Training Update: Half Number 5

In less than seven weeks, I will be tackling my fifth half marathon. I can hardly believe it! I’ve been meaning to do a training update for a few weeks now, but better late than never, right?

This time with training for the half, it just feels… different. In a good way. A great way, really.

Normally, I sign up for races to keep me on track. I’m usually in a rut with exercise leading into the training season and find that having a race on my calendar makes me get out there to exercise more than I would without something on my schedule. I’ll find myself doing the bare minimum by running 3-4 times a week, and that’s it. No cross training, no strength training, and sort of looking at training as more of a chore than anything.

This time around, I had a really solid fitness base going into training and it has made a world of a difference. I consistently started working out at the beginning of July 4-5 times per week, so I had been working out consistently for 2 solid months when the time for the training plan came. It felt like it was time to focus on running and take my fitness to the next level, rather than just time to pull myself out of a rut. And this time, it’s just felt 100x better, both physically and mentally.

At this point, I’ve completed 5 weeks of training and have 7 more to go, and not to sound conceited, but I have been nailing it every week. You can take a look at my training plan here, but I’ve basically been working out about 6 times a week recently, including 1-2 days of cross training. I’ve been running more times a week, getting in more mileage, doing speed training once a week, and as a result have been going a lot faster than I used to. I know to some people think running paces in the high 8’s isn’t that fast, but the best part about running is that you’re competing against yourself! And for me, that is super duper fast. Smile

Yesterday, I did my longest run to date which was 8 miles. I set up my clothes the night before, just like I was prepping for a race:

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Woke up (a little later than planned) and got dressed.

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Orrrr maybe I got dressed and then woke up. Heh.

I had a toasted english muffin with banana slices.

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This one is actually a whole wheat cinnamon raisin one from Trader Joe’s, and it was AWESOME and only 3 PointsPlus!

Took another quick glance at my route

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And then headed out the door. It took a little convincing to get out the door and not to turn back towards my house during the first mile, but after that it was pretty smooth sailing. It’s funny because even though I’ve lived in DC for 10 years (!!!) I am still taken back by the amazing things I get to see while running.

Like the Lincoln Memorial.

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The Washington Monument.

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The Capital Building.

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The White House.

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I saw so many tourists out while I was running, and had to pinch myself a little because I LIVE here! OK, enough DC love. Here’s the breakdown:

    • Mile 1: 9:08
    • Mile 2: 8:17
    • Mile 3: 8:40
    • Mile 4: 9:06
    • Mile 5: 8:59
    • Mile 6: 8:53 (Took a GU during this mile)
    • Mile 7: 8:42
    • Mile 8: 8:09
    • Total: 8.01 miles, 1:09:58, 8:44 average pace

Talk about a negative split! While I was definitely ready for the run to be over when I saw myself ticking closer to the 8.0 mark, I felt REALLY good and was so proud of myself for getting it done.

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I’m doing a 10k this coming weekend and the one after, which will be my first races since my last half marathon – which was not good at all. I am excited!

Why do you normally sign up for races? If you don’t, what do you do to get out of an exercise rut?

12 Comments on Training Update: Half Number 5

  1. Victoria
    October 1, 2012 at 8:37 am (8 years ago)

    Your runs are so fast! You’re going to PR in a major way.

  2. Bailey @ Onederland or Bust!
    October 1, 2012 at 8:50 am (8 years ago)

    I started running this past spring and have ran 3 5K’s so far. I’ve signed up for one in November and have one in mind for December. My goal is to continue running throughout the winter and signing up for races will keep me motivated to continue my running 🙂

  3. Jessica
    October 1, 2012 at 9:42 am (8 years ago)

    WOO! Way to go Beth! Keep up the good work! Great idea to get into “race mode” for the long practice runs – and runs in the high 8s are SUPER fast. =)

  4. Carly D. @ CarlyBananas
    October 1, 2012 at 9:52 am (8 years ago)

    Go Beth! You’re killing your training! And your times ARE fast! I can’t even imagine pulling off 8 miles at that pace!

  5. Danielle
    October 1, 2012 at 10:05 am (8 years ago)

    Way to go! I just started the C25K program because I am NOT a runner. I have been averaging a 13 minute mile with the walk/run intervals – so slow! Anyways, I wanted to ask if when you run these long distances do you every take any walking breaks? I would love to know as I am trying to build me endurance. I just signed up for my first 5K in four weeks and I am nervous!

    • Nora
      October 1, 2012 at 10:09 am (8 years ago)

      Hi Danielle – I started running again this year using a C25k by Zen Labs – i’m now using their 1/2 marathon trainer (which still incorporates R/W on their long runs) and have a 10 mile race this Sunday! However – my endurance is such now that I can (SLOWLY) run through a 10k. – usually around 11:30 – 12:00 miles, down from 13+minute miles earlier this year.

    • Beth
      October 1, 2012 at 10:13 am (8 years ago)

      Hi Danielle – Congrats to you for starting C25k!! That’s how I got started. And honestly, at this point I’d focus much more on building your endurance than how fast you’re going! You can work on speed later IF you want to, depending on your personal goals. I don’t take walking breaks on long runs, but there are plenty of runners who do. I find that for me, when I start to walk a little, I have a really hard time starting to run again, so I just run the whole time. There are lots of training plans that have you do 10:1 with 10 mins of running, 1 min of walking, but I have tried that and it doesn’t work for me.

  6. Nora
    October 1, 2012 at 10:06 am (8 years ago)

    1) I’m a junky for race swag. It makes me feel cool and like i’m out doing something productive. Its the message I send to other people that “I Run”. (go Vanity!) 2) I love the feeling of crossing a finish line… even on the hard races, for me, its how I get the ‘I did it’ feeling.

  7. Life's a Bowl
    October 1, 2012 at 10:12 am (8 years ago)

    It was absolutely bea-uuu-tiful in DC this weekend!!!

    P.S. The cinnamon raisin English muffins from TJ’s are a fave, great flavor! Although, the classic Thomas’ have better nooks and crannies 😛

  8. logan
    October 1, 2012 at 11:15 am (8 years ago)

    Your times lately have been awesome! Keep up the hard work. I find that if I am in good shape from working out (spinning/weights/etc) that it translates into my running…looks like this is the case for you too. Good luck with the rest of your training and the race.


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