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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!