Category Archives: Half Marathon Training

Negative Nine

What do you snack on after a horrible 9.25 mile run?

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A handful of almonds and 4 Ibuprofen.

Yesterday was my 2nd long run of my current half marathon training. I started the program way late for my half marathon on February 13th. Last weekend I ran an awesome 9 miles! This week I was suppose to run 11. I was dreading it from the get-go.

I had worked three 12 hour shifts the previous nights, slept only 4 hours and tried to run 11 miles. I also ran in a new (and unfamiliar) area. I felt uncomfortable from the start.

About 2 miles into the run I ran up on a pitbull in a yard with no fence. I immediately turned around and started back the opposite direction. The next 2 miles back were long steady uphill climbs. It was miserable! I even had to stop and walk some. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve walked during a run. Actually … this is probably only like the 2nd time.

I stopped at 4 miles, went to the bathroom, stretched, drank some water and started again. This time I ran back and forth down my mother in law’s road. Its about 1.3 miles long from end to end. Booooring!

I thought seriously about calling it quits at 7 miles, but decided to push through. My feet were starting to hurt. Apparently my socks ($14 running socks) were too thin because my shoes felt like sandpaper rubbing against my feet. At 9.25 miles I was back infront of my mother-in-law’s house and I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. I was disappointed, but I knew with all the negative factors I faced I did the best I could at the time.

I finished my 9.25 miles in 1 hour 17 mins. Strangely, faster than the awesome 9.15 miles I ran last week. Hmmm. Weird.

I came home, showered and made myself comfort food. Breakfast for dinner … and lots of it.

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2 pancakes, chicken sausage, and a mushroom and onion omelet.

Is it weird that I put salsa and sour cream on top of my omelet? ‘Cause it was deeeelicious!

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Filed under Half Marathon Training, Long Runs, pictures

The Final Long Run

Today was my last official Montgomery Half Marathon training run. Next weekend I’ll be at a wedding out of town. I’ll be running on my own between now and then of course, but I’m definitely going to miss this great group of runners on Saturday mornings.

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I carbed up last night in preparation for my 10-miler with the group this morning. (Actually my kitchen is just quite barren right now except for pasta, thanks to my Publix coupon deals).

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Very simple, but really delish. One and a half servings of thin spaghetti, steamed broccoli, sautéed squash and zucchini and Newman’s Own Sockarooni Sauce.

The carbs must have worked because I felt great for my run this morning! Unfortunately my training partner, Marsha, didn’t feel great at all. After giving blood yesterday and partaking in too many glasses of wine last night she was seriously struggling.

We maintained a respectable (but slower than usual) pace for the first couple of miles, and then she totally hit the wall and starting having cramps. We dropped our pace significantly for several miles. At mile 7 she told me to go on without her and finish it, while she took a walking break.

I picked up the pace significantly and finished it out feeling strong!

Mile 1 – 9:04
Mile 2 – 9:29
Mile 3 – 9:29
Mile 4 – 10:00
Mile 5 – 9:57
Mile 6 – 10:23
Mile 7 – 9:14
Mile 8 – 8:20
Mile 9 – 8:10
Mile 10 – 8:08
<—- Zoom Zoom!

Marsha pushed through the pain, kept strong and finished out her 10 miles as well.

We met back up with the rest of the group and had breakfast and beer on the Riverboat.

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I had eggs, grits, a biscuit and fruit. A very yellow breakfast.

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I officially need to go grocery shopping, by my standards my fridge is barren.

I threw together a very random lunch with a few things I had in my pantry. Quite an odd combination … baked beans, vegetable rice, squash and broccoli (leftover from dinner).

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I mixed it all together and topped it with a little parmesan cheese. It was actually pretty tasty, the beans gave it a nice smoky flavor.

Lincoln and I had a scrumptious 3 hour nap together this afternoon. Then I cleaned the house and then it was time to eat again. Its amazing how hungry I get when I’m doing long runs.

I struggled to find something to eat for dinner. In the depths of my freezer I found one single lonely Falafel that I had made back in March!

I also found half of a tomato, a random cucumber, and red onion. I needed something saucy to put on it though … I’m totally out of hummus. Tim suggested I make a homemade tzatziki with sour cream, dill and lime juice.

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Rolled it all up in a Flat Out Wrap.

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Six month old Falafel + random veggies + homemade Tzatziki = amazingness!

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Filed under Food, Half Marathon Training, Long Runs, pictures, Running

4 Weeks til the Race

I’ve been a sorry sad blogger lately. I’ll have to do better! These last two weeks at work have kicked my tail and I haven’t had the energy to blog much.

I’ll quickly hit the highlights of the week:

Thursday night I had a chest pain episode just like the pain I experienced before I had my gallbladder taken out. It was pretty severe. It started as a dull ache in my chest and progressed to me breaking out in a cold sweat, panicking and feeling like my chest was going to explode. Just as Tim and I got in the car to head to the ER it eased off.

