Countdown…

My training program is ramping down to the big day and this past Saturday’s run was only 6 miles.  Just a few short months ago I would never have imagined myself saying “only 6 miles” but here I am six days from my first Half Marathon and 6 miles doesn’t seem like that big of a deal anymore :-)

Saturday’s recap: We decided to run our usual route which included one BIG hill but it also included 1/2 mile over the bridge in Lake Wylie.  We met up at 8am and off we went; I decided to do a 9/1 split to see if that would give me a better average pace.  It wasn’t very long before we realized the weather wasn’t as nice as we first thought…that dang humidity was back, ugh!  The route takes us up the big hill in mile 2 and as you can see by my pace I had to walk more than half of it.  The rest of the run was pretty uneventful except at the end of mile 6 we hit the big hill again, only this time down hill. I think I may have let gravity take over a little too much because my right knee started bothering me when I hit the bottom.  It was a short walk back to our meeting place and my knee was still bothering me. Thankfully K had her roller and I used it on my outer thigh and hip which seemed to relieve the pain.

I immediately iced my knee when I got home and kept doing that on & off the rest of the day. I’ve decided to do my two short runs this week on Tues/Thurs since the HM is on Sunday, that will also give my knee a little more rest.

My average pace was a little faster with the 9/1 split however it was half the distance from last weekend so I’m not sure if it would have the same impact overall – I’ll have to give it some more thought before I decide what to do on race day.

We’re heading to Myrtle Beach Thursday afternoon and I’m so nervous that I’m going to forget something that I need for the run…I’ve made a list of everything I take, use, eat – so I think I’m good…there’s that dang OCD again  :-s

10.11.14

10.11.14 pace

My new longest distance

This past weekend was the longest run of my training program before the Half Marathon…12 miles! With just 11 days left before the race I think I’m as ready as I’ll ever be :-)

For the 12 mile run we decided to drive a few miles to the next town where we could take a route with fewer hills; I think that helped quite a bit! Since the route we chose was only 6 miles out & back we had to run it twice…that added a new layer of difficulty.

The weather was perfect for our run, upper 50’s with sunshine. We started out around 8am and pretty quickly there was separation because we each have a different pace – I was bringing up the rear :-)  I set the c25k app for run/walk intervals of 10min/2min as this is the interval I want to run in the HM. The first few miles went by pretty fast and when I reached the halfway mark I realized the route we chose was not exactly 3 miles up and 3 miles back, in fact it was about a .7 miles short which meant I would cover less than 11 miles instead of the 12 miles planned. I started thinking how I would add in that extra mileage. By  mile 10 I was feeling like I wanted to stop but I pressed on, when I passed our starting point @ 10.5 I saw the other ladies were already finished and I toyed with the idea of stopping but my OCD kicked in and wouldn’t let me.

I kept going until I hit 11.5 and then headed back to where the ladies were waiting. Yay! I was so excited that I finished the 12 miles but I was beat…when I reached the ladies they had already recovered from their run since I was about 20 minutes behind them. It was then I found out that they had in fact stopped at 10.5 miles – what? They were congratulating me for finishing but I couldn’t get over the fact that they had stopped short of our goal…if they had told me that when I passed them I would’ve stopped too. Ultimately I’m glad they didn’t, it’s nice to know that I can cover that distance which makes 13.1 feel quite attainable.

Our starting point just happened to be the parking lot of a Dunkin Donuts, I’m sure you can guess what we did after I recovered…yep, a big ol glazed donut and a vanilla chai coffee…YUM!

10.4.14

10.4.14 pace

I’m still running

I’ve missed posting for the last two weeks, not because I haven’t been running but because I just haven’t sat down long enough to pull it all together. I won’t bore you with all the weekday runs as they’re just normal stuff, but I want to share the last two ‘long runs’ from the weekends.

September 13 – Hit the Brixx 10K

As a part of the Half Marathon training we signed up for a few races, last week was a 10K. After running 9 miles the week before the thought of 6.2 miles was refreshing – that is until mother nature decided to turn up the humidity again, UGH!

