Week One: One great tempo run, and new shoes

Week 1:

Monday: 25 min. yoga

Tuesday: 3.83 mile run (easy)

Wednesday: 50 min. bike (about 9.5 mi); low resistance/high rpm

Thursday: 4.07 mi tempo run (1 mi warm up, 2 miles at tempo, 1.07 mile cool down)

Friday: 17 min. bike (about 5.25 mi) warm up; leg workout: single-leg squats (4×10); regular squats (4×10); calf raises (3×20 – parallel, turned in and out); step ups with military press; clock lunges; walking lunges; 4×3 striders; leg press (up to 230 lb); hip adduction and abduction (4×12); hamstring curl with pilates ball (4×12)

Saturday: total rest

Sunday: “long” run – 4.25 miles easy


Alright, boys and girls. Week one is in the books – Pittsburgh half-marathon training is underway. So far, so good.

It did start off a teensy bit rocky, mostly symptomatic of the fact that i was traveling the weekend before last. By Monday I was in Ohio crashing at my mom’s house to break up a ten hour drive (and see more of my extended family – my cousin Logan had a hockey tournament in town. It was awesome to watch him. he’s really good, also really cute – what a little bruiser).

I had brought everything I needed for a run, even though my schedule called for rest or cross-training, but after a heavy snow fall the night before (and more snow/rain mix on the way), oh, and two big deadlines for work to work on before leavint so finish the drive to Pittsburgh, I decided to just do some yoga. I suffered with Rodney Yee for about twenty-five minutes. I forgot how HARD those DVDs are. But I felt incredibly zen afterwards.

Tuesday was supposed to be an easy three miles, and I always attended a 5:30 pilates class after work. But work had other plans, and I got stuck in front of my computer until well after vie. So I opted for an easy 3.8-ish miles to burn off my stress and frustration. It was incredibly slow because of the messiness of the sidewalks, but it felt really good to be out there.

Wednesday I decided to just read on the bike for a while to work on my endurance and get my leg muscles firing a little faster. And Thursday… oooh Thursday.

I’m really bad at tempo runs. I’m bad at pushing through the pain. And Thursday I wasn’t really feeling it. My calves were killing me and my brain was sending me all kinds of I-really-don’t-want0to-do-this signals. But after a mile warm up, I looked at my Garmin, took a breath and went for it. I purposely top-loaded my route: I knew the first half was a lot of slow uphills at the start so I could finish strong on flats and downhills. My first tempo mile was a little slow. I was shooting for about 8:30 (I never said I was very fast. At least, not right now) and I missed it by 11 seconds. But then, I killed it. I absolutely demolished the second mile. The last third was basically downhill after mostly flat for the first two-thirds and when I glanced at my watch as it beeped the third mile, it read 8:00 flat. I was PSYCHED. I actually did a little leap and pumped my fists in the air like a dork. Best. Tempo run. Ever. And my last run on my Asics Gel-Landreths, I retired along with my Nimbus. A little sad, but that’s alright. Because on Saturday, my rest day…

I shopped. A lot. I dropped BANK (I also went to a bookstore, but we won’t go there, since this is my running blow) but in addition to more socks and a bunch of different flavors of Gu, I got two new pairs of shoes. I decided to stick with the Asics Gel Nimbus for my long run shoe, but sprung for something new for speedwork: Brooks Ghost 3. I’m really excited about these shoes. I had tried the original Ghost, back when it was a performance shoe, in store. I liked the incredibly light feel, but didn’t like the lack of underfoot cushion or ankle support. Now in its third version, and much more of a neutral cushioned shoe, it’s still super light, but much cushier and more supportive. I’m actually… looking forward to? my mile repeats on Thursday. I know. I’m psycho. Have me commited.

We’ll see how it goes.

Sunday, of course, is long run day: it started off easy. nerdy boyfriend and I only had to do four miles (we did about 4.25 miles) and it sucked a little because of all the snow still in Schenley park. My ankles were hurting at the end from all the side to side motion, but after the first half it was on the road and dry, and we finished strong. The long runs are started really short and building slowly, but this training plan has more double-digit runs, which I’m looking forward to.

So that’s it: week one – done. Hopefully I can find interesting ways to write these up so it’s not just a blow-by-blow ever time. But this was a pretty hectic/exciting week, so hopefully it was worth it?

Stick around. News coming soon regarding the race, and one of my big motivators.

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I'm a 35-year-old writer and runner. This is my running blog.

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