This week’s training was all about easing: easing back into mileage and long runs, easing back into speed work, and easing into winter running. We had cold weather in December, but this week was downright frigid (for the area!).
My body definitely felt the difference between weeks of 3-5 mile easy runs and a week of 30 mile half marathon training. I waited the appropriate amount of time before pushing pace or mileage, so I think it’s a combination of the cold and that first week back into training that left everything feeling a bit more difficult than normal.
I know I just ran CIM at the start of December, but I couldn’t resist running the Lake Sammamish Half Marathon again. I broke 1:40 at last year’s race and enjoyed the race so much. After Lake Sammamish in early March, I plan on focusing on base building again and take an off-season in the summer.
Monday: Rest Day
My body felt the effects of snowboarding and falling on my butt and knees repeatedly from the previous day, so a rest day was the best thing to do to start my half marathon training. This was one of those serious rest days – my Garmin repeatedly buzzed at me to walk, but I just embraced the last lazy day of Christmas break.
Tuesday: 5 mile easy run & Pilates
A cold snap hit Seattle and it was 22 degrees with a wind chill of 15 when I went on my run. I’ve become soft to the cold after living in the Pacific Northwest for a couple years. Back in Northwest Indiana, 22 degrees would be a welcome respite this time of year.
Thankfully, I had some new winter running gear to keep me warm. I got a Buff for Christmas, and it may just be one of the best pieces of winter running gear I’ve tried. I kept it over my mouth and nose for the first mile so the air warmed up a bit as my lungs adjusted to the cold.
I find that incorporating the magic circle into Pilates workouts elevates them from a core workout to a total body strength work.
Wednesday: 7 mile tempo run
Exactly one month out from CIM and I ran my first speed workout since the race. The first speed work back after down time is never easy for me, so I didn’t place high expectations of this workout. My goals was to get it done as best as I could and tune into my effort rather than pace on the run.
My workout was: 20 minute warm up, 2 x 10 minutes at tempo effort with 3 minutes easy recovery, then 4 x 30 second surges as I cooled down to 7 miles. I averaged 7:21/mile for the work intervals, so overall I was really pleased with this workout.
Thursday: 3 mile treadmill run & 30 minute strength and mobility training
The good (read: ice-free) running trails are too far away from our current apartment for early morning runs and large icy patches throughout our complex and surrounding neighborhood made it not safe for running in the dark. So Ryan and I took to the treadmills, which was timely after the Treadmill Workouts for Runners round up.
I chose Allie’s hill workout and kept my pace at a comfortable clip to keep this an “easy” run. Easy being relative because running up a 6% incline is rarely easy, but the constant change of the incline in this workout made the treadmill so much more comfortable, both mentally and physically, for me.
I want to structure my strength training slightly differently in 2017. In addition to getting in 2-3 sessions per week, I want to dedicate 5-10 minutes of a strength training session to mobility work. I did a set of the Myrtl routine, then did a medicine ball workout with single leg deadlifts, squats, single leg bridges, pull overs, and push ups. I finished with core work and foam rolling.
Friday: 10 mile long run
My car thermometer read 18 degrees, which would make this my coldest long run ever. Back in Indiana, by the time it was this cold, there was a thick layer of snow and ice on the ground. This run wasn’t easy, but it was still a good run overall. My handheld water bottle froze and I felt like my muscles had limited mobility and power (especially on the hills!), but I made it through my first long run back after CIM.
My scheduled workout included the last 2 miles at a moderate effort (approximately marathon pace). I wasn’t sure if I could hit this pace after how brutal the final 100-foot hill felt, but somehow I managed to complete those miles in 7:58 and 7:52.
Usually, my Mizuno gloves keep my hands, but my hands were so cold even after this run that when I greeted Ollie upon arriving home, the poor pup jumped and pinned his ears back at how cold my hands were. I have absolutely no temperature regulation in my hands: in 35 and above, gloves are too warm, but once it dips below 30-35, my hands turn into blocks of ice.
I ordered some Saucony running mitts based on Angela’s recommendation. Even if Seattle warms up, we are planning a trip to Bend, OR in February and we just can’t go to Bend and not run, even if it is cold outside!
Saturday: 5 mile easy run
A few degrees warmer made all the difference on this run! Ryan, Ollie, and I ran 5 hilly miles together at a comfortable pace. Ryan and I have reached a point where we have the same easy day running pace, although I don’t think of us will ever reach the pace that Ollie wants to run on every run.
I probably would have cut this run short if not for Ryan, since I was feeling pretty stiff from hitting my highest mileage since early December. As with most runs, I felt so much better once I got two miles in.
Ryan and I had our third and final snowboarding lesson. We spend two hours going down green slopes (and, for me, falling and getting back up at least twice per slope) with our instructor and one hour on our own. It was bitterly cold and windy, but so much fun again. And someday I’m going to master those turns. Someday.
One of my culinary goals for the new year was to finally make my own sourdough starter (and to get it right this time). Making starter means discarding a bit of the batter each day…which means daily baking! I cooked these sourdough waffles (using King Arthur Flour White Whole Wheat), which kept us energized for snowboarding on Sunday. Thanks to the overnight sponge, they weren’t a pain to make the morning – they probably came together in a matter of 15-20 minutes. (Not the best photo, but our apartment’s lighting is not the best in the morning!)
How do you handle the cold weather on your runs?
How was your week of running?
When do you take an off-season from racing?