just more convenient to me on weekdays. Basically, as soon as Matthew gets home from work anywhere between four and five, I hustle down to our apartment gym and run. I have to shower and cook dinner as soon as walk in the door, but it's worth it. I have to mention that previously I'd been running on a treadmill at the gym that may or may not be older than I am. In fact, when I begin my training I was pretty certain that I would be killing that treadmill very soon with my sudden increase in mileage. Now, I'm not positive that I'm the only one who uses this treadmill, but I've never seen another soul on it. Well, lo and behold, when I visited the gym for the first time since I began my training I found a little surprise waiting for me...

Yup, that's a brand-new treadmill. I've enjoyed putting some miles on her over the past few weeks. I'm in love! And just to keep it honest, my long outdoor run on that Saturday sucked! It was cold, about 40 degrees, and I hated every mile. It happens!

Week 3 :
Mon. - 5 miles - treadmill
Tues. - Cross train
Wed. - 6 miles - track
Thurs. - 5 miles - treadmill
Fri. - Cross train
Sat. 9 miles - treadmill
Sun. Rest
Week 3 total: 25

Monthly total for October: 81 miles

Week three was not a bad week; at least my mileage was good. My Saturday long run was a bit of a bummer again. It was colder than cold and insanely windy so I wussed out and ran on the treadmill. The good news is, I've also started running on the track once mid-week. I really like track runs, so I always look forward to just cruising for a few miles. I run out on a sidewalk off a fairly busy road on Saturdays and it's quite hilly as well. Which is why I love the track, it's flat!!

Hopefully this weekend's long run will go better for me. I need to suck it up and get used to the weather. Since my race is on January 17th, it's guaranteed to be a cold one!

This is me running the Museum of Aviation 5K this past January, the same race I'll be running the half distance at next year. It was 22 degrees that day!

So, to sum up: Training is going well and I'm enjoying the new challenge of running more miles. With my current schedule I'll be on track to run 100 miles in November, which is completely crazy. Alas, I'll be training all through the holidays which should be interesting. We're going out of town the week of Thanksgiving so it will be a challenge to log miles that week, even though I'm already planning on dragging my dad along for one of my long runs!