Pittsburgh Marathon Training – Week 6

The first time I complain this year about the heat, or humidity or sun….smack me. Hard.  It’s cold out there. Really freaking cold.  In fact, it was cold enough that my Weather Channel app even reminded me to put on a hat.

Thanks, Mom.

Thanks, Mom.

I keep our thermostat pretty high because I’m freezing no matter what, and I think the cats are starting to appreciate it.

Heat stealer!

Heat stealer!

They camp out and smush themselves right up against the vents when the heat comes on. It’s horrible for their skin, but it’s not like I can stop them. I’ve lost all control of this house.

Stealing all of the warms

Stealing all of the warms


This could be why I'm always cold. They take it all.

This could be why I’m always cold. They take it all.

I capped week 6 of training off with a 15 mile long run. I was actually really excited about this run (until I saw the conditions at North Park, at least), because to me, it finally feels like I’m marathon training! I also (finally) registered for this weekend’s Spring Thaw out at North Park – I’m running the 10 miler! At first I was going to do the 15 as my long run, but then realized that there was a good possibility that I would finish last in that race so I decided to stick with the 10 and go for a hard effort.  I’ve never raced 10 miles before, so it will be an automatic PR and should  be a good indicator of where I’m at in my training. To be honest, if you had asked me yesterday, I would have told you I’ve got this in the bag. Then I saw the countdown on the race website and, well, now I’m not so sure,

Oh, shit. It's getting close!

Oh, shit. It’s getting close!

Hopefully, Saturday’s race will give me some confidence!

Monday – Rest.

Tuesday – 4 on the treadmill. I added in some hills to at least attempt to mimic outdoor conditions and really picked up the pace for the last three quarter of a mile, or so. I enjoy trying to simulate a fast finish and the treadmill really helps me do that. It was brutal, but I kept telling myself that I was at mile 24.5 of the marathon and tried to picture me still looking strong and passing people and crossing the line with a 4 in front of my time. Sounds cheesy, but it works! 4 miles 44:22 (11:05 pace)



Wednesday – Strength.  You can read all about the new strength program that I’m trying out here.

Thursday – 5 Tempo miles. On the treadmill. HOLLA! I’ve only run 5 miles on the ‘mill one other time, so this was a pretty big deal for me, especially because I was able to successfully incorporate speed too! I started out at a 5.3, and gradually increased the speed as I went. I forgot to keep track of what increments I increased to, but I eventually held it at a comfortably hard pace for a 1.5 miles (it was maybe a 5.7 or 5.8? not sure). Somewhere along the line, I tried to calculate what my overall pace would be and I wasn’t coming out with anything under 11 min/mile and that pissed me off, so I ran the last mile or so at a pretty fast clip…maybe 6.8 or 7. Again, not sure and trying to take a picture when I was going that fast would have ended with a trip to the ER. When I put the numbers into FitSnap I was really pleased to see a 10:39 pace. Daily Mile gave me a 10:40 pace, so naturally I’m picking the faster one. 5 miles 53:20 (10:40 39 pace)

Treadmill runs mean that I don't have to match, can avoid the MINUS FOURTEEN degrees b.s. and Peanut can cheer me on!

Treadmill runs mean that I don’t have to match, can avoid the MINUS FOURTEEN degrees b.s. and Peanut can cheer me on!


Friday – I needed the sleep, so I decided to do my strength after work. And then I didn’t. I came  home and Tall One had made dinner plans, so I didn’t even have time to change let alone pump some iron. I thought about doing it after dinner, but I desperately needed to get to the store before the snow came Saturday. By the time I got home it was close to 9 and I admitted defeat. Lesson learned: just do it in the morning before shit can hit the fan and ruin all of your plans. I’m not too upset, but this is the 2nd week in a row that poor planning on my part has caused me to skip or cut short a workout.  I don’t want this to become a habit so I need to stop this now.

Saturday – 8 miles on the schedule. We were supposed to get 6-8 inches of snow throughout the day, so there really was no good time to head out. I started out and did what has become my “snow route”. It’s a lap through the cemetery, then out and up the side street next to the cemetery and up and down the side streets, back into the cemetery for a lap and repeat until I’ve hit my goal. As I was running, the snow kept falling harder and each time I made a pass through, my old footprints would already be covered.

I tried to take pictures of my footprints getting covered, but it doesn't look like anything.

I tried to take pictures of my footprints getting covered, but it doesn’t look like anything.

