Week 2 down, 16 to go! This training week looked a lot like last week. I stuck to my runs and Pure Barre but I couldn’t finish my yoga workout on Monday…

Monday

I know I should do yoga and was actually ready for it today. I wanted something that would be about strength, but the session I picked was really slow and I couldn’t focus. Then, this one wanted to be involved…

Schatzi asking for scratches

Tuesday

Another heart rate run, which went really well. I ran 3 miles at a 12:01 pace at 154 bpm, and I felt really strong. I’m still having to walk to keep my heart rate down but I am running more and more later on in the run.

Wednesday

I’m not sure what happened but it didn’t feel like June in NC! Somehow there was no humidity and only 66F. It was gorgeous! I just wanted to run, so I didn’t watch my heart rate. I had a few walk breaks but ran 11:43 pace and my average heart rate was 162 bpm. It felt wonderful! It’s amazing what a difference it makes when it is humid. I can get really frustrated during summer running about taking walk breaks and feeling slow, but it really is because of the humidity. I don’t understand why it makes such an impact but it does.

Wednesday training runs start increasing in mileage next week. I’m nervous about it, but it’s probably more of a mental fear. I can’t decide if this longer run should be a speed or tempo workout or just cover the miles.

Thursday

I was out at the lake for this run, and I decided to take advantage and do my first hill workout of the season. Hill workouts (and the concept of speed workouts) were new to me during my Dopey 2020 training. I couldn’t believe how much that helped improve my running as opposed to just going out and running the distance. I thought “that’s how people become better runners!” So this will be a big part of my training now. I hate hills but love hill workouts. Not sure why but I always feel great afterwards. I ran 3.35 miles at 11:43 pace and a 162 bpm heart rate. (Thank you no humidity again!) There is a killer hill on this route. I did it twice, and felt great.

Friday

Pure Barre this morning was challenging and wonderful. I know my strength isn’t where I need it to be. I would love to hold the plank for all 90 seconds. Some days I can do it for half but today…nope. I could t hold it without modifying it at all. I was really frustrated, but that’s why I need to keep working. Yoga would also help with this. Gosh, it’s all connected!

An exciting highlight from today is I signed up for the Emerald City half marathon to do as part of my 16 miler in August.

Saturday

Cross-training Saturday! I’m really starting to enjoy this day. Originally, I was going to go swimming, but I didn’t get to the pool until the afternoon. This is when all of the people are there, and there were too many kids to be able to swim laps. Note to self: pool time needs to be in the morning! Instead, I went paddle boarding in the busy lake which made for a tricky time staying up! It was a lot of fun, but I didn’t go very fast between the wake and the wind.

The funny thing about paddle boarding is its hard out there, but I don’t realize how tired I am until I get off of it. This is also more enjoyable as a morning activity when the water is calmer so you can go further. I hate the water, so I try very hard to not fall in! I did a little stretching when I got home.

Sunday

This was my first 7 miler in a really long time, so I was a bit nervous about it. As mileage increases, I develop a fear that I won’t be able to cover the distance or that it will be hard. I went to bed last night ready to wake up and do the run before it got too hot (get out the door by 6 am). Not sure what weather app I was using, but it was heavy rain at 5 am and it didn’t look like it was going to let up anytime soon.

Laying in bed and evaluating my options, I decided to go back to sleep until 6 am. When I awoke again, I knew I needed to do something. I got dressed and made my way downstairs to create a plan thinking the rain may lessen at some point. I knew I would feel better if I finished my run and would regret it if I didn’t do it. My track record for not doing afternoon workouts is quite poor. Eventually, it looked like the red on the radar would be done around 8 am, so I made a go of it.

This was the second time I had actually run in the rain. My first time was the 2018 Rock ‘n Roll Chicago Half. I kept telling myself to find an easy pace (focusing again on heart rate) and just get it done. It wasn’t pleasant, but it wasn’t awful. At the end of the day, I felt great because I did it and 7 miles felt good. I also felt like I was a real runner! The one necessary thing you need to run in the rain is a hat. I didn’t have mine today, so I need to remember to pack it in the future…just in case.

I finished with an average pace of 12:24 and 157 bpm. It was hard to stop running to get my heart rate down because my running was feeling good. I know I need to be disciplined now, so I get better for later. Training is a long game; it’s literally a marathon, not a sprint!

Long-Run Changes
Huma

After last week’s 6 miles, I knew I needed to fuel better. In several blogs I’ve read recently, they have mentioned Huma gels. I’ve only ever used GU before (and Clif blocks as a treat), and if I get more than 2 in during a race, that is a major accomplishment, but I need more fuel for my speed on a marathon. They make me gag, and I have such a hard time getting them down. With all of my reading, I knew I should start trying other brands. I tried the Apples & Cinnamon one, and it was delicious! It was so easy to eat, and I didn’t gag at all. I’m definitely going to get these in the future. The positive is its natural ingredients, but it doesn’t have any caffeine.

The other big change was I splurged on a pair of Lululemon shorts. I can’t believe I paid $60 for a pair of workout shorts, but they were worth every penny! They have a material that dries faster, which really helped in my rain run. They were comfortable and didn’t slide, which is the issue I’m having with my other pair of shorts.

Harmless Harvest
My favorite recovery drink

In Summary…

Overall, this was a great week. I fulfilled my intentions (mostly) and am still feeling motivated for my training plan. I’m bracing myself because next week mileage increases on Wednesday, which is a big mental hurdle for me. Just keep doing the plan!