You know the saying that your only competition is yourself? Well I don’t even think you can compare yourSELF race to race because there are just so many variables. Races are not science experiments!!!!!!! Factors like sleep, temperature, HILLS, crowds, GI tracts, fuel, hydration, weather, emotions all create so much variation that you really can’t even compare annual races. Year to year, the same races often have different courses with different hills and terrain. Just like weight, calories, weight lifting reps, etc. – we cannot let the numbers override the pride of finishing strong.
That said, here are a bunch of my race + training recaps to poke around with:
2008 Race For The Cure 5K | October 2008
- Time: 23:26
- Pace: 7:32
2008 Jingle Jog 5K | December 2009
- Time: 23:49
- Pace: 7:40
2009 Race For The Cure 5K | October 2009
- Time: 24:17
- Pace: 7:49
Charlotte Airport Runway 5K | October 2009
- Time: 24:26
- Pace: 7:52
Run For Your Cause 4 Miler | July 2010
- Time: 33:03
- Pace: 8:16
RaceFest Half Marathon | April 2010
- Time: 1:53:20 (PR)
- Pace: 8:41
Charlottesville Fall Classic | October 2010
My first 10K!
- Time: 50:53 (PR)
- and the .2..
Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler | September 2011
- Time: 32:37 (PR)
- Pace: 8:11
- 8:47 [ <—killer hill + side stich]
Half Marathon Training
I had no idea how much fun training for a distance race would be!! I loved the planning and mental challenge of long distances, and I can promise you that the hardest part is imaging the distances. Doing them was easy and so much fun! (And it helped that I had an awesome training partner 🙂 )
Here was my plan, as it stood at the beginning of training:
And here’s what I actually did (loosely):
As you can see, I did long runs on the weekends and usually 1-2 short (4-6 mile) runs mid-week. I was doing my dietetic internship at the time and so my schedule had to be very flexible for weather and time. I went to hot yoga at least once a week and often needed a TOTAL rest day after each long run towards the end. It took me a complete rest day plus a light elliptical day to get my running legs back. I don’t think I could have done a plan that called for more than 3 days a week of running. This plan worked for me and I smoked the time. My only regret was not training on hills towards the end because I ended up with an injury that I feel was due to a steep increase in hills.
Read Run Relax Repeat – 7 miles (1:00:00)
KERF vs Obstacles – 7.22 miles
Ghosts In The Night – 7.23 miles
Eight, Then Ate – 8 miles (1:12:00)
9 Miles Of Mud Ganache – 9 miles
Redeemed – 9.5 miles
Ten Times The Fun – 10 miles (1:29)
10.26 – 10.26 miles (1:29:35)
Swim Like A Fish – 11.88 miles
Dress Rehearsal – 13 miles (1:56:13) [Lots of info on Fueling, hydration, homemade sport drink, ice bath]
Right after (during? before?) my half marathon, I noticed I was extremely sore behind my right knee. I figured it was just because I’d ran a hard race and continued with my activity. I went for a short run on Wednesday (after two days of post-race rest) and then proceeded to run 10 miles 8 days after my half. That’s when I knew I had a real injury. I made it through the run, but knew that would be my last run for a while.
My plan was to ice + rest like crazy. I took about a week off completely of exercise, with the exception of some yoga. I did light things like walking or the elliptical on a light setting so long as my leg did not hurt.
Two posts on my injury update:
And I took up swimming for the second time in my life!
Here are two posts on swimming and my attempt to love it. And love it I did! I continued to swim weekly until my gym membership ended (and I have yet to join a gym with a pool in my new city or I’d still be swimming weekly!)
When I was injured, I also ate anti-inflammatory foods 🙂
I went on a few short “test” runs to see how my leg was doing once the pain was totally gone while walking. Two of those were fails.
I ended up talking 5 whole weeks off from running, and am happy to say it worked and my leg healed. Thank goodness!
This homemade sports drink is my go-to for long runs! The proportions are very similar to that of Gatorade. More info on hydration and fuel here.
- 40 oz water
- 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
- Juice of one tangelo (~1/3 cup?)
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- Heat 1 cup of water in the microwave
- Add ingredients
- Stir and dissolve
- Add ice and rest of water
This recipe should come out to about 250 calories, about 60 grams CHO, 480 mg sodium, 172 mg potassium.
I also LOVE coconut water [O.N.E. and Vita-Coco are my favorites], but it’s a bit expensive to be sustainable
I have the Camelbak Charm for women’s running and could not run distances [or summers] without it. It does bounces a LITTLE but it’s worth it to me to have hydration and fuel during a run.
Food + Recovery
Before long runs, I usually eat a normal oatmeal (= carbohydrate) breakfast and have a cup of coffee. Then I wait 3 hours. Coffee really does improve my pace! I would never run 10+ miles without a substantial breakfast in me.
If I’m going out running first thing in the morning for a shorter run, I often have a banana with peanut butter or toast, which are easy to digest quickly on my stomach.
If I’m feeling hungry right before I run, sometimes I eat a date! They make great little bursts of fuel.
After long runs I recommend SIABs – Smoothies In A Bowl! A great way to get in easy-to-digest nutrients and a good mix of carbs and protein. I found that my stomach was a bit sensitive after all those miles and a blended lunch was easier to eat than the same amount of food on a plate.
My smoothies often contained:
- A green (spinach, kale – for nutrients)
- A milk (cow’s or soy for the protein – almond milk is too low in protein)
- Banana (to emulsify)
- Ice (for texture)
- Raw oats (for carbohydrate)
- Vega smoothie powders (for more protein, nutrients and amazing flavor/texture)
- Granola on top (for more carb and awesome crunch!)
I would also sometimes add tofu, cottage cheese, chocolate powder, chia seeds, flax, nut butter, other fruits.
I run in Asiacs and they work well with my need for support and a wide toe box 🙂
This is my second pair of GT-2150s
Q: Would you ever run a marathon? After all, it IS 26.2 miles!
A: No, I won’t. I’ve decided that even though I’d really, really, really like to try to run one, my chances of getting injured are too high. Since I had foot surgery on a fused joint in 2005, I know how awful it is NOT to be able to run and I never, ever want to lose the ability again!