Half Marathon Training So Far

I am currently training for InnerAct Alliance Red Ribbon Half Marathon & Run in Lakeland, Florida. It will be my fifth half marathon and the first one that I trained with a group.

InnerAct Red Ribon Half Marathon & Run Lakeland Florida

What is different during this training cycle?

  • Running with a group
  • Track workouts
  • Running hills

My mileage and days running are actually less than in past training cycles. I am really enjoying having one complete rest day and being able to fit in two days of full-body weight training.

Total mileage from weeks two through five.

Weeks 2 3 4 5 half marathon training

The mileage for last week (36) would have been higher but a massive thunder storm stopped the track workout about four miles short.

Key Workouts

Hill Repeats

Hill Repeats August 13 Lakeland

In this workout we ran up the hills and walked back down. It hurt but the Red Ribbon Half is a hilly course, running these repeats can only help.

Track Workouts

8×400 Repeats with 200 walks in between

Painful but helpful to feel speedy (which rarely if ever happens to me.)

7×800 Repeats with 200 walks in between

Painful again but the Lakeland High School marking band practices when we run, so that was fun.

Hills

Hills Sept 3 Lakeland

I didn’t even know they had hills like this in Florida. They are massive and they sure are painful. This is a route I will remember and incorporate when training for future races.

Long Runs

The group is up to nine miles and I am already feeling a difference. Just looking through runs of similar distance from the beginning of 2013, I am significantly faster. As someone who is on the slow side and my number one goal is to get faster, this is really making my day.

Running Motivation Florence Griffith-Joyner

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I Might Be Getting Faster Or The 5K I Ran On No Sleep

I recently ran the last race of my favorite 5K race series, The Watermelon 5K Series, put on by the Lakeland Runner’s Club. (I previously wrote about races one/two and three.) It is a wonderful series that helps keep me motivated through the sweltering Florida summer and is like $30 for four races if you register early.

Even though I feel faster lately (this is completely due to some breakthroughs with my new running group), leading up to Watermelon 5K Race four was not ideal. Months earlier, I bought tickets to see The Killers at Hard Rock Live. Very exciting, but of course it was the night before the last race. My friend and I stayed for the entire concert. I didn’t drink at all, which was a first for me (not because I’m some huge drunk but because I do like a few beers at a concert). After the second encore, we decided to leave but there was a torrential downpour. I mean it was biblical. (Also it was truly hilarious to watch quite a few inebriated people staring out the doors and trying to decide what to do.) Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal but Hard Rock Live is located in Universal City Walk. That means we had to walk about two miles in the pouring rain to the parking garage. So we ran. (I am kind of glad that I was sober, would have been much more annoyed about this after a few.)

I got home around midnight and promptly passed out. (The concert was awesome and they played every song you would want to hear.) Somehow, I was able to wake up at 4 AM and got my butt out the door. I am not someone who does well with little-to-no sleep but I paid for the race and was going to run it (unless I slept through my alarm which I thought might happen.)

So the plan going into this race was to finish. Not die. Not pass out. Not fall asleep on my feet. So, it was a success there. Somehow, maybe it was the lack of sleep, I ran my fastest 5K ever.

Watermelon 5K Race Four Splits

Official time 30:43.

Watermelon 5K Race Four 2013 Finish

Not sure how I seemed to finish with no other people.

I loved that they took free commemorative photo’s of participants after the race was over.

Watermelon Number Four 2013 DinaRuns Picture

For running the series, I did get this awesome woman specific tech shirt.

Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K 2013 Shirt

This is my second year running the Watermelon 5K Series and it is starting to mark the end of summer. Until next year, it was fun huffing and puffing my way around Lake Hollingsworth.

Week 1 Half Marathon Training

I am training for the InnerAct Alliance Red Ribbon Half Marathon & Run in Lakeland, Florida. This is the inaugural year and the first Half Marathon hosted in Polk County.

InnerAct Red Ribon Half Marathon & Run Lakeland Florida

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I talked about it in my last post, that I signed up for a training group. We received our plan last week and officially started on Monday. The group does three runs per week together. Monday had an easy run of 30-40 minutes on the schedule. I was not able to do this workout because of a DEC Steering Committee meeting. I have two Monday after work meetings a month and will have to move that run to Sunday.

The first group run was Tuesday. It started at the Red Door Wine Market in Lakeland. On Tuesday, FITniche hosts a Pub Run and this allowed my small group of six, to run with a much larger group. The training group started with a one mile warm-up. The group is comprised of people with various goals and experience, which is nice because I was worried about being the slowest. The workout had us run the three miles with the larger group with two miles at 10K pace and a one mile cool down.

Red Door Wine Market Pub Run 8-6-13

The route is really pretty and takes you by two lakes. So nice to switch up the scenery from my typical running routes. The place was packed after the run and the food looked pretty good. I definitely plan on eating here with J.

