#THS13point1 Week 10

 Posted by at 6:00 am  fitness
Sep 152014

A few months ago I registered for my first half marathon.  I decided to document the process of my training, hoping that it will help to keep me accountable to train strong.  This is week ten.

Monday September 8 – Sunday September 14
Total Miles Planned: 20
Total Miles Ran: 17CYMERA_20140914_100319

Favorite Run:  My long run was AWESOME. The first four miles felt a bit odd, but once I found my groove, I held on to it and finished feeling oh so strong.  I skimmed over 10 minutes off my personal best for the 15K distance and felt really great about it. So much so that I’m thinking about signing up for the Stockadathon [which has a new route this year which seems extra appealing!] in November to PR.

Least Favorite Run:  Monday I ran two miles without stopping. It felt fairly fast, with negative splits, but the reason it was speedy and only two miles was that I didn’t feel like running and had to force myself out the door by promising a medium effort workout over in a jiffy.  One of those “glad that’s over” runs, for certain.

Other Workouts: Last October I received a yoga mat as a gift. Last week I used it for the first time and realized that a yoga mat is 100x better for yoga’ing than the living room floor.  I see lots more mat time in my future.

Listening Notes: Lots of podcasts consumed this week, but more worthy of noting are the two music filled playlists I created.  One for 5K pacing [8:45-9:30] and one for half marathon pacing [9:45-10:30] using Jog.FM as a reference.  I’m excited to give them a try this week!

Fueling Notes:  I am so glad I took Ari’s recommendation to try the orange Honey Stinger energy chews, even after I thought the pink lemonade flavor was “meh.”  Mid-run I used the orange flavor, along with the Peach Tea GU chomps during the 15K I ran Sunday morning.  I liked the flavor and texture of the Honey Stingers better than the GU Chomps, but I did like the extra boost I got after the chomps due to the caffeine they contain.

I had so much more success with chews/chomps this run than ever before, and I think this is attributed to my not stopping to walk while take the fuel.  Every other time I’ve tried a chewable fuel on run, I’ve taken a walking break to grab my fuel from my camelback, tear open the package, sip water and munch down the chews.  This time around, I prepped the fuel before leaving the house by opening the packages and pouring some of the chews into a Ziplock bag and folding the bag compact enough to fit into my Spibelt.  I was able to get to and consume the fuel by slowing my pace slightly rather than stopping to walk which made a  HUGE difference in my run overall.  And I ran over five miles without stopping for the first time EVER!!

#THS13Point1 Reflections:  Oh my gosh. How did I forget how awesome running in fall weather is?  For the first time in this training cycle, I felt chilly at the start of a run. Starting out my Sunday long run, the temperature read 47 degrees, leading me to layer up before leaving the house.  I wore long sleeves for the first four miles and I didn’t drink nearly as much water as I have been from my Camelback, either. 

Because the summer has been quite mellow in terms of heat, I’ve been quite comfortable running in 70-85 degrees for the majority of my runs thus far, but this week brought such rewards in the weather!  Each of my three runs from last week felt SO FAST, simply because of a drop in temperature making my effort show quicker pace results. I LOVE FALL and I’m really excited to put fall running speed to test at a 5K I’m running with Alicia on the 28th.  I’ve got sub-30 on my mind! #PRorBust

#THS13point1 Week 9

 Posted by at 6:00 am  fitness
Sep 082014

A few months ago I registered for my first half marathon.  I decided to document the process of my training, hoping that it will help to keep me accountable to train strong.  This is week nine.

Monday September 1 – Sunday September 7
Total Miles Planned: 22
Total Miles Ran: 8


Favorite Run: I only went on one run last week.  In the middle of the accidental half marathon during Labor Day weekend, I was running on an uneven surface when I felt some strain on the inside of my left foot.  The strain turned to pain on Monday, and I wrapped my foot for three days, icing for 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off in the evenings. 

On Thursday I went on a long walk to see how things felt, and decided to give it more time and not test it.  On Sunday morning I set out for nine miles, and my foot felt just fine…until about mile 7.  I was getting near a spot in my route where I could turn away from home to do an added loop [the plan,] or continue on in the direction of home.  I decided to head towards home but added an extra loop around the block to finish out at eight miles for the day.  And week.

My favorite miles of the run were 5-7.  I took some country roads and enjoyed the long stretch of slight downhill to boost my mood after a rather difficult miles 3-4..

Least Favorite Run: My least favorite miles [of my only run of last week] were definitely 3-4.  The start of mile 3 was strong, but I started walking near the top of a hill – I was REALLY struggling keeping my motivation up to just. keep. running. 

I was using my Gymboss to interval 10 minutes of running with 90 seconds of walking, but on three of the walk break intervals I extended the walking another 1-2 minutes. 

Other Workouts: I took it really easy this week and kept things to at-home yoga/stretching, the one walk on Thursday, and some upper body lifting.

Listening Notes: Two episodes of Doug Love Movies. Back to Back.

Fueling Notes: On the way back to the house I stopped by Stewart’s to pick up some chocolate milk and Gatorade.  I felt really good after my last long run when I refueled with chocolate milk during my post-run stretch and Gatorade after my shower.  It seemed to work well again, along with a yogurt, and then a sandwich when it came time for lunch.  I’m not messing with what works after having a hard time with my two 11-milers, on back to back weekends.

During the run I tried GU Chomps [in Watermelon!] for the first time.  This is by far the best flavored chew/gummy I’ve tried.  I bought another package, along with the peach, while I was restocking on fuel today.  Also purchased orange Honey Stinger chews [so many people recommend these chews when talking fuel! I had the pink lemonade and thought they were a-okay, but Ari convinced me to try the orange.

