Chi Town Half Training: Week 5

TRAINING WEEK 5: Oops Technology!

Completed 4.5/5 workouts for a total of 20 miles for the week + 2 strength workouts. Another week of many treadmill miles, but summer came early this weekend (kind of), and allowed for some much-needed Vitamin D. It also marked the first time I’ve run outside in 69mph gusts, and the longest run my watch has seen since April of last year! I’m counting one workout as halfway completed, as I didn’t do the workout, but I walked ALL the miles.

  • Workout #1: 7 x 400 @ 7:15-:30
    [Actual: ~1.5mi warm up;  2 @ 7:30; 2-3 @ 7:10-:15; 1:40; 1:38; 5min cool down]
    I was looking at another “strong like panther”-type interval workout, and while that didn’t quite happen, I still felt pretty great. I used my phone stopwatch to log these intervals, and then brilliantly deleted the data before I wrote it down, thinking “I have a screenshot! Delete!”
Humblebragging on instagram got me at least *some* documentation.

When coupled with the fact that I almost died trying to hit the “lap” button at the end of each interval, I can’t in good faith recommend this technique over, say, using a lap/GPS/stopwatch, or “not giving a shit about documenting it to the nth degree when on a treadmill.” With this workout, I tested the theory that you can always find another gear.I pushed as hard as I thought I could on the second-to-last interval, and even harder on my final, where I actually got the treadmill up to its highest setting (10mph – 6min miles) for the  final ~200m.

  • Workout #24 @ goal race pace (currently 8:15 – 8:30)
    [Actual – Nope.]
    It was *beautiful* outside, but I couldn’t get myself to lace up for this workout. My body was Tired with a capital T. I vowed to try and throw a few race pace miles into Sunday’s long run to make up for this, and explored the city with my guy, soaking in the sunshine and poking around the world’s coolest collection of furniture, collector’s pieces, and vintage finds. (Turns out, accidentally walking 6.5mi in heels is what happens when Chicago has its first summer-like day of the year. My knees were a little grouchy for it, but my head was very happy.)
  • Long Run: 8 miles on the lakefront path.
    [Actual: 8 miles with 1.5 faster miles – avg 9:32]
    I really had to drag myself out of the door for this run, and I wasn’t sure it was going to happen even as I was running. My knees were still a little cranky from the long walk in heels the day before, but everything loosened up really nicely after about 2 miles. I had a stiff headwind for half of this run, which definitely slowed things down a bit, but I felt pretty strong. I was most excited that I was able to fight through the doldrums, and that my brain was left feeling like 8 miles wasn’t all that far in the grand scheme of things (versus the omgMILEZ feeling I had at the beginning of the run). I tried to throw in two race pace miles in towards the end (miles 6-7), but I was pretty gassed from fighting against the wind (and still fought it for a mile of my faster pace), and my stomach had become a little angry. Unfortunately, I thought my hard Garmin data would show each mile’s pace, even with my autolap turned off. Turns out it doesn’t (?), so I don’t have any real data from those faster miles. Maybe part of my training cycle is actually figuring out the technology I use on a regular basis.


My body has definitely been feeling the mileage these past few weeks, and I’ve been fighting to stay engaged with my workouts in light of so many treadmill miles. I’ve been proud of myself for fighting through the blahs of a lot of these workouts, and generally have been rewarded with solid efforts/results. I’ve consistently logged two strength workouts for the last few weeks, as well (one every Monday, and another midweek), and while I’m hardly deadlifting school buses, I’m confident that it’s strengthening and stabilizing things that will pay-off in the long run. My foot is still cranky from time to time, particularly after longer runs or hard workouts, so I’m paying extra attention to form, and massaging frequently. I had started this training cycle hoping I could PR the half marathon in April, not because I used rational thought, but because who doesn’t want to PR a race? It’s been hard to tell what I’m really capable of at this point – my hard effort runs have mostly been indoors, and my long runs have been after nights of too much wine in front of a fire. This coming week marks the halfway point in training; I don’t quite have a sense for what my capabilities are at this point, but I don’t think a PR is in the cards just yet…and that’s ok! I have an 8k in two weeks, and it will be helpful to see what happens in race conditions.

For my west coast friends, please have a good laugh at my elevation chart from Sunday’s long run:

lake run
Flatland Runner

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