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Half Marathon Training Diaries Week 4: Making Friends with the Treadmill

Thanks for stopping by my half marathon training series!

half marathon training diaries week 4 treadmill

If you’d like to read the previous weekly recaps, here they are:

Looking back, it feels like the beginning of this week was ages ago. It was a busy week, but it was super productive!

This week totaled out at exactly 20 miles, which felt awesome. I haven’t crossed the 20 mile weekly total since last Fall when I was getting ready for a 5k that I set my current personal record at. My weekly mileage has hovered between 15-20 miles for several months now, and I think it’s time to bump my average up to a new normal over 20 miles per week.

It looks like from here on out, my training plan calls for weekly miles all over 20 miles per week.

I also totaled way more miles than usually this week on my Run the Year 2019 challenge, and I think it’s mostly due to taking my new puppy, Ginger, on a walk every day.

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Rhodesian Ridgeback mix running partner dog
Ginger learned loose leash walking REALLY quickly!

Ginger is a 6-month-old Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, so she has tons of energy and needs regular exercise, but she isn’t old enough to start running with me yet. We’ll do a few strides in the middle of our walks for her to practice running beside me, but she’s too young for a sustained effort. I don’t want to risk damaging her growth plates, because she’s going to be my running buddy for years to come!

This week of half marathon training went just as planned (for once!)

Monday

Scheduled: 3.5 miles easy

What I Did: 3.50 treadmill miles.

I was chilled when I got home from work on Monday, so I opted to do this run on the treadmill. I played around with the speed and incline just a little to keep myself from getting too bored. After I finished this run, I jumped off the treadmill to grind out a 10 minute abs circuit.

After 10 minutes…well, my abs were dead. I usually suck at getting abdominal and strength workouts in, so I’m trying to make them a regular appearance at the end of my easy runs.

Sit-ups, bicycles, leg lifts, and Russian twists were my pain of choice Monday.

Tuesday

Scheduled: 35 minutes Tempo Run

What I Did: 3.43 miles in 35:50

This was another speed workout that went great!

I’m actually really impressed with how close I was on time to my goal, because I just guesstimated where to turn around at and figured it would be about right! My pace started slow for the warm up, I slowly pushed it up to a strong cruising pace, and then backed it off and the end for an easy cool down.

Honestly, I don’t remember that much about how I felt during this run

I was mentally rehearsing how to react to the car I thought was following me. At first, I thought nothing of it because it just sitting in a parking lot at the edge of a pond I sometimes run around. As I ran on the far side of the pond, they moved up another 100 feet along the road and then stopped. They slowly moved around the pond and up to the road to leave, and I figured all was find and they were leaving.

They seemed to wait at the stop sign far longer than necessary to turn onto the road. When I came around and just before I exited the loop I slowed down to see which way they would turn, figuring no matter what I had planned, I would turn the other direction. They turned left before I got to my decision point, and I turned right as I had originally planned. After I turned right and crossed the street, I saw them pull over on the side of the road out of the corner of my eye and thought “Aw hellll no!”

I checked back over my shoulder after a few strides and saw them attempting to turn around, but there was quite a bit of traffic so it took them awhile and I just kept running. I decided that if I saw the car again, I would call my husband and keep him on the phone in my ear so I could tell him if he needed to come get me or not…but I really wanted to finish my run. Every 30 seconds or so I looked back to check for the car, and I never saw them again.

The reality of running self-defense

Were they really following me or was it just a coincidence? I’m not sure, but I’d rather not find out. Either way, something changed because they quit following me.

This is real and something every runner needs to consider. By mentally preparing, you can plan your reaction in case something does happen. I wrote all about self defense while running in another post (before this happened), but it’s definitely worth checking out.

            Related: Running and Self-Defense: What to Worry About and What Not to Bother With

Despite the unwelcome distraction from my run, I still felt like a rockstar at the end. My speed days are the ones where I really notice the 80/20 running principle for this training cycle working. My body is reacting well to this philosophy. I’ve been able to get all of my planned miles in, and I still feel fresh enough to crush my speed workouts.  

