Half Marathon Training – Week 3

Monday
Big River group run night. Tried to run gingerly on my tender shins. Ended up taking a different route back to the start to avoid a hill I’m not fond of on Nottingham.

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Scheduled mileage: 4 miles
Actual mileage: 4.21 miles in 39:30, a 9:23 pace

Song from my run: “Strong Enough”, Cher. Tracy and I saw her twice on her “farewell” tour that lasted two years and repeated cities the second year. I wasn’t too familiar before that but I have to admit she’s awesome and a lot of her songs are great for running.

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Tuesday
Treadmill run before Zumba. I was hoping the treadmill would be gentler on my shins and I think it was as my shins felt pressure but not pain. I intentionally ran slow (much easier on a treadmill) and never felt out of breath which is an awesome feeling to have when running for half an hour. I went to Zumba after the run but only stayed for half the class which is something I might do more in the future to get some cross training in but not overdo it.

Scheduled mileage: 3 miles
Actual mileage: 3.05 miles in 30:05, a 9:51 pace

Song from my run: “Livin’ on a Prayer”, Bon Jovi. This song reminds me of New Year’s Eve 2001, my senior year of college. My roommate Michelle and I had people over and when this song came on everyone was screaming it at the top of their lungs. I think that’s mandatory when intoxicated.

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Thursday
Scheduled mileage: 3 miles
Actual mileage: 0 miles

As I mentioned in my shin splints post, I decided to skip this run, allowing me to rest/ice my shins for four days in a row. If I’m going to skip runs, early in the plan is the time to do it. No regrets. I did this instead:

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Sunday
I’m running again! The Big River Training Team run was at Grant’s Trail, which is pretty close to my house, but I left at 6:30am anyway to make sure I could find the entrance. (I’ve been one other time and had issues with that.) As I’m about to get on 55 it’s 6:35am and I’m thinking “oh geez I’m going to be sitting in the parking lot for twenty minutes”. Then the clock changes to 6:36am and I’m thinking “oh god I’m going to be late and have to chase my pace group down the trail to catch up”. Haha. I ended up about fifteen minutes early and had time to talk to my friend Aimee who I haven’t seen since SLU. It was nice to see a familiar face.

This week’s run was a pace run in which we ran the pace we wanted to run our race in (oops–I’ve been doing that all along). I went with the 9:00 minute group. Our pacer Tim took us out for a slow mile warmup, something I’ve never done. Then he led us in a series of warm up exercises back at the start of the trail, none of which I know the official names for:

  • High knee raises
  • Kicking our legs backward, like trying to kick our butts
  • Kicking our legs far in front of us then swinging them back
  • Crossing one leg over the other and bending to the side

We did all these on both legs and they felt good.

Then we took off.

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The beginning part of this trail is so shady and peaceful.
Most of my group was only doing four miles so they headed back at mile two and I continued on with pacer Tim and two other people.

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The other two people were training for full marathons and running eight miles but Tim suggested we all head back at mile three so I didn’t have to run alone. They’d run another two from the start of the trail. Both runners agreed–runners are so nice. Speaking of which, there were a bunch of pace groups out and running various miles so we had a lot of other runners pass us as they returned to the start. Every time they passed us Tim would clap and we’d all say hello. Such a supportive environment.

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The 8:45 pace group was just ahead of us. One of their runners joined us at the three mile mark and returned with us. She was another full marathoner and I enjoyed listening to their discussions about pacing yourself. One part that was particularly interesting to me was Tim saying you should run your long runs about a minute slower than your goal pace. I do not do this. One of the other runners agreed and said the long runs are supposed to build up your energy stores. You don’t want to burn through them on every long run by running at your goal pace; you want to save that for the actual race. This made a lot of sense to me and I think I’ll go back to the 9:30-10 minute pace group for long runs.

Scheduled mileage: 6 miles
Actual mileage: 6 miles in 52:21, an 8:44 pace (I’m not sure I trust this, though it did feel faster at the end)

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Song from my run: “The Story of Us”, Taylor Swift. I think all her songs are so catchy and love her a lot. This whole album is wonderful. We saw her in concert and most of the other people our age had children with them. Lots of screeching at that show.

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After the run I went to Schnuck’s, a weekly tradition. (Blackberries and raspberries are on sale for only $1, FYI.) 8:30am on Sunday is a fantastic time to grocery shop because the aisles look like this:

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The only problem with going this early on Sunday is you can’t buy alcohol until 9am. I checked out at 8:50am, an apparently sinful time to purchase beer, and was denied. So I waited until 9am when it magically became totally acceptable. The hilarious thing is while I waited three other people were also denied and also waited.

It’s been a few hours since my run and I’ve foam rolled, did some shin exercises, iced, and am now compressing and my shins feel pretty good. They were never painful during the run–just mild pressure which felt pretty normal to me. Right now I’m not noticing them much at all, which is great news. We’ll see how I do on the next two day’s runs but I’m cautiously optimistic!

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