Tag Archives: road race

Half Marathon Training: final week & RACE DAY recap!

4 Oct

I DID IT! I successfully completed my half marathon, and boy am I thrilled!  Before I gush about how amazing the finish felt, I’ll back up and quickly recap my ninth (and final) week of training.

The final week of training messed with my head.  The physical requirements were minimal: I did my Monster Monday lift, ran 4 miles Tues, did 1hr of Spin on Wed, and ran a simple 2 miles on Thursday. And then that was it!! I felt so STRANGE doing nothing Fri/Sat, but there was only one word on my training sheet for those two days: Rest.  So I did!  I tried to rest my mind as well, which proved to be a lot more difficult than resting my body.  I was excited, I was nervous, I was anxious, and I was scared.  I tried my best to sleep on Saturday night, and ended up dreaming of the race. 

Sunday morning came around and the weather was RAINY and WINDY on Hampton Beach.  My umbrella turned inside out, and so did my belly.  I had not anticipated the possibility of inclement weather.  However, as the runners gathered at the start, the rain slowed to a mist and my fear turned into excitement.  With the sound of the gun we were off!  I had prepared a very carefully planned playlist that got me through.  I checked my watch at every mile, and at every mile it was the same- I averaged between 7:30 and 8 min pace.  I stopped to take an energy gel between miles 6-7 and took a few cups of Gatorade along the way as well. 

Miles 10, 11, and 12 were the toughest.  There were next to no supporters, as everyone wanted to be at the finish.  Thank goodness for the 2 little kids sticking their hands out for high fives- they saved me!!!  It was a true mental test for those last few miles.  I kept thinking about all my training: my early morning runs, my speed workouts, my lifting sessions, my determination to overcome injury, and my promise that I’d finish the race.  Before I knew it, the FINISH line was in sight.  I spotted my friends and family, cut over and gave some high five’s and crossed the finish line with pride and joy.  1:40:44!!!!

 

After reflecting and letting it all sink in for a day or so, I am able to realize the incredible accomplishment that I achieved.  It was no miracle, no feat of extraordinary measure.  No, it was all possible because of one thing: persistence.  I trained for 9 long weeks to get my body ready; I put one foot in front of the other [pun intended] and kept at it.  If I had attempted this race without training, or even with only 4 or 5 weeks training, I would’ve been setting myself up for failure.  By following through on a well thought out plan, I best prepared my body and mind to take on this challenge.  I realized that I will always be able to accomplish anything I put my mind to.  BUT, I must do it with 100% of what I have; persistence and consistency are the keys with which my dreams will turn into reality.  In the face of road blocks [like my ankle injury], I must always keep my eyes on my goal and persevere.

Completing this half marathon 4 days before my 30th birthday fulfilled a New Year’s Resolution and huge goal for me.  I am proud and excited to have it under my belt.  I look forward to training for and completing the FULL 26.2 next October!!!

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Half Marathon PLAYLIST

3 Oct

A few people have asked me what was on my playlist for the half marathon I just ran, so I thought I’d share my tunes!  I am a HUGE believer that music amps up a workout, so I filled my playlist with a lot of upbeat, fast music.  There are a few songs in there that are “hard” rock types that get me going as well.  I made sure it was long enough for the run, and it ended up being longer than I needed!  Here it is:

1. Scream My Name- LMFAO

2. Crazy Train- Ozzy Osbourne

3. Not Myself Tonight- Christina Aguilera

4. X Gonna Give It To Ya- DMX

5. Dirty Dancer- Enrique Iglesias feat. Usher & Lil’ Wayne

6. Do  You Call My Name- Ra

7. Run The World (Girls)- Beyonce

8. All I Do Is Win- DJ Khaled feat. T-Pain, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg & Rick Ross)

9. Party Rock Anthem- LMFAO

10. Die Trying- Art of Dying

11. Judas- Lady Gaga

12. Got 2 Luv U- Sean Paul feat. Alexis Jordan

13. Wonderman- Tinie Tempah feat. Ellie Goulding

14. Poem- Taproot

15. Who Dat Girl- Flo Rida feat. Akon

16. On The Floor- Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull

17. Born This Way- Lady Gaga

18. Lose Yourself- Eminem

19. Remember The Name- Fort Minor

20. More- Usher

21. The Edge Of Glory- Lady Gaga

22. Everybody Dance Now- C & C Music Factory

23. Moment Of Clarity- Jay-Z

24. Break Stuff- Limp Bizkit

25. ‘Til I Collapse- Eminem & Nate Dogg  ***this is my ALL TIME FAVORITE running song! just so happened to be the one playing for my last mile or so!!***

