Half Marathon Training – Week 8: Mar 8 – 14, 2020

Monday I decided not to hike to save my legs.

Tuesday morning I went for a nice 5.00 mile run at 10:35 pace, 52:56 overall, followed by a 0.50 cool down walk. I sure do feel good!

Thursday morning was raining was going to rain all day. I really don’t like to run in the rain but the half marathon is Saturday and I can’t adjust the short run this week. Out I went into the rain. I ran 3.00 miles but couldn’t stop my watch until I got inside the house to dry it enough to be able to stop it so the pace is a little long. Ended up 3.05 miles with a 10:32 pace, 32:11 overall. I am really excited for Saturday! I may even get a new PR (personal record)!!!

There has been an COVID-19 outbreak in the US over the last month or so, and they are saying we have to practice social distancing (stay 6′ from other people) and we are not sure that will apply to the race Saturday so we wait.

Friday – the race is on!!! The powers that be of Arizona stated that it was an outside event and when we started running everyone would spread out as they hit their own paces. That is such a relief. It would be a bummer to do all the training for naught! Went to my favorite running store, Roadrunner Sports to get my 4 packets of GU for the race tomorrow and the clerk just smiled and told me that I could have them at no charge! I about fell over. What a nice thing to do!!

Saturday aka RACE DAY!!!! Woke up and had my typical banana that I eat before I run and my legs, lungs and mind were all feeling so fresh! We lined up for the half marathon but there were no corral numbers which seemed odd to me, but hey, just rolling with the flow! Ate my GU and jogged in place waiting for the gun to fire. I ate GU at 3.5 miles, 7 miles, 10 miles and that interval was perfect for me. There were a few areas I felt a little tired but the GU would kick in and I never went slower my goal pace of 10:20 – 10:30 and usually kept it faster than my goal pace! In the beginning I keep checking my pace about every 0.50 miles and about mile 7 I start checking about every 0.75 – 1.00 miles because I am pretty locked in at that point. When I hit mile 10 I increased my pace by 5 seconds/minute which had me catch up with the guy in front of me who had just started walking. About 0.50 miles late that same guy passed me and at mile 11 I increased my pace by 5 seconds/minute and during that mile, that guy would walk and I would pass him and then he would run and pass me. At mile 12 I just increased my pace as much as I could because I only had a 1.1 miles left and as I passed that guy he shouted “get it girl, I can’t catch you now” and I just gave him a thumbs and went on with that encouragement! I saw 2 girls and 1 guy ahead of me and focused on the first one and managed to pass her, then set my sights on the second one and passed him, and then saw the last person in my sights and passed her. I turned the corner and there was 0.10 mile left and I could see the finish line. I started running faster and then I 2 shadows coming from behind and in my mind I thought “oh hells no are you passing me! I just busted my butt and I will not let you pass me now” and I dug deep and gutted out some more speed and when I crossed the line I was at a 9:57 pace with that last little burst. I did a 0.12 mile cool down walk and went to find my man and my dear friend that ran in the 8k that started after the half. Check out my final stats!!! I am soooooo excited and loved this course and will be running this half again next year!! I need to start recruiting now so I can get others on board and hoping to get a running group with people of different paces so we all have someone run with during our training runs!!

13.1 miles. 10:15 pace. 2:14:24 overall. 7th out of 33 in my age group (50 – 59). 53rd out of 159 of females. 145th out of 298 overall. So very proud of myself and a dear friend of mine had texted me before the race and said he predicted I had a 10:18 pace and I told him thanks and thought I could get that and how cool it would be and I even beat my best expectation!!

Half Marathon Training – Week 7: Mar 1 – 7, 2020

Monday’s 2.00 mile hike/run went much better than I had expected. On our 0.12 mile cool down walk, my sister-in-law reminded me of other times in our past training we have stopped a mile early because our bodies were not feeling as good as they should have. There is a balance between pushing yourself to get stronger and stopping before you get hurt.

Tuesday did the GU and hit the running path for my last week of pushing hard, because next week is an easy run week to make sure that I am fresh for the half marathon. Had a GU at mile 3 and this run felt good and didn’t have more trouble than normal on the hills! Finished 6 miles with a 10:18 pace, 1:01:50 overall and was smiling for my 0.39 cool down walk because after the tough last long run, I was on my goal pace for this semi-long run!! I may be back in the groove 🙂

Thursday morning I went for a 3.01 mile run and ended with a 9:47 pace, 29:26 overall. Can’t believe how great of a pace I managed to keep and feel so good!! Later that afternoon I met my sister-in-law and we ran a 1.00 mile at a 11:53 pace and had a nice walk for 0.92 miles. Looking forward to my long run Saturday!

