Sunday, May 19, 2013

Half Marathon? Check!

I planned for it, I trained for it, I ran  It was early and drizzly and humid, but absolutely worth the effort of the previous four months!

As of this afternoon, I feel great.  No ankle issues, no blister issues, no pain issues of any kind...but will definitely be stretching before I go to bed tonight!

Mile 5 was my fastest - 9:07.  Mile 11 was my slowest - my defense that is where Janice and I encountered the dreaded Hospital Hill.  On average my running pace was 11:57.  We missed our goal of 2 hours 30ish minutes, but it was great just to know that I could do it.

Hopefully more pictures soon....

Next up - My first 10K race (a little over 6 miles).  

After that, back to increasing my distance in my Brooks PureConnects.  I saw enough runners in Vibrams, to remind me barefoot running is my ultimate goal.  I really want to be able to run any distance I choose in a minimalist way that is easier on my joints and supposed to be more efficient for my body.

Life is good!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

I Can't Wait!!!

Tomorrow is the big day.  I've got a busy Saturday, then I'm headed down to meet Janice tonight.  Getting up at some ridiculous hour to get to the race and then will done with my first Half by 10:00 or so!!!

My last two runs this week were...well, different.

Tues with my Run Club was wonderful....easy three miles with a speedy (for me) 9:30 pace for the last 2 miles.  Yes, I'm supposed to be taking it easy, but it felt amazing.

Thurs was less than smile inducing.  I signed up for a "All Levels Fun Run" with a new (to me) Run Club.  Didn't get my GPS to locate a satellite, so have no accurate idea of distance or time.  Was one of the slowest runners in the group and was planning to go the shortest distance (3 miles).

The leader paired me with a couple of slower runners, which was great.  We ran, we chatted, I struggled to make my iPod work (don't ask).  They led me to the turn around point...and left me.  That was a surprise, so I wasn't 100% sure how to get back.  Got off the trail at the wrong point, no phone, no GPS, but was pretty sure I had run about 3 miles.

Land navigation is not my strong point, but another 10-12 mins of mostly running in what I hoped was the right direction got me back to the starting point, but by that time I was kind of pissed, so I left.  I should have just done a 3-miler at home...

Shaking it off, because there are more important things to think about.  Like taking a moment in remembrance of the tragedy that happened to the Boston Marathoners and spectators.  Like knowing I am about to accomplish something I thought was impossible (and/or crazy) for most of my running life.  Like being a role model for my in you're never too old to take on a challenge.

Image Source:  Google Images (uncredited)

Right now, I'm up and packing for the race!  I'm excited and nervous and excited!! Hoping I don't forget anything too important and knowing that no matter what, as of tomorrow, I will be a "Half Marathoner"

And yes, that 13.1 magnet is definitely going on my car.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Half Marathon Attire

What does one wear to run a half marathon?  I'm a week out and I still haven't decided.  In theory, I'm supposed to have worked that out by the time I started my long runs...but sort of got off the training schedule after 8 miles.  Stupid tendons...

There are some obvious necessities - a sports bra, socks and sneakers, and I do have all of those picked out.  But as I peruse other runner's photos, looks like I have a pretty wide variety of options (all found on Google Images and not copyrighted as far as I can tell!).

1) Tinkerbell

2) A breast...hmmm, not the look I'm going for...
3)  Red Solo Cup

None of these look particularly aerodynamic...or even comfy for that matter.  I'll have to go with something more traditional.

New running shorts and a cute top...and maybe a hat, and...and...and..!  Yup, this is my favorite part of a new work out challenge, finding the right look.  Sad, but true.

Despite my pending fashion decisions, I manage to get in my last long(ish) run for this race.  And it was good.  Six comfortable miles at a pace I like, no effort to finish at all.

Next week will be a couple of 2 or 3 milers...and then RACE DAY!!!!!  Wish me luck!

Half Marathon Training Progress Report -
  • 6 mile run (10:37 pace)
    • .5 mile barefoot style
  • .25 mile walk
Total Distance - 6.25 miles
Total Time - 1:08:43

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Good Runs Make Everything Better

Work today was a challenge.  But all the irritation faded away as soon as I began to run.  Just ahhhhhhhh....melted away...and that, more than anything else, is the point of running.

