Category Archives: Races

Remember this?

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So remember that one time when I registered for a half marathon? Have no fear, folks, it’s still on. There has, however, been a little glitch in the training for said half marathon. This glitch is known as plantar fasciitis.

That’s right, for the past five weeks I have been down for the count when it comes to running….and walking….pretty much any kind of weight bearing activity.

As you can probably imagine, this has greatly impacted my training schedule. Last week was the first week that my foot felt like it could be used again in a normal fashion. I am happy to announce that I am running free of pain once again. 🙂

Battling any kind of injury is hard. Battling an injury while in the midst of training for something can be especially devasting. So what’s a gal (or guy) to do when something like that happens? 

1.) Well first off, try not to fret too much. Eh hem, Lebron, get it together dude. It’s gonna be okay.

2.)  Follow the R.I.C.E. method:

In case you need a picture play-by-play….

        A.) REST

        B.) ICE

 

        C.) COMPRESSION

          D.) ELEVATION

 

3.) I know some people aren’t keen on medicating certain things, but I’m an advocate taking anti-inflamatories to limit the swelling, as long as the directions for taking the medication are followed correctly. So what type of med’s are the best?

No, no, no…I’m not talking about THAT kind of medication….although that would work to superficially lessen the pain. 🙂 The best med’s are Advil (ibuprofen) or Aleve (Naproxen). 

Following the R.I.C.E. method is the first form of treatment that any physician would recommend. Most of the time this form of treatment works, but there are instances where more medical attention is necessary, e.g, surgery.

The important thing is to give yourself adequate time to heal. The human body is amazing and you’d be surprised what it can do if you just let it do it’s thang.

All in all, it sucks that this injury happened right when I was supposed to begin training for my half. All I can do is suck it up and be extra diligent with my training going forward. Being physically able to perform is essential to most sports, but I feel like the mental component is half the battle when it comes to running especially. That’s what I’m going to be focusing on during the remainder of my training. Hopefully by the end of my training and after the race, this is what I’ll be like…

….except it will have my face….and not a man’s body…?? You get what I’m saying….

Build a Better Base

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Good morning, loves! Last week was pretty exciting for me. I signed up for my first half marathon. I’ve run a few races here and there over the past year, and have plenty more in the works within the next coming months, but this will be my first half. 13.1 miles of sweat, pain, and mental determination.

I approach most races with a fairly nonchalant attitude of  “I’d be happy with just finishing”. This time though, it’s different. I really want to train to the best of my ability so I can go out there, push my body to the limit (without dying, of course – that would be no bueno), and kick ass! In order to do that though, I need to prepare my body for running 13.1 miles.

I know I can do that. Once I set my mind to something, I usually accomplish it. I’m stubborn like that. 😉

In order to make that 13.1 my bitch, I’ve developed a plan. It’s nothing extraordinary or different from what any other runner would do, but it’s a plan and I’m proud of myself for thinking ahead instead of just going out there and “wingin’ it” like I usually do.

Planning = good 😀

Procrastination = bad 😦

With that being said, what is my genius plan-of-attack? Well, it’s really quite simple.

I’m going to follow Hal Higdon‘s intermediate half-marathon training plan. This is a pretty standard twelve week plan that encompasses longer distance runs on the weekends, tempo and pacing runs, a few prep races of varying distances, strength training, and some speed work for good measure.

I chose the intermediate plan as opposed to the Novice 1 or 2 because I already run 15-20 miles per week (That’s a typical week, one in which I’m NOT a lazy bum….cough…*last week*…cough, cough) and already have a semi-solid base.

What I AM going to do a little differently though, is really use these next 8 weeks to build my base. Runner’s World had an excellent article out called “Build Your Best Training Base” which emphasized focusing on building a strong base PRIOR to actually starting your training.

