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First Half-Marathon!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

I completed my first half-marathon today! I did the Gazelle Girl in Grand Rapids, MI. The money raised went to support 4 different charities, one being Girls on the Run. I thought it would be cool to have my first half-marathon be a women-only race.

I used the Hal Higdon Novice 2 training program (tweaking a few things~ like flipping a couple days around due to my work schedule, and a couple weeks I took out the 3 mile run so that I could get in some extra yoga, which saved my joints!) I thought that the "taper week" this past week would be awful since I'm a "workout-everyday-kinda gal" but it was actually a very good thing! My left IT band had been bugging me for a while and it would always hurt for the first mile or so until I got going and it loosened up. But today it didn't hurt at all! I felt great! So I'm sure that the extra rest/less running played a huge role in that.

My husband, sons, and I went to the Expo yesterday. I was able to get a couple pictures there with my bib:

Afterwards, we enjoyed dinner at Olive Garden, then we headed back to the hotel for a little swimming. (I didn't actually swim, I just kept alternating between the hot tub and the pool, dangling my legs in the cold water when the hot tub started feeling too warm).

Last night was an awful night of sleep. I NEVER sleep well in a hotel room, but this time was "extra" bad. Tossed and turned, up several times in the night. I actually woke up 10 minutes before my alarm, so I went ahead and got up. Since it was one room hotel room, I ended up sitting on the edge of the tub in the bathroom so that I wouldn't wake up my family. Was able to read my Bible, get some water in, and eat my Cliff bar. I also kept checking the weather, since for the several past days they had been predicting thunderstorms all morning! We went out yesterday to buy a lighter running rain jacket for me at Gazelles. I have a lighter one that I had loaned to a friend (thinking I wouldn't need it) and my regular running jacket would have been fine for rain, but too warm for the 60-degree temps)... I decided the night before thought that I wasn't going to cut the tags off the jacket until I knew for sure if I was going to need it. So many women were out shopping for the same thing yesterday (jackets!) because of the predicted rain, so the only one I could find that I liked was $90, it wasn't in the color I would have prepared. Well, come this morning I found out that the rain was only going to be from 6am-7am, and the race didn't start till 8am. So that jacket is going back! lol!

I was able to meet a lady that I met on Facebook through a running group that was also running the half. We actually started out running our first 3 miles together, but she is much faster than me. We were running at a 9:30/10min pace, and I knew I couldn't keep it up for 13 miles, so I slowed down a little and let her keep going. We did meet up after the race though. It was nice to have her there at the start, though! And she is very sweet! Here we are (she's in the white jacket/white hat:

My husband and sons were able to see me at the starting line, 2 miles, 11 miles, and the finish line. The course kind of went out by a highway, and there weren't really any easy ways for them to rush from spot to spot. Most of the people that were able to do that were riding bikes. I loved seeing them at mile 2, and it was a little discouraging not to see them again for so long after that! I use Runmeter on my phone to track my runs, and it's connected to my Facebook page, so I was hearing comments from friends as they wrote messages on my Runmeter. That really helped to know that so many people were thinking of me and cheering me on!

I told myself NO WALKING until I got to the water stations. Being my first half, several people told me to stop at each water station for water. It was actually pretty humid out, so I'm glad I took their advice. On my training runs I would carry a running water bottle, but I didn't bring it today so I had to use their cups. I found it harder to drink and walk at the same time without almost choking, so decided to stop to drink the water each time (they were such small cups, it was only a few sips each time, so it didn't take long at all). Whenever I felt like walking, I would tell myself no, wait for the water station! It kept me going...

My hamstrings felt a little tight at mile 10.15, but other than that everything felt good. Mile 12 was probably the hardest mentally, since I just felt ready to be done! It was an uphill finish. My actual mileage ended up being 13.35, and my time was 2:20. I was really happy with that! I had a goal in my head of 2:20, but I felt like it might be closer to 2:30. My husband (and many others) told me not to worry about my time, which I tried not to, but I think everyone has so idea of a time they would like to beat. Here's a picture of me at the finish line, and a picture of my husband and sons that they took of themselves while waiting for me...

