road to the half marathon: training week 8

With 4 weeks to go until race day, it's all downhill from here, literally! This week I took a recommendation from one of our ambassadors to incorporate hills into my short runs and see how my long run felt from there. Let's be honest, running uphill is probably my least favourite activity on the planet. It burns and it feels like I am moving at a glacial pace. Achy arthritic toes and all, I mapped out "hilly" runs on the Daily Mile, and loaded a fresh running playlist to conquer these "helpful" peaks throughout my week and did just that.

running socks from lululemonHave I mentioned how amazing the Women's Ultimate Running Socks are for running? No blisters ever and great cushioning!

I followed the same hilly route on all of my short runs, and armed with great running music I found them to be far from the journey into Dante's Inferno that I thought they would be. Being the most competitive person most people will ever meet, I easily turned these runs into a game between me and the hills, and I dare say that I enjoyed the challenge. On my 8 mile run on Sunday, I really did cruise and flat land felt like a breeze. I did incorporate one large hill into my long run, and as Rihanna's song "Hard" blasted through my headphones as I approached I was striding with a fiery passion. I kept singing my favourite line of the song over and over again, "Ima do whatever, no pain is forever, yup, you know this!", and handled that hill.

Yoga for runners!Too many hills, not enough yoga, so yoga is on the menu for me this week!

Although I felt I had a fairly successful week of running, hills and all, my body is aching this week. I'm guessing the lack of yoga and combination of running, the Over The Line tournament I played in this weekend, and the paddle boarding adventure I had on Wednesday took it's toll. This week, I'm recommitting to my balance, and attending at least 3 yoga classes to loosen up my bones. Even if it means having to miss a run, my body is barking, and ready to stretch so I am going to honor that calling. Don't worry though, I will still battle the hills, just hopefully with hamstrings that don't hate me!

best stretch for runners!One my favourite stretches after a run, and one of my favourite instructors, January, showing me how it's done...

This week’s training mileage total: 18 miles!
Longest run: 8 miles with a pace of 10:40
Cross training: OTL Tournament, Paddle Boarding, and 1 Jillian Michaels' workout!
Wore on my long run: Run Swiftly Racerback and Run:Team Spirit Crops (probably my favourite outfit of all time for running)
Favourite song on my run playlist: “Hard" - Rihanna

4 weeks until race day! Here is my training schedule for the week
Monday: 4 miles + yoga
Tuesday: Barry’s Bootcamp + Hot Yoga
Wednesday: 4 miles + yoga
Thursday: Barry’s Bootcamp + Yoga
Friday: Rest or gentle yoga
Saturday: 9 miles!
Sunday: Hot yoga

P.S. What's on your favourite running playlist? Are there any songs that help you get to the top of  that hill?

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That’s too ironic — I added hills to my training this week too! The first couple feel awful, but after that, it’s like, BRING IT ON. Enjoy yoga, it’s way too easy to get over tight doing a lot of running.

Comment by elaine! — July 20, 2010 @ 10:49 am

I am training for the half marathon here on the east coast(Labrador but born and raised on Vancouver Island) – run to take place October. I have made it up to 10 km run for the long distance and got up the next day to do a small jog to keep muscles from feeling like jello. No hills here, miss Vancouver for that. I ran with a jogging stroller on every run and work out, my 4 month old sleeps as soon as I start running and my 5 year old plays her ds or listens to music. Pushing around 100lbs while jogging is something I never thought I would do but it is worth it for my goal. I think I will try the socks, cant find anything that keeps my feet from not blistering after the long run. It is never to late to start running or no excuse for not trying.

Comment by Kirstie — July 20, 2010 @ 11:47 am

Love the run:swiftly tank for a half marathon. Used it in a HOT 10 miler a few months ago. It’s my go-to for summer running and training! Congrats…I look forward to following in your footsteps with the running/yoga combo!

Comment by Jamie — July 20, 2010 @ 11:54 am

Definitely Salt n’ peppas PUSH IT for hills!!!

Comment by Pamela — July 20, 2010 @ 12:01 pm

For hills The Killers, All These Things That I’ve Done. “…I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier…”

Comment by Jill — July 20, 2010 @ 1:39 pm

I have to leave a comment on these socks…they are the bomb!!!! love them, love them, love them!!!! I am training for a full marathon in September and they are amazing for long runs you really learn what works and what doesn’t and they definitely do…worth every penny! :)

Comment by Brodie — July 20, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

Do the running socks help with hot spots? The hardest thing for me to push through are those freakin hot spots on the bottom of my feet, even worse than side stitches! I never run hills, but Eminem’s Lose Yourself and Neon Trees’ Animal are great for pumping me up.

Comment by Alana — July 20, 2010 @ 5:00 pm

Unbelievable job, I am rooting for you. Keep going!!!
I can’t run 1 mile, but promise myself I will within the next few months. I have a goal of 5 miles, needing those running socks, and lots of practice.

Comment by Donna — July 20, 2010 @ 8:27 pm

Recently I’ve been feeling pitiful for myself for not doing things I used to love, like yoga and running (ok, well, “sorta like” in the case of running). I live in San Diego and work in Orange County — my commute is rough!

Determined to make a change in my workout habits and in my mind, a friend recommended I check out lululemon for a yoga mat. Long story short, I found this website, and especially this blog, and have read each of Whitney’s previous posts in her goal to run the AFC 1/2. (Yes SD is “AFC,” that’s why I don’t want to move!)

This is such a motivating and inspiring blog. I can’t wait to check it out each day and to begin working on my own BLAH’s. I need to spark the internal strength to start my day earlier so that I can find time to do something that is good for ME.

Good luck in the AFC!!

Comment by olivia — July 21, 2010 @ 5:40 pm

Hey Everyone! Just wanted to say that you are all amazing and I really, really appreciate your support! Wanted to shout back to some of you specifically, and wanted to make sure you all knew how much you rock my socks!

@Elaine get those hills girl! I promise promise promise it helps!

@Kristie, running while pushing 100lbs? Okay that is inspiring in and of itself and I am happy to know that when I do have babies someday, I can keep running without excuse!

@Alana, I know what you are talking about with hot spots, and this socks are very lightweight and still have cushioning in the spots you need them. I really think they will help you.

@Donna, thanks so much for your kind words and yes you can run a mile. Start with walking for 5 minutes, jogging for 5 minutes and keep trading off until you can sustain a running pace for a full mile. I believe!

@Olivia, I hear you on the commuting, it’s terrible. But what about weekend runs? Or evening runs?

Comment by Whitney — July 23, 2010 @ 9:23 am

Fortuntately/Unfortunately- I live at the bottom of a hill. At some point I have to run up it no matter where my run takes me. Even if I run a mile in either direction, the only way to go is up! Luckily that means that as I finish my run, I come down hill.

My week usually consists of 3-4 runs, 1 spinning class followed by a half hour ab class, and 1 bike ride. I need to get better about stretching, and maybe I should start up with yoga again. I did it in college as a ‘gym class’ a couple semesters and I have a pilates DVD I have used from time to time, but I feel like lately I am not as flexible as I used to be.

Comment by Amanda — July 23, 2010 @ 7:12 pm

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