Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Only HALF Crazy... Part 1- Training

Blood, Sweat and Tears... LOTS of them
Spring 2016 

Disclaimer: I have a TERRIBLE memory and wanted to write down my thought process for this Half Marathon training and how I felt physically, mentally and emotionally as I prepared to run 13.1 miles. This is one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. 

In March 2016 I ran my very 1st Half Marathon. I am not a runner, like at all, but my husband is and in 2015 after he did "26 point freakin' 2" miles at his full marathon, I decided I could become a runner too. Within weeks, we had purchased a treadmill to use indoors as I quickly learned that I do not like running in the cold (or hot/humid) temperatures. My body would happily take running indoors in 68* temps instead of the balmy 45-55* we were facing in winter 2015. I later found out this was a true blessing as June and July showed it's ugly head with 90* temps and 100% humidity at 6:00AM. The treadmill was a MAJOR investment and it has paid for itself and then some. 

I began running on the treadmill daily in April 2015 and began my running routine. I had signed up for the Diva Run 5K with my sister in late April and this gave me a tool to train with and an event to train for. I had never ran in a race and my sister had ran in many. I used a program called "Couch to 5K" which was an 8 week program to get me from the couch to my race. By the time race day came in late April I was ready to go. I easily finished my first 5K and race on the coast in Galveston and for the first time felt the "runner's high". I came home from that trip and told Chris "I could be a runner. I think I might race again". I could tell he was immediately excited as I was now sharing a passion of his. During the month of April 2015 I ran 33.05 miles total. 

From that point on I decided I would continue to run and race and I continued my training daily on my treadmill at 5:00AM. Towards the end of May as I was adding up my monthly miles on the treadmill I noticed I was able to run  nearly 48 miles just in one month. I starting talking with Chris and he said "I bet you could run 50 in June. And I think you could run the Half Marathon in March". Challenge ACCEPTED (Y'all KNOW I am competitive)! I knew right then and there I was going to run a Half Marathon. I never back down from a dare or a challenge. During the Month of May 2015 I ran 47.54 miles total.  

So during the month of June I ran over 51 miles, despite being on a cruise ship for 7 days. I continued this with the same amount of miles in July and August. As the 2015-2016 school year approached I slowed it down a little bit but was still training for what would now be The Woodlands Half Marathon in March 2016. 

June- 51.08 miles 
July- 55.88 miles 

August- 43.79 (my 1st 10+ mile run... on the treadmill of course, it was 100*+) 

September- 38.97

Chris and I signed up for the Houston Half 10K in October to run together but unfortunately, it got cancelled due to weather. This turned out to be a blessing because at the time Chris was still suffering from a knee injury that had happened in the fall. I still ran my 10K in the neighborhood that morning but I was still yearning for that RACE DAY feeling. 
October- 29.48 miles 

November- 28.12 miles 

(our 4 day cruise #TriumphantThanksgiving put a kink in my training... but it was worth it)

I continued running daily 1-1.5 miles and longer 3-4 miles on the weekends. I found a training plan that I thought I could stick with and I was officially training for my Half Marathon by December 12th. 

My Training Plan
I stuck with this the best I could. The long runs on the weekend were usually FIRM but the weekday light runs were not as consistent. 

Week 1- December 13-19, 2015- 7.5 total miles 
This was the last week of school before the Christmas Break and I was already physically and mentally exhausted so I just continued with my daily 1 mile run. I also ran 4.5 miles leading up to the 1st week of the training plan so I did not run on the weekend like I normally would. 

Week 2- December 20-26, 2015- 5.67 total miles
We were officially on Christmas break during this week so I ran more daily than I would have during school simply because I had time to do so and for this reason I did not follow the training plan exactly. 

Happy Christmas Eve... I got my 1.57 miles in! 

Now it is time to EAT! 

Total miles for December 2015- 30.15!

Week 3- December 27, 2015- January 2, 2016- 13.36 total miles
This too was another week of vacation and I was pushing full force to train as much as I could before we got back to the daily grind. Most of these runs were on my treadmill as it was still too cold to run outside. 

2016 started with a BANG... 5 miles! 

Week 4- January 3- January 9, 2016- 13.12 total miles
The week going back to school killed me and I skipped one day in the training plan. I do not think it hurt my training too much. 

