Half marathon training update time! I’ve just reached the end of week 6, which means I’m half way through my training plan already! I have 6 weeks left before the More/Shape half marathon in Central Park, and I’ve hit the point where the long runs really start stacking up the miles. Time to really get serious about this!
NYRR Washington Heights Salsa, Blues, and Shamrocks 5K
This weekend saw NYRR Washington Heights Salsa, Blues, and Shamrocks 5K in, you guessed it, Washington Heights. This was GREAT for me as it’s super close to my house and I could turn a 5k into a 6 mile run by simply running home from the race!
The course for this was the hilliest 5k course I’ve ever ran. It was brutal. When I created my half marathon training plan, I set myself a challenge of completing this race in under 31 minutes – but what I didn’t realize was how hilly the course was!
All smiles at the @NYRR #washheights5k today! Clearly the photo was taken before we realized it's the hilliest, most challenging 5k course of doom. Not a course to run a PR, but I'll take my 31:52 with pride. Finished off with a 3 mile run home to mark the half way point of my training for the @moreshapehalf in April!
The first mile of the course wasn’t too bad, there were some rolling hills but nothing over the top. The worst hills came in mile 2, and I lost some time because I had to walk up a little of one of the bigger hills. I tried to make up as much time as I could on the downhills, but I fell short of my target by almost a minute. My final time was 31:52. Despite being short of target, I’m happy with my time and my 10:16 min/mi pace. I will make my sub 31 goal this year, and hopefully sub 30 too, but clearly there’s still some work to do!
Blisters and Band-Aids and pain, oh my!
I’m starting to feel like a proper runner now, despite my slow running times and ample body size. Why, you say? Well, because I have my first bona-fide running ailment, in the form of mammoth blisters every time I run. They’re always on the same place, on the inside of my arches, at the balls of my feet.
(I won’t share pictures, it’s not pretty)
It’s really starting to bother me, as it’s happening every time I run and is causing the last mile or two of each run to be very uncomfortable. I’ve tried tying my shoelaces in different ways, I’ve tried liquid band-aids, blister cushions, but nothing seems to solve the problem. I’m assuming it’s because my shoes are ready to be replaced, so today I dipped into the work bonus fund to splash out on a new pair of running shoes. I opted for the Brooks Glycerin 13 in wide fit. Fingers crossed this’ll do it!
Half Marathon Training Update – Week 6
I can’t believe I’m half way through my training plan already. However, I’ve actually got two half marathons to run this spring, one in April and one in May, so the training will continue even after the end of the plan. This week, I’ve kept to plan and got lots of nice green check marks, but I didn’t manage to squeeze the missing run from last week in – I’ve admitted defeat on this one and added a red ‘x’. Boooo!
This week I want to really focus on sprint training, as I’ve not been giving this the same emphasis as the longer runs. If I want to get faster, I really need to run up more hills and run faster intervals. I’m going to do my long run on rolling hills this week too, the half marathon in April is in Central Park so that’s all rolling hills! Luckily I’m signed up for two 10k races in the park before the half marathon, so I’ll have plenty of time to practice.
I’m really starting to love strength training too, and love that I’m starting to really make progress. I started with 20lb chest press, and now I can do 3 sets of 10 reps at 45lbs. I’m squatting 5 sets of 10 reps at 65lbs now, and deadlifts I’m up to 75lbs. Deadlifts are killing my hands though! I have terrible grip strength, and I find that although I can lift the bar, it’s sliding out of my hands before I finish my reps. My strategy to combat this is to use lots of talc and to grip the bar so tight that my knuckles go white – and it does seem to be helping. If anyone has any advice for how to improve grip strength, please let me know in the comments!
The elephant in the room – how’s the weight loss?
So I didn’t lose any weight this week, which is deserved as I went over calories on a few days. This week, I’m going to be working harder at sticking to my plan. The calorie counting is always the hardest part for me – which is unfortunate because it’s the most important part of losing weight! I could run every single day of the week, but if I’m not accountable for my eating habits then it makes no difference. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you can’t out-run a bad diet!
On the plus side, once I’ve reached my goal weight I’m confident I can maintain it, because maintaining seems to be my biggest skill right now!
I’m feeling strong this week! Let’s do this!