I started training about sixteen weeks ago and now I am counting down to the Half! Twelve days to go, although this is not nearly as momentous as counting down the the end of the world, it is still exhilarating!

Image Source:

Yesterday I went to knock out 3 miles with my running club.  I started at a comfortable pace (10:30 pace) and ran the hills (had walked the last couple of times per doc's orders). Miles 2 and 3 were just under 11 mins, but was taking it easy and chatting with my running mates.  The hills felt effortless and I added an extra mile at the end...faster than usual (9:35 pace).  The best part is I really wasn't pushing, it felt great!

Every run like this makes me feel like the Half is going to be cake.  It won't be, but I feel like it will and that mental readiness is essential to this run.

Half Marathon Training Progress Report (Tues) -
  • 4 mile run (10:26 pace)
    • About half a mile done barefoot style
    • Last mile faster than normal
  • 2 min walk
Total Distance - 4.06 miles
    Total Time - 44:22

    Monday, May 6, 2013

    8 Miles...Is It Enough?

    Honestly, I have no idea.  If you remember, in April my last 8 mile run led to a visit with the foot doc and took me off my training program for three weeks.  So I was rather nervous about attempting this distance again...even with a brace.

    Very happy to report that on Sunday I ran eight continuous miles at a slow, but reasonable pace...with hills.  There was an awareness of my tendon last night and today, but no swelling or pain.  I iced last night and stretched really well this a.m.  I'm also taking doc prescribed anti-inflammatories.

    Fueling wasn't quite what I had hoped.  I had water with me and a few Honey Stingers, but even with that the last half mile was a bit of a challenge.  The recommended amount for Honey Stingers is 5 - 10 per hour.  I ate one at the the 2 mile mark, another at the 3 mile mark, and a third at the 5 mile was surprised when 7.5 miles hit and I had to talk myself into running the last half mile.  Clearly, more work to be done in the fueling arena.
    Image Source:

    By the way, I like the Nativas Naturals Power Snacks, but they are a little dense for carrying and eating without water.  So, I keep them in my desk drawer to fend off the hungry horrors just before lunch and late afternoon...I like the Citrus Chia the best.

    Next step, talk to Janice who just completed the Pittsburgh Half Marathon this weekend. Discussing her race strategy will give me a better idea of if I've done enough...if I'm up to the challenge.  Wish me luck!

    Half Marathon Training Progress Report (Sunday) -
    • .20 mile walk
    • 8 mile run (11:07 pace)
    • .87 mile walk
    Total Distance - 9.07 miles
    Total Time - 1:50:37

    Saturday, May 4, 2013

    Hills!!! Well, Sort Of...

    Thursday was my follow up with my foot doc.  She was pleased with the progress I pain or swelling issues after the 5 mile race last weekend.  So, she gave me permission to start running hills again.  Never thought I'd be so excited about exerting more effort...

    The plan was a couple of loops around Burke Lake, the reality was time to get back on the treadmill...sigh... The good news is I wasn't wearing crazy sneakers like the lady below! Still loving my Saucony Kinvaras.

    Image Source:  Healing Feet blog

    The good part about the treadmill is you can control your pace.  I know I should be running negative splits...i.e., starting out with a relaxed pace and running faster as I go.  So that's what I forced myself to do today, started out at a 12 min mile and ended with a 10 min mile pace.  Added in two "hills" - an incline of 5 - for half a mile each and called it a good day.

    Very alert to the possibility of overdoing it.  I could have gone 8 miles, but felt some mild strain in the tendon I've been having problems the 7 miles I did (without stopping) was just fine for today.  Followed by ibuprofen and ice, of course.

    Half Marathon Training Progress Report (Thurs) -
    • .25 mile walk
    • 2 mile run (12:00 pace)
      • .5 miles barefoot run (forefoot strike)
    • .5 mile "hill" (12:00 pace) - barefoot style
    • 2 mile run (10:54 pace)
    • .5 mile "hill" (10:54 pace) - barefoot style
    • 2 mile run (10:00 pace)
    • .25 mile walk
    Total Distance - 7.5 miles
    Total Time - 1:26:32