Mile Markers: Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 4

Mile Markers: Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 4

This week provided the one full week of training on a normal schedule between our holiday trip to Saint Louis and Ryan’s and my vacation to London. Instead of feeling like a week back into routine, this felt more like a rest week between travel, a pause button on living out of suitcases (um, and I didn’t completely unpack, because we’re just going to pack again in a couple days!). 

With this week, I have already complete the first month and phase my training for the Lake Sammamish Half Marathon. Next week shifts from the introductory to fundamental phase, which will feature harder long runs, longer tempo runs at half marathon pace, and increasingly harder speed work. I have a time trial on Tuesday to determine my goal pace for the race. 

Before I delve into my training recap, I want to take some time to recommend Heather from FitAspire’s coaching services. If you’re at all interested in learning about marketing for your coaching business, you should sign up for her January seminar, which is now open for registration!

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training: Week 4

Mile Markers: Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 4

(New to This Runner’s Recipes? Catch up with my training recaps from Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3.)

Monday: AM: 6 miles on the treadmill with 8 x 1 minute hill repeats at 5K pace; PM: 15 minute Pilatesology workout

I did not enjoy this run, but I still got to run and for that I’m grateful. There was ice and slush on the ground in the morning after our first snow of the season (which totaled all of less than an inch), so my ever-cautious tendencies kept me inside on the treadmill.

The reason I did not enjoy this run was that I did this workout wrong. My training plan called for hill repeats at 5K effort. If I had run outside, I could have intuitively gauged that effort. Since I was on the treadmill, I simply ran the intervals at my 5K pace, which is harder than 5K effort when done on an incline. I rationalized that for such a short interval, effort versus pace would not make a difference, but it in fact did. Needless to say, I had to slow down for the last four intervals and cut the run a mile short. Runs like these provide valuable lessons both for my own training and for my work as a coach, which is why I’m teaching myself to welcome bad runs and less than ideal workouts. 

Mile Markers: Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 4

Tuesday: 7 mile easy run, 8:39/mile average pace

Nothing beyond the ordinary for this run: I ran an easy 7 miles in some light Seattle rain along the river. It’s the simple little joys—the joy of the movement of running, the joy of fresh air—that made this run a great run.

It barely feels like January here in Seattle. Yes, there have been a few icy days when rain from the day before freezes overnight, but the fact that it’s rainy and not snowing amazes my born-and-raised Midwestern concept of winter. When Ryan and I lived in Northwest Indiana (which is where he grew up, we both did our undergrad, and we lived for our first year of marriage), we were lucky to have this pleasant of weather in March. 

Mile Markers: Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 4

Wednesday: AM: 8 mile treadmill run with 2 x 15 minutes at tempo pace, PM: 20 minute kettlebell workout

Another icy morning (I nearly slipped just walking 50 feet to my complex’s gym), so I took my tempo run to the treadmill. I ran 2 easy miles to warm up, then ran my intervals at a 7:30/mile pace, so each interval covered exactly 2 miles. This run felt really good, especially considering I did it on the treadmill. 

While running, I listened to another fantastically done and thought-provoking Runner’s Connect podcast. Suzy mentioned the Dick Beardsley episode last week. I thought I had already listened to it, but I realized I had somehow missed it when I went to start a podcast (who knows what podcast I thought I had listened to then). You should really listen to this podcast for yourself; what really reverberated with me was the advice he gave: “When you wake in the morning—do it with a smile on your face, enthusiasm in your voice, joy in your heart, and faith in your soul.” I know on this blog I tend to gloss over any negative aspects and focus on the good, but this sentiment captures exactly why: I want to embrace an attitude of joy, gratitude, and happiness. 

Thursday: AM: 5 mile recovery run, 9:20/mile average pace; PM: Upper body weight lifting and 15 minute Pilatesology workout

The roads were a bit slick again on Thursday morning, but after two treadmill runs this week I wanted to enjoy the fresh air. Fortunately, my favorite multi-use trail parallels an equestrian trail, so when I found the main path too slippery, I ran on the soft gravel trail (seldom are people riding their horses on the trail on weekday mornings). I now understand why so many people love trail running—the soft surface enhanced the recovery goal of my run and it was fun to run on a more rugged trail!

