Mile Markers: Running for Fun

Mile Markers: Running for Fun

This past week was all about having fun with my running. I start a brief 4-week sharpening phase for the Snohomish Women’s Run 10K this week, complete with all sorts of challenging workouts like 1K, 1 mile, and 2K repeats at goal 10K pace and several 3K-5K pace speed workouts. Those workouts hurt just thinking about them, so I picked workouts that sounded fun to me this week. 

Mile Markers: Running for Fun

Monday: 7 mile tempo run & 30 minutes strength training

I had a bit of fun with my workouts this week, since I don’t start sharpening up for the 10K until next week and I don’t want to do traditional speed workouts for the 10K. My strength is tempo runs, not short and fast repeats. I tried this new-to-me workout from Brad Hudson’s Run Faster from the 5K to Marathon that began at marathon pace and finished at 10K pace. 

I started a bit too fast on the marathon pace segment, so I kept it a bit conservative on the half marathon segment. For the 10K segment, I focused on my breathing and aimed for what felt harder than half marathon pace but not as hard as mile repeats. I was pleasantly surprised by that pace, but the real test will be when the longer repeats at 10K pace begin next week. 

The workout:
2 mile warm up (8:40, 8:19)
30 minute cutdown tempo run (no rest in between):
10 minutes at marathon pace (7:48/mile)
10 minutes at half marathon pace (7:30/mile)
10 minutes at 10K pace (7:05/mile)
1 mile cool down (8:55) 
I wanted to mix up my strength training a bit, so I utilized my kettlebell for my evening workout. I think the key for me in strength training is NOT using dumbbells – medicine balls, kettlebells, and resistance bands keep it interesting for me. 
2 x 15 kettlebell swings
2 x 12 single leg deadlifts
2 x 10 Bulgarian split squats with offset push press (per side)
2 x 12 elevated KB plank rows
2 x 10 single leg KB halos (per leg)
2 x bridge matrix: 10 bridges with KB, 10 single leg bridges per leg
Plank matrix: 60 second plank, 30 second left side plank, 30 second right side plank

Tuesday: 40 minutes Pilates

Pilates is never an easy workout, but this one was definitely more challenging than normal – and that’s a good thing! I did a 40 minute magic circle routine that featured a long leg series (side kicks, leg lifts, leg circles, lower leg lifts, double leg lifts, scissors, and bicycle), advanced moves like the Jackknife with the circle, and pushups with the circle between the legs. 

Mile Markers: Running for Fun

Wednesday: 7 mile run

Ollie is improving each week on his runs – this week, he pulled less on the leash than in the previous weeks! We ran 7 easy miles, although I am still working on training him to not start out too fast. He just wants to run fast when he starts, which is completely different from me who takes a mile or so to warm up during any run. 

Thursday: 3 mile easy run & 40 minutes strength training

Even on rainy mornings, the sun peeks out earlier and earlier each week. This week we had the beginnings of dawn on our run – and what a difference that made! Even at the same effort (we always do our Thursday runs by effort), our paces were faster than usual and the run itself passed by more quickly.

Neither Ryan nor I had the motivation to strength train on Thursday evening – and that’s why discipline and habit matter more than motivation. Everyone has days where they don’t want to workout. We told ourselves to go to the gym, do just 20 minutes, and then assess how we felt. At 20 minutes, we both felt fine with completing our respective workouts. 

2 x 20 cable rows
2 x 20 banded squats
2 x 12 cable reverse flys
2 x 20 lateral band walks
2 x 20 banded clamshells
2 x bridge matrix: 15 banded bridges, 15 adductor pulses in bridge, 15 hip pulses in bridge, 10 banded single leg bridges per leg
7 minutes Pilates 

That little blue resistance loop makes those hip and glute exercises so much harder, especially when you go slow through the movements. If years of Pilates has taught me anything, it’s that going slowly and precisely through an exercise can change something like squats from a simple movement to something that makes the muscles shake.  My core and glutes were burned by the end of that bridge matrix! 

Friday: 9 mile fartlek run

This was the type of run that, after completion, you go home, change into a hoodie, and drink a hot mug of tea. This run was tiring, harder than I anticipated, and chilly. Even though it was warm outside (almost 50 degrees), it was raining and windy. We were actually under a wind advisory, although I missed the worst of it since I run in the mornings. 

