Fitness Friday – Half Marathon Training Check-in

Anyone who has known me for a long time or knows me well (I’m looking at you, parents, brother and boyfriend) knows that I get emotional and kind of overreact sometimes.

Moooooom you put my jeans in the dryer! Now they’re gonna be tight and I’ll have to lose 5 pounds to make up for it and I’M A FAT LARD!

I’m really a fun person to be around, I swear 😉

Case in point: this post.

That post was preceded by a 45 minute tear-filled breakdown where I told my saint of a boyfriend that the fact I didn’t run for nearly 3 weeks meant that I would never run the same again and everything was terrible and I was so out of shape and the world is cruel and horrible.

See what I mean?

Well in the past month, I’ve pretty much proven my former self wrong. Apparently when you’ve been running for 4 years, and running longer distances pretty consistently for over a year, 3 weeks isn’t that long of a break. (#humblebrag?) Don’t get me wrong- for the first few weeks it was really hard, and my pace was 30-40 seconds slower per mile than normal. But again, Russell the Saint came through and reminded me that if I got my mileage up, the pace would follow. And evidently, the guy was right.

So here was my original plan:

Screen shot 2015-01-31 at 11.05.03 AM

For my runs, I used the same basic training model I always have, which was originally based on a Hal Higdon plan: Running 3x per week with one run being a longer run that gradually increases in distance. For this plan, I started out increasing my long runs at a modest .5 miles per week.

I like to do other exercise too, so I decided to schedule gym trips on Mondays and Wednesdays, then keep Fridays open for rest, or as a make-up day in case I skipped a day earlier in the week. I also made note of other evening commitments.

And here’s my progress so far: (I have different versions of the spreadsheet on my work/home computers, hence the different color scheme 😛 )

parkway check in #1

So, several changes you’ll notice:

  1. Weekday runs: Though I’ve worked in 8 miles during the week in the first half(ish) of my plan, sometimes I just don’t get out of bed early enough to do a full 4 miles. My goal is still two 4-mile runs for now…But I am allowing myself one 3-mile run per week if time doesn’t permit more than that.
  2. Gym visits: Monday is ending up to be a better rest day for me than Friday. Apparently I need time to recover from the weekend 😉 Basically I just try to go two days per week and not be too strict about which days those are. I’ve also started going almost exclusively after work, and I see a huge difference in my strength, muscle tone, and in the # of reps I’m able to do when I’m not in a rush to get in the shower and go to work afterward.

And several victories I have been happy about:

  1. My pace!!! I had a few runs in January that were even slower than any on this spreadsheet…but I got some Spark from Becky on February 2nd, which definitely helped get me back in the swing of things. I have had almost a full two weeks of runs around or under 9:30/mi, which is really a feat for me after my struggles in January. Part of me also wonders if sprinting around the bases at kickball and softball has helped my speed? I’m eager to see if this past weekend’s 9:07 pace was a fluke or not when I get back out on the bike trail this weekend.

    IMG_0436

    not a bad view…no wonder I was motivated to run so fast!

  2. Distance!!! I have always been in the habit of planning my run with a certain course/distance in mind, and lately I’ve done so in a way that enables me to go a little extra at the end in case I have the energy. 75% of the time, if I’ve paced myself correctly I do have the energy and I do go the extra half mile or so. As a result, I’m on track to hit 8.25 miles this weekend instead of 7.5, and I’ll probably plan a run that makes it so I can go 8.5 if I’m really feelin’ it.

Other notes:

  1. I’ve had a weird lump on my shin for a long time that I had been attributing to my tendency to bonk into things…coffee tables, chairs, desks, you name it. But I’ve noticed it getting worse lately, especially on days I run, and I’m starting to think it might be shin splint related?
  2. My fitness goal of varying my workouts hasn’t really been panning out. I did try a new Tabata Bootcamp on Monday, but otherwise I’ve been focused on weight training. I have been incorporating super sets and other things, but I want to get to a yoga class soon and definitely go back to bootcamp.
  3. Now that I’m following this “strict” running/gym/kickball/softball regimen, I have an intense need to buy more workout clothes (because I never have quarters to do laundry). See this mismatched outfit for proof: pink, blue, highlighter yellow?? Anyone who knows me knows I’m usually a stickler for color coordination.IMG_0414

Apparently, I also need a full length mirror. #WorkoutSelfie game is the opposite of strong with this little thing!

Also, for anyone keeping track at home…Russell’s training is going even better than mine, he hit 10 miles on his long run last week! I’m not a gamblin’ man, but I’d put my money on him breaking 1:30:00 🙂

Have a great weekend!

Are you training for a race or a fitness goal right now? Do you have a set plan?

Have you ever had shin splints or a lump on your shin? Reassure me that I’m not going to die.

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