Mile Markers March 20

Mile Markers: Cutback Week

 This week served as another cutback week from running, as I wanted two weeks of just easy running after the Lake Sammamish Half. The down weeks serve as much as a mental break as they do a physical break. 

Since my mileage was lower, I used the week to reintroduce a strength training regimen. I also just quite simply enjoyed the lower mileage and running for its own sake this week before ramping training up again. I also appreciate the cutback week because it never seemed to stop raining this week until a gloriously sunny day on Sunday.

Starting this week, my goals are to prepare for backpacking season and train for the Snohomish Women’s Run 10K race in early May. I want to place in my age group and I think I stand a decent chance of doing so at this race if I train well. Ryan and I are both working on building back up strength for hiking and backpacking season. Having a strength training partner makes me so much more motivated to go to the gym and devote 30-40 minutes to strength training. 

Monday: 4 miles easy + 40 minutes strength

I didn’t plan out any of my mileage this week – part of a down week for me involves reducing the mental stress of training. I set out with a loose goal – 3-6 miles – and ran in the rain. I ended on 4 miles and that felt nice and easy for the day.

Mile Markers March 20

Monday evenings will be my harder strength workout day, since I usually rest from running on Tuesdays. I used my medicine ball as a weight for most of the moves, except those with the kettlebell. My 15-lb kettlebell feels sufficiently heavy again, which is both good (I can use it again for swings!) and bad (I’ve lost some strength). 

2 x 10 plank pulls with push ups
2 x 15 single leg deadlifts
2 x 10 Bulgarian split squats (these burned!)
2 x 15 single leg bridges
2 x 15 kettlebell swings
2 x 15 kettlebell rows
Random assortment of core work (planks, side planks, etc.) 

Tuesday: 30 minutes Pilates

 I did just a short and simple Pilates magic circle workout – nothing complicated, nothing too hard. I was sore from strength training the evening before! 

Wednesday: 6 mile run

Ollie has been learning how to run well on a leash more and more, so I took him out for a run just the two of us. Running with him on a waist leash intimidates me a bit – he weighs 45 pounds and is strong – but he did so well on our run. He tries to sprint the first mile, but then he calms down. We had a few incidents of him pulling when he saw some ducks or geese (which hissed angrily at us), but other than that I had such a fun time running with him – and he loved the run! 

Mile Markers March 20

Thursday: 3 miles easy + 30 minutes strength

Ryan and I did 3 miles easy before work. Just the previous week, the sun was beginning to rise during our runs, but after Daylight Savings time it was completely dark again. I even forgot to charge the Knuckle Lights after last week’s run. 

Thursday evenings will focus on lighter strength training with the resistance band. I like the variety of two different routines and really enjoy using the resistance bands. My strength workout incorporated some of the exercises from this routine:

2 x 20 resistance band standing rows
2 x 20 banded squats
2 x 20 banded bridges with 20 pulses at the end
2 x 20 banded clamshells
2 x 15 per side reverse flys with the band
2 x 20 lateral band walks
2 x 15 single leg hops: regular, front-to-back, side-to-side
15 knee-in side planks per side

Friday: 5 mile run

I set out for 4-7 miles and just wasn’t having an “on” day. This run wasn’t awful, but I just felt the fatigue of strength training and the week as a whole. But, it was beautifully green out on my run – perfect for St. Patrick’s Day! We celebrated with Irish stouts and corned beef with cabbage before meeting up with some friends. The corned beef we had was amazing – I could have eaten a whole bowl of that cabbage alone. 

Mile Markers March 20

Saturday: Rest Day

This week was dividend week for REI members, so we went downtown to shop at the flagship store. I got a few new Patagonia running clothes and a Hydroflask. The Patagonia Capiliene layers are some of my favorite running tops right now. Their tanks were a bit too blousy and loose for my taste, but their base layers are fantastic – silky soft and breathable – and they are certified fair trade. 

Sunday: 25 minute trail run

Ryan and I originally planned on going snowboarding, but the weather was so beautiful that we decided to take advantage of the lack of rain. After over a week of rain, brilliantly blue skies and sunshine were incredibly rejuvenating. We spent more of the day outside, including a trail run and picnic at a local state park. I wish I could just bundle up this sunshine for the next week stretch of rain.

Mile Markers March 20

We heard from many people, including some of my coaching clients, that St. Edward State Park had great runs for trail running. We took the dogs for a run with us, and Ollie was ecstatic over everything, from the running to the water. We ran along a short loop that dipped down to the shores of Lake Washington and then climbed 400 feet over half of a mile. I was huffing and puffing up that hill! The trails were crowded with hikers due to the nice weather and free State Park entry for the day, so we had to stop a few times and only covered 2 miles. But the focus wasn’t mileage or speed, just taking the pups out of some time on the trails. 

How was your week in running?

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16 Responses

  1. Looks like a great week. Its always nice to have weeks where you don’t plan out your mileage as much. Nice job with picking up the strength training! Sunny days are so amazing after its been raining/cloudy non-stop.

    1. Thank you! I am getting really excited for there not to be snow in the mountains! Which will still be another 6-8 weeks from now, but still – winter was fun while it lasted, but now it’s spring!

  2. I love the mental break of the cut back weeks, too, and am looking forward to an easy week or two post race. Last week was the perfect week to be tapering here, with the giant snow storm we got hit with! We had off school for two days and impossible running conditions!

  3. What a great week and I’m so glad the sun finally came out for you!! I do a ton of those banded exercises, clamshells, etc to keep my IT and hamstrings happy. They are so boring but I make myself do them at least 3 x a week!

    1. Thank you! I think somehow the exercises we need to do to keep the muscles happy are the most boring. I don’t mind the banded exercises, but I find my foot and calf exercises to be so boring!

  4. my new favorite workout day is a 30 minute pure barre (strength)/3 mile run. it’s such a great combo without overtaxing myself, you know? last week was kinda bleh but I really can’t complain too much. looking forward to spring!

  5. Yeah!!! You had a phenomenal week!! So glad you ran around St Edward State Park. I would like to get back there, soon!! Looking forward to hopefully seeing you at SWR, too!! And this rain….building our mental toughness, right?!

  6. Ooooh nice job on your strength stuff. That state park was a great idea yesterday! I mean, snowboarding would have been nice too with the sunshine but didn’t it feel amazing to not be freezing cold for once?!?! The sun was magical.

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