Posts tagged Half Marathon
When I moved to Arizona my mind was blown at how many races were available. After sitting on the fence for a bit I decided to hit the ground running…literally. I started off with a bang by doing the Xterra Trail Run at Estrella Mountain and attempted to keep the steam going by registering for the Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon. Somewhere along the line I got burned out, my training became forced, and even though I was prepared race day was a bit of a fiasco. After that I decided to attempt to implement a little yoga, took a bit of a break from running, and pretty much swore off racing for the time being.
And here I am. Running still isn’t easy. (Chances of that are slim to none.) But lately I just want to run, run, run. I’m even looking at races (And am registered for Ragnar Trail PHX). In fact, tomorrow is supposed to be a yoga day and I’m thinking about passing on that going for a run….or should I? Hmmmm. There’s a piece of me that says, “Be careful Heidi. You don’t want to get burnt out again.” On the flip side my mind says, “Just shut up Heidi. You’re over thinking this. Take it while you can get it.” My guess is that the latter is spot on. Just this past weekend I went out with no distance, pace, or route in mind. Once again, it wasn’t “easy” but it was freeing.
As for races, well, I’m not sure about them either. I have a couple on my radar. The thing is, I’ve never signed up for a race to actually “race” or even PR for that matter. I’ve never thought races were required to make me an athlete. More than anything, it’s just something to do. With that being said, I obviously still fell prey to the pressures that I put on myself for training and race day, hence the burn out. I could be wrong but I’m left wondering what would happen if I totally threw all of that out and see what would happen. I know. I know. Being a creature of habit that’s not easy for me to do. But it’s definitely food for thought….and something I’d be willing to try.
The thing is, I have no one to impress. Everyone knows I’m more tortoise than hare so there’s no hype to live up to. In addition, my circle of friends is made up of the Cholla Chicks and they’re a rad group of ladies. Fast? Slow? We’re all over the place when it comes to pace. And no one cares or holds judgement.
Who knows what my plans will be in the coming months. Maybe I’ll sign up for a race. Maybe I won’t. But for now….and forever…races or not…I just run.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Another Half Marathon in the books. Nice! With temps starting around 55* and heading toward the mid 70s I settled on wearing my Nike capris, Columbia Insight Ice V Neck Top, finishing it off with my Columbia Solar Polar Long Sleeve Top (no link for that one…sorry!)
My fellow Cholla Chicks, who are all from Arizona, found it funny that I was staying “bundled” up for the run while they took to their tank tops. I know what works for me and am glad with my choice since the first half of the race was all shaded.
Beautiful flat course near residential areas.
Traffic VERY well managed by law enforcement.
Local, smallish, affordable race.
Not enough porta-potties. Even though this was a small race, only having 2 at the start was not enough. Having 1 every 2-3 miles wasn’t either, since there were absolutely no other options along the route (No businesses to stop at). With so few options this lead to lines 3 deep at the ones that were offered. Ran out of water at the post-race refueling tent. I’m slow but I know there were many behind me that also missed out on this. I always carry my own water so this wasn’t an issue for me.
Lack of vegan options for post-race fuel. Although there were several options provided most were processed bars, had something in them I couldn’t eat, and the bread offered was questionable if it contained non-vegan ingredients. I would’ve been content with a handful of grapes or a banana.
The race shirt. Unlike most people I would prefer a plain ol’ cotton tee instead of a tech tee since often they are unisex, huge, and will never be worn.
As I stated, I had no goals with this race other than to go out, have a decent run, and finish. Unfortunately for me, my body had other plans. What do you do when that happens? You roll with it.
This is when things get personal. Head’s up: TMI ahead! Men, you want to leave now.
