Half Marathon Training Week 2: Running too fast

Week 2 of half marathon training wasn’t all that different from last week, so I’m just going to talk about the highlights rather than going through my runs day by day.

I ended my run early on Thursday because my arch started hurting. In the fall I ended up having to take a few weeks off right before my half marathon for what I thought was plantar fasciitis. This felt the same so I didn’t want to take any chances.

I did a lot of stretching and icing in the following days and decided that if I felt pain during my run on Saturday I would just try to power through it. I know that it’s important to listen to your body, but I was doing some research online and read that sometimes plantar fasciitis can sometimes go away mid run once you’ve warmed up.

I started my run on Saturday off with a five minute warmup walk just to be safe. I felt fine most of the time except for a brief moment about halfway through. I kept running and the pain went away.

Even though I was trying to take it easy, I still ended up with a nice pace. I even broke into the single digits during my final sprint!

I looked down at my watch and saw I was running at 10:02 minutes/mile so I pushed myself even harder to get under 10 minutes/mile.

Even though that’s a slow pace for a lot of runners, it felt like sprinting to me. I don’t mean any offense to faster runners, but I don’t understand how people can run that fast, or faster.

I was super proud of myself in that moment, of course, but I don’t think I would be able to appreciate running if I was going that fast all the time. Running is my escape from the world so taking it slow and enjoying my surroundings is an important part of that.

I sometimes feel bad that I’m not as fast as other runners, but this is one of the positives of being a slow runner for me.

Another exciting thing about Saturday’s run was that earlier in the week I had bought a thermal neck warmer for running in cold weather and Saturday was my first run trying it out.

I had been holding off on buying one for so long because I’m a knitter so I was having a hard time justifying buying a scarf when I already have so many. Obviously this didn’t make any sense because there was no way I was going to wear my nice handmade scarves on runs and get them all sweaty.

It actually ended up being warm that day, so I definitely didn’t need the neck warmer. It was in the 40s and I was way overdressed for that weather.

But maybe if I accumulate enough winter gear running outside in the cold won’t be as terrible?

On Sunday I had my first long run of four miles. I haven’t run longer than 3 miles at once since October so it was definitely great to get in some longer distances. I’m glad to be building back up to where I was before.

I had a really good first two miles (both under 14 minutes/mile), but slowed down a bit during the final two miles.

I did some stretching and some exercises with dumbells after my run and I feel great.

Running outside on the weekend is spoiling me. I am dreading having to go back to the treadmill this week, especially since I have to do a 4 mile run on Wednesday.

So that was my week. I hope everyone else had the chance to get out and run or do something they love!

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Mentally getting over a failed workout

Sunday was a bad workout day. Everything I tried to do to complete my run ended short.

I went to the beach for a change and went back to the car after running a mile because it was too cold. I went to the gym to run the last two miles of my run and went home after .5 miles because I didn’t feel like it. I only completed 1/3 of my strength training routine after.

I have days like this every so often, and when they happen, they happen in close succession. If I give up one day, I will probably do the same a few days later.

I think in my mind once I mess up once, I get the idea that doing it again isn’t a big deal.

I still feel bad about it though. When I skip or don’t complete a workout during training, I feel terrible about it.

It’s important to look at the bigger picture in these situations.

So you miss one workout during a training plan where you’re running 4-5 days per week. Or one day you only make it a mile or two when you should have run four.

Not all workouts will be great, but you are still getting out there all those other times and doing your best, and that’s freaking awesome.

Week 1 of Half Marathon Training Take 2!

Tuesday

Ran 3 miles at the gym, followed by a 12 minute ab workout. It felt really great to be able to fit in a workout after my run.

I did some interval training where I sped up for about 30 seconds every 2.5 minutes, for the most part. My overall pace was 14:15, which is faster than normal. As much as I complain about treadmills, I do tend to run faster on them.

Thursday

Ran a little over a mile at the gym and then came home and did a full body workout. I was not feeling great earlier in the day and then felt good enough to go to the gym, but I still wasn’t really feeling it. My calf started hurting about a mile in to my run so I ended what was supposed to be a 3 mile run early.

