#WERUNDC

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…I ran 13.1 miles and lived to tell the tale. It was the craziest experience. I’m still trying to process it between justifying literally every caloric splurge that comes my way and nursing my poor aching muscles.

First thing’s first! I meant to post one last training update prior to race-day but since that didn’t quite make it I’ll do a brief synopsis of the couple weeks leading up to last Sunday:

Training Recap:

The last three Sundays before the race I did long runs that consisted of 10 miles each. The first time, the run was only meant to be 9, but I ended up running an extra mile out of the way to find a stupid bathroom! Thank goodness for the tourist center of Old Town Manassas, that’s all I have to say. These runs were not the best. I always started out strong but towards the end I have to say I got pretty sassy. I was thirsty, I was tired and my legs felt like lead. I often became delirious towards the end of these runs, yelling to Zach up ahead all of the cold beverages I wanted to be drinking. Water, water, water, lemonade, water, coke, beer… yeah even beer sounded good to me which is quite the phenomenon. I began to greet landmarks like they were old friends and I felt like George Bailey from It’s a Wonderful Life: “Hello public library! Hello purple piece of trash on the ground! Hello you old Building & Loan!” I learned a couple critical things from these runs that helped me during the race:

1. Do not eat a large amount of food prior to this run, no matter how long you wait after. Also, do not eat nothing.
2. Drink a lot of water the day before. It still will not be enough. So stop at every water station possible even if you’re not parched.
3. The more you stop to walk, the harder it is going to be to get going every time. I swear by the end of these runs my legs weighed one ton each, and I had to use all my strength to lift them off the ground.
4. Once you feel yourself starting to get a little exhausted, switch up your form or your pace. Use some different muscles even if it means going a little faster because you’ll still feel relief from your tired muscles you’ve been using.
5. For the love of God know where the nearest bathroom is at all times.

My 10-miler the last weekend was different though and much, much better. We were in Williamsburg for Easter and did our run Sunday morning before church – and I think running early in the morning before a day of meals made a huge difference. I also think different scenery made it better. It was a gorgeous run through woods, fields and by the water down in Jamestown. Regardless, it made me a lot more confident for the race and I really enjoyed tapering down for the rest of the week! 3 miles honestly seems like a warm-up now. So basically the race was a 3 mile warm-up for a 10 mile run? Or a 3 mile run with a 10 mile warm-up?

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Race Weekend:

I don’t think I could have asked for a better weekend. It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time! On Friday afternoon Cait (who I ran the 10k with) came up from Richmond and we hung out, had some dinner and then at 11pm we headed to Dulles to pick up Kelly from the airport. Her flight from Phoenix arrived on time and we successfully collected her and came home, and went to bed late after some much needed (if delirious) catching up. Saturday morning we woke up and had a leisurely breakfast/coffee, got ready and began the journey out to DC. We were there within the hour and were able to check into our hotel room early, awesome. We stayed at The Quincy Hotel near Dupont and I was really pleasantly surprised. The room was huge and had plenty of room for us to set out our race stuff for the early next morning, and the staff was really accommodating – they even set out water bottles for us the next morning! After we dropped off our things we went to Georgetown to find the expo and pick up our race packets — dangerously conveniently located right next to the Nike store. I justified all my obscenely expensive merchandise by wondering if I would ever do something like this again? Better get everything I want now just in case. My one text to Zach that afternoon was “At the nike store, and I’m sorry in advance.”

Next to the store was the huge iconic “WE RUN” sign made up of all the runners names. It was so fun to find each of ours and pick them out amongst the 15,000.

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I registered with my full name because I was nervous they would question my old college i.d. being my maiden name. They didn’t even check it.  -___-

Our packets mainly included a race day shirt and brochure, and our bibs. As soon as I saw my bib I started to get a little nervous, it made it so real and I was more aware than ever that bright and early the next morning I was going to run for a longggg long time. As we made our way into the expo though, the nerves turned into excitement we sampled energy drinks and protein bars and signed the wall of runners.

Walking down the beautiful streets of Georgetown with thousands of other excited runners was just plain cool. It gave me goosebumps thinking that I was included in this big group of badasses and that tomorrow I would join the elite club of half marathoners.

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We were able to take a peek at this years Tiffany’s necklace design — it’s different every race and this year we lucked out because it is super cute and totally wearable!

