Summer Breeze Half Weeks 7 & 8

Hey! Look, an actual running post. Welcome to a recap of weeks 7 and 8 of Summer Breeze Half Marathon training. Out of a 10-week training cycle, I guess these are considered peak weeks, so it’s good that they were fairly solid.

Week 7 (33.4 miles):

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 8.25.48 AM

Due to social obligations, I decided to switch my usual Tues/Thurs runs to Wed/Fri. I had few big runs this week, including:

  • an 80 minute run on Wednesday — these longer midweek runs always tire me out, but I do think they really help build endurance
  • a 5-mile tempo on Friday — slower average pace than I’d like, but I was happy/relieved that I got it done
  • Crissy Field parkrun on Saturday (with a 2.5 mile warm-up) — met up with Layla and Angela to wish bt bon voyage before she left for her 1-year sabbatical. {Insert jealous-yet-happy-and-excited-for-a-friend emoji here.}
  • a 14-mile fast finish long run (FFLR) on Sunday — the least successful of the bunch

The Golden Gate Bridge playing peek-a-boo at Crissy Field parkrun

The highlights of week 7 were that I did all of my runs, and I even ran some decent (for me) paces during parkrun without shortness of breath. The low-lights included skipping strength workouts and not being able to execute the FFLR. I think I had done too many medium to medium-hard miles on Friday and Saturday (for me, that gray zone is between 9:15-9:45/mile) that by the time I hit the “fast finish” portion of my run on Sunday, the fastest I could get my legs going was between 9:38-9:45. Whomp whomp. I think there is definitely something to be said for keeping easy runs easy and hard runs hard.

On the bright side, my overall pace for the FFLR was 5 seconds/mile faster than 2 weeks before, and almost 50 seconds/mile faster than 4 weeks before. (To be fair, the 14-miler from 4 weeks previous was not a FFLR.)


Dueling bloggers?

Week 8 (27.5 miles):

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 3.12.07 PM

A run-down of the runs (har har):

  • Shortened easy run on Tuesday. I decided to call it a day after my 2nd bathroom stop.
  • 2 x 3 mile on Thursday. My plan called for 6 x 1 mile with 800 m recovery, but at this point in my training cycle, I felt like I needed to boost race pace confidence rather than speed. I was also anxious about doing mile repeats, which are always so painful. I definitely made the right call. I ran 8 miles averaging 9:19/mile, which included the extra slow warm-up and cool-down miles. Plus, I ran in the heat of the midday sun AND the last mile was a sizable uphill. Oh, and I got my first ever side-five from a fellow runner! She was really good about signaling the side-five as she approached, lifting up her arm and giving me a nod, silently saying, “Yes, we’re doing this!” I really ought to do this more often, as it totally made my day.
  • 120 min long run on Saturday. The sun came out a lot earlier than I expected, so I intended to take this one easy. I surprised myself by gradually picking up the pace and finishing with an average pace of 10:18/mile. Just for reference, most of my long runs this training cycle have been in the 10:30-11:00/mile range.
  • Easy recovery on the treadmill. It’s been really hot this weekend, so I decided to sleep in and do my recovery run at the gym. Even with a totally addictive TV show (UnReal) to keep me entertained, I was so over the treadmill after 30 minutes. But I kept going until the show was finished – about 45 minutes. Yay for TV and free gym wifi.

Week 8 highlights included the 2 x 3 mile run and the surprise progression long run. Low-lights were the easy runs that just felt off/like filler and zero strength workouts for the 2nd week in a row. However, I’m trying to focus on the positive vibes from the 2 solid runs this week. I think they’re just what I needed to feel like I finally getting in decent half marathon shape. And just in time too — the race is less than 2 weeks away!

In general though, I’ve noticed that I’m constantly feeling tired and low on motivation…which seems like a red flag for overtraining/burn out. That makes sense, considering how I’ve jumped from training cycle to training cycle this year without many breaks in between. I’m contemplating a longer recovery period after Summer Breeze, in an effort to get back some mojo before I start training for CIM. On the other hand, I could also step back and reassess my goals for CIM — i.e., not train for a time goal, but just take it one week at a time. To be honest, even for Summer Breeze, I’ve already decided that PR’ing won’t be my number one goal. Part of this is because I don’t feel as fit – both mentally and physically – as I would like to be. The other part is that I’m realizing (yet again) that so many things are out of my control, like the weather, how I feel on race day, etc. The one thing I can try to control is my attitude. I know how hard it’s going to be to push for 2 hours. Not giving up in those last miles will be the toughest challenge.

Anyway! Here are some fun pics from this weekend. Enjoy!


As part of the KonMari method, I decided to get rid of a bunch of my race medals (that do not #sparkjoy) and finally put up the ones that do – namely, my marathon and 50K medals. I’m thankful for a husband who’s super handy and can put these things up for me in 5 minutes. 🙂


My new favorite tank top.


Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

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4 comments on “Summer Breeze Half Weeks 7 & 8
  1. Angela says:

    I need that tank top! But, like, gym everything, don’t care. :-/

  2. Grace says:

    Hahaha love the tank! Also, if you’re feeling burnt out, there is no shame in taking a longer recovery period after the half. There is no shame in reevaluating, especially if you’ve got a lot of other stuff going on in other areas of your life. There is no shame in *gasp* not doing CIM, and instead going on one of those vacations to somewhere sunny and warm where you lie on the beach and read, or going skiing, or something. You’re still a runner. I swear.

    • Jen says:

      All good points – thanks, Grace. I think part of the burnout has to do with the fact that I’ve been running the same routes week in and week out for this whole year. It’s time to mix it up!

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4/28/19: London Marathon

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