I completed my second half marathon this weekend. I easily could have finished in the top ten if I had trained a little more but I settled for 14,144th place. It is the nation’s largest half marathon with 35,000 competitors each year. I finished with a time of 2:18:50 which is about 20 minutes less than my half marathon race last year. I am happy with my time and felt good during the race. I have just one complaint from the race and it is this: the blister on my foot is the largest I have ever seen. Oh, well. Hopefully it goes away. My toenail that fell off during last year’s race took about five months to grow back completely so let’s hope this blister-issue is over much faster than that! My race stats:
Temperature: 58 degrees
Distance walked to the race: 1.4 miles
Distance walked from the race: 1.4 miles
Number of blisters: 1 but it’s the size of 10 blisters
Overall place: 14,144 out of 30,063
Here’s last year’s injury and this year’s… So gross.
This time last year, I didn’t know yet that I would be running in a half marathon the next day. This time this year, different story. Time to run!
I know, I know, it’s May already. I didn’t get a chance to post about my April race and now the half marathon is this weekend! I’m not sure how it crept up around the corner so quickly. It was still really cold out this time. Seriously, I should not have to wear a jacket and running tights while running 9 miles in the month of April. Oh well, at least it’s warmer now. Here are some stats:
Official time: 1:37:23
Temperature: 46 degrees
Race start time: 8:00 AM
Time I arrived at race: 8:03 AM (oops, but at least people were still crossing the start line as I joined up)
Reason I was late: Waking up at 7:30 AM on a Saturday? Yeah, that’s not an easy accomplishment for me.
Number of GU energy gel packs I brought along: 5
Number of GU energy gel packs I consumed: 1 (I over pack in every situation possible. Why did I think I’d need five? Same reason why I’d pack six bathing suits for a weekend trip to Minnesota in February. I’m a girl.)
Overall place: 901 out of 1,534
As with Goldilocks, a 5K seems too short and a 1/2 marathon too long. A 10K? Perfect. It’s long enough to challenge your endurance but you can still function properly the rest of the day. This weekend I completed my first official 10K in preparation for a half marathon. Last year, I ran a half marathon with zero preparation other than drinking a little extra water the night before the race. This year it’s a little different! Here are my stats for this race:
Official time: 1:02:28
Temperature: 39 degrees maybe? Who cares? It wasn’t absolutely freezing out and that’s all that matters!
Snow: almost completely melted
Number of 12 year old girls who I passed: two
Number of 60 year old women who passed me: four
Number of boyfriends who flew home early to see me cross the finish line: one out of one
Overall place: 771 out of 1,535
On to the next race! One more month until my 15K race and two months until the half marathon. Let the training continue…
Now that I am half-crazy and running another half-marathon, I need a training schedule to keep myself on track. I am not an athletic trainer so I won’t go into great detail about the actual training plan itself. I basically combined a few of my favorite training plans and adjusted it to fit my life. I always like starting with one of Hal Higdon’s training plans because they already match my running style. He has different plans for beginning-to-advanced runners and plans based on a variety of races. Start with a plan you like and then tweak it to fit your preferences. For example, I live in a colder climate and I dislike training indoors. Therefore, I do a small amount of indoor cross training during the cold months and almost no indoor training once the weather improves.
For my OCD training plan, I start by typing up the plan in an Excel spreadsheet to get it organized. The yellow columns list the type of run or exercise for that day and the white column lists the number of miles I am running that day. I add the miles up for each week in the purple column. Then I make sure I am not increasing my mileage too much from week to week. Most sources recommend increasing mileage no more than 10% per week. I also bought some fun and colorful small post it notes. The post its allow me to get the schedule on to a calendar while still allowing myself to rearrange the schedule as needed.
I cut out each exercise and number of miles then tape or glue it to a post it note. I color-coded the post its based on the type of exercise. For example, all of my rest days and strength training days are listed on blue post its so I know from far away that it’s an easy day.
Next, I got out my favorite new calendar for the year. I put all of the work outs on the corresponding days. It’s been very helpful to rearrange and even combine work outs throughout the week. If I have to skip a two mile run on one day, I can easily add the run to my strength training day for that week. Or if I know I am off work on Sunday, I can have my eight mile run scheduled for that day. I keep the calendar on my fridge and check it daily. It has served me well so far and now I just have eleven more weeks to go!
P.S. Like I said, I’m not an athletic trainer but below you’ll find the intermediate 18 week half marathon training plan I am using. Click on the image to expand. Note that I included a week of recovery exercises after the half marathon since I want to make sure I “cool down” from the race. Always check with your doctor first before starting a training plan
Legend: LSD = long slow distance, easy = shorter and slower run, CT = cross training, S = stretching and strength training. “Tempo run”, “pace run” and/or “interval run” should be easy to understand if you are an intermediate/advanced runner but Google these terms for a refresher.