Ever since my period arrived in 7th grade I’ve dealt with SEVERE cramping issues. The kind that cause vomiting, diarrhea, curling up in the fetal position, screaming in pain, and staying home from school. When I went on birth control it helped tremendously. I have since had a confirmed diagnosis of endometriosis, Since having a tubal ligation and avoiding unnecessary chemicals in my body, I am no longer on birth control. This also means my cycle is all over the place. I never know when it will arrive or how severe it will be. In addition, I now deal with moderate cramps a week before the arrival and my severe cramps do not start until 3-4 days into my flow.
One of my worst fears. How was I going to deal with this? Growing up I showed horses and prayed my cycle didn’t coincide with shows since I knew it’d sideline me. I stayed open minded, hoped the cramps would come and go by race day. That didn’t happen.
I spent the night before the race tossing and turning in bed. Not from nerves, but cramps. I woke up Sunday morning, did my normal routine, and once again hoped the cramps would subside. As race start time drew closer I could only feel the cramps come on stronger and stronger. Although I couldn’t control the pain any better I knew the only way I could get through it would be to keep my mind in check.
Believe it or not the first half of the race went surprisingly well. I was able to keep up with a much faster pace group than expected, but the cramps kept kicking. In turn, I could feel my GI tract giving me a run for my money. Enter the lack of porta-potties. Yargh! I thought, “If I can stop, do my business, I think I can keep on track.” But it wasn’t an option. At mile 5 I finally stopped and waited to use a porta-potty.
At mile 6 my IT band/right hip/piriformis started screaming at me in my “bad” leg. I kept keeping on. Mile 8 called for some walking. Unsure if I was about to drop a load in my pants or upchuck my breakfast I decided it’d be best to not push my luck. Not to mention, my hip appreciated the small bit of rest.
From then on it was walk/run/walk/run until the finish. There was no method to my madness. My goal at that point was to finish without shitting my pants. Seriously. Been there, done that (during a training run…don’t think I ever told ya’ll about that…that’s a story for another day). I don’t want it to happen again.
And I finished.
One of my worst race day fears realized…and I survived.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Pssst. Did you know my next half marathon was this weekend? Indeed, it is. Seems like just yesterday that I started training. But, then again, that’s what happens when you wait to officially start training until week 4 of a 12 week training plan.
How did training go? Meh. It went. Frankly, my running has felt “off” for awhile now and that didn’t change when I started training for this race. I know that I have the ability to finish a half marathon and quite honestly, I’m content with that, which leads me to the next question….
What are my goals and expectations of this race? I have none. Seriously, I don’t. If you follow me at all you know that’s not how I roll. Unlike 99.9% of runners, I do not run to PR. Remember, I don’t do speed work, I rarely run races, (even though I have a few on my bucket list. Hello, Disney!), and I still stand by my opinion that races don’t make an athlete. Although I’m the Queen of over-analyzing, it may surprise you when I say that my daily runs, AKA “training”, aren’t something I over-analyze. Any analyzing that takes place is, “What route should I take?” or “How far should I go.” Most often I just lace up and run.
What am I going to wear? I have a pretty good idea, but I’m not 100% yet. With the night temperatures getting down to the mid 40s and the day temperatures reaching up into the mid 70s or low 80s it does make for a challenge to choose the appropriate gear. I’ll definitely be wearing layers.
Even though I don’t have grandiose plans to PR I’m still excited to go out and once again share in the excitement of racing with my fellow runners, and have an excellent time. Not to mention, when you go into something without expectations, it’s bound to be a great time, right? Let’s hope so.
In honor of my half marathon, Road Runner Sports and I are collaborating to provide you with a coupon to pick up some new gear. Just enter the code at check out and you’re good to go!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
After going back and forth on what races to run this winter in Arizona I think I have a game plan. Ya’ll already know I completed my first race and the Phoenix Color Me Rad 5K is next. Last week I registered for the Fiesta Half and I really want to run the Lost Dutchman and/or Phoenix Half Marathon (Have yet to sign up for either). My plan is to continue sprinkling in some of of the remaining XTerra Arizona Trail Race Series races and I haven’t ruled out registering for a late spring race possibly in California. By then my race funds will probably have dried up but I can always hope, right?
