myRUNweek (4) SD Half Training

1/25 to 1/31 Week 4:

Another awesome week of training behind me.  6 weeks to go until the San Diego Half Marathon.

Monday:  Backyard workout with a Rock

Say what?!…Yes I did a workout using a rock literally.  I was hanging out with my 2 year old in our backyard, doing a little bit of yard work when I started moving a few heavy rocks around to spruce up the landscape.  Right then, I recalled hearing a podcast about exercises you can do with a rock.  It was by Ben Greenfield of the Quick and Dirty tips Get Fit Guy podcast.  He was in the mountains of Colorado elk hunting when he thought of using rocks around his campsite to do a strength workout so he came up with 10 Exercises You can do with a Rock.  I know I wasn’t stuck in the woods and could have used the kettlebells or dumbbells I have sitting in my house but thought it would be more interesting to do a workout the non-conventional way.  Plus my daughter was intrigued and entertained at the same time.  She loves to mimic so she grabbed a much smaller rock and copied what I was doing.


Tuesday: San Diego Track Club workout – Ladders – 400m/800m/1000m/20minSteady/1000m/800m/400m

This was one tough, yet exhilarating workout.  I decided to run with the FAST group since I needed the extra mileage.  The marathon/half marathon training program is divided into 3 groups: A group are the fast runners, B group are the intermediate, mid-pack runners, and C group are the beginners.  Scheduled for the B and C group was a 20min threshold run followed by a 10min fartlek run, which meant if I ran with the B group I would run the most 4 miles.  I scheduled 7 miles total for the day, so I knew I had to join the A group if I wanted to get those miles in.

I was nervous as this was my first time running with them and didn’t want to be left in the dust.  I know I should always run my own pace without concern as to what the others around me are doing but there’s always a certain amount of anxiety no matter what.  Well, I managed to stay with the group but in the back of the pack.  And as to my pace, I ran much faster than I had intended, yet still felt pretty good by the end of the workout.

Here are my splits:  400m (1:45), 800m (3:22), 1000m (4:11), 20minthreshold (7:33/mi), 1000m (4:20), 800m (3:27), 400m (1:36).  My pacing strategy needs tweaking as I feel my splits are not very consistent.  I did a cooldown afterwards and ended up running 6 mi, a mile short than planned.  Not a big deal.  I did a few quick stretches and hurried home to eat dinner and tuck the kids in to bed.

Wednesday: 5 mi (10:00/mi) treadmill recovery + core cable exercises

Listening to a podcast while watching HGTV’s Love It or List It show made my easy run go quickly.  While I don’t mind running on a treadmill, I prefer an interval-type of run rather than shuffling along slowly.  Afterwards, I spent about 10min with rotations, wood chops and standing lifts using the Kinesis cable machine.

Thursday: Off

I usually run on Thursdays but moved it to Friday to avoid running 3 days in a row.  With a dental appointment and several errands, it worked out perfectly for me to take the day off.

Friday: 5 mi (9:48/mi) easy + Form Drills

My route covered miles 4 to 7 of the San Diego Half Marathon course from Harbor Island to Liberty Station in Point Loma.  However, I started in Point Loma and ran on the dirt trail rather than on the road.  It was another beautiful San Diego day, sunny blue skies and in the 60s – perfect running weather.

Downtown view from Harbor Island
Saturday: 12 mi (warmup 2mi – 9:27/mi, 10mi – 8:33/mi) with SDTC Rockin n’ Runnin group

Our Saturday training starts at 7am but I wanted to finish earlier so I arrived 20min early and warmed up with a 2 mile run.  Weather was cold, dreary and slightly drizzled towards the end of the run.  That really didn’t matter as I was in the company of 3 strong female runners – 2 who had babies only 8 months ago and 1 who has 2 kids a year older than mine – and we all stuck together until the end of the run.  Again, our pace was a tad quicker than planned but we were engaged in conversation and didn’t need to catch our breath.  Coach did say to run at a conversational pace!

The after-run seminar was presented by Rehab United, a Physical Therapy and Sports Performance center with Strength Training for Runners as the topic.  What great timing as we are kicking off our StrongBody Streak on Monday!  Main take-away for those who are time-constrained and don’t think you can squeeze in a strength training session.  A short 20min workout using your own bodyweight twice a week can make a big difference in preventing injury and building strength by choosing the right type of exercises for the sport, in our case Running, performing the exercises in different planes of motion (sagittal, frontal, transverse) and doing as many reps as possible (AMRAP).  Let’s take a lunge, for example.  The most common exercise for a lunge is a front lunge which is in the sagittal plane.  We can start with doing a front lunge for AMRAP, then proceed with clockwork lunges, performing lunges in various dimensions.  They provided many more examples and was definitely an informative seminar.

Sunday:  Power Yoga DVD for 40min

“Deep Breath and Calm Minds”  I hear the yoga teacher says as I work through one of the yoga poses.  That’s all I wanted from my practice today was to take deep breaths.  Unfortunately, I found it difficult at times especially when my head was upside down since I’m currently battling a stuffed nose.  Still a great workout.

Weekly Total: Mileage 28/Strength 1:20

Any strength-training advice for runners?  If you live in the same area as the race you’re training for, how often do you run the race course?

myRUNweek (3) SD Half Training

1/18 – 1/24 Week 3:

This week went by quickly and somewhat of a blur to me.  Besides the nightly interrupted sleep therefore feeling exhausted, I achieved my pace and mileage goals for the week.

