So, we enter the last two weeks of this training cycle, with the Pittsburgh Half Marathon happening already NEXT SUNDAY. Won’t be a lot of heavy training for Week 15 with race week and all, but I’ll get a few miles in, and a couple long yoga and foam-rolling sessions. PLUS because I signed up for the Steel Challenge (have you seen the medal?!), I’ll be running the 5K on Saturday too. Should be a really fun week, and getting a long run in today helped to alleviate some of my pre-race jitters and race-worthiness.

I'm running for the National Aviary! (Click to donate!)

I’m running for the National Aviary! (Click to donate!)

With a week to race day, I want to talk about the organization for which I’m fundraising: The National Aviary!

Full disclosure: I’m a former employee, but with the bird zoo right in my neighborhood I am frequently walking and running past, and dropping in to visit my bird friends. It was an amazing place to work and is an amazing place in Pittsburgh for families and animal lovers of all ages. They promote a respect for nature through the appreciation of birds, and their conservation and education efforts are commendable. However you can support, it is immensely appreciated. DONATE NOW!

Monday: WOO, REST DAY!

Tuesday: I ran to my CrossFit gym to do a WOD that included some road sprints (yep, more running!) and deadlifts (ooh, more legs!). I haven’t done much of any sprinting in training for this race (save for finish line sprints), so it was fun to incorporate with four rounds of deadlifts. Mileage was 1.56 miles to the gym + 1.26 home (yes, I took a wrong turn and got lost on the way home which ended up being less miles, weird).

Wednesday: Run//yoga club at Urban Elements returned together on the same night and changed to Wednesday nights, which makes me so happy because I love mid-week workouts for some reason. We completed 3.6 miles on the North Shore Trail — sans headphones — and I got to test out my running-while-chatting skills meeting some of the other ladies in the group. The “club” ended with an AMAZING 75 minutes of hot yoga (which felt pretty terrible at times given my raised body temperature), but my body felt so good afterward.

Thursday: Rest Day! Necessary!

Friday: Welp, boyfriend talked me into hamburgers and cured meats for happy hour, so my additional short run for the week was canceled.

Saturday: Baby shower day, so another day of rest and awesomeness (and, um, some wine) with my friends. That’s OK because I plan to do a long run on Sunday.

Sunday: Completed 10.26 miles in the late afternoon. My pace was all over the place again but I was happy with it. I was really hot even at just 60 degrees, shedding my long-sleeve outer layer by the end of three miles, but I accomplished a little more of the course — adding another two more bridges to my count! Smithfield and Birmingham, for those keeping score. Unfortunately, I did experience some knee pain again around Mile 5, but I continued to run through it. I needed to know if it eventually stops hurting the more I run (I know, it’s a little insane, but bear with my thought process). Well, it DID stop hurting, so… then I finished my 10 miles and then-some. At one point, I was so hungry that I thought about eating a smashed hot dog bun on the road; good thing I’ve figured out my fueling strategies. *eye roll*

Sport Beans helped me not to bonk, thankfully; the water fountains in Point State Park helped me stay hydrated when my water bottle went dry.

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In any event, I’m proud of this week and wish for this kind of motivation again for my future training cycles.

Game on, Pittsburgh!
Total runs this week: 3
Weekly mileage: 16.68
Total training mileage: 104.15 miles

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