I had a very hard time deciding between the Tucson Half versus the Fiesta Half. Ultimately price and location are what sealed the deal for me. Unfortunately with me going back and forth for so long I didn’t even realize I should be training for prospective races I wanted to race. So instead of starting at Week 1, I had to jump in at Week 4 of my training plan. Whoops.
Now, I gotta share a “keeping it real” moment. As time goes on my runs in Arizona have not really gotten much easier. Let me clarify. My runs have NEVER been easy no matter what my location. What I mean is that lately things just haven’t been clicking. Have you ever gone through a running/workout funk? I’m not talking about when your heart’s not in it, but when everything seems to be working against you. That’s where I am. I have the zest for running and training, but I feel like my shoes are full on concrete, my gear is rubbing in all the wrong places, and I’m struggling to with each step to keep forward momentum. In other words I feel like I’m revisiting my not so pleasant days of training for Rev3CP. What’s the deal?! I’ve trained for these distances before. Have I gotten soft and blocked from my memory how hard training really was?
For the past year I’ve tried mixing things up to get the fun back in my run. As I sit down and think about it, am I lacking fun in my run? No. I have the enthusiasm and drive that I had when I initially started running. I don’t hold any goals or expectations over my head so I really have no worries. I’m beginning to wonder if it isn’t really a mental issue, but a physical problem(s) that I’m having. Improper fueling, inadequate hydration, or maybe the wrong gear. I have no clue.
I am in no way a world-class, superstar athlete, but when it feels like almost every training session for close to a year has whipped your butt, that’s a pretty major blow to your ego. Mind you, this past Sunday the skies cleared and the stars align for an almost perfect 8 mile run. There was really no rhyme of reason to my preparation and I was initially dreading it, thinking I’d do poorly, and then things just clicked. What?! No clue…at all. Here’s to more runs like that!
In the meantime, at least I have nice surroundings and a great view.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
I first saw this blog post last week on SUAR and have since seen it circulating around. I’m all for sharing random things so I figured, why not.
1. Best run ever - I’d say my best ever run was the run I made it all the way around the block without stopping. 5 years ago I came from a background with absolutely no running. Running was a challenge I never overcame until I finally put my mind to it and said, “I’ve got to make this happen.” I’ve had many o’ sucky runs but I think all runs are great, because I had the tenacity to make it happen.
2. Three words that describe my running – Fun, Free, Slow.
3. My go-to running outfit is Mizuno Wave Riders, Under Armour socks, Nike Tempo shorts, Nike Sports Bra, and tight tanks with built-in sports bras (Obviously I need all the support I can get!) But of course I have many things I can’t live without.
4. Quirky habit while running – I hold my hands in the shaka or hang loose sign. Right on!
5. Morning, midday, evening - I go with what works in my schedule but my absolute fave time to run is early morning before the sun rises. There’s a calm about the hour that is hard to describe.
6. I won’t run outside when it’s icy. I’m pretty hardcore when it comes to running in the elements and as you can see above, the dark doesn’t scare me. But I must admit I draw the line when the ground is a sheet of ice. Thankfully I won’t have to deal with that this winter.
7. Worst injury—and how I got over it: Although I’ve dealt with some IT Band issues and was also plagued with a ankle/foot pain that lead to my first DNS I’m grateful that I’ve never had any major issues. (Knock on wood) I credit this to realizing I’m not a super athlete, running in moderation, and listening to my body.
8. I felt most like a badass mother runner – I feel like this everyday. What? You don’t?!
9. Next race is – Color Me Rad 5K Phoenix
10. Potential running goal for 2013 – Would love to get another half marathon or two under my belt. Adding some trail running would be pretty awesome too.
There it is. Feel free to answer the questions in a blog post too!
