Tag Archives: #halfmarathon

Half Marathon Training – Week 5

Last week I hit a few set backs in my half marathon training. But as part of my commitment to stay accountable, I’m sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly.

On Super Bowl Sunday I came down with a nasty head cold that really put me out of commission for a few days. I’m typically one to try to run through a cold because I think it actually helps loosen up the bad stuff and gets things moving. But this time my body was telling me I needed the rest, so I honored that. 

I took a few days off and by Wednesday I felt like I could struggle through a 3 mile run to get back on track. 

Here’s what the week looked like:

Monday – rest (sick)

Tuesday – rest (sick)

Wednesday – 3 mile run (30 minutes)

Thursday – 4 mile run (40 minutes)

Friday – shovel snow

Saturday – 3 mile run (30 minutes) 

Sunday – rest

Total Miles – 10

I was pretty happy with myself for getting 4 workouts in, all things considered (and if your wondering if shoveling snow counts as a workout, come on over to our place on a snowy day. BYOS).

My diet on the other hand was pretty poor. Something about being sick just made me crave sweets. I honestly think the real issue is that being sick stresses me out. I never used to think of myself as a worrier; boy, how things have changed. I resorted to SO many peanut M&Ms it’s embarrassing… not to mention Fruit Loops and Valentine’s Day chocolate

So on Sunday I made a huge batch of Minestrone soup to have for lunches this week in an effort to get back on track. Sugar is definitely addictive to me. But once I can work through a few days without it I don’t usually crave it. 

  

In a surprising twist of events all of that sugar must have benefited me because I felt good running 6 miles this Monday. It’s so strange how just when you think you have it all figured out, you run like a champ after pounding sugar for a week straight. I know from past experience excessive sugar usually slows me down and makes me feel like I’m running with bricks strapped to my feet. But I guess sometimes the opposite is true and I can eat clean and still feel that way, so I’m definitely not complaining! 

Incase you missed it, you can read about my 2016 Half Marathon plan here: 

2016 Half Marathon Plan
How do you keep yourself accountable? 

Can you tell a difference in the way you feel when you eat a lot of sugar?

Half Marathon Training Plan + Mantra

This year I signed up for my 4th half marathon.  

  
There was a time when I never would have believed that. I distinctly remember finding a book on running form at a friend’s house and thinking anyone who ran as a sport or hobby was extremely boring and insane. Yeah, that was probably a little harsh. Someone should have told me never to say never.

  
So now here I am painfully chasing down that 2 hour goal time. (And even the term ‘chasing’ is probably generous.) 

   
The past few years I’ve really floundered. My first race I pretty much ran solely on determination, and although the time was not impressive, I know I could not do that again if I tried (ahhh, youth).

2013 Pittsburgh Half Marathon – 2:21:44

 The second year that I ran the half marathon was my best. I trained, I felt good, and I improved…but I still didn’t meet my goal. 

  
2014 Pittsburgh Half Marathon – 2:08:34

The third year that I ran was filled with moving, starting a new job, and mass confusion. I actually debated skipping. 

2015 Pittsburgh Half Marathon – 2:22:19

Woof. 

So that brings us to 2016. I knew I needed to be committed to a training program, but I also needed a plan that would help me with my speed. So I launched a search… And it was surprisingly successful. 

That’s when I found RUNfit365 and was able to download their 16 Week Intermediate Half-Marathon Training Plan for free.

The plan breaks down different training techniques, explains all of the terminology, and allows you to base your training off of a goal pace. The other thing I really like about it is that it doesn’t require logging crazy miles so it’s completely attainable. 

I am on week 4, and so far I have missed the weekend runs (major fail) and replaced one easy run with a hot yoga class each week. 

So to stay on track I’m going to check in on F&F each week to report my progress, and I’m also going to have a mantra.

  

I’ve heard that having a running mantra can do wonders for your race game. Which I actually believe to be true because I definitely had one for my second half marathon. (Something along the lines of ‘Hell hath no fury like that of a scorned woman’… You get the picture.)

As cheesy as it sounds I’m going to make my mantra to appreciate that I have the time and the ability to train this year. (Having a wedding on the horizon doesn’t hurt either).

Do you have a running mantra? 

Have you ever crushed your goal time? 

The Pittsburgh Half Marathon & Some Exciting News

Good morning! I know I have been MIA lately, but I’m hoping things will start to get back to a normal pace now.  Over the past week I had a few exciting events take place!

