Bare Minimum Half Training 2019 Update 3: Cross-training Nirvana and Heat

Quick contact the Guinness people I just had the best cross-training day that anyone ever has, period, exclamation point. Get ready for some gushing and I’m going to be a bit extra about it because it was just that good! This week a lot of stuff just came together for me. Not really big things just a lot of little stuff which was great. Oh and I got stung by two different wasps, maybe the same wasp on two different days, I’m actually not sure. Turns out taping a cut piece of garlic to your leg helps a lot, at least psychologically, just thought I’d share. Everyone has their own definition of a long run, for some it’s 5km for others it’s 30! One thing that I’ve realized this week in implementing a bare minimum plan it this $hit is escalating quickly. It’s week two of training and my long run is already 10k! I shuffled the schedule a little this week as we were due to get some really extreme heat this weekend. I’m okay to run up to 27 C (80 f) pretty much no problem which is a pretty rare temperature around here. This weekend the mercury was headed to 35 C (95 f) so preventative measures were in order as was swimming!

Wednesday: Honey left me again Wednesday morning so I got to go running in the middle of the morning which is pretty good work if you can get it! On the schedule was 5km of Fartleks with a warm up and a cool down which always means matching my music to my pace for me. Even though the whole province was under a heat warning it wasn’t too bad for speed work. It used to be that the coast of Nova Scotia was reliably cooler but that’s not always the case now. Wednesday thankfully, it was and a stiff wind made going hard more than reasonable. I’ve really been feeling that since this plan has fewer runs than I’m used to for half training it’s important to really make them count. In that vein I’ve been pushing harder especially on speed days. I was as fast as I wanted to be and it seemed like good work was done. I ran into some peeps I know well and they made fun of my pigtails which made me laugh and was probably a given. How old it too old for pigtails anyway?

Thursday: Today was vague cross training day on this plan which I’ve decided to dedicate to cycling this time around as I prepare for a sprint too. There is this river near where I live, even closer to my mom’s house that people sometimes swim in. It’s actually an estuary where the river meets the ocean. It always looked like so much fun but I never took the time to do it. It seems like the cool kids hang out there in high school, my sister did it and so did some of Honey’s kids. In high school I was too busy with calculus, carrying a brief case and wearing a bun to get invited but I always wanted to go. Now I’m a grown-up and I do the $hit I want to do when I want to do it but in 15++ years I still never made it there. I had just picked up my serviced road bike and so I decided to go and have the best time of it. So I packed my towel, put my bicycle bikini on under my cycling shorts and fully committed.

It was about two hours from low tide which was great timing, even an hour or so later would have been great too for optimal water depth. After I took my pictures I played around in the water for the best part of an hour, it was stunningly beautiful, the river water was so warm and I felt like a little kid playing in the current. The huge glacial rocks in the riverbed have been worn smooth over hundreds of years and you can slide along them like a waterslide in the current. I might leave the Gucci bathing suit at home but it was just awesome. There was one deeper spot in the currents that functioned like an endless pool where the current keeps you swimming in one place, great for open water swim training and totally free! Along the way I found a dropped cell phone on the trail and caught up to it’s rightful owner so that felt pretty good too. Overall it was just a perfect all along summer night and I should have made the effort YEARS sooner! Oh, 18km and an hour of swimming but that hardly even matters!

Friday: Saturday and Sunday are going to be HOT, HOT! So I decided to move my long run forward to Friday. I sort of made plans to head out in the not so early morning hours but even as I was making them I knew it probably wasn’t going to happen. I took the day off and worked my magic around my own yard and headed out in the evening instead. I’ve been having  a real issue with my hair getting tangled in ponytails now that it’s just a bit longer. For Friday’s long run I googled and tried a hair bow for my 10k which actually worked awesome but it was a little too extra. A little hard to do and maybe a bit too much. But it held through the run and I think it will be my go to for costume type races in the future, behold the hair bow. 

Oh right the run… it was good and not all that hot. My last few runs and this one were saved by a stiff breeze of the ocean. I’m targeting my long runs about 15 seconds per km faster than I have in the past since I’m just feeling a hair faster this season. Even though it’s usually a few degrees cooler in the morning here there’s never any wind but around 10 am it starts off the water. It’s reliable here because the land heats up faster than the Atlantic and that uneven cooling creates wind. Perhaps that’s another reason I prefer non-morning workouts. Wind for the win!

Sunday: Honey came home for good the day before and I knew we were probably going to take the weekend off and we did. We launched the boat on Saturday at noon and then spent the whole weekend in it. Even when it’s really, really hot on land and close to the shore it’s almost always sweater and jacket weather on the water. We get about 5 perfect days and nights here a season and Saturday was one of those rare days. I think it’s been about 10 years since we both had that great a boat day. We headed out to an island here everyone hangs out at, jumped off the flying bridge of a friend’s boat, swam a lot, caught up with old friends, fished and grilled our catch on the way home. We ended the night late at a bonfire but I still had one more run this week.

I got up early on Sunday morning and did my 5k and it was hot AND sweaty already! I was just basically covering the distance since it was a shake-out for my long run that I had put off earlier in the week. I can only get away with that sort of thing for one more week as those long runs will require a rest day after next week. Then it was back in the boat for the rest of the weekend and we start another big project tomorrow.

So that’s how training went for me this week and it was pretty freakin’ awesome. Not all weeks will be as great as this one was but weeks like this are probably why I keep coming back for more. Next week I’ll let you all know how this week’s training went and post in the comments if you’re doing you’re 1/2 or full or whatever training along with me! You can download my bare minimum 1/2 marathon training plan here!

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