gel packs · goals · half marathon · JustGoGirl · protein · Running · running shoes · stress urinary incontinence · water

My First Half Marathon

If you told me two years ago, hell … even two weeks ago, that I could run a half marathon I would have laughed.  The farthest I had ever run was 8.15 miles and that was just recently (in the last few months).  Even in high school, when I was a good 40 lbs lighter, the farthest I had ever run was about 6 miles and that was just conditioning for swim team.

This has been a long, but steady, journey and I’m going to keep going with it.  Since March 2013 I have lost about 50 lbs and have gone from only being able to run 1/2 miles to being able to run 13.1 miles.  I’ve dropped 6 sizes in clothing and wonder what took me so long to get my butt in gear.  I removed all of the excuses and even as I sit to right this I’m looking at the clock realizing that I need to go on a run in about an hour.  The old me would have just looked out the window and thought it was too cold to go running.  Now I can’t wait to pull on my +Under Armour leggings and top, strap on my +Garmin ForeRunner10, iShuffle for tunes and my +Nike running shoes.

At the beginning of my journey I was all about running 5K races here and there but that quickly Outerbanks Half Marathon over this past Veteran’s Day weekend (11.9.14), starting slightly north of Nags Head, NC and ending in the town of Manteo.  A nice scenic, level, 13.1 mile run.  Well the only part that wasn’t level was the bridge but I conquered that so I’m going to push it from my mind.  Haha!
drains the pocket book and the distance is so short it’s almost over before it begins.  I’ve since refrained from doing the 5K races and jumped right into the

Stacking up my times with my Garmin.  I’ve gotten faster times than what you see below but they’ve all been indoors on a treadmill so they can’t be measured against a Garmin.  I think my fastest time on a 5K was sub 27 but that’s been indoors.  These are my outdoor stats since August 2014 when I started using the Garmin.

Notice there is no “Marathon” time … perhaps some day ….

I want to preface this next part by saying that I had some serious angst leading up to this event.  For the past 10 months or so I’ve had some serious stress urinary incontinence that has been quite the hurdle. Apparently having two children puts a strain on a woman’s pelvic wall and often leads to problems such as this.  Sure it’s a challenge and embarrassing but I got over it (I’m writing about it in this blog post aren’t I?).  I had sought help from my doctor in the form of medicine but found the side effects, dizziness and headaches, to far out weight the perceived benefits. I explored running with protection in the form of feminine products and even entertained the idea of Depends … but both options were too “bulky” and not conducive to running comfortably … not to mention fashionably 😉

So here is a serious shout out to +JustGoGirl for their awesome product.  I tested it in the days leading up to the half marathon as well as during the event.  Their product fit perfectly and worked as it was designed to so I could focus on what really mattered … my race. Not only was their product fantastic but so was their staff.  They rushed the shipment to me (at no extra cost) so that I would have a chance to try it before the race.  They also took the time to include a hand written note of encouragement and followed up post-race to see how I did.  Sorry for the delay in response +JustGoGirl!

Morning of the race with Tausha “Slaush” (5:40am)

I was lucky enough to run my first half marathon with someone who had run this distance before.  Thanks Tausha for the support and kicking ass on that ridiculous bridge! We had to wake up at ass o’clock to make the trip in for a 7:00AM race start. We stayed at a friend’s beach house down in Corolla. We were both very good with a short run the previous day and eating the right amount of carbs the evening before.  We went through a whole case of water that weekend just to make sure we were properly hydrated for the race.  Not that we needed it as the event was very well managed and they had water and +Gatorade stations every few miles.  Those stations also included +GU Energy Labs gels, which gave me the boost I needed when I was running out of energy.  I do have to say that the caramel or chocolate flavor was pretty gross but to be fair it was the first time I had ever tried an energy gel.  I think I’ll go with fruit flavors for the next run:)

Going into this race I had a goal of getting under 2 hours and 10 minutes.  I figured at 10 min/mile pace was a good one to start with since I had never run this far. My 8+ miles were run at a 9:30/mile and that seemed to be a pretty comfortable pace. The race folks said I did it in a 9:54/mile pace and my +Garmin had me coming in at 9:50/mile so that worked for me!  I beat my goal time and I managed to run almost the entire way without stopping (stupid bridge with your stupid steep hill that never ended).  The portion I did walk for was forced as I felt some heart palpitations coming on … which sometimes happens when I push myself too hard.  If you’ve ever had them you know that they make you dizzy and nauseous and I can only make them go away by slowing my breathing and avoiding activity until they pace.  Mine are the slow kind, as opposed to the kind that make your heart race. Not making any excuses; it is what it is.

Some stats on the run:

In hind sight I would have started closer to the front of the pack.  We were forced to the back near the 2:30 pace keeper.  We didn’t catch the 2:15 pace keeper until the down turn on the bridge hill (more like MOUNTAIN).  Next time I’ll start in the 2:00 pace group.  It was hard trying to weave through all the slower runners (and walkers).  Folks really do like to walk on the left … not sure why.  Running is kind of like driving … if you’re going to walk don’t do it on the outside … stay to the right.  Also … don’t run 5 or 6 abreast … folks can’t pass and you can’t run around others when you’re all strung out like that.

