Week 10 Half Marathon training recap

Another bizarre week, but lately what week hasn’t been.  Started off normal enough with my Tuesday run and Wednesday yoga, but then things went off track.  I had a work dinner Thursday night, which I planned to hit the gym afterwards, but didn’t leave the restaurant until 9PM.  So I missed my 5 miler on Thursday, well then I went and used my parent’s birthday money to get my new running shoes on Friday, and since I was running a 5K Saturday morning, I didn’t want to kill myself and make up my 5, so I took my new shoes for a short 2 mile trot just to kick the tires a little.  Then Saturday I absolutely smoked my 5K (in my old shoes no less).  Crushed my previous PR and also placed second in my age group.  So Sunday I knew I would not likely get in all of my long run (schedule said 9) but I wanted to get in as much as I could.  It’s cold and raining today but if I waited it would only get worse, with snow in the forecast for later tonight so I headed out to the Greenway.  Got in 2 miles before I couldn’t stand it anymore.  Don’t have enough cold weather gear for sub freezing temps.  Not happy with 2 miles only on a long run day, I headed for the Y and did what I could before the treadmill cut me off.  So I ended up at 6.5 miles today, which is not bad, but not 9.  Also, for some reason this week I thought my weight was already down to around 272, so when I saw a 275 on the scale earlier this week, I thought, well I’m gaining back some of my 4 from the other week, which honestly didn’t surprise me and didn’t upset me.  Then today I weighed in at 273, which I assumed was still a small gain, of less than a pound.  Much to my surprise, I go to log my weight on MFP and the spreadsheet and my last recorded weight was 276.6, so a loss of 3.6 pounds in a week I thought I was gaining! Crazy how your mind plays tricks on you.  Maybe some unconscious motivation? Here’s the tale of the tape.

Starting weight: 276.6
Running (4.7, 2, 3.1, 2, 4.5) – 16.3 miles total
Yoga – 60 minutes
Total miles – 16.3
Finishing weight: 273.0 (3.6 pound loss)

Two weeks until the half marathon, time is really winding down.  I’m getting prepared.  I have my new shoes, I have a fuel belt to carry a water bottle and some Gu.  One week left of hard training and then the taper week, so really “one” week left, and only one long run remains (since the week 12 “long run” is the RACE).

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Fitness Friendship and Fun 5K – Kannapolis NC

North Cabarrus Park, Kannapolis NC

This morning I participated in the Fitness, Friendship and Fun 5K in Kannapolis NC.  The event was set up by a group known as the Jackson Park Runner Girls and headed up by a friend of mine from DailyMile, Kathi Landis. I received a personal invite to this race and how could I turn that down? The race benefited both the girls running group, as well as raising money to support a cure for MS.

Thanks to my surprisingly good pace and time at the 8K two weeks ago, which suggested that I could set a very nice PR at my next 5K, I set a few goals for myself for this race.  I usually don’t set time goals for races, usually just look to finish, or at the very least do better than my last race. I am still at the point of not racing other people, but rather racing myself.  The first goal was to run the 5K in under 40 minutes.  At the 3.1 mile mark of the 8K I was at 38 minutes and some change, so I knew it was doable.  The second goal, was an off-shoot of the first,  Kathi had assured me (thanks to a very small group in this inaugural event) that I could easily place in my age group.  Well I decided I didn’t want to trot around the course with an awful time and still get a medal because I happened to be 2nd of two.  I wanted to feel like I had earned it, and that didn’t mean finishing 2nd or 3rd overall since that was impossible, but running a good race for me, setting a PR etc.  If I ran my best race, then I would feel I had done enough to place, even if it was a very small division.

Needless to say, I managed to blow both of these goals out of the water, or as my friend Amanda said when I told her, I “killed it”.

I finished with a time of 37:04, well under 40 minutes, and an average pace of exactly 12 minutes per mile, which is 5MPH.  I’ve done that on a treadmill and it is not easy.  A couple of downhill stretches helped out, but I was moving pretty good.  At the two mile mark I realized I could WALK to the finish and slide in under 40 minutes, but of course I didn’t quit, in fact I was shocked to discover when I uploaded my Garmin that mile 3 was faster than mile 2.  My mile 1 was blazing fast at 11:21, which beat my previous best 1 mile time of 12:09 by nearly a minute.  I set out to smoke this race, and I did.

I also, surprisingly, placed second in my age group.  And, also surprisingly, it was not because I was 2nd of 2, there was at least 3 of us as someone else was awarded the third prize.  At first, when Kathi announced the 3rd place finisher and it was not me, I knew that I had not placed.  Then, as she was announcing the second place finisher she started with “It’s my understanding our second place finisher made a PR today, and he drove all the way down from Winston Salem….” at which point I realized it was me! She also mentioned I was a Wolfpacker like she was, which drew loud applause from a very NC State friendly crowd. Needless to say I was shocked, and I can’t wait to see the goofy grin on my face in the picture Kathi took of me and my medal.