Instead of medals, they gave out sterling silver charms. I thought it was kind of cool, since you can wear it around. Here's mine:

It was a good race. Our next race is in one month. We are doing a 25k (15.5 miles). I'm doing that one with a friend from church. She is newer to running as well, so we're not going to worry about time, just finishing! We're both very excited!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LCERVERA 9/25/2014 6:57AM

    Wow! So impressive! Nice to see you back on here, too! Congrats to you. emoticon

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RUNNERRACHEL 4/17/2014 8:44AM

    That's a great account! Loved hearing how the race went. Your time is AWESOME!! You really did a great job on training, listening to your body (extra stretching/yoga is so beneficial), and sticking to it, even in the winter! You're amazing and you've done such a great job! So happy for you. I'm sure the lack of sleep was a challenge (is your next race in town or away?) I read an article that said even if the night before a race sleep is spotty, as long as you get enough sleep the week before your race that is more important or it's less important to get sleep the night before. I've been nervous/excited and have had races that I couldn't sleep the night before. Luckily, we have the adrenaline that kicks in. Your family was there to cheer you on! Wonderful! That is great that they were able to be there at miles 2 and 11 and at the start and finish! Wonderful.

Happy for you! Proud of you! Great job on your race!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CINDYAST 4/14/2014 3:37PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JAMIRBLAZE 4/14/2014 10:55AM

    Congrats! I've been looking at the Novice 2 program myself for my first half later this year! Glad that it worked well for you!

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WMUGRAD 4/14/2014 10:15AM

    Congrats! I was going to do that race for my first after I learned about it. I am doing run camp right now and Saturday we had a 13+ miler planned. So since my group was running a half and more on Saturday I had medals made since we would have to miss out in GR. Congrats to you- the necklace is beautiful!

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CHARTERDAWN 4/14/2014 9:20AM

  Well done. Fun to hear your story and see your pictures. emoticon emoticon

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SWEETNEEY 4/14/2014 5:11AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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It's almost here!

Friday, April 04, 2014

I can't believe how quickly my half-marathon training has went! It's next Sunday! I *think* I'm ready. I ran 12.15 miles last week and did pretty well. I did stop twice to stretch my hamstrings. They were feeling tight. I don't think I had enough water the day before. Tomorrow is my last "long run"- running 8 miles with a friend. Then next week I only have a 2, 3, and 2 mile run.

I'm already thinking about what I want to do differently next time. This time I used Hal Higdon's "Novice 2" program and added in yoga at least once a week. When I first started my training (Jan/Feb) I was doing some weights and other circuit training too, but as the miles increased I cut those out. I can tell that I've lost some upper body strength... So I am going to plan a schedule that still incorporates weights. Even if I have to cut back to 3 days of running instead of 4 each week... Chalene Johnson's new PiYo program is coming out this summer, so I will DEFINITELY be doing those too! PiYo is Pilates/yoga, but at a faster speed. Can't wait!!

I am doing a 25k a month after my 1/2. It feels a little crazy right now (15.5 miles!) but I'm sure that if I can do a 1/2 I can add on 2.5 more miles. I'm doing the 25k with a friend, so that should help...

Another thing that I want to change for next time is to add some speed work training. I didn't do any this time. My goal is to "finish"! But my pace has slowed down from a 9:45/10:00 minute pace to a 11:00/11:30 (12:00 on a really BAD day) pace. It's driving me crazy! I feel like I try to go faster, but it's just not happening. At first my husband said it was from adding miles/being more tired. But even my 3 mile runs are slow. Now he said it's because I didn't do speed work, that I have "trained my body to go slow." Any thoughts or suggestions? Do I try to so speed work after my 1/2 to get ready for the 25k, or just wait till after the 25k and focus on that for when I get ready for my Detroit half in Oct?

Saw the pics of the Nike Dri-Fit T-shirts that they are giving out at the race. They are really nice~ can't wait!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHAUNAD30 4/8/2014 9:01AM

    Yay! How exciting for you, Erin!

I've doing Hal Higdon's 10K Novice training program. I'm glad that I read your blog because I'm going to make sure that I add in weights for sure. I didn't do any training program last year for this particular 10K, so I'm excited about doing this one. My race is 5/31.

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ELSCO55 4/5/2014 11:09PM

    Enjoy your race

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TRYINGTOLOSE64 4/4/2014 10:00PM

    Good luck on your race!! You can do it!!

