Pittsburgh Marathon Training Week 4!

Another week down. I try to stay as positive as possible, but, I have been feeling really ‘meh’ these last two weeks and I just need to get it out there. It’s one of the reasons it’s taken me so long to get this post up. I just  I  like I’m regressing in the speed department instead of making progress, and that worries me.  I gained weight in the “off season”, and can’t seem to lose it and that frustrates me.  I look at what other people are doing in their training (which I know is a stoopid thing to do) and feel like I’m not doing enough and that scares me.  I’m tired of running in the cold and dodging ice. I want to blog more, but I don’t feel like I have anything interesting/valuable to contribute. I’m also tired of whining and being in a shitty mood so hopefully something will change soon.  Anyway. Thanks for “listening” to me complain – I hate to do it, but sometimes it’s just necessary.

Monday – You know how I roll – Rest Day!

Tuesday4 miles. I wasn’t sure what the ice situation would be in the cemetery/surrounding roads so I decided to just get it done first thing in the morning, on the treadmill. I’ve said many times before that I really feel like I’m losing my hill mojo. They’re all starting to feel hard again and I don’t like that. So instead of playing around with the speed on the treadmill, I switched up the incline. I had no idea what I was doing, so I’d pump it up to a 2 or 2.5 incline, run that for a minute or two, then lower the incline back down to a .5 . The highest I got up to was a 4%, and my legs were really feeling it by the end so I’m going to say this was a success. I finished this in 44:45 (11:04 pace).

This popped up on my screen during my run. Perfect motivation!

This popped up on my screen during my run. Perfect motivation!

Wednesday – This was supposed to be strength but when I was greeted with a 40 degrees and sunshine leaving work, I knew that I needed to run. I raced home, put on shorts (!!!) and set out for 4 miles of speed. I wasn’t planning on running, so my Garmin wasn’t charged and it shit the bed not long after I started so I was running blind. I tried to use the Outside app on my phone, but it only tracks if the screen is on. Anytime it timed out to the lock screen, it would stop tracking. I used to have a Run Keeper app, but it was nowhere to be found.  By now I had no idea how far I’d gone, and I wasn’t even sure how long I’d been running.  I figured that I started running at about 5, so at 5:45 I wrapped it up. In my mind, if I was going “fast” I would have run  at least 4.1-4.3 ish miles, and if I wasn’t going as “fast” as I thought/hoped then I probably still got about 4 miles in. So, I could have run anywhere from an 11:15 pace (I don’t think it was this slow) to a 10:27 pace (not likely). I’m going to split the difference and hope that I was in the 10:50 range. I tried to keep the intensity up, but without any data it’s so hard to say. Either way, I was just happy to be OUTSIDE and enjoying the tease of spring.  After my run, I went right to the basement to get my weights in. I didn’t want to push it to Thursday because that meant back-to-back days of strength and that’s usually frowned upon.

Thursday – Should have been 4 miles, but since I was hardcore the day before and did both workouts, I got an extra rest day and it was FABULOUS. It was also 9 degrees out, so I was really happy that I didn’t have to go out there and run in that!

Friday Strength training.  This week felt harder than last week on both days, even though it was the exact some workout with the same weights and reps yet…I wasn’t as sore the next day.  I’m not sure what’s up with that – maybe last week  I went above and beyond because I was so excited about my new plan? That or the weights I picked were too heavy, and I should have started lighter. Who knows. I got my two days in and that’s still winning in my book!

Saturday Hills. I tried to come up with a good, hilly route that wasn’t still covered under snow and ice.  I did ok. After hearing Nichole and Jennifer talk about Heart Rate Monitors I wore my HRM for the first time in….years. Except… I had no idea what the numbers meant. They obviously spiked on the hard, hilly sections and leveled out on the flat/downhill parts. I did notice that on my last mile when I was really starting to struggle I had a hard time getting it to go back down.  I feel like this is obvious, though. Of course my heart rate is going to jump  when I’m trying to chug up a hill – I’m working harder. Of course it’s going to spike when I’m struggling….that’s why I’m struggling. Either way, I did 7 miles in 1:19 (11:18 pace) which is about average for me. Overall, I felt OK…I was able to distract myself with the HRM for a good portion of the run so it went by quickly.

Hills 7 2-7

Good climb going right into mile 4!



But what’s it mean?!


