Tag Archives: half marathon

Sniffles, Wind, and Other Training Woes

by

image

Check out this dreary weather from the Route 66 Half Marathon! It’s really hard to get motivated to run in less than perfect conditions.

This girl is back in the training saddle again! I’m training for my second Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon, and I am surprisingly not having that hard of a time with it. I can definitely tell that I have lost less fitness between this half and the Rt. 66 half than I did between last year’s OKC and Rt. 66. Taking an entire summer off of long distance running really takes a toll on the mileage base I had built up, but I really don’t have the motivation to run outside in 90 degree weather.

Which leads us to today’s topic… running in less than ideal conditions.

Two weeks ago, the wind was really proving why it was featured so prominently in the song “Oklahoma”. It was not only sweeping down the plain, but was also sweeping up the leaves, rustling up the dirt, and knocking over several skinny bicyclists.

I did not want to go run in 25 mile per hour winds. Already dressed in my running clothes, I spent 15 minutes Googling “skip windy run” to see if someone on the Internet could justify my laziness. Alas, every blogger told me to suck it up and run. So I did. While I was a bit slower than usual due to the extra effort it took to run into the wind for half the run, I was really glad that I sucked it up and ran.

But let’s consider another, more challenging situation…

Currently, I have some kind of allergy/cold mess hanging out in my nostril area. Last week, I really did not want to go hit the pavement for 7 miles with the sniffles. The sun was shining, however, and there was scarcely any wind. So, I compromised with myself and did 4 miles at a pretty quick clip. I know it was definitely better than nothing, but a teeny part of me feels guilty that I didn’t finish the run (even though I really did feel like poop).

What do you guys do in less-than-perfect running conditions? Do you reschedule your training run for a different day? Skip it altogether? Compromise and do less mileage for the day? Help me out (and also console my guilt).

I Said, Brrr, It’s Cold Out There: Running in Cold Weather

by

(Hope you guys all got my sweet Bring it On reference in the post title.)

The above picture was the view outside my window this morning. As you can see, we’ve had a little snow lately. I live in Norman, Oklahoma, which has experienced sub-freezing temperatures for what seems like forever (but has probably only been a week or so). Usually I’m a big fan of snow days, but I’ve been trying to train for my third half-marathon and it has not been going according to plan.

Every training cycle I studiously mark each run in my planner, scaling up to 10 miles two weeks before the race. Basically all of my scheduled outdoor long runs have not occurred, thanks to this lovely snow and ice that coats my sidewalks. I’ve been trying to catch up on the treadmill, but it’s so difficult both mentally and physically to do these long, slow runs on a treadmill. Can you imagine running for two hours basically in place?! I’m not sure if TLC has enough episodes of trash TV to get me through that kind of struggle.

Do you have any tips for training in cold weather? I’m sure runners who experience this kind of weather all of the time are laughing at me, but it’s a real challenge for this Texas born runner!

Route 66 Half Marathon Race Report, Part 1

by

It’s gotten quite chilly outside the past few days, so let’s travel back in time to another cold couple of days…the weekend B, K, and I drove to Tulsa so that I could run the Route 66 Half Marathon.

We made the quick 2 hour trek from Norman to Tulsa and drove straight to the race expo. It was much smaller than the OKC expo, but it got the job done with much less waiting-in-line time. We perused the things for sale (and I promised K a 0.0 sticker for her Kia- still want one, bby?), made some inspirational race signs, then skedaddled to our hotel.

That night I crammed in a nervous Mexican dinner with B, K, and our friend Beth who lives in Tulsa. Seems like I always eat Mexican food before races?! Maybe they help me run faster. Who knows? We got home and I laid out all of my clothes for the next morning, pinned my bib to my pants, and strapped on my timing chip. I was as ready as I could be…but super nervous. I tried to go to bed at 10 pm, but I was so nervous that it took me forever to fall asleep and I woke up many times throughout the evening. At one point, I remember just praying that the morning would go ahead and come so I could stop pretending to get any semblance of rest.

Race day was COOOOOLD. Something like 12 degrees. We all layered up, B ran and got a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts (more on that later), we posed for cute pictures, and then, all too soon, it was time to hit the road.

Parking was a hairy situation, but we managed to park about 4 blocks from the start. And that little walk was INTENSE. The cold was mind-numbing. I sincerely started to doubt if I could run 13.1 miles in that weather. We waited (probably illegally) in the lobby of the Mayo Hotel until about half an hour before the race started— that’s when B and K ditched me to go post up with their signs near the 2.5/5 mile marker at Woodward Park.

Waiting in that corral alone yet surrounded by thousands of people was incredibly difficult. I couldn’t feel my fingers or my toes. My scarf wouldn’t hang right on my neck. This race was starting to seem like a dumb idea. Then the gun went off, and I started running.

And 5 minutes into the race, I was actively thinking “Where can I meet B and K in order for me to drop out of this race?”

I’m evil, so that’s where I leave you until the next chapter!

by

Photo of the Day: me, all bundled up yesterday for the Route 66 Half marathon. It was a little chilly.

