Tag Archives: Half Marathon
Good Monday morning friends! I wish I could report to you that I have managed to return back to nighttime running, which is a habit I picked up for a few weeks and quickly dropped– in other words, I never quite made it a habit! I have been having a lot of trouble finding time, even on weekday evenings, to go get in a run because my homework has been sort of out of control lately. I think I am about to enter the hardest stretch as far as my classes go– I have a lot of stuff due over the next month! Oh well. . . I am still going to aim to run a few times during the week even though I do accept it may not happen.
So, staying true to my twice-a-week workouts, here’s what I did:
Saturday: 15.1 miles on the treadmill (13.1 run, the rest walked); 5.5 mile outdoor walk with the husband
Sunday: 11.1 miles on the treadmill (9 run, the rest walked); 5.5 mile outdoor walk with the husband
I had no intention of running a half-marathon on Saturday– that is until I actually ran the ten I had planned to run and still felt like I had some juice. I decided to go for it, partly because I also wanted to say I ran I half-marathon on the eve of my 33rd birthday. I even did it without the comfort of my I Pad– instead, I just watched the movie House Party (the old Kid and Play movie) that happened to be showing on Bravo!
Sunday’s run was pretty good too– I wasn’t too sore from Saturday and the miles flew by.
What I really want to focus on in this post though is how gorgeous the walks my husband and I went on were. The weekend weather here in Rhode Island was awesome– perfect for celebrating my birthday and also just right for celebrating the five-year anniversary of our wedding reception (which occurred on October 20th, 2007). Frolicking around in the 70 degree weather was so wonderful. We made it a point to loop around one of our favorite parks to check out what was going on!
India Point Park is right on the Providence waterfront, which in terms of aesthetics, has come a long way since I was a kid. We took in some great views of the water and land beyond.
The flowers at the park are amazing too. I felt like I was at the beach when I saw those purple flowers blowing in the wind behind me.
We also went on a few more mini-walks over the weekend, just to get outside and enjoy the weather. All in all, I think my poor tootsies covered about forty miles walking and running! Fortunately, the birthday present my husband got me helped ease the pain. . . more on that in a future post!
How was the weather in your neck of the woods this weekend? What was your best/favorite workout of the week?
The theme of this past week? Taper crazies!
I ran a half marathon yesterday– and yes, that will get its own recap, so look for that sometime this week! As many of you know, the week leading up to a 13.1 mile race is a taper week, in which you really cut down on exercise to rest up for the big day. Well, I didn’t really follow a formal training plan for yesterday’s half, but I did occasionally refer to Hal Higdon’s intermediate half-marathon training plan just to make sure I was doing enough. According to his plan, here’s how the week leading up to race day should look:
Monday: Stretch and Strengthen
Tuesday: 4 mile run
Wednesday: 30 minute tempo run
Thursday: 2 mile run
Here’s how my actual week broke down:
Monday: 12.2 miles on the treadmill (10 run, 2.2 walked); weightlifting for chest and back (6 exercises, 3 sets each)
Tuesday: 5.65 miles outdoor walk
Wednesday: 10.5 miles on the treadmill (9 run, 1.5 miles walked)
Friday: 8.5 miles on the treadmill (7 run, 1.5 miles walked)
Sunday: Half Marathon
As you can tell, I have a very difficult time tapering. I did way more than the plan suggests, but honestly, for my mental sanity, I needed to! I felt good on each and every one of those runs, and to be totally truthful, I am glad I did them. I did miss a weightlifting session for my upper body on Saturday because my husband (and Hal Higdon) convinced me I needed a complete rest day and that it would be silly to do anything but fully take it easy. And yes, missing that session bothered me because I hate to skimp on my upper body lifting, since I already do so much lower body stuff by way of running!
Speaking of Saturday, that day the taper crazies really set in. Since I am such a weekend warrior, it drove me nuts to not exercise at all! I kept claiming I was bored to my husband on Saturday morning, and he responded by saying I am never bored and I always have a million things to do. He was right– I wasn’t bored technically, rather, I just had too much energy and wanted to run!! The taper crazies are a true phenomena for sure, and I felt them big time on Saturday! I instead kept busy in the morning by working on the blog, watching tv, reading blogs, and taking a trip to the expo, which I will also report back on later! I know it sounds stupid to get all worked up about taking a single day off, but Saturdays are always such a big workout day for me, it just felt weird (and a lazy) to be sitting around all day. I can’t imagine what tapering for a full marathon must feel like!