No I don’t think its cardiac related, and yes I’m going to have it checked out. I plan on calling my surgeons office after the holiday weekend to find out what I need to do.

Friday was pretty uneventful, Tim and I decided to start keeping a food journal again. He’s trying to lose 20 pounds before the race and I want to help him. He told me that he just doesn’t have the willpower to do it himself and that it makes it so much easier when I do it with him. So although I’m not trying to lose much weight (maybe 10 pounds max) I’m going to be using SparkPeople to keep a food diary. This will hopefully help me keep myself more accountable and maybe cut out some of the after dinner “peanut butter spoons”.

We have an overabundance of pasta in our house at the moment because of my couponing (I’ve been getting pasta for nearly free) and we needed to carb up for our long runs today, so I tried out a new recipe last night.

Fresh Pomodoro Pasta, White Beans and Olives.

It was a quick easy recipe to throw together.

Cook pasta. Heat olive oil and beans in pan. Add chopped olives, tomatoes and basil. Top with shredded Parm or Romano cheese. Done.

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Pretty tasty, but in the end Tim and I both decided something was missing … a dash of balsamic vinegar.

Four weeks from now is the Montgomery Half Marathon. My training partner Marsha dropped the bomb on me a couple days ago on Facebook:

Rest up for Saturday friend—13!!!

I had my serious doubts, but I’m a go with the flow kind of girl, and I’m always up for a challenge. So 13 we did … actually 13.13.

We ran the entire Montgomery Half Marathon course, just the two of us.

When the vans left the starting point this morning to drop runners off along the course at their desired distances, Marsha and I were left standing there alone together. We gave each other a look like “well, here goes nothing”.

We got going and before we knew it we were already 2 miles in and feeling good. Then 5 miles in and feeling great. It was one of those days where the weather was an absolutely perfect 75 degrees with a cool breeze and just the perfect amount of cloud coverage. Every time I looked down at my Garmin the miles were ticking away … 7 … then 9 … 11.

We finished 13.13 miles in 1:57:52.

After the run we headed down to the Riverfront for some fellowship and beer with the rest of the training group.

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I’m not sure what I’m going to do when I have my Saturday mornings to myself again and I’m not getting up at 4:30 in the morning to head Downtown for a group run.

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If nothing else we can’t say that we weren’t well prepared on race day!

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Filed under Half Marathon Training, Medical Issues, pictures, Recipes

Another Long Run … Done.

This morning I found myself dreading my Half Marathon Training run. Actually I wasn’t dreading the run itself, I was quite excited to run with my new found group of friends… it was the distance that I was dreading. Ten miles. I was feeling gun (or run) shy after last Saturday’s dreadful 7-miler.

I had mentally prepared myself that I wasn’t going to even be able to run today because the Hubby wanted a chance to go run with the group since he stayed home with the toddler last weekend. At the last minute he decided to let me go instead. What an ass angel!

For motivation this morning I scoured the internet looking up running quotes/mantras and found a few I really liked. I like to repeat mantras to myself when the going gets really tough, it gives my brain something to concentrate on besides my body.

My two favorite that I found this morning were:

“Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'” -Peter Maher, Canadian marathon runner

“My lungs are whiney babies that need to learn how to deal”. – Nike Ad

I wrote on my arm with a Sharpie marker to remind myself:

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The combination of my mantra, the great weather and my great running partners made today’s 10 miles awesome!

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We ran the 10 miles in 1:31:03 for a 9:04 pace. Not bad for a hilly course! 🙂

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In just a little over a month I’ll be able to put this baby on my car:

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I can’t wait.

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Filed under Half Marathon Training, pictures, Quotes

Double Digit Training Run

Today was my first double digit run since February 14th when I ran the Mercedes Half Marathon in Birmingham. I knew it had been a while, but it wasn’t until I consulted my DailyMile that I realized it had been THAT long.

I met up with the Montgomery Half Marathon training group again this morning downtown at 6:00 am.

I keep forgetting to get a group picture!

My running partner claimed on Facebook this morning:

‎10 miles……I’m coming for YOU!!!

To which I responded:

Aaaah, if you claim it on FB we have to do it! LOL

And we did!

I felt quite lost today because my Garmin wouldn’t turn on this morning. I needed to do a hard reset, but I didn’t figure it out until after I got back home. Just FYI if this ever happens to you hold in: reset + mode and push the power button. Good as new! I’ve had to do this twice now.

Fortunately, my partner had her Garmin so we weren’t completely disconnected. Its amazing how much we rely on technology these days.

Our course map for today looked like this:

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Other stats:

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The problem when I run like this is that I think I can eat whatever I want. And I do.

After our run we headed out for breakfast, I had a buy one, get one free coupon that was burning a hole in my pocket. Ha!

