Tag Archives: half marathon

GUSTO Challenge – Who is Challenging You?

This is part 4 of the CarreraThon marathon training race series in preparation for the San Antonio Rock N’Roll Full marathon. Let’s just say, I am totally freaking out that my marathon is less than 8 weeks away. As I was working up to this race, I have conquered 14 miles and also done some small speed training sessions. That being said, I have really been using these races as long runs, not as competitive events. It is fun to go out and run with friends and get food and drinks afterwards.

Much to my surprise, when I woke up on Sunday morning, the weather was absolutely glorious! Approximately 60 degrees, low humidity, clear (dark) skies, just wonderful. Fall has finally arrived in San Antonio! The weather got me thinking that maybe I should push for a PR or at least a decently fast time in the race. I also was feeling good, well hydrated, full of energy, excited to run. I decided I would play it by ear and run as hard as I felt good doing.

I showed up about 75 minutes before my race started. I promptly put on my light jacket and walked over to the packet pick up area. I apologize – I have zero pictures from this race – so it is just a boring, word only post. But hopefully my race story will keep you entertained! Anyway, I got my number, and chip and went back to attach them to myself in my warm car. Yep, I officially a wussy Texan – 60 degrees and I am “cold.”

I did about mile warm up before the race – trying to get the blood flowing and literally warm up my body. We were off right at the stroke of 8 am, as the sun was coming up. I was in the front third of the pack and pretty much stayed there the whole race. Everyone spread out by mile two, but two girls about my age fell in stride with me and we all ran together. There wasn’t much talking and I was analyzing our pace, which was pretty fast. I think we did the first 3 miles in 24 minutes, almost a 5k personal record for me! At that point, I decided to slow down just a little, keep relaxed and just run strong.

I took my Rehydrate Gel at mile 4 and water at mile 4.5. The three of us girls jockeyed back and forth for the lead and sometimes we would get as far as 100 meters apart. We all joined together before mile 6 and began cheering all the leading runners on as they were coming back toward us after the turn around. I really though I would never make it to the turn around. For some reason, it was at least a half or 3/4 of a mile past the 6 mile marker and it seemed as though we would never reach it. I was getting a little tired at this point because we had been pushing an 8 -8:30 minute mile pace and I had not run that fast in months! I grabbed my Raw bar and started taking little bites but then it slipped out of my hand into the dirt, and I was NOT picking it up.

When I dropped the bar, the race became completely mental for me. I knew I was supposed to have more fuel to get me through the race, but it was gone. I had to rely on my body using what I already had stored up to power me until the end. Running up the small hills were just like flats, and I used momentum to carry me downhill and gain a little speed. I took my last Rehydrate Gel at mile 9, right before I got my last mini walk break with water. The other girls had been ahead and behind me at this point, and as we came to the water stop, I slowed just a little, knowing I was going to walk and drink my water anyway.

They started out ahead, but I was able to pass them on a small downhill. I gained 20 ft or so and kept my lead. I was getting tired though, I could feel my energy dropping. As always, I began silently chanting  my various words to keep me going. “Don’t Stop” “Don’t Quit” “Jesus,Jesus”(praying that He will carry me through). At one point, I zone out a little too much and stepped right on the edge of the pavement and half way rolled my ankle. This is a very normal occurrence for me, but the other girls said, “Don’t fall or we’ll fall behind you!” That  made me happy, because we had all come to the conclusion that they only reason we were running as fast and as hard is because the others were with us.

In the last mile, they ended up passing me. We ran together for a little bit and I suggested we just walk to the finish, but they did not take me up on my offer. I was really ready to quit, really ready to walk and really ready to find the restroom! Uffda! As they were ahead of me, all I could do is keep pushing my arms and telling myself that I was strong and I was going to out sprint them at the end. Well, Claudia(I learned her name after the race) was about 50 meters out and just kept on going strong when we got near the finish. Myself and Andrea were not catching her, no way. Andrea did step it up as we got closer but I decided she was not winning, and pushed back and as we made our way down the chute to the finish, we were in a full-out sprint. I was pumping my arms and pulling my legs as hard as I possibly could, there was nothing left to give. In the end, she beat me by only a few hundredths of a seconds, mainly due to my non-chip wearing foot crossing the line before the shoe with the chip.

