Category Archives: half-marathon

Half-Marathon Training

My next – and second – half-marathon will be in November. It is my goal to do the Lady Speed Stick Women’s Half Marathon in St. Petersburg on Sunday November 18, 2012.

This course is very similar to the Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon I did on February, my first. I can still remember that day so vividly and I literally had a runner’s high for days afterwards. I laughed, cried, ran, and walked my way through those 13.1 miles, finishing in 3:11:33, a good 13+ minutes before my estimated 3:25 finish.

The moment I finished, I knew I had to do another. I have my sights set on the Women’s Half with hopes of beating my previous time, even by just a little bit.

The trick now is to pick a training plan. From what I see, training plans vary from 12-19 weeks, perhaps longer. I like the run/walk method of Jeff Galloway as I don’t know that I can ever be a full-time runner. It is hard for me. I push myself and try my hardest, but it does not come easy for me. Honestly, while so many people finish in the 2+ hour mark (and they are all my heros), I would be happy finishing my next one in just under 3:00. As in 2:59 would make me a happy girl.

Here’s my problem… Summer is here. And summer in Florida SUCKS. It’s hot and humid. I can walk out my front door in the morning and instantly start sweating. The thought of running in it is very overwhelming. Running in the heat is so different than running in the cooler weather. I just can’t do it for long. If I do a 19-week training plan, that puts me starting mid-July (YIKES!). If I do a 12-week training plan, it’s early -September. I did not follow a training plan for my first, but if I want to set a PR, I know I need to train for this one. So… what should I do? Also, what kind of strenth training should I incorporate?

I welcome advice from runners and any input you might have. I know there are books out there, but I love to heard first-hand experience. Thanks so much!


My first half-marathon!

Today was a very a special day. I will remember it for a very long time. Back on December 29, 2011, I registered for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in St. Petersburg. I was determined to do it. I walked and ran in preparation. I expected to walk most of it and run what I could.

This past week was full of anticipation. It was all I could think about. After I picked up my bib, shirt, and swag bag on Friday – I couldn’t contain my excitement any longer. This was the weekend I would finally become a half-marathoner. All day yesterday, I wanted the day to pass quickly so I could go to sleep and wake up this morning. Like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting oh-so impatiently for Christmas Day.

The alarm went off at 4am this morning and I was ready to go. I showered, dressed, ate a good breakfast, got my stuff together, and we were out the door at 5:20am to beat the traffic to Tropicana Field in St. Pete. The only thing I was worried about was the weather. IT. WAS. FREEZING. With the wind chill it felt like it was in the 30’s and it was windy. I was shivering all the way to my bones. I started out in 2 shirts, a jacket, and gloves.

Finally it was time. The first corral started at 7:30. I was in Corral 12 based on what I thought my finishing time would be. We had to finish in 4 hours and I projected 3:25. We started at 7:46:23 am. Within the first mile, I could not contain myself and I started running. I ran off an on through the whole race. I wasn’t running to beat others or to finish by a certain time. I was just running because I could and because I was on an adrenaline high. This was the farthest mileage I’d ever put in where I was running a good portion of it. I’m not a fast runner, but I run.

Hubby received texts on his phone as I crossed certain points: 5k, 10k, 10 mile, and finish. I saw him three times during my run – right at the start,  the 5k mark, and at the finish line. He took some great photos for me.

There were bands and music throughout and lots of wonderful people cheering us on, handing out water and Gatorade. It all kept me going.

By the 5k mark, I was ready to take my jacket off, as I had finally warmed up. The gloves would stay on the rest of the way.

At about the halfway point, I realized that I was really going to do this. I was going to finish this and finish it good. For me. It was very emotional experience. I cried many times during for many reasons…. This was a HUGE thing for me, it was HARD, and I was so proud of myself for taking it on, and riding out the determination of doing it as the weeks passed leading up to it. I didn’t let my insecurities get in the way or focus on all the what-ifs, and my downfalls. I cried from the sheer beauty of the route, especially as we ran along the water. I cried because I knew there would be so many people who would be proud of me for accomplishing this. And I cried because I wished more than anything Daddy was here to hear all about it, to tell me how proud he was of me.

