road to the half marathon: week 6

Time to run the holiday weekend off! At least that's what my alarm said this morning at 6am. My long run was delayed to this morning this week, as the 4th of July festivities around me begged to differ with my training schedule. Nonetheless, I woke up and ran the 7 miles I owed this morning, and might have sweat out a bit of the holiday cocktails we enjoyed at the river this weekend.

Holiday cocktailsSitting by the river and enjoying just being able to sit and be still...

My run was actually awesome this morning. The rest of my week leading up to the 4th of July was a great week of training, and I can feel my runs getting stronger step by step. I took some of your advice and let go of my faster pace on the long run, and kept my short runs quick with a few hills. Although running uphill hurts in the moment, once you push through, your pace feels almost stronger and easier.

river runs

With the summer heat starting to weigh in, I have found that I have to run early in the morning or at dusk to find any comfortable weather. Staying at the river this past weekend, temperatures reached as high as 120 degrees fahrenheit, which is about 49 degrees celsius, and so running wasn't an option during the daytime. Though I vowed to delay my long run for the sake of not dying of heat stroke, we found a way to sneak in workouts by hiking trails along the river at dusk, and swimming downstream and then hiking to the top of the river to float back down again and again. Although it was definitely a "vacationer's workout", it felt good just to be moving regardless of it's impact.

sitting by the riverEnjoying the moments and the loves in my life down by the river.

At the end of the week, instead of feeling defeated by delaying my run, I felt pretty amazing. I was able to train strongly all week and indulged in a few holiday treats without feeling horrible about myself. I was actually excited to hear my alarm this morning, and headed out of my front door with a smile on my face and a bounce in my step.

In all honesty, this holiday weekend was a great reminder of how important it is to enjoy the people in your life, even at the sake of your perfect half marathon training schedule. I even added a few country songs to my running playlist this morning to remind me of the family and friends I had the pleasure of being with this weekend, I think it even made the 7 miles easier. So go enjoy the moments, the memory of them makes your struggles uphill that much easier. Namaste.

This week’s training mileage total: 19 miles!
Longest run: 6 miles with a pace of 11:10 (a bit slower, but very comfortable and no pain today)
Cross training: 3 Jillian Michaels workouts
Wore on my long run: I Just Wanna Run Tank and Run:Team Spirit Crops (both so comfortable and quickly wicked up my sweat)
Favourite song on my run playlist: "Cowgirls Don't Cry" - Brooks & Dunn (Featuring Reba McEntire)

7 weeks until race day! Here is my training schedule for the week:
Monday: 6 miles (delayed due to the holiday)
Tuesday: Barry's Bootcamp + Hot Yoga
Wednesday: Jillian Michaels Workout + 3 miles
Thursday: Barry's Bootcamp + Yoga
Friday: Jillian Michaels Workot + Yoga
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: 7 miles!

P.S. Anyone have any good recovery drink recipes? I've been living on coconut water, but I am just waiting for someone to tell me that chocolate milk really is good for your muscles to recover...

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Chocolate milk is pretty much the perfect recovery drink (seriously). It has the right mix of carbs, protein and fat, and it’s so refreshing!

Comment by Holly — July 6, 2010 @ 2:49 pm

Awesome! I went ahead and did my 5 mile run on Sunday, felt great. Still working on running off my weekend though. I also am finding super early is the best time to run, the heat is just too rough for me.

Comment by Kerri — July 6, 2010 @ 2:58 pm

LOL, it’s funny you mention chocolate milk. It’s all the rage as the best post-recovery drink right now due to a recent study:

I’d rather skip the lactose and simple sugars and make a smoothie with banana, protein powder, and whatever other yummy stuff I have available (coconut water, frozen pineapple, spinach, chia seeds, almond butter, etc).

Glad you enjoyed your long run at a more reasonable pace! And I agree about timing… it’s dawn, dusk or bust here in Nevada right now, too.

Comment by elaine! — July 6, 2010 @ 3:18 pm

That’s awesome that you slowed down your long run. No point in running your actual half marathon before the big day. I think the important part is to build endurance through the long runs, and the speedwork/tempo runs you do on the other days are where you can work on your pace. When you are at the actual race, I think you’ll find you will start off/run a little faster than you plan to from all the excitement, nerves, other runners around you.

I think sometimes a little break from running, or postponing a run (for good reasons like insanely hot weather or a mini vacation) really makes you appreciate running more! It’s nice that you were still able to be active on your vacation – sometimes it’s hard to get in some physical activity when visiting family who are not as active.

I love coconut water! Can I ask which brand you typically use or enjoy most?

I’ve heard about the benefits of chocolate milk before! Thought I haven’t really tried it. I have drank some of my “perfectly protein” mocha drink from Bolthouse Farms (it does contain milk and chocolate) soon after returning from long runs until I can get a more substantial little snack together.

Comment by Amanda — July 6, 2010 @ 4:39 pm

I second Holly: chocolate milk is the perfect recovery drink! In addition to what I’ve read, a couple of RD’s also said the same thing to me. There, now you have permission to drink it for recovery!

Comment by Linda — July 7, 2010 @ 8:07 am

I agree, Runner’s World said chocolate milk is the way to go! I’ve been trying Nestle Carnation Instant Breakfast. 14 g or Protein, but also 9 g of fat. I think I’m going back to chocolate milk, but I’d love to try Coconut water! Yum!

Comment by Melani — July 7, 2010 @ 10:52 am

Whitney – Any chance you can post your training plan? I’m just getting started on my half marathon training and have really enjoyed reading your posts!!! Seeing your schedule would be so helpful!

Comment by Allegra — July 7, 2010 @ 12:05 pm

A good recovery meal after any workout should contain a simple carb and a protein & should be taken In the first 30 minutes after your workout. For a simple carb think any fruit (fructose as a simple carb) lactose (in the case of chocolate milk), not complex carbs found in whole grains, potatoes, or such. The reason is after an aerobic workout (like a run) the glycogen storage is depleted, simple carbs are quickly absorbed by the body resulting in quicker recovery. As for the protein, a natural protein is always the best, and it’s the fuel needed for muscle recovery.
Chocolate milk has been stated as the best since it contains both sugar and protein in a simple fast absorbed form. Also chocolate contains unsaturated fat (good fat) which should be a component to every meal.

Comment by Aline — July 7, 2010 @ 12:19 pm

I too would like to know what is a good brand of coconut water, because I tried one variety and it was so gross~kinda turned me off the stuff

Comment by christine — July 27, 2010 @ 5:19 pm

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