Wow, I was so tired at the end, I couldn’t even drink water. I didn’t even look at the clock. I briefly said hi to a few friends but then immediately had to use the restroom porta-potty, ugh! There was barely any toilet paper and really, it’s a porta potty, what can you say??

After checking the results, I found out that did indeed set a new personal record of 1:53:28 for a half marathon! So crazy, so awesome, so HARD! I really don’t think I want to try to beat my record again this year.

The best thing about this race was seeing how a community of runners can push each other to new limits. I believe the same is true in life, so I want to surround myself with people who working harder, learning more and doing greater things to keep me pushing toward my goals. Who are your greatest influences and motivators right now?


Posted by on September 25, 2013 in Running


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Workouts 9/17 – 9/23

Oh my goodness, it is less than 8 weeks until I run my very first full marathon. I am totally FREAKING OUT!!! As always, I just don’t feel like I am running enough. I am barely doing any weight training. But on the upside – I was able to get a new PR this week on my half marathon! Very exciting and I tried a new recovery supplement and it really worked! I was incredibly sore all day after the half marathon, but the next morning, I didn’t even know I had run! Amazing!

Tuesday, September 17th –
Crossfit Fight Gone Bad
1 minute each, 3 rounds, rest after each round
Deadlift 75lbs
Med ball squats 20lbs
Box jumps 24″


10 minutes foam roll

Wednesday, September 18th – OFF

Thursday, September 19th –
3 mile run with Pearl!!

Friday, September 20th-
3 mile run in the rain with Pearl

Saturday, September 21st – OFF

Sunday, September 22nd –
Gusto Challenge 13.1 mile race – NEW Personal Record!!! 1:53:28

Monday, September 23rd – REST & RECOVER

Total Miles: 19

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Posted by on September 18, 2013 in Running, Work Out Logs


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Workouts 3/19 – 3/25

Oh hey, it’s the week of my next half marathon. Oh you didn’t know I was running another half marathon? Was it because I didn’t post my training schedule? Or maybe it was the lack of running in the last month? Well, I’ll be honest, I have pretty much acted like I am not ‘training’ for another half marathon in the last two months since the Cocoa Half Marathon. Hm, what does that mean? It means that once again, I’m feeling very unprepared, and somewhat worried about the outcome. The good thing is that I have absolutely no goals for this race other than to finish, preferably under 2 hours and 30 minutes. I am running with a friend for her first half, and told her we would run together and I would make sure she finishes. I did run 7 miles on Sunday, so it should be an ok race.

Tuesday, March 19th –
Warm-up: 100m backward run, 100 m forward run, 200 m run, 135 m row
WOD – Part 1
10 minutes AMRAP(as many rounds as possible) I did 5 rounds as follows…
10 Deadlifts (65lbs)
10 Dumbell Push-Press (2 @ 5lbs, 3 @ 10lbs)
Then I switched it up to the following and did at least 5 more rounds, maybe 6 but I always lose count!
10 Deadlifts (65lbs)
20 Dumbell Push-Press (5 lbs)

All in all at least 100 Deadlifts and at least 150 push-presses.

Part 2 –
TABATA sprints

Cashout – Turkish get-ups I did not do these, it was time for bed!

Wednesday, March 20th – REST
I did foam roll and took Pearl for a short walk

Thursday, March 21st –
4 mile run with short walk breaks – felt really good to run again!
foam rolled and stretched

Friday, March 22nd – REST

Saturday, March 23rd –
4 mile bike ride

Sunday, March 24th –
13.1 mile run – Alamo 13.1 Half Marathon!!

