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Tag Archives: Jeff Galloway

Getting My Run Back On

2012 was the year I decided to take up running, train for a half marathon, finish the half marathon and do it all injury free.  I am proud to say I accomplished all of these goals.  However, a week after completing the half marathon and a day after purchasing my new running shoes, I was walking to my car, fell on the wet pavement and sprained my ankle.  It was one mishap in a series of many that I attributed to post-race focus capacity issues, which you can read about here.  

As it turns out, I was unable to do much of anything while my ankle healed.  I couldn’t run, couldn’t do yoga, Pilates, barre, you name it.  I was, however, able to eat so I did a lot of that.  I’m not talking healthy stuff here, folks.  This was around Halloween and Thanksgiving so the many, many temptations were….well, tempting.  I was not surprised when the few pounds and inches I lost during training found their way back to me…this was not a reunion I was excited about!

Once my ankle felt strong enough to start running again (almost 6 weeks later), I was surprised how conflicted I was about getting back out there.  On one hand I couldn’t wait to run, sweat and get my heart rate up and on the other hand, I had this lazy bones mentality.  I even considered waiting until January 2013 to pick up where I left off this fall (no pun intended). 

I spent time reading the blogs of fellow runners (Athlete in Me, quick as molasses, Confessions of a Caffeinated Mother Runner, Ch’i Journey to name a few), took some quick measurements around my waist  and was quickly inspired to make the right decision.  For the last week or two I have been back on the treadmill taking it slow (slower than my usual slow) and I’m very relieved that my ankle is feeling good.  I have been using KT Tape which is awesome for ankle stability and other types of injuries.  Not only has it helped my ankle when I run, it comes in really cool colors that match my new running shoes AND when I wear it, I look like a freaking hard core athlete! Winking smile

So, with my trusty tape and new running shoes, I’m back at it.  I have signed up for my second half marathon on May 19th, 2013 and will start working on my training plan so I can take that race by storm.  I will once again follow Jeff Galloway’s run-walk method since that was right up my alley and, I believe, the reason I remained uninjured this year (other than the falling incident).   One thing I learned this year is this:  If I have a solid training plan in place, I will stick to it and if I don’t have a plan in place, I’m screwed.  So, with that nugget of information, I will be breaking out the calendars, spreadsheets, highlighters, running apps and getting this training party started!

Other exciting news…I just found out that my youngest sister will be running her first half marathon in 2013 so I will be a good big sister and lead by example by training hard.  In fact, I think I will write my next post just for her.  Being the older, wiser sister and runner of one whole year, I will give her some unsolicited advice about training for and running a half marathon because that’s what big sisters do!  Stay tuned, Amy.  Great advice coming your way!  Actually, I don’t think she reads my blog.  Will one of my other blog-reading family members get Amy on the blog train, please?  I’d do it myself but I want to save my bossiness for my next blog post!

Surviving My First Half Marathon

News flash…Slow Girl crosses finish line.  I did it!  I survived my first half marathon!  I’m so thrilled because earlier this year when I started running, I set what I thought was a lofty goal to finish a half marathon and I did it.  Yay me!

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(Note:  The race coordinators used 2011 bibs so the date is wrong…what’s up with that?)

I will spare you the minute by minute account of my day and instead provide some highlights about what I thought went well, what I could have done differently and some advice I received that was helpful.

THINGS I DID WELL

  • Set realistic goals.  My primary goal was to finish. My secondary goal was to finish under three (yes, as in three hours). My secret unrealistic goal was to finish in 2.5 hours. That was silly since I’ve never run at that pace in my life. Can’t a slow girl dream? I’m happy that I accomplished my first two goals (finish time was 2:49:28 – luckily I did not win any awards as I would have missed the awards ceremony).
  • I stuck to Jeff Galloway’s training schedule and the entire training was injury free. It was the slow and steady method of training which worked out well for this slow girl!
  • I walked up the hills like a rock star. This was a hilly course, which I didn’t quite realize when I signed up.  When I found out about the hill situation, my strategy was to walk up the hills since it sucks to run up them.  Then, at every opportunity, I would make up the lost time by running downhill, at the expense of my poor knees.  One hill, fondly known as “Doomsday Hill”  took me 10 minutes to walk up – this was at mile 9.5.  Running it was just not going to happen for me at that juncture in the race.
  • Crossed the finish line in an upright position.  No crawling involved. I made it through miles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (yes, I will be listing each mile for a dramatic effect), 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and of course the little pesky .1 mile at the end!

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THINGS I WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY

  • Incorporate more hill training since after all, this was a hilly course.  The hills slowed me down but at least they didn’t stop me.
  • Drink slowly at the drink stations.  I took a swig of some refreshing water and it went down the wrong pipe so I had a choking fit…almost made me pee my pants which would have been SO not cool.
  • Relax and don’t let nerves get to me.   I found no pleasure whatsoever in dreaming about dirty toilets the night before the race which probably had something to do with the porta-potties that gross me out SO much I can not convey…my stomach is turning right now so let’s change the topic. Ick.  Think about rainbows and unicorns.
  • Don’t get light-headed.  I got light-headed around mile 10 but I don’t know why.  I drank water all along the course, I ate my energy snacks throughout the run and had a breakfast I was used to having before a long run (small bowl of oatmeal).   I haven’t figured out the problem so I don’t yet have a solution.  Maybe my brain was having a “what the hell are we doing” moment?!

