The Last Month of Training

I’m already less than a month from the Seattle 1/2 Marathon, and training is getting more challenging in both mileage and otherwise.

The biggest issue is getting the exposure protection handled.Salomon Women’s Fast III Jacket is a recent addition to my gear, providing some easy on/off for windy, cool mornings. It does some rain protection, but it’s not to be counted on. I’ve also (shock!) switched to my Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 10 from my awesome, totally recommended Five Fingers Bikila. This is mostly due to warmth and friction, as that I’ve had some nasty little blisters form lately that have made the long runs a little hard to deal with.

Training in conventional shoes again have my knees aching a bit. Then add that I’ve started going on hills in the dark (mainly because the routes are better lit), I’m hurting a bit. My training schedule up to the race, as provided by the Runner’s World SmartCoach app on my iPhone, is as follows:

Tues 5 mi @ 11:10 pace
Thurs 4 mi @ 11:10 pace
Sun 5 mi @ 11:10 pace

Tues 3 mi @ 11:03 pace
Thurs 6 mi w/ 1 mi warm up, 4 mi @ 9:33 pace, 1 mi cooldown
Fri 2 mi @ 11:03 pace
Sun 6 mi @ 11:03 pace

Tues 2 mi @ 11:03 pace
Thurs 7 mi w/ warm up, 3x1600m (1mi) @8:56 w/ 800m (1/2 mi) jogs, cool down
Fri 2 mi @ 11:03 pace
Sun 9 mi @ 11:03 pace

11/22-RACE DAY
Tues 3 mi @ 11:10 pace
Wed 3 mi @ 11:10 pace
Thurs 5 mi w/ w/ 1 mi warm up, 3 mi @ 9:33 pace, 1 mi cooldown
Sun 13.1 mi @ 9:42 pace

Phew! I’ve got a lot to work on. I’m starting to do some work on the treadmill just when the weather is particularly awful. I’ll consider this race the end of the season for me, then it’s back to doing cardio/weights/yoga until spring!

Back and Neck

A week ago, I did something not-so-great to my back while running. I think that it was a combo of issues, being my posture, my running in conventional shoes after a few months of running in minimalist shoes, and poor choice in cross-body day bags. Saturday, I did a 66 minute run, and on my hills coming back, I tried to keep my body to keep my head up and my posture vertical as I ran. That ended up with me waking up Sunday morning with a stiff neck, but my mid back feeling much better.

The good news was that my doctor told me last week that I didn’t have to stop running. This was good. It’s very much a part of my life, even when I don’t want to do it, it’s something I just feel better doing. I’m finally getting back into a groove where it’s not as painful to do my runs (in the moment) and stretching myself feels good. I just need to work on my posture, and I need to work on strengthening my core muscles (and doing more yoga).

And, just to put in some numbers, I did my slow run for 66 minutes, and went 5.56 mi. That’s a pace of 11:52. Not bad, for me!

In other news, I’m almost 4 lbs away from the upper end of the BMI for “normal.” While I know that’s not a judge of fitness, it means that in roughly 9 lbs,if I lose only fat, I will be down to about 20-24% body fat. This is awesome!