Thursday was my first ever track run.(Not counting being forced every year in school to run on it for the Presidential Physical Fitness test. Not sure what the point of that thing was, there was no chance I was ever going to be able to do a pull-up, so failure was imminent.) We started off with a warm-up run around the track and did some dynamic stretching as a group. The stretching and warm-up exercises are something that I want to start including into my workouts. (The exercises included butt kicks, high knees, and strides.)  Doing a proper warm-up, really helped my body feel ready to move fast.

The track workout consisted of 2×400, 1×800, 1×1600, 1×800, and 2×400. The rest time in between the intervals is half the time it takes you to run. We were each given a goal pace, which worked out to be about our 5K paces. I was surprised that I was able to run each one at about a minute per mile faster than my goal pace. I was definitely pushing but I wonder if I can do that when it’s 91 degrees, am I underperforming in the 5K? The time was a recent 5K time, so it’s not an old time. My track takeaway, painful but I can definitely see the benefit in doing it.

The last run of the week was a six mile run with the group at Mitchell’s Coffee House. I have run with this group before and highly recommend it if you are in the Lakeland area. The run is split into groups doing various distances, today it was 13.1 (the InnerAct Red Ribbon Half Marathon route), nine, six, and three miles. So nice that there is a distance for everyone. The route for the six-mile, takes you past three lakes.

Mitchell's Coffee Run Six Miles Lakeland Florida

The portions that are not around lakes, take you through historic South Lakeland. The houses are really beautiful and unique. It really is an amazing place to run. I love that even through it was early, there are a ton of runners and bikers out trying to avoid the deadly Florida August sun.

I did get one full body strength training session in on Wednesday. I am finally finished with Stage Three of The New Rules Of Lifting For Women. I do want to continue to Stage Four but am starting to get bored with doing the same exercises. I am seeing progress physically and with my strength but it might be time to try something new.

My first week running with a training group was great and I cannot wait for week two!

Ready To Start

Guess what this week is?

Party_Button

It is the week I start training for my next half marathon.

I am running the OUC Orlando Half Marathon.

OUC Orlando Half Marathon 2013

(I ran the OUC Orlando Half Marathon last year. You can read about it here.)

So that’s exciting enough but wait, there’s more.

FitNiche Training

This came to my inbox a few weeks ago. Recently, I started participating in a casual Saturday morning group run. I learned that I love running with other people. This training cycle I will have the support of running with other people and coach to get me on the right plan. The first run is on August 6th and I am just so excited to get started.

Two Races, One Time Or Am I Getting Slower?

Do you ever feel like you aren’t getting faster?

Running Motivation

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Every summer when the humidity is high and the heat unrelenting (I do live in Florida), I run a race series, The Watermelon 5K Series, hosted by the Lakeland Runner’s Club. There are four 5K’s throughout the summer and it is an amazing deal ($30 for four races.) You can read about race’s one and two here.

Lakeland-Runners-Club-Watermelon-5K-2013_

Last week was race number three and I ran it in exactly the same times as race number three. I ran 31:15 gun time and 30:56 clock time. On the bright side, at least I am not losing fitness but it seems odd to run two races in the same time. My Garmin matched my clock time exactly, so at least I am improving somewhere.

Garmin Time Watermelon 5k Race 3 2013

My finishing picture came out nice. (Although, my arms always looks strange in any pictures I see of myself running. I wonder if I need to work on my form or if my arms are normal?)

Watermelon 5K Finish Picture Dina Lakeland Runner's Club

A great race as always put on by the Lakeland Runner’s Club and I cannot wait for race number four.

Everything Must Change

If You Change Nothing, Nothing Will Change

I am making changes.

As I start to prepare my body to run longer, I am slowly, but consistently, starting to base build. I like to take it easy in the summer and run mostly how I feel. The past few weeks, I am slowly inching up my Saturday longish run.

I started running with a group. Living in the small town Florida, there are not a lot of options for me to run with other people. A lot of it is a matter of geography.

Central Florida Map

I live in a large but rural county in between Tampa and Orlando. Lakeland is the only large “city” in Polk County and the only place with a running club. Running with any of the Lakeland groups is difficult for me during the week but on Saturday’s, I can get over there.

Mitchell’s Coffee House in Lakeland hosts a long run on Saturday at 6am. It’s a great  because there is a 3, 6, and 9 mile group plus a few running the half route for the inaugural Red Ribbon Half Marathon. I have never run with other people and did not realize how much I would enjoy it.

I have lots of race plans rolling around in my head. Officially, I signed up for the Town Of Celebration Half Marathon (you can use the code LRC to save $10 on either the Half or Full). I love running in Celebration so much. It is beautiful and usually shady (which can be rare in Florida.) (You can find some of my other posts about my love of running in Celebration here, here, and here.)

Finding My Running Groove

Even though I never intentionally meant to take a running hiatus, I kind of did.

Running Hiatus

Week 8 was the week of the Gasparilla Half Marathon. The past few months I have run but only as much as I felt like. I spent a lot of time in the gym restarting New Rules Of Lifting For Woman. I am racing a bit this summer, you can read my race recap for my two most recent 5K’s here. There are two more races in that series and then I will officially be in training for a fall half.

