Tag Archive | Half Marathon

Yes We Did!

No expectations.

No watching the clock.

Nothing but a plan to cross the finish line with a smile.

Mission Accomplished!

I was worried.   You know that to be true, but I was VERY happy with the way the day went.    I went into this race just to run by feel, wear a  tutu and a smile. It was good day.   It was the kind of day that I needed.    I think planning was key.

First the boring stuff.

From talking to other athletes with Hypoparathyroidism, I had a plan.   I purposely waited till we got to the venue to take my 500mg of Calcium and my Calictriol.    My water bottles were filled with water and cal-ez powder to keep my calcium.   I brought an extra packet to use along the way.    Each packet contained 1,000mg of calcium carbonite, but it is fast absorbing because it also has 1,000 units of vitamin D which is needed for absorption.     Studies have shown that even healthy people calcium levels drop during rigorous exercise.   For a person with working parathyroid glands, the body will adjust (although you still might want to talk to your doctor about adding supplements), but for a person whose body can’t regulate this can be a problem.   Now while it may seem excessive to have taken almost 3,000 mg of calcium in such a short period of time for me I believe it was necessary and a work in progress.   All I know is that I felt good during the run.   I did not experience any face twitches or tingles.   Although I was pushing at the end and did get some tingles in my hand, but all was good.

We left early as you often have to do when running a race that starts at 7:30.   The “clown car” as my son called it when we got home was filled with excited Mama’s.   We were very lucky that one of the Mama’s knew the in and outs of not only getting there but finding an open bathroom before the race.

Then off we went.

It was strange to me that the marathon runners and half marathon runners all started together, but it mattered not to me as long as I was starting with friends.   For the most part we ran together, but as will happen during the course of the race we separated into smaller groups.   Might have something to do with chatting the miles away and not realizing that you’ve lost sight of others in the group.

Am I sore today?

You bet.   But I bet so are so many other people:):)

I’ve got some fun stories to tell about this race, but this is enough for today.

It was a great day with some amazing women and I am so glad we did it!

NJHalf

And yes, I do have a unicorn horn:)

A New Chapter

We live in a society where strength is looked up to and any kind of weakness should be both stamped out, frowned upon and just wrong.   Asking for help is often seen to some (not all) as an almost sacrilegious thing.   We live in a society where if we don’t like something we just ignore it.   This holds true to so many things from politics to health.   The expression bury your head in the sand didn’t come from nowhere.

You see this in runners (myself included) who rather than deal with an injury may try to shake it off and run anyway.    I did this with my Plantar Fasciitis and also when I twisted my ankle training for the 50K.   It wasn’t until I was out about 2 miles after I twisted it that I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to run off the pain.   I also did it to when coming back from my surgery.   Trying to jump back in where I left off like everything was the same.  Some times you can’t run out the pain.   Some times you need to face it, deal with it, and treat it.

Why do we do these things?     When a friend comes to us in need, we don’t think less of them.   We don’t hold it against someone who has fallen ill or becomes injured.   Then why do we hold ourselves to different standards?

Why indeed?

This weekend I am going to run my first race post surgery.  My first race with hypoparathyroidism.

I am both excited and apprehensive at the same time.    I’ve got my arsenal all ready to go.

I originally signed up for the marathon.   Thank God that I was smart enough to know that was never going to happen.   I’m not even properly trained for the half marathon that I’m running.   Luckily for me though I’m not going in alone.   I’m going in with some friends and we are all going to do what we need to do to get to the finish line.

Even more lucky, these are friends that I trust to keep an eye on me.   I’ll be honest.   Part of me is a little nervous.   Not because I’m not trained enough which I’m not.  I’ve done races before not properly trained.   I’m nervous because this will be my first real test on how I will be able to run distance with my calcium issues.   It’s also a test for how much I need to prepare for Chicago Marathon training.   A base line if you will.

I’m not trained, but I’m still prepared.    I plan to pack my calcium tablets with me and take 2 before the start.   I also am heading a recommendation from a hyperparathyroidism athletes group to put Cal-Ez in my water.

Cal-Ez

I’m not thinking about pace.   Ok I’m thinking about but I know I need to just let it go. The ego is strong, but needs to be left in check.  This is not the day.   I must remind myself of that and let my ego go as this will be the day just to finish.     I am handling it like a test run:)   But a test run with a medal at the end!

This is the first run in a new chapter of my running.