January 6th- 4 miles on treadmill

I got up at 4:45AM only to find out it was raining so I ran 4 miles at 4:30PM after work... WOW, it was hard! I will need to hydrate more if I am going to continue to run after school. 

January 9th- 6.1 miles 

My 1st "official" outdoor/ weekend long run of my training. This was HARD... It is all mental for me but this just about killed me. Thinking that I have to DOUBLE this in just 7 short weeks has me really worried. 

Week 5- January 10- January 18, 2016-19.2 total miles
I pushed my longer (7 mile) run to Monday as it was MLK day and a holiday from school so I would have extra time to recover. This meant my Week 6 weekday runs were lighter too.

January 18th- 7.05 miles
This run was not that bad while I was doing it but I was REALLY sore and tired afterwards. 
I ate lots of carbs and protein the night before and I think that rally helped during the run!

Week 6- January 19-23, 2016- 12.0 total miles
My weekday runs were lighter as I would have 2 long runs within 5 days of each other.

January 23rd- 8.10 miles 
I did this on my treadmill as the temps were in the low 30's in the morning.
It was a struggle but I did it! I was VERY dehydrated after this run and felt TERRIBLE for the next 36-48 hours! I did not drink enough water!

Week 7- January 24-30, 2016- 15.33 miles

 January 25th- 4.03 miles 
This seemed hard at first but got better as I continued to run. I really pushed hard to try and beat a 12:00/ mile pace but averaged 12:08 per mile. For a MONDAY, I was VERY pleased!

January 26th- 1.1 miles 
Did this on my treadmill in the morning. Went well... should have done MORE! 

January 28th- 1.06 miles 
This was supposed to be a 3-4 mile jog but we had a personal/ family emergency and I had to tend to that situation instead of do my long jog. I am now wondering if the smaller jogs leading up to a longer run is better FOR ME. We will see how Week 8/ 10 mile jog goes. 

 January 30th- 9.14 miles 
This run was INCREDIBLE. I was able to RUN the ENTIRE time... like no lie! I stopped 2 times for water/ Gatorade and Gu but the rest was jogging. AND I  was able to complete this run with an under 12:00/ mile pace! This was the run I needed and hope I can do it again in 5 weeks! I ate LOTS of carbs (lasagna and Blue Bell Ice Cream) the night before, got lots of rest and tried out a new "endurance" pill from my friend Jacqueline. 

Total Miles for January 2016- 63.63!!!

Week 8- February 1-7, 2016- 16.58 miles
This week I was supposed to run 5/3/5 on the weekdays and I knew I would not be able to do that but I had no idea how much of a struggle this week would be. I ended up having a week full of stomach troubles and was in pain and nauseous every day.

February 1, 2016- 2.04 miles
This run was BRUTAL as I had a throbbing pain in my lower right leg (cankle really) and it hurt with EVERY step, run or walk. I was planning on doing 4 miles but I just couldn't. It was 78* and humid plus I only had a banana and cashews for lunch. This was a wake-up call that LONG afternoon jogs just may not be possible. I am hoping the heating pad, ice and rest will heal it until Wednesday where I need to run AT LEAST 3 miles. I also learned through this run that I need NEW running shoes! Hello Fleet Feet!

February 3, 2016- 3.0 miles 
The pain in my leg was better but my stomach was in knots so I just did 3.0 miles and they were awful. Don't let the forced smile fool you!

February 4, 2016- 1.5 miles 
I was still not feeling well so I just did 1.5 again to try to help relieve my stomach issues but I was still miserable all day. 

February 6, 2016- 10.04 miles 
I felt like I could throw-up at any point but I knew I HAD to run these 10 so I just did them on my treadmill. They were not easy but I was able to pound them out. Unfortunately, I was still ill afterwards and the rest of my weekend was spoiled because of it BUT... I did it! 

