Sunday, May 16, 2010


I did it! I completed my first half marathon today and I didn't even pee my pants!! And I'm very pleased with my time! I completed 13.1 miles in 1:53:14. My pace time was 8:39. Holy crap. Everytime I think about my time I think holy crap, I finished a half marathon in under two hours. This is the same girl who used to walk at cross country practice. I guess this is why we train - to become better! The hardwork is paying off. I felt so strong today. The course was challenging and had a good mix of flats and hills.

I woke up at 4:45 this morning so I was wide awake by the time the race started. I was a little nervous going into this morning's race. After running Broad Street and coming in with a really great time on a very flat course, I wasn't sure how I would do on the half marathon since there were a lot more hills. While I was excited to run the half marathon this morning, I was super psyched for the Broad Street Run. I think there was just an excitment to be running with a friend, running with 30,000 people and running in Philadelphia. I didn't feel that super psychness for the half marathon. Because I had never run a long distance race before, I was really cautious about what I ate before Broad Street. However, some of my pre-half marathon meals from yesterday included chocolate chip cookies, cake, chips, pretzels and more junk. But I was sure to drink plenty of water.

Whatever it was, it worked, because this morning was awesome. The weather was perfect for running. Cool and overcast! I started the race feeling a bit crappy. Mile 1 was the hardest of all 13 miles. I felt a bit slow going out, but by the time I got to the first mile marker and saw that my time was 9:03 I was feeling good because I knew I was on pace... just another 12.1 miles to go!

The first three miles were flat and fast... we headed around the outlet stores back up near the start line and through the ghetto a few blocks away from the Sunday Breakfast Mission. I saw a homeless man sleeping on the side of the street. From there we made a left on 4th Street and then up Walnut Street. Walnut Street was a bit of an incline, but nothing bad. We made a left on 16th Street and then a right on Market and then made the first left onto the street that runs along the river and past the zoo. That was a nice part of the run. I was running with the same group of people for most of the race and my goal was to never lose site of them because they were helping me to set my pace. We continued up the river and then crossed at the swinging bridge and back down the river before heading up South Park Drive (a hill!!!!). I knew the next part of the run would be difficult. The next mile or so was all uphill.

Okay I don't feel like writing about each part of the run anymore. I don't even feel like writing right now, but I don't want to let my fans down... (all three of you) HAHA! So anyways...

As I was running I kept telling myself to keep pushing it because half marathons aren't supposed to be easy. Whenever I had a cramp or my feet or legs started hurting I told myself I'm supposed to be in pain. If there was no pain, more people would run half marathons. I kept chugging along. At mile 10 I was at 1:26 about 5 minutes faster than my time at the Broad Street Run. At that point I knew I was going to finish in under two hours and I kept telling myself you only have a 5k left to run and most of it would be down hill. I picked up some speed going back down S. Park Drive and when I got to the 11 mile mark I said this is it... I'm almost finished. When I made a right on to King Street, the last stretch of the race, we started going uphill again. At this point I was tired and, seriously, the only thing I kept repeating in my head was oh s***, oh s***... another damn hill. The hill wasn't big by any means, but I wasn't digging any sort of incline at that point. I got up the little hill and kept moving... there was probably one more mile at this point. When I turned the bend and saw the finish line I kicked it in high gear... I sprinted to the finish line. I was tired when I crossed the line. I limped to the refreshment tent. My calves, shins and quads were all burning. Stretching was not an option at that point. I just wanted to sit. I sat and ate a soft pretzel and banana. Eventually I found my mom and stepdad and we left.

After the race I went to breakfast, vacuumed my house and got a pedicure - my feet were a hot mess - and went shopping. I talk a lot about eating, but just like the Broad Street Run, I'm not really all that hungry today. No big post-race meal for me. My legs are feeling tight right now, but not anything close to what they felt like right after the race. Tomorrow will be interesting. It typically takes my body 24 hours to really start feeling the work. I'm hoping I'll be okay though.

Well that pretty much sums up the half marathon experience! It was an awesome feeling to finish and I'm still thinking I'm nuts because 13.1 miles just doesn't phase me when I think about it. I'm ready to train for the marathon. But before I begin I'm taking probably a week off from long distance running. On Saturday I'm running in a relay race for work. Each runner takes a mile leg. I'm not sure how I'll do with that... I want to go out and sprint it but I know I'll die doing that. I'm hoping to run an 8 minute mile. Maybe I can try 7:30.