On your mark

Get Set

Go!

It Is What It Is

Life is ever changing.   Life is all about new beginnings.    Often in life many of us focus too much on what is ending or changing and not what is beginning.   Yes, I do this way too often too.    It is easy to get stuck in the rut of what is missing, what is different, what will never be the same again.    I wonder if somehow that is a coping mechanism for many of us.  The way to hold onto what we are not ready to let go of or accept.   A way of tying us to the past.   In the end though all it does is keep us stagnant and does not free us up to confront the changes in life.

Life is ever changing.

Each day we must wake up and realize that it is a new beginning.   Yes, we may have the same routines but each day brings new hope.   New possibilities.   Maybe not a clean slate, but definitely a fresh start with unimaginable possibilities.

It is up to us to face this fresh start with a positive attitude which I wholeheartedly admit is not always easy.    While many of us try to decide if the glass half full or half empty,  we must remember how blessed we are to have a glass in the first place.   It may not be the size glass that we want, but we are blessed either way and there are countless others who wish they even had a glass.

We may not like change, but change is a fact of life.   Now, I am not going to say that every change in our life is good.   Some changes down right suck.    Some changes take getting used to and still suck.   Some changes we would not wish on our biggest enemy (although as an adult who really has enemies?).     All that being said, change is inevitable and we must learn to adapt, roll with it, and accept.

I’ve learned in life that you can really get through anything in life one you accept that this is the hand that life dealt you.    Acceptance does not mean that you are necessarily happy with the changes, but that you know those are the breaks.   One of my favorite quotes sums it all up.

it is what it isThis is where I am with a few things right now.

I will say that this is definitely where I am right now with the NJ Half which is less than two weeks away now.

I’m going into this SEVERELY under trained.    I’m going into this honestly wondering how I will finish it since I can’t remember the last time that I ran 10 miles let alone 13.  I’m going into this knowing that this is where I am at right now and no amount of running in the next two weeks will make it any easier.

It is what it is.

and

What ever shall be, shall be.

YUP

I have a plan for race day though.   I’m going to call my bluff.   I’m going to show up at the starting line with no plan.   With no expectations.   With the only thought of running till I can’t run.   Then walking.   Then with any luck some more running.  I’m going into this with the expectation of this being my slowest and hardest half ever.  Probably harder than when I ran my sub 2 NY Half.  This will be one that will leave me out of breathe and sore for days.

All that being said, I am also going into this knowing how lucky I will be to be at the Start line, let alone the finish line.

This will be my wake up call and it’s about time I pick up the phone.

Trust In The Training!

Trust is a funny thing.    Trust is something that needs to be earned and is sometimes hard to do.    I had to go out on the ledge and trust my coach, my training, and myself.   These are not necessarily easy things to do.   I trust my coach but trusting in ones self can be harder.  Sometimes the doubt creeps in, but I shut the door on it in New York City.

I had a great race.   I had phenomenal race.   The stars were aligned.  The sun was shining and it all came together.    I pushed the doubt and the fears to the side.   I took a leap of faith and went with it.     I started the race with the knowledge that I could do this.    I had a plan.   A plan that my coach helped me develop.   All I needed was to stick to the program and trust in my training.  I went out as planned, but almost got sidetracked early on by the 2:00 hour pace group.   They blew past me around mile 2.    At first I think that I tried to stay with them, but I stopped myself.   They were not following my plan.   They were running a different race.   I knew what I needed to do and they were not doing it.   They were going out too fast for me.   I let them go.   It was hard at first, but I had my mantra that I kept repeating to myself.   It was not a planned mantra, but it was fitting.

TRUST IN YOUR TRAINING!

keep-calm-and-trust-your-training-1

It was that simple.   I needed to trust in the hours that I’ve logged.   The miles that I’ve ran at pace.    The fact that I had done the work to set me up to do what I needed to do.   What I needed to do was not what everyone else needed to do.   So I let them go.   I trusted in my training and my ability to get it done.

I was in the zone.

A friend that I went to the half with came up to me a few miles in.    I actually said to her, “Karyn, just so you know I’m not being a Bitch.   I’m just in the zone.”    I needed to run this race by myself.   Some things are like that.   You need to do them by yourself.   This was that race for me.   I needed to focus on my pace, my calculations, and moving forward.  She understood.   (Love you, lady).

