My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

Half-Marathon training – Week 13

This was the second to last week of training and that means it’s taper time!  I’ve never gone through a taper before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Up until now, I’ve done mostly 5k races, with one 10k race in the mix, so there was. I need to taper.  But I knew with this race, the taper would be necessary.  And frankly, I was looking forward to it. Life has been throwing me some curve balls lately, so I was happy to take it a little easier. I did have to move some stuff around this week, but that’s okay.

Here’s how the week went: 

MONDAY – Rest day. I did a bit of walking around and going up and down stairs at work, but that was it.

TUESDAY – I did an easy 6.5k, mostly a power walk. 

WEDNESDAY – I had to move Thursday’s workout to today. Another 6.5k, again mainly power walk. 

THURSDAY – Had to take today as a rest day because my husband had minor surgery. I did manage a few flights of stairs while waiting for him.

FRIDAY – It was a beautiful day, so I did an easy 5k.

SATURDAY – The last big run before race day.  My plan called for 10k, but I planned on pushing it to 11k. I finished at 11.25k. And it felt really good. Then did an easy 1.5k walk home.

SUNDAY – Since I did some kms on Friday, I took today as a rest day. Although I didn’t really rest because I did stuff around the house.

In total, I did 30.75k this week. Much of it was walking or power walking, but I’m okay with that. 

I did my best to not push myself too hard this week. I also have been trying to keep myself busy so the nerves won’t get to me too much. 

Slowly I’ve been gathering things for my race bag.  I’ve never put one together before, so I’m not totally sure what I need to put in there.  But with advice from my running tweeps on Twitter, I have some good ideas of what I need.

That’s really it for this week. Short and sweet. 

Race day is one week away.

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Half-Marathon training – Week 12

Another week of training is complete.  And it was a pretty good week for the most part.  My husband and I were supposed to go away on Thursday for the weekend, but ended up not being able to go.  I was very disappointed.  But at least I didn’t need to shift my training runs around.

So this is how the week went: 

MONDAY – It was a beautiful day, so I opted for a short walk to start the day, logging about 1k.

TUESDAY – Work has picked up with the start of the school year, so instead of running in the morning as I had been all summer, I did my run in the afternoon. Not used to running later in the day. I struggled a little, but still logged my 6.5k for the day.

WEDNESDAY – Once again, I opted to go for a walk for my cross training. This week I logged 3k.

THURSDAY – Again, I moved my run to the afternoon. I decided to try the treadmill for a change. It had been about a year since I’d been on one, and I forgot how hard it is! It didn’t help that the workout studio was a little warm. In the end, I managed 4k on it. Then I immediately went over to the indoor track to finish the last 2.5k I needed. Thankfully it was MUCH cooler in there! In total, I logged 6.62k for the day.

FRIDAY – Rest day.

SATURDAY – Long run day. This was my last long run before race day. My plan called for 18k, but I wanted to push that distance a little bit. It was a little hard, but at least it wasn’t raining. I finally stopped at 18.77k. It got a little slow near the end, but I was still happy with it.

SUNDAY – My schedule had me doing a short run, so I decided to do a local 5k race. (My running app actually logged it as 5.26k). It was a good solid run. I was happy with how well I did. Look for a race recap post very soon!

My plan called for 36k, and I logged just over 41k for the week.

With fall approaching, it’s getting lighter later so it’s not easy to go running first thing in the morning. I don’t yet own anything reflective so I’m not comfortable with running in low light.  Hopefully that will change soon. 

I’ve been chatting with more experienced runners lately about my upcoming half marathon. They have been giving me some really good advice.  As race day gets closer and closer, I’m getting more nervous.  It helps to talk to runners who have done the race before.

Only 7 more runs until race day. Until then, my runs will be short to mid range, with the longest one just half the race distance.

I need to remember to do several stretch sessions between now and race day. Stretching is so important. I need to do it more often.  I would love to take a yoga class some time. Maybe I’ll get a chance over the winter. 

