Archive for 1/2 marathon training

My First Half Marathon!

IMG_0823It’s the day after my first half marathon, and I’m hobbling on one leg. It’s not soreness, it’s pain in my left shin? Or is it calf? It’s on the side so I guess it’s a Shalf? 🙂 But I’m feeling happy and very proud of myself!

Here’s how everything went down:

I left LA on Saturday and headed to Huntington Beach to pick up my race bib, and to meet my friend and fellow blogger Anna at the Expo.

I’d been operating on three days sleep without sleep. This was, and is still frustrating me to no end. I don’t know what is going on with that lil ol’ brain of mine! Needless to say, I’ve been very klutzy and dropped a stool on my left foot, and nearly kicked my cat across the room on Friday night because we both have been running around my apartment a little anxious lately.

I did luck out and find free street parking about 1/4 mile from the start line, so our plan was to leave my car there, then take her car to the hotel where we were staying (about 4 miles from the start line), and take a cab to the race in the morning.

We met up with my friends Amy and John at the Cheesecake Factory, and I ordered the pork chops and mashed potatoes. Delicious!

As I had imagined, I also did not sleep that night either, and around 2:30 I had the worst headache ever (from lack of sleep I’m sure), so that was a treat.

We were up by 5:15 and everything went smoothly getting to the race. The weather was cool but gorgeous! Someone said it was 45 degrees at that time but it actually felt warmer.

After going to the bathroom 8,348 times, we lined up. Amy started farther back because she suffered a knee injury at the Boney Mountain run, so she decided to walk the whole thing. So proud of her!

I was BEYOND anxious, and they were behind schedule getting us started, so the waiting part was AGONIZING.

Finally we got going, and within the first mile I spotted my friends Dave and Karissa who drove down to support us! They brought their bikes so they pretty much followed us along at various points in the route, which was awesome!

I started off slow and steady and felt good, but I still had major tightness and pain in my left calf, which I’d hoped would eventually warm up. But even despite the lack of sleep and pain, I felt pretty good.

IMG_0815I kept up with my pace group (2:30) and I was always just behind John and Anna.

At about mile 3 the course turned from PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) into a neighborhood with some minor hills.

Although I had Runkeeper going in the background, I turned off all audio cues. I didn’t want to know where I was, how far I had to go, or my pace. I just wanted to be in the moment.

After the brief jaunt through the neighborhood, we turned back on PCH and headed north. I started getting a little anxious for the turnaround point, but I still felt pretty good.

The turnaround point came around mile 8.5 I think…and OMG, the headwind hit me in the face like a ton of bricks. No wonder the first part of the race was so doable! I had the wind at my back!

So between miles 8.5 and 11 I felt a bit crabby. The pain seemed to move from my calf and was now shooting up my left achilles. Anna and John had moved on ahead of me so I was by myself, and Karissa and Dave (bless their hearts) had biked up and down the course trying to find me but couldn’t.

I started to break down my running into mini goals. “OK, run to the next water table and you can walk for a few minutes.” So that’s what I did.

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 7.31.21 AMBy mile 11 I started to mentally perk up. What’s two miles? Nothing!

By the last mile, as most runners experience, you get a massive surge of energy. The crowds and cheering start to grow, and you know it’s almost over.

By the last 1/2 mile my pace picked up as I could see the finish line in the distance. I pretty much smiled the rest of the way and had laser focus on that finish line. Bon Jovi’s “Dead or Alive” was on my iPhone which added a little dramatic flare. 🙂

Surf City half marathon medal

LOVE the medal!

I crossed the finish line at 2:38:24, with an average pace of 12:05. I may be a turtle, but I’m a turtle who completed a half marathon! 🙂

I’m really proud of this accomplishment. I’m proud of sticking with the training and never giving up! Even with setbacks like a chest cold during my training, constantly tight calves, and lack of sleep, it’s amazing what you can do when you really dig deep!

Here are some videos. I posted the second video so you can see how windy it was!

 Bestfoot This Week Link Up_thumb[2]

1/2 Marathon Training Diaries-Week 13

Manhattan Beach Pier

Why I love my beach runs so much!

One more week until my first half marathon! And this is the last training diary entry, because next week I’ll be giving you my race recap, hopefully about how awesome everything went! 🙂

I spent another week going for a more intuitive approach to training, without ignoring running altogether of course. I also discovered (thanks to many blogs talking about their training) that I love listening to podcasts while I run. It gives me a much needed distraction. To say it took me forever to learn how to create a running “playlist” would be an understatement. “Ohhhh, you call it On The Go.” Grrrr.

I also threw in a sand dune workout this week. The sand dunes are one of my favorite workouts because it’s super cheap ($1-used to be free but the city of Manhattan Beach cracked down because of over usage), and it’s close by to where I live. Oh, and it’s low impact but cardio intense.

“Doing the dunes” also gives me a huge confidence boost. I don’t know if it’s my genetic Hungarian ass, but for some reason I can power up the dunes a lot quicker than most people. It doesn’t hurt that I have over six years of “sand legs” either. People always talk to me after the hour is over about how I can get up and down the hill so many times. I’m not trying to be better than anyone, but it just feels nice to feel “accomplished” at a particular workout. I’d ask those fast-paced runners how the hell they run so fast during long distances, but I can’t seem to catch up to them to ask. 🙂 “Waiiiiittttt, how do you run so faaaaast?”

Sand Dune Park

Sand Dune Park (even though I hate this pic)

Here are this week’s workouts:

  • Monday was a rest day, although I coached beach vball that day and did some drills with my student.
  • Tuesday I ran 4 miles.
  • Wednesday I did yoga.
  • Thursday I did a 4.4 mile beach run.
  • Friday I did the sand dunes (14 times in an hour).
  • Saturday was a rest day.
  • Sunday I ran 7 miles.

This week’s focus is all about taking good care of myself: proper rest, hydration, foam rolling/massage, and good nutrition. I know I can’t control every aspect of what might occur during the week (such as a hectic work schedule), but I can control what I apply what I at least focus on…if that makes sense?

How was your week of health and fitness? How do you prepare the week before a big race? 

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