This week in training AKA: The Hills and Junkpouch

30 Mar

As I mentioned earlier this week, I just registered to run the Jog4Jugs Half Marathon on May 11. Since it’s not far away and it’s super hilly, I didn’t waste any time getting into training mode.

First, I checked my Hal Higdon Novice 2 Half Marathon iPhone app and plugged in the race date. Turns out, I was already pretty close to being right on track for weekly mileage and distance according to the plan. I immediately felt relieved and excited at the same time. I don’t plan on following Hal’s plan exactly this time around, but using it as a checkpoint is helpful.


Since this half is challenging and hilly, I got started on some hill work. I did 3 different hills 5x each and a total run of 5 miles. I also did an arms circuit. You can read all about it here.


An easy 1 mile for the Mile a Day in March challenge. It was late and I was exhausted, so I just stretched and put PJ’s on afterward.


A 4.02 mile run at a 9:15 avg pace for a total of 37:10. I don’t think there was anything notable about this run, just a mid-week “get it in” kind of run. Unless you count the fact that it was still light out when I started just before 7PM, because that’s pretty great!


Another easy 1 mile followed by an 8:00 core workout with lolo Easy Abs iPhone app. The circuit included these exercises:

  • Opposite Elbow to Knee Raises – 15 reps
  • Plank with Alternating Knee Tucks – 15 reps
  • Side Plank with Leg Abductions – 15 reps each side (I’m getting slightly better at these)
  • Sit Ups – 15 reps
  • Supermans – 15 reps
  • Leg Raises w/Straight Legs – 15 reps
  • Double Crunch – 15 reps
  • Plank – 30 seconds


A 4.08 mile run at 8:47 avg pace for a total of 35:50. I started this one kind of slow and sped up as I went along. It took me a while to wake up and get into it, but it turned into a great run.

This probably had a little something to do with the increase in momentum:


Strings version of Journey? OK!

On Friday, I also took a shopping trip to get some much needed hydration gear. I haven’t had a big water bottle in months, ever since I left my Nalgene at the office and it was thrown away. I finally bought this 1L CamelBak from Target. I am very excited to get back to drinking water all day. I grabbed some nuun and the Swift hydration belt by Nathan from Fleet Feet. I ended up finding the Strawberry Lemonade nuun (my fave!) at Eastern Mountain Sports. I have yet to find the new nuun flavors while out and about (um, I think I need that caffeine enhanced Cherry Limeade, please).


Hydration station

Not surprisingly, our supply of Girl Scout cookies is depleted. Mark and I may have also bought this at Target:




The long run! According to Hal Higdon, I was due for an 8 mile run. No problem! I actually met up with another member of the Albany Running Exchange who posted a 5 mile run for the morning right in town. To get the extra 3 miles, I ran to and from the meeting spot. This was a really great run! Miles seem to go by so much faster when you’re not alone. It ended up being 8.45 miles total for me and a total time of 1:16:18, an avg pace of 9:02.


Great way to start a Saturday

I used this longer run to test out my new hydration/fuel belt. It has an 8 oz water bottle and little zip pouch. I put some nuun water in the bottle and stuffed the pouch with a house key, Burt’s Bees HONEY lip balm, my iPhone, and a packet of GU (didn’t use it, just wanted to see how much I could cram in there). The belt is pretty lightweight and I was surprised by how much I could stuff into the little pocket. When I started out, I had the bottle/pouch situated on my hip, which is where I’d prefer it to be. Well, it did not want to stay there. It ended up finding it’s way front and center and that’s where it stayed. I guess I’m OK with that…if I don’t mind having a junkpouch. Comfort wise, it was fine. Though I’m considering adding another 8 oz bottle. I get thirsty.


I will call this photo “Junkpouch”

I did a LOT of stretching afterward and refueled with a Designer Whey chocolate protein shake.


Ahh, recovery.

Overall, I’m feeling pretty good after my first “official” week of half marathon training! I didn’t get in as much core and strength training as I would have liked, but I will bump it back up for next week. I also have to get some cross training mixed in to get some balance in my workouts and use some other muscles.

It is looking like a BEAUTIFUL Spring weekend!


2 Responses to “This week in training AKA: The Hills and Junkpouch”

  1. Amanda March 30, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

    Good work this week! Where do you find nuun tablets usually? I think I’d like to try it!

    • Nikki March 31, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

      I have found them at my local Fleet Feet and Eastern Mountain Sports. You can also find it online in various places like and others. You can also get it straight from the source at

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