As I ran, I knew where I needed to be.   I had a pace band in my pocket that I didn’t use during the race; but had done some calculations ahead of time.   I kind of knew where I needed to be when.   I added up the time I needed to hit as the miles rose.   I was hitting my targets.  There were times that I had to reign myself in as he race was so exciting.   I was trusting in the training and not trying to bank time.

My plan was to run consistently till around mile 10 where I would pick it up a little more.  At that point my mantra became NO REGRETS.   By this I meant that no matter what, I would not have regrets because I was doing all I could.   I also meant that I would not give myself an out.   That I would continue to push it and fight for the sub 2 because the only way I would have regrets is if I backed down.   So NO REGRETS.    By mile 12, I was pushing it pretty hard but trying to make sure as to not burn up.  I knew I would be close.   I knew that I was going to need to give it all I had at the end.   So I saved a little fuel in the tank and when I hit the 20K mat, I pushed it even harder.

NO REGRETS.

You can’t have regrets if you’ve done everything that you’ve needed to do.   If you’ve given all you have.    I dug as deep as I could go and I did it!

1:58:59

A minute to spare:)

I honestly can say that if somehow I didn’t make my goal, I would have been happy with this race.  Honestly, I am not saying that because I reached my sub 2  goal.   I was telling myself that that last 3 miles.

That being said, I am over the moon with reaching it.

This was an amazing adventure.   There is more to tell, but this is enough for now.

10366169_10207849166259560_1317259347675209846_n

 

 

 

 

 

Running By The Numbers – The Brooklyn Half

Let’s start with the first number which is very impressive.

There were 26,482 finishers for the Airbnb Brooklyn Half.   This is a record breaking US finish count for a 2015 Half Marathon.   I am happy and honored to say that I am one of them.  More women than men finished too with 18,759 women crossing the finish line.

Then there is my finish time which not as impressive, but a good time that I am very happy with.

Official Time 2:14:47

This is right where I wanted to be.   I wanted to be at 2:15, so I can’t believe how on the mark that I was with this.   Might have something to do with that I followed a plan this time.   What was my plan you ask?

Go out at 10:20-30 for the first 10, start cutting down the last few miles a few seconds a mile.

I will say that in the beginning it was hard to follow the plan, but I reigned myself in.   It wasn’t hard because I’m Speedy Gonzales.   It was hard because I always go out too fast.  It was hard because I was caught up in the excitement of the start of the race.   It was hard because my ego took a little bit of a bruise allowing myself to be passed and  needed to be seriously checked.  It was easy though because I knew I had a plan that I needed to follow.    I think I like having a plan now that I’ve experienced running with one.

As far as the ego even though I know I’m not competing against the other runners,  it really is an ego killer being passed left and right by them.  It’s human nature (or at least mine) to want to pass them and not be the one feeling like your left in the dust.  That is UNTIL you remind yourself that you need to stick to pace and not theirs.   I’ve heard race bystanders yell at other races and even yesterday the chant, “Your race, Your Pace.”   I never gave it much thought till yesterday where I internalized and owned it.   It made so much sense.   This was my race and I needed to run it.   I needed to allow myself to be passed.   I was not competing with those passing me.   I was challenging myself and in order to do that I had to follow my pace.   It was a good pace too.   And although I didn’t hit every mile goal I was pretty darn close.

10:16

10:18

10:09

10:20

10:39

10:24

10:03

10:22

10:10

10:25

This was right where I wanted to be.   I was doing the math to keep me there and I used my Garmin to keep me on pace.  If you know me too, you know that I hate math but it kept my mind occupied.  Each mile I would mentally add my goal 10:20 to my time and try to hit the target.   More often than not, I did.   Although, I do need to adjust my setting for time display as it was only giving hours and minutes and not seconds which really is key in pacing.   Then at mile 10, I took some Gatorade and allowed myself some freedom.

Mile 11 – 10:00

Mile 12 –  9:56

Mile 13 –  9:39

Then the .1 at 8:21 as I always like to sprint at the end if I can which I did since I controlled my pace!

I think because I kept a good pace that it helped with my feet too.   I was able to run without the foot pain that has made me walk during races in the past.   I think it is a combination of new shoes, new running plan, and just being a little smarter in my running lately (thanks to my running coach).    Now this is not to say that after the race I was fine because I did have some heal pain and it’s not that my feet were not sore.  They were and I did waddle a little on the walk to the car, but

Runable and livable..

