2014 Carlsbad Half Marathon Training – Week 1

triple crown image
Photos from http://www.carlsbadmarathon.com/

I only ran one half marathon this year even though I have a limit of two per year (they can get expensive). But I have good reason — I’m going to attempt a Triple Crown next year. What’s a Triple Crown, you ask? It’s the completion of three races in San Diego: Carlsbad Half Marathon (January), La Jolla Half Marathon (April), and America’s Finest Half Marathon (August).


Last week I started training for the Carlsbad Half . I’m using a sub-2:15 half marathon training plan from a “trainer” on RunKeeper. I usually use a Hal Higdon plan but I thought I’d switch it up a bit. This new plan includes a lot of speed work, tempo runs and even a 15-mile long run thrown in there. I think I’ll just add some strength training in the mix on the rest days.

So how did the week go? Let me start by saying that my neighborhood is hilly and anytime you go past 3 miles, you’re pretty much going to face a big hill or two. 

Monday 9/30- 4 miles easy. I took a route with a big downhill and spurts of short uphills. I used this route when doing tempo runs in the past. I was supposed to run slow and kept my pace at 10:24 min/mile. I wasn’t sure if that was slow enough.

Wednesday 10/2- 4 miles easy. This was an out-and-back route with a 1.8 mile gradual uphill grade. I tried going slower but I still averaged at 10:25. It actually hurt to try to run slow… I felt it in my shins. Perhaps it’s the slower “take-off” that’s straining my legs.

Friday 10/4- 4 miles easy. This is a killer hill run and I slowed it down to 10:54, considering that I ran it at 10:36 a few weeks prior. 

Saturday 10/5 – 7 miles steady. “Steady” was supposed to be 11:20 – 11:40 pace. This route had a HUGE climb – 150 feet in less than half a mile. I had to walk part of the climb where it got super-steep. I was a bit disappointed in myself – it was only 50 more feet to the top. My average pace 10:52.

TOTAL: 19 miles

Cool things about last week’s run:

  1. I had a list of people I prayed for during my run. I’d write their names down on my hand and dedicate a mile in prayer to each person. The good news is that I finished the list. But there are always people in need of prayer so if you’d like me to pray for you, send me a note and I’ll put your name on my hand. 🙂 It really motivates me to get running and also helps the miles pass quickly.
  2. I got to see a cherry picker get lifted to the top of the tower of my church. They scrubbed the cross clean and now it’s beautiful!
  3. I saw my “regulars” out and about: The old couple who feed the neighborhood cats in the morning; The middle-aged couple who walk to Starbucks to grab coffee and pastries and eats/drinks it on the way home—which is a good, 4-mile round-trip from where I spot them on my way back; The chatty running ladies; The old Hispanic man who has slimmed down A LOT since he started walking last year.
  4. I rarely see anyone I know personally on my run, even though I know a lot of people in the area. I spotted a parishioner from my church who didn’t recognize me with my hair tied back and wearing sunglasses. But I still gave him a hearty, “Good morning!” I saw him later at mass that day and told him that it was me who greeted him—not just some enthusiastic stranger.
  5. I had the highest elevation climb in a week! 2607 feet over the course of 4 runs. (I told ya it’s hilly.)

Not so cool things:

  1. The speaker sound on my phone didn’t work for the first day… then it magically started working again.
  2. Back spasms on my long run.
  3. Cat calls from moving cars. What you’ve seen me wear at a race is what I wear on a run — it’s pretty modest and I don’t wear jewelry (not even my wedding rings). Seriously, can’t a woman go on a run without some rude comments? Show respect, guys. 
  4. Tight calves for half of the week.
  5. It’s dark even at 6am. I need some lights!

So that sums up my week in training. The upcoming weeks are going to be weird since I have to switch my schedule around and even skip a long run to accommodate other events. Good thing it’s early in the training process. 

Have you ever switched up your training plan for a race? Share your experience in the comments!

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