Mile Markers: Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 4

I skipped my hill sprints after this run (for the second week in a row, nonetheless). I simply didn’t want to sprint up and down an icy hill. Next week I plan to include them, since I know they are so beneficial in building explosive strength and speed. 

Friday: 12 mile long run, 8:32/mile average pace

I will be publishing a more detailed post on how I’m improving my fueling and hydration, but I made some changes to how I do my long runs. I wanted to run later to avoid any slick spots, so I ate a bit of a bigger pre-run snack than usual and ran mid-morning. This combination, along with EnduroPacks electrolyte spray, kept me feeling energetic and hydrated on my long run. 

Mile Markers: Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 4

In terms of pacing, I kept this run at a comfortable pace. I really didn’t care if I ended up going an 8:00 min/mile or a 10:00 min/mile, but my body naturally settled into an 8:30-8:40/mile pace. 

Saturday: 4 mile hike, 2 hours

Just when we think we’ve mastered PNW hiking enough, we have a hike like this one. We intended to take Charlie on an easy hike at Talapus and Olallie Lakes, except snow covered the entire road from the trailhead to the highway. Dozens of cars lined the road as snowshoers were enjoying the powder, so we attempted to hike to the trailhead as well. We learned exactly why people have snowshoes: deep snow is hard to hike through!

Even though we sunk knee-deep into the snow almost every other step, this hike was so much fun! We stopped to let Charlie frolic in the snow and chase snowballs a few time. And then we went to REI and purchased proper microspikes while pondering buying snowshoes, because we’re both outdoor endurance junkies, especially in the winter.

Mile Markers: Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 4

Sunday: 7 mile run with Ryan

Ryan and I headed out to my trail to run together on Sunday, with no set distance. We ended up running 7 miles, which is the farthest Ryan’s run in nearly four years. I’m so proud of him, and we had such a fun run together! We stopped halfway through to eagle watch, and after waiting a few minutes, we did see an eagle! 

Yes, those are still my good old Pure Flow 3 shoes in a lot of the photos! They make my feet happy. I bought three pairs when they went on sale last year because I love them so much. Right now it’s the same situation with my Pure Connect 4, which Brooks is completely discontinuing. 

Run: 45 miles | Hike: 4 miles | 3 supplemental workouts

Do you have any recommendations of where to run or eat in London?
How do you respond to a workout gone wrong?
Has it snowed where you live?
Do you stockpile your favorite running shoes or enjoy trying updates or new shoes?


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24 Responses

  1. I just got a pair of the Pureflow 4s on sale, even though I have way too many pairs of running shoes right now!
    That trail looks like a great option for recovery runs and to avoid slippery spots.
    I am going to try to think about any recommendations for London- its been SO long that I really don’t remember places off the top of my head, but I do have a scrapbook/journal from my time abroad so I can see if I made note of any good places in there!

    1. How did the Pureflows 4s feel/work? I know the 5s are heavier (about 1 oz/foot) so I’m wondering if it’s worth stocking up! And thank you so much for the London recommendations – I really appreciate it!

  2. Great week despite the less than stellar conditions! And get snowshoes. You won’t regret it! I’m hoping to do some snowshoe racing this year. Although all of our snow melted over the weekend. Strange weather!!

    1. That’s strange weather indeed! Snowshoe racing sounds so fun! Do you have a brand of snowshoes you recommend? We’re looking at the MSR ones, since they seem to be the most popular, but I honestly don’t know the first thing about selecting snowshoes.

  3. I hate when shoe companies change or discontinue a shoe, bleh! Mizuno did that with a shoe I liked (Wave Precision), and I stocked up but I didn’t find another shoe I liked better until I changed brands to New Balance (Fresh Foam Zante). Hope you can get some good miles out of your PureConnects!

    You had a great week of training, way to get it done in that cold weather. I don’t blame you to skip hill sprints and move workouts around though- safety first.

    1. Thank you! That’s frustrating about your Mizuno’s! I have an unused pair for PureConnects that I’m trying not to open until June, so I can have them fresh for my marathon if I race in them.

  4. I’m so spoiled living where I do. Yes, I complain about the cold (and it is down into the 30s!), but I don’t have to deal with snow, ice, or slush. Great job getting it done.