Brooklyn

Sex/
Age
Overall
Place
Gender
Place
Age
Place
Net
Time
5K
Split
10K
Split
15K
Split
20K
Split
Pace
per
Mile
AG
Time
AG
Gender
Place
F46 18,759 8672 422 2:14:47 0:31:40 1:04:47 1:36:58 2:08:15 10:17 2:04:26 6512

There is more to talk about as this really was a great event.

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you a little more about the actual event and not just boring but important numbers:)

Do you follow a race plan?

PS – Don’t forget to vote

Runner’s World Cover Contest

Don’t follow the plan….. Have the Race You excpect

I had a plan.   I had a very good plan.   I never followed it.   Ok, I did follow it in the beginning. More to the point the closer I got to the Moore/Fitness Half Marathon, the plan fell to the wayside.    I would like to say that it was due to lack of time.   I can’t even say it was lack of dedication.   Ok partly.   I think mostly it was because the plan changed even if I didn’t fully admit to it.   That being said, I DO NOT RECOMMEND not running AT ALL two weeks prior to a Half Marathon.   Really.   Just don’t do it.   Really.   I am paying the price for it today and I paid the price for it yesterday.

Here is the crux of the situation though.   I’ve been dealing, ok not dealing but avoiding dealing with my feet, since Philly.   With my upcoming schedule, I realized that it was time to get my head out of the sand and deal with it.   If you were here yesterday, you read that I finally went to the Podiatrist and what the problems were.  So maybe it was good that I took a little bit of a break..   All will be good as the Cortisone shot is already helping, I will do the stretches, and follow the plan.   The doctor knows the plan does not including my stopping my running anytime soon.   Back to the Race.

Besides not doing any type of training 2 weeks prior to the race, I made some other mistakes.   First, I didn’t hydrate enough the days leading up to it.   I normally will just drink extra water leading up to an event to avoid feeling dehydrated.   I’m not sure if there is actually any physical benefit, but I know there is a mental one from me.   Then there is the fact that I didn’t bank my sleep during the week either.   I try to go to bed earlier leading up to the race too.   This way if I don’t get a good night sleep the night before at least I’m not as bad.   I went to bed 12:20 the night before and had my alarm set for 4:45.   Not smart.   I was tired.

When I came up with my goals for the year, I thought it would be cool to run a sub 2 half on my 46th Birthday.   The closer I got though, the more I knew it was not happening for this race.    I then embraced that this would be my fun Birthday Run.   I have to say as far as day went, it was fun.   I think I spent more time worrying about my outfit than the actual run.   Ok, I know I did, but look how cute my outfit came out…..

Moore2 Moore4

You know it’s all about the outfit and the accessories.  Don’t you like my crown?

Ok, probably not, but I will say that this outfit did help me during the race.   Really!

The Clown Car as we like to refer to it was leaving town for NYC at 5:45.    As early as it is, we are all still smiling.  Due to caffeine, I didn’t realize how much my lack of sleep would effect me.   It did.   Still we had a good ride into the city and were all smiles at the starting line.

Moore5

We met the cutest elderly woman at the starting line while she was walking to her corral.    She was adorable.   I just wish we had thought to take a picture with her.  Although, I did find one of her crossing the finish line and getting her medal!   Go Granny Go!!    I hope that I have her spunk when I’m her age.   She was talking about the bus ride and people thinking she must be crazy.   I thought she was awesome!

woman

Right, amazing!   Did I forget to mention her crutches?

And, yes, she is wearing rocking legging, long sleeved shirt, and some type of purple skirt dare I say tutu.

I hope that I’m still moving like this with this type of attitude at her age!

We line up in our Corrals.   The excitement of waitig for the race to start never gets old for me either.   Off we go.    Two of the ladies were planning to run together.   My cohort was going to push it and I was just going to take it easy.    I end up staying for the first lap of Central Park with the two.   I will admit though that I did think they were planning to take it easier than they did, but it was good.   We chatted when we could.   Did double takes when we saw someone running with what appeared to be nothing under her tutu.   (We ran past her).   We just had a good time.   After we hit mile 6 or so though, I told them to go without me.   I knew that I probably could push it to stay with them and part of me wanted to.  Luckily my brain won out this time.

Lap two was not as good as lap one.  I realized that I dropped my Salted Carmel Caffeine Gu.   I walked when I felt I needed to.   I ran when I thought it was time to push a little.   I will say that my Princess Birthday sash and tutu helped me run a better race.    Really.   No lies.   It helped because there were times that I was going to start walking and someone would run by, tap me and say something like,

“Happy Birthday Princess”

“You’ve got this Princess”

“You can do this Princess.”

