Monday, April 20, 2015

changing blogs

I have decided to change over to wordpress for my blog.  I plan to keep this blog up for a while, just to see my previous posts.  What I really like in wordpress are the themes and the drop down menus, I find it makes it easier to organize posts.  We will see!

You can find my new blog at:

I hope you enjoy!  Let me know what you prefer!

Friday, April 17, 2015

taking it easy

Yesterday I was thinking of going to run some mile repeats, or running up and down hills.  But as I thought about it I didn't really want to go and do this in full sun.  So I decided to hit the trails!

I am so glad I did.  I have never really gone trail running, in a sense where you need to watch every step, that there are muddy patches, there are hills.  I took it easy, as earlier this year I twisted my ankle on a hike, but I really enjoyed it.  I didn't worry about pace, if I needed to walk, I walked, if I wanted to speed up on nice easy areas I did.  I felt like I was a kid again.  I will definitely be back to do this again!

The elevation:
I can't believe I went up that high!  Pretty neat.  I knew I went down low though, I got to a point where it was very humid and extremely tough!  Love having the Garmin to let me know what it was like.

My splits:
Avg Pace
111:53.5 1.00 11:53 
216:26.8 1.00 16:26 
312:17.1 1.00 12:17 
412:47.6 1.00 12:49 

Now, my splits aren't very impressive, and at first I wasn't going to post them.  But this is a great reminder that it is ok to go nice and easy.  It doesn't have to all be fast, fast, fast.

The rest of this week I am going to continue to take it easy.  It is kind of tough.  I really want to go out and try intervals or tempos, but I am going to contain myself and leave that for next week.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

training plan - The Hapalua Half Marathon

This was my training plan for the Hapalua Half Marathon.  I got injured during the start, and towards the end I got a little lazy.  I didn't do as well as I had hoped, but

I did improve my PR from 1:57:26 to 1:55:54.

I will be attempting Hal Higdon's Advanced Half Marathon Training Plan for the Hapalua Half Marathon which takes place April 12, 2015.

Until the start date I will be getting back into running, probably following the first couple of weeks loosely.  I will aim for 5 - 6 days a week of running, but I may use the Monday as a rest day.  I want to start implementing doubles, so I may do that on an easy day.

(My dates are off - oops! Fixed on my calendar)
I created a calendar, this is what I have printed out with all my goal workouts.  Each day I will write in pen what I actually did.  I know real life can throw in some curve balls, so I won't be too upset if I can't complete all my runs.
I've also added in my paces that I want to try and hit for each workout.  


What I actually did - January.


What I actually did - February

(I have had to change my February a little from what I originally planned.  Instead of a 5k at the start of the month I will do a 60 - 90 minute run, my first long run back after injury.  From the 1st to at least the 8th I will be trying my best to go with the plan, but I will listen to my body)

(I did not run the 10k race, and I will also not be running the 15k race.  I will add in a long run instead of the race, and probably not take the two rest days before)

What I actually did - March.

What I actually ran

Runs - Paces
Hal describes each run in detail.  (Yes, we are on a first name basis.... Even if it is just in my head)

Easy run:
These are the runs on Monday, Wednesday and sometimes Friday or Saturdays.  They are designed to be run at an easy, conversational pace.
Easy Run: 9:21 - 10:16 min/mile

Run uphill between 200 and 400 meters.  Jog or walk the recovery, which will be equal distance between each repeat.  
Hills are great to strength quads, and to build speed, so you can substitute any interval workouts, or even a Tempo workout.

If you want to run fast, train fast!!  
Best done on a track, but can be done on the road.  Walk or jog between each repeat.  The recovery time will depend on the length of the repeat.
400m: 1:47 - 1:53 (approx. 7:20min/mile)
800m: 3:43 - 3:55 (approx. 7:40min/mile)
1200m: 5:46 - 6:06 
1600m: 8:02 - 8:13

Tempo Runs:
A continuous run with a buildup in the middle to near 10K race pace.

A tempo run of 40 to 60 minutes will begin with 10-20 minutes easy running, build for 20-30 minutes near the middle, and then 5-10 minutes near the end.

Hal says that the tempo can be as hard or as easy as you like.  Feel free to improvise.
Tempo Run: 8:24 - 8:39 min/mile

Race pace!  I will be running at the pace I hope to complete the half marathon in.
Race Pace: 8:45 min/mile (This may be a little ambitious, but I thought I may as well aim high!)  I will adjust this later if I feel it is too impossible)

Long Runs:
These are not to be run too fast.  I won't be focused on mileage, only time.  These long runs will be run at a comfortable pace, except for the days when a 3/1 is prescribed.
A 3/1 work out is when the first three quarters of the distance is run comfortable, and then accelerating to near race pace for the last quarter. (You are meant to finish feeling refreshed, we will see about that, Hal!)
Long Run: 9:21 - 10:39 min/mile

Warm up:
Warming up is important.  Hal says to jog a mile or two before speed and pace workouts, then to sit down and stretch for 5-10 minutes, and even to throw in some easy strides before each run.  (Strides are around 100 meters gradually building and then slowing down with the middle being near race pace).
Cool down by jogging half the distance of the warm up.