Keep Smile and Be Grateful =)
I have been to Disney World several times throughout my life. Each time was more magical than the last…even though I was getting older. Unfortunately I have yet to make it to Disneyland. Now that we’re only 5.5 hours from Anaheim I think it’s a requirement that we hit up Disneyland soon.
I had no idea the castle was this small until I saw this photo from Heather
What better way than to run a race?
I’m not one to make New Year’s Resolutions. Quite honestly I don’t make too many goals per se either, as you can see things sometimes fall through. Not to mention, my intent is to focus on the journey and not the destination in whatever I’m doing. With all that being said, there’s something I’ve been wanting for a few years.
I want to RunDisney. This has been a pretty silent dream of mine since I’ve started running. Over the past year I’ve watched and read the blogs of Running With Sass, According To Kelly, and Running Toward The Prize along with many others’ and have been craving a Disney medal and experience.
Megan’s nice new bling
As you know, I’m not all about the bling, but come on, look at that gorgeous medal. Disney is known for some kick butt medals and I know I would not be disappointed. Plus, running around the different Disney parks/property? Heck yeah. How could that not be magical? Because ALL Disney experiences are magical….that is a fact.
Unfortunately for me the Tinkerbell Half at Disneyland is already sold out and logistically/financially heading to Florida isn’t in the cards. I’m still trying to figure out my winter race schedule which is hard enough. But you can bet that I’m going to try my hardest to make it to a Disney race during 2013, even if I have to wait a year until the 2013 Disneyland Half. Because if there’s anything I’ve learned from Disney it’s that dreams do come true…you just have to go after them.
This is just one of my many races I dream about. What do you dream about?
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
As the fall season quickly approaches so does the decision of what races to run. Racing in the winter? Yep, I now have that option out here in Arizona. It’s crazy to think that I’ll be able to run outside without the worry of having to battle snow and/or sleet. The big question is…what races should I run? The bigger question is…should I even run races?
As you know, in my 5 years of running I don’t have a huge race resume and I definitely don’t think races make an athlete. Do I like running races? Sure do. Who doesn’t like the bling?
But quite frankly, since arriving in Arizona, my runs suck. I’m still battling 3 mile runs at a slower pace than I’m used to. I knew it’d take some adjusting, but I had no idea it would take as long as it has. Would I even be able to train for a half marathon let alone actually run one? The only thing I have going for me is my persistence and everyone saying, “The best weather is yet to come and you’ll love running.”
After having such big race plans for this past spring/summer and not having them pan out due to injury and our move, I must admit I’m a bit gun shy of putting down any money with the unknown future. Unfortunately money is not really on my side right now so this concern is pretty big for me.
With all that being said, here are the races that I’ve been eyeing…..
Of course I would only choose one or two…if that. What are your thoughts? Ever raced any of these races? Would love to hear your feedback!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
On Friday, I posted this picture to my Twitter/Instagram account with the caption saying, “Am I running my half marathon this wknd? What do you think?” Everyone was held in suspense….Ooooh!
Well, If you haven’t figured it out by now, I did not run my half marathon this past weekend. Yes, I’m losing money, but that really had no effect on my judgment. Before you call me a pansy I’ll give you a break down of my thoughts.
I know I’ve already told you about my foot pain, but let’s recap. 3+ weeks ago I started having pain in my Achilles area. After resting for 5 days I went out for a not too successful run. Following that run I not only had the pain in my heel but also on the dorsal lateral section of my foot. I continued to rest, taped, and used NSAIDs. It wasn’t getting any better.
Last week I attempted to run again…twice. I made it to about 1/4 mile each time and by that point ended up limping home. My pride hurt. I stopped all exercise activity. My job calls for being on my feet 8+ hours a day, but I rested when I could.
I hurt and if you know anything about me, if I say I’m hurting, I’m really hurting.
Even if I had woken up race day and felt fantastic I still wouldn’t have raced. My last long run was 3 weeks ago and it was only 10 miles. Even after running for 5 years, or me 3 weeks is a lifetime ago for my non-natural running self! Sure I could’ve pounded out 13 miles. It wouldn’t have been pretty and I’m sure I’d be hurting in more places than just my foot.
