Half Marathon Training: Weather can make or break a long run!

WEATHER can make or break a long run.

Newtons and Camelbak. You guessed it- its long run time!

Yesterday, I went on a 10 mile run with L. It was a really good long run. I never thought weather would effect me so much, but ever since I started running five years ago I remember how cold past winters have been and when we have had a heat wave summer. As for yesterday morning… it was sunny and around 50 degrees, perfect running weather. It is officially time to swap out my running shorts for running pants and tanks for long sleeve shirts.

Yesterday, I ran in my adidas running capris and my brooks MCM long sleeve running shirt, (no lululemon- shocking I know)  but I felt perfect, never too hot, never too cold.

MENTAL

I remember telling L that I thought this was going to be a really good run… so mentally I was in the zone. Have you ever tried that before? In the beginning, of your next run, just say it out loud, “This is going to be a good run, I can feel it.” Trust me, by saying positive words like this, you are setting yourself up mentally for a really great run.

PREPARATION

Running can be the most simple minimalist sport ever. You can do it anywhere and all you need is a really good pair of shoes – or according to some runners, shoes aren’t even necessary. But when it comes to a run longer than eight miles I always bring my stuff. For this 10 miler, I was prepared in many ways . As I said above, I was dressed appropriately, and mentally set myself up for a success. Along with both of those things, I also had my Camelbak filled with two liters of water, my Jelly Belly Sports beans ( for fuel,) my iPod, my Garmin, keys, phone, money, and pepper spray. ¬†I was ready and feeling good.

THE RUN

So L and I hit the MVT trail and headed south towards Old Town.  Because it was around 9:00 am, the trail was pretty empty, only a few walkers.  This was very relaxing, and heading towards Old Town is always very pretty, right along the Potomac. I was trying to run between a 9:30 Р9:00 minute mile for the first half hoping I could run the second half faster. I was sipping water every two miles, and fueled up with sports beans twice, once at mile 4, a second time at mile 8.

The first half felt really good. I did have to stop two times to make sure L, who was right behind me, knew her way. We made it to Old Town and then turned back. On the way back, I felt really good, except for around mile 8, I really started to feel the ground in my Newtons. I believe this feeling is just a friction feeling of sweat, skin, and the ground all mingling. This sensation made it harder for me to maintain anything faster than a 9 minute mile, so I kept my pace at around 9:15. L and I ended up finishing in 1:40, and we both felt like we could have kept going farther – which I am pleased with.

THE PLAN

I am following the Hal Higdon Intermediate Half Marathon Plan. I love Hal. I was fortunate to meet him at the Chicago Marathon Expo! Although, I have never followed a plan for a half marathon, I have followed Hal’s plans for my marathon training and felt successful. So hopefully his half marathon plan will also bring me success. This week’s long run is a 15k, but depending on how I feel I might just do another 10 miler.

The plan also includes shorter daily runs, speed work, and strength training. Durning my shorter training runs I am trying to run between a 8:30 and 9:00 minute mile. As for speed work, I might actually do some drills on the treadmill at the gym- even though I hate the treadmill.

STRENGTH TRAIN

Yesterday, after my 10 miler, I did some strength training. Because I have changed my stride to a more natural running stride, it is very important for me to strength train. I have to mainly focus on my upper body and core.

I did all my strength training using a stability ball, which works abs as long as shoulders and back. I also used dumbbells, and kettle bell.

seated dumbbells lateral raises¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells

seated arnold press Р 3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells

seated dumbbell rear deltoid raises¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells

seated dumbbell front raise¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells – this was my favorite one and this one intensely works your abs.

seated dumbbell press¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells

seated alternate dumbbell press¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells – for a more advanced move try this with one leg crossed over the other.

weighted crunch on stability ball¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells

plank on forearms while balancing on the stability ball Р3 sets 1 minute each

wide leg squat¬†–¬†3 sets(10 reps) 25 lb kettle bell

stability ball squat¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells

All of these work outs I found in Oxygen Magazine

In the end, I was really happy with my 10 mile run and my strength training. I still need to pick the pace up and work on cadence, but besides that I am feeling pretty confident and excited about my half marathon scheduled for December 1st. Although, I have done four ten mile races since April, I never felt like I was running far or training for a long distance race. For some reason this felt like a long run for me. So let me tell ya- it feels really good to run long and hard again. I really missed going the distance. I need to continue to make time, at least once a week, to run long and hard.

Questions for You

  1. Do you bring pepper spray with you when you do a long run?
  2. How do you mentally get in the zone?

© 2012 sweatdaily

The New York City Marathon is Canceled.

