Tag Archives: training

How Not to Train for a 1/2 Marathon

5 Nov

Hey there! Let’s skip past the un-pleasantries and excuses as to why it has been a millennium since my last post and get right too it.

From the title you can probably surmise 2 things:

  1. I recently ran a ½ marathon
  2. I failed in my training for said marathon

If you deduced the above then *ding* *ding**ding* we have a winner! I indeed did run a ½ marathon (the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon this past Sat. race recap should be up on Friday) and I wouldn’t exactly recommend my training to anyone.  Now before we go too far I will let you know that my race actually went extremely well and I am really happy with it (but if you take away the 4ish points below at least my time may have been much better).

Without further ado:

  1. Train hardly at all

Yes I know this one is fairly obvious. If you don’t train how do you expect to finish the race (or at enjoy it). I did start out with a training plan. I was going to use the same Galloway training plan that I had previously done for my last ½ last year. But inevitably I seemed to find excuse after excuse.

I just graduated. I just moved to a new town. I just started my first salaried job. Its summer and hot here. I don’t have my tried and true running group to hold me accountable. I don’t know where to run here. There isn’t a running group here…”

And onward the excuses roll. Granted I did work out. I was fairly consistent in playing wallyball once a week (its like volleyball in a racquetball court) and then ultimate Frisbee once a week. I would then supplement that with an occasional run and gym work out (and recently have gotten back into doing Zumba 1-2 times a week).

But in all honesty, with the exception of Ultimate I hardly ran. And then when I did run I somehow hurt myself stupidly which took time to heal and ment I couldn’t run.  It also probably wasn’t the smartest to get my wisdom teeth out in the midst of the “injuries” and training, while this didn’t take much out of my training it did take out some.

Before race day I may and I stress may have ran 4 miles once. I went several times out for long runs and would ultimate convince myself to turn in at 3 miles.  Basically it was a failure. This alone would have rightfully been enough to give in on the race (boy am I glad I didn’t though). And I was ready to fully accept the ½ no matter how hard and horrible it may turn out (hint it didn’t turn out bad at all) as my punishment for lack of training.

Basically train for a race. Among many things it helps to prevent potential injuries.

  1. Wipe out on a run and bust your knees wide open

So one day I was going out for a planned 6-8 mile run because I knew with my lack of training (see #1) that I really needed to go on a long run. I woke up one Sat morning and it was prefect out. Temperatures were mild and there was a nice breeze (previous weeks it had been so hot that if you didn’t get up super early then it would be too hot for a run). I had planned a 4 mile loop that started downtown and looped around the local (albeit small) university that I would run1.25-2 times back to my car.

I parked my car, started my garmin and was off for my run. Right at 2 miles in (and remember to miles from my car) when a song came on my phone that I really got into. For a split second I stopped paying attention to where I was going, and in that split second I found myself wiped out on the sidewalk.  Yes. I had tripped on the uneven sidewalk. Looking back that particular piece of sidewalk was so uneven, that with my low stride that even if I was paying 100% attention then I would have at least stumbled on the sidewalk.

So back to it. I was on the sidewalk. I had scrapped up both of my knees fairly decently (they looked worse than they were) and both my hands and I was 2 miles from my car. I will spare you from pictures. I kept walking for a bit and tried to clean up my knees with my water bottle but that didn’t really work.  I kept walking for a bit and debated on continuing my run but looking at my knees they looked bad and probably would scare bystanders (if there were any, apparently no one is up on a sat morning in this place).

I was near one of my co-workers apts so I called him to see if I could come and clean up my knees (and perhaps get a ride back to my car). But he didn’t answer his phone…

After a short debate in what to do I remembered that about a ¼ of a mile away I passed a fire station.  Long story short I walked to the fire station, called them (they weren’t exactly open), got cleaned up some and then had to walk the 2 miles back to my car. I promptly treated myself to a pastry to-go from a local bakery before driving to CVS for supplies for my wounds.

After this I taped up my knees and they took a good while before I could even go out for another run. Since it was on the knee (and both of them to boot) they took a while to heal and at some points it was difficult to walk.

This injury alone took time and preparedness out of my already lacking training. So note to all. Pay attention to where you are running and don’t get too into your music, you never know when your knees and the sidewalk will decide to become best friends.

  1. Run barefoot over rocks and glass

Ready for another odd injury?

So as my dad likes to say little broken ear (the pup) gets a wild hair (or is it hare?) every once and awhile and decides that he just wants to run. Given that I now live in a town with no dog park for him to burn energy, and I currently don’t live in a place with a backyard I suppose it was bound to happen here eventually. My roommate (my aunt) came in to the apartment one day and suddenly the boy bolts between her legs out the door. At this point I should also mention that prior to this he had somehow gotten a hold of and eaten some of my running energy beans and was a little hyper.