That night we settled into the hotel, carb loaded it UP with some pasta and passed out after some punchy hilarity that I have missed so much since graduating and being with these girls 24/7. It was so special for me to spend that time with Kelly, Cait, Anne and Kyra because real life seems to just kind of grab you by the shoulders and shake you around when you graduate college. It’s such a tumultuous time in all our lives, figuring out where we want to be and what we want to do, where we’re MEANT to be, that it is the biggest blessing to find time to be with each other here and there. No matter where we live or how long the time is in between, it’s always the best time and I hope it stays that way forever. I know it will. It is so refreshing and I come away from it feeling full and happy. I am so thankful for all of you girls!

I hardly slept and 5:30am came all too quickly. We were up and at ’em and arrived at Metro Center to find our corrals by 6:45, bright eyed and bushy tailed.

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Miles 1-5:
These first few miles flew by. I am surprised by this because usually at least the first mile is pretty tough for me while I’m getting into my groove. I just always feel so clunky and all over the place. It must have been the exciting atmosphere and the crisp morning air that distracted me. I had decided to wear my old Columbia fleece that morning and then toss it when I got warm — lots of people did this and the garments were donated to the homeless afterwards. It was chilly at first but by the first half mile I was hot and tossed the jacket onto the sidewalk. I settled into a good pace and genuinely enjoyed these miles around the Capitol, the mall and over the Memorial Bridge. I think the words “genuinely enjoyed” and “running” together in the same sentence is probably the biggest accomplishment of this whole process for me, as I never thought I would ever ENJOY running. The bridge portion of the race was just crossing over it and then doubling back across so I actually saw Cait ahead of me which was fun!

Miles 6-8:
At this point, let’s just say I was becoming much more aware of the situation at hand. My legs would get stiff every so often, especially if I slowed down for water/energy shots. I tried not to hit every water station to make my pace more consistent. To be honest I may have blacked out at some point during this portion because I don’t remember a lot of it. I wish I could have said the same for the miles to come.

Miles 9-11:
Gooooood gracious these were a doozy. It didn’t help that these miles of the race were around the East Potomac Golf Course [see above course map], and man, once you passed the Jefferson Memorial it was pretty desolate all the way around that god-awful peninsula. There were no spectators hardly at all and it was just one long straightway for 3 miles. Physically, I was struggling. Mentally, I was dying. I had chosen not to listen to music, since post-concussion I hadn’t been training with any, so there were very few distractions. I started to feel little pangs of self doubt, as my legs started to ache more heavily and I got insanely thirsty. The first miles of the race it had seemed like there were water stations every half mile and suddenly it was like #werunthesahara out there. When we finally did get to water, it took everything in me not to grab every cup from every volunteer and chug myself into oblivion. The problem here, around mile 11, was that once I stopped to drink 10+ cups of water my legs seemed to gain approximately 100lbs each. Ah, my old familiar lead companions. I was hobbling down the road like I’d never used legs before and I was freaking out! I knew it would be harder to start up the longer I did! But I could not make my legs go. I checked my watch, took a deep breath, and said out loud “one more minute, then you go.” After another 60 seconds I used all the energy I had left to lift my anchors legs up and awkwardly begin running again.

Miles 12-13:
I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Literally, mile 12 was through a tunnel and at the end of it we were almost to the finish. When I came out, right there on the sidelines were Zach and Kelly, cheering me on like crazy!!! It was amazing how much that rejuvenated me. It gave me just enough juice to push a little harder towards the finish. The way the turn in the road was situated allowed Zach and Kelly to run to the other side and see me just as I was crossing the finish line, along with both of Zach’s parents! I got to see all of them yelling and carrying on and even managed a little wave as I summoned one last burst of energy and sprinted with everything I had to the finish. This photo that they so kindly tagged me in shows all my emotions at this point; I like to call it my America’s Next Top Model pose.

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I waited in line impatiently just after crossing the finish line. All I wanted to do in this life was SIT DOWN. ANYWHERE. But no, we all had to wait around, for what? I started asking everyone around me feverishly “what are we doing?? Why are we waiting in line? Do I have to stand here? What is this for???” until finally someone politely told me that I was welcome to move out of the line and leave, if I didn’t want my Tiffany’s necklace. Welp, that shut me up because heaven help me I was going to get my necklace. And I did. And it is beautiful and I will actually be wearing it every day from this point forward.