 

 

Joint Statement from Mayor Bloomberg and NYRR President and CEO Mary Wittenberg:

‚ÄúThe Marathon has been an integral part of New York City‚Äôs life for 40 years and is an event tens of thousands of New Yorkers participate in and millions more watch. While holding the race would not require diverting resources from the recovery effort, it is clear that it has become the source¬†of controversy and division. The marathon has always brought our city together and inspired us with stories of courage and determination. We would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants, and so we have decided to cancel it. We cannot allow a controversy over an athletic event — even one as meaningful as this — to distract attention away from all the critically important work that is being done to recover from the storm and get our city back on track. The New York Road Runners will have additional information in the days ahead for participants.‚ÄĚ

I think the above statement is beautifully said. I just wish it was said sooner. That is the only real mistake made here. Telling people the friday before the race is not ¬†a good idea. I have traveled for races in the past and I normally head to the city of the race, either Thursday night or Friday morning, before the race. I hope people didn’t already head up to the city. I hope everyone heard it was canceled in time.

I see both sides.

How can you tell 30,000 runners coming from every corner of the earth that their race is canceled.¬†I understand why NYC didn’t want to cancel this race. NYC wanted to show that they are unstoppable, and 30,000 runners plus their family and friends all coming to the city would really help the economy of NY. ¬†But unfortunately it would also bring a lot of chaos to a place that is already under stress and devastation. The subway is down. Hotels don’t have power. Restaurants are packed… and that is just a small part of it.

What do New Yorkers think? ¬†I am not a New Yorker, and don’t want to speak as one. But the New York City Marathon is suppose to be a fun event not only for the runners, but also for the City of New York. And I’m pretty sure that the City of New York is working hard to get things under control after Sandy. They don’t need a bunch of runners, spectators, tourists causing more confusion.

On the other side of things…

I am a marathon runner and I know the significance that the NYC Marathon has. It is up there on the top of the list right under Boston for being one of the all time greatest Marathons. It is also a very hard one to get into, being a lottery. So I understand how disappointing this can be, for those that have trained hard, and are ready to run this race. But there will always be another race…

The NYC Marathon has been Canceled. Any thoughts?
© 2012

Warning: This post is Bratty!

Because of Sandy, I have become enlightened. There are things about myself I never knew. The first thing is that along with everyone else, ever since Sandy rolled on through, my schedule is royally effed. And now I am beginning to realize how much I love a regular routine.

Because I am a hairstylist, my income relies on my daily appointments with my clients. Because of Sandy, clients are coming late, canceling and rescheduling. I am trying to be understanding and accepting. I mean, I get it, stuff happens out of our control, that’s life!

Because of Sandy, I also have No Power. Having no power really got me thinking. What did they do back in the old days? I began to feel grateful to live in a country that has power available at all times. Can I survive with out power? Can I act like a minimalist, and rough it out for a day or two?

Well yes I can. I have tons of magazines to read, mostly health and fitness themed. I have tons of books to read. I am an artist who would love to use this time to get my fingers smudged with charcoal. I also knit and have a fabulous yarn stash, for those who are interested, you may follow me on my knitting/art blog, Cashmeresilk.

Other than my schedule changes at work, the only other negative aspect Sandy brought on was the change in my work out routine. As you all know, I am a serious runner. And running daily outside is a necessity for me. It is good for my health- physically, emotionally, and menally. But the storm was too dangerous, so I took a rest day yesterday and then again today. And now I am rested, actually overly rested.

I can’t believe I feel so anxious right now. Yesterday, Sandy came through, and the whole East Coast shut down. I am hoping everyone is safe and sound, but can life get back to normal now?!

I’m so well rested I feel like I could climb a mountain!

20121030-135918.jpg

Questions for You

How was your schedule interrupted from Sandy?
Did you run or bike during Sandy?

The Storm is Coming!

Well the weathermen are predicting that hurricane Sandy will be aggressive and strong, with winds at speeds of 70 mph. Washington, DC is right along her path as she continues up North. But who really can trust the weatherman’s predictions, aren’t they always wrong?

So last night, I ran a quick 5K on the south side of the Mount Vernon Trail. I really wanted to get a run in before the storm came through. The trail was absolutely gorgeous when the sun was going down. The orange, red, and yellow fall leaves lit up the trail while they canopied over my head. There was a light breeze that felt gentle and refreshing. Could a storm really be coming?

Then I saw the birds… You can always find the truth with in nature. Animals have a special sense, a survival instinct that over time humans have lost. The birds know the storm is coming and they are preparing for it.

20121028-122324.jpg

20121028-122331.jpg

These are the birds I came across on my run. Aren’t they beautiful?

Questions for You

What is the weather like where you are?
What is your favorite running weather?

October Goals

This morning I woke up to rain. Normally, I love running in the rain, but this morning the sky was gray and the rain was slow but heavy. So I decided to skip my morning run, and get a little extra shut eye. And as long as skipping a workout only occurs at irregular intervals and doesn’t become an everyday excuse, then go right ahead, take a rest day.¬†Sometimes, your body just needs it.

Anyway, yesterday, I said goodbye to September and welcomed October.  It is a new month, a new beginning. It is a perfect time to set some new goals. As you may know, I had started my journey of exploring a more forefoot/midfoot stride in April, by switching my running shoe to the Newton Distance U.

I have never had any running injuries, so when I told people, I was experimenting with the Newton shoe, and working on changing my stride, they asked, “Why? Why fix something that is not broken?” Honestly, I was just bored and wanted to try something new. I had read Born to Run, and was ready to try to work on running form.