Anyways, he bolts out the door and takes off in a sprint, with blinders on both his eyes and his ears (as if he was in his own little world). My Aunt and I take off after him trying everything to get him to stop and catch him. He is running straight towards the busy highway after dark. It is only by God’s grace that he decides to take a left by the mechanics shop instead of straight. Otherwise he might have more than just a broken ear L

Shortened story (because I know this post is getting a tad long and no pictures for the short attention span readers) we catch him, and he is in major trouble. In the process of chasing after him I was barefoot and was running ultimately was running over rocks and glass. Thankfully I didn’t cut my feet on the glass however I did deep bruise on my foot.

This was directly after the wisdom teeth removal and after my knees had finally healed.

Moral of the story have shoes at the ready because you never know when you are going to have to sprint out the door…or don’t let your dog get into your energy beans,  or five million other things.

  1. Stay out late the night before a race

One thing you don’t want to do before a race is stay out late the night before. You are already going to have to get up early, but you want as much (and consistent) sleep to be well rested before the big day.

Ordinarily this isn’t a problem for me. On a usual night I’m in bed by 9:45 at the absolutely latest and currently ranges between 8:45-9:30 (with an outlier Friday or Sat to maybe 10:30). I know I’ve become an old lady.

However the night before my race was not an ordinary day. First of all I flew up north to Indianapolis to visit one of my best friends from undergrad whom I had not seen in over a year, and secondly it was Halloween. Of course for Halloween we wanted to go out. We both had  costumes (I was the Tardis from Doctor Who, and she was The Queen of Hearts) and wanted to do something because it was Halloween.  After getting lost (given the wrong address) we finally made it to one of her co-worker’s brother’s house party.  We finally got back to her apartment and in bed at 1am.  A time that I haven’t seen in ages.

Did I have fun? Of course I did! But considering that we had to get up around 5:30 going to bed at 1:00 isn’t the smartest of choices.

13.1 miles is a feat and requires training (serious) and hopefully you didn’t/don’t commit some of the training faux paus (although #3 most likely won’t happen to you) that I committed.

My name is Holley and my ½ marathon training failed, but my race didn’t.


The Last Run

8 Nov

So yesterday was my last run before my 1/2 marathon on Sunday. (And today is my brother’s 21st birthday, shout out to that! )

I managed to roll out of bed at 4 am to get ready and make it to the 5 am group run.  Now I normally don’t make the weekday group runs because getting up at 4 versus 5 is a whole different animal and with a sweet pup curled up beside you its pretty hard to get out of bed.  Paired with a 15-20 minute drive to the group meet-up (not that far in any regards but when your 1/2 asleep you need all the time you can get to wake up) its a little rough going.
Thankfully our leader Tammy had a last minute change of running plans and we were told to meet up on campus (which is less than a 5 minute drive from my apartment).  
I managed to get up and dressed and ready to go without the boy child stirring at all.  I quickly slipped him into his kennel (he can’t be left out else he would find and eat all the food and destroy my apartment) and was off for my run.  I had really wanted to make this run too since it would be the last group run before the 1/2 and everyone else in my group was running a different 1/2 on Sat so I wanted to wish them good luck.  
I get there and was chatting with 1 of the only other college age runners in my group (I was unusually wide awake and chipper at this point) and all of the sudden we see some Army ROTC guys get out of their cars and walk towards the group.  We started to think, “oh my goodness what does Tammy have planned for us now”
(Sidebar I finally got me some long sleeved/winter running gear (no need for that in Florida really) because it had been pretty cold and the one day I wear it its warm as all get out and I was hot.  But once I set my stuff out there was no changing clothes).
Come to find out we were going to do a cadence run! Instead of splitting into our perspective pace groups we got in 2 single file lines and put the slower runners in the front to keep pace.  There were then 4 ROTC guys in the back and then their leader/teacher/? was centered at the side of everyone.  We started our run and then the leader would yell/call out chants that we had to repeat.  Let me tell you it was an interesting experience! Being this close to veteran’s day also made it that much more special.  One thing we said we could get used to was that everytime we came up to a cross walk or had to cross the street two of the ROTC guys from the back would sprint to the front and flank the sides stopping traffic (off course there is no traffic in Auburn at 5 AM but it was still pretty cool).  
For most everyone in the group it was one of the first times doing a continuous run (about 4 miles) without our usual intervals.  I even lead a chant/cheer that I made up by the end.  
Also right when we had just about made it back our group of rag-tagged runners of different ages and shapes passed by the Marine ROTC people as they had just started out their run.  You could see them smile and look over as we were yelling and chanting back (our lines weren’t quite lines though by this point).
This was definitely a good way to finish out training.  
My name is Holley and I just had my last run before my 1/2 marathon!