My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

Half-Marathon training – Week 9

Another week done. And let me tell you, it was a bit tough. It’s not easy training in the summer. I can hardly wait for cooler temperatures and less humidity.

We were still away at the beginning of the week, but I managed to get all my runs in when we got back.

This is how the week went:

MONDAY – Normally a rest day, but we were still visiting family. We decided to spend the day in NYC. We had a great time, but it was a very long day.  We did a bus tour, but still managed to walk about 10k.

TUESDAY – We left early in the morning to head home, so it became a sort of rest day.

WEDNESDAY – Needed to get back on schedule, so opted to run instead of doing cross training.  Had a good solid run of 7.34k.

THURSDAY – I was up early to run again.  Seemed a little harder than it should have, but managed 7k. I also went walking in the afternoon, logging another 3.87k.

FRIDAY – Rest day. And did I ever need it! 

SATURDAY – Long run day. I was up early to get my run in, which I almost always do these days. Today called for 14.5k, but I stretched it out to an even 15k. Not gonna lie, it hurt a bit near the end. I struggled with the last couple of kms. After having coffee at my favourite shop, I walked the 1.5k home.

SUNDAY – I’m kind of used to getting up extra early to go running on Sundays. After my long run the day before, Sunday’s run was a little slower than I would have liked.  But I got it done, logging 6.86k to end the week.  And took a nice long nap too.

This week, the plan called for 34k.  My running totaled 36.2k, and walking totaled 15.37k, for a total of 51.57k for the week.

While visiting my family, I managed to find the vest I was looking for.  It’s technically a fishing vest, but it’s what I wanted.  It’s lightweight mesh with a dozen pockets of varying sizes.  I wore it running all this week and really liked it.  Now I want to find some reflective tape or fabric to add to it for safety.

I also found a couple new gel flavours to try, which I did this week as well.  I also bought some jelly beans, but haven’t tried them out yet.  They are just like chews, just in jelly bean form.

I also tested out some protein bars, but wasn’t really happy with them. I mean they tasted good, but a little hard to eat while running. I cut them into small pieces the second time, which worked a little better, but still not super happy with them.  

On my long run this week, I tried fueling about every 2k, and that seemed to work really well.  I also need to remember to drink regularly, which I’m not always good at. I have 3 more long runs before I start backing down the kms for race day.

I think that covers it for this week.  Check back next week for another update.

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Half-Marathon training – Week 8

Well this was an interesting week.  My husband and I headed to Delaware early Thursday morning for a long weekend that included a family wedding.  I didn’t get in as much running in as I should have, but I did get some walking in to almost make up for it.  Honestly it was nice to have a little break.  But I’m also a bit anxious to get home and back on schedule.

So this is how the week went:

MONDAY – Rest day. I’m really beginning to like having Monday as a rest day.

TUESDAY – Long run. Because I had planned to be out of town on the weekend, I needed to get my long run in early. The plan called for 13k, and I finished with 13.4k plus another 1.42k of walking. My farthest run to date.  Pretty proud of that. 

WEDNESDAY – I had planned to run on Wednesday, but when I woke up my left ankle felt sore, so I opted for a rest day instead.

THURSDAY – Travelling day. It took about 10 hours to get to my oldest brother’s house in Delaware. It made for a looooong day.

FRIDAY – I spent part of the day walking around with my niece Sydney. We managed to cover about 5k.  My other brother and his wife arrived in the evening.

SATURDAY – Our dad got married. It was a nice day. I still managed to get a short walk in, about 2k.

SUNDAY – My brother Jerry, his wife Julie, my niece Sydney, my husband and I went into Philadelphia for a few hours to play tourist. It was nice.  Managed to walk about 4k throughout the day.

The plan called for 31k this week. I managed to cover 25.85k with running and walking.  This was the first week that I didn’t meet or exceed the kilometres in my plan. But I’m actually okay with that.

On my long run this week, I was using my gels about every 3k, which I don’t think was often enough. I think I need to use them about every 2k.  I’ll try that out and see how well it works.  

That’s about it for this week.  Check back next week for another update.

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Half-Marathon training – Week 7


Wait! What? 

Halfway done? Really?? 

OMG! That means Race Day is only 7 weeks away!

Ok, can’t think about that right now. So much training still to be done.

This is how the week went:

MONDAY – My leg muscles were feeling pretty tight, so I decided to do a stretching session today.  And I combined it with a short upper body workout.  Felt pretty good.

