Half Marathon, Day 28

A slow day, due to neck pain. Went to the chiropractor though - hopefully this helps!

1.94 miles
9'51" pace

+ a 3 mile brisk walk


Half Marathon, Day 26

8.5 miles
9' pace

Fastest 1k, fastest mile, fastest 10k! Woot!

Also, today I hit 100 miles on the streets of the ATL, not to mention the 1 day I used the treadmill and one on the elliptical. They count for something, right?


Half Marathon, Day 25

I'm embarrassed to admit that I injured my neck... while using my garlic press. It happened yesterday morning while I was making James' chili for the Chi O Stew & Brew cook-off, and I feel like such an idiot! I mean, it was a lot of garlic, and I guess the repetitive motion got to me at 8 a.m., but still! I ran ok yesterday, and I actually thought the running loosened it up a bit, but I was w-r-o-n-g wrong. I woke up this morning in such a massive amount of pain that I had to use my hands to help support my head when getting out of bed. After three hours of not moving and taking the heating pad on and off, I finally felt like moving again. But, by the time evening came, I knew I didn't have it in me to run, so I did 60 minutes on the elliptical. I figure low impact elliptical is better for the neck and better than not exercising at all, right? So no mileage or pace, just time:

60 minutes

Half Way! Plus, Mapping the Race

The race website has a PDF of the race map, but it's so abstract, I wanted to know where all I will be running. Many of the streets are close to home, and I'd like to start trying out some of the course, so I mapped it out on Google. It's not quite perfect - over by .2 miles, but it should help as I am planning my ever-growing runs!

View Larger Map

Also, I didn't notice that Friday marked an important day in my training. It was the half-way point - 22 days in, 22 days to go! If training is anything like actually running, the worst of it is over -- do you always feel like the first half of your run or race is the hardest? The good new is that I feel like I've made a lot of progress, but I also know that I have so much more to do. I have only run 65 percent of the total race distance (8.5 miles) at one time thus far, so I know where my biggest opportunity is. I think I'm going to try to do start doing longer runs every other day to build up. I did three longer runs last week, 65, 80 and 80 minutes, and if I can do that again this week but maybe 80 , 80 and 100 (trying to hit 10 miles!), I will be happy with my progress. Just have to keep mentally ahead, that's the hardest part! :)


Half Marathon, Day 24

80 minutes
8.55 miles
9'22" pace

Note From the Universe

It may seem a bit backwards for some, but the first step one might take towards rearranging the present circumstances of their life is to stop dwelling upon the present circumstances of their life.





Half Marathon, Day 20

65 minutes
7.01 miles
9'24" pace

I obviously didn't run the last three days, and I have no reason other than pure exhaustion. My body really started fighting me last week -- shin splints, blisters, a sore foot -- and I rested all weekend. Unfortunately, I just do not have the luxury to keep doing that! Instead, I really need to step up my runs this week or I'm never going to make it all 13.1 miles. I am getting comfortable at my pace, so I think I need to start adding time - even if it's only five more minutes a day. Wish me luck!



Half Marathon, Day 15

45 minutes
4.61 miles
9'45" pace

Another first today! I ate a bug.


Half Marathon, Day 14

50 minutes
5.61 miles
8'54" pace

I am starting to feel like a real runner, complete with shin splints and ridiculous blisters UNDER the calluses on my big toes (thank you, deformed tendons!). Today, I thought I was going to get two miles from my house and have to call my husband to pick me up because my right shin hurt so bad. It's been aching for a while, even when I am sitting at my desk at work, but it hasn't impacted me like that at the beginning of a run before. I pushed through and made it home after 35 minutes and then decided to at least make it to 45. I actually did 50, and was on pace to set more PRs, but I want to make sure I can run again tomorrow so I called it quits. Now I am contemplating wearing flats to work for a few days to let my leg chill out. I didn't know this race would impact my fashion choices, too!! :)


Half Marathon, Day 13

60 minutes
6.61 miles
9'06" pace
Home > Peachtree Circle > Home > Alliance Theatre > Home

What a run! My best 1 mile, 5k and 10k times - 8:13, 27:58 and 56:22 - AND my longest run at 6.61 miles. Love it!


Half Marathon, Day 12

60 minutes
6.14 miles
?? pace (darn treadmill!)
The treadmill on the left...

After a f-f-freezing Saturday, I was hurting yesterday and didn't run. I knew I couldn't take two days off, so I sucked it up and ran inside today.

It was terrible. I hope it gets warmer soon!

A whole lot of whole wheat

With James' recent high cholesterol diagnosis, we're making some big dietary changes. Not just eating healthy, but making the absolute best choices about everything we buy, make and order. Thankfully, Kroger is helping us out - they now have whole wheat tortillas AND whole grain bread in their store brand. Good for the pocketbook as well!!


Technology-enabled Training

I'm not sure how people used to determine how far they'd run when training for a race. Drive your car around the block? Count your steps and multiply by your stride length? It sounds like a tedious, imprecise science, and I'm glad to have technology on my side. But even that has proved challenging.

When I moved to Atlanta, I at first depended on Google's walking directions to map out a path and figure the distance. They're quite reliable and the site is obviously easy to use. My only complaint is that it can get messy if I decide to deviate from what I researched because 1) the path is obstructed 2) something/someone seems sketch 3) I had the walk symbol in another direction or 4) I was feeling spontaneous.