“You got this hill Princess”

Some of them I even trailed for a bit as Dawn will tell you that is what I like to do sometimes.  I’m like a shadow.   These women motivated me.   These women may not realize it, but they really did help me get to the finish line in a better time than I would have if I was alone on the course.   Standing out in a crowd of more than 7,000 other runners isn’t a bad thing.

My Official Finish Time is 2:20:23.

I’ll take it.

I know that this is a great time.   I will admit that it is my worst time and I was slightly disappointing.  Off by almost 15 minutes.   When I said this to Dawn, she told me to shut hell up.   She as often is right.   This may not have been the race that I envisioned when I set my 2015 goals, but it was still a great race.   There will be other races where I can chase the elusive 2:00:00, but there will only be one Birthday Run!

So cheers!

Moore Moore3

Have You Met Jen? A Non Runners Perspecive on Racing

As I mentioned yesterday, my sister also ran a half marathon this past weekend.   I thought it would be fun feature her as a guest blogger especially since she is the writer of the family.

Really……

As she puts it, “This week, I’m press for the SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FEST” where she will be at the Cinema Vanguard Awards.   Last year she met Oprah.   She hosts her own blog (The Wild Awakeness Project).  She is even author of a book available on Amazon and some of her local book stores.   (Shameless plus – The Virgin Asanas: How Yoga, Sex, and Mother Mary Changed Everything).   We lead very different lives, but I am always in awe and inspired by the life she leads and the way she leads it.

Anyhow as mentioned,  my sister is the real writer of the family.   I thought that it would be fun for her to share some thoughts about her half that she ran this weekend too. So without further adieu……

Have you Met Jen?

A non Runner running her second half marathon.

By the way, she is the one who calls herself a non runner – not me:)

jen

She’s the one in the middle in the hat.

See how different she got to dress for her half and why I stole, I mean borrowed, her hat?

So what made you want to run a half marathon?

Life doesn’t give us many markers, many “finish lines” so to speak, where we physically get to cross an end point, notice our timings, see how far we’ve come, and post a sweaty picture on Facebook. Sure, we do this at graduations, weddings, births, and funerals, but outside of these more grandiose moments, we really are left creating our own goal posts. When I turned 30 five years ago, I had a minor freak out, thinking certain things would have happened in my life by then. Since they hadn’t, I decided to create what I could: I could learn to run. Or, more accurately, I could be pouty about all the things that fell apart and channel that energy into anger – which does, by the way, help you run really far and fast. I finished my first NYC half in 2010 with a time of 2:20.

Fast forward five years. It is now 2015 and now, I’m turning 35. I wasn’t planning on commemorating this birthday with another race, but a friend invited me to do a Habitat for Humanity half marathon with her. “Come on, it will be fun,” she lied. While I couldn’t pretend that running was my favorite way to celebrate (I prefer gluten free cake with berries), I couldn’t say no to Habitat. So, I signed up, claiming that halfs were my new tradition. My new “every five years” tradition. I registered. My friend bailed. I had another minor freak out, registered her anyway, and then conned her into running with me. And the rest is running history.

How did you prepare for it?

Once I signed up, I went into denial for a few weeks. While I enjoy races, I don’t enjoy training. It gets in the way of all the other fun non-running things I want to do with my time, like eating dark chocolate. Nevertheless and in the meantime, my sister (who owns this blog and shall rename nameless) signed up for and completed a FULL marathon in Philadelphia. Without much whining, she trained and ran in the East Coast cold. I figured I should at least start jogging in sunny California and ought to plan out a schedule I could follow, one that included the minimum days possible of running. So I planned. I ran 5 miles once before Thanksgiving, at which time I pulled my calf and weird butt muscle I didn’t know existed. The next month, I got a bad sinus infection and threw a rib out, which sadly prevented me from training (cough, cough, ouch, ouch). Seriously though, it was a rough month and before I knew it,  the holidays had arrived. And who has time to run when you have a family to be festive with? But by New Years, the race was four weeks out, and I couldn’t procrastinate any longer. I did a long Saturday run the last day of the year, and then trained three times a week for the last few weeks. Which was not super fun, but it did let me eat lots of ice cream without guilt – the best perk of running.

