Fitness Friday – Half Marathon Training Update #1

Hi everyone and a belated Merry Christmas!

I hope you all had a nice time visiting with family and/or friends, eating good food, and enjoying the season. I know I did!

christmas2013

On Christmas Eve, we drove to Marin County to spend the evening with my Grandma. My mom’s family is Italian, so our own tradition is Italian food on Christmas Eve. This year, we brought that tradition to my dad’s side of family and my mom made an epic lasagna, which we enjoyed before going to church and checking out some Christmas lights in the neighborhood.

On Christmas morning, the rest of the family arrived and we had a Christmas brunch, complete with mimosas (because duh, this is me we’re talking about!) and plenty of eggy, cheesy dishes. There was no shortage of cheese this Christmas hahaha #godblessusEVERYONE!

I got a few nice things this year, but the two best gifts I got were a job offer (!!!) and my parents treated me to a new pair of running shoes.

I went to Fleet Feet to get fitted (they’re the ones putting on my half marathon!). I’d had my old shoes for almost a year, and when I got fitted last time, I told them I was running 3 miles max (which was the truth!)… this time, I made sure to get inserts and running socks as well.

Which leads me to my next subject… An update on my Half Marathon training!

I am currently in Week 4 of my “12 week” training plan. I have 12 weeks of runs planned, with 2 weeks extra in case I need to delay a long run because of travel or sickness. I actually did have a bit of a head/chest cold this past week, but luckily since I stayed in on Friday night and slept 10 hours, it didn’t get in the way of my long run on Saturday.

Last time we spoke, I had worked out a training plan…

Screen shot 2013-12-09 at 11.34.05 PM

I have since decided to create another spreadsheet showing my actual progress where I can keep track of my pace.

Screen shot 2013-12-27 at 12.31.44 PM

Any run labeled as “run” is supposed to be at an easy pace, and any run labeled at “pace” is supposed to be at race pace. I have basically been pushing myself to stay under 9 minutes for my race pace runs.

You can see last week my pace SHOT up after getting new shoes and replenishing my fitmixer Clean Energy supply. At this point, I think/hope I can manage a 2:00:00 half marathon time, which would be about 9:10 min/mile. We will of course see if I can keep up my pace as I increase my distance!

Thoughts After 4 Weeks:

aches & pains

I decided I couldn’t wait till Christmas to get new shoes because I had been getting bad blisters and, since increasing to 3 runs per week, a little bit of knee pain. So I went on December 18th, and learned that my right knee over-rotates a little bit, which I think accounts for most of the pain I experience. One of my feet is also SLIGHTLY (like less than half an inch) bigger than the other, which may cause some hip pain eventually. So basically I’m feeling a bit of wear and tear, but I’ve got fingers crossed that it’s nothing that will develop into a more serious injury!

Moral of the story: stretching and icing are my friends right now!

the course

For 5 miles or less, I usually just run loops around nearby Capitol Park or McKinley Park…But as my distance increases, I’m changing up my routes, because it would be a little boring to run around Capitol Park 8 times ;-) This past week, I ran on part of the actual Half Marathon course and was less than thrilled that there were a couple of hills…

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The view was nice though!

It motivated me to go for a bike ride on Sunday for my cross training, and I biked pretty much the entire half marathon route. It was extremely humbling, to say the least. There were way more hills than I expected on the bike trail that the course follows! This definitely solidified my plan to train on the actual course.

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lifestyle changes

One big reason why I decided to do this half marathon was to force myself to make changes as far as diet/lifestyle/etc goes. I’ve already started using my Saturday morning runs as an excuse to stay in on Fridays (and drink tea instead of beer ;) ) and the result is definitely tangible. Being well rested for my long runs makes a huge difference!

I’m hoping that once I start my job, I will get back on track as far as food goes. I’ve been all over the place: some days eating cookies for breakfast, vegetables for lunch, and going out to eat a lot more than I prefer. Tis the season, right? I’m interested in seeing how much weight I lose post-holidays, if any – I’ve put on about 10 pounds, but am fairly convinced it is mostly muscle!

Tomorrow will be my first “furthest run ever” training run of 7.25 miles, and it’ll be a fun exercise in self control to abstain from adult beverages tonight :)

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That’s it for today! I doubt you’ll be hearing much from me until the new year, since we are trekking out to my roomie’s family cabin on the Oregon Coast for New Years. We went 2 years ago and had a fantastic time, so I’m excited to escape to the little lakeside cabin again!

Happy New Year!

Do you have any fun Christmas traditions?

Half marathoners: How did you predict your race pace? Were training runs a good indicator for you?

26 thoughts on “Fitness Friday – Half Marathon Training Update #1

  1. I love this race training recap! You are doing a great job and I have a feeling you’re going to kill your half marathon pace goal. I honestly don’t think training runs have anything to do with what you’re actual race pace will be… I always run super slow during training but then an incredible amount of adrenaline kicks in and I run like a beast! My goal for my first one was 10 min/mile and I ended up doing about 8:25 min miles. You’re going to rock it!

    • That’s crazy!! I can definitely see that happening for me because A) I won’t be surprised by the course and B) It’s a REALLY popular race with lots of people, and I tend to do better when that’s the case! Plus my friend Tyler who’s coming up to do it with me is not in as good of shape distance wise, but can run faster, so I’m thinking I’ll probably push myself to keep up with him.

  2. I love this race training recap! You are doing a great job and I have a feeling you’re going to kill your half marathon pace goal. I honestly don’t think training runs have anything to do with what you’re actual race pace will be… I always run super slow during training but then an incredible amount of adrenaline kicks in and I run like a beast! My goal for my first one was 10 min/mile and I ended up doing about 8:25 min miles. You’re going to rock it!

    • That’s crazy!! I can definitely see that happening for me because A) I won’t be surprised by the course and B) It’s a REALLY popular race with lots of people, and I tend to do better when that’s the case! Plus my friend Tyler who’s coming up to do it with me is not in as good of shape distance wise, but can run faster, so I’m thinking I’ll probably push myself to keep up with him.

  3. A job offer AND running shoes??? You are basically set for life! HA, I kid. I am still so impressed with how much you are running these days, and am even more impressed with how smart you are being about training, fueling, icing, and stretching. I think you are doing an awesome job!

  4. A job offer AND running shoes??? You are basically set for life! HA, I kid. I am still so impressed with how much you are running these days, and am even more impressed with how smart you are being about training, fueling, icing, and stretching. I think you are doing an awesome job!

  5. Happy New Year and congrats on the job offer!!! So exciting! Was it one of the two internships? Glad to see your running is going so well – a 2-hour half marathon would be amazing! Hope you’re having a great start to your 2014. xoxo

  6. Happy New Year and congrats on the job offer!!! So exciting! Was it one of the two internships? Glad to see your running is going so well – a 2-hour half marathon would be amazing! Hope you’re having a great start to your 2014. xoxo

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