November: The Month I Ran My First Half

Highlights:

Women’s Half Marathon St. Pete: November of 2011 will now be known as the month I ran my first half. Seeing all the planning and training pay off, all while having a great time running, was really the most wonderful part of the month.

Florida Hospital Celebration Health 10K: I learned what not to eat unless you want to run a 10K with a brick in your stomach.

Food Rut: Talking about my recent food rut was a catalyst in actually seeking out new recipes and planning out my meals. When you have a husband (looking at you J), who has a great need for variety, it’s important to keep dinners interesting and varied while at the same time trying to keep it healthy and cost-effective.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival:The Epcot Food and Wine Festival was filled with fun (and beer and food). Even though it was cold and crowded, J and I ate from one country to another. I love Epcot, it’s always interesting to be drunk at Disney and I can imagine it is much more fun to do that without kids.

Biggest Failure:

F Is For Failure: I took a day off of work to see the midnight showing of Breaking Dawn and fell asleep at 8PM.

Favorite Pictures:

Cat Stare

Sleeping Cat Gives The Evil Eye

Cute Cat Ready To Attack

The only picture of me at the Women’s Half Marathon. My number was scrunched up under my FuelBelt which I did not notice until I saw this picture.

St. Pete Women's Half Marathon 2011

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Women's Half Marathon St. Pete Bag

What are your highlights for November?

Moving Forward

Leading up to the end of end of Half Marathon training, I started to have a nagging feeling of what to do next. I wanted to let myself enjoy the St. Pete Women’s Half and take the time to really process how I felt about it before I jumped into a new training plan. Living in an area with a lot of great races, I knew it would be difficult to know where to start.

This week has been one in which I took it easy. I did not exercise for three days following the Half and have only run one day. I wanted to take it easy because of the holiday and to really think about how to move forward. Sometimes taking that time to rest, mentally and physically, can give you the push to jump into a new routine.

So One Day I Just Decided To Run

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The question I have mulled over the most, is whether to focus on short or long distances. I want a sub-30 5K and I am very close to obtaining it. With regular speed training, I know I can get there. At the the same time, I want to run another Half. I learned a lot training for the first one and think this training cycle will be a lot more efficient. So what to do?

I decided to train for the Half. I will still run a few shorter distance races (a few five and ten K’s) but think maintaining the fitness I currently have, will help improve my time rather than starting to base build later in the year.

Here is the current race plan. It is tentative and I reserve the right to change my mind.

A Race:

Gasparilla Distance Classic – March 4th Half Marathon

Other Races:

The Florida Half Marathon 10K & 5K December 17th – Will do the 10K

Beat the Elite 10-K Challenge – January 14th

Seasons 52 5.2K – January 21st

House of Hope Run Around the Pines – February 18th

Iron Girl Clearwater – April 4th Half Marathon

How do you feel after your A race? Ready to jump into a new training cycle or do you like to take it easy?

Social Networking For The Win

Like many new runners, I have a lot of questions. Yesterday, as I stared at the course map for my impending first Half, I started to think about water. There are a lot of water stops on this course. Nearly one every mile. This led me to wonder if carrying water with me, via a Fuel Belt, was worth it. Now, I do not mind running with a Fuel Belt, I do so on long runs but if I have a choice of with or without, I prefer without. So I took my question to Twitter.

Running my first half on Sunday. If there are water stops everymile would you stil run with a fuelbelt? #runchat #fitblog

Which was followed by a lot of helpful responses.

@ It depends: Do you like the fuel drink they're offering (I don't like Gatorade), & do u want to stop & walk thru the water stops?
@JenZenator
Jennifer Z
@ I prefer to so that when I want a drink I can get one especially if the water stop is congested
@Christyruns
Christy Gerdes
Depends - are you carrying any fuel with you, like shotbloks, GU, etc? RT @: If there are water stops everymile would you stil...
@RunningPeanut
Running Peanut
@ well, if you are used to running with a belt, then I'd go for it. I have a #spibelt and love it!
@RunningPeanut
Running Peanut

So this was the first of, what I can only imagine will be many, freak-outs averted before the race on Sunday. It is starting to feel so real and slightly scary.

Have you ever taken a problem or question to Social Media? Did it help?

What racing questions did you ask before your first big race?

A Day Of Rest

Lazy Saturdays might be the best kind. Today I slept in and did not do one ounce of anything that wasn’t relaxing.

I caught up on some TV. Hello Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle, I love you but hate that I have to wait until January for new episodes.

I practiced with the fancy new camera.

Tail with High Pass Sharpen_edited-1

Spoon Rest

050

055

I used this tutorial on how to create custom user profiles. It was fun to play around with the different settings.

My running clothes are in the washer so I am less stinky for my race tomorrow. The Garmin and iPod Shuffle are charging. I should be ready and rested to race tomorrow.

Yesterdays comments proved that many of us have difficulty relaxing before races. It can be difficulty sleeping or just a stomach full of butterflies. I have no solution to this and everyday I get closer to my upcoming Half, the more nervous I get. Taking today to enjoy myself and be unproductive is definitely helping. Trusting that I did enough, worked hard, and am prepared to the best I can.

This did show up in my email today.

Women's Half Marathon St. Pete

Makes it much more real.

Namaste Bitches

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Half Marathon Training Week Ten In Review

You can follow my previous weeks training and current DVD rotation on my Workouts page.