Week 9- February 8-13, 2016- 10.5 miles
Monday, February 8, 2016- 1.5 miles 
I went to the doctor on this day and was FINALLY feeling better and on the recovery track. I was hoping my next few runs would be back to normal. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016- 1.5 miles 
I was still in pain from the stomach issues and didn't sleep well so shortened this run too. In hindsight I wish I would have just done the full 3 miles I was supposed to. I played a LOT of mental games with myself as I progressed in this training! For next time (IF there is a next time) I will just DO IT! 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016- 1.5 miles
I was leaving for my annual TMEA trip on this day and still was not feeling well and was nauseous all night so I took it easy since I had a 5 hour car trip on this day. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016- 6 miles 
The whole business trip I was sick with stomach problems and did not sleep very well (4 hours or less a night) so I decided to forego the 11 miles that was in the training plan and just do 6 on my treadmill. In the long run I think it was a good idea as I began to start feeling better the next few days. Maybe I was just pushing myself too much!

Week 10- February 14-20, 2016- 18.02
Monday-Thursday, February 15 to 18th- 1.5 miles daily (6 miles total) 
I was still not feeling well and woke up almost every morning with nausea and indigestion. Plus I was still not sleeping well so I decided to forego the longer runs and just make it simple all week. I did still get my miles in so I felt good about it.

Yeah... I was exhausted!

Saturday, February 20, 2016- 12.02 miles 
I was feeling somewhat better but not 100% but woke up at 4:30AM so I just got out there and ran the 12 miles I was supposed to. It was LONG and hard and there was a LOT of walking but I conquered it! I did it in under 3 hours total with small stops for bathroom and water so I felt confident that I would beat the sub 3:30 time I wanted on the Half Marathon in 2 weeks.

Week 11- February 21- 27, 2016- 9.5
Monday- Wednesday, February 22-24, 2016- 1.5 miles daily (4.5 miles total) 
I was feeling MUCH better but the shorter jogs daily really worked for me so I continued this and threw the training plan out the window.

Saturday, February 27, 2016- 5 miles
I did this on my treadmill as it was below 40* on Saturday morning and I just wanted to get it done and not wait for warmer temps. It was somewhat of a struggle but I was happy with the run and my last LONG run before the Half Marathon.

Week 12- February 28-March 5, 2016- 18.39

Monday- Tuesday, February 29-March 1st- 1.5 miles daily (3.0 miles total) 
This system worked out greatly the past 2 weeks so "If it ain't broke don't fix it".

Wednesday, March 2nd- 1.5 miles 
This was my last "early morning" run before the Half Marathon and as exhausted as I was... It was good to know I NEVER HAD to get up early and run again (unless I wanted to, of course)!

Total Miles for February 2016- 57.60.!!!

Pre-Race Day
I took Friday, March 4 off from school so I could rest and relax the day before the race and NOT have to be on my feet all day. I attended the Health Expo at the Marriott Convention Center and it was awesome. I was able to get lots of questions answered and get some great goodies. It was finally beginning to feel REAL... Which meant I was getting more and more nervous. I picked up my BIB and my race day packet and I was ready for RACE DAY.

I went for a drive before the Expo so I could get a better look at the course.
I was able to see the traffic signs informing residents of closures. 

Here is my MAGIC number and OF COURSE my Nickname... which is EVER SO FITTING! 

Today... That is ME! I feel special!

I listened to the Race Director's talk about the 2016 Full and Half Marathon courses. I loved being able to have him describe each turn. I enjoyed this 30 minute talk.

I had ran 154.38 miles in the 12 week training plan alone and well over 430 miles from (June 2015 to Race Day) in preparation for this race and it is time to get out there and show myself what I am made of! No matter how I felt at the time and the MASSIVE amount of butterflies in my stomach... I HAD to get out there and run those 13.1 miles! I CAN DO it!

Race Day came and I was more nervous than ever but knew no matter what I had to push on and persevere. I was ready to tackle these 13.1 miles... CHECK OUT PART 2 of ONLY HALF CRAZY . 

A HUGE shout out to my husband Chris who was so supportive and stood by me from the very beginning. Also to my parents who came down from Tyler to help cheer me on and were part of the BEST spectator sections PERHAPS ever! Plus my in-laws took the kids in on Friday night so we could get some much needed rest and not have to wake them up so early to get to the race. Without all of these MAJOR supporters I would not have been able to even participate in the Half Marathon let alone FINISH!

It was an amazing day and I am grateful to my Lord and Savior for allowing me the opportunity to run in this life changing event! 

God is good... All the time! 

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