In the beginning of September I purchased my second pair of Newton shoes, and I am now running more regularly in the Gravity. On my vacation, at Martha’s Vineyard, I finally had the opportunity to finish reading the book, Natural Running. This book made me even more sold on the idea that a more minimalist shoe is the way to go.

And then in mid September, it just clicked.  I had a break through and I started to run with a natural running stride, landing on my forefoot/midfoot.

OCTOBER GOALS

I want to continue practicing my natural running stride by continuing to land on my forefoot/midfoot.

  • However, I really need to work on running posture. I tend to lean back when I run. So I need to work on slightly leaning forward. Leaning back when you run is a stopping/halting position. You will most likely heel strike when leaning back. It is important to slightly lean forward, because the momentum will automatically help you land on your forefoot/midfooot, and make you a faster runner.
  • Cadence.¬†Cadence is how many times your foot hits the ground per minute. It is very important to get your running Cadence around 180 or more. A Cadence of 180 helps prevent injury and increases speed. Mine is all over the place. My garmin measured mine around 100, once at 120, and then 160. But this month, I really want to work on trying to get my running Cadence around 180. It will really help improve my running.
  • I am also thinking about playing around with shoe rotation. Instead of just throwing on one pair of shoes. I want to wear the right one depending on the type of running I am doing.
  • This month, I also really want to work on strength training, whether I am boxing, lifting weights, or just doing running form exercises. Now that I am running differently I need to strengthen everything.
  • In order to fit all this in, I also want to change my sleeping habits so I can wake up earlier. I’m hoping to wake up at 6:00 am instead of 8:00 am. I love my mornings.
  • As for Attitude, I am really going to focus on me, and my running PR.

As for October plans, I really don’t have any except some upcoming races. In October, I am running the Army 10 miler, and then in December I am running the Annapolis Half Marathon.¬†Do you have any up coming races?

Have you ever completed a 30 day challenge in something? It has been a goal I have been contemplating on trying to set. ¬†I have been thinking about a …

  • 30 day running challenge
  • 30 day blogging challenge
  • 30 day sleeping challenge

I’ll let you know if I decide on one for the month of October.

Well those are my October Goals…¬†What are yours?

© 2012

Early Bird, Morning Run

20120930-105820.jpg

Yesterday morning, Saturday, September 29th, I woke up to a text from my running buddy, Lina. The text said, “On my way.”

Oh damn, I rolled over in bed and looked at the clock, it was 6:30 am. I was late. We were suppose to be at our meeting spot at 6:30, and I was just waking up. I hurried and put on my running clothes, grabbed water, my garmin, my iPod and rushed to my car. It was still dark.

In my mind, I was thinking of how early it was, but I knew that after my run I would feel really good about doing it, I always do.

I got to our meeting spot around 6:45. The morning sky was just starting to brighten a little. Lina and I both parked and then started a slow warm up jog down Lee Highway toward the trail. Once we hit the trail we picked up the pace. With in minutes we went from running under a dark morning sky and through quiet streets to the sun rising over the Lincoln Memorial and a crowded running trail.

I must admit I really loved the morning energy. The sun rising was absolutely gorgeous. It turned the sky orange. The temperature outside was cool and crisp, it defiantly felt like fall. As for the crowded running trail, it was actually quite refreshing. I run this trail a couple days a week, and every time of day it has a different vibe. Even the different parts of the trail have a different vibe too.
Normally, the earliest I get on the trail is 8:30 am, when most people are heading into work. I come across a lot of cyclists or commuters, but this time it was all runners. Some days when I don’t make it out there early enough, the trail I totally empty. It can be quite lonely running by yourself on and empty quiet trail.

I never thought I would enjoy a crowded running trail, but I did. Normally, I run alone, or with Lina, but this time I was surrounded by a ton of runners. Some in running groups, others by themselves. Some fast, some slow. I loved the vibe, seeing all of these other runners made me totally energized. While concentrating on my form I was running stronger, faster. It was an amazing feeling, very motivating.

After we were done running. I hit up Starbucks and CVS. I just felt like refueling. I headed home, and took a shower. I felt energized and relaxed. I had the whole day ahead of me.

I have been contemplating changing my sleeping habits for a couple years now. I will admit that I have been waking up earlier then I use to. There was a time when I would sleep in until 9:00 or 10:00 am. I just have never been an early bird, but the weird thing is that I have never considered myself a night owl either. I am normally in bed by 11:00 pm. But I would like to have more time in the morning before I head into work around noon. I also would like to regularly run in the early mornings, instead of trying to squeeze it in whenever I can. I really enjoyed running early in the morning with all the other morning runners. I have to wake up early for most races so why not practice running at these early morning times everyday.

So the plan is to wake up early morning wether I run early or not. During the week, the earliest I will run is 6:30 am the latest I will run is 8:30 am. Unfortunately, the colder darker months will be here soon, so it will also depend on that. But I am excited about this new goal, and I think blogging about it will help me get on this new routine.

Questions for You

When do you run? Are you and early bird or night owl? Do you have any tips to share about waking up early? Please share, I need all the tips I can get.

1 11 12 13 14