Chi Town Half Marathon Training Week 3

Sunday, January 27: Strength training – legs + spinning for 40 total minutes of cross training
The impending polar vortex/Chiberia/soul-searching as to why I didn’t act on those impulses to move to San Diego when I was there for a conference last June led me to move my Monday strength training up to Sunday (so I could move Tuesday to Monday and Thursday to Tuesday, in case I couldn’t make it to the gym on Thursday). I had 40 minutes of cross training on my schedule for Sunday, so I did my Monday leg workout first–which was mercifully easy, because it’s the one originally written for me to do the day after the 20 miler in September–and rounded out my time with 24 minutes on the spin bike at the gym. Why the spin bike as opposed to my usual stationary bike, you ask? Because for the first time ever on a Sunday, I couldn’t get a stationary bike. I thought about hopping on the elliptical, but I really wanted ~more~ of a workout, so I opted for the spin bike instead (and walked away with the consequential butt pain. Why are those seats so horribly uncomfortable?!). It was a bit of a nuisance to get the thing configured so I could reach everything, but I got there eventually.

Monday, January 29: Strength training – upper body (AM) + 6.5 miles (tempo) in 1:06:39 for a 10:15 pace
I ventured out into the snow Monday morning to get strength training workout #2 of the week in before work. Days like Monday make me so grateful for the CTA and its operators who get me from Point A to Point B safely in miserable weather. I’ve been feeling motivated to lift heavier recently, and while I didn’t set any PRs during this, I hit all my previous PRs. That felt great!

Speaking of PRs: treadmill PDR for me on Monday! Woo! I’m so glad I discovered that I can read on the treadmill, because that made this run a bajillion times more manageable than it would’ve been otherwise. I warmed up for 1.5 miles at a 10:54 pace, then did 3.5 tempo miles at a 9:31 (I think? It was either 9:30 or 9:31) pace before cooling down for another 1.5 at 10:54, all at a 1.0 incline. I thought about bumping my tempo pace up to 9:2x, but I wasn’t 100 percent sure I was ready to run that far that fast yet, so I kept it at 9:31 for this tempo run. I have tempos every other Monday of this cycle, so there’s still plenty of time to get those middle miles faster (plus the Hal Higdon-style tempo runs I have every other week as well). It’ll be interesting to see how my tempo runs go when I start running outside again. It’s a lot easier to stick to a specific pace on a treadmill than it is running outside! I hope I can push myself appropriately once I’m able to hit the sidewalks again.

Tuesday, January 29: Strength training – legs (AM) + dance (PM)
Three days of strength training in a row is TOO MUCH. Even though I did an upper body workout on Monday (and, admittedly, wasn’t sore from it), I was getting really sick of picking heavy things up and putting them back down again by Tuesday morning. I did set a deadlift PR, though (barbell + 50 pounds – I think that’s 95 pounds, but I don’t know how heavy the barbell at the gym is. I assume it’s 45, because nothing about it suggests that it’s not a standard barbell, but since I don’t know for sure, I track my weight by barbell + known weight of plates), and that was exciting! And hard, ha.

I really hoped dance would be cancelled, but alas. Unsurprisingly, 1) barely anyone showed up and 2) the people who did show up are all regulars in some capacity. I had my fingers crossed my teacher would take that opportunity to teach us some cool random choreography, but no dice. We reviewed/cleaned up what we learned the first week of this session, and since all of us have taken breakdance at some point, did a little bit of breaking at the end of the choreography we had learned up to that point. I don’t know if that’ll stay in the routine or not, but boy! It has been A. LONG. time since I’ve done breakdance freezes, and I expect to have a pretty bruised shoulder as a result. I’m glad I can still do it, though!

Wednesday, January 30: 40 minutes cross training (Fitness Blender)
This one:


I do Fitness Blender videos every now and again, but it’s been a long time. I usually do them when I’m taking some time off running and want something easy to follow that I can do at home. Because I had zero interest in venturing outside on Wednesday, I went through Fitness Blender’s videos on YouTube to find a 40 minute, cardio heavy workout. This fit the bill! From a heart rate standpoint, I definitely got more out of this than I usually get out of biking at the gym, so I think it was a really effective (if challenging!) cross training option.

Thursday, January 31: 4.5 miles (with 6×400 w/ 200 rest) in 46:32 for a 10:20 pace
I emerged from house-bound exile Thursday afternoon to go to the gym to do my intervals. I felt really overwhelmed on Wednesday and Thursday and hoped going for a run on Thursday would help me slow down the swirling anxieties in my head and get some peace of mind. It didn’t. Womp. I struggled a lot more on this run than I expected to, and by the fifth interval had to slow down both my hard pace and my recovery pace. That didn’t help my mood at all, unsurprisingly, and instead of reducing my anxieties, gave me a new one: how am I going to manage to do this off the treadmill once the sidewalks are passable again? And if I can’t maintain fast paces during training, how am I ever going to maintain a fast pace during the race? (<- things I do not need to be worrying about more than two months out from the race *eye roll emoji*) Blah.

Friday, February 1: Rest

Saturday, February 2: Universal Orlando
I intended to run eight miles Saturday morning. I did not run eight miles Saturday morning. I ran zero. I did, however, take 17,410 steps for 7.37 miles (according to my FitBit) and logged 13/13 active hours for the day, so I feel like that has to count for something. I certainly wouldn’t call it a rest day, at least.

2 thoughts on “Chi Town Half Marathon Training Week 3

  1. Haha I almost set a treadmill PDR this week too! I did a workout that totaled 6.76 miles. My treadmill PDR from years ago is 7 miles (It was summer, so I don’t really remember how or why I ran 7 miles on the treadmill…must have blacked out the memory due to trauma, LOL). I actually would have hit that last week but the treadmill went into 5-minute cooldown mode at the 1 hour mark and since I was already into my cooldown at that point, I figured it wasn’t worth restarting the mill for another .25 miles.

    Goodness, it is so hard. I did a 2 mile warm up and I remember looking down, feeling like I was half mile in….and I had only run .17 miles! I was like OMG how am I going to get through this???

    • I know! When I run outside, it almost never takes me more than one mile on my WORST days to hit my groove–or at least hit *a* groove–where I’m not longer painfully aware of how much more distance I have to cover. But on the treadmill, it takes more like two miles on a good day. Oof. I’m tired of building all this mental stamina! Hahaha.

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