Sunday, March 23, 2014

Pittsburgh Half Marathon Training: Week Six

Week six is the halfway point of my training for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. I cannot believe it! It seems like just yesterday I was getting ready to go run Disney!

The calendar may say that's it's spring, but Mother Nature can ALWAYS change that. This week we had to deal with wind, cold, snow and some sun. It's just so hard to believe that it is soon going to be April. 

On to the week that was! 

Monday is my usual rest day, but I decided to change things up a bit. I have been wanting to do yoga for quite sometime, but I'm not all about going to a class. Then I remembered, my Wii Fit has tons of yoga positions and other exercises, why not give it a shot! 

I did the yoga for an hour, then ended with a minute plank. I have a feeling I can incorporate this in weekly! 

Tuesday was my first planned track workout since I hurt my IT Band in August. I was excited and nervous all at the same time. I had 800x6 planned. 

To say that this was a great confidence builder is an understatement. I had pretty consistent splits (3:24 3:29 3:34 3:34 3:33 3:34) and felt really good! It was also really neat to see other people out on the track soaking up the sun, minus the 15mph winds. 

Wednesday was my next off day, and I decided to do a modified yoga workout. This time, just a half hour to allow some foam rolling time. Dangle still is not understanding yoga, she will get there. 

Thursday was back to being cold. I came home and fell asleep. I had zero interest in a light workout, but I knew it had to be done. I grabbed a DVD and jumped on for a quick 5K. I also FINALLY got to wear my Oiselle distance shorts and they were fantastic! 

Later that evening, my training partner and I were talking. He injured his ankle/foot a few weeks ago, and it isn't getting better. He was going to help me towards that 1:50-2 hour half marathon. Sadly, that isn't going to happen. I was crushed. Glad I had already ran or else I would not have had the energy. 

Luckily, I have AMAZING run friends! I texted Jeff and asked him the average minute/mile I needed to hit one of three goals. 

So now I really needed to start shifting to a goal race pace, since I'm going at it alone. 

I had a rare Friday off this week, and the weather looked great all week for it to be my long run day. Let's not count Mother Nature out that quickly! Around 10am it got really dark and by noon it was snowing. Like covering the grass snowing. I was not amused. We ended up meeting a few friends out for drink and basketball, which was a really nice treat! 

When I woke up on Saturday, it was beautiful! A little windy, but close to 50 degrees! I wanted my distance shorts to get some outside love, so I wore a long sleeved shirt. I always feel like the crazy person when I run in 50 degree weather. People are in long pants and coats, while I'm contemplating ditching my shirt and running in just a sports bra. 

Anyway. There were tons of people out, which was awesome. I found a few people on a good pace and made sure I stayed around them. Sort of how I will attack the half. When I made it to my seven mile water stop, I finally looked at my watch. It said just over an hour. Holy crap, this is a little quick but I'm feeling really good. 

My IT Band was a little tight so I decided to slow down slightly and it went away. I made sure to just keep a consistent pace and not push too hard. When I got to the 12 mile mark I stopped my watch and looked. 1:45. Wait, 1:45!?! Really? I can't believe this! 

Since I miscalculated where to park for 12 miles, I had a nice mile walk back to my car and think about the run. How on earth did this just happen? Stop questioning it Steff, enjoy the awesomeness that you just accomplished! I had to rock Cecilia's signature pose because this run was as amazing as she is! 

When I got home my calves were very tight. I slipped on a pair of compression socks and stretched. I noticed I finally hit 200 miles for 2014. I'm a little behind schedule for my 1,111 miles this year, but I'm not too concerned. 

Sunday is a shakeout day. It's cold, again. I decided to take it really easy and jump on the treadmill. Since I already had Jesus Christ Superstar in the DVD player, I figured singing along would help keep me from wanting to speed up and stay slower. It worked! I also used this run to test out my Pittsburgh Marathon 5K outfit!! 

All in all, a pretty successful training week. 24.6 miles with 79.6 miles for the month of March! The biggest thing I learned from this week is I can do this on my own. I'm stronger than I think! 

Be sure to stay tuned through the next few weeks. I have TONS of products to review for you guys and maybe some information on a Pittsburgh Marathon tweet/Instagram/blog meet up!! 

What was your proud moment for the week?


  1. I see no reason why you won't hit your goal for the half!!! Keep up the good work

  2. So sorry about your training partner.

    1. Thanks Abby! He's still gonna do it, but to finish. No time goal.

  3. Awesome job on that long run! I'm trying so hard to get faster. What do you do for speed work?

    1. I do tons of progressions on the track during the summer (100 200 300 400) then in fall and spring I do a lot of mile repeats. Winter I really don't do much.

  4. Don't be scared, racing alone is the way to go! You can speed up when you feel good, or hang back when you need to take a breather.

    Have you thought about running w/ a pace team? If you're really nervous about pacing yourself, I'd run with one. It takes the stress off of having to watch your watch.

    I think you're going to surprise yourself. :)

    1. I usually race alone. I prefer too. I was really looking forward to running with my friend. Pace groups make me anxious. I'm gonna go at it alone. If I hit that mark, you will hear me scream for sure =)

  5. I just love Dangle :) I run/race alone as I like to retreat into my brain for a while. I have raced with my husband but we were dressed as Elvis at the time so that probably doesn't count.

    You are having some great speedy runs, I look forward to hearing about you hitting your goals!