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We all met up and went back to the hotel to shower, followed by the best possible recovery/reward lunch ever: Shake Shack. I think the picture eliminates the need for a description.

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On Sunday after we were finished, showered and fed I was pretty certain I was never going to do another race, ever again. I thought to myself how do people sign up for more of these things? I was so happy to be done. But I will say that the more the time passes, the more I can see why they do. It’s a contest against yourself and those are always the hardest to ignore. At the beginning of my training I said I wanted to get 2:30 or below for this race. When I got my concussion I was forced to amend this goal to 2:45 having taken 4 weeks off so close to the race, unfortunately. However I DID get exactly 2:45:24 according to my race chip! So now I can’t help but think… if I trained again with non-concussive conditions, could I get below a 2:45? A 2:30 maybe?? I can say that I completely get it now, that this kind of stuff is a total emotional journey and you learn so much about yourself in the process, blah blah blah. It’s all true! And what an amazing feeling to have signed up 6 months ago, and have ran 5 days a week (mostly) for all those 6 months! I am so proud of myself. I’m a little burnt out on training right now but I don’t doubt that if I’m asked again in a couple weeks it will be hard to say no.

I couldn’t have done it without my amazing coach, also known as my husband. Seriously, all those days of dragging me out of bed after work when all I wanted was to take a nap. All those runs where I would be so snippity and frustrated and he loved me anyway. He pushed me to my limits during our speed runs and encouraged me when I wanted to give up on long runs. He taught me how to strategize my speed during a long race, who knew people even did that?? Zach is a man of great patience and love and I am truly grateful. Seeing him at the finish line cheering for me was the best part of the whole day. In the meantime, we’ve purchased the Insanity program and will do that for the next 60 days and I can’t WAIT to switch up the work outs for awhile. Stay tuned for different kinds of training updates!

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run

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The time I gave myself a concussion

I feel that I should preface this post with a little anecdote.

Once upon a time my friends and I were (are) big fans of comedian Dane Cook. One of the most popular Dane Cook bits is about “The Friend Nobody Likes.” He says we all have that one friend in the group who is awkward or annoying or whatever it is, and everyone likes to bash them when they’re not around. If you don’t think your group of friends has one, well it’s you. The friend in his example is named Karen. I would post the link but its pretty vulgar (oops).

My friends and I were lucky enough to come across this delightful piece before our freshman year of college. Let me rephrase that actually. My friends were lucky enough to stumble upon this, and I really must have hit the jackpot because you know why? For some largely unknown and ridiculous reason, I became the “Karen.” Maybe it’s because I’m clumsy, socially awkward, I don’t know how to play it cool, I forget everything I DON’T KNOW it just happened. So ever since then I’ve been known affectionately as Karen. Kare. Kare bear. I don’t know and now that I’m typing it out it sounds like I have some pretty horrible friends but I guess that’s just one of those stupid jokes you think is hilarious in high school and the nickname sticks for no good reason. Ok, for a couple reasons here and there. Last week I gave them another reason.

I’m just going to tell it fast and get it over with. I was in the bathroom at work and I dropped my ID on the floor, bent down to pick it up, and on my way back up I smashed the back of my head right into the toilet paper dispenser. I literally cannot make this stuff up. And man did it hurt. It hurt real bad. This happened on a Friday, and I totally forgot about it until Sunday when I realized the gnawing headache I had was not going away. At all. So I went to the good ol’ docs office and surprise, here I am with my very first concussion! And to make matters worse, I’m an incredibly anxious patient. Pretty chill about injuries until I get the idea in my head that it could be more serious. Cool as a spring breeze until I commit to going to the doctor and then suddenly I turn into a 5 year old. Or maybe I actually turn into a 30 year old, who graduated from Georgetown med school. This is because I begin to diagnose myself with every medical condition I can possibly think of. I have no idea where I learned of these conditions — but I know I have every last one of them. I had to wait so long at this dang appointment that by the time the doctor came in I was in tears and planning my own funeral.

– “Not sure I remember everything… do I have post-traumatic amnesia?”
– “Do I have a cerebral contusion?”
– “Or is it intracranial hemorrhaging??”
– “It could just be a simple epidural hematoma though.”
– “BUT IT IS PROBABLY DEFINITELY AN ANEURISM.”

You have got to be kidding me. Where did I even hear these words? My dad (an actual Georgetown med grad) would be proud or possibly embarrassed, probably the latter. Must be my decade-long obsession with Grey’s Anatomy; everyone knows years of watching that trumps a residency at Hopkins.