Monday, March 25th – REST

Total Miles: 18.1


Posted by on March 28, 2013 in Running, Work Out Logs


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Alamo 13.1 Half Marathon Recap

Fight to the Finish! That is the motto of the Alamo 13.1 half marathon and that is just what I did. I signed up for this race because it was in San Antonio and it ran right through my neighborhood. I also was hoping some of my friends would run with me because it is always fun to run with friends. One friend signed up and we were going to run together – until she got hurt a month ago. Another friend signed up for her first half, and almost didn’t run – but I told her I would run the whole thing with her and make sure she finished. My pre-race eating was pretty normal, but I did eat extra carbs in the form of sweet potatoes and bites of cupcakes. Ben was awesome and grilled chicken for my pre-race dinner.


Grilled Chicken & Sweet Potato Pre-race dinner

I had a very relaxed morning getting ready for the race – so relaxed I even folded some laundry! I did have an outfit crisis because it was extremely windy and the temperature dropped about 20 degrees overnight to 45!!!! That is cold for Texas at the end of March! About an hour before the race start, I got excited and a little nervous. I contemplated how I was going to keep my friend motivated to finish and even possibly running my own race (I’m horribly selfish!). I couldn’t just leave her though – I had committed to running with her and make sure she finished and I had to stand by what I said. She and her husband picked me up and he dropped us off near the start. We jogged around the Alamo to warm up and then got in line for the porta-pottys.


Pre-race with the Alamo in the background


The crowd lining up for the race


Mile 2 Going over the historic Hays St Bridge – love the cheeta pants on the right!

Mile 3

Mile 3

Trucking at Mile 4

Trucking at Mile 4

The Husbands a.k.a. Our Bike-Riding, Photo-taking Cheer Squad

The Husbands a.k.a. Our Bike-Riding, Photo-taking Cheer Squad

We started off at an easy pace, but M started having trouble with her feet falling asleep almost immediately. She had gotten new compression socks but they were too tight and not working for her. We probably walked about a mile in the first three and around mile 4 she ended up taking off her socks. After the sock stop, we began the climb up Stadium Drive and through the Trinity University campus – very up and down for 3 miles! We both took a Rehydrate Gel at mile 7 and I drank Spark through the first 6 miles. This was one time I was glad to walk the uphills! While we were trekking up and down the hills, our awesome husbands biked to our house and got her another pair of socks and at mile 9 she was able to change and we were able to keep up a steady run. At mile 9 I ate a Advobar RAW and M had another Rehydrate Gel.


Mile 10 on the Riverwalk near the San Antonio Art Museum

We had a few porta-potty stops during the race, the last one around Mile 11. After that it was heads down and run to the finish. M was getting tired so we took a couple walk breaks, but powered through the last 1.5 miles and gave it all we had to cross the finish! Our final time ended up being 2:50 – a little longer than her goal of 2:30, but the whole sock thing slowed us down.

Almost done!

Almost done!

Crossing the finish line...bad picture!

Crossing the finish line…bad picture!



Victory!!! Just like the first time in 1836..only this time the Texans won!

Victory!!! Just like the first time in 1836..only this time the Texans won!

I had a lot of fun helping M reach her goal and sticking with her to encourage her. This race really made me think running a full marathon is possible because with the slower pace I felt really good at the end and probably could have kept going. That is definitely not a feeling I have had in the past, so this was a great race for me as well. We enjoyed a post-race breakfast at Madhatter’s and followed it up with a great church service.


Dean Scram at Madhatter’s

I’m just chilling out at home for the rest of the day and trying not to eat all the salty food I’m craving. My post-race massage is tomorrow morning and I am very excited! I hope everyone else had a great weekend!