I went out and ran 4.15 miles this morning.  It seemed fitting, given the date.  It was an easy/recovery run.  I didn't care about pace, I was just trying to enjoy the run.  I thought about the people that were at the Boston Marathon 2 years ago.  I thought how some will never be able to run again.  This run was for them, and I tried to enjoy it as much as possible.

It gave me time to also think about my goals.  One day, I want to qualify for Boston.  I have a whole lot of work ahead of me.  Until I am 35, my BQ (Boston Qualifying) time is 3:35.  That is fast, that's 8:12min/mile fast.  My goal for my next marathon is to get under 4 hours.  That's 9:09 min/miles.  I think I can do that.  Not tomorrow, but definitely in December.  I am going to work my butt off to get there.

One small hiccup in my training for this year is, that I will have about 8 weeks were I will be away working.  And my work is going to be pretty much 24 hours a day, for those 8 weeks, with little time to spare.  Time is definitely not on my side.  Every two weeks I will get a day or two off, and I can fit in a long run, however the rest on the time I will be trying to work on my speed.  I am thinking of making up workouts based on time, not distance, and use them when I can.  Every two weeks I will aim for a 10+ mile run.  But I have time,  I don't leave for work until late June.  And when I come back I still have about 3 months to fully train for the Honolulu Marathon.

And, my splits from this mornings run:
Avg Pace
110:11.9 1.00 10:12 
29:27.0 1.00 9:26 
39:20.8 1.00 9:21 
49:23.9 1.00 9:24 
51:23.5 0.15 9:21

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Hapalua Half Marathon Recap

I've never posted a recap before, so bear with me.  It may be all over the place as I get my thoughts down.

My husband and I decided to spend the night in Waikiki, rather than trying to deal with traffic and parking early Sunday morning.  This was the best decision ever!  We stayed right in the heart of Waikiki.  We walked to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner, and got way too much food!  And cheesecake to take back to the hotel room!

I went to bed early, around 8pm, but I was waking up all over the place, at least every 30 minutes.  I was so nervous coming into this race.  I think it was my first half marathon outside of RunDisney, and I find those runs so safe and comforting!  And if you do badly you can just pretend you were looking at the entertainment!   I also didn't have my normal crew of runners with me that I am accustomed to, I really missed them!  Just to see a friendly face before the run. I did have my husband and my dog though, so that made it a lot better!

I woke up at 4:30am, for the last time, and got out of bed soon after.  I got ready and decided to head out of the hotel and walk to the start line at 5:00am. I didn't have anything pre-run, except a few sips of a Dr Pepper (I thought the caffeine might do me good!).  My husband and the dog joined me for the walk to the start line, and it was pretty quick, only about 15 minutes away.

As I saw other runners heading to the start I ended up feeling a lot less nervous.  I still didn't feel like a PR was on the cards, but I was feeling better.  
With half of my support crew! (The other half was taking the picture)

The Hapalua has a really fun element, The Chase.  They have a Team Hawaii, that are all local, fast runners.  They get a head start, depending on their PR, then there are a few elite runners that start with the rest of us, at 6am.  Team Hawaii tries to hold onto the lead, and stay ahead.  My husband and I got to see them take off before the race, then I said my goodbyes, and used a porta-potty - last minute nerves!  Then headed in amongst the runners.  It was crazy compared with Disney, a lot smaller of a race, but still a lot of people - and no corals or waves for everyone!  

We started walking and soon I was at the start line and got off to a slow jog.  The first mile was just trying to get around people - there were a lot in front of me and I was just trying to keep it cruisey while finding my way through all of them.

Ready for the race!
I tried to keep my pace easy for the first three miles, and felt really good.  I did think that I may not be able to hold the pace for the whole time.  I averaged about a 9:48 pace for the first 4 miles.

Mile 8 was where my hotel was, and I was hoping to see my husband, but I think he decided to head back and sleep a little more - he was up past midnight studying, so I don't blame him for not being there!  This part of the run got a little tough, and I got a little slower.  At mile 8 I kept thinking just keep going, mile 9 is where the hill is, just get there.

Mile 9 came, and just after that was the hill climb at Diamond Head.  Wow - it was brutal.  I had done it before on a training run, and I am so glad I did.  I knew that after a little while, less than half a mile, that it gets flat for a while.  I really wanted to stop and walk, but I kept pushing on.  When I got close to slowing and walking, I thought of all the women that I follow on Instagram working on their hills, and that they will be conquering Heartbreak Hill at Boston in a few weeks.  If I want to be there one day, I needed to be able to run up this hill and not take a break.  I saw the mile 10 marker and told myself if I needed to I could take a break then (However, I did know from running it before this was where the hill stopped and flattened out).  That mile was my slowest, at 9:34min/mile.

It hurt me a lot, I kept trying to push on.  But I just couldn't will myself to really kick it up another notch.  At about mile 11 it was downhill, so I just tried to keep moving and really let gravity help me out.  I was hoping for a water station, but one never appeared!  But I only had about 2 miles to go.