Wednesday

Scheduled: 3 easy miles

What I Did: 3.00 treadmill miles

Before I even got off work Wednesday, it was snowing. Nasty, slushy, slippery, cold snow. Not even the dry light stuff–I could’ve run outside if it wasn’t so sloppy and slippery.

This was the snow outside my house Wednesday. It doesn’t look nearly as nasty as it was…

Again, I opted for the treadmill. I am super grateful that I got a quality treadmill last summer to keep in my basement, it makes it so convenient for me to still do my miles even when the weather sucks.

half marathon training treadmill miles
3 easy treadmill miles

After the 3 miles, I did about 15 minutes of leg strength exercises. Squats, lunges, push-ups, and calf raises. As mentioned above, I have previously sucked at doing any kind of strength workouts when I’m focused on building up mileage, so I’m getting it in where I can!

This didn’t seem like much strength work, but my legs were pretty sore the next day…

Thursday

Scheduled: Rest day

What I Did: Rest.

It was raining/snowing out today, so I welcomed a rest day! Having already run on the treadmill twice this week, I really wasn’t wanting to get forced inside again.

Friday

Scheduled: 3 easy miles

What I Did: 3.04 miles at an easy effort

I was super nervous about being forced inside again Friday, because the weather was pretty crappy all week.

Rain was in the forecast for Friday afternoon but luckily when I got off work, the skies were (mostly) clear and the sun was shining. I didn’t hesitate! As soon as I got home, I changed and headed out for a few relaxing miles in the fresh air.

Saturday

Scheduled: 7 mile long run

What I Did: 7.03 miles on the TREADMILL!

Ok, I probably could’ve toughed up and ran outside, but it had snowed/rained the night before, everything way slippery, AND it was just barely at the temperature threshold where I opt to run inside instead of outside (If you’re wondering, my threshold is about 25 degrees Fahrenheit). When I got up Saturday, I just wasn’t in the mood to freeze. So, I settled in for 7 miles on my treadmill.

The first half was rough, but the second half went by pretty smoothly. I put a towel over the time and pace so I couldn’t watch the miles slowly tick by. This really helped!

Also…I have a confession: run was the first time I EVER tried a gel!

half marathon training first gel
I lost my gel virginity…first gel, down the hatch!

Honey Stinger was my gel of choice, because I really like honey and I figured that being natural, it would probably sit okay in my stomach. It was a little awkward trying to get it down and keep running, so I did it in thirds. I took one mouthful, swallowed, washed it down with some water, and repeated until I had squeezed out every last drop.

I tried the “Gold” flavor on this run, and I’ll try the “Ginsting” flavor on my next long run.

Related: 3 Powerful Fueling Strategies for Your Next Half Marathon

My stomach actually held up just fine and wasn’t upset at all, so I’m going to order a few more Honey Stinger flavors to try out in the coming weeks! I’ll let you know which flavors I like the best 🙂

Sunday

Scheduled: 40 minutes cross train

What I Did: 73 minutes (actively) downhill skiing

My husband and I lucked into a great deal on some season passes to Park City this year, so we’re trying to get some more good skiing days in before the season is over. We skied quite a bit over the Christmas/New Year’s holiday, but we want to get as much use out of our passes as possible. Plus, I was getting a little bored with the spin bike. The spin bike is a great tool when I need it, but it’s great to get outside and spend time with my husband while also getting a workout.

Skiing at Park City
Tearing up the slopes at Park City to round out week 4 of half marathon training

The 73 minutes were active skiing minutes. We actually spent close to 3 hours on the mountain. I downloaded an awesome app called Ski Tracks that tracks when I’m skiing, when I’m in line or on the chairlift, how fast I go, and the total distance covered. Pretty cool!

All in all, skiing was a great way to round out the week, but now I feel like I need a nap.

Keep Reading–> Week 5: Just Keep Running

Which tactics do you use to make friends with the treadmill when running outside isn’t an option?

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Run Happy,

Alexis

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 –>

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