training diary: half marathon prep – week 1

As I mentioned in my last post, if all goes to plan then I will be busy training for a half marathon PR this spring/summer. First up is See Jane Run on June 4 in Alameda, followed by Santa Rosa in late August. I ran the Santa Rosa half back in 2014 and have done the 5k distance at See Jane Run twice.


Bubbles @ SJR last year.

For this impending race, I have developed an 8-week training plan that’s fairly conservative and loose, targeting consistency while building up a comfortable base with 5 runs per week: 3 easy, a Thursday speed workout (low key-ish like fartleks or pace runs), and a weekend long run. As for tune up races, I’ve got a 5k race to close out April and then Bay to Breakers as usual on May 21.


Breakers! 2017 will be my 5th consecutive year running. BTB is infamous for their back of the pack shenanigans, but I think that the actual race course is awesome and it’s definitely a contender for my favorite local race. It’s also hell of historic – the event began in 1912 as a way to lift the city’s spirits after the devastating 1906 earthquake.

So here’s how last week, April 10-16, played out:

Monday 4/10: Rest My intention had been a 4 mile run commute after work, but I was so exhausted from a fun-filled weekend that I decided that I might be better served by an early bedtime.

Tuesday 4/11: Superslow strength training Also – a brisk walk with Darwin to/from the studio.

Wednesday 4/12: 5 miles easy (9’20 avg pace)

Thursday 4/13: 3.6 miles fartleks @ 8x 1 min on 1 min off.  (9’14” avg pace) I was supposed to do 10 repeats but I didn’t have time! This was my first speed workout in a while so it’s just as well to get back into it probably.

Friday 4/14: 5.3 miles easy (9’10” avg pace) A very invigorating run. I really enjoy this loop that takes me through Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, and Mission Bay, passing AT&T Park right in the middle. Highlight of the week!

Saturday 4/15: 9.8 LSD (9’54” avg pace) My plan called for 9 miles, but I found one of those magical hidden trails in Golden Gate park, and so my halfway point went a little long. I was mildly annoyed because somehow my apple watch cut the run short while I was paused at a stoplight 6.5 miles in. Ugh.

Sunday 4/16: Rest After a lousy sleep, this recovery day was a bit rough. I felt draggy all day, but I did manage to take it really easy and spend a lot of time off my feet I capped off the week by cooking a lovely almost-vegan Easter dinner and eating a piece of cake. 🙂


Spring vegetable cous cous with spicy pesto. Yemm.

Total Weekly Mileage: 23.7

All in all it was a great kick off to half marathon training. After a good night’s sleep on Monday, my energy levels were solid and I had a lot of fun on these runs. I’d say 75% of my meals and snacks were healthy, and except for Saturday night, I got at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. These peripheral things become so important as mileage increases, and I often don’t pay enough attention in favor of just trying adhere to my daily run calendar. But I really feel it when I eat junk or don’t get enough rest, and I keep reminding myself to prioritize this aspect of training. 

So this week, in addition to just putting down the mileage of course, I have a few goals for making sure I’m in good form to get it done:

  • Get 7-9 hours of sleep
  • Eat intuitively and limit alcohol
  • Put in a little time for stretching and foam rolling (even if it’s just 5 minutes)



Training Diary 6.8.14 — Speed Phase Week Two

Not the most productive week for running, but a bunch of fun times. On Saturday, my boyfriend surprised me with a birthday getaway to Lake Tahoe! Lots of relaxation for us, and lots of swimming for Mr. Darwin!





Anyway, my priority these 4 weeks is to get up to do my speedwork, so in that respect training was still meaningful, if truncated. Oh well.

Monday — Dynamic Flow Yoga (90 minute class).  Whenever I walk into a yoga studio and see a teacher under 25(ish), I prepare myself for a gut-buster. Still, class was delicious after the previous no-yoga week.

Tuesday — Strength and commute by bicycle (~ 8 miles)

Wednesday — 5×400 / 4 miles / 9’39” pace.  Effort-wise, the 400s seemed faster this week, although I don’t have splits to compare. I was truly exhausted after each one though, which accounts for the slower average pace, as I did more walking during the recovery intervals. 7’14″/ 6’44″/ 6’42″/ 6’52″/ 7’00”. I added a few 100 meter sprints after my initial warm up laps. All in all, I’m enjoying the early mornings at the track!

Thursday — Rest.  Had planned a 5 mile easy run to recover from the track. I even brought my run commute kit to work, but I bagged it following a late night at work. Instead, I met a friend at 20 Spot in SF and chatted the night away.

Friday — Rest.  Had planned 30 minute tempo, derailed by staying out too late the night before. Lame. 😦

Saturday — Easy run / 3 miles / 9’25” pace.  Holy heat! At 6000+ feet above sea level, my 85º run around Homewood was a beast, but not entirely terrible. I kept it short, made a leisurely (and totally necessary) pit stop for water at mile 2, and finished a bit wilted but in good spirits. So no tempo this week but does one run in the mountains count as altitude training?


Sunday — Rest.  I really considered doing 6 miles, but in the end decided to stay in bed on the morning of my mini-vacation. Miles could wait till Monday.

It pains me to say, but yoga boot camp is looking less and less likely. I’ve not completely settled against it, but 6am M-F for six weeks is a commitment. I need to determine my goals and priorities with Santa Rosa coming up in August. Need a moment of truth! What to do?