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We asked to sit outside this time so that we wouldn’t stink up the joint and so that I wouldn’t freeze to death. I get really cold after I run.

I ordered a Santa Fe breakfast wrap, but was served a Santa Fe omelet instead. Whatev.

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It was SPICY! But delicious. I ended up asking for sour cream to cool it down a little, then it was perfect!

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I thought this breakfast would keep me full enough to skip lunch altogether, but lo and behold … I found myself hungry after a few hours.

Lunch was a BBQ sandwich.

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I was just craaaaaving pork. With pickles and mustard of course, on homemade bread.

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With tortilla chips and salsa on the side …

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See what I mean about thinking I can eat anything and everything?

Don’t worry though, no animals were killed in the making of this sandwich. Its actually vegetarian bbq …

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I probably never would have tried this except for the fact that I got it on super sale (with coupons) for $0.99. Its normally $4.99. I definitely wouldn’t have paid that price for it. It was pretty delish though I have to say. But I still won’t pay full price 😛

Now its nap time if I can ever get the toddler to give in to sleep.

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Filed under Food, Garmin, Half Marathon Training, Long Runs, pictures, Running

Montgomery Half Marathon Training Begins

I’m finally getting back on track since my surgery and its time to start getting down to business with the Half Marathon training. You might remember a couple months ago I wrote a blog about Running with Structure where I mapped out my training plan for the upcoming Montgomery Half Marathon based loosely on Hal Higdon’s Advanced Training plan.

August’s plan should look something like this:

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I haven’t been super strict on myself recently since I’m just trying to get back in the groove of training. I got behind during my recovery. Today was my first “long run” since June.

I met up with a group in Downtown Montgomery this morning for a Half Marathon training run, my schedule called for a 90 minute run but I planned on doing 8 miles in however long it took me. I figured even that would be a stretch since my longest run in over a month has only been 5 miles.

I woke up at 4:00 am, I like to give myself plenty of time to wake up and get my things together before a run. We met at the Alley Bar downtown at 6:00.

I’ve never been good with directions and I don’t know this area of town as well as I should, so I was really glad to have a group to run with.

Our route looked like this:

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We kept a conversational easy pace and I had no trouble.

I ran 8 miles in 1:12. 

 After the run Tim and I headed to the Farmer’s Market for fresh veggies, but we detoured to Mimi’s Cafe for breakfast. We were both HANGRY!

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Do you get freezing cold after exercising? The cool air inside the restaurant felt ice cold, I was shivering. I grabbed my scrub jacket from the car and coffee was definitely a must.

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Bondi band + scrub jacket = a pretty crazy looking combo.

I saved my muffin for later and ordered the Capri Omelet.

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Tim got the French Toast.

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He was lusting after my omelet, so we decided to go splitsies.  My plate ended up looking like this:

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I can assure you my horrible cellphone pictures did not do this meal justice. It was amazing! I’m sure I ate every last calorie back that I burned during my run and probably more.

But who’s counting?

After breakfast we hit the Farmer’s Market. I loaded up on fresh veggies for the week.

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Tomatoes, cucumber, Pink Eye Peas and onions.

Now I’m off to bed, I signed up to work an extra shift tonight. $$$$

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Filed under Farmer's Market, Food, Half Marathon Training, Long Runs, pictures, Restaurants

Running with Structure

Its been a while since I’ve had any structure or training plan to my running. My last big race that I trained for was the Mercedes Half Marathon in February. I really enjoyed having the structure of a training plan because I felt directed, but at the same time I think it can be stressful if you don’t realize that some days its just not going to go according to plan. There are definitely pros and cons.

With my upcoming Half Marathon in early October on my mind and the possibility of a Marathon later this year or early next year, I decided to sit down today and create my own training plan for myself. I feel like right now I need the structure of a plan. Working night shift and 12 hour shifts makes it difficult for me to follow a specific plan, but I used Hal Higdon’s Advanced Half Marathon Plan as my base and changed things around to fit my work schedule more comfortably. For my first Half I used the beginner program (my 2nd was only 1 month later so I didn’t re-train), but this time I really want to push myself. I can always adjust if its too much.

The actual “plan” doesn’t start until July 5th, but I went ahead and mapped out what I’d like to do in the next couple of weeks as well based on what I have been doing lately.

One thing I definitely want to incorporate more of is strength training. I feel like I’m in a vicious cycle with muscle-work, I don’t do it because it makes me too sore, it makes me sore because I don’t do it enough. The cycle ends now!

I actually bought P90X today off of eBay. I’m scuuuuuured! But I’m determined. I realize I’ll be taking a cut in my mileage on some weeks to get in my strength training, but I think its important.

So without further ado, the plan:

June –

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July –

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August –

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September –

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Now I just have to figure out how to properly do a tempo run. 🙂

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Today may actually end up being a 3 blog day, I’m making something I’m kind of excited about for dinner tonight. We’ll see how it turns out. Stay tuned!

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