My eyelashes had icicles on them! I tried to take a picture, but my phone shut off due to the cold. This is a little frustrating to me; I carry my phone in case of emergency. What good does that do me if it turns off because it’s cold out?? Not OK, Apple!!  The streets were a mess, and it was getting harder and harder to run. It kind of felt like running in quick sand – I ‘m calling this resistance training! It did occur to me that I could’ve waited for the salt truck, but then I would have been running in slush so it was pretty much lose, lose. Oh well! 8 smiles – 1:39 (12:23 pace) I came back inside and since it was a snow day, did a bunch of cleaning and organizing to keep myself busy while Tall One was working.  I was a machine. I also washed my iPod Shuffle when I did some laundry. Luckily, it still seems to be working!

Sunday – My technical difficulties continued when I left my Garmin at home. WHO DOES THAT?! I walked out the door to meet Jennifer at North Park and left the Garmin sitting on my desk. I realized what I had done on the way out there, but didn’t want to turn around and hold up our run. I decided I would have to use the Run Keeper app on my phone.  As I drove out to North Park, I had hoped that the running lanes/paths would be clear and I was sorely disappointed to see nothing but slop around the lake. We got started; I had 15 on the schedule and Jennifer 7. Right away we knew this would be another tough “resistance run” due to the conditions. It was SO bad – people were running in the road (which makes me SO nervous, especially with my back to traffic), but you really didn’t have a choice in some spots.  We were slipping and sliding allll over the place, but we made the best of it! When I do these long runs, I always try to negative split the parts I do alone to hopefully mimic race day as best I can. I’m pretty sure I did that on Sunday, but I wouldn’t know for sure because MY PHONE DIED AGAIN!!! At mile 14.54. I muttered a few choice words and then I nearly chucked that f*cker into the lake.  Luckily, the data was saved despite the shut down and I had been monitoring my pace after Jennifer and I parted ways so I’m  sure I pulled off the negative split, but I don’t know what my final pace was. I’m giving myself an even 12 min pace just because I can, and because I was a 12:03 pace with a half mile to go and I was starting to pick it up for a fast finish. So. 15 miles 3:00 (12:00 pace).   This was the first time I used the RunKeeper app and I really liked it! I’ll do a small separate post on it, because it’s definitely a good app to the keep on your phone for the days when your Garmin dies….or you just plain forget it! No pictures from this run because, you know, phone died. Jag-off.

So, there it is. Another week down!  How are you handling the weather?? Are you running the Spring Thaw this weekend?


8 thoughts on “Pittsburgh Marathon Training – Week 6

    • Thanks! I’ll need someone to keep me in line if I start complaining! All I want is a little sunshine and warmth!

      It’s hilarious how the cats will do anything to get a little extra warmth. The second I take a blanket out of the closet, they are all over it!

  1. What would we do without the Weather Channel reminding us to dress warm? lol! My cats are doing the same thing with the heater vents too. Must be the “in” thing for cats this season. Only problem here is one of the vents is beside our toilet and Meatball claimed it and stretches out in front of it.. In the middle of the night I’ve either stepped on or tripped over her. I don’t know whether to feel bad or think its her own damn fault for being there.
    Good job this week! My shuffle survived a trip through the washing machine a while back too. Awesome! I will be at Spring Thaw. I’m running the 15. I was scheduled for a long run with some pace miles in it anyway, so I may as well just run it then and get a freakin’ medal for it!

    • Lol! Non cat people would say it’s the cat fault, but I would still feel bad. Shooter always sits by the corner of the couch, and I never see her and constantly step on her. You would think that either (1) I would learn to look before I step or (2) she would get the hint and sit somewhere else. Nope. Neither one of us will learn!
      Wahoo – hopefully I’ll see you at the race this weekend!! I saw in the race email that the 10 milers get a medal this year too, so I’m excited for that!

  2. Ha ha! I love all the cats-sucking-heat pics! Mine do the same, but it’s easier for them because my vents are on the floor. What’s funny is that one of the vents is right beside the dog bed. Rasputin, the cat that hates the dog, will simultaneously lie on the vent and hiss at the dog. I tell him that’s the dog’s bed and the dog has a right to be there, but Rasputin won’t listen. He hates the dog!!!

    Congrats on your first 15 miler! You are getting into the serious stuff now–you’ll be ready!

    • Haha at Rasputin! That is so funny, and so typical of a cat!! I feel like that’s something mine would do too…I will never understand why they won’t just find a different spot to lay in!

      It does feel like serious stuff now – this is right around the time last training cycle that I decided not to run the Air Force Marathon so I’m excited to see how I handle the big miles! 🙂

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