Peace. Love. Run.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Strong is the new beautiful

Two days until the half marathon. Can you believe it? It seems like it wasn't that long ago that I began the official Hal Higdon half marathon training schedule. When I think about it, it REALLY wasn't that long I began training... probably about 13 weeks ago. Physically, I feel ready for this half marathon... mentally I'm psyching myself out. I need to get it together. I can't believe I'm running a half marathon. I keep telling myself I'm crazy because at this point I don't think 13.1 miles is far. I guess that's why we train.

I haven't run since Sunday, but everyone I've talked to says that's okay because my body needs to rest. On Sunday I did 12 miles and I felt great. The weather was brisk and the sun was shining so it was pretty much perfect running weather. I was a little worried about doing 12 miles 1. because it would be my furthest distance, 2. I spent the weekend camping on the ground, woke up every day with my back and neck hurting, didn't get much sleep because I was sleeping on the ground (ha) and 3. I spent the weekend eating cheese curls, smores, pretzels and chips in a chair in a field. Despite the bad eating habits and lack of sleep my run was a success. I finished 12 miles in 1:53. I'm happy with that time.

On Tuesday I did an RPM class at the gym and Wednesday I did Body Pump. Tomorrow I'm going to go on a short run in the morning to loosen up a bit and then continue to focus on hydrating and eating right.

Looking ahead to Sunday I'm not sure if I'm going to set a time goal. My goal as always is to finish and run 10-minute miles. I have been running 9-9:30-minute miles though so we'll see. Miles 5.5-6.5 is an uphill climb so that will be interesting. Some of my runs have included hills so I think I'll be okay.

Once the half is over I'm going to take some time off from running, but will continue to work out at the gym. I'm looking forward to going back to kickboxing and Body Step class. Over the summer I want to do some interval work and continue to work on speed in addition to long distance runs. My marathon training plan official begins on June 15, but I'm already way ahead of schedule from training for the half.

That's all for tonight.

Peace. Love. Run.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Running Skirts

This post is really just a bunch of nonsense because I blogged on Sunday and nothing much has happened since then. I walked yesterday with two friends and stretched. My quads hurt a bit, but I was able to walk and even ran the last quarter mile of my walk just for fun. This evening I went to Carousel Park and ran the Carousel Loop. I believe it's three miles because I finished in 29 minutes. There is a pretty intense hill around mile 2. In the next week and a half, I'm going to try to find more runs with hills to mix it up a bit. After the run I headed to the gym and stretched and did some weight lifting (arms only) and abs.

Okay, the reason for tonight's post. Running skirts. There were a lot of chicks at the Broad Street Run wearing running skirts. I've seen them at the gym on a few occasions and they're really annoying. I apologize to any readers who wear running skirts. Don't be offended. Maybe you can help us understand. A lot of Julie and my conversation as we were warming up for the race centered on the running skirt. They have shorts under them, but I just don't understand. They seem like they would be uncomfortable and what's the point in running in a skirt? (I did play lacrosse and we wore skirts, but it wasn't my decision).

That's all. This was all really pointless. But it's my blog.

Peace. Love. Run.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Broad Street! 30,000+ Strong!

Today was the first of three big running days - the Broad Street Run! What an awesome morning! Let's rewind to the past 24 hours or so... Yesterday all I did was drink water... water, water and more water. And it paid off. I ate carbs throughout the day, but I didn't go crazy. No pasta dinner here. I went to bed at 9:30, but didn't really get a good night's sleep. My house was hot (I was going to not turn the AC on all summer, but I caved in and it's now on). I tried sleeping in my own bed, but because I can't open the windows (too much traffic noise from Limestone Road and there is a huge, really freaking loud bullfrog living in the pond in the back)... so after an hour or so in my bed I moved to my guest bedroom. I opened the windows and it was cooler, but then some neighbors were really loud and drunk so I moved back to my room. I finally fell asleep and my alarm woke me up at 3:55 a.m. I was ready. I headed to Julie's in Wilmington and we departed for the race at 5:15 a.m. (I do have to mention I ate a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup egg at 5:00 a.m. - Julie told me last night that if I finished in 1:31 she would give me some peanut butter cup eggs - I told her she was crazy and I would never finish in that time) It was pouring the entire drive up. I figured it was just a passing shower and hoped that it would cool things off a bit, because it was still pretty warm in the early a.m. hours.

We got to the subway a little before 6 a.m. The train was pretty packed with runners, but we found seats. My prediction was that by the time we got to our stop, the rain would stop and the sun would be shining and it would be hot. The rain stopped, but it was still pretty cloudy. We hit the portapotties, walked around the track, stretched, participated in the step aerobic workout/stretch session (this was all within a 2-2.5 hour time period!) We got there early, but I'm glad we did. It gave us some time to just relax and hit up the bathroom without any lines. At around 8:10 we started walking to the start line. The line was divided by colored flags. These colors were based on your predicted finish time. Back in February when I signed up I predicted I would finish in 1:40 so I was in the yellow group.