That being said, you gotta do what you gotta do when it comes to proper race training, and while I am a long way off from what I probably should have done (meaning rest more), at least I did the right thing by taking Saturday off. I definitely appreciated the extra rest on Sunday, when my legs felt good and ready for the long haul!
Check back either tomorrow or Thursday for my expo and race recap! Till then my friends!
Have you ever experienced the taper crazies before? How do you handle them?
This week, I learned a lesson– half marathons can take a lot out of you!!! I definitely felt an overall lack of energy this week, but it was kind of a strange feeling. My legs felt fine– not tired or sore at all. I thought by Tuesday I would feel strong and as “”back to normal as ever in terms of energy levels. However, I quickly realized in all of my exercise attempts this week that I felt a little weak. I didn’t have the gusto I can usually bring to even easy workouts, and in general, I felt like I was in some kind of constant low-energy state. It took so much effort mentally and physically to even get myself to the gym, that I knew the half I ran impacted me a lot more than I assumed it did. I even felt blah all week at work– I just couldn’t scrape up enough energy to get through my days as gung-ho as I usually do.
It’s probably not rocket science as to the cause of my malaise– I don’t think I gave myself enough recovery time before I jumped into the swing of things. Also, my post-race meals were not very substantial in that they were lacking enough carbs and protein. This likely led to less than ideal re-fueling and recovery so I could get my energy stores back up. Lesson learned– just cuz you’re not hungry after a race, eat up and make sure you get all the nutrients you need so that you can bounce back a lot faster!
Here’s how my week broke down:
Tuesday, May 8th: 6.4 miles on the treadmill (3 run, rest walked); weightlifting for chest and back (6 exercises, 3 sets each)
This was my attempt to test my running legs out post-half, and let’s just say it was way too soon to try to run, especially given the fact I was running after work, when I am usually dead tired anyway. The three miles were torture– I was fatigued, my legs were heavy, and every minute dragged. Once I got three miles under my belt, I called it quits on the running and just walked for a while. Even that was tiring! The weightlifting went well– I feel like I expend a different kind of energy when weight training, and usually I can handle it pretty well any time of the day. Also, after the run, I developed a mega stomach ache that honestly, has been around on and off everyday since Tuesday. Running after school (and therefore pretty much after lunch) tends to upset my stomach, but this was on another level.
Wednesday, May 9th: Rest
I knew I had to give myself a break on Wednesday. I happily avoided the gym, and instead went shopping with my mom! It also was beyond crappy rainy weather that day, so I was quite glad I could avoid the whole process of going to the gym, changing, exercising, changing again and so on, which just seems like such a mentally tougher process when the weather is gross.
Thursday, May 10th: 65 minutes on the Precor crosstrainer; weightlifting for legs (6 exercises, 3 sets each)
Again, this crosstraining session was torture– I felt like I could barely get my legs going. Again, I wasn’t sore– I just had zero energy to expend. The weights weren’t bad though, but exerting the effort to do an hour of cardio was really, really hard.
Friday, May 11th: Rest
I granted myself permission to indulge in another rest day. I instead decided to hit up the health food store about thirty minutes from my house to see what was new on their shelves, since I hadn’t been there in a while. I also bought my mom some yarn and brought her Chipotle for lunch! I think I spent my time way more productively than if I was to torture myself with yet another lackluster elliptical workout.
Saturday, May 12th: 10.6 miles on the treadmill (8 run, rest walked); weightlifting for arms and shoulders (7 exercises, 3 sets each); 90 minutes beginners yoga
I really thought running would be easy on Saturday. I got up, had oatmeal, and got to the gym when it opened with the intention to run anywhere from 8 to 10 miles. As soon as I started to run, any hopes for 10 went out the door– once again, I felt a major lack of energy! My legs were fine– not heavy or tired. Instead it was just my whole body that didn’t really ever develop that spark to get moving. Usually, even if I am tired, I can ride the adrenaline high you get after a mile or two of running to get to the mileage I want to hit. On Saturday though, that high never came, and my mind never managed to get past the fact I felt run down. I did get to eight miles (and every mile was a struggle, believe me), but once I got there, I was done. I cooled down by walking it out for a bit, before I turned to the weight room. Even lifting on this day was laborious, but it was a welcome rest from running. On top of all that, even yoga was difficult that day because I was just so lacking any pep in my step!