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Vh-Callie-Torres-Calliope-Torres-Sara-Ramirez-Greys-Anatomy-Greys-Anatomy-Meme<<<< Had to

Despite the fact that it’s been over a week and my only symptom is a headache, I can’t just bring myself to relax.  I can’t know I’m in the clear and that I’m not going to have an aneurism at any moment. So I made an appointment with a neurologist juuust in case, otherwise I’m sure Georgetown grad Katie will have plenty to say about it. But don’t forget to call me with all your health concerns because I’ll skip all the unnecessary tests and questions about your symptoms, and get right to planning YOUR funeral! I should come up with a jingle.

“A nice three miles”

I’m in the middle of my 5th week of official half marathon training. I’m pleasantly surprised at how things are going, I’m sure that is, until Sunday when I am expected to run 8 miles for no reason, lolz.

But really. The beautiful thing about running is how easy it is to improve. But I hit a plateau the last couple weeks. Both with my mile time and with really pushing myself, and I have the sneaking suspicion it’s because Zach started some training of his own and I’ve been running solo! I can’t believe I’m saying that because I generally prefer the solo running experience, but Zach really does make me better (not limited to running—in all other parts of life too)! Last night it got dark pretty quickly and he didn’t want me to run by myself out on the road so he accompanied me for the first time in awhile. And it KICKED. MY. BUTT. I was breathless, gasping like a fish out of water, swearing with what breath I DID have, and in tears by the end but you know what? I ran those 3.5 miles a minute faster per mile than I did on Sunday. That is substantial, if I do say so myself. When we were finished I was weepy and kind of discouraged, even though the reality was that was pretty awesome. Mostly I think I was just tired but also, man, I really truly honestly thought I was running a 5 minute mile! I was sucking wind like I was Usain Bolt, people! I almost threw up on a passerby! BUT, progress is progress. Even slow progress is progress.

This teaches me two things:

-First and most obviously, Zach is a saint and I’ll never deserve him.

-Second, I need to be better about pushing myself to the limit. I’ve seen that I can and I should be able to do it regardless of if Zach is there! He informed me that the point where you feel like you want to barf on the side of the road is actually how you know you’re improving, so there’s that.

This past weekend we went to Williamsburg to visit the in-laws. Not only was I excited to spend time with them and see their new house complete with furnishings (totally beautiful!) but I was eager for a change in scenery for our long runs! Never did I ever think I would look forward to going somewhere for the running scenery… who am I?? I frighten myself sometimes.

Saturday was a nice 3 miles on a trail that Zach’s dad showed us. It went by in a flash, partly due to the scenery and partly due to the company of my father in-law as he rode his bike next to me! That was so much fun, I loved it. Few things are more invigorating than some good outdoor air in great company after a rough winter! The next day was set for a 7 miler and to say I was intimidated was an understatement. Luckily it was even warmer that day; I was boiling up in my Nike tights and pullover! I even got a little sun on my face! Not complaining about that. It actually wasn’t too bad, again I had company with me, giving me tips and encouragement along the way, and I settled into a decent pace. I hit a wall at about 5.5 miles though and it was a hellish nightmare rough from then on. My legs felt like lead, I couldn’t catch my breath and I was hungry (the worst of all). Periodically throughout my run my coach would have me do a burst of speed for 30 yards or so and that really helped and even though it made me more tired, as long as I didn’t settle into a slower pace than my base pace, it would help my time. ‘Lo and behold, my last and hardest mile was also my fastest! I was so proud of myself because I came down off my plateau of a 12 minute mile and averaged 11:40 for the whole 7 miles. My last mile was exactly 11:00! It was an awesome feeling. The following hour wasn’t so great, I was exhausted and there was a storm brewing in my stomach but once I got through all that I was in that exhausted, happy, almost drunken state of post-long run that I’m starting to really like- but don’t tell anyone!

In the coming weeks my maintenance runs are going to move up to 4 miles and I think I’m going to throw in another long one during the week to get more accustomed to distance. This will be made a lot easier after daylight savings—I’m sick of running in the dark after work! Brang on the sprang ya’ll.

"A nice three miles"

I’m in the middle of my 5th week of official half marathon training. I’m pleasantly surprised at how things are going, I’m sure that is, until Sunday when I am expected to run 8 miles for no reason, lolz.

