Tuesday, December 17, 2013
I'm a day late with this, and am officially into week 3 of training, but I want the record of how I'm doing for myself more than anything, so that when I'm done with this, I can look back and see how it went. Because of that, I wanted to make a point to blog.
So week 2 is officially done, and once again, it went well! It was a crazy busy week for me, since I stage manage my best friend's class dance recital every semester (she's a dance teacher at a high school here), and last week was show week. That meant 4 hour rehearsals every afternoon and performances on Friday and Saturday night, so I had to prioritize getting my workouts in by mid-day. Even so, I made it through, so I'm pretty proud!
Even better, the workouts went well. Monday, I was in a terrible mood and felt the need to move faster and sweat more to kind of work myself out of the funk. Because of that, I decided that doing some speed work was probably a good idea anyway, and I added a 1 mile tempo run in the middle of my planned mileage. What that means for me (since I'm focusing on heart rate and effort more than speed) was that I spent that mile at a heart rate higher than what I plan to do the half marathon, but lower than what I would do a 5K, or right at the cusp of the aerobic and anaerobic zones. I then did Tuesday and Thursday as slower, longer workouts, and then did my planned 5 miles on Saturday. I also did the planned strength training this week, but did miss the yoga on Friday.
The long run bears a little more attention this week, because I was really nervous heading into it. 4 miles the week before wasn't hard for me, but it was also less than half a mile more than a lot of workouts I've done this year. 5 miles was longer than I had gone in nearly 10 years, and I was worried about my ability to maintain my pace over the entire distance. I was also worried that the longer distance would affect my pace adversely, and that I'd find myself even further from my goal pace than I already am.
Fortunately, my worries were completely unfounded on all counts. I was able to jog much more than last week while still keeping my heart rate in check, and I actually ended up doing nearly 5 and a half miles because I wanted to make sure I did at least the 5 I needed to in order to hit my goal this week. I took a gel for the first time this run, and while I probably would have been just fine without it, I'm glad to get the practice and figure out how different factors will affect me mid-workout. I ended the workout on a real high, jogging almost all of the last mile I did with a pace well below my goal half marathon pace (and still at a reasonable heart rate), and for the first time, I really saw that 13.1 miles is entirely possible for me.
So now it's week 3, and I feel like I'm in gear. Today, after an easy aerobic mile, I did another speed workout, but instead of doing a steady tempo run, this time I did intervals for a mile and a half. Basically, I ran at increasing speeds until my heart rate hit about 90% of my max, keep it there for 30 seconds, and then slowed down to a walk until my heart rate recovered to my pre-interval range (about 65% of max). Once my heart rate had steadied out for 30 seconds, I'd push it back up. I ended up being able to do these intervals ever 3-4 minutes for the mile and a half.
The rest of this week looks like last week. Easy 3 miles tomorrow, strength training on Wednesday, easy 3 on Thursday, yoga on Friday, and then 6 miles on Saturday. I'm a little nervous again about the long run this week, but because I finished the way I did last week with inadvertent extra mileage, I know I can do it.
Overall, so far this has been really awesome for me. I'm focused, and I'm having fun. Let's see what week 3 brings!