It’s time!

I almost thought it wasn’t going to happen (which I’ll explain in my race report), but tomorrow is the big day! My first half marathon. My alarm is set for 3:15am (*yawn*), my belly is full of pasta, and I guess I’m as ready as I can be.


If you’re interested in keeping up with me and will be awake at 5:30am EST on a Saturday (don’t know why you would be, but hey…), you can receive text or email updates by signing up here and entering my name:

I suspect I will cross the finish line around 9am EST, given that I’m 10 corrals back (so I will probably start closer to 6am) and plan on making many photo stops. (Please let Rapunzel be out there!)

Wish me luck!

Yet another half marathon training plan!

After the WDW Half on Saturday(!!), the real half training starts! (I may die.) Every year, the East Nasty community does training for the Country Music Half, so I decided this would be a good way to incorporate some of my runs! At first, I planned on doing at least two runs a week with the group, including the long run each week. However, they want you to be able to run 5 miles without walking from the start, which I just can’t do right now (sigh!). So I’m going to do the speed workouts on Thursday nights (marked as 3rd runs below) with them and then maybe a few others, depending on how well I’m progressing. (So, please, no one invite me to do anything on a Thursday night in the next few months. I am easily swayed.)

I also plan on doing at least two runs on my own each week, with the first one usually including strides at the end. Plus I have the Hot Chocolate 15k coming up in February, so that will act as my long run for that week.

My goals for the Country Music Half:

  1. Finish!
  2. Get a PR.
  3. Try my hardest to do it without walking (except through water stops).

All runs are easy runs, unless designated otherwise. Pace times are listed below (and may be very optimistic because I know that’s not my current 5k pace).

Week 1st Run* 2nd Run 3rd Run** 4th Run Long Run
1.13-1.19 rest rest 6x short hill 5mi 5.5mi
1.20-1.26 3mi rest 8x short hill 5mi 6mi
1.27-2.02 3mi rest 2×10 min tempo 5mi 7.5mi
2.03-2.09 3mi rest 20 min tempo 5mi 9mi
2.10-2.16 3mi rest 5x long hill rest Hot Chocolate 15k
2.17-2.23 3mi rest 5x long hill 5mi 8mi
2.24-3.02 3mi rest 30 min tempo 5mi 9.5mi
3.03-3.09 3mi rest 30 min tempo 5mi 11mi
3.10-3.16 3mi rest 6x (800m 5k pace / 400m jog) 5mi 11mi
3.17-3.23 3mi 1mi goal pace 5x (1000m 5k pace / 400m jog) 5mi 12.5mi
3.24-3.30 3mi 2mi goal pace 4x (1200m 5k pace / 400m jog) 5mi 14mi
3.31-4.06 3mi 3mi goal pace 3x (1600m 5k pace / 400m jog) 5mi 12.5mi
4.07-4.13 3mi 4mi goal pace 3x2mi intervals 5mi 15k progressive
4.14-4.20 2mi 5mi goal pace 3mi goal pace 5mi 5mi
4.21-4.27 2mi rest 3mi rest Half marathon!

* 1st Runs will usually incorporate 8 strides at the end.
** 3rd Runs will be done with the East Nasty Half Marathon Training Group.

Pace Times:
Strides: 9:45-10:15 min/mi
5k pace: 10:15-10:45 min/mi
Tempo: 10:45-11:15 min/mi
Goal pace: 11:15-11:45 min/mi
Easy: 12:00-12:30 min/mi
Jog: 13:00+ min/mi

Week of 12/30/13-1/5/14: WDW Half Training, Week 16

Week of 12/30/13 to 1/5/14

This graph’s stats are ignoring Sunday’s runs. Feel free to ignore it back.

I occasionally participate in challenges on Strava. They had one to run 33 miles in the 10 days over the holidays. I signed up for it, since I knew I was going to be doing a couple long runs in that time, so I thought I could do it. The last day of the challenge was the last day of the year. Going into that day, I was 0.23 miles short of the 33 miles. So, on New Year’s Eve, before I headed out to all the festivities, I ran a third of a mile. And completed the challenge!

The next day I went out on a real run. Jonathan came along and jogged beside me and would not let me walk! I was pretty much begging him to let me walk at several points, but he kept pushing me. I will say that I snuck in a couple walking steps when he wasn’t paying attention (and more than a couple when he was but I had an awful side stitch that I just needed a couple breaths to work out), but for the most part, I ran over 2 miles straight for the first time since October, even pulling out a sprint at the end.

