Onward Shay! Half-Marathon Recap

Hi Guys I hope you are having an amazing week and had a great Halloween.  I thought I would share a little race recap with you.  

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Sunday was the Onward Shay half marathon.  A little while back I told myself I was going to stick to shorter distance running but my running girls talked me into this one!  I think it is an amazing cause to support so why not.  I didn’t really have a goal going into this race, but I was feeling strong and ready.  When I saw the weather was forecasting rain I was dreading it.  It brought back memories of my Portland Marathon experience in the pouring rain.  I told myself I was not going to let the rain get me this time.  I remained focused and didn’t let myself get mental.  It poured rain almost the entire time.  My feet and clothes were soaking wet when I was done.  I was feeling sore but I felt good.  It wasn’t my best half marathon, but I feel good with my overall time of 1:55.  For now though I think I will stick to shorter distance running!   

One of the questions I get from friends or new runners is about my nutrition before, during and after runs.  So I thought I would recap that as well for you guys.  I think it is important to find what works for you and stick to it.  It’s kinda boring but it will ensure you have a great race.  

The Night Before

I am super picky about what I eat right before a race and I have learned what my body can tolerate pre long runs.  So I whipped up a chicken stir fry with some white rice.  I try to stick to rice or sweet potatoes and chicken before a race because I seem to tolerate those foods the best.  Went to bed early and had my normal pre bed rituals.  

Race Day

I woke up WAY TOO EARLY!  I tried to stay in bed and fall back to sleep but that didn’t happen.  So I got up and had my 1 cup of coffee, read my Bible and wrote in my journal.  I find morning to be my most relaxing time when the house is quiet and I have some time to reflect and connect with God.  

Pre-Race Breakfast

Since the race starts at Noon I decided that I was going to have a bigger breakfast.  I stuck to my typical breakfast that I eat before a long run.  I had oatmeal cooked with ½ a mashed banana, almond milk, peanut butter and chocolate protein powder.  I wanted to eat more early so I could have it all digested by race time.  I also drank about 80z of water with my breakfast.  On the way to church I did pick up a soy latte.  I was hoping this didn’t mess up my stomach and it was fine.  

Pre-Race Snack

Since the race was at Noon this was very different since I am accustomed to running early in the morning around 8am.  I headed off to church at 9am (I can’t miss church it throws my week totally off) and made sure to bring my water with me, so I could sip on it.  I did not feel hungry so I decided to skip any pre-race snack.  I opted for water instead.  

During the Run

I am very picky about the nutrition I use during races.  For longer races I like to stick to water and more natural options like raisins, dates with almond butter or fig newtons.  However, my friends at the Pulse running store hooked me up with a Huma gel a few weeks ago and I fell in love.  So at around mile 5 I started taking little bits of my gel followed by water.  It got me through to the finish.  Huma gels rock.  They are all natural chia energy gels.  My favorite flavors are the strawberry lemonade and plain lemonade.  

Post Run

After grabbing a water, a banana, and a bar.  I headed straight for my friend Teresa at the Foothill Physical Therapy booth for a calf massage.  Man did it feel good even though I was freezing!  I think it helped with my recovery too.  I never really feel like eating after a race, but I was starving.  So I had some water and a Back Country Bar.  Later that night I was still not hungry so I had a small amount of  stew for dinner and a banana peanut butter protein “ice cream” for dessert.  For some reason I was craving a banana.  

The Day After

Man was I sore!  I got up and went to the gym although I was not feeling it!  I met my friend and we focused on upper body.  I rode the bike for about 10 minutes to warm up and I think that helped loosen up my legs.  I was struggling at the gym but at least I went.  As for nutrition, I was starving!  I am always super hungry the day after.  I ate a big breakfast of eggs, turkey bacon and avocado toast with coffee.  For a snack I had another Backcountry Bar and for lunch I had smoothie.  It was Halloween so I indulged in some wine, chili and some treats at my friend Holly’s epic Halloween Party.  

I hope these tips help you with your next run.  Do any of you have any special rituals or things you do before a run?  