My name is Vanessa and I have obsessive compulsive disorder. You wouldn’t know it by my alphabetized DVD collection, my color-coded binder at work, my receipt collection organized by date and store, or my excessive use of the following items: post its, multicolored highlighters, cleaning supplies, Ziploc bags, storage bins, and hand sanitizer. But yes, it’s true: I am only slightly OCD. This “attention to detail” transfers over into any form of athletic training that I attempt. I can’t just write a few work outs on to my calendar. I have to create an excessively obnoxious color-coded schedule. Here are the reasons why I couldn’t just suck it up and use a normal half marathon training schedule like everyone else:
1. I want a color-coded system so I can easily glance at the calendar and figure out what my work out is.
2. I have boy handwriting and therefore need to type out everything. My addiction to typing is probably related to my handwriting problem but that’s a discussion for another day.
3. Sometimes my schedule changes and I need to change my training schedule accordingly. I need a way to rearrange my schedule to accommodate my social or work plans.
4. I want a pretty and attractive schedule so that I can keep it out in plain view for quick access. If it’s too ugly, I’ll end up hiding it and ignoring it.
5. I have an obsession with Microsoft Excel because I have an obsession with organization and data analysis (*nerd alert*). For example, I don’t want to increase my mileage more than 10% per week so an Excel spreadsheet helps me keep track of this type of information.
My mission: Type up a plan in Excel that can be transferred to multicolored post it notes which can be arranged and rearranged on a fun and attractive calendar. Mission accepted. Stay tuned for Part Two on Friday!
That’s me in the pink! It’s February and I am continuing my goal of completing five races in five months. I will possibly attempt 12 races in 12 months if I keep this momentum up. I now have two races done and three more to go. I finished my first race of the year in January with a 5K. I completed another 5K for this month and finished 10 seconds faster. I blame a stomach cramp between mile 2 and 3 for slowing down my time. I wanted to finish much faster especially since there was no snow on the ground this time to slip me up. Here are my stats for this race:
Official time: 29:21
Temperature: 25 degrees
Number of walkers who should not have started towards the very front and blocked runners who needed to pass: a billion
Total amount of caffeine in my system during race: 40 mg
Total amount of caffeine normally in my system over the course of a year: 0 mg
Likelihood that I will be able to fall asleep after caffeine overload: 5%
Overall place: 613 out of 1,264
And bonus points for my 5K running playlist featuring a wide variety of music:
Remind me after I run a half marathon in May about all the snowy days I trained through. Remind me about the below freezing temperatures. The sidewalks that weren’t shoveled or salted. The windy conditions. The foggy and hazy skyline. Remind me that it was worth it.
A year ago today I posted my first cute little blog post about smoothies. Ah how long it’s been since January 30, 2012. It’s been a year to be exact but I can measure the year in so many other ways (525,600 minutes, perhaps?). I wasn’t sure if blogging would just be one of those things I kept up with for a month and then forgot about. I didn’t know if I would be writing for my own sake or writing for others. I had no idea how many “others” I would meet who I will probably never meet in person. Thanks to all the amazing fellow bloggers and readers from the past year for support and inspiration. It’s certainly been a fun experience! And now, a little walk down memory lane…
Who knows what the next year holds in store for V is for Vegetables. Let’s hope the year is full of fun, friends, and fegetables (sorry, I needed another f-word and decided against the obvious choice). On to the next vegetable-filled year!
Categories: Personal, Running, Vegetables
Tags: a year in review, blog, food blog, one year anniversary, running blog, Vegan, vegan blog, Vegetable, vegetables, vegetarian, vegetarian blog
In high school we ran 4K races while the men’s cross country team competed in 5Ks. Apparently high school girls can’t handle that extra fraction of a mile. As a result, I’ve probably raced in about 50 4K races and almost no 5Ks that I can remember. It is one of the most basic and common races in the running world yet I’ve always thought of it as too easy. If you regularly head out on 5-10 mile runs, the concept of “training to go on a 3 mile run” doesn’t make much sense. Why would anyone need to prepare before going for a 3 mile run? It’s arrogant but a legitimate question when you’re a longtime runner who embraces long, slow distance runs. My perspective changed when I read that George Sheehan used to say the difference between a jogger and a runner is a race number. I realized that ever since high school I had quickly transitioned from an arrogant runner to an arrogant jogger. I needed to become a runner again. And hopefully not an arrogant one.
After being a runner/jogger for over ten years, I finally competed in my first real 5K. There was something about eating gel packs, tying a chip timer to my shoe and safety pinning a number to my jacket that immediately brought me back to the world of running like I had never left. I have four more races coming up in the next four months but for now, here are my stats from this little runner’s most recent race:
- Official time: 29:31
- Temperature: 19 degrees
- Snow: 2 inches
- Number of times I slipped and almost fell: 3
- Number of fingers I wanted to amputate: 10
- Overall place: 128 out of 296
- Division place: 4 out of 20
- Gender place: 34 out of 155
THAT’S RIGHT – I GOT 4th OUT OF THE 25-29 YEAR OLD FEMALES!!! Oh yeah, no arrogance. I almost forgot. One race down. Four to go!