I have no real excuse for the next few days; I was just being lazy. I pushed myself out the door on Sunday for an hour long run before it started raining. It was a nice day (then) in the upper 50s and the sun shining. I started off well, running about the first 1.1 miles without walking. Then I hit a major hill. (Nice time to pick a new route.) I’m talking nearly quarter of a mile, 15-20% grade. No. I walked that thing. And I maintained a heart rate of over 185 bpm just walking up it, so I’m sure I would have exploded trying to run it. After the hill, I started running again, but the road had curved and I was now running against the wind. Did I mention there was some crazy 20 mph wind? Because there was. It was pretty much over after that. I was tired from walking that hill and running into the strong wind was not fun. So I started walking quite a bit.

I ended up doing a little over 4.6 miles, but really only the first mile was any good. And by good, I mean that I got my best time on the 0.6 mile straight segment that started out the run.

Straight road segment times

After I cooled down a bit, I did a couple 0.1 mile strides in front of my house. I wanted to do more, but, let’s face it, I was impressed that I even did two.

I can’t believe the half marathon is in less than a week. I feel woefully unprepared, but I’m sure it will be fun no matter what. I just hope that I’m able to continue to walk around the parks afterwards.

2013: My First Year of Running

It’s been an interesting year. Although I started and stopped attempting to run in previous years, I consider 2013 to actually be my first year of running. I started on January 25, 2013.

2013 in review

Disclaimer: I didn’t start using Nike+ till mid-February, so some runs are not represented. Also, Nike+ has a tendency to record a longer distance than Garmin, so totals may not be in agreement with those below.


Number of runs: 142
Total distance ran: 410.9 miles
– on pavement: 336.2 miles
– on treadmill: 62.6 miles
– on trails: 12.1 miles
Total time ran: 88:48
Total elevation gained: 11,693 ft


Total mileage: 9.5 miles
Best week: 4.9 miles
Best mile: 12:36
I started off pretty slow. With my previous failed attempts at Couch to 5k, I wasn’t willing to just jump back into it. So I hopped on a treadmill in my old ratty Adidas sneakers and took off at my own pace. My first couple runs were a little over 2 miles each, averaging over 14 min miles. I tried running out on the pavement for some shorter runs, which I was able to do faster. Mostly, I was just trying to keep my runs around 30 minutes 3-4 times a week.


Total mileage: 20.9 miles
Best week: 6.4 miles
Best mile: 12:47
Best 5k: 41:51
Shoes Purchased: Skechers GoRun 2
This month was pretty similar to January, except I started throwing some 5k distance runs in the mix. I bought my first pair of real running shoes! By the end of the month, I could finish 3.1 miles in around 42 minutes.


Total mileage: 21.0 miles
Best week: 9.3 miles
Best mile: 12:39
Best 5k: 40:43
I kept my distance about the same in March, but worked on speed, doing things like hill repeats. Around the middle of the month, I achieved a best mile time of 12:39. The Color Run rounded out the end of the month.


Total mileage: 45.9 miles
Best week: 13.3 miles
Best mile: 10:26
Best 5k: 39:48
April is when I started to get serious. I had a 5k coming up in May that I wanted to do well in, so it was time for some mileage increases! I started back on week 3 of Couch to 5k. I doubled the distance I ran in March. I managed a best one mile effort of 10:26, and a best 5k effort of 39:48. I was running sometimes three or four days in a row, and I even attempted one six miler. Oh yeah, and I started this blog!


Total mileage: 46.0 miles
Best week: 13.0 miles
Best mile: 10:06
Best 5k: 35:59
Shoes Purchased: Saucony Kinvara 3
I started off the month doing 6.4 miles worth of intervals around Boise, Idaho. On May 12, I bettered my 5k time even further by running 3.1 miles in 36:40. By the time of the Law Enforcement Memorial 5k on May 17, I felt pretty ready. I ended up running it in just over half an hour, which I was elated with. The course was slightly short, but I still count it as my best 5k race time. I also achieved a best mile time of 10:06 during the race. But all was not well. I had slightly hurt my left ankle early in the month, but pushed through it. Now my right calf was starting to ache. On the 27th, I went out on the greenway and ended up limping back to my car.