When I hit the 10-mile mark, it felt SO close. Never had 3.11 miles felt so far or so close all at once. When the route was closest to the finish line and I could here the music and people cheering, it made me want to push myself farther and harder. When I rounded the last corner in mile 12 and saw the 13 mile mark and the finish line just past that, I was in tears again. I was so close to finishing, so close to completing this goal I had set for myself.

I saw hubby just before the finish line and that made me cry more. He was there for me as he always is. He supports me and I love him dearly for it.

Crossing over the finish line was a blur. My official finish time was 3:11:33, coming in 6503 out of 7006. I was handed a medal, given a blanket, a bottle of water, and a banana. My picture was taken with my medal on. It was then that I realized I had not stopped my watch. I texted hubby to tell him I was waiting in the family area and waited. When I finally saw him, I was so excited. And then, I saw my mom and Jenna! What a surprise that was. I had just texted my mom to tell her I had finished. I had no clue they were there, even though I found out afterwards that they were standing right by hubby at the finish line. Me and my tunnel vision…

Again I was crying, overwhelmed at finishing, seeing hubby, and seeing my mom and Jenna. they had balloons, and were so proud of me. It was a moment I will not forget.

The day could not have gone more perfect. I started the race with my good friend Terrie, knowing that she was doing it in honor of two very special people as part of Team In Training. I ended the race, feeling extremely proud and strong and loved. And I was so excited to hug Terrie and enjoy the moment with her, knowing we both finished. We did it.

The afternoon was topped off perfectly with a great lunch, with Nick and Autumn joining us. I am exhausted and sore beyond belief, but it is still a wonderful thing. And tomorrow, the 13.1 decal will go on my car. Finally.

Terrie and I in the freezing cold this morning. Brrrr!

Starting line!

At the 5K mark.

A beautiful day for a half-marathon.

What a view!

Approaching the finish line - determined!

So excited to see everyone!


Feeling very accomplished! Terrie and I did it!!

A well-deserved beer at the end!

Ready to go!

I picked up my race bib and swag bag today. FINALLY, it’s the weekend of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in St. Pete. I even bought the 13.1 decal for my car. Yes, I have issues. But everytime I see a car with one, I want one! Can’t wait to put it on my car after Sunday. I am so excited. After Sunday, I’ll officially be able to call myself a half-marathoner!


So exciting!


All I can think about this week is the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon this weekend. It seems a little surreal that I am doing it. I am so excited and ready to do it!! I just watched a video of the course tour. And now, I. CAN’T. WAIT. Oh my goodness. It’s going to be a great route. If you’d like to view the course tour (the music is great!), go here:


I am going to give it my all. I’m going to do my best and enjoy every minute of it. No matter when I finish, I WILL finish. I can’t wait to get the metal. Here is what it looks like:

Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon St. Petersburg, FL 2012



And after it’s all done, I can’t wait to put a 13.1 sticker on my car. Seriously. I have to have one. I will have deserved it.


True Confessions Tuesday

A few of the blogs I follow do a True Confessions Tuesday post. It’s a chance to confess to things I need to, to get things off my shoulders, hold myself accountable, or acknowledge something I need to change or well, just let the world know. Here goes…

