I’ve just finished week two of my half marathon training plan. I’ve had two fantastic weeks of training, and I hope the next 20 weeks of training pass by just as successfully.
Monday, I was supposed to have a tempo run, but I knew the weather was going to get really cold and I wanted to have an easy run on the last nice day before the temperature plummeted. My legs felt tired and heavy, but I pushed through and had a great run at dusk. Notice my little green blinky light I clipped on my SPIbelt. 3.5 miles.
The very next day, since I was off work for Veteran’s Day, I bought a headlamp. I tested it out and played with it for a while, but ended up not needing it for my tempo run since I ran during the day. The first half of the tempo run felt good, and it wasn’t really until I turned around to head back home that I realized I had a slight tail wind, and of course, that resulted in a headwind, a very cold North headwind, on the way home. I struggled to maintain my pace for the tempo, and it ended up dropping about 8 seconds per mile, but I considered the run a win. I didn’t stop, and I pushed as hard as I could, and ultimately I was happy with my performance. 4.1 miles.
Wednesday night, it was COLD! My entire run was after dark, and it took about a mile to really warm up! On the plus side, my headlamp and cold gear pants/shirt performed wonderfully. I was lucky enough to win a pair of New Balance cold gear tights from attending a Ladies Night at my favorite running club, KC Running Co. a few weeks ago, and wore them for the first time this week. I also had a cold gear top, an layered with a wind breaker, gloves, hat, and ear muffs. I was a bit chilly for the first mile or so, but once I did warm up, it was a nice little run. 3.5 miles.
Thursday night was KCRC Groupie Run night. Last week and this week, I ran with a new friend at the Groupie Run, and the last two weeks, we’ve run farther than the supported distance of 3 miles. It was very cold, and my new friend tried out some Mizuno cold weather gear, that she ended up liking. I chose not to try out the gear, because I had already bundled up and didn’t want to undress and redress before the run! 4.1 miles.
Friday was an off day, and I wore my Feetures compression sleeves all day long, and my calves really appreciated them. I can tell I’ve been running more than I had been the last few weeks, but my body isn’t screaming at me to stop, it’s just getting used to the increased mileage.
Saturday, I decided to do my “long” run instead of doing it on Sunday. At this point, early in my training plan, my “long run” is only about a mile or so longer than my ‘regular” runs… but it will eventually build up to 12 miles. I debated with myself during the first half of the run on Saturday, trying to convince myself I should just do the long run so I could relax and do an easy run on Sunday. It was cold out, and snowing lightly, but there wasn’t much wind, and the roads weren’t slippery. Once I warmed up (after a mile or so), it was a pretty nice run, and I was ultimately really glad I did the longer distance. 4.25 miles.
Sunday, a nice easy recovery run. I’ve run in the cold all week, and decided to run at the gym on the treadmill. I also was washing clothes and all my cold gear was in the washer. I think my lungs appreciated the warmer climate, and it was nice to not wear so many layers. It was also nice to really sweat a lot… I sweat a lot no matter where I run, or when, or how far, but in the cold, I don’t sweat quite as much. It did feel good to be dripping wet with sweat after a run, it was very cleansing. 3.55 miles.
I ended the week strong, and hope my runs continue to be mentally and physically rewarding. I know that winter, cold, dark running is mentally challenging, as well as physically, and I am thankful the first couple weeks of runs have felt so good.
I ended the week with 23 miles. My highest mileage week ever has been 27.7 miles. That was back in March, about five weeks before my first half marathon, at my “peak” for that cycle. I’m only 5 miles short of my peak for that training cycle, and I feel very confident with the progress I’ve made since that first half marathon over six months ago. I am confident that I can safely increase my mileage and confident that I can build to the point where I can successfully run 13.1 miles and reach my ultimate goal of not walking the Rock the Parkway half marathon. I have 21 weeks yet to prepare, and if my first two weeks are any indication of how this training cycle will go, I will indeed ROCK the Rock the Parkway!
Can you tell the difference between training cycles? Do you feel stronger each cycle, constantly increasing your fitness? How many miles do you run each week while training for a half marathon?