I've neglected my blog for nearly a month. In my defense, I'm a PhD student, and I've been preparing for comprehensive exams and working on an article manuscript. I'm great at balancing school and running, but blogging is admittedly a low priority and comes close to last on my never-ending to-do list.
Despite the chaos, I've mostly kept to my running schedule. Our training schedule switched from 4 days per week to 5, and Wednesdays are now spent running instead of swimming. I hope to compete in a triathlon this summer, so it's important that I also incorporate swimming and cycling into my weekly workout schedule. Unfortunately, training for this half marathon leaves little time for that.
Here's a summary of my recent training:
The weather last week was absolutely beautiful with highs in the 60s. Although it was great to run in the sun wearing shorts and a tank top, I had a difficult time adjusting to the heat. Breathing was more difficult, and my runs were hot and uncomfortable. Akitla hasn't shed her winter coat yet, either, so she was limited in how far and fast she could comfortably run. I knew I had to cut our 5-miler short last week when she started pulling me off the bike lane into the adjacent marshlands so that she could get a drink of water.
17 minutes! That's how long it took me to run two miles last week! I'm so proud of myself. I knew I was capable of running 8 minute mile intervals, but this was the first time I'd run 8 minute miles consecutively with no rest in between.
10 miles! Yesterday's schedule called for a 10 mile run. I was delighted to see that it was snowing in the morning, which made the run much more comfortable for both me and Akitla. Since I have my eye on a trail marathon in August, I decided to run the dirt trails at Lake Lansing Park. That was a bold move. Trail running is MUCH more difficult than road running, and the longest I had ever run on the trails was probably 4 miles. I knew completing all 10 miles would be difficult, so I kept myself at a slow pace. I needed to conserve as much energy as possible for navigating the hills and uneven terrain. Once you've been running for awhile, the trail begins to feel like an obstacle course, and jumping through the tree roots that have overtaken much of the trail begins to feel like running through tires at boot camp. My muscles are sore, but I'm so proud of myself for surviving the run!
Only a few short weeks until race weekend!