Category Archives: HMT 2011

A Very Fine Nine

Ever since coming to the conclusion that I’m majorly slacking in my half marathon training, I decided I was going to make Saturday’s long run (9 miles) a good one.

Last week I managed to squeeze in a BodyPump session and 2 three mile runs – pretty good for me during this particularly busy work period. I even attempted to go to Wine and Dash, but when I arrived no one was there. Sads. Instead of giving up on a run entirely, I went to a nearby office park and found a lake to run around. I was damn proud of myself for getting it done.

Anyways, on to the niner.

I was FINALLY in town for a group run with the training team. I can suffer though most distances alone, but I like to run with a group for anything near 10+ miles. So I was thankful to have the team for 9 (and the built in photographer and water/refueling stations!).

I rolled out of bed around 6:15, drank some water and forced some dry cereal down the hatch. I was out the door by 6:50 and arrived at the team meeting site by 7:05. I found my group (thankfully they didn’t leave early…) and we were off promptly at 7:15. I ran the exact same route last year – the team uses basically the same routes from year to year – so I knew what to expect.

My plan for the run was to start off slow for the first half in order to save energy for the last 4-5 miles. Really I just wanted to CRUSH last year’s time for this route.

And boom…I kicked butt. Thank goodness!

I promise I'm more normal in real life (and not so weirdly tan).

I love how with the Garmin I can compare this run to last year:

2011 on the left, 2010 on the right.

I love seeing those 9:00s instead of 10:00s!

There is a massive uphill bridge at mile 1.5ish, and this year there was a huge backup of runners trying to get up it…hence the rando slow mile in the beginning.

I felt good pretty much the entire time, despite the hilly-for-Richmond terrain we were running. I am especially proud that I ran my fastest mile at mile 9!

All the hills in Richmond.

My goal for the race is to keep the “slow in the beginning, fast in the end” mentality.

And finally, a photo from mile 9 – I was determined to kick this run’s butt!!

You're mine PR!!!


Half Training. Literally.

I feel like I’ve been half-assing my half training this time around. However I still feel like I can PR in November.

Thanks to work events and traveling (and spray tanning) I haven’t been able to do my “long runs” on Saturday morning in a while. In fact, I’ve been to exactly TWO half marathon training team runs since the program started in early August. I’ve literally not been in Richmond for the remainder of the weekends. No wonder I’m so behind on wedding planning…

So I’ve been doing my scheduled long runs on Mondays, since I work from home and have a lot more flexibility then. I can get out of bed (or not) and start work at 7am if I want. I can use my lunch hour to run. It’s truly glorious. The only downside is that I have to provide my own fuel, water and route planning when I do these runs alone. I’d much rather run with a group and not have to lug around my hydration belt.

Thankfully I’m in town for the next three weekends and will be able to make it to the 9 miler, 10 miler, and the 6 miler drop down. I’m out of town for work for the 11 miler and I’m getting married the day of the 12 miler (yea..don’t think that run’s gonna happen). We’ll see if I’m able to make up either…

I’m still feeling surprisingly good. I’ve only been running 3 times a week and doing BodyPump 2-3 times. I did a total of ZERO strength workouts for my other two half marathons, so we’ll see if pumping iron does any good this time around. I was SO EXACT about the training plans for my last two half marathons that my laissez-faire attitude kind of scares me this time around. But I’ve been “running seriously” for over a year now and I think my base is pretty strong…I hope I can PR!!

Yesterday I ran 5 miles. Nothing special. Drop down week. 9:04 pace. Fast for me. Kept it flat. Today is WINE AND DASH so you know I’ll be extra speedy (wine really is a great motivator).

Sorry past self, future self is going to smoke you.


8 M-eye-ler

Yes that says 8 miler…

Allow me to explain.

I woke up this morning with one goal in mind: run 8 miles NO MATTER WHAT. I am fortunate enough to work from home on Mondays, so I knew I could get this run in at anytime today. I worked allllll weekend and get to “recover” when I work long hours, so I didn’t feel guilty taking some time away from work to get this done. I was supposed to tackle these 8 miles Saturday morning, but, of course, I was working. Anyways…

I got up early and got sucked into work almost immediately (but in my pjs, so I can’t really complain). I worked through about 12:30 and reached a natural stopping point. It was now or never.

I suited up, filled up my hydration belt and hit the road. It was rather hot today (83ish?) but not TOO crazy. I coasted through the first 3 miles with no emphasis on pace. I just wanted to get the miles in.

Then out of no where my eye started to freak out. I’m pretty sure a bug flew into it. It was super annoying and I couldn’t get it to go away. I tried to run it out (ummm not sure what I was thinking with that one?!) but ended up having to stop around mile 3.75. Thankfully I had my trusty iPhone along for the ride and attempted to take photos of my eye so I could see what was going on.

Super ewwww.

I managed to get whatever it was out and continued on my way. Around mile 5 I started to feel fatigued. I only did ONE 3 miler on the treadmill last week, so I think my body was a little shocked with the distance. I kept telling myself to just DO IT. What’s another 3 miles?!

I had some extra motivation actually…a family friend passed away yesterday. She fought a LONG battle with cancer and died yesterday. She was young – maybe only a few years older than me. My brother and her brother were college roommates and their family attended the same church as we did growing up. I was feeling sad about the whole thing today and on my run I thought, “RUN BECAUSE YOU CAN CARRIE.”

I am thankful that my body is well enough to take me ANY sort of distance. I need to take advantage of my good health – you never know what the future may bring. I am LUCKY to be able to run, even if it isn’t always easy for me. Really, pain, difficulty and suffering are extremely relative. No amount of discomfort I can feel while running can even come close to what our friend had to go through – or can even come close to what her family is feeling now.

