Half Marathon

All posts in the Half Marathon category

I did it!!!

Published October 13, 2012 by Becca

I’m a lazy blogger.  Almost a week since my half marathon.  Geez.

Well I did it.  I finished my half marathon last week.  Chip time of 3:11.  Garmin time of 3:06 (didn’t include stretch and potty breaks).

I ran most of it.  Walked through the water stations.  And I walked a lot between mile 11-12.  But ran it all the way in.  My mom and step-dad were there at the finish line to cheer me on.

It’s bitter sweet now that it’s over.  I was hoping to come in just under 3 hours.  I was on pace for that up until mile 10, but the last 5k was just difficult.  I was in pain.  My feet killed.  My hips were tight.  My back was tight.  I know I’m 99% likely to improve my time for my next half marathon, so that’s always a plus.  I didn’t give training 100% effort, so it’s a minor miracle I was able to run across the finish line.  I basically did that race on only long runs.

I took a gamble bringing untested gels on the course with me.  I figured I’d be able to just choke them down with lots of water if I really hated them.  But they were mostly a win!  Hooray!  The texture is still borderline nasty.  Ever since my first taste of them, I’ve been struggling to compare them to something, but I can’t.  I’ve never had anything like these in terms of texture.  My first taste was Gu Tri-Berry and I gagged and threw half of it out because I just couldn’t get it down.  So after talking with my therapist a bit about different brands, and just squeezing some packs at Jack Rabbit (NYC running store), I opted to try some PowerBar gels in Orange and Strawberry Banana because when I squeezed the packets, it felt much looser than Gu, so I hoped it would go down more easily.  Both had caffeine, with orange having 2x as much.  Caffeine has been shown to improve performance, so I was keen to try that.  The guy at the store recommended the strawberry banana flavor (good choice!).  I also grabbed some Clif shots in Vanilla and Chocolate because my therapist said they had a bit of a thicker texture.  And finally Gu peanut butter.  Seeing if Gu could redeem itself.

I only needed 3 gels for the race and I opted for both of the PowerBars and the Vanilla Clif Shot.  I started with the PowerBars mostly because I was hesitant about Vanilla flavored gel.  The flavors were good for the PowerAde.  Orange is always easy, and the strawberry banana was actually pretty nice. They were thinner in consistency which was great, but still kinda stuck around in the mouth a bit.  I always need to take these with water I think.  I don’t know if the caffeine made a difference.  Maybe when I get faster I’ll notice.

Now on the other end of the spectrum, the Clif Shot Vanilla was GREAT.  I loved it.  As much as you can love a gel.  It tasted like Vanilla frosting.  Super smooth frosting which is weird, lol.  I still like water to wash these down, but loving the flavor helped me forget about the texture.  I’m hoping the chocolate one tastes like Chocolate frosting.  It might be awhile before I try more gels since I’m not planning to do any more long distances until the spring.

My plan now is to just focus on having fun, and hopefully getting fast.  I’m hoping by the spring I can get my 10k time to about 12:30 min/mile. That’s about 6 months time.  And I hope to be about 30-40 pounds thinner by then as well which will help.  I’m also in a running class that the NYRR club is offering.  It was $105 for 10 classes which is a STEAL in NYC.  The downside is that it’s held on the Upper East Side.  Almost a 90 minute commute from Brooklyn for me.  I’m gonna need to find something else to do in the area to make the trip worth while.  And I can only go to the Met so many times.

The first classes started with running for 10 minutes at about a 12:00 pace, walking for a minute and a half, and running another 10 minutes at the same.  I did pretty good.  I was able to keep up for the most part, though towards the 2nd half, I slowed down to about a 13 min/mile for a bit.  It was comfortably challenging.  So I believe they said the goal is to run a 5k at a 11:00 pace which would be awesome.  So yeah, as you can see, traveling for over an hour for a 20 minute run is not optimal.  But getting to run in Central Park is awesome!!  I’d like to continue runs sometimes, but I’m afraid of getting lost.  I get lost almost every single time I’m in the park.  Not that it’s a huge deal, but it’s annoying.  Especially since it’s dark by 6:30 now.

So I’m up waaaaaayyyyy too late.  I have work in the morning, and I’m doing Yoga before it.  I’m looking at about 4ish hours of sleep.  *Sigh*  Because I took a 4hr nap today.  And it looks like I’ll be napping tomorrow.  Such a cycle.  Gotta break it!

I’ll finish with some pics from my 2 runs this week.

Night time skyline. Gorgeous.

Ran along the Hudson near work this week. Gonna try and run in Manhattan more- I like it!

Great path by the Hudson!






1 week

Published October 1, 2012 by Becca

Today marks 1 week until my first half marathon. 13.1 miles!! I’m getting nervous. Mostly because I know my training was subpar and I slacked off the past week. Who slacks off 2 weeks before their race?!

I have no idea if there will be consequences for this. I haven’t run in over a week.

I guess the bad news at work took the wind out of my sails. (I didn’t get the promotion I wanted to head pastry chef. Instead, they brought back the old pastry chef that left when I started. Cause he needed a job. So messed up.) That and things with my ex clogging my head.


