Weekly Updates: Race Training Week 3

Weekly Updates: Race Training Week 3


Half Marathon Training – Week 3

Coney Island Boardwalk
Coney Island Boardwalk

Last week I wrote about the beginning of my training for the Brookyln Half in May. This is the first time I’ve really adhered to a training schedule instead of just winging it before a race. For me, having a gym membership really has helped keep me on track and provide motivation. Sure the treadmill isn’t the same environment as outdoors but I no longer have weather-related excuses.

I’ve also started cross training for the first time in my life. Not belonging to a gym and wanting to keep my workouts as cheap as possible, I’ve pretty much only engaged in running as a workout. I’ve dabbled in pilates but that gets expensive fast. I have a bicycle now but that’s been impossible to ride outdoors this winter. I like being able to do more than run. The gym allows me to learn new workouts and use new muscles of my body. For as much as I’ve ran, I can tell you that some days on the elliptical are downright tough. Do you know how out of shape that makes me feel? I can run 10 miles but doing two minutes in reverse on the elliptical has me in tears!

My training plan doesn’t include cross training so I’m trying to integrate it myself. I believe in the necessity of rest days so instead of doing 4/5 miles on a Tuesday, I’ll do half running and half elliptical. Or half spin and half weights. If anyone has a good strength training routine for runners, please share!

Sub 2:15 Half Marathon – Week 3:
Treadmill: 3.15 miles in 37 mins with a pace of 0:11:51/mi
Elliptical: 1.97 miles in 25 mins with a pace of 0:12:41/mi
Treadmill: 3.11 miles in 39 mins with a pace of 0:12:42/mi
Treadmill: 5 miles in 1 hr with a pace of 0:12:00/mi

Week Total: 13 miles in 2 hr 41 min with an average pace of 0:12:18/mi

All week long I felt tired and out of it. Even after sleeping for 10 hours Fri and Sat nights, I was still groggy. Listening to my body, I decided to skip running 10-miles on Sunday. I just didn’t have it in me. On Monday I did five-miles on the treadmill and it felt much more comfortable than any of my runs the previous week. Ramping up my mileage so much has definitely taken a toll on my body. I want to avoid injuries as much as possible and will listen closely to my body from here on out. Missing one long-run isn’t going to ruin my entire training.

Music: Instrumental Ambient Rock

Explosions in the Sky Performing Live
Explosions in the Sky Performing Live

As a lover of instrumental rock, I thought I’d share some of my favorite experimental/math/post/ambient rock bands. I even made a Spotify playlist for you!

Bands Include:

  • Pele
  • This Will Destroy You
  • Explosions in the Sky
  • Mogwai
  • The Album Leaf
  • El Ten Eleven
  • God Is An Astronaut
  • Helios
  • Hammock
  • Stars of the Lid
  • Do Make Say Think
  • You Bred Raptors
  • Russian Circles

Spotify Playlist: The Instrumental List

Here’s a sample of what this is like. You’ve probably heard a few This Will Destroy You songs by now, they’ve been used in commercials and on soundtracks:

Books: Welcome to Shirley by Kelly McMasters

Kelly McMasters' Welcome to Shirley
Kelly McMasters’ Welcome to Shirley: A Memoir from an Atomic Town

Welcome to Shirley: A Memoir from an Atomic Town by Kelly McMasters is a very well-written and researched memoir + environmentalism piece of non-fiction. McMaster’s moved to the town of Shirley, Long Island when she was a child and shares the pleasant memories she had of the town growing up. The community feels real to the reader and the writing sincere. This isn’t just anyone writing the story of a toxic town. This is someone who actually lived in it.

Hearing the quirky stories from her point of view really allows the reader to grow with McMasters. You start out viewing the town positively, though always knowing in the background that something toxic is lurking. Yet when it finally comes into the picture, it is still rather surprising.

McMaster’s does a great job at keeping this memoir more about the town than about her. The entire time she focuses on sharing her experiences with the town, rather than simply her life growing up.

Reading Welcome to Shirley reminded me of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Both stories went between sharing researched information and also sharing personal experiences. However, McMaster’s really has an advantage here. Since she grew up there, she never passed judgement. Skloot on the other hand, tried too hard to give the Lacks’ family some credit and turned the second half of the book into a circus. McMaster’s doesn’t have this problem because she is honest. When she explains the day she realized that Shirley was not a nice place to live and was actually thought of as “white trash” by the nearby Hamptons’ folks, you can really feel for her.

This is certainly more of a memoir than a heavily researched piece of environmental activism. With that said, McMaster’s did do a good job interviewing locals and employees from the Brookhaven Laboratory – the site of the toxins leaking into Shirley causing an abnormal rise in breast & rare cancers in residents.

As a perfect combination of light yet researched non-fiction that is told by someone who lived through it and not just a scientist or doctor, I really recommend Welcome to Shirley. The writing is tight and the story is very readable – McMaster’s rarely loses focus of the story she’s telling: 4/5 rating from me.

Internet Best Of: Links

How I Conduct My Business – Zen Habits

Extra Income
How Non-Theater People Can Make Money in Theater – Broke Girl Rich

Freelance Business & Taxes – Diversified Finances

Family Finance
7 Tips to Raising a Financially Fit Kid – Financially Blonde


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