Training Tips For a Half Marathon

Half Marathon Runnning TipsGetting My Groove Back

Hi Guys!  I hope everyone had an amazing weekend and enjoyed the first week of school.  It’s always a hectic time of year, but I do enjoy getting back to school and to a routine.  A week ago I went out for a run with my girlfriends and was planning to run 6-7 miles.  I actually ended up running almost 9 miles.  I am not going to lie I felt really good and could have kept going.  Like I said in a previous post, I have been kinda slacking on my running lately.  This little runner’s high motivated me to sign up for a half marathon in October The Onward Shay.  The girls I run with are running it so it will be a lot of fun.  I thought I would share with you what my training will be for this race and some tips and tricks I have learned from running several half and full marathons.  

First off, I don’t really have a time goal.  I would like to be under 2 hours, but I am not going to stress out if I am not.  I really just want to go out and enjoy the run.  I plan to incorporate a lot of cross training and yoga into my training  plan.  I also want to dial in my nutrition a little bit as well over the course of my training.  

My Plan

I really like Hal Higdon’s training. I am the type of person who likes to cross things off a list and having a schedule to stick to really helps me.  I plan to use his as a guide and make a few changes to personalize it to my own needs. 

Here is what my week will look like at a glance:

  • Monday:  2-3 Mile Interval Run and Strength Train
  • Tuesday:  Cross Train (boot camp class)
  • Wednesday:  Tempo/Pace Run or Hill Repeats 3-4 Miles
  • Thursday:  Cross Train (boot camp class)
  • Friday:  Orangetheory
  • Saturday:  Rest or Yoga
  • Sunday:  Long Run

As for my nutrition I won’t really change much, but I do need to figure out what to eat or drink during the actual half marathon.  In the past I have eaten mini lara bars, fig newtons or  salted dates stuffed with peanut butter (SOOOOO GOOOOOD)!  I cannot use gels or sports drinks because they tend to upset my stomach and cause cramping.  Usually I just put a pinch of salt in my water and it seems to work for me.  Here are a few tips for running a half marathon that have helped me out

Beginner Half Marathon Tips

Running Groups

Run your long run with friends if  you can.  It helps to have a group to get you through those long runs.  If you don’t have friends that run, look for a local running group.  

Increase Mileage Slowly

Build up your mileage slowly each week.  Avoid increasing your mileage drastically.  

Find a plan

Like I mentioned above I like to have a training plan and there are a lot of plans out there on the web.  Find one you like and stick to it.  

Rest Days

Resting is very important for your body and brain.  Rest is when your body repairs itself to help prevent injury.  Don’t try to run every day.  Most training plans incorporate off days or cross training days.  My plan has me running 3 times a week and it is working great.  On your rest days try to incorporate some stretching and foam rolling.   

Gear Up

Get running shoes that are properly fitted to your foot.  Find accessories and gear that make runs easier.  Some of my favorites are hydration belts, garmin watches, and a nice pair of headphones for those solo runs.  

Cross Train

Incorporate cross training like cycling, swimming, strength training, or take a fitness class.  This will help build your cardio endurance and muscular strength while conditioning different muscle groups and preventing overuse injuries.

Nutrition & Hydration

Be in tune with your hunger, just because you burned 1,000 calories during a run doesn’t mean you need to replace all those calories in one day.  I personally don’t feel hungry after my long run, so I eat more the next day.  Throw in a quick post workout snack to consume right after your run.    

Be sure to drink during your run if you can and hydrate throughout the day every day.  Aim for 16-48 ounces of fluid for any long runs at moderate intensity over an hour.  Take small sips as needed throughout your run.  

Race Fuel

Experiment with fuel.  Find what works for your body and make sure you practice with your fuel during your long runs.

I hope these tips help you get started on your goal to running a half marathon.  For your first half marathon try not to beat yourself up if you don’t meet a certain time.  Having a goal is great but finishing a half marathon is a huge accomplishment.   

Do any of you out there plan to run a fall half-marathon or race?  I would love to hear which one you are doing.