Sunday, November 27, 2016

Marathon Training - Week 5: In Which There Was a Half

This was a week mostly back to normal! I ran very close to my original plan for this week.

Sunday - 13.2 miles @ 12:10

I ran the Magic City Half Marathon in Birmingham, AL. I had a pretty good run and even though it wasn't a PR, I was happy with my time since I was just out for the experience of it all and didn't want to re-injure my leg. I can see how I might be able to PR at this race in another year, though. It's got next to no elevation, but the slight downhill grade on the last 3 miles can really be used to good advantage.

Tuesday - 5 miles @ 12:11

Bundled up and ready to run!

This was a cold and cloudy morning! I went to Thompsons Station Park to run laps on their nice gravel loop. It was about 34°, cloudy and a slight breeze the entire time I was there. Of course, 10 minutes after I left, the sun came out and it warmed up to above 40° in no time flat!

I wore my lululemon toasty tech tights (first time this season), an UnderArmour charged wool half zip shirt, an inknburn zip hoodie, a headband that covered my ears, a skull cap and silk glove liners! I was also wearing Drymax winter socks.

When I got dressed in all that, I thought for sure I'd be dropping back by the truck to shed some layers, the hoodie being the first to fall, but nope, I kept it all, except I finally pulled the gloves off around mile 3 and tucked them into a pocket. The hood on the hoodie didn't stay put, so it was never in play when I was running. I thought it would annoy me bouncing around back there, but it didn't really. I am disappointed that the hood won't stay up, but with no drawstring, the chances were slim.

This was supposed to be a tempo run. A steady pace run. But I was naughty. I did the first 2 laps at my marathon pace, but sped up to 12:05/mi for miles 3 and 4 and 11:39 for mile 5. I really should have had the discipline to stay at the 12:30/mi pace especially after the half just 2 days before. I had no ill effects from it though and it did keep me warmer.

Wednesday - 4 miles @ 13:51

Setting up the Goal Workout

I still hadn't dropped any money for the iFit Premium product, so I found another fun feature of my treadmill. This was a Goal Workout. I set the goal to be 4 miles at a 13:00/mi pace. The treadmill let me warm up, then went into the 4 miles. After 4.5 minutes, I manually dropped the speed to 3 mph to walk for a minute, then tapped the "Follow Workout" button that appears on the screen whenever I deviate from a workout. This bumped the pace back to 4.6 mph. I did that for the entire 4 miles and that worked well. Then I did a cool down and stretching.

Screen showing the average pace on the left. This was the overall average for the entire run. Wish I could get this metric on other workouts!

Thursday - Hill Workout - 5.5 miles

I've been shying away from any elevation for the last couple weeks since I'm pretty sure my leg tenderness was brought on by too much hill work too fast, but the leg has been feeling pretty good, so time to get back to work.

My hill workouts don't have a pace target per se. It's about doing the miles. I will admit to trying to better my performance every time out. Why not, right? Run a little more uphill than last time to make me a stronger runner. Makes sense to me. But at the core, if I'm not feeling it, I don't really have a pace target to stick to.

So this time, I did not run much of the uphill. I walked most of that and jogged downhill. I also added an extra hill climb to my workout. My previous hill workouts have involved 3 hill climbs (and their corresponding downhill). This run had 4 so that made my workout 5.5 miles instead of 4 miles. I think it worked out well so I think my hill workout just became 5.5 miles long; at least when I run this hill.

I did jog a couple of times up each hill, but not for long and I didn't push it. Plenty of time to get back to running uphill.

Sleepy, but ready to run

I was a little chilly. It was windy. I wore a short sleeve shirt because it was a bright color, but my arms were cold for the entire run, so arm sleeves would have been nice. I'll have to get a bright colored long sleeve shirt for road running.

Friday - 4 miles @ 13:49

I finally pulled the trigger and paid $94 for an iFit subscription so I could go back to creating custom workouts on the website and sending them to my treadmill. And $94 was their Black Friday sale!

I'm honestly really annoyed about it. I paid $50 last year which was much more in line with how much I use the service. And their website is not very user-friendly. Creating a run/walk workout (or any complicated custom workout) is cumbersome and you can't edit a workout once you create a workout. The more I think about it, the more annoyed I am that I paid so much for my treadmill and still have to pay extra on top of that to use all the features of my treadmill. And pay extra for a bad web site that's not getting updated and is so un-user-friendly.

This workout was a basic run/walk for 4 miles. Run for 0.45 miles, walk for 0.05 miles, repeat until done.

When I got done, I did something I have not done in a long time. I did a dedicated stretch routine. Before I started running as much, I did step workouts and my favorite step instructor is Cathe Friedrich. So I have a bunch of her workouts on DVD. She has a stretch DVD (Stretch Max) that has 3 different 20 minute stretch routines on it. I pulled that out and did the one that doesn't require any equipment.

I definitely need that. I didn't feel the absolute best while I was stretching, but I felt really good the rest of the day after stretching out like that. I don't have time for 20 minutes of stretching after every run, but I really should try to do it every now and again.

Weekly Stats

Training mileage: 31.7 miles
Training time: 6 hours 57 minutes

Total Mileage*: 33.5 miles
Total Time*: 7 hours 37 minutes
Elevation Gain:  1626 ft

* includes warm-up and cool-down

What's Next?

I'm going to go out and run. The plan is to run 6 days and see how things hold up. I have adjusted the mileage for the weeks remaining in my training cycle because of the 2 weeks I basically missed while babying my leg. This will mean fewer runs longer than 16 miles in my training cycle, but better than knocking me out of more weeks by trying to push too soon.

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