Friday morning I woke up feeling a little sore so I decided that I needed to take a short walk. After 0.85 miles my legs felt soooo much better! Now I feel ready for my long run tomorrow!

Saturday morning I did the GU and hit the path. At 3.5 miles I did the GU and the hills weren’t too bad! I took did my last GU at mile 7 and finished the 10.01 mile run with a 10:26 pace, 1:44:24 overall. Stayed in my goal pace for my last long run so I felt pretty good about that as I finished up with a 0.24 cool down walk. Next week will be a nice easy run week 🙂 I feel ready to kill it!!

Half Marathon Training – Week 6: Feb 23 – 29, 2020

Monday my sister-in-law and I went for our hike/run and with the extra day off after my long run, I felt as good as I did last Monday! Ended with a 1.96 mile hike/run and 0.13 cool down walk.

Tuesday’s semi-long run is 7 miles to prep for my 12 miler this Saturday. Felt good when I did my GU gel and hit the running path. The hills were a little tougher going up, but didn’t feel any worse at the top! Ended the 7 mile run at a 10:17 pace, 1:12:00 overall. Though about how good I felt during my 0.28 mile cool down walk!

Thursday I decided to take advantage of the nice morning weather to get part of my short run in! Ran 4.01 mile with a 10:04 pace, 40:23 overall! Spent my 0.20 mile walk to reflect on how far I exceeded my goal pace for short runs (10:15-10:25). Wow what a feeling! Met my sister-in-law and we got a 1.01 mile run in at a 11:25 pace and a 0.93 cool down walk. Ready to run 12 miles on Saturday!

Saturday after my GU, I hit the running path. I did a GU at 3.5 miles and the hills were still getting tough, I did a GU at mile 7 and was still having a tough time keeping my goal pace. I usually don’t GU in the last few miles because knowing I am that close to the end is enough to get my through, but I am really struggling today so I went ahead and did a GU at mile 10. When I got to mile 11, my legs and lungs were done. I listened to my body and stopped at mile 11 with a 10:35 pace, 1:45:51 overall. Did a 0.39 mile cool down walk and I still am not feeling fresh. I am happy that even struggling I was at the top end of my goal pace! Next week is a new week and I sure hope to feel better!!

Half Marathon Training – Week 5: Feb 16 – 22, 2020

Monday my sister-in-law and I went for our hike and run and when we started up the mountain I could definitely tell that I ran 11 miles on Saturday! We kept the same pace as we usually do, just had to dig a little deeper. I can tell you though at the end of the 1.96 mile hike/run and 0.13 mile walk, I did feel a lot better! Reminded me the reason that I do this as my cross training.

Tuesday morning I headed to the running path, ate my GU gel and started my run. I have a goal pace 5-10 seconds/mile faster to be able to be strong enough in my long run. Had some hills and concentrated on running slower up the hills to work my leg muscles a little more and it worked out well! I ended the 7.01 mile run with a 10:18 pace, 1:12:13 overall – 2 seconds/mile faster than my goal pace!! The 0.25 mile cool down definitely felt great and was needed!

Thursday was looking like it may rain so I ran 4 of the 5 miles that I needed to do in the morning and will do the 1 mile run with my sister-in-law in the afternoon if it doesn’t rain. The shorter of the training runs my goal is always 5-10 seconds faster than my goal pace for the semi-long run. I ended my 4 mile run with a 10:14 pace, 41.01 overall and felt great finishing with a 0.14 walk. I love making my goals and I especially love exceeding my goals! The rain held off so we got a 1.01 mile run complete at an 11:21 pace and a nice easy walk of 1.05 miles. Checked the weather and it looks like 100% chance of rain Saturday so my sister-in-law and I talked and I decided to do my long run tomorrow. It will feel like a push to get in 11 miles tomorrow instead of Saturday but who isn’t up for a good challenge?

Friday the weather was on my side – nice and cool!! Got to the running path, did my GU gel and felt great after the first 0.10! I felt good at 3.5 mile but did my GU gel anyway because I did have some tough hills coming up and am glad I did! Hit my GU again at mile 7 which should get through the hills at the end. Right before mile 11, I felt so good and it was easy to talk my mind into going 0.50 mile past my end mark and turn around and do the 0.5o miles back to the end mark and boom you have an extra mile in! I ended with 12 miles at a 10:28 pace, 2:05:42 overall. Had a nice 0.39 mile cool down walk because my body wanted a touch longer of a cool down. I sure am excited that I managed to get an extra mile in at my goal pace and still feel great! Feeling pretty good about my readiness!!