The course was set through the park, which had a 1.25 mile walking trail, so we ended up looping around the trail twice, once in one direction, and then again in the other direction, and then another small loop to come back around the last .5 mile to the finish.  The course map on paper looked extremely confusing, I wasn’t sure what to think about it and one of the ladies at the sign in table said to me “You can take that with you”, to which I replied, “It won’t help”.  Turns out the course was very well marked and well manned.  Lots of arrows and signs and lots of people pointing the way.  Big round of applause to the group from Jackson Park Runner girls for running a wonderful event and big thumb’s up to Kathi’s husband (I didn’t catch his name, he was referred to as Mr. Landis) who laid out the course and also handled the timing and scoring.

It’s not a trophy shelf yet, but it’s a start.

Up next, in two weeks, the Rock and Roll New Orleans Half Marathon.

Can’t wait to hang one of these puppies around my neck! Bring it on!

Tire Rotation (New Kicks!)

It was time to get a new pair of running shoes and have enough time to break them in before the half marathon.  I was able to do this with some early birthday money from my parents (thanks Mom and Dad!) and so I went to the local running store, Fleet Feet and got fitted for shoes.  I had pulled my previous shoes off the shelf at a sporting goods store, tried them on, walked around, liked them and bought them.  They were very nice, and have done good by me, but I recently found out (from one of the nice staff at Fleet Feet) that since I have flat feet I need some shoes with some extra support (known as “stability”) so I had been wearing the wrong shoes! My previous shoes were what’s known as a “neutral”, or just a normal level of support.  So I tried on 4 pairs of shoes, the lady at the store watched me walk in them, a couple I went out for a quick jog around the parking lot and after trying on pairs of Asics, New Balances, Sauconys and Brooks I am the proud owner of a nice shiny new pair of…….. *drumroll*

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12 !

I liked the Brooks the best out of the four I tried on.  I was disappointed in the Sauconys since I thought I would like them since I was already wearing a pair, but it felt like there was a bump in the inside right behind the big toe and it was uncomfortable.  And if it doesn’t feel right standing there or walking slowly it’s gonna feel really not right when you’re running.  So I quickly scratched them.  The Asics were very nice, but the Brooks edged them out slightly.

Here’s a shot of the other side, the dark gray foam under the arch is much firmer than the white foam around the rest of the shoe and that gives you the extra support.

I took the shoes out for a quick little 2 mile trot this afternoon, and they did make my feet hurt a little bit which would be expected from brand new shoes, so I am actually gonna run my 5K tomorrow in my old Sauconys before I retire them from running and delegate them to “mall-walker” status.  The good news is that while the Sauconys have lost the cushioning for high impact running after 200+ miles, they still have plenty of life left in them for “around town” shoes, so I will still get plenty of use from them and get my money’s worth out of them for sure.

Pickles and Ice Cream

I haven’t done a food blog in a while, so this is probably well overdue, and I was thinking about pickles and of course what goes with that? Ice Cream! (but not together, since I’m not a pregnant woman).

I’ve always liked pickles, but lately I’ve developed a new found love for them.  Pickles, like a lot of vegetable have NO CALORIES! (or very few, some brands say zero, some 5 or 10 but very low).  You can put pickles on whatever you want for some extra crunch and flavor and no guilt.  Yes, pickles are full of salt, they are in fact brined vegetables, so if you are watching your sodium intake you should watch out for that, but at the current time sodium is not something I am concerned with.  It may be in the future, but not for right now.  I pile on the pickles on my turkey burgers, I used to eat pickles on hot dogs, but I haven’t had hot dogs lately, I always get pickles on my Subway sandwiches and this morning I even put pickles on my turkey sandwich for work.  It’s “free” food! Go wild!  (This applies to salsa too, 10 calories per serving, but the catch there is the chips.. of course).

I love ice cream as well.  One of those things that I like to have as often as I can squeeze it in.  Lately I’ve found some ways to squeeze it in even better.  I had seen “light” ice creams before like Skinny Cow and others including name brands like Breyers Lite, Breyers No Sugar added, etc.. and was never quite satisfied with them.  I’ve recently discovered the Weight Watchers line of Ice Cream novelties and they are remarkably good! The two I’ve had are the Ice Cream Candy Bar, which too me tastes just about like a Snicker Ice Cream bar.  It’s 150 cals, 9g of fat (which is a little high due to the nuts and caramel) and the Giant Ice Cream Sandwich which is 140 calories and ummm (i don’t have a box here to look at) 2-3 grams of fat? Less than the Bar, that’s the highest.  I also recently picked up two new cartons of ice cream (on sale half price) both Blue Bunny, one is No Sugar Added Reduced Fat Vanilla, which is 90 calories per serving, and the other is Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Frozen Yogurt, which is 110 calories per serving and includes live active cultures (like yogurt).  I’ve tried the Vanilla and it’s good.  I haven’t tried the Yogurt yet.