And did your expectations for your race match the reality of running it?

Two weeks before my race, I had one of those moments you know Forrest Gump was created for. With the wind in my hair, I could almost hear Spielberg whisper, “Run, Jenny, run!” I was solid. Strong. Unstoppable. I put 10 miles on my shoes — no problem — with my headphones blaring my new favorite motivational-gospel-preachers-turned-fitness-instructors-DJ Pandora. It was bliss. I was bliss. I had captured the runner’s high. I tapered the next two weeks, ate lots of carbs, treated myself to the spa as a pre-race congratulations, and woke up ready to run.

How you wake up, however, is not always indicative of how your day goes. The morning felt great. The race felt fumbly. Okay, I’m being nice. The race was the hardest physical thing I have ever done. As soon as I started running, my right foot went numb from the morning chill. My allergies, which I’ve never had before, started pouring bodily fluids out of my nose. I became that strange, spitting running girl you all want to send to the woods. I wanted to send myself to the woods. Except I couldn’t, because I had 13.1 more miles to run through the woods to get out of the woods. My friend who claimed to be slower than me outpaced me by mile 1. By mile 2, I was nauseated. By mile 3, I was walking. A lot. The wind burned. My head pounded. For entertainment, I jogged behind a weird barefoot hippy who was, no doubt, “feeling the race energy” through his fleshly soles, but even he outran me.

And this is the crap shoot of running. You can train. You can prepare. You can eat right, sleep well, buy the right goo. And still, some days you just feel off. And not even just slightly off, but the worst version of yourself off. And still, dear Robert Frost, there are miles to go before you sleep.

Did you run with a pace group?

That’s an interesting question, because one thing I’ve learned from this race is to trust your own pacing. Seriously, don’t let anyone make you move any slower or faster than you can. Listen to the sound of your heartbeat and recognize it as the truth.

Why do I know this? Because I didn’t do this during my race. Even though I had an electronic pacer on my phone, I ignored it, and instead ran with the human pacers. My goal was under 2 hours, so I started halfway between Pacer 1:50 and Pacer 2:00. This was my first mistake. Had I trusted myself, my own watch, and my own body, I would have been fine. But instead, I trusted Pacer #1, who was 6 minutes faster than their stated pace. By mile two, I had depleted myself as I went out too quick and burned through a bulk of my blood sugar in the first 10 minutes. That led to a side sticker which led to my new friendly batch of allergies. Where was my Forrest Gump moment? Lost in the wind that was making me freeze.

Trust your own timing, my friends. Your own metronome is your greatest gift and it will keep you in the race for the long haul.

So what happened and are you happy with the outcome?

I fought for awhile to stay near the 1:50 Pacer, with a strange mixture of running and walking (Thank you, Jeff Galloway, you saved my life.) But when the 2 hour pacer passed me at mile 10, I had to come to terms with a hard fact. That after all this struggle, I would not make my goal of under 2 hours. This was the hardest moment yet.

But something didn’t seem right. I checked my watch; I looked at my Garmin phone app. I was running my normal pace of 8:45, which was right on target. At this moment, I realized all along I had been chasing an eroneous goal. I was going to be under 2, even if I ran a slower last three miles, and even if I came in a few minutes after the 2 hour pacer. I would still be right on time.

I never got the runner’s high on race day. In fact, I think my endorphins took a vacation and left their friendly cousin cortisol in their place. But I did make my goal and crossed the finish line to a wonderful group of girlfriends and for that, I feel very blessed.

So when is your next race?

Well, now that I’ve started this five year tradition, I can kindly announce my next race will be at age 40. Should any other life marker occur before then, I’ll lace up my tennies, but for now, I’m saving them for actual tennis, and leave the running to my dear sister. Although it is nice to know I can do an easy six miles, “just for fun” and come home to some chocolate.

Time’s They Are Changing…. Or Are They?

When I ran my first Half Marathon in May of 2014, I had no plan.    I had not a care in the world other than finishing the race.   I literally went into it on a wing and a prayer.  No training plan and hoped to finish.   No idea.   Just planned to run.  I think all first Half Marathons should be like this.   Actually this is how all my first races no matter what the type went!

Things are a little different now.   It’s not that suddenly I know what I’m doing (because I don’t).   It’s just that I’ve now run a few Half Marathons.   Not many actually.   I’ve only run 4.   Although it seems like more.    The difference is due to all the different events that I have run in the last year, I do have an idea of what I can and can not do.   I’ve also followed actual training plans and have goals.     That being said, I am still figuring it out.

