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September 29, 2014

Half-Marathon Training: Week 3

I have a hard time grasping that I am already half way through training for my upcoming half-marathon!

As soon as I publish this blog post, I am setting out for my first training run of Week 4 and just typing that blows my mind. Are we really less than three weeks away from race day? (Yup!)

Since a lot of you have expressed interest in what I have been doing to prepare for it, here is another recap of another week of training.

In case you need to catch up:

Half-Marathon Training Recap: Week 1

Half-Marathon Training Recap: Week 2

Okay, let’s break it down!

Half-Marathon Training: Week 3 Recap

Please keep in mind that this is a six week half-marathon training plan I came up with on my own, specifically catered to what works best for me. Feel free to take a look in the archives for my first half-marathon training plan (you will find the section under the Fitness Page) that lasted a duration of ten weeks if you are looking for something closer to a beginner level.

The plan…

6 week half marathon training plan

What I did (Week 3: September 22 – 28, 2014)

• Monday –  3 miles

I took Roadie on my first training run of the week. He does really well with the three mile distance!

3 mile training run with polar watch

Distance: 3 miles

Time: 26:40 mins.

Pace: 8:53 min./mile

Easy, breezy run in the best weather! Fall, please stick around forever.

water break with roadie on run


I already shared this meal last Monday with you, but it’s certainly worth mentioning again.

salad with ground turkey and salsa chips

On my plate: spinach, spring mix, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, black olives, ground turkey, and shredded cheddar cheese with a side of salsa and blue corn chips.

No need for dressing when there’s salsa and (even better) chips.

Also, my leash wound is healing. The scab has been itching like crazy though!

• Tuesday –  strength training

This week I kept the Tuesday barre class tradition going strong with a visit to the gym for Life Barre.

Life Barre class and equipment

The class kicked my booty, just like I expected it to.


Directly after class, my appetite hit the roof and I couldn’t wait long enough to make something at home. Instead, I grabbed an egg white and pesto breakfast sandwich from the cafe downstairs.

egg pesto sandwich on udis bread

I ordered it with Udi’s gluten-free bread and it was every bit as dreamy as I remember it!

• Wednesday –  6 miles (tempo run)

When I took a look at my training plan, I didn’t expect to see six miles as my goal for the day. To be honest, I had zero motivation to run at all, much less six miles. Eventually, I sucked it up and set out for success.

Knowing it was supposed to be a tempo run, I used the first two miles as my “warm up” and took Roadie along for the ride.

running with roadie then doing a drop off

We ran at a pretty steady pace and I almost felt guilty dropping him off after the first two mile loop. Great job, buddy! (Don’t hate me.)

selfie with roadie on my run

I grabbed a quick sip of water while I was inside, then got right back out the door to finish the run. I wasn’t super concerned about my pace, and instead focused on running as quick as I comfortably could for three miles.

Distance: 6 miles

Time: 57:46 mins.

Pace: 9:39 min./mile

I could have actually gone longer, but wrapped it up with a mile at a cool-down pace to stay true to the tempo style. It flew by!


Surprisingly, I wasn’t terribly hungry after the run and settled on a smoothie for dinner.

post-run smoothie

This one was random: Key Lime Greek yogurt, grapes, blueberries, Vanilla Designer Whey protein powder, almond milk, and ice.

I also inhaled a couple of generous handfuls of Brown Rice baked with Sweet Potato Triscuits (if you haven’t tried them yet… go find them NOW) dipped in hummus.

Brown Rice baked with Sweet Potato Triscuits

So, so good.

• Thursday –  3 miles (easy pace)

I started my Thursday morning off with a quick three miles around the neighborhood with Roadie. I kind of struggled through this one. I just wasn’t feeling it and was glad it was over when I hit the end.

training run with roadie

I also deemed it “dress like a blueberry” day, in case you didn’t pick up on that. Not pictured is my navy hoodie. Real cool, Heather.

Distance: 3 miles

Time: 32:57 mins.

Pace: 10:59 min./mile

Wow. Just wow.


Shortly after my shower, I drove over to check out the new almond milk option and work at Dunkin’ Donuts.

Dunkin Donuts coffee and turkey sausage english muffin

I tried their turkey sausage breakfast sandwich and it was delicious!

• Friday – REST

I spent my entire Friday morning reading blogs. Thank you to all who comment and link up to Friday Favorites every week! <3

I folded tons of laundry and cleaned the entire house from top to bottom. Then I studied. I pulled a grandma card Friday night and hung in my sweatpants with the family. It was glorious.

• Saturday –  REST

Or… walk 8 miles at Cedar Point. Either way.

cedar point inside park

Saturdays are supposed to be my long training run day, but that was clearly going to have to wait until Sunday.

friends at cedar point halloweekends 2014

After literally walking the park for twelve hours, it certainly felt like I ran something crazy. I made sure to do a decent amount of foam rolling the next day to help my muscles recover.