Sunday: 2.33 Miles

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday: Was to sick to workout. Had a pretty bad cold and thought it best to take it easy.

Thursday: 3.15 Miles

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 3.41 Miles

Thoughts: This week was rough. After last weeks low motivation and mileage week, I really wanted this week to be stronger but sometimes you get sick. Being sick, coupled with a massively stressful work announcement, made my body non-functional.

I was lucky to get some really good advice from a more experienced runner this week that made me feel better. Just worry about finishing. I am not fast and I am still a new runner, finishing a half marathon will be a huge accomplishment for me and I am OK with that.

Now I am ready to get to work for Week 11. I have two days off this week and will enjoy every second of it.

A few race pictures from the Miracle Miles 15K. Pictures courtesy of TIP Films.

What I noticed about the pictures:

Do I ever stop looking at my Garmin? My last race, I forgot to stop it until well over the finish line, so this one I was obsessively saying turn off watch like some kind of crazed mantra as I crossed the finish line. Does not make for a cool race photo.

When I spot the cameraman (which I must have in the final picture), I don’t look all that terrible when I run.

Miracle_Miles_15_Garmin_1

Miracle_Miles_15_Garmin_2

Miracle_Miles_15K_Garmin_3

Miracle_Miles_15K_Good_Picture

How do you handle a training week when you are sick?

Fears And My First 15K

My first long race is tomorrow and I am nervous! I feel prepared (enough) but anything new can be scary. I thought it would be fun to look back at my first race in January 2011 and remember how freaked out I was.

I wrote about my fears, the night before that first 5K. It was pretty standard fare, falling, feeling foolish, being last, and not being able to finish. Pretty similar to how I feel about the upcoming race. Then there were also the fears of the logistics, not knowing where to line up, hoping my D-Tag was on correctly, do I drink the water at the water stops, and assorted other issues that you eventually learn the answers to. (Can you tell that I am a worrier? It might actually be more frantic in my head than I am able to share here.)

Luckily, I loved the race and it made me want to keep running. Finishing that race, even though my time was slow and I walked some of it, was euphoric. I hope that tomorrow’s Miracle Miles will be similar, euphoria and pride for finishing (plus a personal distance record).

Source: flickr.com via Emilie on Pinterest

 

 

How do you feel the night before a race?

Fitness Friday Blog Hop

Race Bucket List

If you had unlimited money, time to train, and vacation time from work, what races would you run?

1. Marathon De Paris Paris is my favorite city and any excuse to go, I would take. This race starts on the Champs-Elysees and goes across the city, hitting most of the big landmarks.

Marathon_De_Paris

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2. Athens Marathon I have never been to Greece, so that’s one big fat reason. Another reason is the history.

According to legend, it covers the same ground that the Athenian messenger Phiedippides ran when he brought news of victory from the battlefield of Marathon 2,500 years ago. When you run the Athens Marathon, you run in the very footsteps of the ancient gods and heros that gave birth to western civilization. The finish line is in Athens’ magnificent Olympic Stadium, the birthplace of the modern Olympic Games. (From the Athens Marathon site)

What could be cooler than ending a race in Olympic Stadium?

3. The Great Wall Marathon It is amazingly beautiful and such a unique, once in a lifetime experience.

Great_Wall

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Great_Wall_2

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4. Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Marathon A marathon in the mountains that starts in a famed lost city and takes you past ruins and fortresses from a great civilization.

Inca_Trail_

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This post is participating in the Fitness Friday Blog Hop. Please click below to join.

Life As I See It [Fitness, Health and Happiness]

Celebration of Running 5K

Before I put a ton of (delicious) cured meats in my face at The Ravenous Pig on Saturday, I ran the Celebration of Running 5K. The race started at 7:30 but every minute that creaped by grew hotter and hotter. Halfway through I was dripping in sweat and wiping my face on my shirt.

The race started at the Orlando Science Museum.

Celebration of 5K

                                  

(Can you see me way in the back near the 10 plus minute mile sign in the back?)

The course took you by beautiful Lake Formosa and a place where I used to work. Down one brick lined and pothole filled street. (That was interesting, I kept picturing someone tripping and hurting their ankle.) It looped around The Track Shack and the finish was at the Science Museum.

Garmin Route Map

Celebration_of_5K_Course_Map

Garmin Stats

Garmin_Stats

Not sure why it says 3.24 miles. I started my watch when I crossed the starting line and stopped it when I crossed the finish line. Could it have to do with where I am running in relation to the road?

My official times were clock 36:36 and chip 35:29. My goal was closer to 30 minutes but as hot as it was that day, I am happy with my time.

Takeaways: I started out too fast. The first mile was at a 10 minute per mile pace which is speedy for me. I should be in the 11 minute mile range. I ran out of gas towards the end and would have felt better if I had started of slower. 

What are you best race tips?

First 5K Race Report

First 5K (5.2K officially): Awesome!

I ran the Seasons 52 5.2K on Saturday and had the most wonderful time. The course was flat, with few turns and takes you through a beautiful neighborhood.

Things I noticed:

- Winter Park has some beautiful houses.
- The festive atmosphere is very motivating. From the people in their driveways cheering us on, to the kid volunteers yelling and whooping as we passed by.
- Crossing the finish line was a mixture of relief, pride, and euphoria.

My stats were 38.49 chip time with an average of a 12 minute mile. This is pretty on target of where I wanted to be. At this point, my goal is to finish and enjoy myself. I did both.