So next week, I will be running my 5th Half Marathon.   My first race that will count towards my 9 plus 1 program for NY.    This race has snuck up on me and I will admit that I have, sadly, NOT been doing any training for it AT ALL.    So maybe times are not changing as much as I would like to think.   I have been sporadically running, but not training.  Chalk it up to post marathon I need a break from training and am just going to run now.

Another reason I have not been training is because from the time I signed up for this race, I knew this was one that I was going to run just to run.  A way to jump into the 9 plus 1 early.   I do not plan on setting any type of PR’s.   Plus since it is a winter race, I was not and still am not sure what the weather conditions will be that day.   Therefore, from the get go this has always been a race that I planned to just run to finish.

See I am even borrowing a cute hat from my sister to keep me warm and have some fun:)

hatI will check out the weather later in the week to finish up what I will run in.

Now all this being said, I am still putting more thought into this than I did my first half.   I know that I am not running full throttle, but I still want to finish decent.   I would be happy with around 2:20 which is what I ran Gretta’s Gallop (same location as this half).   Although, I did have a great pace setter then that I will be missing this race.   (Robyn – the ski slopes can wait and  I miss you!)    But I do think it might be time for me to put my Big Girl panties on now and set my own pace.

YUCK!

This requires thought.

This requires knowing what I’m talking about.

and

This requires follow through.

So I found a online Pace Calculator and working it all out.

WHAAAAAAA

It’s so much easier to just follow along:)

Do you have a race plan?

Friday Five: Why Run a Half Marathon

Another Friday Five!   This time it’s 5 reasons to run a Half Marathon and considering that I just ran one and am also diligently looking for another one to run next month, I thought I would jump right in on the conversation.

Now please remember what Friday Five is all about……It is a weekly Friday link up to other like minded blogs  — a “Friday Five.”

DC_linkup

So without further ado,

5 REASONS TO RUN A HALF MARATHON

The Challenge and Accomplishement of Crossing the Finish Line:  It’s a long enough distance to be challenging, but not so long that your life will become consumed with training still giving you time for a life.   I ran my first Half before I even really knew what I was doing not that I really know now.

When you cross the finish line no matter what your time, you feel such a sense of accomplishment. There are always crowds cheering you on and the people are amazing.    It’s even better when you cross the finish line with a smile too!

Bling, Bling, Bling

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(Yup, I’m going to use that picture as much as possible:)

Where else can you show up and when your done they will give you a pretty medal to wear, hang up, look at, and impress people with especially yourself.   They are a reminder of what you can do when you put your nose to the grindstone or better yet your feet to the pavement!

Location, Location, Location

Since these races cover more ground and have larger crowds, they are usually held in larger locations.   Every town can host a 5K (now, I’m not knocking the 5K because I like them too and actually one of my goals in 2015 is to run one in 25 minutes – Did I say that out loud).  Most towns though can not host a Half Marathon leaving larger venues to hold them.   So most have really good location or at least the ones I’ve been to – Central Park and Rolling Hills of Bethlehem, Pa just to name my two favorites. The Super Hero half also had  a good location running through the hills of Chatam/Moristonw.

I’ll let you in on a secret – I’ve only done these three.

For now….

Tutus and Costumes

When you are running a Half, it is still a short enough distance that you can have fun with it and dress to impress without hurting your run time.  You can still run a challenging race but manage not to take it so seriously that you can’t have fun.

Exhibit A

IMG_0257

Exhibit B

??????????????

Eating for the Run

While training for a Half, I needed to eat.   So I ate.   I ate to fuel but also because I could.  Part of preparing for any race or run is making sure that your body is properly fueled, so I was just doing what I needed to do:)

According to the Runner’s World Calories Burned Calculator, I burned the following in my last Half:

You burned 1,486 calories.. Check out the table below for your calorie burn rates at this pace too.