I recently bought some 5 lb dumbells so next time I do this workout I may use them instead. I used the 3 lbs for most of this workout and I wasn’t all that sore the next day so I think I’m ready to increase weight.

Saturday

Running outside

Saturday’s run was great! It was in the 30s temperature-wise and pretty much all the snow had melted so I ran outside.

I haven’t had the opportunity to run outside since November and I definitely missed it.

Sunday

Running on the boardwalk

Sunday’s run was all over the place! I headed to a local beach to take advantage of being able to run outside.

It was pretty cold out (felt like 8° according to the weather site), but it was way worse on the actual boardwalk.

I didn’t make it very far before leaving the boardwalk and just running around the parking lot, which wasn’t as bad because there wasn’t as much wind.

Even so, I’m a total wimp in the cold so it was still too cold for me. I headed back to the car after a little over a mile, with the intention of running the final two miles at the gym.

After about ten minutes of warming up in the car and waiting for my glasses to defog, I headed out.

I ended up only doing .5 miles at the gym because I totally wasn’t feeling the treadmill at all today.

I came home and did part of the workout I had completed on Thursday. I only completed the first round of the circuit, but I was supposed to do it two more times.

All in all, today was kind of a failure in terms of training. Really can’t wait for some warmer weather.

Midweek Update

One of my goals for 2018 was to write more. So here I am, writing more. I’m planning on sharing weekly updates of my training progress, but I also thought it would be fun to share some non-running activities and thoughts to give you a glimpse into my normal life.

I’ve been in the middle of a bunch of different things lately, some of which I managed to finish up early in the week.

I learned how to crochet back in November when I was in the middle of a huge knitting project, a Ravenclaw scarf. It was so repetitive that it made me bored of knitting, so I decided to teach myself how to crochet. I started a crocheted infinity scarf, but had to put it off in order to finish up the Ravenclaw scarf by Christmas. I finally finished up my crochet project on Monday and am really happy with how it came out!

I also got a Harry Potter puzzle for Christmas that I’ve been working on for the past few weeks. I finished that up on Monday too! Monday was clearly a productive day for me.

Also, side note: this puzzle came with an extra piece, which I thought was super interesting.

I got another puzzle from my cousin for Christmas which has cats doing yoga poses, which is both hilarious and cute. I’m excited to start that one, but maybe I’ll hold off for a bit so the table can be used for board games!

Our dining room table is always a mess because it’s just my go to place to put stuff. I specifically cleared it off for the puzzle so I hope I keep it that way!

At work, I finally put out decorations on my desk. I’ve been meaning to do this for months, but kept forgetting to bring things in.

I got these cute little Overwatch figures (and I guess Heroes of the Storm too since both characters are in that game too now) at PAX East last year. I only brought in Genji and Hanzo, but at home we also have Mei, Nazeebo, Abathur, and a few other Blizzard characters.

It’s nice to have added some character to my workspace so I don’t seem too boring.

I also finished reading Turtles All the Way Down over the weekend. I used to be a huge John Green fan back in high school and early college. I watched the Brotherhood 2.0 videos, I read all of John’s books (some even multiple times), and I even saw him and his brother on tour in New York when he was promoting The Fault in Our Stars.

It’s been a while since he’s released a book and it was definitely worth the wait. It was such an enjoyable book and a really accurate depiction of living with anxiety. The way the main character, Aza, describes her experiences and emotions throughout the book are exactly how I felt a few years ago when my anxiety was at its worst.

These days I mostly keep my anxiety at bay through running and it definitely has not been as bad as it was a few years ago. Reading this book gave me a real appreciation for all that running has done for me, both physically and for my mental health.

Feeling like a victim to your own thoughts is not easy to deal with, and I’m so fortunate to mostly be freed of that.

Currently, I’m reading The Wanderers by Meg Howrey. I’ve been borrowing my boyfriend’s Kindle Paperwhite since my Kindle broke a few months back and now I get so much more reading done!

It’s been a busy few weeks of traveling all over for the holidays, so I was glad to have some me time to relax and do some of the things I love.