Total mileage: 31.8 miles
Best week: 11.9 miles
Best mile: 11:02
Best 5k: 37:03
The month I “graduated” from Couch to 5k! I did a few easy runs early in the month to not anger my calf muscle, but this month was mostly spent preparing for a 10k in early July. My mock 10k that I ran midway through the month put me at a time of 1:17:44. I felt okay until a couple days later when my left hip starting hurting, and I couldn’t even get through a mile run. I took a week off and saw the doctor, who confirmed that I wasn’t broken and to take it easy until after the 10k, when I should take a month off. I stiffly and gingerly made it through the rest of the month.


Total mileage: 9.7 miles
Best week: 9.7 miles
Best mile: 9:44
Best 5k: 34:22
Shoes Purchased: Pearl Izumi Road N2 (for long runs)
I only ran twice in the month of July. A quick 5k run on the 2nd and then the Music City Fourth of July 10k on the 4th. Despite my injuries, I exceeded my expectations for the race. I officially finished in 1:14:37 and even got best 5k (34:22) and 1 mile (9:44) times. The next few days were spent in agony, though it was worth it.


Total mileage: 40.5 miles
Best week: 11.6 miles
Best mile: 10:56
Best 5k: 39:16
I started back doing intervals, averaging around 12-13 min miles. By the middle of the month, I ran my first complete mile since getting injured.


Total mileage: 45.7 miles
Best week: 12.3 miles
Best mile: 8:48
Best 5k: 33:28
But the best month of my running career so far? Probably September. I started off the month with a marathon relay, in which I, again, bested my mile time with an 8:48 mile (that still stands today). Just a few days later, I managed to run 3.1 miles without walking (a first!) and less than a week after that, I achieved my best 5k time of 33:28! I ran a 5k while on vacation in Seattle and also started half marathon training. Out of all my runs that month, only a couple averaged over a 12 minute mile. I really felt like I was getting better and faster!


Total mileage: 45.9 miles
Best week: 13.7 miles
Best mile: 10:15
Best 5k: 35:19
As I continued with half marathon training, it soon became apparent to me that I was getting burnt out. The long runs were zapping my energy for my weekday runs and my weekday runs were wearing me out for my long runs. My times began to become slower and slower. I did manage an awesome 5k at the Go Commando 5k in mid-October, where I did the whole thing without walking (my goal).


Total mileage: 35.7 miles
Best week: 16.0 miles
Best mile: 11:32
Best 5k: 38:24
The days were getting colder and shorter. Colder days meant my asthma was acting up more. Shorter days meant more time on the treadmill and less on the pavement. After an 8 mile run on the 9th, I couldn’t walk. Something had happened to my left ankle. Yes, another injury! I took two weeks off to nurse it back to health, but ended up walking The Mo Run, which made my right hip start hurting due to the limping I had to do.


Total mileage: 60.2 miles
Best week: 22.8 miles
Best mile: 11:54
Best 5k: 38:33
Shoes Purchased: New Balance WT110 (for trails)
The month started with some 15+ min/mile treadmill runs. So slow. The goal for the month? Just push through the long runs, run/walking at whatever intervals I can to get through the distance so I could still do the half marathon in January. I did my first trail run, which was really a glorified hike. By the end of the month, I was running a 5k in 40 minutes, about where I was at in March.

2014 Goals!

I didn’t really have any goals when I started this pursuit at the beginning of 2013, other than “make it through couch to 5k”, which I did!

But now that I’ve been running for almost a full year, I want to lay out some more specific goals:

  1. Finish two half marathons.
    I’m kind of over attempting specific time goals for either of them. Doing so is making me push myself too much too soon. My goal for both is to finish and have fun. Mainly, I just want to enjoy running and I’ve found when I’ve been half marathon training, I don’t. I want to get it back. I don’t want to drop the halves that I’ve signed up for, but I’m going to take it easy.
  2. Run a sub-30 minute 5k.
    With all the pain and injuries I’ve had this year, after I finish out my two half marathons in the first half of 2014, I have decided to take a break from anything greater than a 10k for the rest of the year. I mainly want to focus on bettering my 5k time, so that’s what this goal is for! I’ve come so close, and I know I can do it, but I need to train specifically for it. With all the half marathon specific training (and injuries from it), my 5k time has actually gotten worse. So look for a lot of 5k races in the latter part of the year!
  3. Participate in a running streak for a month.
    I don’t know what month yet, but I want to do one of those run-at-least-a-mile-every-day-for-a-month things. I’m thinking fall.
  4. Volunteer!
    I would love to give back to the running community. Maybe I’m not interested in running longer distances right now, but I would sure love to support the people who love to do it! I’m definitely going to be looking into volunteering at a few races and running events this year.

That’s it! Sounds doable, right?