Before I get into the running details I have say that I was quite disappointed at the organizers of the race – typically Run For Your Life does a better job. Believe it or not we had a difficult time finding the starting line (huh?) and once we were there we couldn’t spot anyone that was controlling the start. The start time was supposed to be 7:45 but the sea of people started to move around 7:30 however we quickly realized they were just moving everyone to the actual starting line. About 7:50 the sea of people started to move again and this time it was the actual start…there was no gun firing or anyone with a megaphone…it was just really different from many other races I’ve run. The other issue I had was that the last 2 miles of the race was not marked very clearly, many times I wasn’t sure which way to go but because I could see other runners ahead of me I just followed them. The last complaint was getting out of the parking garage – we sat for almost 40 minutes even though everyone had validated parking. After all that, I don’t think I’ll be signing up for that race again.

Now on to the actual running. As I stated the humidity was just unbearable, it felt like I was running in soup. I ran out of ‘steam’ after 4 miles and took several walk breaks before finishing strong the last .25 mile. At mile 4 I had to stop and stretch because my glutes felt like the were cramping up on me; I had water with me and there were two water stations during the race so not sure what was going on with my glutes :-s

9.13.14

9.13.14 pace

September 20 – 10 mile training run

After the issues I had at the end of the 9 mile run I was a little apprehensive about doing 10 miles. The one major difference today was the weather – thankfully the temps have dropped and so has the humidity – YAY! The temps this morning were in the mid 60’s with little humidity – what a blessing!

We met up at the same location and ran the same route as before since we knew it actually covered 10 miles. I did pretty good until 5 miles, then I started taking a few extra walk breaks. At the beginning of mile 9, mother nature called and thankfully there was a Bojangles right there for a pit stop (I figure that added about 5 minutes to my overall time; I didn’t stop the Garmin because I wasn’t sure how to resume it… so mile 9 stats look pretty bad). After the pit stop I got a second wind and finished the last two miles pretty strong; in fact my legs felt pretty good and I knew that I could’ve done a few more miles – that’s a great sign!!

During the 9 mile run I stashed a bottle of water at the turn around point but this time I tried something new. I had read several articles that having chills during a run on a hot day signals early signs of heat exhaustion (whoa!) so I wanted to make sure I was refueling my electrolytes. I found tablets called “Camelback Elixir” which when mixed with 16 oz water provides all the electrolytes needed. I mixed that up the night before and stashed that bottle at the turn around…I wonder if that had something to do with my second wind?

The first stats below are from the C25K app – I was able to pause it during my ‘pit stop’ so the overall time should be pretty accurate. It’s encouraging to see my overall pace under 14 min/mi…woohoo!

9.20.14 c25k

 

9.20.14

9.20.14 pace

 

 

Training continues

This week the training runs continue to get longer…today was 9 miles! But first let me share with you the run from Wednesday.

Sept 3: Planned workout 40 minutes alternating 7 min run/1 min walk

The weather just won’t let up, it was hot and humid again so it was back to Anytime Fitness for a treadmill workout. I decided to plug into the TV on the treadmill and watch a little HGTV to pass the time which helped distract me from thinking about running. I set the run intervals at 4.8 and the walk intervals at 4.0. Based on an article I read last month, I’m not really pushing the speed too much as I’m trying to build endurance. I think it’s working because I didn’t feel worn out at the end of the workout.

9.3.14 mmr

Sept 6: Planned workout 9 miles alternating 5 min run/1 walk

Today’s weather was a little bit better than it had been all week. When we started it was 70 degrees and humid but it was also overcast so we didn’t have to deal with the sun. I made sure I ate enough before the run as I’m sure that was my problem two weeks ago when I ran 8 miles. We met at the shopping center at the bridge and had decided to run an out & back route. I had mapped it last night and decided I was going to put a fresh bottle of water at the halfway point which I did on my way to meet up this morning.  I felt really good through 3.5 miles when I took an extended walk break to eat a few shot bloks and then fell back into the 5/1 rhythm.