Half Marathon Training – Week 4: Feb 9 – 15, 2020

Monday my sister-in-law and I went to get our hike and mounting run on the weather was so perfect! Ended up with a total of 1.95 miles and a 0.13 mile cool down walk. I was happy to feel so good after my long run on Saturday and love using my muscles differently!

Tuesday I headed to the running path to get my run in. It will be a 6 miler for me today to prep for the 10 mile long run Saturday. Finished the 6 miles in at a 10:22 pace, 1:02:12 overall and went on a 0.21 mile cool down walk. I legs and lungs are feeling great!! Time to go conquer the rest of the day!

Thursday I decided to go get my run on in the afternoon and coordinate it with my sister-in-law so we can get our Thursday run done too! I did the 2-mile loop and out and back to get 3.01 miles in at 10:09 pace, 30:36 overall and didn’t even have stop running because she arrived right before I was done with that part of my training run and we hit the trail and got a 1.01 miler in at 12:41 pace and followed it wit a 1.16 mile cool down walk. That long walk felt really good!!

Saturday morning I woke up feeling ready to get my 11-mile long run in and took a GU gel when I was a few minutes away! Went to the running path with the hills. I used another GU gel at 3.5 miles. In the middle of my long run I ended up in a competition 5k road race. Etiquette says if you are on a training run and go through the competition road race you wait to pass until you have a clear spot so that you don’t interfere with the competitors and when you pass anyone (walker, runner, bike rider), regardless whether it is a competition race or you are just running on a regular day you always say “passing on the left” or “passing on the right” so that you don’t startle them. This is basic road etiquette. I wanted to pass a competitor in front of me, however I had to wait to pass because there were too many people coming towards us and there wasn’t a slot open enough for a person. As soon as they passed by me, I announced “passing on the left” with plenty of time in order not to startle her and it took 20-30 seconds for me to get next to her (you speed up to your running pace when you pass, you don’t just race pass the person). More people were coming towards us but there was enough room for her and I side-by-side and them to pass in the opposite direction with no problem and all of a sudden, wham, some guy on a bicycle going the direction that I was ran into my left side and it shoved me over and in front of the competitor and he says “I am just trying to get by”. There was absolutely no reason he couldn’t slow down and wait for me to pass, so to assist him in learning road etiquette I shoved him with my shoulder as hard as I could and that sent him flying forward and it took him a good 10′ before he got his balance enough he didn’t fall over. As he was trying to catch himself from falling, I was kind enough to yell the road rules of etiquette. The incident did get me fired up for the rest of my run!! I used my GU gel at mile 7 and between the incident with the bicycler and the GU gel I got this last 4 miles! Finished the 11-miler at a 10:30 pace, 1:55:27 overall and went for a nice 0.25 mile cool down walk. My body and legs felt good today! I might be ready for this race after all!!

Half Marathon Training – Week 3: Feb 2 – 8, 2020

Woke up Sunday morning and felt great but decided I needed a relaxing walk. Hit the pavement for 2.05 miles then spent the rest of the day doing chores.

Monday my sister-in-law hiked up the mountain and jogged down which ended up being 1.93 miles followed by a 0.13 cool down walk. My legs are still feeling good which is a plus because I am going to miss my semi-long run tomorrow due to a doctors appointment with my hormone doctor. I can’t reschedule because I make them 6 months out and one of the medications she prescribes is a special make-up based on my bloodwork that is made at a compound pharmacy, so she can’t just call in a refill.

Thursday morning I hit the pavement for a 2.01 mile run at a 10:16 pace, 20:42 overall and a 0.14 cool down walk. That afternoon I met up with my sister-in-law and we went for a 1.01 mile run at a 12:11 pace followed by a 1.16 mile cool down walk. I hope that’s enough running to have me ready for the long run on Saturday but still not too much to have my legs tired.

Friday I had to go to Roadrunner Sports to pick up my GU gels. They are my favorite energy gel to use when I do my long runs. I use one about 10 minutes before I start and one about every 3.5 miles after that!

Woke up Saturday morning feeling pretty fresh. My goal pace is to stay at a 10:25 – 10:35 including the hills. Went to the running path and had a really great 8.02 mile run at 10:30 pace, 1:24:09 overall and a 0.25 cool down walk. I am so happy to feel this good!

Went home and me and my guy met a friend of ours to get our golfing on! What a perfect day!!