TUESDAY – Today’s run was 6.64k, with another 1.4k of walking after that. Once again the humid had me out running early. Also did another stretching session and short upper body workout in the afternoon.

WEDNESDAY – Cross training on the elliptical again this week. 

THURSDAY – I pushed my run just a little bit farther today, finishing with 7.01k. Then walked another 1.42k.

FRIDAY – Rest Day. Thank goodness. 

SATURDAY – Long run day. The plan called for 11.25k. I managed to push a little farther and ended with 12.24k. My longest run to date. And it was hard. After some rest, I walked another 1.42k.

SUNDAY – Thankfully, the plan had me doing a short run today. Another 5.35k in the books.

Total for the week – 35.5k. My training plan called for 29.25k.

The humidity was a factor all week.  I was up early all week to avoid it as much as I could.  Most days, it was already a little humid when I headed out.

Monday night, I only slept about 4 1/2 hours, which is why I didn’t push my run in Tuesday too much.  I actually surprised myself a little by going out at all. 

The elliptical is my favourite way to do my cross training.  Sometimes I wish I had one in my house.

My long run this week was hard. It was already a bit humid when I headed out. But the temperature was still a little cool, so I didn’t feel it that much. I took 2 bottles of Gatorade with me, because I was pretty sure I would need it.  And I was right.  But that also meant I had to make a couple of bathroom stops.  I took chews with me for my fueling choice.  They seemed to work fine, but I didn’t have enough of them with me.  I was starving by the time I ended my run at the coffee shop.  I also had to stop twice to loosen my shoes. I think I tied them too tight before I left the house.  In the end, it was the longest in time and farthest in distance I had ever run. I was pretty proud of that. 

Sunday’s short run was a little slow than I would have liked. And I didn’t push the distance much farther than I needed to.  My long run really took a lot out of me.

Well that was my week.  Check back next week for another update.

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Half-Marathon training – Week 6

Another week done already. I know I keep saying it, but it’s crazy how fast time is going. Overall, I think training is going well, a least as far as the running goes.  I’m struggling a bit with the strength training, but I’m doing the best I can.  It really helps having so many supportive people around me.

Anyway, this is how my week went: 

MONDAY – I love rest days LOL. Weekends tend to be busy for me, and not just with running, so it’s nice to have a day to kick back and recharge.

TUESDAY – with the humidity a factor almost every day right now, my runs are almost always early in the morning. Today called for 5k, and I finished with 5.35k.

WEDNESDAY – I had a slight headache when I went to bed Tuesday night, and it was full on migraine when I woke up on Wednesday morning.  I really hate that.  Meds and rest all day.

THURSDAY – I was feeling better by Wednesday night, so I had planned to get up early to run on Thursday. A friend was in town and wanted to meet for coffee and to catch up.  I also had planned to do my long run today instead of Saturday.  So I was up and out extra early to get at least 10k in before meeting my friend.  I ended up with 10.6k and another 3k of walking with my friend. It was a good day.

FRIDAY – after a long run Thursday, plus extra walking, and a race planned for Saturday, I definitely needed a rest day.

SATURDAY – normally, Saturday is when I do my long run, but I had a 5k race on my calendar, which is why I changed with Thursday this week. The race was in nearby Trenton, on a route I’d done before.  I was pretty happy with my time, considering there is a giant hill around the mid point in the race and it was a bit humid. Afterwards, I walked about another 3k

SUNDAY – I woke up a little sore from the race, but still needed to get at least 5k in for the day. It was another early morning to try and avoid the humidity as much as I could.  A lady I’ve seen several times walking her dog on the trail stopped me to say how great I look and to keep up the good work. I love hearing things like that! 

This week called for 25k, and I finished the week with 32.35k.  Some of that is walking, but it all adds up. 

A bit of a busy week, and they’re just going to keep getting busier. I’m almost used to getting up early to go running. Thank goodness for coffee LOL.

I’ve been testing various gels during my runs. The flavours have been good overall. I think there have only been one or two I didn’t like that much.  Some of them have extra caffeine, some don’t.  I prefer the ones that do.  Overall, I’m happy with the results I’m getting with them. And I think I’m finally getting a handle on fueling while running, especially during my long runs. I’m formulating a plan for the big race, which I’ll be testing out as my runs get longer. 

I’ve worn the running socks I bought a few times now. I like that they are shorter than my sport socks.  They are soft and comfortable too.  I’m still not sure if they are necessarily any better than the sport socks though. 