The GU/gel restock includes Rocktane Blueberry Pomegrante and Clif Shot Gels in Mocha and Double Espresso.  Has anyone had the Island Nectar Rocktane? I was intrigued and almost bought a bulk-package but thought I should definitely try ONE before buying a huge box, right?  Also, new-to-me GU flavors I’m currently on the hunt for: Root Beer, Caramel Macchiato, and Salted Caramel!

#THS13Point1 Reflections: As we get closer to the race day, I’m getting more and more excited.  I never thought anyone would want to come and watch me run a very slow half marathon, but it turns out I have a slew of loved ones ready to gain their spectator badges [with signs to boot!] and hearing their excitement in coming to the race is helping me feel extra amped about the race day experience. I’ve had people cheer me over the finish line before, but I’m excited to keep my eyes open all along the race to see where my friends position themselves with their posters and cheerleading bests! 

#THS13point1 Week 8

 Posted by at 6:00 am  fitness
Sep 012014

A few months ago I registered for my first half marathon.  I decided to document the process of my training, hoping that it will help to keep me accountable to train strong.  This is week eight.

Monday August 25 – Sunday August 31
Total Miles Planned: 22
Total Miles Ran: 32 total miles: 19 ran // 13 walked


Favorite Run: Totally a tie between the shortest and the longest.
A timed 1 mile in which I broke 9:00 – a 41 second PR from my fastest mile prior.
My 12-mile long run turned into a half marathon when I missed a turn and added about a mile onto my route.  Major OOPS, but I now have no doubt that I will cross that finish line in October.

Least Favorite Run: Super hot and sweat 5 miles wog on Wednesday.  I loved the run when it was over [averaged 10:37 while wogging 4:1 intervals,] but it was a STUGGLE to get out there and stay out there after a hard day at the office.

Other Workouts: LOTS more stretching than my normal. I’ve been trying to remember to spend a “distance-ratio” amount of time after each run stretching out and rolling with my Tiger Tail.  This just means that I spend more time stretching and rolling after my mid-distance and long runs than I do with my short little zippy runs. 

Listening Notes: I found a new podcast to run to, and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to find it. Put Your Hands Together is a comedy show that takes place immediately following Doug Loves Movies at UCB each week, ergo I was very familiar with the name. I’ve also recently seen/heard PYHT host Cameron Esposito on a handful of shows and really dug her style.  I added two recent episodes to my long run playlist and loved the experience of running while listening.  Each show includes a collection of comedy sets and conversations, so it really helped break up the run into smaller chunks – always appreciated.

Fueling Notes: Can I get a “booyah!” for not vomiting after my long run? This seriously felt like a major victory after my last two post long-run experiences.

I believe the success came from fueling correctly before, during and after the run.  I started with a piece of toast with Earth Balance coconut & peanut spread [the best!] with a glass of water about an hour before my run.

While running, I took a fuel break every 38 minutes.  First: Honey Stinger Gold.  Not bad at all – it’s what you would expect from honey, but less gooey. Second: GU CherryLime Roctane. I definitely prefer the Blueberry Pomegrante flavor – the CherryLime did not go down easy. Third: Gatorade Prime Sports Fuel Drink in Fierce Grape. This was surprisingly my favorite fuel experience to date.  Both of the gels were a bit hard for me to swallow, so a pouch of liquid was a welcomed break from what often feels like run-snacking. I don’t know if I would be able to run on only Gatorade pouches, but I think a Gatorade and GU/Gel combo may be the way I go on race day.  I also really like that I can get the Gatorade products at my local grocery store – super easy.

After the run I sipped some water and then poured myself a coffee-mug of chocolate milk which I enjoyed while stretching.  After a shower, I drank half of a Post-Game Recovery Gatorade, but wasn’t crazy about the Mixed Berry flavor.  

Also – a bunch of runner friends shared their favorite mid-run fuel while I was out running, and I’m going to be finding a few of their suggestions to try ASAP.


I’ve added a count down sign in my eyesight line at my office.  It’s a visual reminder to HYDRATE for my evening runs and a queue to my co-workers why I’ll be walking slowly come October 13.

#THS13Point1 Reflections: I was asked for the first time last week if I had a time goal for the half marathon.  I hadn’t thought about it before being asked, but I’ve been thinking about it during each run since. 

Last weekends accidental half marathon rounded out at 2:33:16.  I was running intervals according to my queues from my Gymboss timer, which I had set for an 18:2 run:walk, and was feeling pretty good throughout.  [Also – holly cow! The Gymboss has really upgraded since I first bought mine. There are SO many colors and a MAX option!]

In running discussions before, I’ve admitted that I often feel a little lost when setting race goals.  I don’t want to set unattainable goals and I also know I often have a hard time pushing myself to my limits.  When it comes to clocking a specific time for a new race distance, I honestly feel a little fearful to call out numbers that I want to chase.  While Rational Heather knows this is f-ing stupid, Self-Doubting Heather disagrees.

The truth is, goals like “crossing the finish line” are wonderful goals.  But for me, at this time, after just clocking a 13.1 mile training run 42 days before race-day, that seems like it would also be a really wonderful SAFE goal.  And I want to push myself to go after goals that take hard work – hard work is good for you!

I have been reading a little about setting A-B-C race goals, and I think this is a great fit for me – especially when facing a new race distance. ““A” is an achievable goal, “B” is a stretch and “C” would be essentially kicking butt and taking a few names.” – from Prairie Princess Runners.  Setting ABG goals is on my to-do list for this week.

[This post from Monica is a good chat on Race Day vs Ultimate Goals, too: RunEatRepeat on Running Goal Setting

How do you set goals for races?