Half-Marathon Musings & Goals

My work hosted our first annual 5k at the conference last week.  Look, my feet aren’t touching the ground- I’m flying (and heel striking, dang it!!) :p

Hi friends!  I appreciate all of your lovely comments on our wedding photographs.  Eventually I’ll have a whole slew of posts with specific details and a plethora of photos to bore you guys with show everyone! 😀

Half-Marathon Goals

It’s hard to believe that my first half-marathon is less than two weeks away.  Less than a year and a half ago I could barely run a mile.  In fact, in my very first blog post in May 2009 I wrote:

Thoughts on running- I always wanted to be one of those people to which running came naturally. Alas, that has never been the case for me. I’m trying to change that, and the past couple of times I’ve gone running it hasn’t been completely terrible. That is, I don’t feel like I’m going to die the entire time. I am still waiting for that elusive runners high… I think if I go longer I can do it!

Fast forward 16 months.  I’ve ran numerous races and even made it to double digit runs, coming in at 445 miles ran in 2010 as of today.  Woohoo!   It’s safe to say that I’ve experienced numerous runners highs 🙂  I’ve endured my share of injuries — IT Band issues and swollen arches come to mind — but I wouldn’t trade them for anything.  Well, what I really mean is that I sustained these injuries on my path to becoming a runner.  I dealt with them and overcame them and am now a stronger runner for it. 

Going into the race, I have a few time goals in mind, based upon my skill level and my natural pace.  The only person I’m racing is myself.  Which is what I love about running.  Anyway.  When I ran the 14k back in February, it was my first race that was a length other than 5k.  I went into without any expectations and was very pleased with my results.  Of course, I think I ran a little faster/better because I was running with Brian.  I won’t have that luxury during the half but that’s okay.  My final stats were:

  • 8.73 miles ran
  • Time: 1:29:09
  • Pace: 10:12 mi average

Overall I was really happy with my performance.  With that, I went into the Boilermaker 15k with the hopes of finishing in under 1:40.  Mmm that didn’t really happen.  There really was no rhyme or reason for my goal.  I guess I just figured “hey, I’m only adding on less than a mile, I can totally do that in ten minutes,” not taking into account that the 14k course was flat and it was oh, February in Virginia Beach, so quite chilly (which is easier to run in in my opinion).  For those of you familiar with the Boilermaker, it is anything but flat.  And yeah, incredibly hot, hence the race name “Boilermaker.”  Still, I finished in 1:45 and was so proud of myself and my time.  That race was damn hard! 

Looking back at my two longer race times and conditions coupled with the times on my long training runs (10 miles: 1:47; 11 miles: 2:01; 10 miles: 1:45), I have these goals in mind:

  • I know I can: Finish in under 2:30
  • I think I can: Finish in under 2:25
  • I hope I can: Finish in under 2:17

Even with those goals, I’ll still be ridiculously happy if I can just finish.  I’ve come a long way since my “I can’t even run for a minute” days.  😀 

Obviously, running the half is my ultimate goal.  Still, I’ve learned a lot training for it.  One being that I like looking at my stats.  Including:

  • Miles run: 150
  • Number of weeks in training: 8
  • Toenails lost: 1
  • Pounds gained: 3-5
  • Inches lost (in waist): 1
  • Ice baths taken: 3
  • Ice baths enjoyed: 0
  • Gus consumed: ~10
  • Injuries: None, aside from the random toe issue a month back.  *knocks on wood*
  • Cross-training: Bikram yoga 2x a week
  • Number of days a week spent running: Mostly 3, sometimes 4
  • Glasses of wine given up: 1 (I just started last night.  It was painful).

As of yesterday (Tuesday), I decided I will not be drinking any alcohol until the race is over.  Wow, big deal right?  I usually end my night with a glass of red wine so this is kind of difficult, haha.  I have a wedding to attend this weekend, a board meeting to go to with cocktails after AND I’m going to the Bills/Jets game in Buffalo.  Oh well, the half-marathon is more important than a stupid beer.  Or glass of red wine.  Right??  Right.

I’m also only wearing flats.  Which can get interesting since some of my work pants are a bit longer and require heels.  It’s okay though.  I’m training for a half-marathon, not trying to win a style award 😉  I will be wearing heels to the wedding though.  Some things just can’t be compromised.  😀

I stepped on the scale for the first time this morning since I started training.  I’ve gained some weight.  I’m not sure of the exact number since I forget what I weighed before but I think it is in the 3-5 pound range.  At the same time, my waist and stomach have gotten smaller- I can notice it and I measured this morning and saw that I’ve lost an inch there.  I’m assuming the gain is in my quads.  Muscle does not weigh more than fat.  A pound of fat is the same as a pound of muscle.  It just takes up less space.  So I’m just hoping that I’ve gained some muscle (although three pounds worth in two months???  Probably not.  Who knows).  Do you gain weight when training for a distance race?  I’ve heard it’s pretty common.

So that’s where I’m at in my half-marathon training.  I have set attainable goals and am working hard to get there.  I’ve learned a lot and have made some great friends through running.   Thank you for following along with me 🙂

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22 Comments

Filed under Half Marathon, Running

22 responses to “Half-Marathon Musings & Goals

  1. You sound like you are all set to go! Good luck and have a great time! Can’t wait to read your recap 🙂

  2. Nicki

    You are so going to rock your half!! Wish I could manage to get up to see you and everyone else run it. Not going to happen, unfortunately.