See there, you can have your ice cream and eat it too… and a pickle. On the side… if you like…

Week 9 Half Marathon Training Recap

This has been an interesting week to say the least.  My mileage numbers are a little wonky this week based on where my runs happened.  The treadmills at the Y cut me off after an hour run and 5 minute cooldown, and I’m not quite up to a 5 miles in an hour just yet, and my long run was in a new spot, a trail around Salem Lake that is  7 miles, so started on the second trip around for some extra distance and then doubled back but still didn’t quite make the full 8, but I was freezing and ready to be done.  Here’s there numbers.

Starting weight – 277.8
Running – (4.8, 4.7, 7.7) – 17.2 miles total
Cycling – Cross-training – 3.85 miles
Yoga – 60 minutes
Total Miles – 21.05 miles
Finishing weight – 276.6 (1.2 pounds lost)

Only three weeks left until the New Orleans Half Marathon.  Not many blocks left on the ole training calender.  The next two weeks will be pretty brutal (9 mile and 10 mile long runs) and then the week of the race is a HUGE taper, only 6 miles total.

Week 8 Half Marathon Training Recap

Another crazy week of training.  had a race on Saturday as my “long run”.  Skipped my cross-training again due to the Saturday run, but that’s ok.  4 weeks left until the Half Marathon… holy cow it’s getting close! Here’s the numbers for this week.

Starting weight – 282.8
Running – (4.5, 4.5, 5.01) – 14.01 total
Yoga – 60 minutes
Finishing weight – 277.8 (4 pounds lost EPIC)

Along with a massive weight loss this week, I noticed my measurements on MFP had been taken a month ago, so I took my measurements again.  My chest measurement is down a half inch from 49 to 48.5, my stomach (at the belly button) is down 2 inches from 52 to 50 while my waist(hips) was unchanged at 43,  but that didn’t surprise me.

Winter Flight 8K – Salisbury, NC

This morning I ran in the Winter Flight 8K in Salisbury NC.  This was my first race longer than 5K distance.  Thankfully I’ve done more than 5 miles in my half marathon training, so the distance was not that daunting.

First, my only complaint for the race, the weather, cold and drizzly rain.  Ugh.  I was a drowned rat by the time I got home.  But now on to the good part.

Ok, so it’s not elite runner status, but my first “low” number. LOL

I was a little worried when we started, the Start line was an orange cone and a faintly spray painted line on the pavement, but those worries were quickly pushed away when I realized the course itself was in fact very well marked.  We were running on roads that were still open to traffic, which can be nerve wracking but there was a line of cones separating our lane from the traffic lane and plenty of police at the intersections directing traffic.

The horn goes and the crowd rushes forward and we are off and I felt like I was actually going too fast and so tried to dial it back a little bit so I didn’t kill myself in the first half mile.  I still ended up running my fastest mile yet, at 12:08, besting my time from New Years of 12:14.  The first two miles had some nice downhill stretches which helped, then a loooooong uphill just past 2 miles with the water station at the top right around halfway.  Somewhere between the water stop and mile 3 it started raining pretty good and rained the rest of the way.  The finishing part with a lap around the stadium track was really cool, and although the “huge crowd” of 10 people was all there was, they did call out my name as I was rounding the bend and hitting the last 50 yards or so till the finish.  They handed me a card that said #264 which I then gave to the ladies tallying the results, so I assume that’s my finishing position, but out of how many I have no clue.  There weren’t too many people behind me that I could see but I wasn’t dead last.

Outside view of the finishing stadium from the parking lot.

I’m surprised that I was able to keep a steady pace the whole race, usually my average will look good and then my splits are all over the place, but this time I held it pretty steady.  My splits were 12:08, 12:48, 12:48, 12:32, 12:34.  Ironically the 12:34 for mile 5 was also my average pace for the whole run.

I also would have set a 5K PR for this race if it had stopped at 3.1.  I don’t remember the exact time, but 37:45 at three miles, and 38-something at 3.11 would be a PR by several minutes and also a sub-40 minute 5K!!

Overall a good race besides the weather.  And as always, my first race at that distance is an automatic PR! And with such an odd distance, will likely be my only 8K for a while.

  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.