Mile Markers: Balancing Act

Mile Markers: Balancing Act

Last week’s workouts started the countdown of one of my final weeks of running in the PNW. We are moving back to Northwest Indiana (Valparaiso, our previous residence) in October! Ryan received an amazing offer for a job in the region. After we visited in July, we realized how much we missed the area – and how much we missed being near our families. While we’ve enjoyed our years out here, we’re excited to return to the Midwest. 

Stress is stress, whether is negative or positive, physical or mental. You need stress in order to adapt and become faster and stronger, but too much stress of any sort and recovery – and therefore adaptations – are compromised. The stress of moving (along with some exciting upcoming changes to my website!) requires me to alter my training – including my fall race plans. We will be back in Indiana before the Snohomish River Run, so I will not be racing that. I’m considering the Valpo Half Marathon the following weekend, but not making any decisions until after the move. 

I pulled the reins back on my training this week in particular. We planned a spontaneous trip to Northwest Indiana, which included a late arrival Friday night at O’Hare. In order to balance the stress of apartment hunting and a whirlwind trip, I scaled back both intensity and mileage from my original plan. If I do race in October, I’d rather slightly undertrained but be able to fully recover and adapt that spread myself to thin.

Mile Markers: Balancing Act

Monday: 7 miles easy

I sometimes marvel at Ollie’s ability to run 7 miles, even at an easy pace and still run around the apartment with an overabundance of energy. Granted, last year at this time I was routinely taking him on 10 mile runs at marathon pace. He finally calmed down later in the afternoon.

Mile Markers: Balancing Act

Tuesday: Tempo & fartlek combo (8 miles) & strength training

This was a really fun workout. Combo workouts are a great option when doing only one hard workout in the week, since they stress multiple systems. A tempo and fartlek combo is especially beneficial for the half marathon since you learn to run fast after grinding for an extended period of time at roughly race pace.

For the tempo part, I added a twist and structured this as a 4-mile cutdown from half marathon pace to 10K pace. I didn’t look at my watch too much; I ran on a 1/2 mile loop and just kept picking up the pace with every couple laps. My splits clocked in at 7:09, 7:06, 6:58, and 6:56. I was surprised and really happy with those splits!

Then came the fun part: after a short recovery jog, I ran 5 x 1 minute hard, 1 minute easy. These intervals were challenging, yet it was also enjoyable to pick up the pace and push a little more outside my comfort zone at the end of a workout.

Wednesday: 6 miles easy 

I took a melatonin the night before, which left me feeling a bit sluggish on my morning run. Ollie was not pleased with our slow pace and was constantly pulling throughout the run. The fall colors are already emerging in Bothell, which seems so early!

Mile Markers: Balancing Act

Thursday: Rest day

In retrospect, I should have done my long run this day! The weather was relatively mild and I had an open calendar. 

Friday: 4 mile progression run

I planned on a 14 mile long run, but that did not happen due to time constraints before our flight. Honestly, it probably worked out for the best that I didn’t do a long run – I ran throughout a heavy downpour, and then we had a late night of arriving in Indiana. 

The run I did complete went surprisingly well, considering that it was raining so heavily that my clothes were drenched and dripping water by the end. Without intending to, I ran a progression run with splits of 7:56, 7:32, 7:21, and 7:09. 

Mile Markers: Balancing Act

Saturday: Rest day

We didn’t arrive in Indiana until 2 AM, so we skipped a morning run in favor of a full night’s sleep. Since Valpo is so walkable, we did go for a few longer walks in the evening. If I can’t run, I’m happy to get in my daily step goal. 

I love the downtown area of Valpo, especially in late summer when all the al fresco dining is open. We enjoyed some beers at the Pour House – a self-serve taproom where you pay by the ounce – and dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. There literally wasn’t a cloud in the sky all day long! 

Sunday: 3 mile easy run 

I was so excited to wake up and see that two of my athletes ran marathon PRs in Berlin – and that the world record had been set! If I ever run one of the World Marathon Majors, I would probably pick Berlin over even Boston or Chicago. I visited several years ago and adored everything about that city – the history, the architecture, the culture, the food, the beer – and the Berlin Marathon always seems so magical. 

Ryan and I ran a short three miles – by 9 AM (we were still on Pacific time), it was 75 degrees and sunny. Not insufferable, but a bit warmer than we are used to. We did two loops along one of the popular paths in two – one of my old favorites. 

Mile Markers: Balancing Act

[Tweet “Last week’s workouts + half marathon training + an exciting MOVE! via @thisrunrecipes”]

Linking up with Weekly Wrap

Which of the World Marathon Majors – Berlin, London, Chicago, NYC, Boston, or Toyko – would you want to run?
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18 Responses

  1. It’s so exciting that you are moving back to the midwest! But I’m sure it’s all pretty stressful. It definitely makes sense to cut back a bit on your workouts right now. Hope all the plans for the move go well!

  2. I’m so happy for both of you! Being close to family makes a huge difference and it sounds like you are really excited to be back in Indiana. And you’re being very smart about adapting for stressors in your training. ALL stress can affect what happens on the road but you obviously already know that 🙂 Good luck with all the prep and keep making time for you!

  3. Strong running! And congrats on the move! I remember really appreciating moving closer to family after years away. But you are so right, stress is stress. Good luck figuring out the best training/ race move.

    I’d love to do Chicago and London next… although Tokyo and Berlin would be amazing too! NYC and Boston are the only majors I’ve done.

  4. I’m so excited for you to move back to the midwest!! You know it’s where all the good people live. Sadly, you’ll have to deal with winter…but it makes life interesting, right?

    I’ve run Chicago 3 times and I’d do it again if my body would let me. More than any of the other majors, I’d give anything to run Boston!

    1. Thank you! We’ll be just about an hour outside of Chicago, which is really exciting! I’m actually looking forward to winter…I thought good riddance when we left, but then slowly I began to miss it. I realized I prefer some blue skies but cold and snow over months of no sunshine and endless cold drizzle. I even got a pair of ice running shoes for my birthday!

  5. WOW I can’t believe you’re moving to this neck of the woods! Welcome back! I’m sure you’ll miss the gorgeous scenery PNW (but maybe not the cost of living, haha), but I agree it is hard living away from family. Unfortunately you’ll have to get used to the humidity and the snowy and icy winters, but, it just makes us tougher runners! 😉 Plus you’ll get more sunshine again!

    I’ve only run one WMM, Chicago, and it was awesome! Flat course, impeccably put-together race, great city! Only downside is that race weather in early October is warm more often than not, and it seems like it’s ALWAYS sunny that day (the 2nd half of the course has ZERO shade). It’s so hard to choose which other one I most want to run, they all seem amazing for their own reasons.

    1. Thank you! We will miss the scenery, although definitely not the cost of living or the traffic! We actually found ourselves missing the snow, since snowy winters can at least be sunny.

  6. Moving definitely adds a lot of stress, but I’m glad it’s an exciting move for you!

    If I ever ran a marathon, there are some smaller marathons that appeal to me more than the majors. But of those, I think I’d choose Berlin or London.

  7. I can relate to your moving stress (and the fact that great news and following dreams can still be stressful.) We’ve been working toward putting our house up for sale to buy another. It definitely has affected my energy level and thus my running. Thankfully, I’m not really training for anything right now. I’ve tried to get into NYC a couple of times. I’d still like to run that major. Good luck with your house hunting! Thanks for linking!

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