Right before the finish line I kicked into another gear.  I actually felt good running faster, and think maybe I could have pushed myself a bit earlier.  Who knows?  I don't know if I could have gone faster for a very long time.

I got to meet a fellow Instagramer, which was really neat.  It's great to meet new people!

At the finish I got my first Malasada - an awesome donut type thing, and shave ice - which was perfect after the run.  The Malasada was delicious, but I just couldn't eat that after the run - I stuck with the usual banana.

Shave Ice and a medal!!!
A new PR!
Yes, I didn't mention.  My official time was 1:55:54 - over a minute PR.  I am really happy with this result, especially because of that pesky hill!

My splits:
Avg Pace
19:09.2 1.00 9:09 
28:37.7 1.00 8:38 
38:41.3 1.00 8:41 
48:35.6 1.00 8:36 
58:48.4 1.00 8:49 
68:45.4 1.00 8:45 
78:48.4 1.00 8:49 
88:56.8 1.00 8:57 
98:55.0 1.00 8:55 
109:36.1 1.00 9:36 
118:34.6 1.00 8:35 
128:45.5 1.00 8:46 
138:34.8 1.00 8:35 
141:05.8 0.15 7:27 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

what to wear and pack for a half marathon

I was going through all my outfits yesterday, trying to figure out what I was going to wear for The Hapalua Half Marathon.
Some of my favourites!

With all my clothes, I have completed my long runs in them.  I know they are comfortable. It was kind of a joke - I know what I am going to wear!  I have my favourite running shorts.  My favourite running bra.  And I probably won't wear a t-shirt, it makes it easier that way!

What I plan on running in.

I am not totally convinced on my shoes.  I have another pair, exactly the same Saucony Kinvara 5 - but half a size larger than this pair.  I will probably take those too, just incase I change my mind.

The final packing list:

  • Socks
  • Lululemon Pink Shorts
  • Lululemon Sports Bra
  • Feetures Socks
  • Saucony Kinvara 5 shoes (x2)
  • Garmin Forerunner 210 GPS Watch
  • Brooks Running Hat (I may only probably wear this if it decided to rain.. I haven't decided)
  • Bib & Safety Pins (plus extra safety pins)
  • Clif Gel -  Vanilla Flavour
That is it for the race.  Everything I have here I have tested in a long run or race before.  I am not making the same mistake as last time, accidentally buying the wrong brand of gel that was disgusting and I couldn't get it down during the race.  On the side note of gels, I will plan on having it at around mile 6, and have an extra gel that I may take with to have if needed at around mile 10-11 for that extra zing.

Now, I am always nervous that something will be wrong with one of the items I have.  So I am probably going to pack an extra whole outfit, just incase!  You can never be too sure!!

I am getting quite nervous.  It is strange, to be nervous.  I am not going out to 'win' (obviously!) but I am trying to do my best.  I have actually put in a decent amount of training for this race, a lot more than usual.  Hopefully it pays off!
My tried and approved outfit!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

trying to think of a game plan

This morning I ran my last hard workout.  6 x 400 meters.  It was tough.  I wanted to try to go at a little faster than 5k pace, so average around 7:30min/miles.  Yep.  That didn't happen.  I went too fast.  This is a real problem of mine.  Though, I am thinking I am doing ok - each repeat time was fairly consistent, and my last was faster than every other repeat.
Avg Pace
19:25.8 1.00 9:23 
21:46.5 0.25 7:06 
31:53.9 0.20 9:30 
41:45.5 0.25 7:02 
51:54.5 0.20 9:30 
61:46.0 0.25 7:04 
71:56.4 0.20 9:40 
81:45.3 0.25 7:01 
91:54.2 0.20 9:31 
101:45.1 0.25 7:00 
111:53.4 0.20 9:25 
121:43.6 0.25 6:55 
131:49.9 0.20 9:05 
149:01.7 1.00 9:00

Race Plan:

I am now trying to work out with a game plan for the half marathon.  I was thinking of something like this:

  • Miles 1 - 4 at a 9:00 - 9:10 min/mile
  • Miles 4 - 10 at a 8:50 - 9:00 min/mile
  • Miles 10 - 13.1 - keep pushing the pace

But then I think that seems so fast and crazy.  Can I do that?  It seems a little fast, but let's look at what I have done through this training cycle:
  • Long runs averaging around 9:20 - 9:30min/mile.
  • Pushing the last few miles of the long runs to around an 8:30min/mile
  • Tempo runs around an 8:30 min/mile
But looking back through my training, I wish I had done a few more tempo runs.  I have one more coming up - a 30 minute run.  I may try and simulate the race.  Start at 9:00min/mile then push to an 8:50 and finish at around 8:30min/mile.  

Goals for this race:
  1. I would love to PR - that means breaking 1:57:26.   I have trained a lot more intensely for this half than any other half I have completed.  However, I am expecting it to be humid and there is a hill.  I am ok if I don't break my PR, but I really want to!
  2. Breaking 2 hours. I won't lie - I don't want to go back and be in the 2 hour range.  I have felt the feeling of being under, and I want to keep it alive!
  3. Just finish without injury! This probably won't make me happy - but I guess I will have bling and will be able to learn from it for my next half.