What do you all do to unwind? Do you have a favorite hobby?

Week 1 of Half Marathon Training (kind of)

At the beginning of the week I decided to get a head start on half marathon training. I didn’t have to start training for another two weeks, but I wanted to give myself a bit of wiggle room in case I needed to skip workouts or repeat a week.

Well thank goodness I did because we got hit with a blizzard on Thursday!

I’m sure this won’t be the first time it snows on a training day so it’s nice to know I have a bit of leeway with the schedule.

Here’s a recap of what I did this week, though I warn you, it wasn’t much.

Tuesday

I ran three miles at the gym, breaking in my new running shoes! Pace was 14:21/mile, which is faster than I’d been running while training for my first half.

This run also finished up one of my virtual races, the Gellar 20.20k for the Chilton Running Club, which is a Gilmore Girls themed running group that hosts six virtual races per year that support various charities. I broke the race into five different sessions as I got myself back into running after my break.

Thursday

Thursday was supposed to be a running day, but with the blizzard, leaving the apartment wasn’t really an option. Instead I did a Fitness Blender full body workout. I really pushed myself so I hope my workout makes up for the missed run.

Saturday

I was supposed to run 3 miles, but by the time I finished digging my car out and going grocery shopping, I didn’t want to go out again to get to the gym.

I was feeling a bit bummed out today about having to train through winter. This will probably be the only time I’ll be doing a spring half marathon.

The snow has been making me regret signing up for my half already. I guess it’s a good thing I did because otherwise I might have just given up and used the rest of winter to do strength training.

Saturday night I usually go to a local board game group, but I was just not feeling it with the weather being so cold and the roads still being kind of bad, so I stayed home instead.

I spent the night putting together a puzzle I got for Christmas, watching Harry Potter, and working out between movies. It was a super relaxing way to spend my evening.

I’ve been obsessed with the BodyFit by Amy workouts so I did a few of those instead of my run. I cannot recommend her videos enough!

I started off with 12 minute standing abs with dumbells, followed by 10 minute legs, and then back to the standing abs workout.

I usually just pick one big workout to do and then shower, but I loved doing these short workouts because I didn’t really get sweaty so I could just go on with my day afterwards. I’ll definitely have to incorporate more of these shorter workouts into my daily routine!

Sunday

Woke up this morning with a super sore back and legs. I don’t know if I slept on it wrong, or am just in pain because I worked out in regular clothes and a regular bra and didn’t have enough support up there while doing those exercises. I guess I’ve learned my lesson there!

Since I’d already skipped two workouts this week and would have to repeat the week anyway, I figured it would be better to just rest instead of pushing myself while in pain and hurting myself.

I’m glad all of these setbacks happened during week one and I can just start over next week!

Favorite Easy Vegetarian Meals

I wanted to share some of my favorite vegetarian meals that I’ve found in the past few years.

Now that I’m starting up my half marathon training again, I’m constantly on the hunt for healthy and simple vegetarian recipes. Sometimes it feels like whenever I try to find good recipes I always have to wade through a bunch of lonely sides or super impressive looking, but not practical meals that I don’t have the time or effort to make. I’m the type to just want to throw a bunch of stuff in a pot and be done with it. The less vegetables I have to chop, the better.

So here are a few of my favorites that I’ve been making lately that mostly fit in that category.

Curried Quinoa

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I’ve been really into Indian food since becoming a vegetarian. I love the simplicity of this recipe and the fact that it packs 13.5g of protein per serving!

Lebanese Lemon-Parsley Bean Salad

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When I first found this recipe, I made it for literally a month straight. It’s so simple to just chop up a few veggies and throw in some beans. I love Cookie and Kate‘s recipes and her blog in general so a lot of what I eat comes from there.

Chickpea Salad Recipe

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This recipe is very similar to the one from Cookie and Kate, but with a few minor differences. I tend to make this one more because I don’t have to dirty up an extra bowl to make the dressing and I am very food lazy.

Parmesan-Crusted Cauliflower Steaks with Marinara

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Another one from Cookie and Kate! I just love Kate’s recipes so much.