One word: Italy. Yes, we leave for Italy this week. Call me crazy, but after spending $2500+ on flights alone I want to be able to somewhat enjoy our vacation.
At this point I see the Dirty Girl Mud Run having a higher priority over the Glass City Half Marathon. What?! Yes, you read that right. I want to be spry and ready for that mud run come a couple weeks. But why?! Because I want to run it with my sister and have fun. As we’ve grown older we’re not as close as we once were. Now, more than ever, I want that time with my sister. To me that holds priority over almost anything.
I was looking forward to this race but it is not my “A” race for this year. I wanted a medal to add to my measly, but growing, medal collection. I wanted this race and the medal and I wanted it bad. But not as bad as I want Rev3 Cedar Point. That is THEE race for me this year and I’m going to do what I need to do to make it there, in one piece, and successfully complete it. If that requires me to sit out this race, or any others, I’ll do it.
And lastly, after speaking with Carole, my coach through Rev3 Coaching, she politely told me, “There’s no way in hell I’d run that half marathon.” She basically said what I was already thinking and gave me the confidence to make my final decision. She also encouraged me to make a doctor’s appointment ASAP, which I did.
Let’s bullet point, shall we?
- On Friday I went to a podiatrist at the Cleveland Clinic.
- Radiographs showed no fractures. Without MRI we do not know if there is any ligament, muscle, etc damage, but given there are no signs of inflammation that is not called for right now.
- The majority of my discomfort resides immediately over my cuboid bone.
- The doctor believes that my discomfort could have something to do with my footstrike while running.
- Having a history of a broken femur and knowing that I compensate for my gait even while walking, and having residual issues from my accident, I’m not surprised and would have to say I agree with her. (Haven’t read the story of my broken femur and my residual issues? Read it here.)
- The doctor said because of my accident my legs could actually be different lengths and over time this problem has come about.
- I was fit with orthotics and a cuboid pad, which basically pads and lifts the side of my foot immediately under my cuboid, and an ankle brace (pictured above).
- I am to play around with each of these…try them together and separately, to see if anything helps.
- If comfortable enough, I am allowed to run. Weeeeeeee!
- Upon our return from Italy I will be fit for custom orthotics and also start physical therapy.
- Part of my physical therapy will also be a program called “Run Smart”. They will video me while running and analyze my gate, posture, etc. and we’ll go from there. It may sound crazy, but this excites me tremendously.
I think this is quite ironic since I’ve already been talking about getting back to basics. I’m REALLY going back to basics. Maybe I’ll be able to pass some knowledge on to you!
I truly appreciate all of the kind words and encouragement you have sent me these past few weeks. Some may not think I’m a pansy and not truly an athlete since I didn’t push through the pain. But, I think this is all part of being an athlete. Being an athlete calls for being smart and listening to your body. And remember, I run for fun and enjoyment…not to kill or hurt myself.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
It’s race week! Woot! Given my foot I have no idea whether I’ll actually be running the race or not. I have no clue. This would be my first official DNS if that’s the case. I am resting and staying off my feet as much as possible. Unfortunately my job calls for being on my feet, so I don’t know how much resting will be had this week. We shall see. You know I’ll keep ya’ll posted!
In honor of race week, it’s time for another giveaway!
Awhile back I happened upon Good Greens on Alicia’s blog. I was intrigued for several reasons. They operate out of a suburb of Cleveland (basically local to me) and all of their products are 100% vegan. I just had to try them.
Thankfully while at the Arnold Fitness Festival I was able to meet them and try out there products. I wanted to Buzz about them and let you know what I thought.
I’ll try not to get all scientific on you, but let me tell you a bit about the bars.
