Work it out: 9/2

We are now 2 weeks out from part I of “Double Trouble: Kate runs 2 half marathons in 2 weeks and lives to tell the tale.” Otherwise known as the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly Half Marathon. The Rock ‘n’ Roll race franchise and I have a brief but bleak history after their disastrous showing at the inaugural Brooklyn 10k in 2011. It seems I’m the only person still holding a grudge though. So, hopefully Philly is a chance to bury the hatchet.

I feel more optimistic than I should given this training cycle, which is a good thing I guess. Mostly, I’m not too concerned about Philly. I’m looking at it as a very expensive long run with the added bonus of testing out my race day stomach and strategy for the following week’s Newport half. I’m going to try and maintain a steady but not grueling pace.

Monday- arms. I thought about running. Then I didn’t. I was still very sore from Sunday, and time wasn’t on my side anyway. It ended up being a good choice as it stormed on and off all day. Feeling like I should do something on my holiday day off, I did two rounds of Wedding Day Arms. I’ve really gotta get back into this. It was exactly as hard as it was the first time I tried it. I just don’t really enjoy lifting. Still, 20 minutes never killed anyone. Right?

Tuesday- 4 miles. I wasn’t originally planning on running on Tuesday, but my dinner plans fell through, and I wasn’t mentally ready for my mid-week 7 miler, so I decided to knock one of my 4 milers out of the way. I wasn’t optimistic. I had a headache. I told myself if I made it around the block I could quit. It turned out to be a great run.

My legs felt a little leaden for the first mile, and I had to struggle to stay under 10:30, but eventually my legs started to loosen up, and I picked up some steam. I finished feeling light and happy. Then my headache immediately returned with a vengeance. Can’t win ’em all. Avg pace: 10:04.

Wednesday- 7 miles. Wahoo! This was the best I could expect from a mid week run. Chris volunteered to join me so I could avoid, at least for another week, a dreaded treadmill run. It was so fun to have someone to talk to. I usually get bummed when I have a long weeknight run because I know I’m missing out on precious Chris-time, so it was especially nice to have him by my side. I definitely felt safer too, but the intense darkness still freaked me out. Chris used the flashlight app on his phone which helped a lot, but it looks like most of my future mid week runs will have to be moved inside. Yuck.

Anyway, the actual run was good too. I ate a bigger lunch which I think helped. I think I’ve been underfueled for my longer runs lately (ironic because, as usual, I’m gaining my half marathon pounds pretty steadily). The weather was still a little muggy but cooler than it’s been. The first mile felt much faster than it was, so after that, we focused on the goal of staying under 11 minute miles without burning out. I started to feel some soreness and pain in my legs/feet around mile 5, but ended with energy left and didn’t feel too sore the next day.

Anyway, we finished the run right around 8:30. Luckily, I had put the time in to make dinner the night before, so I just had to heat and eat! Time is a huge concern of mine on weeknights, so when I found myself in bed EARLIER than normal, I was pretty happy. Avg pace: 11:00

Thursday- planned rest. I feel like maybe I could have run, which I guess is a sign my training is doing what it’s supposed to. I had planned this as a rest day though because Chris and I headed straight from work to a friend’s house for dinner. It was delicious and fun, but we got back at 9:30, so it was pretty much a get changed, brush your teeth and go to bed kinda night. I’m old. I also get up at 5:30. Anyway, I rested. It was lovely.

Friday-sorta planned rest. I knew I had a 4 mile run on the schedule for some time during the weekend and thought about doing it on Friday night to get it out of the way. Then, I didn’t. Chris and I had a date night at the local Irish pub followed by a scary movie at home, and it was quite nice.

Saturday- 3.5 miles. This was a rough run that had me wishing I had just done the darn thing on Friday. We had a volunteer event in the morning, so we didn’t hit the road until 2. It was hot and we were sore from building and gardening all morning. There’s a 3.5 mile loop from our house and back, and rather than add on an additional .5 miles, we just called 3.5 good enough. Avg pace: 10:38.

Sunday- 12 miles. I’m actually impressed this got done at all. I promised myself last week that this run would be a real, official type training run in preparation for Sunday’s half. Then, Chris and I went to a family wedding, and I drank half a bottle of wine, and we got home at 2am. So, we slept in until 9, and then went on a dehydrated, sore, slogfest of a run for 2 hrs, 15 mins. So, it wasn’t exactly the preparatory run I was expecting, but I figure if I can get through a tough run like that, that’s a sort of preparation in itself. Maybe? Avg pace: 11:18.

So, this wasn’t the ideal last week of training I wanted before the half, but it wasn’t bad either. I was really pleased with our midweek 7 miler. Sunday was also the longest run I’ve done without stopping during this training cycle. I meant to test out an early morning run and possible explore some fueling options before Sunday, but I’ve raced before, so it’s not totally out of the blue for me. I’m planning on brewing some in room coffee and munching on a luna bar then gel-ing throughout the race.

I am also not loving my Mizuno’s anymore, and it’s killing me because they’ve been my brand for years! This latest iteration of the Wave Riders is not my favorite. My toes are looking way more smashed up than usual, and my legs and feet have been getting much sorer much sooner. I caved and ordered Brooks (bleck!) after no less than 3 hours of research on Saturday. I don’t think I’m going to wear them in the half considering that’s like the number one running maxim, but if they fit well and feel ok for my mid-week runs, I might give it a shot. We’ll see.

I’m also adjusting next week’s training. I was supposed to run two 4-milers and a 7-miler in the middle of the week, but I’m thinking a little rest might be a better option. Basically, I’ve done all the distance I’m going to do to prepare for the race, so the name of the game next week is mental. I gotta trust that what I’ve done is enough to get me from start to finish, and I think it is.




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