Fitness Find: 50by25

by

I was looking for race reviews of the Route 66 Marathon online last night in an attempt to get pumped for my race later this month, and I happened upon 50by25, a really extensive blog about Laura, the current world record holder for the youngest person to run a marathon in all 50 states! I got lost in her race recaps for about an hour last night, but it was totally worth it.

Fun Training Montage!

by

There’s less than a month until the Route 66 Half Marathon, and I have not blogged as much about training as I did last time (obviously). Turns out that training during the fall is extremely hard for a college student who enjoys football games, sleep, and going to Whataburger at 11pm.

Midweek runs: They suck. They make my calves hurt toooooo much. I had a breakthrough a few weeks ago where I loosened my laces a bunch and my calves felt better, but now they feel worse. I don’t have this problem on long runs, which is confusing. I’m beginning a regimen of calf exercises to help combat the pain before the race. So, progress!

Long runs: Sporadic, but great! I’ve had a really odd schedule this semester (see: football on long run days), and combine that with all of the free 5ks floating around, and my long runs have been all over the place.  A couple of times I’ve done two-a-days or 3 miles at night (5k) and 5 miles in the morning to meet my total if I’m especially busy (or, you know, registered for a 5k). This weekend, I’m running 9 miles for the first time in a loooong while, but I’m excited. I’ve felt pretty good during most of my long runs, which is extremely calming when I look at the calendar and think “LESS THAN A MONTH!!”.

Overall: This training cycle has made me nervous. I keep thinking I am way farther behind than I was for the OKC half, but when I look back on my training posts, I’m definitely not. I keep forgetting that I also had a busted long run during that cycle, and that I got sick and missed a week of training during that cycle (last week I didn’t train at all due to B family fun). I’m going to be just fine. (I think.) Trying to adapt my attitude from “MUST PR” to “I’m going to do the best I can on this course”. It wouldn’t be fair to my hard work if I beat myself up over a non-PR on a course that I’ve literally never even seen before. Hills? Who knows!

Bust, part 2

by

Tips and what I learned from my horrible, truly epic busted run today:

  • You should probably eat before you run.
  • Also, drinking water is important. Do that occasionally.
  • Don’t try and cry while you’re still running. You won’t have enough breath.
  • When you’ve cooled down a bit, then call your mom and cry. Moms are good at listening to people sob incoherently on the phone.
  • I’m really, really thankful and lucky that the worst thing that will happen to me today is that I can’t finish a run. Holy perspective, Batman!
  • Friends are really good at cheering you up when you’re in the deep dark cave of failure, be that running failure or just general all-around epic failure.
  • Go read some running blogs when you’re sad. While you might think it would make you feel worse, I promise that someone is there struggling like you are. It felt good to see that I wasn’t the only one who got all torn up about not completing a training run.
  • Always attempt a long run with more free time ahead of you so that you have time to try, try again. Hopefully in cooler weather with more hydration.

Remember when I busted last time?

http://thecuppycakes.tumblr.com/post/41847006588/bust

Maybe I’m just jinxed. I messed up my 7 miler last training cycle, too….

What Learning to Run Thirteen Miles Taught Me About Life

by

I’ve been feeling like writing something graduation-speechy (after having to endure some truly terrible graduation speeches) lately. Inspiring the masses with some token advice is totally a skill I’d like to develop.

So, I thought I would tie 5,000+13.1 up with a nice big red, sappy bow: what I learned about myself during those 5 or 6 months that I ran for hours at a time on the weekends, tracking sweat all down the North Oval and questioning why I keep doing it. It’s distinctly different than what I learned about running, and it needs to be said. Because I think it will help someone who was just like me. 

Here it is: my big piece of advice in one neat line…

…dreams don’t always find you.

Sometimes you have to find them. Sometimes you have to do something insane to realize what you’re really made of. Sometimes you have to just randomly select a goal out of the ether, and see if it works for you. You have to decide to go run three miles (?!?!) with your best friend through Dallas even though you’ve never done it before. You, the girl they shouted “Run, Forrest, Run” at during soccer practice. You, the one who always copped out of working as hard as the other cheerleaders because you were fatter and “couldn’t do as much”. You have to decide to do something you’ve never done before.

And then, of course, you have to see where it goes. You might end up hating the thing you choose to try out. I’m sure if I had decided to take up fly fishing or calculus, I wouldn’t be feeling so fulfilled at the moment. Don’t consider yourself a failure if you don’t know what you want. Figure it out, and don’t beat yourself up about it.

After that 5k, I decided to run one mile a day for a year. That was my 2012 New Year’s resolution. And then I did more. And then I watched “Spirit of the Marathon”, came out of my boyfriend’s room into the living room, and announced to three other people that I was running a half-marathon.

And so goes the growth of a dream.

If you could have gone back to January 1, 2012 and ask me if I would ever run a half-marathon, I would have shamelessly laughed in your face. “Me? I’m a terrible runner. I’ve never been good at running. What a joke.”

I have always dreamed of being strong. To have toughness, both mental and physical. Most of the time, I feel very weak. I cry a lot, over silly things that shouldn’t get to me, but do. I don’t feel strong during most of my daily life.

