Tag Archive | Half Marathon

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.


This requires thought.

This requires knowing what I’m talking about.


This requires follow through.

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


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.”


So without further ado,


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


(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


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
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




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.

I’m a Little Bit Country, but now I’m also Little bit Rock N Roll

Part 2 – Grete’s Gallop Run NYC

I’m a country girl at heart.  I grew up with space.   I grew up with trees and mountains.   Life in the Burbs feels too congested for me sometimes.   I have a sister that lived in The City (NYC – because there really is no other city like it).   She loved it.    She still misses it.   Now don’t feel too bad for her as she is now living in sunny California, but it’s different.   I really never understood her love for The City until this weekend.   Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy going into The City on occasion, but I honestly didn’t get what the excitement was all about.

I will admit the thought of running in Central Park was very appealing to me especially after missing the opportunity to run the NYC Marathon that I told you about in https://accidentallyrunningmama.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/cant-always-get-what-you-want/

I’ve never dreamed about running in the city.   I’ve never really given it much thought.   Until recently.   Then when this chance came along I couldn’t pass it up.    I’ve only been on the outskirts of the park.   Never venturing in.   Didn’t think I was missing much because really what could The City have that a Country Girl would appreciate.  Now I get it.   I get why people dream of running in Central Park and NYC.   It’s an amazing experience.

The People

10690324_1497145117201625_3575926529110256613_nEvery race has people but there was just something different here.

Not sure if it was because of the sheer number of participants, volunteers, spectators,

and just people who could care less that you were running a half marathon because they came to enjoy the park themselves;

but this was different.

The Park

1208524_1497145103868293_2415875355252458864_nThis was the best starting line I’ve ever been to!

The Course

10698499_1496674013915402_4038269502547917188_nIt was challenging, interesting, and you really did get to see the park.

I really wanted to hurt someone and hurt them bad for constantly lying to me

telling me it was all downhill after the turn.

lies, lies, lies


It’s really is Picture Perfect

945019_10204089024858375_774358394750037621_nYou don’t get views of the skyline like this in the country!

Probably because there are no skylines like this in the country.

That’s why it’s the country:)

That being said, it is a spectacular view and I’m sure those that live in there don’t even notice it after a while;

but I did.

It really was spectacular!

It also helped that it was a beautiful fall day in the Park.


There’s still more:)


A Surprise Half Marathon

Part 1

(As I think I might have a lot to say:)

Last week I was taking about my upcoming run schedule.   I said that I had 13 to do on Sunday.   Some friends said that I should come to the city (NYC) and run with them in a half marathon they were doing.    I thought about it for like 2 seconds and thought it was a great idea.   Of course, just because I thought it was a great idea didn’t mean that it was going to happen.  I do have some people that I need to take care of.   So as always with the life of a Mama runner, I had to do some scheduling.   It was down to the wire, but it all worked out.    While I was waiting for the scheduling to fall into place, I wasted no time in getting ready for the race.

The race was the Memorial Sloan Kettering Grete’s Great Gallop to raise money for Cancer Research.   On the back of the Tech shirts given out:

Imagine A World Without Cancer


We all decided that this was not going to be a run for time.   This was just a training run for me and the other two ladies were not running for time anyway.    Now since it was going to be a fun run,  we thought we would take it up a notch and run in tutus!   Now, some love the idea.   Some hate it.   I am in a group that  think it is fabulous!!   Unless you are a competitive runner, my question is; “Why Not?”    Life is to short and complicated not to have fun when you can.   We decided that we would do pink.  Unless you live under a rock, you know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and pink is perfect.   Plus, I have a dear friend who is just starting her Chemo for her breast cancer.   I’ve actually been doing all my Charity Mile runs in her honer using Stand Up To Cancer. (If you don’t use that app, you should).   I even bought my friend her own tutu and you may see us around town in them.  One never knows.

 Did we look Fabulous?


Of course!

We finished in style too


Am I happy?

You bet!

What made it so wonderful  is when it was all over with and we were recovering from the run, A couple in boas came up to us.   They wanted to take a picture with us.   At first we thought it was just because they were being silly, but then the woman went onto say that she is from Canada and a 5 year Breast Cancer Survivor.

As the saying goes,

That’s what it’s all about!

She summed it up:



Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow with more race thoughts and racing in the City for the first time!

I’m Baaaaack!!!!

I’ve been away for sometime now.  I fell off the grid.    Since last we spoke, I’ve not only done my first triathlon, but a second with a third just around the corner.   I’ve also done two mud runs (Mudderella and Dirty Girl), a few 5K’s, and even a Half Marathon.  What started out as just something that I needed to do to prove myself has quickly spiraled into so much more.     I’ve made friends along the way that are helping me to improve not just my time, but also my skills.    My goal with every race is to finish.   I, of course, want to finish to the best of my ability; but finishing is my ultimate goal.  With every race that I finish, I am amazed at how far that I have come and further amazed by how far I still have to go.

I’m turning 45 next year and I think that may be the year I up my game to attempt to do an Olympic Triathlon and possibly even a full marathon.   The very thought of these things scares me, but motivates me at the same time.   Right now my whole training focus is on my next Iron Girl Sprint in September.   Then the following month I am going for  Hat Trick where I will run a 5K have about an hour break and then run a 10K.    Then go home eat, sleep, and get back up the next day to run a Half Marathon.    I toyed with just doing one of the races, but I wanted to take it up a notch (plus I might be slightly crazy:).

I realized that as my training progressed, I missed having a place to mull things over.   This is that place and I hope you will come along for the ride.