The Last Month of Training

Fitness and Diet

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:

11/01-11/07
Tues 5 mi @ 11:10 pace
Thurs 4 mi @ 11:10 pace
Sun 5 mi @ 11:10 pace

11/08-11/14
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

11/15-11/21
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!

Running in the Dark

Fitness and Diet

There is no attractive way to run in the cold, damp dark of Seattle. I’m just over a month away from the Seattle 1/2, and it’s getting chilly and wet out there, and the light is definitely not there in the morning, and won’t be there for long in the evenings after work. I have purchased my exposure protection, however, even though they all have reflective striping, they all come in fashionably dark colors, so unless the drivers are looking for Tron-like costumes, being seen is nearly impossible.

Not to mention that I’m pretty sure that NO ONE driving at 6:30am is looking for runners. They sure as heck aren’t stopping at stop signs, and even after I saw a man stop, look both ways, and nudge into the intersection, looking both ways again (and towards me), he still ended up clipping me, requiring me to place my hand on the corner of his car to scoot myself out of the way. I looked at him, he was stunned, and I yelled something like, “Stop sign, Asshole!” and jogged about two meters past, tripping, and skidding myself on the left side forward on the asphalt. I called my husband for a pick up, limping a bit, bleeding from my knuckles, hand and knee, with a few abrasions in between. My hip was deeply bruised, and I was a bit shaken up.

It’s dark and lonely, and a bit scary to run that early in the dark. I’ve noticed that my usual early morning companions have dissipated – perhaps they’re all electing to go into work a bit later. I need to find a better solution as I prepare for this race, and it turns out the best solution might be a gym membership near work, that might allow me to road-run during lunch, shower, and be back to work at a decent time. Treadmills for over an hour are dull as dirt. I did that yesterday, since the forecast was for nasty weather, and I had procrastinated towards dusk.

It’s tough. Even if I was wearing electric yellow from head to toe, I wonder if I would be seen. It’s scary out there, solo, female, cold, damp and in the dark. I’m increasingly convinced that they don’t make running gear for Northwestern runners in mind.