November: The Month I Ran My First Half


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


Women's Half Marathon St. Pete Bag

What are your highlights for November?

New Plan

My exercise sabbatical is over. This past week, I took a lot of time off work, enjoyed the holiday, and relaxed. Running my first half feels great but now I am ready to jump back into a new training plan. This time I decided to try a plan from Runner’s World using their Smart Coach program.

The selections I made to come up with this plan are:

Initial Weekly Distance: 21-26 Miles

Training Intensity: Moderate

Long Run Day: Saturday

This plan is 14 weeks long.

I consider myself a beginner and have been running for less than two years. This plan is more intense than my previous one but graduated enough that it will not be a shock to my system.

Monday: Easy Run Three Miles  & Strength Training

Tuesday: (Supposed to be a rest day but I have plans after work on Wednesday, so I am adjusting the plan.) Six Miles with Four at Tempo

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Easy Run Two Miles

Friday: Strength Training

Saturday: Long Run Ten Miles

Sunday: Yoga

I plan on adding daily stretching which will help with increased flexibility and muscle tightness. I have an AM Yoga DVD that I plan on using most mornings before work to make sure I get this in everyday. Having IT Band issues was not pleasant during my first half and I will do anything to avoid it. (Plus I can live without walking around with a slight limp and people asking me if I am OK.)

I only took a handful of pictures on Thanksgiving before the beer drinking and eating took over.


The table pre-food massacre.

Dennis and Mom

My Brother and Mother.

How do you come-up with a training plan?

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


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?
Jennifer Z
@ I prefer to so that when I want a drink I can get one especially if the water stop is congested
Christy Gerdes
Depends - are you carrying any fuel with you, like shotbloks, GU, etc? RT @: If there are water stops everymile would you stil...
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!
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?

Half Marathon Training Week 14 In Review

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

Sunday: Rest

Monday: 2.51 Miles

Tuesday: Total Body Circuit Training with Jackie Warner 40 Minutes Full Body

Wednesday: Elliptical 30 Minutes

Thursday: 2.56 Miles

Friday: Rest

Saturday:Last speed session of training plan. 6 x 800 repeats total of 5.27 Miles.


Doing the Jackie Warner DVD proved how much more frequently I need to do  more strength workouts. This DVD had gotten a bit easier but I am finding it challenging again. My training is winding down and as I write this I have nine days until my first Half. I am excited, scared, and happy all at the same time. It is interesting when something you have worked so hard for and planned for so long, starts to become so real.


1. On Sunday, 11/13, I am running my last long training run in the Florida Hospital Celebration Health Founder’s Day 10K. I am looking forward to this race because Celebration is one of my favorite places.

2. Relax and not stress about the upcoming Half. It is going to be fun and I know I will finish.

3. Sleep, eat, and stay hydrated all week.

J caught Tail doing this to the TV during Monday night football.

How do you stay relaxed the last week before a big race?

Fitness Friday Blog Hop

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.





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

Half Marathon Training Week Eight In Review

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

Sunday: Yoga 1.5 Hours

Monday: Elliptical 30 Minutes

Tuesday: Running 3.43 Miles

Wednesday: Rest (Did attempt to attend a Yoga class but was late and the doors were already locked.)

Thursday: Elliptical 30 Minutes, Upper Body 15 Minutes (Jackie Warner’s Power Circuit Training)

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Miracle Miles 15K

Thoughts: Running my first 15K was amazing! It really reignited my excitement for my half. I was not sure heading into the race if I would enjoy running a longer distance race as much as a 5K but I was wrong. This race also taught me that I need to practice more with fuel and need a few longer runs under my belt.

I am slacking with the strength training and need to make sure to get at least two days of a full body strength workout every week.

Week Nine

Sunday: Yoga (Perfect recovery from Saturday’s race.)

Two 45 minute easy runs, probably on Monday and Thursday. Two full body strength training sessions. Wednesday will attempt to arrive on time to the Yoga class I missed last week. Saturday will be a speed workout 3x800m at a pace of 6 minutes and 10 seconds.

How is your training going?

Have you been trying anything new?

Half Marathon Training Week Seven In Review

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

Sunday: One Hour Yoga. One Hour Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism.

Monday: Rest.

Tuesday: 2.38 Miles

Wednesday: 30 Minutes on the Elliptical

Thursday: 2.94 Miles

Friday: 2.23 Miles (First lunch time run!)

Saturday: 4.09 Miles

Total Miles: 11.64 Miles

Goal Miles: 20 Miles

Thoughts: I want to change my training plan. I am not making the weekly mileage and I really do not want to run more than four days per week. Consistently not making my weekly mileage is not helping my confidence for the Half.

Looking through my running books, my new plan will have longer long runs and shorter easy runs. I think this will be more manageable.

I did attend another Sunday Yoga class and am still enjoying it. I think Sunday after my long run is the perfect time and my legs are feeling great.

Week 8

Sunday: Yoga 90 Minutes

Monday: 30 Minutes on the Elliptical

Tuesday: Run for 45 Minutes Easy Pace

Wednesday: Full body strength

Thursday: Run for 45 Minutes Easy Pace

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Miracle Miles 15K! (Will be my first race longer than a 5K and the longest distance I have ever run.) Will be treating this race as a long run and enjoying myself.


How is your training going? Am I crazy switching plans halfway through training?

Half Marathon Training Week Six In Review

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

Sunday: Rest

Monday: 3.14 Miles

Tuesday: No More Trouble Zones

Wednesday: Blogger Meet-up

Thursday: Elliptical 30 Minutes & Arms for 20 Minutes

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Seven Miles

Garmin Time

Total Miles: 10.17

Goal Miles: 17

Thoughts: Life and the weather got in the way this week. I planned on Thursday being a running day but the torrential thunderstorm forced those plans to change. Friday would have been a great make-up day but there were a few family things that came up and I just did not have the time. Regardless, my seven mile run on Saturday was amazing and really has me feeling like my upcoming 15K will be a success. (My definition of success is finishing in less than two hours and not being taken off in an ambulance Smile.)

Plan For Week Seven

Sunday: One Hour of Yoga & One Hour Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism

Goal Miles: 20

Key Workouts: Long Run of Six Miles & One Tempo Run of 20 to 30 Minutes

I plan on attending another Yoga class this week because I found it so helpful and relaxing.

How was your training this week?

Did you try anything new?

Source: None via Emily on Pinterest

Half Marathon Training Week Five In Review

To view my previous weeks of training, please see my workouts page.

Sunday: 2.8 mile tempo run.

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Elliptical for 20 minutes and No More Trouble Zone for 40 minutes.

Wednesday: 4.27 miles easy

Thursday: Rest (I had a Young Dems social meeting right after work.)

Friday: 3.35 miles easy

Saturday: 5.44 miles long and slow

Goal Miles: 17

Actual Miles: 15.86

Thoughts:  Tempo runs are hard. That run did not go well for me and I was all over the place pace wise. I think this weeks attempt, needs to be done in much cooler weather. Hopefully, this will be a much more positive experience. I am starting to get really nervous about the 15K on September 24th. This weeks long run of 5.44 miles is the longest run I have done in six months and I have never made it to double digits. What if a 15K is too ambitious?

Plan For Week Six

Sunday: Rest

Monday: 3.14 miles

Mileage Goal: 17

Strength Training Goal: Two full body workouts


Tail would like to know how your workouts went this week?

Ever start to get nervous before a race?