First, the Pittsburgh half marathon was on Sunday.  I knew going into it that I was not at my best.  I struggled through an 8 mile run about 3 weeks ago, ran the Pirate’s 5k, and then pretty much stopped doing any physical activity until Sunday morning.  During my time off from breaking a sweat, I also managed to twist my knee in my sleep (I know, you can’t make this stuff up).  So as you might expect, my results were not exactly a PR.  I was actually just happy to finish.  Around mile 6 I was honestly contemplating throwing in the towel, but then I realized that as much pain as I was in I would regret quitting too much to give up.  So I toughened up, and put my mental grit to the test.

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I was so proud (and relieved) to finish after 2 hours and 22 minutes of such a miserable run.  I was also feeling a little under the weather after I challenged my body to something that I was not prepared for.  In the midst of my struggle to feel like a normal human being again, I didn’t even snap any pictures.  I was actually pretty set on that being my last half marathon ever… but how quickly the body forgets pain.  After I got moving yesterday morning and got rid of my headache I was already starting to think about how I would train better for next year.  So we shall see! But for now, I’m still getting back to normal.

First, I will eat all of the food (until my stomach feels normal again), and then I will think about a good detox plan, a new workout regimen, and then future races.

As part of that plan, I treated myself to Chipotle for lunch yesterday and it really hit the spot.

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But on another note, I am so extremely excited to share a large part of the reason I did not train properly… the house hunt in Buffalo has finally come to an end.  We signed the paperwork to build a home last Thursday!!

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I am so incredibly excited to begin this journey and to see our future home through every step of the way.  The planned completion is October, so we will have the summer to enjoy the pool in our apartment complex and day dream about all of the potential future home projects.

I hope your week is off to a great start!  It feels great to be back in the world of blogging.

BBQ Salmon BLT Salad & Sore Legs

Hola! I hope everyone can share in the sentiment that comes with a short week… so let’s just call this Tuesday – Wednesday.

Yesterday was a busy Monday.  After I got done with work I came home to let the little Beester out and play a pretty intense round of ball while waiting for Kris to get home from work.

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I bought a Pure Barre Groupon last week and I was looking forward to going to my first class today, but to be honest my legs were too freaking sore.  I went to buffaloBARRE on Saturday and having never done a barre workout before coupled with a few weeks of slacking – my legs could not deal.  We’re talking – sore to the touch, almost limping when I stand up – sore (embarrassing).

So instead we all went for a short run around the neighborhood.

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Someone can’t handle being excluded…

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B’s favorite place to be in the entire world is right between Kris and I.  You think I’m kidding… but she squeezes right between our legs if we even hug each other.

After the run I made a super yummy salmon salad.  I don’t think I’ve chosen a recipe yet from Iowa Girl Eats that we haven’t marveled over for the entire meal.  The recipe wasn’t overly difficult or time consuming either which was a major selling point.

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After the dinner clean-up I made a cup of mint tea, watched some of the Voice, and hit the sheets!

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Today on the agenda –

1. Work (happy closing to all of my fellow Accounting nerds out there)

2. 6 mile run.  I hope the weather is going to be nice today, I can’t handle another snowy, rainy day!  On a side note, I’m fairly convinced we are living in an arctic tunnel – holy crap that wind is cold.  Imagine a beach breeze… but in Alaska.  That’s what our neighborhood feels like.  I’m sure I will be appreciating this flat ground when summer rolls around, but right now it’s just painful.

Have a great Tuesday (basically Wednesday)!

Easter Eggs and A Long Run

Happy Monday!  Sadly, another weekend has come to an end.  Yesterday we started the day drinking coffee and lounging around. Those are the exact ingredients for a great Sunday morning, just incase you were wondering.  Around noon we got ready and headed over to Kris’ aunt and uncle’s house for a delicious lunch!

But first… I ate jelly beans.  A lot of jelly beans.

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After lunch we headed out to check out an open house, came home to continue our house searching efforts online, and then hit the road for a long run.  Finally!!! My legs were still extremely sore from my first barre experience, and I was feeling a little post lunch coma coming on but I finally convinced myself that if I am going to run the Pittsburgh Half Marathon the first week of May then I had to start getting long runs in.

I started the run thinking “It’s cold out. 7 miles is so excessive. I don’t know why I do this to myself”,  and then “if I can just make it 4 miles then at least it will be a good workout”, and finally “this isn’t so bad, basically only a 5k left”.  And that’s how I finished the 7 mile run.

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Dinner was baked chicken breast with rice and cream of mushroom soup.  Kris was nice enough to take charge in the kitchen while I showered, recovered, and boiled some eggs for our Easter eggs!!

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This morning for breakfast I had a whole wheat English muffin topped with almond butter and a banana.

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Have a great Monday!

Moving Day – The Closing of a Chapter

I know I have been terrible with posting this week but life has just been so darn hectic.  Tomorrow we are officially making the move to Buffalo, NY!  These past 2 weeks have been a complete whirlwind and working out and planning meals has been nearly impossible.  I’m hoping to regain some sense of routine and normalcy next week.

