Half Marathon Training: Week 5

One of the things I mentioned in my last post was that I am currently deep into my half marathon training program.  The race is just under two months  away, so it’s definitely time to dial up the miles.  I want to do a better job of documenting what I am doing to prepare for this race, the NYC Half Marathon on March 15.  So starting this week I will try to post an update every Monday on what I’ve been doing.

Tues:  PIYO at my local bootcamp place
Wed:  Rest Day
Thurs:  2.6 interval run on the treadmill and 45 minute HIIT class
Fri:  2.7 miles @ 12:22 pace and 45 minute kickboxing classSat:  Yoga class
Sun:  4.5 miles @ 12:35 pace
Mon:  8.5 miles @ 13:23 pace

I had intended to do the two runs on Thurs/Fri as one 4.5 mile run, but with the way my schedule turned out, I ended up splitting it up.  But I kind of liked the result….the shorter runs allowed me to really focus on speed and/or intervals, and still left me with enough time to take classes at the gym.  I may keep this idea up going forward, taking one of the shorter runs and splitting it to really focus on hills or speed.

Today’s long run was actually really great.  I felt better than I had expected I would.  We’d had freezing rain and then plain rain yesterday, but by 10 am when I ventured out, there were only a few random patches of it.  The weather had warmed up to 40, which is pretty much my sweet spot for temperature.  After so many days of hitting the treadmill due to sub 20 temperatures, it felt amazing just to be out there and really blow it out.

This was the longest run in my program yet, so I went out armed with my water belt (which I kind of hate the look of but it is a necessary evil) with a Kashi granola bar tucked into it for fuel.  I’d run 6.5 miles with no water or fuel last time, and knew I needed something if I wanted to make it through today.  I also liberally applied the body glide, as I sweat so much it usually washes away after about an hour and fifteen minutes.

The first mile, mostly downhill, felt really good.  I ducked into a neighborhood for the second mile, where I found some hills.  I walked where I needed to and used a slow, comfortable pace otherwise.  At mile 3 I stopped for water, still feeling really good.

I remember thinking at 4.5 that I was still feeling really good, which surprised me.  Finally, at 5.25 I started feeling a little depleted, so I stopped and drank more water and ate half of the granola bar.   That did the trick.  I couldn’t believe that I was still feeling OK at mile 6, mile 7.  By 7.5 I was back in familiar territory where I usually run, and marveling that I still was fine.  I stopped my RunKeeper at 8.5, and smiled.  I didn’t feel wrecked!   If I’d needed to push for another half mile or even another mile, I had it in me.  Which is exciting.

These long runs were so much harder the last time I trained for a half.  It was the first time I’d ever run such distances.  A friend told me that even if it has been months and months, your body remembers running those distances and it will be easier this time. So far, that has been true.  I’ve always remembered how hard that half was, but maybe it will feel easier this time.  I might actually be interested in running these longer distance races if I keep feeling this good.

Now I just need to find a February race to put all of this new speed and stamina to the test.  🙂

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About mostlyforward

Somewhere on the journey to a better life, depending on the day...moving (mostly) forward.

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