HELPFUL ADVICE I RECEIVED (Not professional advice and not claiming to be professional advice)

  • Walk up to the water stations and walk while you drink, it’s gentler on your stomach and goes down easier.  Advice from: Leesa, my hair stylist and recent half marathon finisher.  Everyone has their own preference…run or walk, and  clearly I didn’t follow the walking advice because I choked on my water.
  • Stretch, stretch, stretch.  Advice from:  Andrea, younger sister and half marathon finisher.  Stretch before the race and stretch just as much after.  I did this and even threw in a couple of stretches at mile 10 and 11 when my hips were screaming…”Stop and stretch us or we will stop working for you!”  So I did and it felt good.
  • Just enjoy your first half marathon.  Advice from:  Everyone who ever finished a half marathon.   Well, that’s just dandy advice but honestly, I enjoyed it most when it started and when it ended.  Miles 1-8 flew by.  Miles 9-11 sucked and then I was so happy to see mile 12 and I made a little friend by mile 12.8 (see, I’m even slow at making friends).  It was her first half too and we were feeling the same…tired, sore, wondering how far away the finish line really was. It was nice having someone nearby who was in the same boat as me.  I didn’t catch her name but fondly refer to her as Girl in Pink #1 (she had a friend in pink too…that’s a whole other blog).  When the finish line finally came into view and I saw my husband, son and friends/fellow runners Patty and Jeff cheering me on, I was elated and completely forgot all about pesky miles 9, 10 and 11.  All in all it was a super great day!!!

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Good luck to all the future first time half marathoners out there.  You will do GREAT!

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Hello cemetery. So nice to see you!

Seriously.  That’s what I said as I approached the cemetery at the tail end of the longest run of my life (so far).  I thought I was going to die.  It was hot.  It was uphill.  Two hours and 15 minutes had passed since I started the run.   I saw the cemetery and was I so happy.  That cemetery marked the end of my 11 mile run and that’s one heck of an accomplishment for this slow girl.

Earlier this year I decided to finish a half marathon.   I’ve never run before (except maybe as a kid after the ice cream man).  I actually had to Google, “how many miles is a half marathon?”   For some, running a half marathon is not that big of a deal…especially if you’re athletic, in shape, healthy, enjoy sweating and like to exercise.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t any of those at the time I made the half marathon decision.

Slow Girl at the start of 2012: 

  • Athletic – No Way!
  • In shape – I wish.
  • Healthy – Eh, I’d say 50/50.
  • Enjoy sweating – Ew, gross.
  • Like to exercise – Not so much.

Slow Girl on September 3rd, 2012: 

  • Athletic – Not a chance.
  • In shape – Way more so than at the start of the year.
  • Healthy – Yes, I’d say so.  Now I know what quinoa is (and how to pronounce it).
  • Enjoy sweating – Ew, gross.
  • Like to exercise – Well, I secretly enjoy it now but I don’t admit it to myself until it’s over.

I made the half marathon decision for several reasons:

  1. It sounded challenging and I was up for a good challenge.  Can the ultimate hater of running actually run 13.1 miles?  No.  That’s why I follow Jeff Galloway’s run-walk method.  Run, then walk a little.  Run, then walk a little.  Repeat over and over and over.  Totally works for me.
  2. My sister did it and I was proud of her.  I wanted to do it to and be proud of myself.
  3. I was pretty sure some cute running clothes would be involved.
  4. I wanted to prove that I could stick to a fitness plan that would help me achieve a fitness goal.
  5. I hoped that maybe my body would morph into abs, buns, legs and arms of steel (sadly, this has not happened yet).
  6. It was a great way to be one with nature.  OK, reason 6 is crap but at least my body scored a tiny bit of a tan.
  7. I thought maybe I could learn a little something about myself.   All that alone time might give me the opportunity to be introspective.  OR  I could use that precious time trying to figure out the lyrics to all the songs on my running playlist.  Guess how I spend my time?
  8. I wanted to set a good example for my son.  I wanted to start something, work hard at it and succeed in the end.

So there we go.  Eight really compelling reasons I decided to train for and finish a half marathon, which by the way, is October 14th.  I’m actually getting a little nervous even though I ran the 11 miles with no problem (except for the part where I wanted to stop and cry a little).  Thankfully, my husband and son accompanied me (on their bikes) and cheered me on so I had to suck it up and be brave for them.  I wish they could be with me the day of the half marathon.

I’m supposed to do a couple of long runs between now and the half  but I’m having trouble convincing myself that I need to schedule a 14 mile run before the half marathon.  Seems like that would suck the thrill right out of crossing the finish line.  So, I decided to deviate from the master training plan and just do another 11 mile run.  If I can do 11, I can do 13.1, right?

I can do this.  I can do this. I can do this!