But in the meantime, here is an update of the past week (or two)…

Lots of lunches, wine, and emotional goodbyes

My last day of work was Wednesday and it was very difficult for me to say goodbye to my coworkers who have become my good friends and pack up my desk.  I am a person of routine and any big life changes are usually very difficult for me.  The good thing is I have been so busy that I haven’t had too much time to panic about it.  The bad thing is I am really going to miss my job and my friends and I’m afraid I will be having some serious homesickness.  My coworkers sent me off the right way though with lunches just about every day, an awesome happy hour, a myriad of thoughtful gifts, and even a homemade cake!

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It’s always so sad to start a new life chapter, but so wonderful to know that you have cultivated friendships that won’t end when a new chapter begins.

A few attempts at training for the half marathon

I hit the road one measly time so far this week for around 3 miles.  Yikes.

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But it was a beautiful day to get out with the B-ster.  Too bad I woke up this morning to more snow (I guess I should get used to it, huh?).

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More phone calls than I’ve made in my entire life

Moving your entire life, leaving a job, preparing for a new job, finding a place to live, and selling your house are no simple tasks.  I think I have made more phone calls and done more paperwork this week than I have in my whole life.  Thank goodness for Kris; I don’t know how people do all of this by themselves.

Packing, cleaning, planning, panicking

Tomorrow Kris and I are moving our necessities to the new apartment and the moving company will bring the rest next week.  Even though I feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, there is still so much to do!  Every once in a while I find myself getting to the point of overwhelmed-ness that I just feel paralyzed.  But luckily I’ve been able to snap out of it and keep moving.  I’m looking forward to being settled and getting back to my routine.  The half marathon is only 6 weeks away!!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday Happenings

Yesterday was another busy one.  I don’t know where the day went.  It went a little something like this:

6:30am – Wake up, get ready for work, take care of the Beester, eat breakfast & watch the news

8:30am – Make it to work, drink coffee, try to focus on work and not the fact that we don’t have anywhere to live yet in less than 2 weeks

12pm – Lunch at Chipotle with a few friends/coworkers. I got the “salad” with no dressing.  Which is pretty much just a chicken bowl with a little more lettuce.  I didn’t snap a picture, but here’s the run down: lettuce, brown rice, chicken, add peppers & onion, all kinds of salsa, add guacamole with a small sprite.

1pm – Back to work

3pm – Have a cup of green tea with a pomegranate blueberry & pistachio Kind bar

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5pm – Leave work, come home and have a handful of tortilla chips with white bean hummus, berries, and lime water

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5:30pm – Reheat leftovers from yesterday’s dinner

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6pm – Meet with a realtor about selling my house

7:30pm – Take the Beester for a short run (while trying to beat the sun going down and immediately regret getting the hot salsa at Chipotle)

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9pm – Take a quick shower, get in bed, read some Wild, pass out.

This morning for breakfast I had a small glass of OJ with a slice of Ezekiel bread & Justin’s Vanilla Almond butter (plus a little bonus piece – and everyone says the end slice of bread is bad)

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I also had some leftover coffee from the pot I made on Monday.  When I make too much coffee I stick it in the fridge so I can put it on ice when the need arises.  This morning is that morning:

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And now i’m off to work!  Have a great day!

How to Train For a Half Marathon in 16 Weeks

Half marathon season is finally here! Today marks 16 weeks until the Pittsburgh Half Marathon and I put together a tentative training schedule to share.  But first, I made dinner.

I found this delicious Skinny Orange Chicken recipe and made it with some brown rice and broccoli:

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On a side note – it’s Bachelor night!! (Possibly the only good thing about Mondays this time of year.)

And now for the Half Marathon training plan. Let’s get something out of the way first, I hate the treadmill.  I can probably run 3 miserable miles if I absolutely have to but I am in pure mental and physical pain the entire time.  So I am attempting to substitute treadmill time with cross training that includes cardio.  Circuit workouts and plyometrics are awesome for getting your heart rate up without having to watch that horrible little red dot go around the imaginary track over and over again.

A few notes about the plan:

1. Cross-training – for the first couple of weeks my plan is to go to EFX or PiYo as cross-training (while my FASTER groupon is still active).  After that I will use circuit workouts and strength training classes at the local gym.

2. Cardio – If the weather (or the sunlight) doesn’t break, I will probably attend spinning classes in place of running for the shorter runs the first couple of weeks.

3. Yoga – I love hot power yoga (vinyasa or flow type).  It is challenging in so many ways that are great for running.  It builds physical strength, mental toughness, and it’s a great stretch on tight hamstrings.  If you’re in the Pittsburgh area looking for a recommendation, I love Salt Power Yoga (both locations).

