Road to my first half marathon – Week 13

My half marathon is slowly approaching, I’m doing an easy run, goal pace run, stride repeats and a progression run this week. Lots of speed work and the distances are slowly declining. 

Easy run

My Monday morning runs haven’t been happening for a while and today was no different. I told myself the evening before I would run Monday evening and didn’t even set my run alarm. My usual aquapower session wasn’t happening this week, so in order to get at least four workouts in I would need to do it. Then I spend my entire workday telling myself it would be okay to skip my run. I wasn’t feeling it, just didn’t want to. But, when I arrived home a package had been delivered with a new longsleeve running shirt. I needed to take it for a trial run, right? 

And off I went. Coach Greg had planned an easy run of 5 minute warm-up, 20 minutes easy pace, 15 minutes optional easy pace and 5 minute cooling-down. I had already told myself I wasn’t going to do the optional part, I just wanted to run a bit. I ran 30 minutes at an average pace of 8:21 min/km. I tried to focus on keeping my heart rate low, but I’m not really impressed with my average heart rate of 159 bpm. But, I ran. 

Goal pace run

Feeling good today and excited about the goal pace run planned for me. Garmin Coach has finally caught up with my changed goal pace, I’m supposed to run a 15 minute warming up, 20 minutes at goal pace (7:28 – 7:41 min/km), 10 minutes optional at goal pace and a 15 minute cooling down. As usual I start the workout with a slow jog, slowing increasing my speed and when I feel warm enough I skip the rest of the warming up and go straight to the goal pace part. Time is limited on these morning runs!

It’s cold and I have trouble getting myself out of bed. My weather app tells me the current feels like temperature is -4°C, great. I have two buffs, the bright and pink one goes over my ears, the black one goes around my neck and face. For the first part of the run I’m breathing through the buff. About 5 minutes into my warming up I move the pink buff a bit so it doesn’t fully cover my ears anymore. It’s putting a bit pressure on my earphone and I’m slowly getting warm. Less then 5 minutes later I can pull the black buff down, I need a little more oxygen and I’m definitely warm now. Ten minutes later I take the buff of completely and wrap it around my arm. The pink buff is just on my head now and no longer covering my ears. I prefer messing around like this with my running accessories as it helps me regulate my temperature. I don’t want to be cold, but I need to make sure I don’t get too warm either. 

This run felt good and I could’ve definitely kept it up a bit longer after 20 + 10 minutes were done. I ran the first part at an average pace of 7:15 min/km and the second part at 7:19 min/km. I’m not quite convinced I can actually run an entire half marathon at this pace though, but I guess we’ll know that soon enough!


Stride repeats

A short stride repeats session to focus on improving my cadence. My usual cadence is somewhere between 155 and 160 so there is definitely room for improvement. I’m comparing my results from today to the last stride repeat workout I did about a month ago. Even though my paces look a bit slower, my cadence was actually a lot better today as it was last time. Since that was the goal of the workout I’m calling this a win. 

January 24, 2020

1. 3:37 min/km, 173 (definitely wrong pace)
2. 5:09 min/km, 177
3. 4:53 min/km, 179
4. 4:33 min/km, 186
5. 4:08 min/km, 183
6. 4:15 min/km, 181
7. 4:10 min/km, 182
8. 4:12 min/km, 174
9. 4:34 min/km, 177
10. 4:13 min/km, 178

December 20, 2019

1. 3:45 min/km, 173 spm (also wrong?)
2. 4:35 min/km, 172 spm
3. 5:14 min/km, 165 spm 
4. 4:26 min/km, 169 spm
5. 5:02 min/km, 171 spm
6: 4:30 min/km, 172 spm
7. 4:58 min/km, 167 spm
8. 4:50 min/km, 175 spm
9. 4:27 min/km, 172 spm
10. 4:59 min/km, 170 spm
11. 3:46 min/km, 163 spm
12. 4:18 min/km, 179 spm

Progression run

Today’s progression run is the same as last week’s: 75 minutes at easy pace, 10 minutes at goal pace and 5 minutes at fast pace. I decided I wanted a new route today so I asked Garmin Courses to set one up for me. Random route, 11,5K, trail running, direction north. Today I learned not to trust Garmin Courses blindly if I want to have a nice route. I prefer running in nature, but didn’t closely check the route it picked out for me. About 50% of the route went through residential areas, 40% went straight through industrial area and the rest were roads like shown on the picture above. The residential areas were busy as the weather was good today, the industrial area was boring, ugly and abandoned. And the rural roads felt a bit lonely. Oh well, I discovered new parts of the town I live in and I now know where I don’t want to run next time!

The run itself felt hard. I couldn’t find my zone. My pace was pretty consistent, but I was distracted and annoyed by my surroundings. My own fault, next time I’ll go back to my trusted route. Or plan a bit better. 

Last week: 8:05, 7:28, 6:54 min/km
This week: 8:17, 7:25, 7:00 min/km

With only two weeks to go until my half marathon I’m planning the logistics of race day. I’m spending the night before at my mom’s house which is 1 hour closer to the race as my house. I’ll leave in the morning, park my car at the train station near the race and take the shuttle bus to the start. After the race I’ll go back to my mom’s house where I will be taking a long, warm bath. I don’t have a bath and I feel like my legs will have deserved a bath after taking me across the finish line of my first half marathon. While discussing this my mom said that if the weather isn’t too bad on race day, she’d like to come with me to watch. Can someone order me some nice spectator weather for February 9? 

Two weeks to go. I feel ready, can we just get this done?

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