Mile Markers: Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 7

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 7

February, already? January flew by for Ryan and I, thanks to our trips to St. Louis and London, and suddenly it’s February. I have just over one month until the Lake Sammamish half, Lent starts in only a few days (wasn’t it just Christmas?), and my mom comes to visit us again this month! 

I’m getting hungry for a half marathon PR. The Lake Sammamish Half is a popular race in the Seattle area for running a PR, since it’s flat and the temperatures are usually in the 40s-50s in early March. As my training progresses, I can taste a sub-1:40 and I really, really want it. Now more than ever in training, with only five weeks to go, it is the time to put in the hard work! 

New to the blog? Catch up on Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, and Week 6 of my training!

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 7



Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 7

Monday: AM: 7 miles with a 1-2-3-2-1-2-3 fartlek, 8:08/mile average pace; PM: 20 minutes of Pilates

Monday’s workout featured Hudson’s trademark fartlek run, which provided a challenging VO2max workout without producing too much fatigue. I enjoyed this workout and the hour passed by quickly. I averaged a 6:40-6:45/mile pace for most of the intervals, with the last one creeping into the 6:30’s. 

Also, this was my only outdoor run this week that for which it wasn’t raining. I don’t mind running in the rain, but I certainly savor those few and far between clear days during rainy season. The beautiful sunrise made this run even more enjoyable.

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 7

I took a bit of a break from Pilates last week, so I was excited to do some more Pilatesology workouts. I combined two ten-minute workouts and focused on maintaining proper Pilates form. If anything, Pilates is fantastic for improving my running form, especially if I pay close attention to my form in Pilates. I finished with some pushups to further improve my posture and build upper body strength.

Tuesday: AM: 5 mile easy run, 9:10/mile pace; PM: 20 minutes of Pilates

I intended to run 6-7 miles, but traffic was AWFUL (even for the Eastside of Seattle, which has notoriously bad traffic because of Boeing, Microsoft, and Nintendo) and it took me twice as long as normal to drive to the trail. But once I was on the road, I was committed! I was feeling a bit under the weather still and knew that fresh air instead of a stuffy gym would help me feel my best. However, by the time I arrived at the trail, I was hungry (I run before breakfast) and it was raining, so I did only an easy five mile run and switched between the multi-use asphalt trail and the softer gravel trail.

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 7

Pilates felt so rejuvenating the previous day that I rolled out my mat again on Tuesday evening, rather than lift weights. I did a 15 minute intermediate Pilatesology video and then 5 minutes of some of my favorite Pilates moves, including more Pilates pushups. 

Wednesday: 9 mile run with 6 miles at goal half marathon pace (7:31/mile average)

I woke up barely able to speak, but since I wasn’t coughing and the congestion wasn’t in my chest, I decided to do my workout anyway. I altered my route to ensure I was never more than a couple miles from my car in case I just wasn’t up to running, but thankfully the run actually improved how I felt.

After an easy two mile warm up, I increased my speed until I was at half marathon effort (slightly easier than tempo effort) and sustained that for six miles. For a few miles I ran with a headwind and focused on keeping my effort even, which is great practice for race day. My splits were 7:20, 7:24, 7:34, 7:37, 7:37, and 7:33. Most importantly, the effort never felt too demanding and I finished feeling as if I could have continued at that pace for several more miles.


Also, the temperatures crept into the 50s by 7 AM, which meant I wore shorts on my run! 

Thursday: 5 mile recovery treadmill run, 9:29/mile; PM: 20 minutes of Pilates

I trudged along slowly for this run. I was still feeling a bit under the weather and it was raining rather hard outside, so I figured a treadmill workout would be ideal. Unless I have one of my anti-treadmill fits like I did a few months ago, I enjoy having at least one treadmill run a week to mix up my running surfaces, like Meredith discussed in her post on the benefits of treadmill running

For my evening Pilates, I did an intermediate Pilatesology video followed by a short standing toning ring workout, which was similar to a barre workout.

Friday: 14 mile long run, 8:29/mile

It was rainy (surprise, surprise) and I still had a bit of congestion, so I had to use every trick I’d use on a coaching client to get myself out the front door. I essentially bribed myself with a hot shower and chocolate afterwards and told myself if I felt awful after five miles, I could just turn around, finish with ten, and call it day.

Sometimes my body seems to take five or six miles to get comfortable on a long run. Those first few miles didn’t feel great, but they did not feel bad either. At mile 6 I switched onto a parallel gravel trail for a couple miles, since the Lake Sammamish race has a few segments of gravel trail and I want to prepare my mind and muscles. Honestly, the gravel trails are fun! 

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 7

All of those progression runs I did are clearly paying off, as each of my final few mile splits were progressively faster even though I wasn’t significantly increasing my effort. I finished at my equivalent goal marathon pace and felt as if I could have ran for several more miles, although after two hours I was glad to get out of the rain. 

Saturday: 3.5 mile hike, 500 foot elevation gain

We opted for an easier hike for this weekend, since both of us were just finally getting over our colds. The snow adds a fun challenge and a new beauty to many of the popular tourist hikes while deterring the crowds, so we took advantage of the snowy weather to hike at Franklin Falls.

