Sunday, August 14, 2016

Half Marathon Training - Week 6

What a week! This was my 5 days of running week in my training cycle.

Monday - 4 miles @ 12:27

Map of the trail system at one of the trail heads.


Mondays are steady pace days. No walking scheduled. The first 5 weeks of my training, I did these at River Park, but due to a bit of a schedule change at work, I took the opportunity to go to Stones River Greenway (SRG) in Murfreesboro.

During my marathon training, I did a lot of my long runs at SRG, but haven't run there since. It was a bit weird to only be doing 4 miles!

I parked at the General Bragg trail head. There are bathrooms with real toilets and running water, a playground and a nice pavilion at this trail head. There are LOTS of places to access this trail, but not all of them have all the amenities.

I messed up my fueling for this run. I've started fueling my runs of substance (steady pace, long and hill runs). I planned to take a gel right before I started, but after a mile, I realized I hadn't taken the gel and I didn't have one with me. Not much to do but just keep going. I was prepared to fade pretty quickly in the last half of my run. I did the entire run on 70 (mostly protein) calories I'd eaten about 45 minutes before the run.

Temp was about 81° with 89% humidity.

These steady pace runs are targeted at 12:36/mile. Last week, I struggled with this pace/distance at River Park, so was prepared to struggle on this run. But I managed to hit 12:25, 12:35, 12:26 and 12:20 splits! When I did the first mile so fast, I dialed it back for the 2nd mile and was pretty happy with that split. When I hit 12:26 for the 3rd mile, I was sure my last mile would be too slow, but I managed to make my last mile the fastest split.

My HR stayed under control the entire time and my breathing was pretty good as well. While I was a little annoyed with myself for going too fast, I was happy that I was able to turn in such a good run and feel so good afterwards.

Near my turn-around spot, I passed a mother pushing a stroller and her young son on a bike. I passed them, then shortly turned around and headed back toward them. The young boy asked me why I would turn around?? I paused and had a fun little exchange with him before continuing on.

1st run of 5 down with a great performance!

Tuesday - Easy 4 miles



I hit the treadmill again for 4 miles of easy run/walk intervals while watching Hulu. This workout felt too easy. My average HR for each split was never over 125 and my max HR for each split never made it over 136. Soooo, I started thinking easy is one thing, but THIS easy? I think my HR should at least be in the 140s when I'm jogging. This is my easiest workout of the entire training cycle.

Wednesday - 7.5 miles @ 13:59

A family of turkeys that ran across the path in front of me.

First bad run of the week. I've had several good runs in a row, so I guess it was time for one that wasn't as good. I shouldn't say it was bad, but I had high hopes for this run given my Monday and Tuesday runs.

This was an afternoon run. 90° and 64% humidity. I went to River Park and probably 50% of the run was in sun. Running further put me into the hills south of Moore's lane. Not really a lot of elevation when it's all said and done, but still enough to make my run harder.

This training cycle, I do a run/walk of 4 minutes 15 seconds @ 12:30 and 1 minute walk for my long runs.

My first two miles were too fast at 13:17 and 13:12. During the 3rd mile I paused to refill my water bottle and had a little issue with that. 13:57 for that mile. I kept getting slower and slower and didn't turn in a split faster than 14:00 for the rest of the run. My slowest split was 14:33, so it could have been worse.

Completely out of water.

I did fuel for this run. I ate a decent meal about 3 hours before I started. I took a gel during my warm-up and another about half way. I drank about 30 oz during the run. I could have drank more, but that's all I had available.

I had a lot of trouble controlling my pace, my breathing and my HR. I got it done, but it just wasn't a good run. I likely overreached my distance and my pace, not to mention doing the first 2 miles faster than scheduled.

I was only scheduled for a 7 mile run, but because of all the HR alerts I was getting, I didn't see my Garmin watch tell me when to turn around, so I ran 1/4 mile past where I should have turned around.

Thursday - Easy 4 miles


This treadmill workout was NOT easy. I was still fatigued from my long run not 24 hours before. I also was scheduled for 3 miles, but my iFit workout was for 4 miles, so I did 4 instead.

iFit has an annoying way of doing workouts that you can't copy and alter a workout, you have to start all over from scratch if you want a new workout. Very annoying and time consuming, so it was faster and "easier" just to do the extra mile than spend the time to create a 3 mile workout.

My run intervals for this workout are 4.5 minutes at 13:03 pace with a 1 minute walk. My breathing was not pretty. Not very under control. But my HR did ok, placing me in the early 140s during my run intervals.

My legs were rather heavy during this run, so I spent 15 minutes after the run doing some extra body weight exercises and then another 5 doing PT on my left ankle. I broke that ankle several years ago and it tends to lock up after most of my runs.

I also ended up doing a 3/4 mile bonus workout because I started my run and then realized I had an appointment, so had to stop and come back later. Of course, instead of just continuing, I started the entire run over.

Hill Friday - 4 miles

View from the top of the hill.

I seriously didn't want to do my hill workout. I considered skipping it, but I don't have a target pace for this workout, so I promised myself I could walk all the uphills and even some of the downhills if that's what I wanted.

So I laid out my running clothes before I went to sleep. When my alarm rang, I immediately put on my running clothes and was out the door in 15 minutes, munching on some dried pineapple during my warm up. I usually don't run that early, preferring warmer weather and sun and to be conscious for my run (I don't wake up fast), but I was afraid if I put it off, I wouldn't do it at all.

I walked up the first hill, but ran too fast down the other side. It was really fun! I was lucky I didn't trip and fall on my face, but I didn't. It was great to run an 8:00/mile pace for a few minutes! I did 15 second jog and 45 second walk intervals up the next 2 hills and jogged nicely down them. I ended up with a decent run. My breathing for the uphill jog intervals wasn't as good as it could be. Hard to get into a good rhythm for 15 seconds though.

I was very happy to be done with my runs for the week! My right hip flexor began aching, likely due to the fast downhill running and my neglect of a decent cool down and stretching after the hill run. So I soaked in a really hot tub and that helped.

Weekly Totals


Training mileage: 24.5 miles
Training time: 5 hours 37 minutes

Total Mileage*: 26.8 miles
Total Time*: 6 hours 35 minutes
Elevation Gain: 999 ft

* includes warm-up and cool-down

Coming Up


I have 3 days of running scheduled next week.

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