M:  Day off for the kids and hubby so instead of my usual run on the treadmill, I ran 4 easy miles (9:29/mi) around the neighborhood.  I was really dragging that day and delayed my run until late in the afternoon.  Unexpected, I was sore from the yoga workout on Sunday.

T:  My schedule didn’t allow for a track workout with the San Diego Track Club.  Rather, I did a 4mi speed workout on the treadmill (3 x 800s avg 3:35) followed by a series of assisted pull-ups and push-ups.  Another night of interrupted sleep and wondering when it’s going to end?!!!

W – At home Kettlebell/Medicine ball strength workout.  I like the option of staying home to do a workout but I really have to work on maintaining focus.

R – 6.2mi easy (9:31/mi) around Balboa Park+ Form Drills.  I really appreciate the limitless options of places to run around San Diego.  Thursday, both kids were in school so this is when I schedule my medium-long runs and I try to vary the location each week.

F – Strength train (Deadlifts/Pushups, Squat and Press, Pull-ups/BOSU pushups, and a few exercises on the TRX).  I had 45-min before my volunteer work at my 5yr old’s school as a teacher’s helper.  Today, I listened to the kids individually read a picture book with 2 to 3 word sentences. Most were excellent readers but some struggled.  Reading is a significant skill to learn and always best to start introducing books to kids at an early age. It was disheartening to discover that a couple of kids didn’t even recognize their sight words and these words were introduced to them at the beginning of the school year. However, I was grateful to have the opportunity to work with them even if only for a short time.  The teacher appreciates any type of assistance.  Plus I have the chance to spy on my girl and see how she interacts in school!😉

Sat-Rest.  Truly a lazy day.  I couldn’t make it to my usual morning long run since I had to take care of the kids and rescheduled it to Sunday.  The only activity I did was walk to the park for Eyva’s soccer practice and a few chores around the house.

Sun – 10.6 mi Long (9:00/mi) around Balboa Park.  Fortunately, a few people from the track club as well as my best friend meets for an easy Sunday run around the park and I decided to join them.  Long runs with a group feel effortless (most of the time) so I always prefer to run with at least one person.

Weekly Total: Mileage 24.8mi/Strength 1:30

How many hours of sleep do you need to fully function the next day?


myRUNweek (2) SD Half Training

I am starting a new page on my blog, myRUNweek, which will show all the training weeks leading up to a race.  I’ve been reading various weekly recaps and I thought it would be a great idea to track my weekly training as if I’m recording it in a journal.  I can also look back on it to find ways for improvement.  Plus it holds me accountable!

So I am starting with week 2 of 10.  Week 1 was while we were still on vacation where I managed to incorporate a few runs and workouts.  Currently, my A goal for the half marathon is a PR (1:44:30).  I hate to admit but my fitness is not up to this level.  I will re-adjust my goal after the 10K tune-up race scheduled the first week in February.

My training paces are based on my last marathon finish time as calculated by Mcmillan running calculator.

 1/11 to 1/17 Week 2:

Monday:  4 mi Treadmill + Core/Hip Mobility (10:00/mi avg)

Tuesday: 8 x 400m (1:45 avg) repeats with calisthenics (SDTC Track workout) + warmup/cooldown (3mi total).  Form drills (high knees, butt kicks, grapevines, hamstring kicks) and dynamic stretches prior to repeats.  The recovery portion of the workout I alternated doing pushups, squats, side squats, and lunges.  It felt great to be back at the track and be surrounded by a bunch of motivated runners.

Wednesday: 2K row + Strength Train – Personal best of 10:07 on the rowing machine! Truly becoming stronger and feeling good about it.  The circuit below is from an article I read on Ace Fit, Weight Training for Weight Loss.  I like the combination of exercises and being able to do it in a short period of time (took me 30min).  It was a tough workout especially after the rigorous session on the rower.

Thursday: 7 easy miles around Coronado followed by form drills on the grass.  It was a therapeutic run as I had a void in my heart only time can heal (Not quite ready to divulge the details yet).  Also, I felt sluggish and tired the entire run due to lack of sleep caused by a 2 year old who’s been having sleep issues the past few days (hope it ends soon!)  and the rough afternoon we had as a family on Wednesday.  Plus the hard workout on Wednesday left me feeling sore.  I need to re-schedule my strength workouts so they do not affect my running (or make it less stressful).

Friday:  YES rest and recovery.  A quick core/hip mobility workout at the gym.  Both girls are in school so it was a day to run errands.

Saturday:  11 miles Long with San Diego Track Club (8:45/mi avg). I ran with my best friend and was involved in an engaging conversation the entire run.  The pace was a little faster than planned but it felt comfortable.

Photo credit:

Sunday:  40 min Power Yoga at home.  The last time I used this DVD was probably before I had my first child which was 5 years ago!  I felt tight and sore from Saturday run so I thought why not give this yoga workout a try.  I loved that my 2 yr old tried to do it with me – her downward dog looked awesome 🙂

Weekly Total:  25miles/2hrs strength

Do you use a program/calculator to determine your training paces?  Has a strength workout affected your run the day after?