If you’re planning on running it (which I will be doing next year) look out for that hill on the bridge!

I learned many things from this race:

  1. You can do almost anything if you set your mind to it.
  2. Don’t doubt yourself.  Persevere.
  3. Make sure you have good shoes. Your knees and feet will thank you.
  4. Make sure your tunes are charged. (It was a miracle I had any with almost zero battery)
  5. If it’s below 60 degrees and near the ocean wear something to cover your ears!
  6. Chapstick … don’t forget it.
  7. Drink at the water stations … sure it slows you down but you need to hydrate
  8. Walk and drink at the water stations … don’t try to drink while running 😉
  9. Don’t chew gum while trying to eat energy gels.
  10. Make sure you have fog proof sunglasses
  11. Invest in friction gel if you’re prone to blisters … may not prevent but will help!
  12. Listen to your body and know when you can push past or when you need to stop
  13. Have your tech gear if pace is something you need to track…like constantly. (see picture to the right)
  14. Beer is good after the race (thanks for the Blue Moon)
  15. Don’t give up!
  16. Have a support group.  Thanks y’all!!

Until next year!!!

“Slaush” and I post race
Feeling good. Digging my insect glasses … ugh:(

13.1 · half marathon · Running

First Half Marathon

Just signed up for my first ever half marathon.   I’m jumping right from a 5K to a half marathon.  Yes that’s a 10 mile difference (exactly).  I feel a little crazy but I’m excited. 

Great website for calculating pace:  Here are my initial calculations based on what I feel I can run. 

 Granted the longest distance I’ve run is 7 miles at once and my pace was 9:41/mile.  I’d love to keep that pace but we’re talking almost double the distance!  I’m mostly concerned about my joints!  Need to lose about 20 more pounds before race date.  I can do it … heck I’ve got 3 months!

I’ve signed on to a training program via RunKeeper.  Summer time running is very tricky for me … I get too over heated.  Thank goodness this run is in the late autumn so temps will be really cool.  The course is also relatively flat which is also in my favor since my runs are hilly.  Let’s do this!!

10K · 5K · half marathon · Running

Runner Wanna Be

My sister has talked me into training for a half marathon.  I had mentioned doing as many 5k (3.1 miles) runs as we possibly could and then bumping it up to a 10k (6.2 miles).  I like how she skipped that part and went right for the 13.1 mile run.  Seriously?  You realize I’m 5 ft 5inches and 75 lbs over weight right?  Also you can’t forget that all my height is in my torso; I’m cursed with short legs so to watch me run you’d think you were watching Lord of the Rings at the scene where Gimli is chasing Legolas and Aragorn over the rolling hills.  Yup that’s me!  Actually this image describes me best 🙂

In all seriousness I’m not that out of shape.  I just clocked my 5k run time at 29:59 minutes.  Granted it was on a treadmill so I had full control over my pace and speed (something I really lack at while running outside).  If I don’t have a treadmill to pace myself I tend to burn out to fast because my pace is too fast at the beginning.  I’m just so darn excited to be running outside!  
This blog post will serve as my running log and my path to this so called half marathon that I’m supposedly going to run in with my sister.  Let’s do it!  Keep in mind these runs are usually second workouts as I’m doing P90X followed by Insanity.  I’ll be burning over 1200 calories a day while running 5Ks.  Hoping that my excess weight will just burn away.  Let me just say I am NOT a runner.  I grew up playing basketball and softball along with competitive swimming.  So let’s get started with tonight’s warm up run.  I’m not going to push myself to injury so if some of my runs look short (like tonight’s) it’s because I’m stopping before injury.  I’m not going to “push” through it until I’ve lost at least 25 lbs.
Day 1 (5/7/12)  {Also completed  P90X Chest, Shoulders & Triceps +AbRipperX}
20:00 minutes (14:55 @ 1.5 miles) – total miles 2.016

Day 2 ((5/10/12)
45:00 minutes – total miles 4.180
(14:52 @ 1.5 miles)  (30:57@ 5K)
Pace: 9:57 (mile 1)   9:46 (mile 2)  10:17 (mile3)  12:00 (mile 4)

Day 3 (5/14/12)  I know…I know….too many days in between each run
45:00 minutes – total miles – 4.362
1.5 mile @ 14:45 and 5K (3.1 miles) @ 30:38
Pace: 9:50 (mile 1)  9:46 (mile 2)  10:11 (mile 3) 11:33 (mile 4)
779 calories burned + 136 carbs burned

Day 4 (5/15/12)  T-Storms causing the power to go out which messed with my treadmill something fierce!
Total time: 30:00
Total mileage: 2.640 (man that garage was hot – not used to the heat….yet)
450 calories burned + 77 carbs

Day 5 (5/21/12)
Total time: 45:00 – Total mileage: 4.351
1.5 mile @ 14:42 and 5k (3.1 miles) @ 30:38
Pace: 9:50 (mile 1) 9:33 (mile 2) 9:46 (mile 3) 11:00 (mile 4)
758 calories burned + 131 carbs burned