Countdown to the Half: 6 Weeks

Guess what, everybody! I’ve been running long enough to kill a pair of shoes!

Glitter and Goat Cheese - New Balance WR1400
Them things are dead.

Technically, my New Balance 1400s are racing flats, which means they wear out faster than regular running shoes, but WHATEVER. SHUT UP. I’m awesome! I’m a runner! Plus, my new ones are really pretty.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - New Balance WR1400
(I swear my ankles aren’t actually crooked. I’m just standing/photographing at a weird angle.)

Want to know another reason why I’m officially calling myself a runner now? A few weeks ago, Brad and I ran a race in Gwinnett called Ella’s Run, and … we actually … WON AWARDS. We both placed second in our respective age groups. Yes, you read that right. I know what you’re thinking – there must have been like, two people in my age group. INCORRECT. THERE WERE 17. You can look here if you don’t believe me. If you do, you’ll also see that my time was not fast. I mean, it was a time that someone like Bianca or Alex could get while, like, wearing flip flops and singing showtunes. But for whatever reason, 15 other women my age were slower than me. It could be because the course was really hard – half rough trail, lots of steep hills – and everyone else was like, “Screw it. It’s 9 a.m. and I’m in Buford. No one’s around to see me blow this race.” Whatever! I’m awesome! I’m a runner!

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Ella's Run 5K
Photo via Right to Hike on Facebook. I’m the one in the yellow shorts, muttering “Get out of my way, fools!” under my breath.

Other than that, training for the half has been going fine. We did a trial run with our coach a couple weeks ago so he could plan our pacing charts, and I ran my fastest mile ever at 9:55. I fully realize that 9:55 is still pretty slow, but considering that I started off running 14:00-minute miles in January, it’s a decent improvement. It’s tough for me not to be hard on myself, though. I asked my coach recently why I’m not faster. I asked him, is it because I’m not trying hard enough? Am I not in good enough shape? He assured me that it’s mostly genes. Some people are built for speed, and some aren’t. I definitely fall in the latter camp, and I have to live with that. I guess I’m lucky to have two legs, or whatever.

Anyway, I can’t believe we’re halfway through our half marathon training already! I have a confession: I haven’t been doing my strength-training to protect my bum knees. This is extremely foolhardy, considering that my physical therapist straight-up told me I’d get injured again if I didn’t keep up with my exercises. It’s just so hard to find time to run as it is, you know? But I have to get back into it. I HAVE to. After all this hard work, if I screw myself over right before the big race … it’ll be bad. Real bad.

Anyone else training right now? How’s it going?

     

Countown to the Half: 12 Weeks

Happy day-after-Labor-Day, everyone! Who’s hungover? Not me. I spent my day off watching Cougar Town and eating chicken pot pie. Holla!

Brad and I officially start our training for the Atlanta Half Marathon this week! I’m hoping to post weekly about our progress – an idea I’m blatantly borrowing from Miss Bianca and her Marathon Mondays series.

It’s going to be a rough 12 weeks. After my success with my running coach before our last big race, Brad decided to get on board for our second half marathon. We both met with Coach Sean on Sunday to run a test mile on the track and gauge our fitness. Despite our very lazy summer, I’ve still managed to shave a minute off since my last test mile in April, so that’s cool. Unfortunately for me, that means my runs are going to get a little tougher. Meanwhile, though, Brad’s test mile clocked in at 7:44. Uh, WHAT?! Brad is really fast. I am really jealous. But I’m not jealous of his training plan, which is going to be hard as heck. My runs are going to seem easy-breezy in comparison.

What that means, sadly, is that Brad and I probably won’t be running together very often. It’s a bummer. I want him to improve and do well, of course – I don’t want to hold him back – but I’ll miss his company while he’s off kicking ass.

This time around, I’m just going to stick to what worked before our last half marathon. I absolutely loved my New Balance 1400s, so I’ll be getting another pair at the end of this month when I hit the 200 mile mark. And just in time – they came out in a new color!

New Balance - WR1400 - Blue

On the agenda this week, I have a three mile run, an interval run, some cross-training, and a four-mile run. An easy week to ease back into the game. I just hope the weather cooperates. I blame the Atlanta heat completely for all the slacking we did this summer. I like running a lot, I really do – but I don’t like anything enough to do it in 90 degree weather. Not even outdoor margarita drinking. And that’s saying a lot. Outdoor margarita drinking might be one of my very favorite things on this here crazy planet.

Stay cool, everybody!