Sunday, May 13th: 10.05 miles on the treadmill (7 run, rest walked); 5.6 m outdoor walk with the husband
Holy mileage! After a hearty meal, a great night out and an even better night’s sleep, I woke up feeling a bit more energetic than I had over the past week. I did my usual Sunday distance of seven miles, and it definitely wasn’t a breeze, but it wasn’t too bad either. I walked an additional three miles while watching repeats of Pregnant In Heels on Bravo. Later, my husband and I took advantage of the gorgeous near eighty degree temps and did our normal long walk through Providence. Let’s just say by the end of all that, my legs were sore– but at least for good reason!
Monday, May 14th: Rest
What can I say– I was tired from the weekend! Not only that, but life kind of triumphed any potential plans to workout. After school, I visited my mom, then drove home to do some quick errands, then went to nearby Massachusetts to hang with my nephews, picked the husband up from the train station, and then went to his brother and sister’s birthday celebration! It was a packed day, and working out would have meant skipping at least one of my family visits, which just wasn’t worth it to me!
I guess this week really schooled me! I learned that even if your legs “feel fine,” my body needs a lot more rest and food before it can feel one hundred percent after running a half marathon. I do believe my inappropriate refueling was the culprit for this less than energetic week– I plan on making sure I eat more this week to properly fuel for all of my activity.
Does anyone out there have any insight as to post- half marathon recovery? Does my analysis seem correct as to why I felt so blah this past week?
P.S. Here’s a great link to a brief Q and A on post-half-marathon recovery!
So I mentioned in Tuesday’s past week in fitness post that I completed a half-marathon this weekend. If you have been keeping up on my fitness recaps, you’ll notice I have been running fairly consistently lately, but never have I mentioned that I am training for a half. That’s because honestly, I wasn’t! Last Saturday, I did a long-ish run (ten miles) and last Sunday I did a seven-miler. Then, I didn’t run all week, and instead cross-trained and walked. Well, when I went to the gym this past Saturday, it wasn’t open when it should have been, and I had planned on doing another ten-miler. I ended up skipping the gym altogether that day (after waiting a good 30 minutes in the parking lot hoping someone would come open they gym) and just did some nice stretchy yoga.
I knew the United Healthcare Half Marathon was on Sunday but had no plans to run it– until I realized my past week in fitness was kind of like a taper week for a half, at least according to the Hal Higdon’s Beginner Half Marathon plan that I have used before. The fact I didn’t get to do a long run on Saturday convinced me that the half on Sunday just might be perfect to get in those miles. I have a good base mileage right now, so I figured I could handle this half, as long as my leg injury didn’t act up.
Saturday afternoon, I made my husband walk with me to the expo so I could register for the next day’s race! We ended up running into all kinds of awesome things happening in Providence on Saturday, so I thought I would share with you all of the cool stuff we stumbled upon as we were making our way to the Rhode Island Convention Center.
First, on historic Benefit Street, we saw Rhode Island’s only vegan ice cream truck, Like No Udder! I haven’t ever had it, but I look forward to finding it this summer and trying some vegan soft-serve.
Then, further down on Benefit, we discovered the Rhode Island School of Design’s art sale! It was packed, with a variety of student artists displaying and selling their wares.
At the art sale, we saw a cupcake food truck called Sugarush. Though I didn’t want a cupcake at the time, I did scope out the menu and noticed they offered two vegan and gluten-free cupcake options: chocolate lavender and chocolate mint. Very, very cool! I certainly will be hunting down this truck in the future.
As we made our way downtown, we started to detect signs that a marathon/half-marathon was being set up!
Here’s the beginnings of a stage. . .
plus trucks loading goodies onto the ice rink, which I believe was where the party for runners was after the race (I never made it to the after-party– more to come on that tomorrow!).
We finally made it to the expo. Registration was easy, but I thought the expo itself was kind of weak. We didn’t stick around, because we had to get to dinner so I could carbo-load!
My husband and I are officially on an Indian food kick, so when he suggested we go one of our favorite Indian restaurants, aptly named India, for my pre-race dinner, I happily obliged. I have been to India many, many times, and have already reviewed it once before on my blog, but I thought another review is appropriate now that I am vegan and gluten-free and can no longer enjoy some of my old favorites mentioned before here on the blog. I had to navigate the menu with my relatively recent vegan/gluten-free eyes, and am thrilled to report there was so much delicious food for me to eat!