Lucky me, when I, for the first time ever, went to get fitted for running shoes (I went to Phidippides in Ansley Mall, and they were fabulous. I highly recommend a visit!), I ended up with the Nike Air Max Moto, which featureds a built-in nook for Nike + iPod. It wasn't compatible with my iPod Video, but six months later, I scored an iPod Nano and was off to the races ... sort of. The product itself is great - it's like a souped-up pedometer that tracks your steps, time and distance, it compiles your running over time and can be synced with Nike.com. I have three complaints. First, the physical design is lacking. You have to plug a sensor into the iPod to talk to the sensor in your shoe. The sensor is so small, it's hard to keep track of/remember to take to the gym with you. Plus, tracker in your shoe has a battery that cannot be replaced, so when it dies, you have to go drop another $40 on a new set (reviews said it lasts about one year, but I have had mine for three with very limited use). Second, no iPod armband (at least that I could find) is designed to work with the sensor, so I actually had to turn my armband upside down so my Nano wouldn't fall out since the case no longer closed. Third, the calibration never seemed to get my pace down so I never trusted the accuracy of its end-of-run report.

Thankfully, I have found a solution to my problems! I joined the iPhone world last month when I started my new job, and the App Store has changed my life. Nike + GPS takes the Nike + iPod software to a whole new level, and it uses GPS rather than your steps to track your run. The result is more accurate, comprehensive tracking of your runs over time. I'm in love, and it was totally worth the $1.99. One of my favorite features is the map that shows your pace along your route - it is helping me as I learn to keep a consistent pace throughout my now six-mile daily runs. There are features to compete with friends, sync with social media and other items I haven't used - but it is sufficient to say that it's an extremely robust and well-thought app. I'm sure my feelings will change when something new and exciting comes out, but for now, I'm content!

How are you using technology to enhance your workouts?

Image via Apple


Half Marathon, Day 10

60 minutes
6.23 miles
9'38" pace
Home > 10th > Monroe > Piedmont > 10th > Peachtree > Baker > Home


Half Marathon, Day 8

60 minutes
6.03 miles
10' pace
Lake Hearn > Concourse > Northside > Glenridge > Lake Hearn

From that day on, if I was going somewhere, I was running!

Last week, I was feeling a little frustrated because my workout regimen was not providing any (and I mean ANY) results after 10 days of cardio and Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred. The Shred is what pushed me from being fit but plateauing to the best-I've-ever-been shape and confidence last July. But, as has been the story of my life for the last three years, school promptly kicked into full gear and the gym fell down the list of priorities (work, school, husband took precedence, in that order I am sad to say). So within six months, I was back to mushy-gushy and within a few pounds of my heaviest ever. I guess that's why they call it a yo-yo, right?

At any rate, I was feeling vulnerable so when I came across a story on my company intranet about a team that would be running the Publix Half Marathon and Marathon on March 18, I spontaneously signed up. In retrospect, forking over $100 didn't seem nearly as painful as that afternoon's return to sanity and the realization that I had now paid an absurd amount of money to be forced to run 13.1 miles.

With only six weeks to train, I'm on a rather accelerated training schedule - 45 minutes a day for one week, then up to 60 a day for the next five weeks, plus increasingly long runs each Saturday (60 minutes, 10k, 10 mile, etc.). I've recruited a friend to join me, so we can sympathize/support each other through the process, and that's helping quite a bit. I also, upon calming my now yo-yoing emotions (as if the weight wasn't bad enough!), realized that this adventure could be just that - an adventure, a challenge and a test of my will.

I've always thought about running a half, but when I run a 10k, I always think, "I'm crazy, I don't like this, why am I doing it?" and I have no reason to continue, so I don't. BUT I decided this is my year. 2012 is my chance to do the things I want to do, spend my time as I want to and accomplish more than I have been able to imagine while I've been in grad school. This is a new year full of so many new beginnings, challenges and unknowns, and I feel like a half marathon will fit nicely into my year. PLUS, it's three days after my 27th birthday, and I feel there is no better way to ring in my late 20s! :)

I’ll be documenting my training adventures, lessons learned and overall progress here. I figure it’s also a great opportunity to get out my blogging fingers and dust off the ole’ Les Writes More page. Your support and suggestions are welcomed and appreciated!

Note From the Universe

There is perhaps no more empowering belief than understanding you're always in control of how you feel.

Similarly, understanding that just because you're not always skipping through tulips with joy doesn't mean that something's wrong with you.


Half Marathon, Day 7

45 minutes
4.63 miles
9'44" pace
Lake Hearn > Concourse > Glenridge


Half Marathon, Day 6

45 minutes
4.57 miles
9'53'' pace
Lake Hearn > Glenridge > Concourse


Half Marathon, Day 4

30 minutes
3.29 miles
9'11'' pace
Juniper > Piedmont > Myrtle


Half Marathon: Day 3

45 minutes
3.99 miles
11'16'' pace
Chattahoochee River, Roswell
With Melissa


Half Marathon: Day 1

45 minutes
4.36 miles
10'31'' pace
Lake Hearn > Johnson Ferry