Posted by on March 24, 2013 in Running


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Workouts 1/15-1/21

Half marathon week is here and I’m scared! I know I haven’t trained enough and I just don’t know if I can really beat my current Personal Record of 2 hours. Because I just started running again last week, I ran more this week than I normally would before a race.

Tuesday, January 15th –
3 mile run

Wednesday, January 16th –
4 mile run

Thursday, January 17th –
3 mile walk with Pearl

Friday, January 18th –
3 mile run

Saturday, January 19th – REST

Sunday, January 20th – RACE DAY!! Recap Here
13.1 miles run

Total Miles: 23.1


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Cocoa Women’s Half Marathon Recap


This was the inaugural Cocoa Women’s Half Marathon, Wild Women’s 5k and 1 mile Girl’s Fun Run. I was excited about running this race because of the course, the location of the race and last, but definitely not least, the fact that it was sponsored by chocolate! Leading up to my race I had a few training set-backs, including working a crazy holiday schedule and getting sick and not working out for a week. I was less than confidant that I was going to be able to perform well, let alone meet my goal of finishing in under two hours. I started the 24 hours before the race filled with adrenaline because I made my first wedding cake at work! That was so nerve-racking but exciting all at the same time. After I finished work on Saturday, I headed downtown to the Victoria house where the race expo was being held.


I followed the green arrows to the t-shirt table, where I was promptly told that I needed my number to get my shirt. I retraced my steps and found my number on a big list, walked through the house and grabbed my number from the table. Then, I could get my t-shirt and a look at the finisher medals.


The expo was probably the low-point of the race. There were only a few vendors, no free samples and not too much to look at. To be honest, it wasn’t that big of a deal, and for a small, inaugural race, I think it was perfectly appropriate. Due to another engagement, I could not attend the fajita dinner sponsored by the race. I am quite sad about this, but I did end up having fajitas for dinner anyway. I didn’t really mean to eat Mexican food as my pre-race meal, but it just turned out that way and it actually worked for me. I had one tortilla with rice, and chicken fajitas, a few chips with mild salsa and water. I had eggplant with marinara sauce and BBQ ribs and brisket earlier in the day and eggs with spinach for breakfast. All in all, it was a good pre-race eating day.


Hot Spot BBQ for some Ribs & Brisket


Carb up with Eggplant!

I woke up and made some coffee for myself and even though I wasn’t hungry, I had a banana with almond butter and an apple pie LARAbar. I realized about 45 minutes before my race that I did not have enough energy gels and I didn’t know if any would be provided on the course, so I had to run to the store and grab two more. Wow, that really got my adrenaline going because I was parking at 7:45 and my race started at 8! I jogged about two blocks to the start of the race and jumped in the porta-potty line, which was moving incredibly slow. So slow that I actually missed the start of the race and started after almost everyone had cleared out of the start gate! That was not good, but I really could not wait 13.1 miles to go to the bathroom. The first mile flew by me in about 8:25 as I ran through downtown San Antonio. My pace was too fast but definitely fueled by the fact that I started late. I told myself to slow down and settle in, but as I made my way through HemisFair park I crossed mile 2 at 17:00, right about 8:30/mile again. Mile 3 passed by at 25:34 on my watch and I settled into my pace as the route snaked through the Historic King William neighborhood for Mile 4.


Guest House in King William Neighborhood

I also started eating my LARAbar when I passed mile 3 and finished it a little after mile 4. Right after mile 5 (42 minutes) the route jumped on the Mission Reach portion of the River walk. I kept thinking I would see Ben during Miles 3-5 but I never did. Mile 6 was on the Riverwalk and that was my cue to start sucking on my Stinger Gel. I was really trying hard to get fuel before I felt like I needed it. It was at Mile 6 (54:00) that the first place runner met us running back toward the finish! She was running about 5:30 minute miles!!! Ben caught up to me again at Theo and Mission Rd, right after the halfway point which I crossed at 1 hour on the dot. The route took us past Riverside Golf Course and back onto the Riverwalk toward downtown. At this point, I knew there were a couple long, steady hills, and although I don’t like the saying, I was thinking of Tina and how she “makes hills her b*tch“! I knew I was going to have to push hard and ignore everything my body was telling me if I was going to be able to finish in under two hours.