Since the last time I have dined at India, India has very thoughtfully revamped their menu to include more vegan and gluten-free options and also clearly label them as vegan and/or gluten-free. I so adore restaurants that do that– it makes my life so much easier!
I scanned the apps and was happy to see two explicitly vegan/gf options, both of which I ordered. I got the pappadum aka crispy lentil wafers with tamararind chutney, which were fantastic. Our waiter was so awesome as to detect that I was vegan and gluten-free without me saying anything and told me not to eat the mint chutney if I was avoiding dairy, as it contained yogurt. How awesome is he for being so alert, attentive and helpful! In the background, you can see my husband’s bhel puri, a sweet and spicy combo of puffed rice, chickpeas, wheat wafers, onion, tomatoes, chutneys and a few other ingredients. While I couldn’t indulge in it due to the wheat wafers, my husband thought it was quite tasty.
I also ordered the aloo tikki, described as a pan-seared potato patty topped by chutneys, chickpeas, onions, and a few other things. I expected it would be composed of a few individual patties, but rather it was one huge pile of potato-y goodness!
On the menu, the aloo tikki is labeled as gluten-free but not vegan, but my waiter easily got it veganized for me by getting the yogurt left off. The aloo tikki was perfect– sweet from epic amounts of tamarind sauce, spicy from the seasonings and filling from the addition of yummy chickpeas. It was so nice to be able to get a substantial, delicious app given my dietary restrictions. My husband shared with me and declared it his new favorite appetizer at India!
Here’s a shot of some of the pappadum and aloo tikki. I am so wanting to eat it again right now!
India has a section in their menu of mix and match sauces and proteins. In other words, you can select the sauce or curry you want, and then decide if you want a certain meat in it, or paneer, extra veggies, and even tofu! I went with my standard favorite of mango curry with tofu. The curry is a sweet and spicy combo of mango curry with pineapple chunks and cashews. Paired with the tofu, it was a perfect option for a girl who often can’t get a decent dose of protein when going out to eat. I have always been addicted to their mango curry, but before, I used to get it with the Indian cheese, paneer, rather than tofu.
In fact, our waiter who knows us well based on the numerous times we have dined there over the last seven years mistakenly brought out my old fav of mango with paneer. I noticed immediately, and told him of the error. He immediately and profusely apologized– he instantly realized his mistake, explaining he accidentally put in the old order I always used to get. He was so sweet and felt so bad. I on the other hand had no issue at all with the oopsie. He brought out the correct order in less than five minutes, and even packed up the mango with paneer for us so my husband could enjoy it later! Rather than take the incorrect order back, as many restaurants do, they let us keep it, as he knew my husband would like it and eat it! Therefore, we ended up getting 3 entrees for the price of 2, which was pretty awesome on their part. The service we received was truly top-notch!
Of course, I ate my mango tofu with their aromatic basmati rice, speckled with steamed peas. Their rice is so nutty and flavorful, and texturally, I love how individual and not sticky the rice kernels are.
I ate about half of my meal, and too had it packed up for the husband.
I didn’t get any pics of the inside, but India is gorgeous, with lots of beautiful artwork, Bollywood movies playing on a large flat screen, and even talented belly dancers performing on this Saturday night to boot! The ambiance is fantastic, the service is five-star, and the food is fantastic. Oh, I did forget to mention India’s focus on healthful (meaning nothing fried and only quality ingredients) cuisine, which makes the fact their food is so packed with flavor even more impressive since they’re not relying on the deep fryer to make food taste good. India is has always been an obsession of mine, but I am really happy that despite the fact I am now vegan and gluten-free, I can still be obsessed with it!
Have you ever randomly done a race of some kind without having completed a real training plan? What’s your favorite Indian food dish (assuming you’ve tried it and liked it!)?
Workout-wise, this week was a success. I kept my goals of trying to move everyday, get in 3 lifting workouts, and honor taking a formal rest day from any serious exercise.
Here’s how I made out:
Tuesday, February 14th: 6.1 mile treadmill walk, weightlifting for arms and shoulders (7 exercises, 3 sets each)
I don’t honestly remember much about this walking workout except for the fact that I obviously zoned out to tv while getting in the miles. I do remember that school that day was particularly hectic due to something called Hoops For Heart, in which many students participate in four hours worth of games like basketball in order to raise money for the American Heart Association. It is a fantastic cause, and by the time students are finished, they are hyped up not only on heart-pumping exercise, but also on the copious amount of chocolate consumed throughout the school day. High school kids really get into the act of giving chocolates/cards/candy/flowers to their friends and boy/girl friends on Valentine’s Day. Keeping up with that kind of excitement can be exhausting for a teacher who is trying to keep it all business!