26. Jindi Mahi- Panjabi MC

27. The Fire- The Roots & John Legend

28. Until The End- Breaking Benjamin

29. The Final Countdown- Europe

30. I Made It (Cash Money Heroes)- Kevin Rudolf ***I listened to this song at the end of EVERY run during my training.  It felt AMAZING to hear it at the end of my half marathon!!***

 

 

Half Marathon Training: week 8 recap

26 Sep

This was my second-to-last week of half marathon training!  If you read last week’s post, you know that I hit quite the training “hiccup” with some pretty significant swelling in my ankle and left calf.  Wear heels for two nights and pay the price tenfold! At the end of last week, I was still unsure as to whether or not I’d be able to run the race; it was touch and go for a few days.  I prayed more during that week than I have in a long time.  Someone must be listening to me “Upstairs” because my ankle has been responding very well to massage on a frequent basis.  I have been thanking my lucky stars that I have a friend who is a fantastic massage therapist; she’s been a lifesaver throughout this process.  This week I was more vigilant with my pre/post workout stuff than ever.  I made absolutely certain to ice and elevate my ankle after EVERY run/cross training workout, as well as before going to sleep.  I took ibuprofen when needed and spent every waking moment in sneakers.  I cared not one bit when I was the only girl in sneakers at Ned Devine’s on Saturday night.  I took every single precaution I could to keep the “egg” of inflammation far, far away!

 

half marathon

My training schedule this week was amended to give my ankle some extra rest: subbed out one run for 1hr 45 mins of Spinning, and subbed out another for 1hr on the ARC trainer.  I did my last long run yesterday (Sunday) and it was a very tolerable 8 miles.  The nerves started kicking in once I realized that it would be the longest run I’d do until the race.  I know that I’ll be able to complete 13.1 miles but I want to do it to the BEST of my ability.   I am trying to balance out the desire to run like the wind with the reality that I have an injury that requires me to be wise about my pace.  I know that this upcoming week will be a taper week for my body but that I’ll ramp up the intensity of training my “mental muscle”.  I plan on taking time to make a motivating playlist and surround myself with positive thoughts/quotes/images.

Running Etiquette…does it still exist?!

21 Sep

My 7 weeks (and counting) of half marathon training have caused me to spend a lot of time running outside.  I’ve run around my neighborhood to the surrounding towns, through woodsy running trails; you name it, I’ve run it.  In almost every atmosphere I have encountered other runners who I pass along my way.  It has become habit for me- after taking up running as a hobby & competitive sport about 15 years ago- to acknowledge those fellow runners when they pass by.  Whether its a smile, nod, quick wave, or even “good morning”; I always pay a bit of attention.

I call this running etiquette- a little camaraderie of sorts between people who share the love (or love/hate) of running.  A little pick-me-up and support at mile 10 to show that you’re not alone in your efforts.  I recall countless days of cross country and track practice which took me through the winding streets of my hometown.  I’d pass folks left and right and almost every time we exchanged a friendly smile or nod.  Even when away on vacation, I steal some time to explore the new area by way of a long run and the same thing happens.  Two runners pass, and a greeting is exchanged.  But it seems to have disappeared lately!

On almost every run I have done for my half marathon training, I get snubbed by others when we pass each other on the road.  I’ll smile, nod, or wave and I don’t even get any eye contact in return!  At first I thought it was a fluke- that I must’ve passed someone who got up on the wrong side of the bed- and that the next person surely would smile.  But that wasn’t the case; person after person and still nothing!  I can count on one hand the times where I did get acknowledgement in return.  It disappoints me that people have forgotten about running etiquette.  Its so much more pleasant when two otherwise strangers are able to connect for a split second and offer some mutual encouragement.  Isn’t that human nature?

I’m curious to know what you think: do you believe in running etiquette? Do you give a little wave or smile when you pass a fellow runner?