I know. I was supposed to be moving on from that. But it’s just so hard to just walk away cleanly. We took like a 6 week break and things started up again, and they’ve been mostly good. Our attitudes are different. We’ve been making changes. But he’s still not committing to anything. So I’m still in limbo.

And twice I let texting him ruin my runs last week. Including my long run. I can’t wait until I get my Garmin and I can just leave my phone at home.

That’s my good news at least. My parents are so proud of me for my running and doing the race, they generously offered to get me a GPS watch. I picked out Garmin’s new 10 watch. It’s super basic- how far and how fast. That’s all I really need. And it has an interval timer too which I also wanted. And I got it in pink. It’s perfect! It’s exactly what I need. I think it’s a perfect first watch. And if in a few years I feel like I need something more advanced, well, then that’s still possible. It’s gonna be a few weeks until I get it though because its back ordered. But no rush.

It’ll be nice to use at my running class. I signed up for this class through NYRR that’s only $100 for 10 classes which is a steal in NYC. Lol. It’s to work on my speed. Because that’s my focus for once the race is over. I’d like to do the Brooklyn half next year in the Spring, but I’m not planning on doing anything over a 10k until then. So I’m gonna focus on running for fun and speed only and losing weight to help that.

Speaking of weight, according to my home scale, I’m down to 224.8 today. Which I’m happy I see. I’ve been holding steady in the 225-229 range all summer, so this week I set a goal to see 224 on at least my home scale. (I was 227 this Friday at WW but it was my first week wearing jeans and they were also wet from the rain, so I have high hopes for the next weigh in now that I’ve set the “jean” standard. )

Hopefully this is the week I make my 10%! 24 pounds is my 10%. And then hopefully next week I can celebrate my 25 pound mark! How exciting would that be??

We started an 8 weeks until Thanksgiving challenge. I’m scared to make a weight goal because I don’t want to be disappointed. So I’m thinking of habits I can implement instead that will automatically help with the weight loss.

I’m thinking of having a goal of tracking for 8 weeks solid. It’s already my goal to track every day this week (as that’s the focus for week 1 anyways). And I lose when I track. So yeah.

I’d like to think of a new fitness goal too. Now that I don’t have to worry about 2 hours runs and sticking to a training schedule, I think it’ll be easier mentally for me to lace up 3 times a week. And I can do whatever I want now. 20 minutes or 5 miles. Fast or slow. I’m looking forward to that. And maybe a speed goal? I’ll have to set a bench mark to see where I need to grow from. I know I’m about a 14-14:30 min/mile. I can go faster, but its hard to sustain. So maybe start with running a mile at medium hard intensity. Which should be about 13 min for that mile. I ran the first 5 miles of my 10 mile race at 13 min miles. So it’s possible.

So 8 weeks- tracking, running 3 times a week, and cross training once a week. Whether its yoga or a work out DVD.

I hope with these changes I can see about an 8 pound loss. But as long as I lose anything, and not gain, I’ll consider it a win.

Ahh 1 week!! I kinda can’t wait. Even though its gonna be hard. Races are fun. And I bring my A game at least. And I got to practice my routine at the 10 mile race the other week. I’ll take some melatonin around 9pm, eat my breakfast around 6am (Taylor ham, egg, and cheese on a roll). Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! I’m thinking of leaving the water bottle behind because I had no issue getting beverages at the race. And just wearing something for my energy. Unfortunately those cliff blocks take up a lot of space. And I want my phone for GPS and music. Mom and Larry are gonna make it there at some point. I told them they don’t need to be there at the start. I’ll be running for 3 hours so they have time. Omg 3 hours. Phew. I hope I don’t walk the last 3 miles. Or get picked up and driven to the finish line. That’s my only time goal.

Tweaking the Training Plan

Published June 22, 2012 by Becca

Ok, it’s only week 1 and I already tweaked it.  Haha. But that’s what you do with training plans, right?  They’re not designed for any 1 specific person.  But the only thing I tweaked was altering the mileage because they didn’t include a taper.  They had me building up to 12 miles the week before the half marathon.  I adjusted the weeks for more increase so that I had a 2 week taper.  I want fresh, rested legs so I can complete the whole thing!

I can’t speak highly enough of this particular plan just because of the hard work the creators went through making the adjustable Excel file.  They calculated all the percentage increases so I never increase my mileage too much.  How awesome!

I plan on continuing my run/walk for as long as I need to. I’m gonna drop the Couch to 5k program I think and just go with my own intervals. I’m going to go with 6 minute runs and 1 minute walks until I reach my distance to start with. And just keep increasing my run intervals until I guess I don’t need a walk break. Or I’ll cut it down to 30 seconds for water breaks or whatever. I have seen that brief walk breaks can speed post-run recovery. Which I am all for.

Tonight is “Long Run” #1. Just 3.1 miles. Which is roughly what I’ve been doing. I’m excited!!

(I’m considering a cold post-run treat as well. It’s been so damn hot I could go for a nice vanilla soft-serve cone with rainbow sprinkles. Mmmmm)