    You go on the flats – shoes, not terrain! I did wear kitten heels after doing a 20K in June. The occasion was a wedding.

  3. Jen

    I love the idea of this post…it makes me think too. I really have no idea what pace I’m going to be able to maintain on race day, but judging by my long runs I’m hoping to stay just under 10:30/mile. AHHH. I can’t believe it’s so soon. We’ve worked SO hard. I’m so excited…and honestly a bit nervous too. It’s going to be GREAT!

    ps: I just signed up for the Pittsburgh half marathon in May 2011…

  4. I am so proud of you katie! You are going to rock your half marathon, I just know it! And LOL on the toe nail. I keep waiting and waiting for just one to fall off ( I think it would make me feel more hardcore) but nothing yet.

    Oh and I actually just weighed myself and was surprised that I was down 6 pounds! It’s been a roller coaster over here though. One week I will be up 5 pounds and now I am down. Not really sure what is going on.

  5. J

    You are going to do great! Just enjoy every mile and have fun! I have noticed that I have actually lost weight from running but I think that is because I used to weigh more and have more muscle due to playing basketball in college. I think its just a leaner version of myself. I stay a pretty constant weight now though.

  6. Your such an inspiration!! I’m a relativity new runner, thank you for sharing your story! 🙂

  7. lowandbhold

    I totally gain weight when training, and I usually don’t lose inches in the waist (not that I measure, but my pants let me know) so I think you’re totally fine. Just gaining muscle and probably retaining more water.

    You’re doing so well with your goals and I know you will do awesome at the half! Good luck!

    I’m also trying to decide when I need to give up alcohol. The marathon is less than 2 months away, so I’ve only been imbibing once maybe twice a week but I think at least two weeks before it’ll have to be all water all the time.

  8. Wow you’ve come such a long way and you’ve kept such good records of your journey! Best of luck with your half!

  9. You are totally on target to hit your main goal, if not the others! And I think cutting back on the alcohol and heels is a good idea! 🙂

    I’ve heard of a lot of people gaining weight while training too! I lost weight this time, but because I was trying to. I need to lose a few pounds 😉

    I am so excited for your first half! You are going to have so much fun!

  10. The race is so soon!! I remember first reading your blog & you were running 5Ks and look at you now 🙂

    “Muscle does not weigh more than fat. A pound of fat is the same as a pound of muscle.” <– haha so true. I very rarely weigh myself but I could feel it in my clothes that I gained some weight during marathon training. The thing is, I felt like I lost it relatively quickly after training which means it was mostly water/glycogen stores/prob. some fat. It sooooo didn't matter though- because your body is making these adaptations for a reason…so you can do awesome things 🙂

  11. You have come so far! Did you pull that old thought right out of my head? I am so proud of you 🙂 Unless your cloths are not fitting and that makes you unhappy I say don’t worry about weight. You are amazing!

  12. My thighs definitely gain more muscle when I’m running a lot. When I ran that marathon three years ago, I actually gained like 5-7 pounds while training. I think that had to do with being very hungry more than anything!

    I think you will achieve all your goals for the race!

  13. You are so close to your goal!!! You’ve become a running machine since you started blogging.

    When I trained for my marathon, I lost weight, about 4 lbs? Never fear, once that baby was over, I gained back what I had lost and then some 😉 In reality it wasn’t that bad. I think I gained like 7 lbs or something.

  14. dude you are amazing!!! you are so going to rock it.

    i gain weight when i am running hardcore but at the same time i feel much healthier! just sometimes when my hunger gets out of whack i realize that i eat all day after long runs. but normally i do think it is bulking up muscle and it’s so much more important how you feel. you’re in great shape! go get it!

  15. You are totally going to rock your race!

    I thought I would lose weight while training for my full, but I didn’t!!! I think it’s because I had to eat for fuel. Funny thing is, I think I’ve lost a bit now that I’m not running so much, so who the heck knows!

  16. You’ll do great…isn’t it so exciting when something you’ve worked towards for so long is coming up! I’ve stopped trying to figure out what goes on with my weight, it never makes sense. I can’t wait to hear about your experience. I’ll never forget the first half I ran!

  17. Pingback: Half Marathon Training Reflection | Jen is Green

  18. You are definitely in the position to rock this half! I think it’s a good call to give up alcohol for a few days before, though I too usually end my day with a glass of wine (or occasionally a beer) so I know how hard it can be not to have that ritual glass.

  19. i gained about 5 pounds when training for my first marathon. It’s pretty common. I will admit that I also wasn’t eating that healthy and was using marathon training as an excuse to eat anything. But it’s not uncommon to gain some muscle weight.

  20. Julie

    Hey Lady,
    Oh my gosh, I always get pictures of both my feet off of the ground too! You are right, we are flying:)

    I think you have a great goal set for your first half…I predict you do way better than you think! Two weeks and counting! Have an excellent weekend Katie!

  21. You are ready for this race!! I hope that you can reach your goals. It is supposed to be a beautiful day.

  22. good luck with your goals. Have fun in the HM.

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