This is what it will look like:

Day 1
Long run 45 to 90 minutes at what coach Jenny Spangler calls “a slight level of discomfort,” or a moderate effort

Day 2
Rest, cross-train, or do a short, easy run

Day 3
Run 20 to 60 minutes at a moderate effort

Day 4
Long fartlek 3 or 4 3-minute surges at a 10-K to 10-mile effort, with 3 minutes easy running between fast segments

Day 5
Rest, cross-train, or short, easy run

Day 6
Hills 45 to 60 seconds at a hard effort; start with 4 repeats, build to 8 to 10; walk or jog downhill between repeats

Day 7
Rest

Day 8
Long run 45 to 90 minutes at an easy, conversational pace

Day 9
Rest, cross-train, or do a short, easy run

Day 10
Run 20 to 60 minutes at a moderate effort

Day 11
Short fartlek 10 to 15 minutes of 30-second to 2-minute bursts at a hard effort; recovery is equal to the duration of each fast segment

Day 12
Rest

Day 13
Rest or Run 20 to 60 minutes at a moderate effort

Day 14
Long tempo (or race): 20 to 40 minutes at half-marathon to marathon effort; 5-K or 10-K at a brisk but controlled pace

(Source)

I’m going to follow this two-week block with one week of moderate runs. I will repeat the three-week sequence two or three times for a total of six to nine weeks of base training.

Did you follow that? Sounds intense, doesn’t it? It sounds like music to my ears (and shins)! Building a good base will allow me to step up my workouts when half training officially begins.

It’s kinda weird how excited I am for this. It’s gonna be AWESOME! 😀

SCC 10K Fun Run Race Recap

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Yesterday was my first race in three years. The news predicted that the weather would be less than ideal: gloomy, cold, and rainy. Not exactly prime racing weather. Therefore, I put on my favorite black, long-sleeved, dri-fit tech shirt, and black pants. The race was scheduled to start at 7:30, so I woke up at 5:00 in order to eat breakfast and to make sure that I had everything I needed. On the list: headphones, iPhone, and iPhone running case.

After I determined that I had everything together that I needed, I made my pre-race breakfast of a plain white bagel and banana.

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Banana’s are race fuel too! Winking smile I also had some much needed caffeine in the form of coffee. Ready to race!!

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After breakfast, I gathered my things and headed to the race. I got the race 30 minutes prior to it starting – just enough time to grab my packet from the expo. I didn’t bring my camera with me at the race – so unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures. Sad smile

Any who! Back to the recap. I had managed to take a couple minutes beforehand to do some knee-high’s, butt-kick’s, and stretching. I made my way over to the start and immediately went to the back of the line. I knew there were much faster people there than I, and didn’t want to be herded like cattle through the start.

At 7:30 sharp, the horn went off and the race began! My strategy for this race was to keep a steady pace and kick it up a notch in the end to finish strong. I’ve ran too many races where I’ve gotten caught up in the excitement of it all, which meant I started out too fast and burned out towards the end. I wanted to PR (personal record) for this race, but mostly, I just wanted to run the whole thing without walking or stopping and to finish strong!

The course itself was rolling to flat, with a couple of hills thrown in. The first mile was a loop around the campus and passed by really quickly. Remember how I said the weather was supposed to be gloomy, rainy, and cold and that’s why I wore pants and my black tech shirt? Yeah- well the weatherman lied. I immediately regretted that decision within half a mile as the sun was beating down on me.

Mile two was probably one of the hardest miles for me because 3/4 of it was a steady, uphill climb. The elevation wasn’t very steep- but it was loooooong. I saw SO many people walking up it. (I don’t particularly enjoy hills, but thank goodness I force myself to run routes that have hills!) That gave me the push I needed to keep going and I managed to pass quite a few people. Every time I passed someone, it just made me want to keep running that much more.

Miles three through four were  rolling hills through a historic area of Cottleville, MO. Those two miles were littered with cobblestone streets, cute boutiques, and dainty restaurants and pubs. Miles three and four were probably my favorite because it was scenic and a nice distraction.

When I saw the marker for mile five, I knew I had just enough juice for me to pick up the pace from 10:00 to 9:00 min/mile. Mile five seemed really long. It was completely flat, but wasn’t scenic, wound along a busy road, and I was already super duper hot. Not my fav.

Finally, the end was in sight! As I approached the finish line, I saw so many people cheering and waving! It really was inspirational! I sprinted the last tenth of the mile and ran through the finish. My official time was 1:05:17. I PR’D by over 15 minutes! I finished 196th out of 270 runners. Not bad for starting at the very back of the pack! Winking smile 

Afterwards, I joined in with everyone else and enjoyed an ice cold bottle of water, a few pretzel’s, and a DELICIOUS smoothie from Smoothie King (one of the sponsors). It was AMAZING!

Overall, I really enjoyed this race, the course, and the camaraderie- a perfect end to my racing hiatus, and a perfect beginning to the spring and summer racing season! I can’t wait to sign up for more races!

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