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CINDYAST 4/4/2014 9:51PM

    You'll be amazing! Good luck and have a great run!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Good luck on your race! I don't have any great advice, but my runner friends always talk about doing speed training too. I keep injuring myself when running, so I am sidelined for awhile (Darn IT Band!). Have a great race! emoticon

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Running Buddy

Monday, March 24, 2014

I've always thought of myself as a "lone runner"~ liked to run by myself, didn't want to slow someone else down, or be embarrassed if I couldn't run as far as them. We started a running group through our church a couple months ago, and I lead the "intermediate" group. Our group runs 2-3 miles, at about a 10:30-12 minute pace depending on the runner (we don't all run side by side). Through the group, I discovered a friend that is similar to my speed. The first week I pretty much ran by myself. However, the second week, I looked behind me and noticed that one of the ladies was right behind me. I slowed down a little so that she could run side by side with me. I told my husband later that day that it was nice to have someone running with me. They were talking another day, and she told him that she would like to do a half-marathon someday, and he told her that I said it was nice to run with her the other day and told her that she should do the Detroit Half Marathon with me in October. I reached out to her on Facebook and asked if she would like to get together once a week to run (in addition to our Saturday run group). She lives a little further from me, so we are trying to find areas that are kind of in between our houses to meet. For the most part though she's coming closer to me at this point since she lives in the country and the roads are horrible from the snow. It's been fun watching her reach new milestones (she had never run further than a 5K before the run group). On my 9-mile long run day, she ran the first 4.5 with me. She parked her car at the half-way point of my run, I drove out to get her and we ran back to her car. Then I turned back around and ran the rest of the run. It was nice to have someone to get me through half of that! The next time she ran 5 miles with me, and the other day we ran 6 miles together. When we ran our 6 mile day, it was so nice because we talked the entire time, and the time went really fast. We didn't run as fast as we would have if we just ran and didn't talk, but the fellowship made it worth it. She has decided to run a 25K (15.5 miles) with me in May, and the Half Marathon in October. It's funny because I thought I told her that 25K was 15.5 miles, but she told my husband later "I didn't realize that it was 15.5 miles! Hope I'm ready!" LOL. I told her she'll be fine emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIVELYGIRL2 4/4/2014 11:48PM

  that is terrific! how neat to have a group, or partner to do this with!

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ELSCO55 3/25/2014 8:13PM

    It's good to have a running buddy.

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RUNNERRACHEL 3/24/2014 11:22PM

    That's so cool! Glad you have some running company. And that is so great that you're inspiring her to do things she's never tried!!

Keep up the fabulous work! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CINDYAST 3/24/2014 8:02PM

    Awesome! Enjoy the fellowship!

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HILLSLUG98239 3/24/2014 7:59PM

    That's cool! I'm kind of a loner, so I rarely run or ride with someone else. But I can see the advantages.

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Half-Marathon Training Update!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

My first half-marathon is one month from today! My training has been going pretty well... I've had the "normal" aches and pains that come with training... But I am pushing through it. Motrin and ice have become my best friends, lol! It's funny how one area heals then another sore area pops up emoticon .

I did my first 10 mile run the other day. It was pretty tough. I had a few things "going against me" but didn't let them stop me. My left IT band was really tight at first, so I felt like I was running pretty SLOW... it finally loosened up around mile 3.5. However, around mile 7 or 8 my hamstrings started to cramp up. The ligaments right behind my knees felt TIGHT and sore. They feel better now. I went home and took a cold bath then foam rolled for a little bit and that seemed to help! I wasn't sure if I was going to make it run group yesterday since I had ran 10 miles the day before and was also battling some sinus crud. But I ended up going and ran 2.25 miles and used it as a recovery run. My legs actually felt ok during the run, I was just so stuffed up from the cold.

Today was an off day so I did some yoga (Bob Harper's Yoga for the Warrior). I've been trying to do yoga at least once a week. I alternate between Bob Harper's DVD and Michelle Dozois' Bodyfit 360. I also tried hot yoga for the first time last week. It was pretty good, but with the drive there and back it took about 3 hours out of my day, so it's not something that I can do regularly. I think they said that the temperature was 103 (?). It felt hot, but you kind of get used to it. I made sure to drink a lot of water the day before and that morning since I had heard that those who didn't felt like they were going to pass out. I ordered Bob Harper's newest "Skinny Rules" yoga DVD- looking forward to trying that!