Ben was able to ride along the opposite side of the Riverwalk and yell encouragement to me, which was very nice. I really love the fact that he will get up early and ride his bike around to cheer me on, give me water and take pictures. Unfortunately, all the pictures he took did not turn out. I’m not terribly surprised because I had forgotten my camera and he was taking pictures on his phone. I took another Stinger Gel at Mile 9 to keep my energy up for the last part of the race. I was very glad that I had run most of the race course before the actual race because I really knew what to expect, especially during the last miles which are usually the most challenging. Crossing Mile 10 (1:29) I started thinking, “only a 5k left” but I was a little worried about my time. I tried to get pumped up by my music but Pandora was NOT helping at all. I switched my station 3 times because of bad songs, but at Mile 10, I gave up and just ran. I was ignoring everything except running and thinking about the finish line.

Mile 12 came along at 1:48 on my watch and I was ecstatic! Even if I ran a 10 minute last mile, I could finish in under 2 hours. I was definitely tired and hurting at this point, but the goal was so attainable I just had to keep going. The whole race is really a blur, but I do remember passing several people at the end (another goal – pass 3 people in the last mile). I came up the last hill and Ben was waiting for me, cheering me on, telling me the finish line was right around the corner. I almost ran over a little girl who was wandering in the street (come on parents, we cannot see anything but the finish line at this point!) as I took off as fast as I could run toward the finish. I told myself I would cross the line with victory arms, and I did. My watch said 1:56 and my official time was 1:56:00.15!!!




Official Result!! 1:56:00.15

OH YEAH, PR FOR ME!!!! It felt so good, I couldn’t wipe the smile of my face for at least two days!


I rocked this race!!


Beautiful Finisher Medals


Chocolate at the finish – Awesome Idea!!

All in all, this was a great inaugural race and I would definitely run it again next year. Who could turn down chocolate at the finish line?? I loved running a race in my home-town because parking was easy, I knew the race course and I got to eat at one of my favorite restaurants for my post race celebration.


This quote really sums up this race – GOD IS VERY GOOD!


Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Running


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How soon is too soon?

The question of my week has been: How soon is too soon to run after a half marathon?

I was pretty sore on Sunday after my race and I took ibuprofen all day Monday to stay ahead of the pain and I felt good enough Tuesday morning that I didn’t take any paid medication. My main goal for Monday and Tuesday was to rest and recover, which included me sitting ALL day at work on Monday and 1/2 the day on Tuesday (normally I work standing up). I also ate slightly more than I normally would and probably had a few too many sweets! Stretching and yoga did not happen, and that is a big downfall of mine. I know that my muscles were sore and probably needed stretching but I just couldn’t make myself do it.

Wednesday I did not feel like going to the gym but I knew I had to start moving again. I decided on an arms and abs workout to give my legs another day to recover. It didn’t feel great, but something is always better than nothing. Thursday was a leg workout which went better than expected.

So as I woke up this morning, I decided it was time to run. I threw my clothes and running shoes in my gym bag and made a plan hit the treadmill. I am really not a treadmill runner, but the weather is pretty gloomy, cold, rainy and windy today, so running inside was the only option I was taking. I started off slow and worked my way up to 6.0 mph, and even ran up a little hill (putting the incline up to 3.0). The running felt fine and I took time to foam roll and stretch afterwards.

The problem came when I tried to stand up after I had eaten my lunch sitting down. I was very stiff and sore! And now two hours later, my lungs are kind of achy, like when you run in the cold and it hurts to breathe. So, again, I pose the question,

How soon should you start running after a half marathon?

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Posted by on March 9, 2012 in Running


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