The training for my Gasparilla races started this week! I signed up for the Michelob Ultra Challenge, which consists of 30+ miles over two days in Tampa, Florida in February — a 15K and 5K on Saturday of race weekend and then on Sunday, a Half Marathon and 8K. I’ve obviously never trained for a race quite like this, and the swag is supposed to be ridiculous. My focus is on the half marathon, for which I’m adapting the Novice 2 Hal Higdon training schedule. An aside: I strongly dislike the Higdon app and keep a paper with my dates tacked to the wall like total old school. Anyone else feel the same way?

Because I do plenty of cardio and cross-training (and that will increase exponentially with derby practices), I’m cutting out the extraneous mid-week 3 mile run. I’m focusing on three runs per week — with one long run, a weekly regular 3-mile run and one additional mid-week run that spans from 2-3 miles throughout the 12-week program, and at least two cross-training sessions.

Week #1 of this plan calls for three 3-mile runs and one 4-mile run, with one day of cross and two rest days. I personally like two-a-days with another rest day, which is another way that I’ve adapted my training schedule. It worked well for my previous half and full marathon training plans. I haven’t decided yet if I intend to PR this race or not… but I still have a little bit of time to figure that out.

MONDAY: An hour of spinning at the Y. (Walked to work)

TUESDAY: REST DAY (Walked to/from work)

WEDNESDAY: 3 miles with run//yoga//run club (just less than 10-minute pace), followed by a hard, sweaty 75 minutes of hot flow yoga. While I didn’t have any abnormally-long coughing fits, I found myself struggling to move with my breath. We did a bunch of hip openers and core work which felt amazing. My legs, though, felt super sloggy during the run. Meh. (I also walked to work today.)

THURSDAY: REST DAY (Walked to/from work)

FRIDAY: REST DAY (Walked home from work)

Long winter shadows.

Long winter shadows.

SATURDAY: 4.02 miles – holy moly, my legs felt so fast today. I had my first sub-8 mile! I followed my run up with 3 sets of 60-second planks (and a very long, steamy shower).

SUNDAY: Stairs workout at The Cathedral of Learning, my first off-skates workout with my NEW TEAM, The Allegheny Avengers! I should say my new old team, as I was one of the home team’s inaugural members two seasons ago — but I got drafted back on this week now that I’m officially-official back playing roller derby. We did 10 minutes of interval climbs and then a 10-minute body weight circuit (crunches, planks, lunges, squats and push-ups). I hoped to run a couple miles after this workout, but my legs were toast!

This upcoming training week will be tough to schedule around all these holiday parties during the week, but my goal is for two runs and two other workouts.

TOTAL RUNS: 2
TOTAL MILES: 7.02

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