But really. The beautiful thing about running is how easy it is to improve. But I hit a plateau the last couple weeks. Both with my mile time and with really pushing myself, and I have the sneaking suspicion it’s because Zach started some training of his own and I’ve been running solo! I can’t believe I’m saying that because I generally prefer the solo running experience, but Zach really does make me better (not limited to running—in all other parts of life too)! Last night it got dark pretty quickly and he didn’t want me to run by myself out on the road so he accompanied me for the first time in awhile. And it KICKED. MY. BUTT. I was breathless, gasping like a fish out of water, swearing with what breath I DID have, and in tears by the end but you know what? I ran those 3.5 miles a minute faster per mile than I did on Sunday. That is substantial, if I do say so myself. When we were finished I was weepy and kind of discouraged, even though the reality was that was pretty awesome. Mostly I think I was just tired but also, man, I really truly honestly thought I was running a 5 minute mile! I was sucking wind like I was Usain Bolt, people! I almost threw up on a passerby! BUT, progress is progress. Even slow progress is progress.

This teaches me two things:

-First and most obviously, Zach is a saint and I’ll never deserve him.

-Second, I need to be better about pushing myself to the limit. I’ve seen that I can and I should be able to do it regardless of if Zach is there! He informed me that the point where you feel like you want to barf on the side of the road is actually how you know you’re improving, so there’s that.

This past weekend we went to Williamsburg to visit the in-laws. Not only was I excited to spend time with them and see their new house complete with furnishings (totally beautiful!) but I was eager for a change in scenery for our long runs! Never did I ever think I would look forward to going somewhere for the running scenery… who am I?? I frighten myself sometimes.

Saturday was a nice 3 miles on a trail that Zach’s dad showed us. It went by in a flash, partly due to the scenery and partly due to the company of my father in-law as he rode his bike next to me! That was so much fun, I loved it. Few things are more invigorating than some good outdoor air in great company after a rough winter! The next day was set for a 7 miler and to say I was intimidated was an understatement. Luckily it was even warmer that day; I was boiling up in my Nike tights and pullover! I even got a little sun on my face! Not complaining about that. It actually wasn’t too bad, again I had company with me, giving me tips and encouragement along the way, and I settled into a decent pace. I hit a wall at about 5.5 miles though and it was a hellish nightmare rough from then on. My legs felt like lead, I couldn’t catch my breath and I was hungry (the worst of all). Periodically throughout my run my coach would have me do a burst of speed for 30 yards or so and that really helped and even though it made me more tired, as long as I didn’t settle into a slower pace than my base pace, it would help my time. ‘Lo and behold, my last and hardest mile was also my fastest! I was so proud of myself because I came down off my plateau of a 12 minute mile and averaged 11:40 for the whole 7 miles. My last mile was exactly 11:00! It was an awesome feeling. The following hour wasn’t so great, I was exhausted and there was a storm brewing in my stomach but once I got through all that I was in that exhausted, happy, almost drunken state of post-long run that I’m starting to really like- but don’t tell anyone!

In the coming weeks my maintenance runs are going to move up to 4 miles and I think I’m going to throw in another long one during the week to get more accustomed to distance. This will be made a lot easier after daylight savings—I’m sick of running in the dark after work! Brang on the sprang ya’ll.

The great gluten cleanse of 2014

Remember the time I said I didn’t really eat that much gluten but I’m cutting it out for max performance? Piece of cake. Yet as I write this I am suffering the very withdrawal symptoms I was positive I would avoid.

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Me regarding my relationship with breads

Yes, withdrawal.

According to one of my fav books, Wheat Belly, gluten is extremely addictive. But we all knew this! “I’m totally addicted to bread OMG-gotta-have-it-gimme-doze-carbz” yeah of course it’s addictive, it’s comforting and delicious. But I mean it is ACTUALLY, chemically, addictive. My last piece of bread was Sunday. Yesterday was fine. Today at about 11am, my body started craving some gluten in a mean way. I got light-headed. I got the shakes. I got HANGRY. I  ate my lunch hoping that would quell it. Still my arms felt week, my eyes felt droopy and my blood sugar felt low. My hands tremble as I type this. Then I realized the only thing that sounded good to eat was pizza, a baguette, macaroni and cheese,  and a 5 dollar foot long (Januany!). I have eaten until my stomach is full and I have zero energy. I remember feeling this way when I detoxed the gluten about a year ago but I guess I forgot… more importantly I forgot how long it lasts??? I’m hoping it will get better tomorrow. I’m scared of how it will affect my runs.