• Sunday –  9 miles

I woke up on Sunday completely dreading having to tackle nine miles later that day. After a couple of hours of catching up on emails and such, I got myself together and found the motivation to pump both Alex and I up.

I drove over to her place around 3:30 p.m. and didn’t have much time to knock out our distance before we had to be at our church for small group.

We found a dirt road and took it all the way to a familiar trail and back, totaling the nine miles we needed.

running trails

The weather couldn’t have been prettier. I am absolutely obsessed with running through this type of scenery this time of year!

paint creek trail river

With a goal of improving our long run time, we ran a straight 4.5 miles and stopped only for less than a minute to turn around and refuel with water and energy chews.

Gu chomps performance energy chews

I love these Gu chomps. I buy the gels too, but prefer the taste and texture of the chews. Learning from my mistake of eating too many at once last go around, I stuck to eating one right before my run, one halfway through, and one after for energy and recovery.

Spreading my intake out made a world of difference and Alex agreed that they gave us a burst of energy when we needed it!

Distance: 9 miles

Time: 1:31:07 mins.

Pace: 10:07 min./mile

I am starting to question my pace tracking via the Map My Run app. I just don’t believe our pace was 10 minute miles. We tackled our fair share of hills, but still. I thought we killed it.


Basically, we grabbed anything we could find on our way out the door.

post run snacks

Pumpkin spice cookie, flax seed energy bar, strawberries, and baby food.

We arrived at church and were both still hungry. Good thing there was a Jimmy John’s just a minute or two away!

jimmy john's turkey tom

I ordered the Turkey Tom without the mayonnaise (isn’t their bread the best?) and a pickle. It was perfect.

Week 3 Thoughts

I have to look back on all of three of my training weeks so far and be proud of myself. I haven’t missed a day! I’m not at all nervous like I was last time with only three weeks to go, and instead I am really anticipating the race day. I’m excited for it to get here!

Next week I have the challenge of tackling 10 miles, which is something I haven’t done in over a year. I’ll be sure and report back on how it goes!


Question of the Afternoon

• Where is your favorite place to run?

I am seriously spoiled by being surrounded by trails. I can’t tell you how many days I have been frustrated, take off for a run on the trails, and come home feeling so much better. There’s just something about connecting with the great outdoors that makes me love the sport of running even more.

For long distances, however, I like to mix it up with sidewalks and streets. There’s only so long I can stare at a trail before I start wondering if there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Whenever I have a long distance to cover, I usually split it up between sidewalk and trail running.

September 23, 2014

Half-Marathon Training: Week 2

First thing’s first I’m the realist (<- sorry, had to), I wanted to thank you all for your tips and suggestions on leashes and running with dogs yesterday.

While the back of my knee is healing, I read a lot of great tips and strategies I will keep in mind and hopefully put to use on my future runs and walks with Roadie. You guys rock!

And now, onto what I came on to write about: last week’s half-marathon training went pretty smoothly.

I haven’t skipped any training days and sharing how they are going with you definitely helps me to stay on track. So, thank you for reading these!

In case you’re new here or interested in seeing how it’s been going so far, check out last week’s recap:

Half-Marathon Training Recap: Week 1

Let’s break it down!

Half-Marathon Training: Week 2 Recap

Please keep in mind that this is a six week half-marathon training plan I came up with on my own, specifically catered to what works best for me. Feel free to take a look in the archives for my first half-marathon training plan (you will find the section under the Fitness Page) that lasted a duration of ten weeks if you are looking for something closer to a beginner level.

The plan…

6 week half marathon training plan

What I did (Week 2: September 15 – 21, 2014)

• Monday –  4 miles

Week two started off with an easy four miles. Or so I thought.

Since I switched my rest day from Sunday to Saturday, I had to really push myself to get through all four without constantly wanting to look at my mileage to see how much further I had to go. I took Roadie with me for two (slower) miles, then dropped him off to finish on my own.

training run with roadie 3 miles

Distance: 4 miles

Time: 35 mins.

Pace: 8:39 min./mile

Basically, I allowed Roadie to slow me down and didn’t care about a pace. Once I dropped him off, however, I kicked it up a notch and got it done.


As soon as I got out of the shower, I had two seconds to grab something quick and be on my way to pick Scott up for his softball game.

Apple Pie Larabar

(Apple Pie Larabar, so yummy!)

I planned to watch at least one of his games (he potentially had three), but took my books to study with just in case. As soon as we pulled up, it started raining and we were both surprised the games weren’t cancelled. He toughed it out while I went on a mission to find dinner.

