This week’s workouts reminded me why I love training for long distance races so much. Not that I need reminding, since I’m still on a post-BQ high and already dreaming of what I can achieve at the Lake Sammamish Half at the start of March. This week’s mileage felt good and my tempo run was fantastic, both in how it felt and how I ran.
The weather continues to be cold in Seattle – temperatures were in the high 20s each day when I started my run – but the sun was shining and it didn’t rain all week. I don’t mind the cold if it’s sunny!
Monday: Rest day.
At this point, I need a rest day after snowboarding. I just feel achy and tired the day after snowboarding, which makes sense given how new I am at it – and how often I fall down. My right calf was especially sore and achy, so I wanted to make sure that I didn’t have any issues with it.
Tuesday: 5 mile easy run + 20 minutes strength training
Rain over the weekend and Monday night meant icy roads on Tuesday morning. I was all dressed to run outside but then I nearly slipped multiple times just while walking the dogs. I did 5 miles easy on the treadmill with hills and only by mile 4 did I not want to quit this run.
For strength training, I did 2 sets of 12 single leg deadlifts, 20 lateral band walks, 20 single leg bridges, 20 med ball pull overs, 10 push ups, and a plank.
Wednesday: 8 mile tempo run
I don’t like to repeat workouts too often within a single training, but 2 x 2 miles is one of my favorite benchmark workouts for half marathon training. I do it early on in the cycle to ease back into tempo training and then shortly before the race to assess my fitness and goals.
My workout was:
2 miles easy run
2 x 2 miles at tempo (7:22, 7:18; 7:13, 7:15) with 2 minute very easy jog in between
5 minutes easy run
5 x 30 second surges with ~2 minutes easy running in between
I am so proud of this run. After the first tempo mile, I focused on my breathing and avoided looking at my watch as much as possible – I just ran at what felt like a tempo effort. Those splits genuinely surprised me, especially for so early in training.
After the run, I did a quick mobility/light strength routine: clamshells, side lying leg lifts, donkey kicks, fire hydrants, hurdlers, and a variety of leg swings.
Thursday: 3 mile easy run
Ryan and I delayed our morning run too much and didn’t get it in before he had to leave for work. It was just one of those mornings where drinking coffee was far preferable to running early in the morning, especially when we could each run later in the day.
Once the sun rose, I took Charlie out for an easy 3 mile run. I was worried about the cold weather causing him to wheeze, as it can, but he did so well on our run. I love the happy look he gets on his face when he runs!
Friday: 12 mile progression run
For most of my build up for the Lake Sammamish half marathon, I’ll be doing 1 hard workout and one hard long run per week. Every few weeks I’ll do long slow distance runs and two hard workouts per week, but right now this is what feels right for my body and my goals. I don’t want to train super hard (last year I did speed, tempo, and a hard long run some weeks in training).
Progression long runs are one of my favorite workouts for marathon and half marathon training. For this run, I ran 8 miles at a comfortable pace and 4 miles at a moderate pace (marathon pace). But the highlight of the run wasn’t even how fun this workout was: it was seeing the sunrise over Mt. Rainier!
Saturday: 5 mile recovery run + 5 minutes strength training
Ryan, Ollie, Charlie, and I all ran together on Saturday morning. We did approximately 2 miles on the roads and 3 miles on dirt/crushed gravel trails, which is good for both the dogs and for minimizing the impact on a recovery day. After our run, we let the pups off leash so they could sprint it out.
After our run, I did a quick strength routine to meet my weekly goal of 2-3 strength workouts. 2 sets of 20 squats with the med ball and 60 second side planks with running legs were all I did, but that’s certainly better than nothing and fulfilled my strength goal for the week.
The best part about running the dogs is that they both sleep through the rest of the day. Granted, Charlie sleeps at minimum 18 hours per day anyway, but Ollie usually runs around all day leaving chaos (shredded toys and fluff) in his wake.
Sunday: 3 hour snowshoe/hike
Ryan and I wanted to try backcountry snowshoeing, and sunny skies but cold temperatures were the perfect weather for this. We strapped the dogs into their harnesses and snowshoes onto your backpacks and headed out on Pratt Lake Trail. We hiked in our microspikes for most of the trek, but the mile or so we spent snowshoeing off the trail was so fun.
Winter is my favorite season in the mountains.
After almost 9 years of running, with outdoor winter runs in Northwest Indiana, St. Louis, Seattle, and even Germany, I just now was introduced to the glory that is running mittens.
As I mentioned last week, I ordered a pair of Saucony Run Mitts because I was experiencing terribly numb and cold hands both during my runs and in the following hours. I wore these mittens on my Friday and Saturday runs and was so impressed with them. It was 25 degrees on my long run and my hands didn’t go numb at the start, nor did my hands go clammy as I sweated during the harder miles of my run.
What run have you been proud of recently? Please share!
What’s a new piece of gear that you’ve tried?