  • I CONFESS that I did not walk Sunday, yesterday, or Tuesday. I was beyond exhausted Sunday morning and I used that as an excuse to sit around in my jammies and redo my blog before we all went out to dinner in the afternoon. Also since Sunday, we have been a vehicle short as hubby’s truck is in the shop. My morning starts earlier to take him to work and then I pick him up in the evening. So, no walking. Mind you, the last three weeks I’ve walked ALOT and I certainly don’t think it’s the end of the world that I haven’t walked the past 3 days.
  • I CONFESS that while I am SUPER excited about the half-marathon on Sunday, I am also a little bit nervous. I can walk like there’s no tomorrow and I plan to run part of it as well. The part I’m nervous about is how I’ll feel as the majority of the participants run right by, leaving me in their dust. However, I know that I will do the best that I can and will be super proud of myself for completing my first half-marathon.
  • I CONFESS that I’m still a little bit miffed that I am 40 years old. I know, it’s just a number and it shouldn’t matter. But a part of it does. It’s that little reminder how my body has failed me in a very important way.
  • I CONFESS that I LOVE Zumba. This from the person who swore she would never do it. It’s ironic, I know. I didn’t make it to class last night (due to previously mentioned vehicle issue) and I missed it. It’s fun. Whether or not I can do the moves, I am still out there moving and having fun. Having a fantastic instructor (Tiffany!) and the company of my sister (Jenni!) helps also.
  • I CONFESS that I may be obsessed with my Kindle Fire. I have so many books to read on there and I keep adding to it.
  • I CONFESS that I am tired of wondering what everyone thinks of me. Sometimes I am super confident and other times I assume everyone thinks the worst of me. From here on out, I choose to not care. I am who I am and it is impossible to please everyone all of the time. Take me as I am and we’ll get along just fine.

That’s all for this week! Is there anything you’d like to confess?


Training with a friend!

The past month, my good friend Terrie and I have been meeting on Saturday’s to walk in preparation for the Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon on February 12. We both knew the other was planning to do the half marathon, but it was by chance that we started getting together weekly to walk together. She has a hip injury that reared it’s ugly head and her usual training took a back seat. She just happened to get ahold of me one day and asked if I wanted to meet up with her to walk. Sure! I am so glad we did.

Since then, we have walked 5 times – three times along Bayshore Blvd. in Tampa, we did a 5K in Wesley Chapel, and last week we walked our farthest together, 11 miles over the causeway to Clearwater Beach and Sand Key.

Walking has always been a stress-reliever for me and walking with a friend is an added bonus. Just like my walks with Jenna, it is always wonderful! Terrie and I have a common goal in mind with the half marathon coming up next week. I am super excited that we will share this experience together, our first half-marathon. Whatever our finishing times are next week, we will be cheering each other on. it’s not about who will finish first or last. Even if we get separated, we will support each other to the finish line. I can’t wait!!

A few of my favorite pics from our walks….

A glorious sunrise at Ballast Point Park
in South Tampa

Memorial Causeway to Clearwater Beach
Sunrise over downtown Clearwater
View of Sand Key from Memorial Causeway
in Clearwater
View of downtown Tampa from
Ballast Point Park

Beautiful Byshore Blvd. in Tampa

I’m gonna do it!

Earlier in the year I mentioned wanting to do the Rock ‘N Roll 1/2 Marathon in St. Pete in February. When I stopped my running / walking routine, I thought that was now just a dream. How could I possibly do it?

I have not stopped thinking about it. Whether I’ve been running or walking or not in the past few crazy busy months, it has been on my mind. The other night it occurred to me that there is nothing stopping me from doing it. Why not? I must be crazy! This prompted me even more to get off my butt yesterday morning and go running/walking. Even after not doing it for a few months, my time was not awful.

I asked hubby if he thought I could do it and of course he said YES. (thank you honey!) If he thinks I can do it, then I know I can. And having him at the finish line, waiting for me and cheering me on will motivate me even more.

It’s 2 weeks after my 40th birthday. I can’t think of a better time to do my first 1/2 marathon. I’M GONNA DO IT!!! I may not run the whole thing, but I’ll give it my best shot and will feel very accomplished when it’s over, whatever my time may be. 2012 is going to be MY year. I’m going to do more things for myself and this seems like a pretty good way to start it.

I’m gonna do it!!