Speaking of running, Zach and I found a really cool place to run last weekend! It’s just down the street from our place. It’s a park with different trails but the trails are still pavement so I liked that particularly because I didn’t know if I was going to keep these new running shoes.

But the route was pretty and I have decided 45-50 degrees is my favorite temperature to run in. Just right for pants and the long sleeves of my new Nike running pullovers. Zach was a good running coach, making me take it up a notch every once in awhile and at the end despite my whiny 5 year-old protests we ran straights (jog-sprint-jog over the course of 30 yards). Apparently it will improve speed! I think I have finally found some shoes that will work for me,  a nice ugly pair of Saucony Triumphs. Why do all the shoes that work for me have to be hideous? I don’t even care, as long as my foot doesn’t fall asleep mid-run I’m satisfied. Is everyone sick of me talking about running? Probably.

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 See what I mean? Bleh

Today we had a snow day and were able to stay home from work. Zach and I each called our office hotlines to see if we’d have to go in, at about 430am this morning. Zachs was closed, mine was OPEN. “Code green.” Oh heck no. I was so mad! I punched my pillow and groaned about it for half an hour because I couldn’t go back to sleep, dreading that I’d have to wake up soon and go to work while Zach got to stay home. Half an hour later though, my coworker said they had changed the hotline message and sure enough when I called back it was “code red!” There was much rejoicing and whooping until Zach said to be quiet and go back to bed. *yay* We spent the morning watching daytime morning shows, which always makes days off feel the most luxurious to me. Then we went for a good ol 3 miler out in the blustery snow and I threw a delish sounding recipe into the crockpot for tonight (chicken and spinach lasagna! NOM) and best of all, I got to Skype my sister soul Sam in Sevilla for a solid couple hours! I can’t believe we just hit 3 years of friendship, and I will be forever grateful to my Spain experience for her. I always feel so refreshed and happy after we talk! I just love her. I love you Sam because I know you’re reading this! Viva Sevilla la maravilla.

SAMJust for fun… our first picture we ever took together! Oops bye

It's time for a….

…training update!

It has been almost 5 weeks since I started training for this trendy little half marathon. As I mentioned I started doing the Hal Higdon 10k plan since it was too early for the 12 week half plan. Overall I did really well I think! Out of the 56 days I only missed 7 workouts. Surprisingly, I did even better than normal when we were home for Christmas! I was motivated to get outside because of the balmy temperatures and I didn’t do too bad with holiday feast binging either. I was satisfied with the break, fitness wise. I broke two 5k PR’s and broke the 5 mile mark that week! Outside, even, plus the area where my parents live is HILLY. They are no joke. I won’t even mention how many times I considered throwing myself into the path of oncoming traffic on those hills.

The challenge was the following week. I left my running shoes in Raleigh and wasn’t able to get new ones right away, and then when I did they were too big. By the time I’d gone back to get the right size I had missed 3 workouts. Whoops. Now that I have the right size shoe, I think it’s the wrong shoe. My old Asics were pretty neutral, with a big toe box (which I need because I tend to strike on the balls of my feet). The new ones are still Asics but they’re a different model with a stability feature – it feels like a bizarrely placed bump on the outer sole and after 1-2 miles it makes my toes go numb. Great! I have also noticed knee pain since using them a couple times. I had read about unnecessarily stability shoes causing knee pain but is it supposed to be after that few uses?? Not sure but I don’t like it. So, I will be venturing back to the running store again this weekend to force them to help me. Before I had my heart set on Asics but at this point I don’t really care what they are or what they look like as long as they work! The official half marathon plan starts this Sunday so I want to be all set by then.

The new training plan starts with a “long run” of 3 miles which is good news for me, since my weeklong lack of running really set me back. Yesterday I was able to run a solid treadmill 5k, so I feel a little better but I think I would struggle with 6 miles this Sunday like the 10k plan calls for. I have a couple goals for the coming weeks with regard to this training business:

          Don’t skip days! I didn’t really have a problem with this these past couple months. But this new plan adds an extra running day so I’ll have to stay extra motivated.