So after waiting for probably a good 20 minutes it was time for my group to start (my group was closer to the back). While waiting we could see the mass of runners that had already started. It was a pretty amazing scene! 30,000+ runners running the streets of Philadelphia! We finally got to the start and it was go time. I set my watch and was off! I felt really good starting out. On some of my longer runs in the past few weeks I've noticed that it's taken me at least two miles before I settled in. Not today. I was feeling good and started passing people so I could break away from some of the crowd (while there were 30,000 runners, I never felt that it was too crowded). The first 4 or so miles of the course are in some of Philadelphia's poorer neighborhoods. It was nice to see the neighbors out and cheering!! At mile one I looked at my watch and was pretty surprised at how fast I started out. I think my first mile was 8:40 or so. I felt good so I didn't question myself or think I should slow down so I could keep going the rest of the race. Usually I think a lot while I run, but I just enjoyed the scenery and people and my thoughts were pretty quiet. I did have to pee for most of the run so I was probably thinking "I hope I don't pee my pants because I'm not stopping."

I stopped at most of the water spots.( My friend Naty from work, who happened to be in Philly later in the day, commented on the amount of cups on the streets haha!) At mile 4 I ate my second shotblok (I ate one 15 minutes before the race started) and it gave me energy and I kept moving. All along the route there were bands playing to keep the runners motivated! Because of the heat, the city had the fire hydrants on so it was nice to be able to run through the water to cool off. It was a really hot run even in the morning. Once we approached City Hall there were tons of people cheering on the sides so that helped. Around mile 7 I really started feeling tired and wanted to stop, but of course I didn't. I still had to pee and I began contemplating peeing my pants, but I didn't want to (even though a lot of runners do!) because that's pretty gross. I kept going and going and going.... Mile 8 I popped another ShotBlok (I ate a total of 5 for the whole race). There were still tons of people cheering, but all I could think about was how hot it was and how bad I had to pee. So mile 9 is approaching and I'm getting tired. I wanted to stop. Fortunately, the song I was listening to kept saying "don't stop" so that helped a lot. I hit mile 9 and I said I'm doing this for Michelle. (Michelle Rigney was my good friend who lost her battle to melanoma in June 2008.)

Mile 9 was the hardest. I was almost there and I still had to pee. I'm sorry for sharing this, but it's my blog so I do what I want. But I started peeing my pants. hahahaa. I got it together and was able to hold it. Once I was in the Navy Yard there were tons of people cheering and I knew I only had a 1/4 mile left. I saw my mom and stepdad cheering and that was a really huge help! My mom was screaming and we gave each other five!!!! She was so excited! I saw the finish line banner and kicked it in high gear. I did it! I crossed it. I stopped my watch and my unofficial time was 1:31 (Julie predicted it with her peanut butter cup eggs!). We started walking to the refreshment tent and there was a mob of hot, sweaty runners. I was feeling overheated and we got a water bottle and waited to get through the refreshment tent. I got a soft pretzel and a bag of treats. Inside the bag was a banana, orange, fritos, yogurt breakfast bar and teddy grahams. I wasn't that hungry, but I was able to eat the banana, soft pretzel and some of the teddy grahams. I met up with my family, they took my picture and we headed back to the finish line to watch Julie finish. I wasn't sure if she already came in, but we found a spot along the fence and waited. I was able to watch her finish and she had her white stunner shades on which helped me to find her in the crowd! We were cheering loud and I was so proud!!!!!

So for those who read my blog or facebook updates, you know I talk about eating a lot. Today I'm not really feeling hungry. I thought I would be eating a lot today, but I'm just not feeling it. Maybe tomorrow! Tomorrow I'm planning to eat a muffin from Purebread for breakfast (the peanut butter cup muffin taunts me every morning when I pick up bread for the Food Bank) and then I'm hitting up the Pizza Hut lunch buffet! I love Pizza Hut pizza!!!

So that's it. The Broad Street Run - complete! It was an awesome experience and I am already looking forward to next year. This race humbled me though. I have a lot of work ahead of me before the marathon in October. In two weeks I'm running the half marathon in the Delaware Marathon Running Festival. I'm looking forward to it! But it will be a lot harder than Broad Street. 3.1 more miles and the course will be a lot more challenging. I hope we have cooler weather on that day though.

So looking ahead to this week's training schedule.

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 5 Miles
Wednesday: RPM
Thursday: 6 miles
Friday: Body Pump
Saturday: I'm going camping! I will probably go hiking, canoeing and other outdoor crap
Sunday: 11-12 miles

Peace. Love. Run.