Well, I did it. All the training and hard work definitely paid off. 13.1. It was amazing, when it was over with.
On April 22, I ran the Earth Day Half Marathon in St. Cloud, MN. I stayed in St. Cloud the night before to avoid having a drive in the morning before the race. The evening before, I indulged in some pasta from the Olive Garden. Any excuse to eat carbs is completely okay with me.
The morning of, I ate a peanut butter and jelly, English muffin, some eggs, a yogurt and banana. I also drank plenty of water and was sure to get a lot of sleep. I ended up wearing running leggings that tied on the top so they didn’t move during the run, an Under Armour tank top and a running light zip-up jacket. I had Brooks running shoes on as well.
As a rookie marathon runner, I figured out before the start–that you want to line up at your projected finish marker, since you will be running at a similar pace as those people.
So, once I decided where I wanted to finish (I choose the 2.5 hour marker), with hopes that I could finish around that time. Once the run started, I was feeling good. There were so many people lined up along the route, with encouraging signs and were cheering as people ran by.
For the first 5 miles, I didn’t have any pain and was running at a great pace. I was using the Map My Run app on my phone, so I knew where my pace was at each mile and what my split pace was. I was keeping up with the starter marker, and I was feeling good.
At mile 6, I started getting some cramps in my stomach and my lower back started hurting. Now before the 13.1, my longest run that I trained for was 10 miles long. When you are at 6 miles, 10 doesn’t seem that far off. When you’re going all the way to 13.1, you’re not even half way there at 6.
After reaching mile 8, my stomach and back started to feel better. There were a lot of people I was keeping pace with, and we just kept going. Once you get to 10 miles, your legs just aren’t all the way “there” anymore. My legs just kept going, although my body was very exhausted.
The last few miles were exciting, but it became hard to concentrate on anything else besides “I’m almost done, it’s almost over. Just a little longer.” The last mile was by far the best. My pace had fallen a bit at mile 11, but I was still doing better than I had originally hoped.
That last mile I gave it my all. My app I was using however, was off from the measured distance the run had calculated. So when I thought I was about done, I still had what felt like forever to go. I started to sprint, which was a great idea–but I did it too early. Knowing I was so close (may .3 of a mile out now) away from the finish line, I just couldn’t give up. I ended up making it over that finish line and just wanting to crash.
It was amazing. I felt so great. I did it. I just ran 13.1 miles, and I did it well under my goal of 2.5 hours. My final time across the finish line was 2:11:10.
My body wasn’t hurting significantly besides my lower back. I took pain pills before the run and when I finished, and the pain went away within 5 hours or so. The evening of the run, I was feeling great and was amazed at how well my body handled it. By the end of the night, I realized I may have injured myself a little more than I had hoped.
My foot had endured a lot of pain and seemed to be getting worse the more I was on it. For the rest of the weekend, I continued to ice my foot and try to rest it as much as possible. It has been about 2 1/2 weeks now, and my foot is still hurting. Unfortunately, I think I may have a slight fracture that is going to continue to need time and rest to fully heal.
I was all ready to sign up for the Tough Mudder which takes place in July, but I may be looking at the Tough Mudder 2018 to ensure my foot heals properly. All in all, I a so glad I tried a half marathon and it has inspired me to do more challenges, like the Tough Mudder.
My overall advice from my experience is to listen to your body. Goals are amazing to reach and it’s exciting to finish what you started out for, but be careful. If you’re in pain, your body is telling you it’s too much. Don’t hurt yourself in the process. Your body is a beautiful thing.
As race day nears, I have been trying to figure out what I’m going to wear. The weather looks like the perfect running conditions–with a high of 65 degrees and sunny. At the start of race time, the temperature should be around 45 degrees–warming up to 55 by the time I will be nearing the end.
So what do you wear? This article from Cosmopolitan has been my favorite so far!
Which is worse: Heading out for a run and totally overheating, or completely freezing your ass off?
The truth is that both situations suck — but both are entirely avoidable as long as you dress for weather that’s 15 to 20 degrees warmer than whatever the thermometer reads, says avid runner and The North Face performance apparel product manager Becky Avila.
When temperatures soar above 80 degrees, go with a lightweight, breathable tank top and shorts made from synthetic fabrics like polyester that help moisture evaporate. Natural materials like cotton absorb moisture and hold on to it, which weighs you down and feels totally gross.
Temperatures in the 60s might just be the perfect running weather. A lightweight T-shirt lets in the breeze, while mesh-paneled capris made from nylon and spandex provide awesome coverage, but still let your legs breathe.
When temperatures are in the upper 50s, you really don’t need any base layers. Go for shorts or capris (your choice!), and wear a sweat-wicking long-sleeve shirt right over your sports bra. You can push up the sleeves when you get toasty — it’s more convenient than removing a whole layer and then having to hold it or tie it around your waist while you run.
Accelorate Tank Top, NEW BALANCE, $24; Pria Excel Zip-Through, LORNA JANE, $90; Thermoball Vest, THE NORTH FACE, $149; gFast Marble-Print Leggings, GAP, $54, Fleece-Lined Convertible Mitts, VICTORIA’S SECRET, $25; Z Dual Ride Sneakers, REEBOK, $70.
In the winter you want to wear just enough layers to stay warm, but not too many, which will leave you sweat-soaked and freezing. In the upper 30s, that means a sweat-wicking tank top, a windproof, fleece-lined zip up, leggings, a synthetic-fabric headband that covers your ears, and gloves. (Opt for tech-friendly ones so you can skip around your playlist without peeling off layers.)
