Back in action!

After taking seven full days off from exercise to rest and recover from my chest cold, I got back to running on July 4!

I started with 4.5 miles at an easy pace:

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And then rested on Friday and had a lovely date night with Aaron. We spend a TON of time together (BFFs, y’know), but we rarely get fancied up and go out to eat at nice places.

We started at Serafina, an Italian restaurant on Eastlake. I had a Bellini (peach puree + Prosecco = YUM) and we shared a roasted pork belly appetizer.

For the main course, Aaron had some sort of steak and potato special, and I had house-made beet gnocchi with rabbit confit, peas, and ricotta.

It was delish! I ordered the primi (first course) size so that I could save room for dessert.

And in Seattle, one MUST go to Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery for dessert.

We ran into our former co-worker Jason and had him snap a pic for us just before we dug in! Thanks, Jason!

The evening weather was perfect, so we whiled away the rest of the evening on a bench at Green Lake, just chatting and people-watching.

I love this picture of Aaron. 🙂

And I loved date night! We decided to do something special like this (but not necessarily fancy) at least once a month. Quality time — can’t beat it.

I got out for a warm ‘n sunny six-miler this morning:

I’ve officially jumped into my Chicago Marathon training plan! This run was supposed to be six miles at goal race pace, which is 8:58 for a 3:55 marathon. I’m really going to have to work harder on slowing down and learning what 8:58 feels like!

I based my plan around Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 1 marathon plan, so go check that out and read all of his great training tips!

Here’s how my training will be different this time around:

– I’ll be running five days a week instead of four.

– I’ll run both weekend days, including a shorter run on Saturday and my long run on Sunday. The idea behind this is to do your long run on slightly tired legs, which forces you to slowwwww down (very important, and something I did not do last time) and helps your body get accustomed to running long distances when tired.

– I’ll try to negative-split all of my long runs, meaning that I’ll run the first half slowly, then run the second half a bit faster. It’s difficult to negative-split a marathon, but if I can learn to do it on my long runs, maybe it’ll help!

– I’ll do two 20-mile long runs instead of one. Yup.

– I’ll run slowly three days a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, long run Sunday) and faster two days a week (Thursdays and Saturdays). Check out this Competitor article for more info on training slower to race faster:

“Why do the fastest runners do most of their running at slow speeds? Because they run a lot, and if they ran a lot and did most of their running at high intensities they would quickly burn out. But you can also turn this answer upside down and say that elite runners run slowly most of the time so that they can run a lot. Research has shown that average weekly running mileage is the best training predictor of racing performance in runners. The more we run, the faster we race. Keeping the pace slow most of the time enables runners to run more without burning out.”

I always reserve the right to change my training plan if it’s not working out for me, so if this much running makes me miserable, I can always go back to four days a week. I have quite a few trips planned between now and Chicago, so it’ll be interesting to try to run every Saturday AND Sunday, but I’ll give it a shot!

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