I hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing Memorial Day weekend! May we be grateful for those who sacrificed their lives for our nation.
Summer temperatures have arrived in Seattle, which means that some mornings it’s already warm by 8 AM. I realize that some of my coaching clients and readers probably dream about running in 60 degree temperatures, but I prefer those crisp, cool mornings in the 40s. The combination of crisp weather and sunrise by 5:15 AM, and I can’t resist chasing after that lingering sunrise on my morning runs.
I haven’t done formal speedwork since the Snohomish Women’s Run 10K since I find that a break from hard running for a few weeks helps me continue to improve without burnout. This week my legs and mind felt the urge to pick up the pace again. I didn’t do any tempo runs or fartlek workouts, but I did sneak some faster miles in there. It felt good to pick up the pace again!
Monday: 7 mile progression run & 35 minutes strength training
This was the one morning this week that I ran after 7 AM. Due to the warmer temperatures, I opted for an effort-based out-and-back progression run. The 3.5 miles out were done at an easy pace and the 3.5 miles back were increasing harder until I finished near half marathon effort with 7:39 and 7:40 for the last 2 miles. The route lent well to this as it featured rolling hills with a net elevation gain of 200 feet over the first half – which meant that, minus a couple small climbs, the second half was net downhill.
My goal is to get more comfortable on this rolling hill route so that I can use it for marathon pace runs during training for CIM this fall. If I can hold marathon pace over Seattle’s hills, Sacramento’s hills feel almost imperceptible in comparison.
For strength training, I used the kettlebell and stability ball routine. Those two pieces of equipment never cease to kick my butt in a workout.
2 x 10 single leg deadlift with kettlebell row (per leg)
2 x 2 Turkish get up
3 x 10 kettlebell swing
3 x 10 kettlebell goblet squat
2 x 8 stability ball pike
2 x 12 hamstring ball curl
2 x 10 stability ball deadbug
Tuesday: 4 mile run & 15 minutes Pilates
Ryan and I took both dogs out on our easy morning run, so our run involved multiple puppy potty breaks. Meanwhile, Charlie decided that he was the alpha dog of the trail, marked everything he could, attempted to out-race Ollie, and barked at other dogs four times his size. Thankfully, it wasn’t as warm as it was on Monday’s run!
Later, I did a quick Pilates workout with a focus on core, hips, and legs, followed by 20 pushups and standing banded leg raises (30 side and 30 back per leg).
Wednesday: 7 mile run
I’ve been enjoying running early in the mornings with Ryan so much that I decided to try to tack on extra miles before our run, rather than run by myself or just with Ollie. Hour-long runs also tire out Ollie, who has turned into a block of muscle. I ran 3 miles with Ollie and then met up with Ryan.
Getting out 25 minutes early meant catching a stellar sunrise, with the fluffy whites breaking away to brilliantly blue skies over the course of the hour.
Thursday: 4 mile run
Both dogs joined us again on this run, so we kept the pace comfortable and relaxed. Thursdays always need to be relaxed runs for me, unless I need to squeeze in a long run early. Maybe it’s the fatigue of the week catching up, but Thursday never feel like a day to push the pace or distance.
Friday: 4 mile run
Ryan and I treated this run as an out-and-back progression run, just like Monday’s workout. The first 2 miles were comfortable – 8:45 and 8:38 – and the second 2 miles were at a steady moderate clip – 8:11 and 7:45. That 7:45/mile felt so much easier than it did on Monday – it’s amazing the difference that 10 degrees cooler can make!
We had every intention to strength train after work but instead skipped the workout. Strength training will always be my weak point, especially in summer when I’d rather just spend all of my time outside.
Saturday: 8 mile run & core work
Ollie, Ryan, and I initially headed out for a 7 mile run, but we decided instead to add an extra mile because we were enjoying the run so much. The temperatures were warm again, as we started our run at about 7:30 AM, so we brought water for Ollie to drink and to dump over his head. His thick black coat means that he needs extra time to adapt to the warm weather (I don’t know what my excuse is!).
We saw a snake along the boardwalk on during the last mile, poking its head out through a crack. I do not like snakes one bit, but thank goodness the only snake this side of the Cascades are garter snakes. I rationed this is a justification to run earlier in the morning on Saturdays!
Sunday: 8 mile hike, 2000 feet elevation gain
Finally, our first longer hike of the season! We hiked to Lake Serene in Stevens Pass, which is a favorite early-season hike with us. There’s a shorter, more popular hike that starts from the same trailhead and shares the first 2 miles of trail. Apparently, everyone in Seattle decided to hike there, so we had to park away from the trailhead even though we arrived just shortly after 9 AM.
The hike was so fun – and surprisingly, didn’t feel as hard as I anticipated. Being in running shape can be so different than being in hiking shape. Don’t get me wrong – the 1300 feet elevation gain over the last 1.5 miles definitely raised my heart rate up, but overall this hike felt really good. And it’s always well worth the effort for the views!
How was your week in running?
Do you chase sunrises or sunsets on your runs?