Half Marathon Training: week 7 recap

19 Sep

Week 7…ohhhhh, week 7. What a test of mental strength this was.  Isn’t 7 supposed to be a LUCKY number?! What happened, you ask?  Well I had to face the thing which I dread the most; the word that causes me to hang my head, shudder, and cringe all at the same time.  Yes: injury.  As you may know from my previous posts I’ve been nursing tendonitis in my left ankle for the duration of my half marathon training.  It had been so far, so good until I made a less-than-wise decision to wear high heels for two nights in a row last weekend while at my friend’s wedding. I knew heels were bad for me, but I decided there wasn’t much else I could do- can’t wear Nike’s with a dress, right?!  So, I wore the shoes and cut a rug at the wedding (had SO much fun dancing) but certainly paid the price on Monday morning 😦

 

 

WEAR THESE…..

 


AND END UP WITH THIS…

 

Ok so that’s a bit of an exaggeration… I am definitely NOT in a cast…

I met with my friend/massage therapist/personal trainer/savior who was in shock and awe at how inflamed it was.  The look on her face said it all- this was bad, real bad.  She advised me NOT to run at all for the week except for my long run which was on Saturday.  I couldn’t believe it was that bad. I was heart-broken.  She suggested that I spin and do the ARC trainer for my cardio during the week, and thankfully I was also scheduled for massage on Thursday.  I followed her advice, and saw her Thurs for my treatment.  She is a miracle worker, and when I was done with the massage I got up, looked at my left ankle and exclaimed “I’M SKINNY AGAIN!”  The “egg” of inflammation in my leg was gone and I felt SO much better.  I shortened my long run from 11 miles to 8 miles on Saturday and ran it with a friend who kept me at a slower-than-usual, steady pace.  I was cautioned that I wasn’t totally out of the woods yet, and that it is still very touch and go.  I am making sure to ice, ice, ice and do everything I can to keep my ankle elevated.  This is easier said than done when your job requires you to be on your feet moving around 12+ hours per day.

Right now I am trying to get used to the idea that IF I am healthy enough to run this race, I’ll be doing it to finish instead of for time, as I originally planned.

I will admit, this got me pretty down but I am taking it one day at a time and trying to remember that everything happens for a reason… Have you ever had an injury that put a big wrench in your training plans?? What did you do to cope? I could use some suggestions!

Half Marathon Training: week 6 recap

12 Sep

Week 6 is under my belt!! My Half Marathon is getting closer by the day and I realized this week that I have become so attached to my training schedule, I truly will miss it when it’s over!  I have written previous posts about making alterations to my training program due to travel, work, and life but for the most part I have become quite accustomed to waking up each day and looking at that trusty piece of paper to find what my task is for the day.  When I’m done with the day’s training, I take a lot of joy in putting a HUGE check mark on the day.

  It gives me that extra sense of accomplishment to see those check marks add up over the days and weeks.  Looking at that sheet of paper has also given me a palpable reminder that I have been putting in the hard work necessary to complete a half marathon.  When I start to doubt my abilities and start questioning my skills, all I have to do is whip out my tattered sheet of paper and I see the proof there in black and white.  I have been putting in the work, I will reap the rewards.

One day at a time, one foot in front of the other (both literally and figuratively) I will make it to the finish!

Half Marathon Training: week 5 recap

7 Sep

The weeks are FLYING by for my half marathon training!  In LESS than a month, I’ll be running the Smuttynose Half Marathon!  Training has been quite humbling and has taught me that sometimes I need to take a step back  in order to ultimately move forward.  This week I made an adjustment to my long run because I decided that I want to increase my max long run from 10 to 12 miles.  I have heard from several sources that the last 3 miles of a half are the hardest, and bring the most challenges both physically and mentally.  I decided this week that I want to be prepared- physically and mentally- for everything that will come my way, so I made the decision to extend the cap on my long run mileage.

I did take many things into consideration before making this decision; risk of injury, ability to recover from longer and more demanding runs, time constraint, overall increased fatigue, etc.  I decided that keeping up with my stretching, massage, and recovery days should keep my chronic ankle tendonitis from flaring up, even with an increase in mileage.  I also made the promise to myself to BACK OFF if my ankle/hamstring/hip, etc starts to bother me.  The added value of a few miles is NOTHING when compared to the value of my body being in top shape to run the race.

My long run this past Sunday was a 9 miler and it was quite a challenge considering the heat, humidity, and poor air quality.  BUT, with a little dialogue back and forth with myself and the help of a Clif Shot Energy Gel, I made it in 1 hour and 18 minutes!!!

Can’t believe its less than a month to go!!!! I’m getting EXCITED and trying to recruit as many people as possible to come cheer me on!!! And if you’re in the area on Oct 2nd, I’d love to have YOUR support!