Distance:13.1 miles
Duration:02:06:08
Pace:9:38 / mile
Calories Burned:1,486
Calorie Burn Rates:
113.44 / mile
706.9 / hour
11.78/ minute
So when you are burning up calories like that you don’t feel so bad going for that extra snack at night.
Now I will say these are not the only reasons, because I didn’t even get to the goodie bags and expos!    So just sign up already and see what it’s all about!
You can join the Friday Five Link Up hosted by DC area bloggers Eat Pray Run DC, Mar on the Run and You Signed up for What?!! Don’t forget to visit each host and a few other blogs 🙂

Running With The Pack

Pace Setter

As I’ve discussed before, I’m usually a solitary runner when it comes to my training.   Not because I’m a hermit, it just seems to work out that way.   I’ve said before, I don’t mind and kind of enjoy it.   That being said though, I do like to run with friends too.  Especially on Race Day.   Not to say that I haven’t run by myself at an event, but usually I stand at the starting line with someone.  I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve gone to an event solo. Hat Trick Day 1 and Hat Trick Day 2.   Yup, that’s it.   What a time to be flying solo too, when there is so much to see and do.

I will admit that I didn’t think much of  being by myself for my 5K & 10K.   These were shorter runs.   These were the type of runs I do all the time by myself.   Plus with the 10K being my goal race, I was focused on making sure that I followed my plan.  There wasn’t much more to think about before and during the race except making sure that I was where I needed to be when I needed to be there.  No time to think of anything else.  Eye on the prize.   Eye on the prize.   It worked too because I was right where I wanted to be even a little faster than I thought I would be.

On the morning of the Half though, things were a little different.   It was a longer race.   I had more time to wait and was less worried about making sure that I was in the right spot when the race started.   I discussed with my running Mama’s my strategy for this race.   Since I had a really good 5K & 10K and was feeling good, I thought that I would start with a pace group.   I was playng it by ear weather to start with the 2:10 or 2:15.   My thought process was actually to start with the 2:10 because if I felt the need to drop back I would be able to pick-up a latter pace group and still finish in under 2:30.   Sounded good.

I wadded through the runners standing around waiting for the start of the race.   I noticed something as I was standing there alone.   It seemed like everyone had a buddy.   Now, I know that isn’t the case, but it certainly felt a little lonely.  This was only my third half and the first one I was running on my own.   It was time to put my big girl shoes on and do it on my own.   But I also know myself, I know that I tend to go out to fast and end up running reverse splits this way.   In my previous two Half’s, I let Robyn or Janna set the pace.   They calculate and run and I just play follow the leader.  I’m a good follower.   This is why I wanted a pace group.

Now there are some who may think letting others set the pace proves that you are somehow less of a runner and that I’m somehow “cheating.”   I don’t buy that.   Unless someone else is also taking my legs and running with them, these running snobs can kiss it.   To me this is no different that having a coach tell you what to do.  Do you think less of me because I admit this?

So as I was bobbing and weaving looking for a pack to join, I saw the pace setter.   From the back, she looked like one of my good friends.   This woman had spunk dancing to the music.   Plus she had pink gloves on.  No sure if you’ve noticed or not, but pink tends to be my color for running.   I was sold.   I weaved my way into the pack and I stayed.    Then during the run, you realize that you do start to think of yourself as a pack.   We heard a few times, “Go Pace 2:10.”   I wasn’t alone anymore and it was nice.

We also had a leader.  Someone to follow.   Someone who knew what she was doing too.    Someone who gave you confidence that she knew what she was doing, so it was easy to follow her.   I’m sure we’ve all heard the story of the pace setters who blew it.  This was, obviously, not going to happen. Ingrid not only led us but also talked us through the course.   It was a beautiful course, but a slightly (Ha Ha) challenging one with rolling hills, step hills, but also some blessed down hills and flat parts.   Ingrid knew them and told us what to expect.   I knew that on those big hills not to worry about pace and go by effort, but it was reassuring to have someone say those words out loud.   She also reigned me in when I was getting ready to go too fast on a downhill reminding me that just because it’s downhill doesn’t mean you push too hard.

I stayed with the pack.  I felt good.   My legs felt strong.   I got to the point that I was pretty sure that I was going to hit my target.   Then something changed.  I started thinking that maybe I should pull ahead, but I was worried.  Then  Ingrid told the Pack that if you were feeling up to it to go for it.   She even told us when to take the leap.   I pulled away feeling strong and confident.   I also knew that if I fell back it would be ok.   So off I went.

My last three miles, I ran

9:34

9:08

8:36

Finished with a 7:05

I know I would not have been able to finish this strong without my pace group.  Not sure if another pace group would have worked as well, but this was a great fit.   The bar has been set very high for the next pace group I join.   There is something to be said in running with the pack, but in the end I am a bit of a lone wolf too.