Good Greens delivers key phytonutrients that are absorbed by the body, reduces oxidative stress, impacts markers of systemic inflammation, helps support a healthy immune system and positively impacts several key indicators of cardiovascular wellness. And how do they do this? They also contain 40 antioxidants, 3 probiotics, 5 grams of dietary fiber, and contain 72% organic ingredients.
How do they jam pack all of this into a littler bar? It’s their Z52 Super Powder. This powder contains 52 superfoods that give the bars all of their nutrients. Basically they took a green superfood, which are known to taste, well, not so good, and made it palatable.
Now, the big question….did they succeed in this? Yes! I’ve had many o’ tasty energy/meal bars in my life but Good Greens are pretty gosh darn good. The flavor choices are: Chocolate Raspberry, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate Coconut, and Wildberry. My personal fave is the Chocolate Coconut but they are all quite tasty. One of the things they say is that they taste like a candy bar. I think I’d agree with that. With 3 of the 4 bar flavors being covered in chocolate it’s hard not to taste like a candy bar. On top of all that they check-in at only 195 calories. Not to mention, they contain 12g of protein and only 24 carbs.
Jax wanted his photo opportunity
And of course I want to share the yummy goodness with you all! So here’s the deal. I am going to give choose 2 people at random to receive 4 bars (1 of each flavor).
The giveaway runs from Monday April 16, 2012 until 11:59pm EST on Friday April 20, 2012. The winners will be announced on Twitter and Facebook. Note: If the winners do not contact me by Saturday, April 28, 2012, a second winner(s) will be chosen.
How to enter:
Leave a comment below. Since it’s race week, give me your inspirational mantra, inspirational quote, or your power song that gets you through those tough moments during your run…or life!
Tweet about this giveaway! Nothing fancy. Something like, ” I want to win @CLE_Good_Greens bars from @BananaBuzzbomb! Enter to win here http://www.bananabuzzbomb.com/2012/04/16/buzz-good-greens-are-good/“ will do.
You can also be a rockstar and follow me on Twitter too.
Each counts as a separate entry so please leave a separate comment for each that you complete!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Although I’m having a ton o’ fun bringing you my thoughts on going back to running basics and also veganism, I haven’t posted much about my own half marathon “training” lately. Basically, because I haven’t had much to say. I had no plans to do a second blog post today. But you know what they say about plans.
I just got back from a half mile run. Wait, half mile? No, you read that right. But you might ask, “Isn’t your half marathon next weekend?” Yep.
Needless to say these past 2 weeks of training have been less than stellar. It all started with achilles/heel pain. I saw getting sick as a possible blessing in disguise. I didn’t run my long run last weekend and rested (more like puke my guts out all weekend). Upon recovering I was ready to get back out there. My achilles/heel pain seemed to be gone. Enter in a new pain. Outside/top of foot pain? What the?! It started yesterday. I went out for an easy first run post sickness/testing out my achilles. It went okay, but my gate felt weird. Then yesterday at work the discomfort really hit. I thought maybe it’s my Mizunos. I’ve only had them since January, but thought I’d try my newly purchased pair today. BTW I don’t recommend trying new kicks just one week prior to a race. I’m just at my wits end and really have no method to my madness.
Unfortunately, it only took a half mile before my foot screamed at me to stop…even with the news shoes.
So here I sit, my longest run was last Wednesday: 5 miles. My longest run to date for this training series: 10 miles. 13.1 miles to run next weekend and I have foot pain. What’s a girl to do? No idea. I could rest a day or two and try to get in a long run early in the week and just have a shortened taper time. Or I could rest all the way through and head out late next week for a quick “loosen me up” run.
This is the first time I’ve included so much cross training in my training plan to keep from getting injured. At times I felt I wasn’t training hard enough because I wasn’t running as much. I felt like I was going out of my mind. I missed all of those daily runs. Yet, once again, here I sit with a flippin’ bum foot. Yargh!
What it comes down to is really, there is no method to this training madness. Either way, this girl is keeping her fingers (and toes) crossed.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)