Half Marathon Training – Week 2: Jan 26 – Feb 1, 2020

My running schedule is: semi-long run Tuesday, short run Thursday, long run Saturday. The miles that I run during the week are dependent upon how many miles I will run on my long run. I cut the long run distance in half and move one of the miles to Tuesday and the rest on Thursday. If I am running 8 miles for my long run on Saturday then Tuesday I run 5 miles and Thursday I run 3 miles. If I am running 9 miles for my long run on Saturday then Tuesday I run 5 miles and Thursday I run 4 miles. I try to run 10 seconds/mile faster on my semi-long runs on Tuesday and to run 20 seconds/mile faster on my Thursday short run. I keep a spread of 10 seconds for my splits so that I stay consistent. After I see where I am at on my first long training run tomorrow, the rest of the long training runs will be going on the paths (asphalt and concrete) that have a lot of hills to make sure I can keep my pace during the half marathon and keep my muscles strong!

Woke up Sunday morning to do my first long training run to see where I am at and choose a goal pace. Went to a place that is asphalt and concrete and pretty flat and ran 6.01 miles at a 10:46 pace, 1:04:43 overall followed by a 0.30 mile cool down walk. I am so happy with how good my legs and lungs feel after my first long run!! Bring on the rest of the week!

Monday my sister-in-law hiked up the mountain and jogged easily down (with my gracefulness I would trip and land on my head so it has to be an easy jog down) for 2.00 miles and a 0.19 mile cool down walk. My legs still felt good even after the first long run yesterday!

Tuesday I ran a 5.00 mile semi-long run at 10:30 pace, 52:33:50 overall followed by a 0.25 mile cool down walk. Felt pretty good even with the hills tossed in.

Thursday I ran a 3.01 mile short run in my neighborhood at 10:29 pace, 31:35:00 overall and a 0.25 cool down walk. I went and met my sister-in-law for a 1.02 mile run at 11:41 pace with a nice 0.89 cool down walk. Thursdays I have to do all except 1 mile in the morning because I always run with her in the afternoon!

Saturday I woke up and was not feeling very well (my stomach was upset and I didn’t think I would be able to make it on a run) so instead of a long run, I went for a 2.05 mile walk. I sure hope this goes away quickly because I am already so far behind!

Even though I still have more training weeks coming up, I am so far behind in my training and that is never easy for me! I am a planner and like a good schedule!

We shall see what week 3 brings us!!

Half Marathon Training – Week 1: Jan 19 – 25, 2020

I am going to run the half marathon (Kiss Me I’m Irish) that starts and end at Westgate on March 14, 2020 and the back-to-back sinus infections and multiple rounds of antibiotics have me almost 5 weeks behind on my training! Let’s hope I can get my running game ramped up in time to have a solid race.

I have asthma so running can sometimes be a big challenge for me. I worked closely with my doctor over the years and have a schedule for using my rescue inhaler during my runs. The schedule works for me and I will not be sharing that information on this blog because you should work with your doctor to find out what works the best for you. I can tell you that at the end of all of my runs I don’t just stop and start walking, I gradually slow my running pace down until I am at a slow jog then begin walking. It keeps the shock factor of the blood rushing to my lungs if I go from running pace to walking quickly.

Years ago we had some really good runners tell us that stretching elongates the muscles and when you run they are working in a compact form so the best thing to do was to either do a short, slow warmup run or start out at a slow run and speed up as you warmup. It has always worked for us in the races that we have ran and I will stick to that method. My goal is to be at my running pace by 0.25 miles into the run. After all runs or hikes, we always go through a stretch routine to show our muscles some love and keep them happy. The cool down walks are always nice and easy, no speed walking for me!

*Note: all times listed are minutes:seconds or hours:minutes:seconds

Monday my sister-in-law and I went for a nice hike. Once we got to the top, we jogged down and ended with 2.02 miles for a 31:53 overall time. We did a 0.11 cool down walk. The hike / jog down is always nice because it gives my muscles something different from regular runs.

Wednesday I went for a quick midday run 🏃‍♀️ to get my lungs and muscles working hard. These short, quick runs get my body ready to push harder on the next run. Ended with 1.25 miles at a 9:38 pace, 12:07 overall and a 0.14 cool down walk.

Thursday my sister-in-law and I went for a run: 1.00 miles at a 12:30 pace and a 0.87 mile walk.

Saturday a friend and I had previous plans to go take pictures at the zoo so I postponed my long-run to Sunday this week. At the zoo we ended up walking 4.2 miles so I got some work in!