Potomac River Run Half Marathon Training: Week 4

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Week 4 is in the books and unfortunately it definitely wasn’t my best. I hit a major running slump this week and am still fighting my way out of it. However, if I have learned anything this past year it’s that it is SO important to listen to what your body is telling you. This week my body was telling me that it needed a little break from the intensity and the paces I was trying so hard to hit, so I listened.

Here is my plan with including how week 4 went.

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Monday: Stroller Run. 3 miles in 27:32 (9:11 average pace). I was on Spring Break this week so I took advantage of having free time during the day and went for a run with my boy in the stroller around 11 a.m. It was about 80 degrees outside and humid, yet super windy at the same time. All that combined with pushing a stroller up and down all the hills near my house was enough to make me exhausted after only 3 miles!

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Tuesday: XT - Yoga & Planks (20:00). I did a 15 minute yoga for runners video and then a few planks at night before bed. I was hoping to go to Body Pump in the morning but could not drag myself out of my warm bed. It was Spring “Break” after all :)

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Wednesday: Key Run #1 – Speedwork. 5 miles in 40:24 (8:05 average pace). This is where things started to go downhill. My speedwork called for a 1 mile warm up, 2 x 3200 meters with 400 meter recovery, then a cool down. I decided to do it on the treadmill because it was too early and dark to go to the track, and it’s too hilly in my area to do this type of speedwork outside. I was shooting for a 7:10-7:15 pace for my 3200 meters (2 miles)- faster than short tempo pace but slower than my regular 1600 meter pace, which is 6:52. While doing my warm up I realized this was going to be tough because I was having stomach issues. I managed to do my first 3200 meters at a 7:13 average pace, then had to take a break to go to the bathroom because I wasn’t feeling good. I really wanted to just stop after that but I went back and did another 1600 meters at 7:10 pace, then cooled down and called it a day. So I didn’t quite complete the entire speedwork I was supposed to do and finished a mile short, but I’m just glad I made it through without having a bathroom emergency! Oh the TMI life of us runners :)

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Thursday: XT – Walking (20:00). Again, I had intentions of going to Body Pump at 5 a.m. but my body was just exhausted. Instead I opted to give myself more sleep and went for a walk with baby in the wagon later on. FYI- Pulling that wagon with a heavy child in it up hills is not easy!

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Friday: Key Run #2 – Tempo Run. 5 miles in 41:22 (8:16 average pace). And the running slump continued... These 5 miles at mid-tempo pace (7:38) turned into 3 miles at 7:55 pace followed by two slow miles with a couple untimed walking breaks. I did this workout 3 weeks ago much better than I did on this day. I felt really discouraged afterwards, but I tried to remind myself that I usually hit a rough patch in every training cycle. This was the wake up call that helped me realize I probably just need a little bit of a break from hard training. When my body talks to me like this, I try to listen!

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Saturday: Key Run #3 – Long Run. 12 miles in 1:58:56 (9:55 average pace). At the last minute I decided to do my long run on Saturday instead of Sunday, so I could run with two friends. I planned a route around Fredericksburg that went along part of the Historic Half route, including the dreaded Hospital Hill. I did 4 miles solo and then 8 more with my friends, and it was just what I needed to get out of my running slump: a no pressure, fun run! We dominated those Fredericksburg hills!

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Sunday: Rest/Easter.  I obviously did not have any “real” cross training or workout on this day, but I was kept very busy with Easter activities. We were moving from the time we woke up until when we went to sleep, and had a great day!

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Week 4 Total:

  • Run: 25 miles
  • Cross Training & Strength Training: yoga, planks, walking, Easter egg hunting :)

I’m currently (still) working on getting out of this running slump and accepting that these things happen during training. I’ve had many bad runs and gone on to run awesome races, so I know that this week won’t make or break me. With that being said though, I am VERY ready to do this half marathon and take a step back from this type of intense training. I am forever grateful for it because it made me so much faster and stronger, but I can’t wait to go out and just run without having to focus so much on which pace I am trying to hit. When I thought about it, I realized I’ve actually been in “training mode” since last June (almost a year!). Between training for the OBX Marathon, then the Myrtle Beach Marathon, then the Lower Potomac River Marathon after I had a DNF in Myrtle, and now training for my half marathon… all with only a few weeks of recovery between it all- it’s a LOT! I’m ready to not follow a plan for a little while!

This week’s motivation is perfect and couldn’t come at a better time. What a great way to think about this running journey that we are all on!

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One response to “Potomac River Run Half Marathon Training: Week 4

  1. Pingback: Potomac River Run Half Marathon Training: Week 5 | Run Inspired

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