Racer-Back Tank, GAP, $25; Windfleece Jacket, ADIDAS, $70; Compression Tights, REEBOK, $50; Fleece-Lined Headband, VICTORIA’S SECRET, $17; ColdGear Infrared Gloves, UNDER ARMOUR, $40; Zigkick Wild Sneakers, REEBOK, $50.
When temperatures hit the low 30s, you’ve got to start layering up. A hybrid jacket with a vest-like body and stretchy sleeves helps promote flexibility and keep the bulk to a minimum. Underneath, all you’ll need is a tank top and long-sleeved shirt. Wear brushed leggings, which feel fleecy inside. They’re designed to keep heat in and wind out, and will be your very best friend this winter — you actually lose a lot of heat from your legs and butt, Avila says. Add a headband and gloves and you’re good to go.
Chi Tank Top, ATHLETICA, $44; Infrared Crew, UNDER ARMOUR, $50; Animagi Hybrid Jacket, THE NORTH FACE, $150; Speed Tights, LULULEMON, $108; Printed Thermal Run Gloves, NIKE (Available at Dick’s Sporting Goods), $22; Winter Warrior Head Wrap, LUCY, $15.
In the high 20s, you’ll want to run in a tank top, light long-sleeved shirt, an insulated jacket, brushed leggings, gloves, and a hat. Make sure your headgear is made of synthetic materials to keep your hair dry when you sweat. And no pom-poms, which will bounce around when you run.
Seamless Tank, Under Armour (Available at Dick’s Sporting Goods), $26; Long-Sleeved Top, H&M, $25; Windfleece Jacket, ADIDAS, $70; Thermal Run Tights, SWEATY BETTY, $155; Run With Me Gloves, LULULEMON , $32; PureProject Running Beanie, BROOKS; $30; Free Flyknit Sneakers, NIKE (Available at Lady Foot Locker), $120.
Bring on the layers in the low 20s — you won’t regret ’em. Start with a tank top, heavy long-sleeved shirt, and light jacket up top, wear brushed leggings, gloves, wind-resistant mittens, and a hat to seal the heat in. And while standard sweat-wicking socks and your favorite sneakers generally work for cold temperatures, special insulated sneakers can keep your toesies extra warm. (A note about the socks: Don’t be tempted to switch up your regular ones for fleece or other warm-looking socks. They’ll trap heat, all right, but that’s not a good thing. When your feet get hot, they sweat and swell, which can cause blisters, Olzinski says. Choose moisture-wicking socks year-round, and always avoid puddles to keep your feet dry and warm.)
Run Swiftly Tech Tank, LULULEMON, $48; Long-Sleeve Crew Neck, THE NORTH FACE, $50; Vidali Hybrid Jacket, THE NORTH FACE (Available at Urban Outfitters), $120; Hyperwarm Leggings, NIKE, $70; Runners ETip Gloves, THE NORTH FACE, $25; Runners Overmitt, THE NORTH FACE, $35; Coffee Run Beanie, UNDER ARMOUR, $25; and Climaheat Rocketboost Sneakers, ADIDAS, $110.
In colder temperatures: If you’re smart, you’ll take your workout indoors. While you can technically still run outside when it’s clear, the air can be extremely dry in the winter, so you have to cover your nose and mouth. And because it’s so freaking cold, you should also wear leg warmers or calf tights, slip on an even heavier jacket, and wear trail-running shoes with extra grip to avoid slips. In other words, it’s a real schlep to sweat in tundra-like conditions. Spare yourself and stay warm with a cardio workout you can do indoors.
Pin the entire guide to reference later!
For about the last two months I have been dealing with some major back pain. During the first few days it got to the point where I started crying while I was lying in bed one night because I couldn’t move or get up. It really affected my everyday activities including work, exercising, sleep and […]
Carbo-loading can help you race without hitting the wall—as long as you do it right.
This workout is perfect for the days you just can’t find enough time. Instead of worrying about fitting in a 45-minute gym session, try this quick 10-minute core workout.
Last night I made this baked caprese chicken recipe and it was AMAZING. I can’t wait to give this one a go again. It was quick and easy, without a lot of cleanup. We made, ate, cleaned up and watched a movie after work–all before 9 p.m. rolled around.
I paired this recipe with a garlic and olive oil couscous. Perfect for a light and tasteful side. Baked Caprese Chicken Recipe
-3-4 chicken breasts (or however many you wish to make)
-1/2 cup fresh basil (1/4 c will be chopped, other 1/4 will be laid on top in full leaves)
-2 roma tomatoes (you can also use chopped canned tomatoes)
-2 tsp fresh garlic (I used minced garlic from a jar)
-1/4 c balsamic glaze (1/8 c to brush on chicken before baking, 1/8 c to top off recipe at end)
-8 ounces fresh mozzarella (cut into slices)
-1 tsp dried oregano (I used an Italian seasoning with the basil and oregano in it)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Line the bottom of a pan with aluminum foil. Then spray the foil with nonstick spray.
- In a small bowl, combine garlic, 1 chopped tomato, fresh chopped basil, oregano; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
- Combine the garlic mixture on top the chicken and around the sides. Sprinkle any additional seasonings you wish.
- Place pan of chicken into the oven and cook until the chicken is completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes. Take the chicken out of the oven and top each piece with a slice of mozzarella, a basil leaf and a tomato slice.
- Return to the oven until cheese is melted (you may choose to broil until cheese is melted).
- Serve immediately, topped with tomatoes, drizzled with balsamic reduction and garnished with basil, if desired.