    You just have to move on from a workout gone wrong. And learn from the experience, of course. I just say good on you for getting a workout done on the treadmill! I probably would have used the bad weather to go back to bed 🙂

    1. It’s spoiling living in Seattle as well – the ice seems like a rare thing, and usually cold is only down into the 30s – which is much better than into the negative 20s where I used to live! And thank you! 🙂

  5. Great week of training, Laura! You sure have a dynamic plan that I am sure will payoff on race day for you! I like to try out new models of shoes within limits. If I know I’ve liked something, I am more open to trying the latest model. I am one to wear 2-3 pairs of running shoes at the same time and rotate so I have some room to try things out I guess ;-). We got 3 inches on snow on top of the 5 we had and today its 1 degree with a -6 degree wind chill! Yikes. Treadmill it was this morning! Have a great Monday!

  6. OMG you’re going to LONDON!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t believe it came up this fast! I remember when you had first told us about it. SO EXCITING! That hike sounds brutal. Your quads must get such a killer workout trying to walk through that deep snow. Incredible!

    I only, I mean ONLY wear Asics Nimbus. Well, I race in NB but Nimbus for everything else.

    1. And you’re going to Tuscon!!! It’s a big week of traveling adventures for us both 🙂 And the hike was brutal – I definitely felt it in my legs yesterday and this morning! Silly snow.

  7. The weather has been throwing me a curveball, too. Ice is so obnoxious because there’s nothing you can do about it and you don’t always know when you go out for a run if it’s going to be there and where it’s going to be. But, if this is going to happen I’m glad this is happening early on in my training so I have more time to adjust to it before my harder, more important workouts later on.

    I had a workout gone bad this week. I took it pretty hard for a while but then I just put it in perspective and let it go. Runners overthink and overanalyze everything; it’s a habit I’m working hard to break free from. Our brains are hardwired to focus on the negative, so it takes a lot of practice to get out of that habit, but it’s definitely helped me just to try. Bad workouts happen to everyone. We just have to move on and do better next time.

    1. The threat of ice certainly makes trail running tempting, doesn’t it? At least all the ice will (knock on wood because last year I think we got snow in March when we still lived Indiana) be gone by the time your training gets demanding, as you said. Right now at least it’s good for building mental toughness!
      And I hear you on overanalyzing. I’m working on being more intuitive in my training and just enjoying running while working hard, but it’s hard for numbers/data people like us! But those changes will only work to improve us.

  8. I actually work at a running store and the Pure Flow 5s just came out. They are pretty good and in my opinion, a lot better than the 4s. I hope they are good to you too. Sadly they did disconnect the Pure connect which is surprising because it had a lot of followers!

    I don’t stock pile shoes anymore because I figure I’ll be able to find something new eventually.

    1. That’s good to hear about the 5s! I saw them at REI this weekend and also noticed that the new Launch 3s look really good and light. Hopefully they come out with something to replace the Connect (which I heard at the Brooks store they would), because that was my favorite!

  9. Bad runs happen and make us stronger! When I have a less than fabulous run, I either go with it by reducing pace and making it an easy run, or, if I can’t feel in my bones that this run shouldn’t happen, I usually call it quits. Those types of runs are usually when I am on the treadmill having an off day which works out well because I simply switch to the elliptical machine….I do buy my running shoes in bulk when they are on sale or endangered.

    1. I like your tip about making it an easy run to reducing the pace – I started to do that too late because I am so darn stubborn. It’s good advice, though, especially because listening to our bodies is so important for healthy and happy running!

  10. A workout gone wrong? I just move on and hope for a better one the next time. We all have them, right? I’m starting to get the itch to run again, and my foot isn’t really all that better. We’ll see. I need to make that appt for ART. I just keep putting it off because I know how painful that will be!

  11. Thanks for the podcast tecommendation! I also like to focus on the positive, so it sounds like something I’d love. Usually I love and am excited for my runs, but this past week I had a really bad run that shook my confidence. I think my confidence and positivity are finally back though. 🙂

    1. I hope you enjoy the podcast! And I’m glad to hear your confidence is coming back after a series of bad runs. Those runs can be rough but it’s overcoming them that makes us mentally stronger!

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