Thanks for stopping by my half marathon training series!
Currently, I’m training for the Salt Lake City Half Marathon on April 13th. My week 1 post has a comprehensive overview of my goals for this race, my training plan and philosophy, as well as my previous base training before starting this training cycle.
If you’d like to read the previous weekly recaps, here they are:
1st Week: Kick-off, Goals, and Base Training
2nd Week: Feeling like less than Superwoman
3rd Week: Easy Week + Sweetheart 5k
4th Week: Making Friends with the Treadmill
5th Week: Just Keep Running
6th Week: Focus on Recovery
7th Week: Refining My Fueling Strategy
8th Week: Full Transparency
9th Week: Building Fitness
I was tired this week, like REALLY tired. Coming off of the Ogden Striders 10 Mile Race last Saturday that was SUPER hilly, my muscles were also really sore. My miles are increasing, and my body can feel it. Now it’s becoming even more important to focus on recovery every step of the way. I know my fitness is increasing, because me being tired is a symptom of my workload increasing.
The countdown is on…2 more weeks until the Salt Lake City Half Marathon!
Scheduled: 5 miles easy
What I Did: 5.01 miles easy + 11 minutes ab work
I kept Monday’s pace really slow, because I was honestly still super sore from the Ogden Strider’s 10 Miler. Those hills just killed me so my easy pace on Monday was around 11:42 min/mile.
This is an important point to make: your easy pace won’t always be the same pace. It depends on how you are feeling, and previous races, your current training load, how much sleep you got, etc.
Easy is always relative. Pay attention to your effort and ensure you aren’t running too fast or working too hard on your easy days
Scheduled: 45 minute Tempo Run
What I Did: 4.19 miles in 41:55
Whoops…I messed up the timing a bit on this one.
Since my tempo runs are prescribed by time rather than distance, I just set a timer for half of whatever I’m supposed to run. I run as far as I can before the timer goes off, then turn around.
Except…rush hour traffic and a long wait to cross at the stoplight got in the way. I paused MapMyRun, but I didn’t pause the timer app. Thus, I turned around a little earlier than I should’ve. I was still within a few minutes so no big deal, but I like to push myself whenever possible.
Seeking out hills
After I got killed on the hills last weekend, I decided to intentionally take the route that is uphill the whole way out. It doesn’t look like a hill until close to my turnaround point, but I can definitely feel it when I run that route. I feel like a turtle trudging through peanut butter, my heart beating out of my chest.
When I turned around, my pace got SUPER fast on the way back. It’s an exhilarating feeling, and it makes for some great negative splits! Plus, when I run the Ogden Half Marathon in May, that race will be all downhill so I need some downhill practice for my legs.
Scheduled: 3 easy miles
What I Did: Nothing. We’ll call it “rest.”
Wednesday was honestly just one of those days from hell. I don’t have many bad days, but this day was TERRIBLE.
I won’t drag you through all the finer details, but I’ll give you a quick overview:
When I was getting ready for work, my dog somehow got a hold of one of my $50 pairs of compression socks (my only warm winter pair) and ripped the calf on one all to shreds. No more compression on that sock.
Mid-morning, I had a doctor’s appointment. I’m having a lab test done as part of my check-up, but there’s a decent chance based on previous records that the results might not return favorable. It’s not a big deal right now, but it definitely added to my stress and emotions for the day.
The rest of the afternoon I was bombarded by one work commitment after another.
4 appointments back-to-back, and I barely had a chance to breathe between. One of the appointments actually took an hour longer than it was supposed to, and I ended up missing one of the other meetings. After I got back from that one and 5 minutes before I had to leave for my next meeting, someone proceeded to meet me at my desk and abrasively explain how I had allowed my team members to submit a form that was completely wrong.
By the time I got in my car to head home, I had a complete breakdown. I was emotionally toast.
Now, had any of these things happened just 1 or 2 at a time, I could have easily and graciously handled it. But the aggregate…not so much. Oh, I was also still SUPER sore and exhausted from the 10 Miler race and subsequent workouts this week, so I was already run-down before the day had even begun.
I really wanted to just get home and relax with a bottle of wine, but thankfully my husband saved me.
He pointed out that I had set the rule leading up to my half marathon that I would reserve only Saturday evenings for wine, and the rest of the week would remain alcohol-free to help improve my weight loss and performance. My husband re-directed my attention by letting me take a hot, relaxing shower. Then we drove over to check the progress on our new house that’s currently under construction.
By the time we got back, I was in a much better frame of mind and we ate a healthy dinner.
What I Did: 3.03 miles easy
Since I had a full day Wednesday and didn’t get my easy 3 miles in, I ran those miles on Thursday instead. I think it actually worked out well to take my rest day earlier in the week, because I felt a LOT better by Thursday.
My easy pace was a relatively quick 10:37 average, and I enjoyed the miles while listening to my favorite running podcasts: Marathon Training Academy and Runners Who Wine.
Scheduled: 5 miles at Half Marathon Goal Pace (9:55/mile)
What I Did: 61 active minutes downhill skiing
Those two things aren’t at all related, are they?
Well, Friday was a base-wide ski day. We got free lift tickets, a day off work, and several inches of powder the night before.
So we took off to the mountain, of course!
The great thing about Utah is it can be 40-50 degrees down in the valley and long-sleeve or t-shirt running weather, and then you can drive 45-60 minutes up the mountain and have several feet of snow. Craziness!
The powder was so deep up there that I had to completely change my style of skiing and almost hold a squat over the back my skis to prevent my tips from sinking in the snow and me doing head-first dive-and-tumble into the snow.
It was like holding a wall sit for 10 minutes at a time.
Brutal. But awesome. And ridiculously fun.
Scheduled: 11 mile long run
What I Did: 11.01 miles
Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous day for my long run! It was 40 degrees out, sunny, and crisp. I queued up a few episodes of my favorite podcasts and hit the road.
I continued practicing my fueling strategy on this run, but I definitely wasn’t carrying enough water for 2 hours of running. I ran out of hydration in the last 2 miles and was SUPER thirsty by the time I got home. For my 12 mile long run next week, I might have my husband drive out and meet me at the turnaround point with an extra bottle of water.
This run didn’t feel quite as awesome as my 9 mile long run in week 7, but it’s also the furthest I’ve ran since my half marathon last September. Also, I had completely burnt my legs the day before skiing through fresh powder.
Scheduled: 60 minutes cross training
What I Did: Walked the dogs around the park for 30 minutes
I really wasn’t feeling like jumping on the bike for 60 minutes or heading out for a hike on Sunday, so we just took our dogs out for a longer than usual walk, which ended up being about 1.8 miles around the park and back.
What is your biggest training challenge?
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- Mastering the Marathon: The Ultimate Guide to Nutrition and Training
- Ultimate Guide to the Top 5 Running Shoes for Beginners in 2023
About Me: I’m Alexis, Founder of RunningMyBestLife! I am an avid recreational runner, half marathoner, wife, dog mom, busy professional, downhill skier in Northern Utah. My mission is to help new enthusiasts fall in love with the sport of running. I believe that running is a catalyst to taking control of your life and living your best life by design. Learn More –>