          Run outside. Most of my recent training consisted of the treadmill. This is because of the weather/shortened daylight. I don’t want to run in my neighborhood after dark and unfortunately it gets dark before I get home right now. But I am going to make the effort to go at lunch during the work day, and make up the time with a slightly longer workday.  I also have heard there are several trails near where I live, this will be perfect for weekends and when it stays light out longer!

          Eat well. I always notice I’m not operating at max efficiency when gluten is in my everyday diet. Normally it isn’t a huge deal and I’m willing to make the sacrifice for a sandwich or pizza, and you can’t even imagine the things I allowed myself over the break. But I definitely notice a TON more when I’m running. I feel like there is lead in my stomach and that is not conducive for a good run. The same goes for sugar. So for the next 12 weeks I’m going to pretty much cut out gluten again, and stick to a clean diet.

          Don’t weigh myself. Because who likes starting their day off in tears which seems to be inevitable.

          Stay motivated by checking in with my friends who are also running the race!

My goals for the actual race day are pretty simple. One of my coaches (my father-in-law) told me to have 3 goals, from basic to more challenging. So I decided my first goal will be to finish at all. My second goal will be to stick to a steady pace mile for mile. My third goal is to finish in 2:30. Is that so much to ask?

It’s time for a….

…training update!

It has been almost 5 weeks since I started training for this trendy little half marathon. As I mentioned I started doing the Hal Higdon 10k plan since it was too early for the 12 week half plan. Overall I did really well I think! Out of the 56 days I only missed 7 workouts. Surprisingly, I did even better than normal when we were home for Christmas! I was motivated to get outside because of the balmy temperatures and I didn’t do too bad with holiday feast binging either. I was satisfied with the break, fitness wise. I broke two 5k PR’s and broke the 5 mile mark that week! Outside, even, plus the area where my parents live is HILLY. They are no joke. I won’t even mention how many times I considered throwing myself into the path of oncoming traffic on those hills.

The challenge was the following week. I left my running shoes in Raleigh and wasn’t able to get new ones right away, and then when I did they were too big. By the time I’d gone back to get the right size I had missed 3 workouts. Whoops. Now that I have the right size shoe, I think it’s the wrong shoe. My old Asics were pretty neutral, with a big toe box (which I need because I tend to strike on the balls of my feet). The new ones are still Asics but they’re a different model with a stability feature – it feels like a bizarrely placed bump on the outer sole and after 1-2 miles it makes my toes go numb. Great! I have also noticed knee pain since using them a couple times. I had read about unnecessarily stability shoes causing knee pain but is it supposed to be after that few uses?? Not sure but I don’t like it. So, I will be venturing back to the running store again this weekend to force them to help me. Before I had my heart set on Asics but at this point I don’t really care what they are or what they look like as long as they work! The official half marathon plan starts this Sunday so I want to be all set by then.

The new training plan starts with a “long run” of 3 miles which is good news for me, since my weeklong lack of running really set me back. Yesterday I was able to run a solid treadmill 5k, so I feel a little better but I think I would struggle with 6 miles this Sunday like the 10k plan calls for. I have a couple goals for the coming weeks with regard to this training business:

          Don’t skip days! I didn’t really have a problem with this these past couple months. But this new plan adds an extra running day so I’ll have to stay extra motivated.

          Run outside. Most of my recent training consisted of the treadmill. This is because of the weather/shortened daylight. I don’t want to run in my neighborhood after dark and unfortunately it gets dark before I get home right now. But I am going to make the effort to go at lunch during the work day, and make up the time with a slightly longer workday.  I also have heard there are several trails near where I live, this will be perfect for weekends and when it stays light out longer!

          Eat well. I always notice I’m not operating at max efficiency when gluten is in my everyday diet. Normally it isn’t a huge deal and I’m willing to make the sacrifice for a sandwich or pizza, and you can’t even imagine the things I allowed myself over the break. But I definitely notice a TON more when I’m running. I feel like there is lead in my stomach and that is not conducive for a good run. The same goes for sugar. So for the next 12 weeks I’m going to pretty much cut out gluten again, and stick to a clean diet.

          Don’t weigh myself. Because who likes starting their day off in tears which seems to be inevitable.

          Stay motivated by checking in with my friends who are also running the race!

My goals for the actual race day are pretty simple. One of my coaches (my father-in-law) told me to have 3 goals, from basic to more challenging. So I decided my first goal will be to finish at all. My second goal will be to stick to a steady pace mile for mile. My third goal is to finish in 2:30. Is that so much to ask?