My husband and I signed up to do a 25K (15.5 miles) a month after the 1/2 marathon. I'm questioning my sanity now of signing up, but I'm sure it will be ok emoticon . We are actually going to have it be just the two of us. The kids will stay with his mom. As soon as they get on the bus we are going to head out of town and have a day of shopping and good food emoticon then the race will be the next day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNERRACHEL 3/25/2014 8:57AM

You are doing a fantastic job! SO happy for you that you are doing this and pushing through and reaching your goals! emoticon emoticon emoticon

You are doing an awesome job and I'm proud of you! I am sorry to hear that you keep getting sore, muscles cramping up...I'm wondering if there is something that can be done...all the stretching, yoga, foam rolling is great. You are doing all the right stuff. Are you taking any days off from working out? Also, I'm wondering if nutrition might help the cramping. I'm sure you are getting enough bananas/potassium, which is supposed to help muscle cramping...

15.5 miles you can do it! You have to be a little crazy to run those distances, right? emoticon

Keep up the great work! I know you will feel so accomplished when you cross that finish line!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANDERSYANIKE 3/18/2014 8:48PM

  Running the half will be over before you know it. Enjoy the scenery!

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ACROFIT 3/18/2014 9:29AM

  I remember my first half-marathon-it was my best one! You just can't beat the adrenaline and natural high that get you through the race. It sounds like you are putting your time in-it will pay off!! Way to go! emoticon

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    Great job on the training. Really listen to your body, though when it comes to the IT and hamstring areas. With just a month to go, don't push to hard. You've done the 10 miles, 13.1 miles will be attainable. emoticon

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CINDYAST 3/16/2014 3:46PM

    You're doing amazing! My daughter runs marathons and loves (at times hates! lol) her foam roller. Keep up the great work!

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COOP9002 3/16/2014 2:59PM

    Sounds like you're doing well. Blessings to you on setting such a great example for your kids.

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Running Group at Church!

Sunday, February 02, 2014

My husband and I started a new running group at church. It's for ALL levels, a great way to introduce people to the LOVE of running and for them to meet new friends. Yesterday was our first group meeting. We weren't sure how many would sign since it was snowing pretty good, but we had about 25-26 runners! We have all different levels. Some have never ran a day in their life, others have done marathons. We made 3 "teams": beginner, intermediate, and advanced. The intermediate did a walk/jog/walk for 1 mile, the intermediate (my team) did a 2 mile run, and the advanced did 3 miles. We will build on miles as the group goes on. The goal is to have everyone run a local 5K together in June. We are going to have T-shirts that say "VLC Road Runners" (VLC= Victory Life Church). It was a lot of fun and everyone was really excited about what they accomplished! We had a few people call to cancel due to being sick, but here's who we had yesterday (you'll see in the top picture that I'm in the hot pink hat all the way to the right, and my husband is in the bottom pic in the neon orange jacket. Since we each wanted to be in the pic we had to take turns getting the pics. No one else was around at the trail, or we would have grabbed them for our pic so that we could both be in the same pic, lol):

I posted this pic on FB a couple hours before run group to let people know that we would still be having run group even though it was snowing (we had a few people calling to ask). Also, it wasn't too cold at 25-degrees! My son Adam (age 13) made our logo for the group:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LCERVERA 4/4/2014 6:32PM

    I know this is late, but woo hoo! That's so great!

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RUNNERRACHEL 2/5/2014 8:23PM

    Great! You are doing something wonderful for the people in your church!

Serving God, His people, sharing your love of fitness--all great!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHAUNAD30 2/3/2014 1:46PM

    Very cool, Erin! My brother-in-law attends a mega church in Cincinnati. He said they have multiple campuses across the city. They started a running group and anticipated 50-100 people. They were quite shocked when they ended up with 1000 folks signing up. :)

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CASTIRONLADY 2/2/2014 8:46PM

    What a gang! And in the depths of the temp, bravehearts! emoticon

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CINDYAST 2/2/2014 6:19PM

    Awesome turn out! Looks like it's going to be a great group! Have fun!

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SUNSHINE99999 2/2/2014 10:10AM

  How nice to have all those running buddies. emoticon

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