I also need to remember to keep myself hydrated. I’m not always good about drinking enough water. But I need to be better at it, especially for this race. I need to be able to keep going. I need to cross that finish line.  I’m going to try keeping a log of how much I drink throughout the day.

I will be going to the running store soon to pick up more fuel. Whatever I decide to get is what I will be using for the race. I’ve rather enjoyed trying different things during my training. 

I’m also starting to think about what to put in my race bag. I’m sure I will get lots of advice from my more experienced runner friends as to what to include.  At least I hope I will. 

Anyway, I think that’s about it for this week.

Race day is just 2 weeks away.

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Half-Marathon training – Week 11

Wow. Week 11 is done. This was an interesting week. Life decided to throw a little curve ball at me. But I still got through it.

Here’s how the week played out: 

MONDAY – Rest day. Definitely needed it. 

TUESDAY – I opted to do my run inside today. I like that I have an indoor track nearby. Although I’ll admit it gets a little boring after a while. Logged 6.51k

WEDNESDAY – Cross training day. It also happened to be my birthday. I did a power walk of 2.54k, followed by several sets of stairs. I was going to do more in the afternoon, but here’s where life got in the way.  I had to go with my husband to have a specialist look at one of his eyes.

THURSDAY – It’s starting to get lighter later now. It makes it a little hard to go running extra early. I don’t  yet have anything reflective. I’m working on that. Anyway, I had to go out a bit later than I would have liked, but still got 7.3k for the day before heading to work.

FRIDAY – I considered moving my long run to today, but ultimately decided to take it as a rest day as usual.

SATURDAY – Long run day. It started raining overnight, and it was still raining when I got up. But I got dressed and laced up my shoes anyway. I’ve never actually run in the rain before. It wasn’t thundering or lightning, so I figured it was safe. I did a little stretching before I left too. I didn’t want a repeat of last weekend.  I was soaked to the bone when I finally got to the coffee shop, but it was a good solid run of 17.23k so I didn’t really care that I was wet. 

SUNDAY – more rain, but this time with thunder and lightning, so I chose to skip my short run and do a light workout at home.

Even with one less run, I still logged 35k this week, which is what my plan called for.

More about Wednesday – my husband has mild glaucoma. He had a regular check up with his doctor in the afternoon. He mentioned he was having an issue with one of his eyes. They advised him to go to Kingston to see a specialist, which is an hour away. So he picked me up from work and off we went. They were expecting him so we didn’t have to wait very long. By the time he got it taken care of and we got back home, it was like 8:30p. Not exactly a fun way to spend my birthday.

More about Saturday – I had been watching the weather all week, so I knew it was going to rain. I could have gone running on Friday instead, but chose not to. I figured that I need to learn to run in the rain. If it’s raining on race day, I still need to run, so why not train in the rain. I wore light clothes so I wouldn’t get weighed down. I bought a rain jacket it too long ago for just this purpose. I took it slow and steady. I tried to wear the hood of my jacket, but it kept flying  off, so I didn’t bother after a few tries. I was wearing a hat, so I figured that would be okay. It wasn’t a heavy rain, but it was enough. I was pretty wet by the time I made my first bathroom stop at about 5k. I was sort of laughing at myself out there running. Almost no one else was out and about. By the time I stopped again at about 10k, I thought I couldn’t get any wetter. At one point I remember looking down and seeing soap suds on my pants. Soap suds! I broke out laughing! It was just absurd. Either I didn’t rinse well enough in the shower, or my washing machine didn’t rinse my clothes well enough. It was just hysterical. But I kept on running.  My right hip started feeling a little sore around 13k. I slowed down a little, but kept going. I hit 17k a little bit before the coffee shop. I was really proud of myself, so in addition to my coffee, I bought a triple chocolate buttertart. When I got home, I peeled off my wet clothes, took a warm shower, did some light stretching and took a nap. After my nap, I did more stretching and felt much better. 

I need to stretch more. I need to remind myself to stretch more. I always feel better when I do it. And as race day approaches, I need to keep loose. 