Subway footlong for us to split for the win!

subway loaded veggie sandwich

(Turkey, American cheese, lettuce, green peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, black olives, banana peppers, salt and pepper, and oil and vinegar on whole wheat bread.)

Since it was still raining (and hard), I decided to drive down to a nearby Tim Horton’s to study while he finished up.

Tim Hortons study time

(Regular coffee with a pump of pumpkin spice!)

They ended up playing two games and as soon as I was going to leave to pick him up, he got a ride and showed up to Tim Horton’s. His team may have lost, but we still took advantage of celebratory ice cream.

Coldstone giant waffle cone

I got a small mint chocolate chip and he, apparently, got the biggest waffle cone in all the land.

• Tuesday –  strength training

I chose to try out a new barre studio for my strength training workout on Tuesday. I loved it and you can read all about that recap here!

Xtend Barre class


starbucks chi tea latte and spinach feta wrap

Starbucks! I mixed it up this time with a non-fat Chai Tea Latte, but got the same old (but tasty!) spinach feta egg white wrap.

• Wednesday –  5 miles (tempo run)

I think I am finally getting the hang of these tempo runs.

I still have some questions about them, but overall, I feel like I can handle and incorporate them them into my weekly training plan. Thank you so much for your tempo run suggestions!

tempo run tracking

Distance: 5 miles

Time: 45 mins.

Pace: 8:46 min./mile

I completed a 1.5 mile (easy paced) run, kicked it into high gear with a challenging speed for the middle 2, then cooled down with another 1.5 at an easier pace.


One of the best salads I have made in a while!

healthy salad with eggs vegetables and corn

Spinach, spring mix, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, black olives, hard boiled eggs, corn (fresh off the cob), shredded cheddar cheese, ground pepper, and drizzled balsamic vinegar for dressing.

• Thursday –  3 miles (easy pace)

It’s funny how 3 miles seems like nothing to me these days. I secretly love it.

Wanting to test out these PUMA Mobium sneakers for an easier run, I threw them on and grabbed Roadie for a couple of loops around the block.

training run with PUMA Mobium shoes

Ehh… they’re not the best for running. I’ll probably stick to wearing them for cross and strength training from here on out.

Distance: 3 miles

Time: 29 mins.

Pace: 9:38 min./mile

Easy, breezy run. Nothing too exciting to report.


Call me crazy, but I had a craving for overnight oats for dinner.

I just so happened to have a batch waiting for me since I forgot about it earlier that day during breakfast.

overnight oats with fruit

Blueberry Greek yogurt, rolled oats, chia seeds, and almond milk (set overnight) topped with fresh berries.

I immediately craved an English muffin after and smothered one in peanut butter and agave nectar to finish it off!

english muffin with peanut butter and agave nectar

• Friday – REST

I usually spend my workout time on rest days on long walks with Roadie, stretching, and foam rolling. That’s exactly what happened!

• Saturday –  8 miles

Alex joined me for the long training run last weekend. We had beautiful scenery on the trails and the weather couldn’t have been better.

trail rochester hills

We struggled a bit after the six mile mark, but I am proud of  both of us for finishing. My goal is to pick up the pace this weekend!

Distance: 8 miles

Time: 1 hour 26 mins.

Pace: 10:45 min./mile

Here‘s the full recap of our run, just in case you’re interested in reading it.


Brunch at Rochester Brunch House!

Turkey Omelet Rochester Brunch House

Turkey Omelet with turkey sausage, peppers, onions, and Swiss cheese with a side of potatoes and whole grain toast.

• Sunday –  REST

Same as Friday.

Week 2 Thoughts

I am actually really enjoying the process of training this time. I have a feeling the shortness of my six week plan has something to do with that. When I trained for my first half, I often dreaded the runs. This time, I look forward to challenging myself and know I can do it. I’ve done it before, and I think that has had a huge impact on my mental game.

For Week 3, my goals are to push myself (and Alex!) harder and run our long distance run of 9 miles over the weekend at a quicker pace than 8 miles. I’ll be sure to report back with how it goes!


Question of the Afternoon

• What is your favorite mileage to run?

Mine used to be three miles. It was a bit of a challenge if I hadn’t run in a while, and a breeze if I was consistently clocking in miles. These days, I really enjoy five miles. I feel like I’m pushing myself, but the run is still enjoyable.

What about you?

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I am not a registered dietician, nutritionist, or certified fitness professional. The workouts I post are what work best for me, but might not be the right type of exercises for you.

I do NOT post everything I eat. All content I post on this blog stems from my personal experience and knowledge, and I recommend consulting a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet or fitness routine.

Also, please understand that affiliate links may pop up on the blog from time to time. I acknowledge when they appear and always genuinely appreciate your support! ♥

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