So after this running hiatus, I feel ready to start a training plan again. Both mentally and physically. I have not decided what that plan will look like yet but am reading ( Run Faster From The 5K To The Marathon by Brad Hudson and Matt Fitzgerald) and working to put together a plan. This cycle, I really need to make sure to fit in at least two full-body strength training a week and one day of yoga. The weight lifting is something I am really starting to enjoy, plus having my arms less chicken-like is a huge plus. Yoga is so helpful with keeping everything loose, especially when you are as inflexible as I am.

So for the tl:dr version of this brain dump on running:

Ryan Gosling Motivation

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A Tale Of Two Races

It was so hard not to type Tail in the subject line of this post. This post is, sadly, not about this guy.

Tail Cat Stares At You

It is about running, which I have been doing some of lately.

Running in the Florida summer is tough. I never have any luck getting up before the sun to run (mainly because I am afraid of running in the dark alone and also because it is really early) so I tend to run after work in the sweltering heat and on the treadmill on the gym. Keeping the motivation high, I need to have something to aim for. Luckily, the Lakeland Runner’s Club has the same idea.

Lakeland-Runners-Club-Watermelon-5K-2013_

Lakeland Runner’s Club Watermelon 5K Race One

This series takes place around the beautiful Lake Hollingsworth area in Lakeland. Amazing houses, water views, and all kinds of ducks. It is such a treat to run in the area.

Lake Hollingsworth Lakeland Florida

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This race started like pretty much all races in Florida, hot and humid. Luckily, the 7 AM start is just when the sun starts to come up. The race route is mostly on the path that goes all the way around the lake (there is a little road running at the race start.) It can make parts of the race a little congested but I am usually able to get around people if needed.

Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K Garmin Map Race 1 2013

Sadly, the same cramps that plagued me last year, happened again during this race. This lead to a few walk breaks (so I could breath) and missing my sub-30 minute goal.

Splits Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K Race 1 2013

My official time chip time is 32.39. Not my fastest by far but a starting point to get my time down over the course of the series.

Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K Race 1 2013

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Lakeland Runner’s Club Watermelon 5K Race Two

I made great time and parking was a breeze. (The more often I run this race, the better I get at deciding which side streets are the best to park on.) I did have to choose between warming-up and using the bathroom (the bathroom won.)

Having learned my lesson from Race One, I started this one in 9 minute mile area. What a difference that made! It seems obvious but starting near people who run your pace makes so much more sense. Especially in a race where people run with strollers and dogs.

Lakeland Runner's Club Watermelon Run #2 2013

Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K Number 2 Splits 2013

Again, there were a few walk breaks but it helps prevent cramping. I am happy to say that race was faster than race number one, so at least the numbers are going in the right direction.

My official chip time is 30:55 which is just so close to a sub-30 that I hope race number three I can get there.

Dina Runs Lakeland Runner's Club Watermelon 5K Run 2

(Photo taken from the Lakeland Runner’s Club Facebook group)

What’s Going On

Lots of exciting updates around here. Like this.

Justin and Dina Graduation

After three long years, J graduated from Law School. I am so proud of him!

Now the fun part begins where he spends the next 10 weeks studying full-time to take the bar in July.

The cats are also equally impressed by J.

Cats Are Impressed with J

(Something scary happened when I went to find the above picture on my computer. I typed in the word cat and thousands of pictures came up. I may have a problem.)

J’s parents came down from Connecticut to see the graduation which was nice. We do not get to see them that often because of the distance.

Family for graduation

We celebrated by finally eating at First Watch. J and I have meant to eat there for years but it is hard to get into Orlando for breakfast.

French toast demolished. Graduation day for my husband.

Even though I have not been writing about it much, there has been running. I am currently reading Run Faster From The 5K To The Marathon by Brad Hudson and Matt Fitzgerald.

Run Faster From The 5K To The Marathon by Brad Hudson and Matt Fitzgerald

I will be running sub-30 minute 5K’s this summer if it kills me (which it might, it is Florida.)

Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K 2013

The first race is June 1st and I am ready to race.

Cover image taken from goodreads.

Scenes From A Run

The little town where I live in Central Florida is the host of Ironman Florida 70.3.

Ironman Florida 70.3 Haines City

The park where I do a lot of my runs, hosts the race. It is so fun to see all the people riding and running in tri-suits around the park. I like to think they are discovering what I have known for years, that Lake Eva is a really beautiful place to run.

Lake Eva Ironman Florida 70.3

Lake Eva Ironman 70.3 running path

Lake Eva Ironman 70.3 trees

Lake Eva Ironman 70.3 lake

Lake Eva Ironman 70.3 pretty trees

I ran a little over five miles thinking about how much fun it would be to do a triathlon. This year I plan to spectate again, the race is about five minutes from my house, but would love to do a triathlon someday.

Have you ever done a triathlon?