My long run this week was once again my farthest run to date. But interestingly, it was not my longest in time. This week I ran a kilometre longer than I did last week, but in less time. Pretty proud of that. I don’t focus on my time, I just run. I run until I hit whatever distance I need to do that day. But it’s always nice when I do it in a good time.

With fall temps arriving, it’s not essential for me to get up at the crack of dawn to go running to beat the heat and humidity. I like that because I’m really not a morning person. I might even do some afternoon runs in the next couple of weeks. 

Well that’s about it for this week. Come back next week for another update.

Race Day is in 3 weeks.

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Half-Marathon training – Week 10

Another training week in the books. The humidity has been up and down lately, which makes it hard some days. I’m hoping the humidity will break soon so I can finish these last weeks strong.

Here’s how the week went:

MONDAY – Rest Day. Took care of stuff around the house.

TUESDAY – I pushed my distance a little farther than I needed to, ending with 7.2k

WEDNESDAY – I opted to take a walk for cross training this week. It was a nice day out, and not too humid. I even worked in a couple of hills on my 3k walk.

THURSDAY – brutally humid today, so I decided to run around the indoor track. It gets a little boring going around in circles, but I managed to hang in there for 6.7k

FRIDAY – I’ve been feeling a little sore lately, so I decided to do some stretching on my rest day. I also went up and down the stairs quite a bit while cleaning my house.

SATURDAY – Long run day. I had company from out of town, so instead of ending my long run at my favourite local coffee shop, I just looped back to my house. I think that made it a little tougher near the end (haha).  Once again, my longest run to date – 16.23k. 

SUNDAY – I woke up very sore from my long run on Saturday. My left foot in particular was pretty sore. I opted for another rest day. I don’t want to risk getting hurt.

My plan called for 34k this week, and I ended the week with 33.13k. Not too bad considering I took an extra rest day.

With my long runs getting longer each week, I’ve noticed I’m getting pretty sore. I’m trying to incorporate new stretches, but I’m not sure how much difference it’s really making.  I did some searching on google and Pinterest for stretches and strengthening moves for feet and ankles.  I’ll be trying them this week so hopefully that helps.

This week’s long run was particularly hard near the end. It felt like my back seized up a bit. The last 4 kms were particularly hard and very slow.  When I got back home, I laid on the floor on a yoga mat and did some stretching. It helped my back a bit, which was good. My feet really hurt though, and they were still a bit sore on Sunday.

A couple of interesting things happened on my long run this week …

1) I had run about 3k when I noticed a truck driving rather fast coming up the street.  As I neared and then passed me, the passenger leaned out the window and yelled something not very nice at me. It caught me off guard. On instinct, I yelled something back. Instead of getting upset about it, as the old me would most certainly have done, I got mad. I mean really mad! How dare they! I’m out there trying to better myself and they have the nerve to drive by and shout mean things. Cowards! I have more courage than they will ever have or even hope to have! I was angry about it for awhile. Well, until the next thing happened …

2) I had gone about another kilometre or so when I had to make a bathroom stop. I was near the local YMCA, as I knew I would be, so I stopped in. I’ve been there before, and they are always nice about letting me use the bathroom. As I was leaving, I stopped to thank the ladies again. They started asking me some questions about my running and my journey. I was happy to talk about it, as I almost always am.  They had some really nice things to say and made me feel so awesome. 

Several other people said nice, positive, encouraging things to me as I continued along on my run. They easily cancelled out the meanness from the incident early on my run.

Also on my long run, I was taking in an energy gel about every 2k. It really seemed to work well. I also made sure to drink often. I went through 2 large bottles of Gatorade and about a half of one of those bottles of water. I probably should have finished the water, but overall, I’m feeling pretty good about my fueling and hydrating as I’m running.

I think other than probably needing to do more stretching, my training is coming along quite well. 

I have 2 more long runs before I start tapering down my kms. 

Race Day is less than a month away. And I’m trying not to freak out about that.

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