4. Rest days – I will have to rearrange my schedule on more than one occasion, without a doubt.  I might be feeling fatigued and need an extra rest day, have a scheduling conflict, or the weather might be bad.  My own personal preference is to do long runs on Saturdays, but Saturdays and Sundays are interchangeable.  I usually choose the day with the best weather to complete my long run. (weekdays are interchangeable – although I do try to alternate between running and yoga/cross-training).

5. Confession/Disclaimer – I have run 2 half marathons, and the most I have ever run before the race was 10 miles.  Somehow I always end up behind and don’t make it to the 13 miles… or the taper week at the end.  This training plan is a very lofty goal, and sometimes life just doesn’t allow for the commitment.  But here’s to trying!

                 
Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 cross-training cardio cross-training cross-training cross-training cross-training 4 miles January 12 – 18
2 cross-training cardio cross-training cross-training cross-training 5 miles 3 miles / rest January 19 – 25
3 cross-training 3 miles / cardio cross-training 4 miles / cardio cross-training 5 miles 3 miles / rest January 26 – Feb 1
4 cross-training 4 miles / cardio cross-training cross-training cross-training 6 miles 3 miles / rest February 2 – 8
5 cross-training 4 miles yoga 3 miles rest Cupid’s Dash 5k 6 miles February 9 – 15
6 cross-training 4 miles yoga 4 miles rest 7 miles 3 miles / rest February 16 – 22
7 cross-training 4 miles yoga 4 miles rest 7 miles 3 miles / rest February 23 – Mar 1
8 cross-training 6 miles yoga 4 miles rest 8 miles 3 miles / rest March 2 – 8
9 cross-training 6 miles yoga 4 miles rest 8 miles 3 miles / rest March 9 – 15
10 cross-training 6 miles yoga 6 miles rest 9 miles 3 miles / rest March 16 – 22
11 cross-training 6 miles yoga 6 miles rest 9 miles 3 miles / rest March 23 – 29
12 cross-training 7 miles yoga 4 miles rest 10 miles 3 miles / rest March 30 – Apr 5
13 cross-training 6 miles yoga 4 miles rest 10 miles 3 miles / rest April 6 – 12
14 cross-training 6 miles yoga 4 miles rest 13 miles 3 miles / rest April 13 – 19
15 cross-training 6 miles yoga 6 miles rest 6 miles 3 miles / rest April 20 – 26
Race Week cross-training 3 miles yoga 3 miles rest 3 miles / rest 13.1 miles!!! April 27 – May 3

Running for a Reason

I have participated in the Pittsburgh Half Marathon for the past two years.  So I am certainly not a seasoned veteran… but I guess you could say I’ve been around the block. The first year I ran I was not prepared like I should have been and ended up with a minor knee injury that could have been much, much worse. But it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! I can’t compare my first half marathon to any other experience thus far in my life, and if you are thinking about running one I highly encourage you to do it! I really expected to feel the same rush and overwhelming sense of accomplishment the second time I ran the course, and while I felt great and even improved my time, there was nothing quite like that first run.

When I ran my first half marathon I was pretty sure I would do it once to check it off the old bucket list and move on!  It’s a big commitment, and sometimes it just. plain. hurts.  But here I am, going on the third consecutive year that I’ve signed up to run, and for some reason I love it (runner’s high??).

This year I did something a little different though.  I noticed that if you scroll to the bottom of the Pittsburgh marathon website, there is a charities section called “Run for a Reason”. I didn’t know anyone who has signed up to run for a charity before, but being an animal lover I decided to go on a limb and sign up to run for the Animal Rescue League.  Although the guidelines were a little unclear, I figured the amount I needed to fundraise couldn’t be that much more than the entry fee… so if I had to choose between paying to register or donating that same amount of money to help a good cause… seems like a no brainer, right?

My favorite running buddy has fur (and the cutest little flippy ear ever!!)

So far it hasn’t been too demanding.  There are lots of opportunities to fundraise for the cause (gift wrapping at the mall, a painting with a twist night, and various vendors who will partner with the Animal Rescue League to aid in their funding).  I participated in one event, and it was so, so simple.  I got my friend’s and family’s goodwill donations and drove them to the Animal Rescue League to donate, and $250 toward my fundraiser later I’m feeling a lot less nervous about meeting my goal!

I plan to write a full review of my experience running for a reason.  If you are interested in donating to the cause you can visit the fundraising site, or you can sign up to run for your own reason!  There are tons of other charities that participate in this event, and if you run for a reason your registration is free!

I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my training plan when I have it finalized!