Mile Markers: Running for Fun

My original workout intention was a 10 mile run with the middle 4 miles alternating 90 seconds at 10K effort, 90 seconds easy, but I altered it upon seeing the weather forecast. I set the goal of 8-10 miles with 3-4 miles of fartleks and didn’t worry about my pace for those hard intervals. 

The first 4 miles were seamless: I progressed each mile down from an 8:40 to 8:10. Usually, the worst of the wind comes from that direction, so I figured it wasn’t as bad as forecasted. Then I turned around just past 4 miles to do my fartlek intervals, and the headwind hit me then. I ended up running 9 miles with 3 miles of fartleks because my legs felt heavier than they should have. Some days you dig deep and push, and some days you listen to your body and know when to shut a run down. 

I wasn’t perturbed by the workout not going as planned – I was thrilled to see most of the intervals were at a 7:10-7:15/mile pace afterward, even with a headwind – but I am a bit irked that I feel like I am losing my toughness for running in the wind. Back when we lived in Indiana, 20 mph winds were a standard spring or fall- the wind picked up of Lake Michigan and just pounded us. Now, those same wind levels blow me around like a kite and demand a fight from me if I want to hold my pace. 

Saturday: 8 mile run 

Ryan and I are slowly lengthening our weekend runs with Ollie (Charlie stays at home, since 6 miles is his current limit, and he probably enjoys the quiet time). This week we ran 8 miles together, which is Ollie’s personal distance record! I’m impressed at how much that dog is built for running – he ran a total of 20 miles this week between running with the two of us. 

Mile Markers: Running for Fun

Sunday: 2.5 mile hike

After Palm Sunday Mass, we decided to try to squeeze in our first hike of the season. It was sunny and warm – a perfect day to spend outside! Ollie is still learning to hike, so we opted for a short hike to practice training him on. He has a new backpack to carry water and food for the dogs and other pieces of our gear and it’s absolutely adorable. 

Mile Markers: Running for Fun

Our hike took us to a viewpoint for the San Juan Islands, and then we hiked back down to the beach. Ollie played fetch and attempted to catch seagulls while Charlie panicked about the water. 

Mile Markers: Running for Fun

How well do you handle running into the wind? 
How was your week in running?

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14 Responses

  1. Wind is one of my least favorite things. Especially the winds where you are running in a headwind no matter what direction. It’s so annoying and so frustrating. Ollie looks adorable in his new pack. Cooper refuses to carry anything. We’ve tried in the past and he would lay down and not move. Oh well!

    1. Those are the type of winds we get out there – I don’t like them! I guess that’s part of living near a lot of water. And thank you! Ollie’s cattle dog took over when we put him in the pack and he got very focused on accomplishing his task…possibly too focused…

  2. Looks like you had a great week! I am not tough when it comes to running the wind. I try to avoid running outside on the days when the wind is really crazy. I used to run outside no matter what so Im sure at some point i had a better tolerance for the wind.

  3. It was so windy when I took Ridley out yesterday (on my birthday) that I ran a bit with her and then finished on the treadmill! In my defense, I was also doing laundry….

  4. I hate running into the wind but I do it quite often because I run a lot of out and backs. I also run along a busy highway so often there’s wind but also wind coming off the cars speeding by. It’s been windy lately and last week was so bad I felt like I was hardly going anywhere on my run!

    I like that 10/10/10 workout! I may try that one soon because it seems like a good way to ease back into tempo runs and workouts post-injury.

    Glad you had a great week of training/tuneup for the shorter races. But it’s always all about having fun with it… or maybe it’s just me. After six months of injury-filled running, I’ve stopped taking everything seriously, haha.

    1. I run out and backs also, so the wind is unavoidable with those! I’m always having fun with training, but it’s extra fun to get to experiment with new workouts.

  5. Glad you are having fun with your training!

    Running in the wind is brutal. I remember last year during this time when I was in the peak of my marathon training and I was getting so frustrated because I swear it was windy every single time I needed to get a workout in. But, that’s spring on the lake in the Midwest. There’s not much you can do about wind, just try to deal with it and adjust your effort level. When you try to fight wind, you lose, every time!

    1. Thank you! The wind along the lakes in the Midwest is so rough – I don’t miss the winds that come off Lake Michigan! It feels like that out here – windy all the time along the water, especially if I have a hard workout on tap.

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