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 7

The waterfall was beautiful in winter, but the spray from the fall was cold! We didn’t spend long at the falls because it was so cold and wet (not to mention that it snowed for the entire duration of the hike). The snow was already several feet deep, so once we were on flatter ground we let Charlie loose for puggle playtime.

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 7

Sunday: Rest Day

We enjoyed a short walk through the wine valley, but other than that Sunday was spent relaxing and recovering.

After how perpetually fatigued Hansons rendered me during training for the Portland Marathon, I am appreciating and enjoying Hudson’s workouts. I’m not directly following his plan (I relied his workouts and then scheduled the easy runs and weekly mileage based on my own preferences) but his philosophy is you should always finish a workout feeling as if you could do another mile or rep at that pace. 

Run: 40 miles | Hike: 3.5 | 3 supplementary workouts

How was your week of running?
How do you set a time goal for an upcoming race?
Do you run when you’re sick?
I do if it’s only a head cold, but not if it’s a stomach virus or anything with chest congestion. Please rest if any of your symptoms are below your throat! 

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24 Responses

  1. It’s crazy that you can go running where its 50 degrees and then go hiking where it’s snowing! You kind of have the best of both worlds:) My runs were indoors last week and mileage was much lower because of the blizzard, but it was kind of a nice break. I figured if I back off a bit now I will be really itching to run more when the weather clears up and it starts to get warmer out!

    1. It is! it boggles my mind even more that there’s a coast just a few miles away and a rainforests just a ferry ride away. I bet backing off a bit while get you so excited for winter running, and make you so ready to train harder – I think winter breaks are as good for the body as the brain!

  2. Since sicknesses are going around, there have been several client discussions about what to do when sick and having a training schedule. I will run myself if it is above the neck. Below the neck, no–I like being able to breathe and not feel like I’m going to pass out!

  3. I don’t get sick often, but if it is something light I will run through it and just take it easier if I need to (i.e. no workout/speed/shorter long run). If I had chest issues, wheezing, or tummy troubles (especially that!) I would def. take a day off though.

    I think you can definitely go sub-1:40 especially based on your tempo run. To me, tempo runs are the best indication of overall fitness for a half marathon compared to say, intervals, or the length/speed of long run (I do my long runs fairly easy anyway). Plus I’ve followed your training and seen your progression, hopefully race day will work out in your favor, weather wise, and you can snag it :). Good luck!

    1. Thank you so much! Hopefully the weather is nice. I’m worried a bit about wind or rain, but then again I train in wind or rain more days than not. At least it won’t be hot!

  4. I’m so jealous that you are running outdoors in shorts! That is not happening over here for a while (sad face). Great week of training! I also will run through a head cold but not an stomach/flu sicknesses. That’s just bad news, ha! My week of running was a good one and I scaled back on my pace a bit later in the week and did more easy runs with my marathon relay on Saturday. It sure is a difference experience running 800s than consistent miles! Hope you’re week is off to a great start!

    1. Thank you! Your marathon relay sounded so funny, but I imagine 800s were quite a different experience. Hopefully it warms up a bit in Wisconsin soon! I hope you have a great Monday! 🙂

    1. Thank you! It’s funny and so relative – I always think that Seattle is making me soft when it comes to running in the cold, because it never gets as cold here as it did where I used to live in the Midwest (and would run inside all of January). But the rain really can be cold here!

  5. I usually run through anything, except fever or stomach flus but I haven’t had that stuff in years. It’s been a bad season of viruses this year though. I had strep last week and now I feel like I’m getting something else on top of that and I’m not even done my antibiotics yet!! ARGGHHHH. Great job on your runs last week. I’m looking forward to your half marathon!

    1. Don’t get even more sick! I once had strep that transformed into bronchitis, and it was two weeks of sick. Hopefully your antibiotics kick in soon! And thank you so much!

  6. I almost never get sick – the last time I got really ill was two years ago when I came home from El Salvador with a random ear infection. Did not run through that, since I could barely even get out of bed and spent that whole first day in a deep sleep. I think in training I would run through anything with the “above the head” rule but if I’m not training, I’d probably just stay in unless I REALLY wanted to run.

    Great week of workouts! You’ve been working so hard and I really think you are going to nail this PR. You deserve it and you have so much speed in you! I hope I can get some of these workouts when I train with you later this summer – they sound fun!

    1. An ear infection would not be fun to run with – I imagine it would throw off your equilibrium as well and cause balance issues while running! And thank you! I’m definitely noting some of these workouts, especially the multi-pace ones and fartleks, for training you and other clients – they are so fun and so effective!

    1. Knock on wood! I usually don’t get sick, but the girl behind me on our ten hour flight from London was coughing and sneezing the whole time, so I think that’s what did me in. And thank you!

  7. Running with a cold and in the rain would be tough, so congrats on knocking out great workouts!the snowy waterfall looks gorgeous. I haven’t gotten out for a hike lately because my husband’s been working overtime on the weekends, and I miss it!

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