I picked up my fresh water bottle but it was not actually at the halfway mark; when I mapped it out I didn’t know that we would be starting our run over the bridge and back. At that point I quickly realized that I was going to finish 9 miles a good distance from my car – ugh. I took several more extended walk breaks and stopped once to stretch my glutes and again to tighten my laces. The sun decided to make an appearance around 7.5 miles and then it got really hot. In the final mile I had to walk quite a bit because I started getting chills – I have never experienced that before. I wasn’t sure what my body was trying to tell me so I just walked until they went away. I knew that I was properly hydrated because I had drank almost two 16.9 oz bottles of water; I’ll have to search the internet to see if there is an explanation for it.

As expected, by the time I finished 9 miles I was just over a mile from the car so I had a nice long cool down walk, LOL! Other than the chills and a nice blister on the second toe of my left foot I think the 9 miles was quite a success. After each ‘new’ long distance my confidence is getting a boost – oh, one other accomplishment today, within the first mile of the run we faced a HUGE hill which I usually avoid at all costs. Today I ran about 3/4 up that hill before walking – woohoo!!!

9.6.14

9.6.14 pace

 

Holiday Runs

Even though it’s a holiday weekend I still completed my training runs…yay!

August 30: Planned workout 5 miles alternating 5 min run/1 min walk

Unfortunately the hot, humid weather didn’t take a holiday…ugh! I met up with two running buddies and we went to the path that runs along the Catawba River; at least it was mostly shaded at 8am. The humidity was thick and I could literally see it hoovering above the water. I paced myself pretty well trying to stay between 12:30-13:00 min/mile except for the couple extra walk breaks in miles 4 & 5. I forgot to start my Garmin right at the beginning so I had to run an extra .2 to hit 5 miles – it’s the OCD in me!!

8.30.14

8.30.14 pace

 

September 1: Planned workout 35 minutes alternating 6 min run/1 min walk

The humidity just won’t seem to let go of us and I  couldn’t muster the mental fortitude to run outside this morning so I went to Anytime Fitness. This weather is one of the main reasons I have the membership! After a 5 min warm up, I set the treadmill at 4.8 and started the workout; I slowed to 4.0 during the walk segments.  When I had completed 35 mins I was close to 3 miles that I kept going – again, the OCD in me!!

9.1.14 mmr

Is this getting easier?

August 28:  Planned workout 35 min alternating 6 min run/1 min walk.

It’s another lovely weather day with temps in the low 60’s – what a treat to be able to run and not get overheated! I decided today I would try to keep my pace right around 13:00 min/mi to work on endurance and I wanted to actually cover 3 miles. I knew this meant I would run a little over 35 minutes. The first run interval I was almost right on target 12:47 however the rest of the intervals all came in right around 12:00 min/mi. I was deliberately trying to slow down but it just wasn’t working  :-s

As planned, I ran a few minutes longer to hit 3 miles and I still felt pretty good when I stopped. This is encouraging after the hard fought 8 miles last weekend…luckily this weekend’s workout only calls for 5 miles…ha! Did I just say ‘only 5 miles‘ ??!!!!

8.28.14

8.28.14 pace

8.28.14 c25k

Today’s training run

August 26: Planned workout 35 minutes alternating 6 min run, 1 min walk.  I almost forgot my Garmin again but just as I was walking out the door it hit me!  Once I had that strapped on I started my warmup walk.

We’ve been blessed with a two day cool snap and the temp this morning was a refreshing 63!! Woohoo! Garmin says the humidity was up but I didn’t feel it. I decided I was going to run at whatever pace felt comfortable and I’d just keep an eye on my breathing to let me know if I was pushing too hard. I had to slow my pace a few times but overall I was comfortable in the 11 min range.

8.26.14

8.26.14 pace