Wednesday, February 15th: 6.1 mile treadmill walk
I actually had a faculty meeting after school for an hour, so any mojo to go running quickly faded by the time I was able to hit the gym. Instead, I turned to my new go-to workout for when I am tired but really want to get the blood flowing. Treadmill walking rules.
Thursday, February 16th: 8.65 miles on the treadmill (3 mile run warmup, .1 mile walk/.3 mile sprint intervals until total running time is an additional 3 miles, cool-down walking until total mileage or running and walking is 8.65), weightlifting for legs (3 exercises, 6 sets)
I mustered up the energy for a pretty high intensity sprint workout on Thursday, despite my oft stated claim that Thursday is my most tired day. I would have completed this workout on Wednesday if I did not have a faculty meeting, but I did, so it got pushed to Thursday. As usual, by the end of it I had a stomachache, but at least I did get to catch the latest episode of Tabatha Takes Over!
Friday, February 17th: 35 minute treadmill walk (2.4 miles), 15 minutes on elliptical, 3.1 mile outdoor walk with the husband
What a weird workout day Friday was! I decided to not make Friday a rest day, since I knew the coming Sunday would likely not feature any formal exercise. So, I headed to the gym for one of my workouts in which I switch between three different cardio machines for a total of about an hour. I did the treadmill portion, and was in the middle of the elliptical part when my husband called and asked if I wanted to go for a walk outside with him. He was working from home and it was gorgeous out, so he wanted to get in a bit of exercise. I immediately left the gym, picked him up, and headed to our local 3.1 mile urban trail, I guess you can call it, over at Blackstone Boulevard. It’s basically a busy parkway with a walking trail in the middle of it that extends about 1.6 miles long, for a total loop of about a 5K. It was a nice opportunity to get out of the gym and exercise with the husband on a weekday.
Saturday, February 18: 13.1 miles on the treadmill (11 run, 2.1 mile cooldown walk), weightlifting for chest and back (6 exercises, 3 sets each), one hour of beginner’s yoga, and tons of walking in Boston!
That run was one of those where I had to bargain myself all the way to eleven miles. First, I told myself to just run eight. Then, when I hit eight miles, I told myself to keep running until I was done listening to a podcast on how to make raw vegan brownies. I continued this charade of listening to various ten to fifteen minute long podcasts, telling myself I could stop running when I was done with each one. Eventually, I made it to my true, back-of-my-mind goal of running eleven miles, at which point I gladly walked a few extra miles to cool down. I thought it would be cool to get to half marathon distance– thus the extra .1 at the end! I then made sure to complete my weightlifting weekly trilogy. Next, my husband and I had to get to our beginner’s yoga class, where we met up with my sis and got in some nice stretch time. By the time we got to Boston and proceeded to walk another three or four miles there, my legs were completely trashed! Hurt so good.
Sunday, February 19: A well-earned rest day!
I am glad I switched my usual Friday rest day for Sunday because I knew it would be tough to fit in formal exercise in Boston in the morning. I could have snuck off the gym while the husband was sleeping, but I felt bad about doing that, knowing he would like to go to. By the time he woke, though, it was too late, so we just did some more Boston walking before we headed home. My legs covered at least seventeen miles the day before, so they appreciated the break!
Monday, February 20: 11 miles on the treadmill (9 run, 2 walked), weightlifting for arms and shoulders (7 exercises, 3 sets each), 5 mile walk with the husband
Yesterday’s run was completed during my beloved morning run time due to my being on vacation. I was at the gym by 6:30 A.M.! The combo of having a rest day Sunday, plus more energy in the A.M., enabled me to go a little further than my usual Monday six-milers. Yet another one of the benefits of being on vacation. . . The walk with the husband was so he could get in some exercise on his day off too!
This coming week looks to be a good one, as I have much more time and the mornings themselves to exercise. I don’t necessarily plan on increasing workout lengths– I just don’t have to stress about fitting them in since I have every morning free to sweat. The lack of pressure to fit in workouts will undoubtedly result in better ones!
What’s your workout week shaping up to look like?