The last 3 miles of my run were challenging, but I kept a positive attitude and finished with a smile.

Run because you can!!

Ok so my smile looks a little forced, but my legs were feeling it!

I’m proud of my stats…

And EVEN BETTER?! Thanks to my Garmin, I can compare this year’s 8 miler to last year’s (I’m training for the same race again). I even did them on the same day – September 26th. I’m getting faster!

A whole minute per mile faster!


I am thankful I can run. I am happy I can run. I won’t stop running!


Watermelon Beer and a Good Run

I think I found my beer calling…


Heaven in a can?

At the beerfest last week I tasted this gem (tasted it probably 10 times before I felt like the people serving the beer started to recognize me) and I was instantly smitten. When I saw it in Kroger I almost did a happy dance right then and there. Instead I scooped up a six pack and bolted through the self check out. Forget waiting in the damn deli cheese line…mama needs her watermelon beer.

It’s a wheat beer with a subtle watermelon flavor. No crazy sweetness going on here. Love. Love. Love.

In running news, I accomplished the best 6 miler of my life. For the Saturday long run, my “team” with the Half Marathon Training Team, the Falcons, is supposed to start running at 7:15am. I had some last minute bathroom needs to take care of before I left the house (sorry, TMI), so I ended up arriving at the meeting point at 7:10, a little later than I’d hoped. I figured I still had 5 minutes to spare, that I was early. But NO. Our leaders decided to leave early and the late comers were left standing there a bit clueless. Luckily there were several other teams leaving at the time so I jumped in with the Zebras. I spent the entire run attempting to find my friend with the Falcons so the time passed quite quickly. It was also pretty awesome to pass EVERYONE…something I’m definitely not used to. I didn’t end up reaching my friend until mile 5.98, but the run was pretty awesome in my eyes.

9:12?! I’ll take that any day. I felt strong the entire time and loved every minute. It looks like running in the morning may be possible for me after all…at least if I’m chasing people the entire time.

I’ve got a watermelon beer calling my name – over and out!



HMT Week 1 Adjustments

I had big plans for my first week of Half Marathon Training.

Here’s what I aimed to do:

I ended up completely skipping all workouts on Monday. I totally forgot that Brian’s cousin was coming in to town for work, and we planned to have dinner with her. I usually add this kind of thing to my calendar, but it literally slipped my mind. By the time I remembered she was coming it was too late to squeeze in a workout. That put me at -1 Spin and -1 Bodypump for the week. Not such a good start.

I managed to make it to Wine and Dash on Tuesday (just barely!) but bailed on my Wednesday run. I spent the ENTIRE day driving around Richmond delivering cupcake invites for a work event and I was completely exhausted by the time I got home. And we had our final priest meeting at 6:30 so it was dark by the time I got home. I felt tired from the day’s work, so I didn’t mind taking a rest day.

Thursday I managed to squeeze in 3 miles after volleyball, so I caught up a bit. I also scratched working out on Friday. I did my Saturday AM run and plan to go to BodyPump today. So my ACTUAL workouts look like this:

Honestly, not too happy with this, but I did have to make some adjustments due to unforeseen circumstances. I plan to work really hard in week 2, and FORCE MYSELF to do some freaking strength training. I have several Groupons/Living Social deals to fitness-related places, so I am going to see what strength classes work with my schedule.

In other news, pics from the training team are up! I love that the team comes with a photographer…it’s fun to look at the photos week by week. Here are the two he managed to snap of me.

I heart purple. And running with friends!

Feeling like all sorts of crap.

My plan for this week is to run in the early AM on Thursday. Time to start that transition into a morning runner. Major UGG. But hopefully it will make the Saturday long runs a lot more tolerable.

Time to feed my belly and prep for PUMP!

Morning Runs are the Pits

No really, I suck at running in the morning.

I don’t know what it is, but it needs to change. Pretty much ALL races are in the morning.

Lately I’ve been doing all of my runs in the evening…even hitting the pavement in 95 degree 6:30pm weather. But now that half marathon training has started up again, I’m going to be doing my long runs at 7:15am on Saturdays.

This morning’s long run was only 3 miles, but I felt so crappy that I had to walk just after mile 1. I didn’t start out too fast or anything…I just felt like crud. My ribs started to feel super tight and I was having a hard time breathing. WHAT GIVES?!

My stats:

Still a respectable pace, but I really had to work for it. And it doesn’t even make sense since I was about to maintain an 8:40 pace for 3 miles on Thursday evening AFTER playing 2 hours of volleyball.

I really don’t know what else could have caused my misery other than the fact that I’m simply not used to rolling out of bed and running. The 5k I ran 2 weeks ago was similarly miserable and it had a 7:30am start. Maybe my body needs to eat and process 2 meals before it can comfortably run?!?

Whatever it is, I’m going to have to start getting used to these morning runs or I can kiss a new PR goodbye!


Half Marathon Training: DAY 1

I started training for the McDonald’s Half Marathon (Nov 12).

I am doing the training team again – LOVE IT – but sadly had to miss the first official day. It’s my little bro’s birthday, so we headed to a beer, bourbon and bbq fest in NC instead. I was bummed to miss the kick off, but I did manage to squeeze in 3 miles this evening. A storm pushed my run a little late (I left at 7:45pm), but the sky was ridiculously awesome. I wish I had brought my camera. The temps also dropped to about 85, so that was awesome.

Not too shabby considering all the beer I drank this weekend. Maybe the carbs pushed me through!

I’ve come a long way since last year’s half training. Check out my very first Garmin-recorded run from September 2010.

I’m almost a whole minute per mile faster now!

Should my goal be sub 2 hours?! I think I might be able to do it…