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Posts Tagged ‘Running’

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 17, 2014

In Need of Some Tempo Run Advice

Hello! How’s the day going for you? Mine has been pretty darn good with these gorgeous views.

running path with trails and rivers

I’m sorry that I keep throwing our “perfect weather” at you this week, but really… it’s the best. And, hey, after the winter we had last year I feel like I’m long overdue for those types of bragging rights.

Today’s training run called for a 5 mile tempo run. Do ya’ll do tempo runs? I’m still trying to get the hang of them.

I stuck with the suggestions I read online to do a 10-15 minute warm-up and cool-down run and decided that 1.5 miles each at that pace would do the trick. I aimed for my “race pace” for the middle 2 miles, whatever that is. My fastest 5K time is 22:07, but I’m not sure the 7:07 pace is feasible to go for all the time. I had some kind of fire lit behind me that day. Instead, I have been aiming anywhere in the 7-8 mile/min. pace mark.

It’s been a challenge to really track my pace anyways. I love my Polar FT60, but I wish it came equipped with speed and distance tracking. For the moment, I guess the measurements on my Map My Run app will do. But who really knows how accurate those numbers are either?

tempo run tracking

Right at the 3.5 mile mark, I went from a sprinting pace to a power walk. When tempo running do any of you go directly into slower paced running (even if it’s a jog) right away? I feel like I always need at least a minute’s break of walking included in my transition.

I have to say, however, that my tempo runs have gone by faster that any of them. I guess it’s similar to doing on and off sprints on the treadmill. You constantly have to look at the clock and track what you are doing, so it makes the time fly by. It does for me at least!

I finished the full 5 miles at an average of a 8:56 min./mile pace, according to my tracking app. I’ll take that.

As soon as I walked in the door, I was greeted with puppy eyes and grabbed Roadie for a walk around the neighborhood before lunch. It’s too nice out not to let him enjoy it a little too!

fall day with roadie

We parked ourselves next to a nearby pond of water and enjoyed watching the geese and swans for a bit.

neighborhood pond and animals

Ha! Remember the swans?

I still think the fact that they aren’t real and someone put them there is hilarious. I didn’t realize I sat in a huge pile of mud until we got up, but it was still worth the few minutes of sunshine and serenity. Whoops!

As soon as we got back to the house I made myself a monster salad that turned out fantastic. I loved the combination of flavors!

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.

healthy vegetable and egg salad

It’s been one of my favorite fall days so far! Now it’s time for me to sign off and work on a project before study time. Woo hoo!

Questions of the Afternoon

I need some advice…

• Any tips for tempo running?

• Have any of you ever included tempo runs in your race day plan?

I would love to be able to transition from sprinting to a jog without walking. Also, I think it might help the miles go by faster if I put a few tempo miles in my half on race day. Is that a horrible idea? Thoughts? Thanks in advance!

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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.

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