Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Well-Read Runner: Sleep is for the Weak!

Week 1 of training for the Mystic Half Marathon is done, my friends!  Here's a recap of how the week went...

Total distance: 16.72 miles

The name of the game this week was Sleep Deprivation.  Both of my kiddos were sick, and young kids being sick = no sleep for anybody.  Then, they got better just in time for us to drive the 7 hours (with kids = 10 hours) to New Jersey for my brother's Coast Guard Company Commander graduation.  An awesome time, but yeah, made for a busy week!!

I knew the sleep issue would be a potential hurdle during training (Small Fry has never been a good sleeper, even when healthy), but I'll be honest, this week made me worry about it a bit more.  I was able to complete all of my workouts despite the sleep issues, but most of my runs were only 3 miles long--a half hour at most, no problem.  When my workouts extend to 7, 8, 9 miles and beyond...getting hardly any sleep is going to be trouble.  I'm hoping the coming of spring (and the going of illness and dry nighttime air) will bring us some better rest all around!
This is how I feel about getting ready to run at 5:30am after being up with my 1-year-old from 3:00-5:00am.
ANYWAY--here's a breakdown of the week:

Monday: Stretch and strengthen.  I got up early and did a 35-minute Jillian Michaels ab workout (good overall core strengthening). Also did some reps on the weight machine we have downstairs.  It made me sore--the pain means it's working, right?

Tuesday: 3 miles, easy pace.  No issues here.  Kept about a 9:20 pace.  It was 45 degrees outside, felt awesome!

Wednesday: 5 x 400 speed workout.  Got up early to do this one on the treadmill, since all the tracks around here are still slushy.  Basically, I did a half-mile warmup, then 5 fast intervals of a quarter mile each (with a short recovery jog in between).  I was supposed to do the intervals at 5K pace, and my 5K PR is 27:02, so I ran them at about 7.2 mph on the treadmill (I used a treadmill pace converter that I found online to figure that out...if you're running at a 0 incline, it's actually easier/faster than running outside, so it's not an even conversion.)  I did well (I was watching Prefontaine on my tablet while running, that helped!), but wow, I am dreading when I have to start doing more intervals in a row.  They are HARD.  The last one was a struggle!

Thursday: 3 miles easy + strength work.  Instead of doing a separate strength workout, I added some hill work into my run.  The half that I am running has some pretty wicked hills in the last 4-5 miles, so I need to focus on that a bit.  I did this one on the dreadmill as well, because I had to do it at 5:30am and I really didn't feel like gearing up to go out in the dark.

Friday: Rest!  And good timing, it was my brother's graduation day.  Got to have fun with the family all day long.

Saturday: 3 miles easy.  After spending 10 hours in the car traveling home, I kicked my butt outside and did my a 36 degree rain.  (Insert strong-arm emoji here.)  I went easy for sure, 9:51 average pace.

Sunday: 5 mile long run.  My first long run of this training period!  It went really well.  I kept a 9:52 average pace, which was hard for me...I was in the mood to fly, and I had to keep pulling myself back.  My first mile was actually 9:41 and I kept dialing it down throughout the run so I wouldn't burn out (last mile was slowest at 10:03).  My "race pace" for my target time is about 9:54, and long runs are supposed to be a bit slower than your race pace...however, when my long runs aren't particularly long (under 7-8 miles) it is harder to keep myself slow.  Once I get to longer distances, this will not be a problem anymore...haha.

A great first week!  Hopefully we get more sleep around here this week.  Next weekend, my post should be interesting, as I have some plans to incorporate a local 5K into my training (instead of the long run).  Stay tuned!

How was your running week, friends?

How do you pace your long runs?

How do you keep yourself motivated to work out when you're sleep deprived?


  1. I love working some 5K's into my training plan- keeps it fun! I ran one this weekend and it was great to be out there! I ended up in bed late too but the body is amazing and I finished better than I anticipated :) Have a great week!

    1. Yes, I'm looking forward to it! Race nerves were a real problem for me at my first half (last Sept), so I'm hoping that a few races during training will help me find ways to deal with that a bit better.

  2.'s so'll start getting more sleep once your kids get a little older. Then they become teenagers and it's back to sleepless nights again...sigh...

    I do keep moving no matter what! I get energy after I workout. The sleep deprivation hits me later in the day.

    1. Ah yes, I do hear that about the teenage years! I will enjoy those better sleeping years in between...haha.

      Agreed about the sleep deprivation being worse later in the day. It's so hard to get out of bed to start the workout. Then I finish running and I feel great! It's 1pm when it catches up to me and I need giant mugs of coffee.

  3. I'm so bad at pacing myself but, over time, it has improved some; I've tried to stop being so dependent upon my Garmin and be more aware of how my body feels while running at a particular pace, but it's tough! You did great on your long run; it's difficult to start out slow, but I think you'll get the hang of it as you continue your training and save the speedy stuff for your interval/speed work days. I think you'll really enjoy your 5K as part of training; I can't wait to hear about it! Sounds like a great first week of training, Kelly - way to go! Thanks so much for linking up with the blog; hope you have a great day!

    1. Thanks Tara! Yes, I'm hoping that as I get further into the training, I will be able to "know" my pace without having to check my watch all the time. I remember that happened for me when I trained for a half the last time...looking forward to getting that pace spidey-sense back!

  4. Reading this is total deju vu for me! I used the same training plan for my half and also used the treadmill for the sprint days (I have a 2 yr old still at home w/ me, so need the gym babysitting sometimes) and felt the same way you did on long runs - really pulling myself back in the beginning. But, once you get farther into your plan, you will feel that pain at the end of the long runs and it's much easier to rein it in early since you know what's coming :) This started to happen around 8-9 miles for me. Hope you can sleep more next week!

    1. I'm sure that the long runs will feel different soon! I have 6 miles coming up this Sunday, which shouldn't be too bad, but after that it's going to get more difficult. I haven't done 6+ in several months.

  5. Great training week...hope you get to catch up on sleep. I know the feeling on the 400s - that's a tough workout. I'm up to 10x400 now and I never think I'll be able to finish but I have to tell myself to focus only on the interval I'm doing at the moment - otherwise I'll psyche myself out and quit.

    1. Yup, 10x400 is the last one I have to do during this training period, I can't even imagine it at this point!! Here's hoping all this training gets me well prepared by then. :)

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