Weekly workouts: Half marathon training weeks 8 and 9 (12/29-1/4 and 1/5-1/11)

I have this pattern, apparently, of having epically bad training runs two weeks out from a goal race. I’m sure it’s not mental because each time it’s happened, there have been extenuating factors (illness, pregnancy, horrible weather, some combination of the above, etc). These bad runs are terrible and I’d love it if I had a good run two weeks out from a race (because it really messes with my head to run these awful runs), but come race day, it’s helpful to know that I can get through the pain of a bad run, in bad weather or when I’m feeling


the weather.


These past two weeks have been busy and crazy (like the two weeks prior to them). Just when the holiday craziness had calmed down, the norovirus (that’s

stomach bug

, in non-medical terms) hit our house. First little B was sick and then I got it. Baby B spent his first New Year’s Eve throwing up (all over me), and then I ended up getting in late into the night the day after New Year’s Day. It took me a full week to start to feel normal - my appetite was all out of whack for days and every time I ran, my stomach would get very angry.

Unfortunately for me, the longest run of this training cycle was scheduled the day after I got hit with the stomach bug (and surprise! - two weeks out from race day). I ended up skipping the long run with my running group on Saturday so I could wait it out a day and attempt to properly hydrate myself. I didn’t eat anything but a few crackers on Friday, and Saturday I wasn’t much better, so I knew I was going to be heading into this run without the proper energy and hydration stores I needed.

My plan was to just go slow and walk if I needed to (which I did toward the end). The weather ended up being unseasonably warm and humid with temps in the 80s and 100 percent humidity. Add that to starting out depleted and dehydrated and that made for a pretty bad run. My skin was caked with salt by the end of the run, and I felt dizzy and weak. Had it been a race, someone probably would have sent me to the medic tent.

In addition to that lovely long run, my running group also did our final mile test at our Tuesday track sessions this week. At the beginning of training, we ran a mile on the track so we could gauge our improvement over the course of training. I ran my miles at both beginning and end at about a 75% effort - so a hard training run, but definitely not at race pace. My beginning mile was 7:51 and my finishing mile was 7:21 (according to Garmin), so there's been progress (especially since I still wasn't feeling so hot when I did the second mile test). Still not back to where I was pre-baby, but clearly moving in that direction.

Because I wasn’t feeling well, I bailed on most of my core and strength workouts. But at this point it woudn't really make a difference for Saturday anyway since the training is in the bank and I’ve done what I can. Fortunately, the stomach bug has left the building, that awful run is behind me (and I’ve had some pretty good runs both before and after), and the weather for this Saturday’s race is looking pretty close to perfect with lows in the mid-40s and highs in the low 60s.

Since my mileage never really got too high for this round of training, I see no real need to taper this week, so I'll probably log a similar workout schedule to what I've been doing for most of my training. But mostly, I’m looking forward to running this race (hopefully decently) and then hitting reset on my training so I can focus on some PRs for later this year.

Here’s how my past two weeks have shaken out:

12/29-1/4 workouts

  • Monday: Run - 10.03 miles (9:33 pace)
  • Tuesday: 10 minutes core
  • Wednesday: Run - 5.05 miles (8:55 pace)
  • Thursday: OFF
  • Friday: STOMACH BUG
  • Saturday: STOMACH BUG
  • Sunday: Run 10.67 miles (10:07 pace)

Total miles: 25.79

Total runs: 3

Total core/strength workouts: 1

1/5-1/11 workouts

  • Monday: OFF
  • Tuesday: Track Tuesday - one mile test 7:21 pace; 3.57 miles (overall pace not tracked)
  • Wednesday: 20 minutes core
  • Thursday: OFF
  • Friday: Run - 4.01 miles (8:43 pace)
  • Saturday: Run - 8.07 miles (9:17 pace)
  • Sunday: OFF

Total miles: 15.65

Total runs: 3

Total core/strength workouts: 1