SundayLong Run with Jennifer! I was so excited to have my running partner back! It was also really nice out, so I threw on some shorts. I forgot that it’s normally colder at North Park, but I was still pretty comfortable and was much happier than I would have been in pants.  We did the first 6 together, and ran the lake loop backwards which was a nice change of pace. I wore my HRM again, but I still have no idea what it means. I was also reminded why I don’t wear it – after a while it gets very uncomfortable and starts to hurt. I don’t think I’m wearing it too high…it’s about flush with my sports bra strap. I was already over it by 3 or 4 miles and I spent the rest of my run cursing that thing. I think it’s safe to say I’ll probably be leaving it at home from now on. Of course, the first 6 flew by as we chatted and we passed Shaun and Kim who were both zooming around the lake! We parted ways after 6 miles and it started to wear on me. I turned on my music to give me a little boost, and it did for a mile or two, but overall I just struggled mentally.  My paces were right on, but my mind wasn’t in the best place. It just wanted to be done! I also saw Nichole zip past me on my second loop! It was great to see so many other runners/bloggers out and about! 12 miles 2:19 (11:39 pace).

So, that was my week. On the positive side, I got all 4 of my runs in! There is soooo much to improve on – I just need to focus on one thing at a time and take it from there. There’s plenty of time left before May 3rd (81 days, but who’s counting?!), and everything will be A-OK. And because we need a smile and I didn’t have many pictures this week, here’s a few cat pictures.

I got up for a cup of tea, and when I came back...my spot was gone.

I got up for a cup of tea, and when I came back…my spot was gone.

#whereswilbur ??

#whereswilbur ??

The cats have learned how to play on the iPad and they're hooked!

The cats have learned how to play on the iPad and they’re hooked!


6 thoughts on “Pittsburgh Marathon Training Week 4!

  1. Cat pics always win the day!! ❤
    Go ahead and rant away! 1: it's your blog you do what you want. 2: you'll probably find out that more people feel the same as you do than you want to believe.
    I've been in a terrible funk lately. I've been trying to stay positive with my training but admittedly the weather is just irritating the hell out of me. Plus I've hit that 1/3 of the way through training when things are getting tough and I'm just whiny and cranky about it all. The weather definitely doesn't help with that junk. So you're not alone in this AT ALL. You're getting your miles in, you're doing your supplemental training, there's really not much more you can do but keep on keepin' on, you know? But seriously – don't compare yourself to other runners. I'm telling you this because I have to tell myself this pretty much every other day! lol
    HRM: Mine bothered me too. I think I just had to get used to it after a while plus I figured out I was wearing it way too tight. As for the numbers, the general method is if you subtract your age from 220 that gives you a rough estimate of your maximum heart rate unless you already know it by another testing method. Then you use that number to figure out training paces based on whatever you're aiming for. Example: I'm doing my long runs at 75-85%, easy at 70-81%, tempo at 91% and recovery at under 75% as per my training plan. Though honestly, I'd tell you at this point that if it's just something that's going to add to the stress of training and not prove helpful for you don't worry about it. Keep doing what you're doing and maybe pick it back up again the next off season to play around with it.

    • Thanks for clarifying the heart rate! I thought that’s what it should be, but I wasn’t 100% sure. I think I’m going to work on that after the race – I’m definitely getting a “numbers overload” between pace, HR, distance, calories, etc. I need to refocus and get back to the basics!!
      Thanks so much for the encouragement – I was seriously feeling like a whiny brat! Sometimes all you need is a good pep talk! 🙂 ❤

  2. Complain much!!! Just joking.. Like Nicole said go ahead and complain its your blog, most of us feel the same. This week the weather looks not in our favor but you know I will be at the park getting in my miles.. Hope to see you

    • HAH!! I know, right?! I just hate to complain when everyone else is dealing with the same, or worse (would NOT want to be in Boston/New England right now)! I won’t mind the cold this weekend as long as there isn’t any ice/snow (that’s kind of a lie. I’ll still hate being cold, but it’s better than dodging hidden ice!!). I’ll probably be out at NP on Saturday for the 10K…not 100% sure yet, but I’m leaning towards running it. See you there?

  3. Get it off your chest, girlfriend! No shame in that! 🙂 Believe me, I will be the first person to complain about heat and humidity in summer. Two summers ago I got so fed up with the heat and humidity that I went to my hair salon asking her to shave my head; she wouldn’t but cut it very short. 🙂 Everyone has his/her own levels of comfort and tolerance!

    Yay for getting all your workouts in!

    I’ve been paying more attention to heart rate since I got my new Garmin this week. Since running really easy has benefits and running hard has different benefits and running long has different benefits, I’m using heart rate to make sure I’m running as easy or hard as I should be (I’m referring to what my plan says I should be doing, which seems in line with other articles I found online). I want all the benefits. 🙂 And it seems like heart rate is more accurate than pace. But, I love numbers, so I’m a happy camper with going by heart rate.

    • HAHA!!! That’s so funny – I’m always threatening to chop my hair off in the summer too!
      I actually think that typing it out and getting it out there was a huge help – both of my runs this week were ridiculously good! I even wished that I had my HRM on because I would have loved to see the difference between this week and last week.

      Thanks for the support! It means a lot when you have people that build you up when you’re just not feeling it! ❤

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