The half-marathon made me feel strong. I never felt weak, never felt like I wasn’t good enough, never felt like I wasn’t achieving something great each time I trained or talked about it. Now that I’ve technically achieved my dream, I’m going after more. A two-and-a-half-hour half in the fall, then maybe an even shorter one after that. I want to always feel this strong.

I beg you to try something new. If you feel like I did, like you have no real dreams, like you are weak, like you have never truly achieved anything great, do something you’ve never done before and do it with your whole heart.

There was a time when I thought I had no dreams. Now I know that I was wrong.

Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon Race Recap, Part 2

by

So, when I left you last, I was heading out for the race, correct?

Good. Let’s get caught up.

My family and I headed down towards the memorial, and, after narrowly missing the start of the race because I thought some random mass of people was the corral, I made my way through the (real) massive corral and found my friend Wesley at the 9:30 pace marker! While I knew I couldn’t keep this pace for the whole race, I didn’t want to be alone so I hung by him while we listened to the prayer, the seconds of silence, and the horn that signaled the beginning of the race (!!!!!).

It took me 7 minutes to cross the start line, and I began running to the tune of Sweet Caroline. Mile 1 was nothing short of magical. I ran by my hotel, by the firefighters completing the race in full gear, by the arena, and over the first hill of the race on the Bricktown bridge. I went out too fast (shocker) and had a 9:45 first mile. I continued at a pretty good pace until, unfortunately, my right foot started going numb at mile 2. While I thought my shoes were loose enough, they weren’t. (I still haven’t found a solution to this problem.) Luckily, I had trained through this, and knew that if I took off my shoe for about 15 seconds, the numbness would go away. So that’s how I ran miles 2-4, stopping about every half mile to un-numb my feet and then pushing forward again.

I didn’t tell anyone I was having foot problems because I didn’t want them to worry (sorry, family), and when I met K at mile 4, I didn’t stop to un-numb myself until after I saw her leave. (Let’s talk about how awesome K is, she walked a 10k’s worth chasing my butt all over Oklahoma City.)

Mile 5-6 started our journey through some really pretty neighborhoods, and it brought the epicness of Gorilla Hill!image

Unfortunately, it was also at this point that I realized I was developing a blister on my left foot, right where the upper and the sole of my Mizunos met. I messed with my shoe for a bit, but then resolved to just keep going and try to ignore it. I was too scared to take my sock off and see how big it was because I didn’t want to give myself a reason to slow down or give up. I knew there were medical tents coming up later, and I resolved to stop for a band-aid if it got super unbearable.

At this point in the race, I had a moment of discouragement. I saw the race clock at mile 7 and thought I was moving way below my goal time. My left foot hurt. My right foot was numb. It was getting hotter. It took all the strength I had to power through. I resolved to quit walking so much, make up the time I had lost and ignore all the pain. “Only Way I Know” by Jason Aldean came on my iPod, and all of a sudden, I had my second wind. I remember literally singing the song through gritted teeth as I made my way toward the half/full split.

The half marathon course then took a turn down Classen Boulevard, and, since I had creeped on the course so hard, I knew that the end was coming. It was a straight shot down Classen for 20+ blocks until it wound through Mesta Park and then across to Broadway. I was so thankful for my “second wind” because, quite frankly, this stretch of the race was boring. I was going straight for so long, it felt so hot outside, I had started getting awful stomach cramps, and I just wanted it to be over. Luckily, there were some great water stops with yummy snacks and drinks that kept me going. I did not, however, indulge in the free local beer being passed out.

K was meeting me on this stretch of the course, but I was having trouble remembering what she had said in her text (blame it on race brain). I expected her at 33rd Street, but she wasn’t there. So I thought, “maybe it was 30th Street!”. Nope. It was actually 23rd Street. Oops. That was a little frustrating.

image

When I finally saw K, I remember grabbing her arm like it was a life raft. I said (I think), “I’m so tired. I have a huge blister on my foot.” She responded “There’s only a 5k left!”. And she was right. It was mile 10. I had reached my personal distance record.

It was also right around this time that I realized I AM SO BAD AT MATH. I wasn’t running slower than a 3:00 pace, I was running way faster! At this point, I was ahead of the 2:30 pace group.

Yeah. I suck at math.

I was so happy after that. Everything was awesome. I was running through a gorgeous area with historic homes, everyone on the course was so supportive, and I had adopted an attitude of “it’s not going to hurt anymore than it already does, so keep running”.

That attitude got me all of the way to Broadway.

image

The finish line was rocking. I ran my hardest down Broadway. I knew my mom and family were waiting for me. I blasted Florence and the Machine’s “Shake It Out” and heard the crowd roaring even over that music. (That song got me through that race, hands down).

I can’t describe the feeling that crossing that finish line gave me. I know it’s a moment I’ll never forget.

I heard my mom’s iconic horse whistle and saw her and my other family members in the finish corral. I stumbled over and we hugged. I remember saying, “I’m so tired. I’m so glad it’s over. I’m so tired.” I started crying tears of joy and my parents were super concerned that I was injured. I left them to go get my medal and take my picture and then they met me outside the medical tent, where my huge blister was patched up.

It was over.

Easy AdSense by Unreal