RnR Savannah / St. Jude Half Marathon Training: Week 11

My travel season has (mostly) come to a close, so I suppose it’s a good time to update the blog with recent training.

In my last training post, I mentioned that I completely skipped a tempo run – on purpose, not because I didn’t have time or was injured. I was sick of dreading them, sick of struggling with them: I needed a break. Doing this let me focus on the fun of training (I was in Boston, my absolute favorite city for running) and put the struggle out of mind for a bit.

In hindsight, I wish I’d done this sooner, because it had a really positive impact on my mindset.

Another issue I needed to tackle was reconciling where I actually was with my training vs. where my plan had me. While I’d been adhering to the plan with regard to long run mileage, and I was mostly on track with midweek workout mileage (which is my second-longest run of the week), I hadn’t been getting in the total weekly mileage that my plan called for.

 weekly mileage

With my training being ALL OVER THE PLACE, partially due to my recent habit of moving long runs, I did some averaging to figure out what the “big picture” looked like. My two- and four-week rolling average mileage was 29 and 28 miles, respectively. I think that gave me a good idea of the weekly mileage on which to anchor the coming weeks.

average weekly mileage

My plan for week 11 called for 38 miles – probably not a smart jump in mileage for me, since it’s been nearly a year since I ran that kind of weekly mileage. Looking at my plan, I realized that with approximate 10% increases in weekly mileage, I could get back on track in about 4 weeks.

Because there’s nothing magical about the 10% rule, I still wanted to exercise caution. We all know that being undertrained and healthy is so much better than getting injured trying to hit an arbitrary mileage goal. So in a nutshell, here’s how I planned to approach these weeks:

  1. Cut mileage from recovery runs first, then easy medium-distance runs
  2. Run at a ridiculously easy pace for all runs except fast workouts
  3. Be hyper-sensitive to listening to my body and be willing to cut back at the first sign of anything wonky

Without further ado, here’s how week 11 went:

Week 11: 32 miles

Monday, 9/28

  • Plan: Rest
  • Actual: Rest

Tuesday, 9/29

  • Plan: 8 miles; 3-5 @ tempo + 6 x 1:00 @ 10k pace (2:00 recovery); core; strength training
  • Actual: 8 miles; 3.5 miles tempo (8:49, 8:41, 8:36, 0.5 @8:31/mile) + 5 x 1:00 @ 8:20/mile average; strength training

I started the tempo slow because I’ve been starting tempos too hard and derailing the whole workout. This time – go figure – it felt too easy, so I tacked on another half mile at tempo pace for a little confidence boost. The strength session focused on chest and triceps. I skipped my quick core routine…again [insert blushing face emoji).

Wednesday, 9/30

  • Plan: 4 mile recovery run
  • Actual: 45 minutes easy spinning

I replaced this recovery run with an easy spin session to reduce my overall weekly mileage while keeping the “quality” sessions unchanged. WHY DO I HATE THE $%@&ing SPIN BIKE SO MUCH? I love competitive spin classes, but easy spinning is my personal hell. Le sigh.

Thursday, 10/1

  • Plan: 7 miles + 4 strides; hips/glutes; strength training
  • Actual: 6 miles SOOO EASY + 4 strides; strength training

Not to get all hippie on you guys, but I missed the near-meditative state I get into when I run really really really easy. Why is it so hard to run easy? It’s the best! I skipped the hip/glute stuff (stuff like bridges, banded clams/leg raises/lateral walk) because I am lazy and didn’t feel like it.

Friday, 10/2

  • Plan: Rest
  • Actual: Rest

It’s so easy not to work out on a Friday. I really love the Monday/Friday rest day plan. I’m going to keep it. Jeff and I left for a quick trip to Chicago to celebrate my 30th birthday. We a great trip – Chicago is such a fun city.

The most unique thing we did on our trip was the architecture boat tour on the Chicago River. This was a really interesting tour, especially hearing Jeff’s perspective as an architect himself.

View from the mouth of the Chicago River

Saturday, 10/3

  • Plan: 14 miles
  • Actual: 4 miles easy

I wanted to run along Lake Michigan, but it was raining and I hadn’t packed any running gear for cold rain. When we got back to Atlanta that evening, Jeff and I went to a friends’ house for a cookout. It was already kind of late (7ish), so I decided the best way to both run and hang out was to run to their house. I was a little damp from sweat and rain, but I was glad I got to both run and grill out with friends.

Sunday, 10/4

  • Plan: 5 miles recovery
  • Actual: 14 miles @ 10:27/mile

I ran the first 6 miles with my friend Amanda, who is training for the Richmond Marathon and was running 6 as a recovery day. It was raining and gross – the run wasn’t exceptionally great, but it wasn’t bad either. Considering how this cycle has gone, I’ll happily take a not-bad run.

Have you ever fallen off the wagon and had to alter a training plan?

What do you think of the 10% rule? Abide by it or ignore it?

What’s your favorite thing to do in Chicago?


4 thoughts on “RnR Savannah / St. Jude Half Marathon Training: Week 11

  1. So glad to see your training is back in track and you’re feeling good!!! I really liked the architecture tour in Chicago, too!


  2. Pingback: RnR Savannah / St. Jude Half Marathon Training: Weeks 12-13 | Racing Oprah

  3. Pingback: RnR Savannah / St. Jude Half Marathon Training: Weeks 14-15 | Racing Oprah

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