Buffalo Creek Training Week 9

Just like that, it's already race week.  I swear, this training cycle went by so quickly, and it's hard for me to believe that I've already completed 9 weeks of training, and on Saturday I'll be racing another half marathon.  I have so many conflicting thoughts and goals for the race and honestly don't know what to expect.  I'm going to try to get my thoughts together and share them later this week.  As for now, let's take a look at how my final week of training went:


SUP Yoga / 1 hour
I had the day off work for Columbus Day, but had absolutely no desire to go running.  I was still feeling annoyed by having a really bad final long run and wanted to give myself a day off to get my head together.  I decided the best thing to do would be going out on the lake on my paddle board and just relax.  I went to a more secluded area and it was so relaxing.  I also ended up taking Selma out for an extra-long walk, so overall it was a great day.


3 miles / 9:21 pace
I got to run in the morning before work (which I haven't been able to do for the past few weeks), so I was really happy about that.  Unfortunately, it's been really humid out lately so the run was still a struggle.  I keep telling myself that going through all of these humid runs will just make me stronger for race day, or at the very least be able to handle it better if race day conditions aren't perfect.


8.5 miles / 8:41 pace
I met up with Jessie after work for our final hard speed workout of training.  This one was called "reality check" and the description said to run 1 mile at race pace (8:30), 5 miles at 20 seconds over race pace (8:50), and end with a mile at race pace (8:30). As soon as we started with our warm-up mile, I felt really warm and my legs felt tired already, so I told myself to just make it through the workout and not care much about pace.  Luckily Jessie was feeling the same way, so I knew we would just try to push each other the best we could.

We started out with a mile at 8:12, which was much faster than we planned, but it felt surprisingly good.  The next 5 were pretty rough, but we kept each mile under our goal- 8:36, 8:33, 8:32, 8:42, 8:39.  At this point I was just pouring out sweat and was really dehydrated, but my legs still felt really good and fresh.  For the final mile, I just wanted to be done (plus it was getting dark out), so I finished up with an 8:10 mile.  As soon as we finished our half mile cool down, it started to pour down rain, so I knew we ran in close to 100% humidity and were still able to hit our goal paces.  Definitely a hard workout but made me feel more confident about our goals!


Yoga / 1 hour
I felt surprisingly good after that hard workout, but still wanted to give my legs a day off.  I did an amazing full body stretch video, and it was just what I needed.


4 miles / 9:35 pace
Easy run before work, and the weather was perfect!! Humidity seemed to break and I felt fantastic.

8 miles / 10:13 pace
I met up with Maddie and Steffany for this run, and was happy that it was another cool and beautiful morning.  I did 5.5 miles with the girls (which just flew by since they both, luckily, also love to talk when they run) and the final 2.5 by myself.  I felt really good, so I was able to pick up my pace and hit sub-9:00 miles for the final 3.  The highlight of the run was when we stopped and got to play with the cutest little golden puppy named Bailey.  I almost grabbed him and sprinted away...too cute!!


Trail Run / 40:00
Jessie and I headed out to Riverview Park for an easy run, and ended up doing 40 minutes going all over the park.  I grew up just a mile away from the park and know all of the trails like the back of my hand, so it was great to take someone else there and get off the roads!  Neither of our watches were really tracking the miles correctly (mine said we did about 3 miles and hers said we had almost 4, so we split it in the middle and went with 3.5).  


  1. I have a question about speed work while training for a half marathon. It seems so confusing to me that a "speed" workout has you running slower than your half marathon pace for a shorter distance, yet it always sounds like a pretty difficult workout for you. I don't mean this critically at all, I have just wondered for a while how running a few miles at your goal pace and the rest above it translates to running a whole half marathon at goal pace.
    I've been avoiding asking this for a while because I feel like it comes across rudely which totally is not my intention. I'm training for my first half marathon currently and have been confused about how fast I should be trying to run for training runs.

    1. That's a great question and not rude at all! I've always found that during training, my legs never feel "fresh" and I'm not running at optimal times (either early in the morning when your core temperature is still low, so it takes my body a while to warm up and settle in to the pace), or after work when it's really warm out and I'm tired from a full day of work. Usually during training you're always running on tired legs, which is why tapering before the race is so important, so that on race day your legs are fresh for the first time and the pace feels easier! I think that's why the workout always felt hard, because I just felt tired heading in to it. To be honest though, most of these workouts have gone really well and I didn't feel dead or spent at the end which gives me some confidence.

      I also didn't like that my plan always has me running slower than race pace, so my running partner and I have been running faster than this goal for every workout we've done (even this one we ended up beating each interval time by a significant margin!). There are a few things I didn't like about this plan in general, and one of the big ones was that the speed work seemed to be too short and slow. I guess we'll see how good it is on race day though!

      Hope that answered your question a bit :)

  2. Good luck this weekend Gretchen! You got this! <3 Also, Dan should bring Selma to the finish line. :)

  3. You are going to do awesome in the race! You've really nailed training, and this week was a great example of how well you can hit your paces in really tough conditions. Great job!


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