I’ve worn the belt bottle holder several times, including during my race.  I like it.  It bounces a little, but not too much.  And I like that it holds the bottle at an angle so it’s easier to grab.  The only downside that I’ve noticed is that the pouch is not very big.  I can put gels or my phone in it, but not both.  I’m still looking into other options for carrying things. I need to be able to carry fuel, my phone, and my asthma puffer.  Right now, I’m wearing a jacket around my waist when I run so I can use the pockets. I’m in the process of looking at other options.

That’s about it for week 6. Check back next week for another update.

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Half-Marathon training – Week 5

Ok time just really needs to slow down. How can another week be done already? It’s going by crazy fast.

I had to switch things around a little bit this week.  I’m so glad my plan allows me to do that with relative ease.  I’ll need to do it again at least a couple more times.

Anyway, this is what happened this week: 

MONDAY – I’m kind of getting used to having rest day at the start of the week. It’s nice especially when my weekend runs are hot and humid.

TUESDAY – This is where I had to start juggling things around.  I got my run done early in the morning, 5.3km. In the afternoon, my hubby and I headed to Toronto for the night. One of his favourite bands was playing at a club there, and I went along so I could spend some time with our sister-in-law and nephew (my hubby’s brother was out of town). Anyway, I opted to move my strength training to another time.

WEDNESDAY – Normally, I cross train on Wednesdays, but since we were in the city, I decided to switch days. It was going to be humid again (big surprise), but I got up early to go running anyway. I thought if I went early enough, it wouldn’t be too bad.  Plus they live near the water, and it’s usually cooler by the water.  I headed out a little later than I originally planned, but hoped it would still be okay.  They didn’t have any bottled water, and I forgot to bring one.  I should have stopped at a convenience store and bought one, but decided to just run without.  Big mistake.  It was already humid when I headed out, and almost no breeze either.  And it was not cooler by the water as it usually is.  I stayed in the shade along the path as much as I could.  I somehow managed 6k, but it wasn’t easy.  When I got back to their house, I was a sweaty mess.  And I was dizzy – not good. I downed a couple glasses of water then went to take a cool shower.  I nearly passed out a couple of times.  Trish had breakfast just about ready when I was done, so I drank more water and then ate.  I was still a little dizzy the rest of the day.  We headed home in the afternoon.

THURSDAY – Since I had gone running the day before, I had planned to do my cross training on Thursday.  But when I woke up, I was still not feeling well.  I opted to take a rest day instead.  I slept a good portion of the day.

FRIDAY – I was feeling better when I woke up, so I headed to the wellness centre to do my cross training in the workout studio.  I opted for the elliptical again is week.  I like the elliptical because it’s a good overall workout.  This week, during every song on my playlist, I went backwards for 30 seconds.  Let me tell you, that’s not easy! And there are 16 songs on the playlist I was listening to! I was sweating up a storm when I was done.

SATURDAY – Yet another humid day called for yet another extra early morning.  And I needed to do a minimum of 8km.  I planned my route in Friday, so I was ready to go.  Because I had done the elliptical the day before, my run was a little slow to start, but then I got into the groove of it.  I ended up with 8.7km and then walked another 1.4km.

SUNDAY – Once again, up extra early to go running. Only needed 5km today.  It was really nice when I started out, but it had gotten pretty humid by the time I finished.  I ended up with 5.85km.

This week called for 23km, and I ended up with 27.35km

On the way to Toronto on Tuesday afternoon, we stopped at a running store.  I bought a pair of running socks.  I have heard a lot of people talk about them and had been wanting to try them.  I wore them running Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday.  I can’t tell yet whether they are any better than my sports socks.  I think I need to run in them a few more times.  

On the way home from Toronto on Wednesday afternoon, we stopped at a different running store.  I picked up some more gels and chews, and a belt bottle holder that was on clearance.  Up to now, the gels I had been buying have been mostly chocolate, caramel, or coffee flavours.  I did get a couple of those, but also picked up some fruity flavours to try.  This week I tried, salted caramel, sea salt chocolate, salted watermelon, and cherry lime.  I also tried watermelon chews.  I think I had tried the salted caramel one before.  I still have a few more new ones to try. I’m also going to try different brands.  I’ve worn the belt bottle holder a couple of times and so far I’m liking it! 

Biggest lesson this week is never NEVER go running when it’s hot & humid without something to drink! 

Hopefully week 6 will be a little less eventful 😉 

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