Okay, this recipe is a bit more effort than I want to put in for such a small amount of food, but the end result is sooooo good. I kind of hate working with cauliflower because it always ends in such a mess, but I love the way it tastes. This is definitely my favorite way to prepare cauliflower.

Easy Lemon Dill Salmon

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This is a delicious salmon recipe for all the pescatarians out there! I usually don’t love fish, but this one was just so delicious because the seasoning is so tasty. I don’t make it very often because salmon is a bit pricey, but this is definitely a great treat every once in a while.

It’s super easy to make too. All you do it throw the salmon in a bag with the marinade and then throw it in the oven.

Grandma’s Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili

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Back when I still ate meat, I wasn’t a huge fan of eating things with meat. So, naturally, when I stopped eating meat, there weren’t a lot of foods I missed. Chili is one of the exceptions.

I looooove chili.

I was kind of worried about how this would come out, but it tasted delicious. It’s full of veggies and beans and delicious seasoning. I added way more chili powder than the recipe called for. It said to put in 1 tablespoon, and I probably put in over 1/3 cup. I’m not sure how it would have tasted normally, but I was very pleased with my modification.

Sweet Potato Wedges

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Okay, so I guess this is just a side. But I’ve totally made a batch of these and just had them for dinner, so I’m counting it! Maybe not the most healthy dinner, but still very delicious and filling. And with a side or two, you could make it a healthy well balanced meal!

Okay, I kind of regret putting this list together because now I want all of these food right now! I hope someone finds some use out of this list of simple recipes!

 

Ringing in the New Year with a new half marathon plan

I started the New Year off in a fun way. My family always celebrates Christmas on New Year’s Eve and then we play board games until midnight. It’s always nice to see my cousins who I normally only see once or twice per year.

We did a Yankee Swap and I managed to go home with some Pyrex bowls. I’ve never been so excited about containers before. Now that I have glass containers with lids I can actually bring hot lunches to work!

Our office doesn’t have a microwave, so I’ve basically just been living off of beans and ramen noodles, but now I can actually heat up leftovers in the toaster oven.

I still can’t make soup, which is a real bummer, especially in these colder months, but I’m still excited to add some more variety to my lunches.

Of course, now that I can actually make food, all of the searches for vegetarian recipes I’m turning up are just salads. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for new healthy, protein-packed meals!

I also got a lot of healthy new snacks from my mom for Christmas. She bought a bunch of fun apple crisps and I’ve been obsessed with them. I even had to ask her where she got them so I could restock (Yumi crisps and Apple Chips from Ocean State Job Lot if you’re curious).

Hopefully having all of these new food options and healthier snack options will be good for me.

I start training for my next half marathon in two weeks so I’m trying to be a bit healthier than I have been in recent months. In one of my recent posts I mentioned that I was aiming to run the Delaware Half Marathon at the end of April, but since then I’ve changed plans.

I’m now leaning towards the MudHen Half Marathon in Wildwood, NJ, which takes place the same weekend. It was previously called the Wild Half Marathon, but they changed the name this year.

I love running by the ocean and this race is entirely on the water, with about 2.5 miles of it on the boardwalk. I’ve never been to Wildwood, so it should be a fun weekend. I love boardwalks with amusement parks for some reason. They just seem so charming to me, so I’m really excited for this race.

The price goes up in a few days so I’m hoping to bite the bullet and register soon. Maybe that will also serve as a good motivator this winter.

This time around I will be trying out a different training plan. For my first half, I used Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 plan. It got me to the finish line, despite an injury at week 10 that stopped me from completing the plan, but I’ve heard others say that they didn’t feel his plan adequately prepared them, which has me wondering how much I can improve by trying out some other plans. I’m planning on using this 14 week plan from halfmarathons.net.

This plan has five runs a week instead of just four runs and it is stretched out over a longer period of time. I’m interested to see how the two compare. The thought of running five times per week is a little intimidating, but will probably prepare me better.

If anyone has any experience with this plan or this race, I’d love to hear about it!