Marathon 26.2


Sunday, November 2, 2014

My next Half Marathon

Wow, my next half marathon is almost here!  The second one ever!  My training for this next half marathon is so different from my first.  I am training smarter, hydrating more and I will eat better this time.

My last long run was on Thursday of around 9 miles.  Yesterday, I ran 60 minutes on the treadmill at a steady good pace with no walk breaks.  I will probably run another 30 minutes in the treadmill today.  I will finish my training with 2 more runs on the treadmill of 30 minutes each before my race.

I am feeling physically good this morning.  I have no pain in my feet!  I am so thrilled.  I think a combination of things attributed to this pain free morning!  The CEP 2.0 running compression socks I wore during my run, the stretching and acupuncture treatments.

I'm going to keep a positive attitude this week and next time blog more about my training regime and the race itself.

In between training, teaching and cooking, I also found time to knit.  This week I finished my sweater I had been working on to wear during my race weekend.   This sweater was very challenging for me starting out but I was determined to get it done.  Once I figured out the right stitch placements and how to do the right/left lifts correctly,  the sweater became much easier to knit.  The sweater is called Bloomsbury and I purchased the pattern from Ravelry.

Pictures of front and back.  I love the sleeves and the laces in the back.  What a beautiful design!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Food and Running

Last Saturday,  I made the trip to Doraville to the Asian supermarket.  It was a late start and I arrived there around 1:30pm.  The place was super crowded so I picked up mostly essentials, few Asian vegetables, pho soup broth, etc.  I had to finish my trip with a stop to the bakery for my boba tea and pastry.  To my surprise, my favorite bakery was open.  I think it is called the Hong Kong Bakery located in the Asian Square.  It is a small bakery down from the Sweet Hut.  I purchased some fresh (and very delicious) pastry then I stopped by the Sweet Hut for some Boba Tea and Thai tea.  It was a good way to finish the trip.  It was a long car ride (over 4 hours round trip) but well worth it.  Here is what I bought from the bakery:

This is my first full week back into half marathon training.  I am still not at 100% so I want to ease back gently into my training.  Friday is suppose to be my long run day of 6 miles.  By the time I got to the trail, it had turned into a cloudy humid day.  At mile 1, I was not feeling it at all.  It had been a super stressful day and I did not want to run.  I made it for a few laps and finally called it before mile 3.  It was frustrating and when I have really bad running days like this, I wonder if I should stop running all togetherness, not run the half in November.  I was in full feeling sorry for myself mode.  Besides, my heel was slightly hurting.  I ended up taking Saturday off  and today, I resumed my training. Sometimes I just need some time to get a new perspective.  Today, (no sitter) I had to do my run on the treadmill and decided to aim for 6 miles again.  I set the incline to 1 and went to running.  First 3 miles were a little bit of a struggle but mile 4 felt good.  Around mile 5, I was having to push myself to keep going.  Sometimes, those voices want me to just quit and walk!  Not today!!!!  I was able finish my run at a consistent pace without any walk breaks.  This has been my longest run since my last race.  I want to continue increasing my long runs by 1 mile per week until race week.  That's about 5 or 6 weeks away.  I figure if I can run 10 or 11 miles by then,  I won't have any trouble finishing the half...  I am trying to be real careful about not overdoing it and getting hurt.  

I recently purchased a pair of compression socks.  I have noticed a few runners wearing them at races but I have never owned a pair.  I think with my Achilles/heel/foot/calf issues I recently encountered,  I am willing to trying anything.  The compression socks were costly but I wanted to give them a try.  I opted for the CEP 2.0 compression socks.  I wasn't sure if I would like them but when I put them on, it felt good.  It could feel the extra cushion on the bottom of my feet and the compression on my Achilles and calf.  I think I will probably wear them during my race!  I have also ordered a pair of heel lift and I am looking forward to trying them too.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Crochet Top and Running!!!!

Today was my first run in almost 2 weeks.  My last run was at the half marathon.  I have been letting my Achilles heal getting daily acupuncture treatment and taking herbal medicine to repair it.  It helps to have a family member who is licensed Both in Acupuncture and herbal medicine!  I have been taking it easy for some time now, even before my half marathon race.  My Achilles has not been hurting and I was going to take a few months off.  After talking with hubby, he suggested I go for a run and see how it feels.  Makes sense to me, especially since he is the one who is the voice of reason and has lots of knowledge on sports injury.

This afternoon, I set out for my favorite running trail.  I wanted to run 4 miles, if possible and see how it goes.  I didn't want to get injured so I set out at an easy pace.  I actually felt good during the first 2 miles. It felt great to run again.  After mile 2, I took a short 1 minute walk break and resumed my running.  Mile 3 and 4 also went well and I finished at about 4.65 miles according to my runkeeper.  Taking 2 more 1 minute walk breaks before I was finished.  My Achilles felt fine after my run.  I am hoping tomorrow it will still be feeling good, that will be the true test.  I have been icing it, just in case.  I'll just have to wait to see how it feels tomorrow!  It's nice to feel hope again that I may be able to run my half marathon in November!  If I do, I will train smarter this time and not over train!

My crochet/knitting has been on the back burner since I've been concentrating on running.  The crochet top, "In The Shade" has been on hold for a while.  I started this crochet top in late July.  I think I also got bored with the pattern.  Yesterday, I decided to finish the last few row.  It is now complete!  Here it is:

Sunday, September 14, 2014

First Half Marathon Completed!!!!

I completed my first half marathon last Saturday and I am now finally ready to blog about my experience.

I had been looking forward to my first half marathon for so long so when the day became closer, I found that I was not as excited about it.  On Friday, I was driving to the expo.  I arrived in Peachtree City around 4 pm, picked up my packet and looked around the expo.  I purchased a handana and a pair of super light glasses.  Next was check in and I was disappointed to find out the hotel may not have enough shuttle to race site in the morning because they did not know they were suppose to provide this service.  It was disappointing and so after settling in, I went to find where the race shuttle site was and pick up dinner.  By the time I returned to the hotel with my dinner, it was after 8:00.  It was way later than I wanted to eat.  I did not get any chance to buy snacks or water for the morning.

That night, I tossed and turned.  I did not get any sleep!  I think I was too nervous and not to mention dehydrated.  I had not hydrated well in the last few days like I should of.  The wake up call was set for 4 am but I was already up.  I got ready and I was out the door around 5.  On the way to my car, the hotel shuttle was there and I decided to take the shuttle at the last minute.  I had wanted to wear my other sneakers because the pair I was wearing felt lose.  (I had just gotten them on Thursday and I only ran 1 mile in them).  Once on the shuttle, everyone seemed confused to where the start was.  Fortunately, it was the right place.  Arriving so early (5:30), I had so much time.  Around 7:05, I decided to make the last port-a-potty run before my race starts at 7:30 since I was in the first corral.  I was shocked in a matter of minutes, how long the lines were.  Everyone had the same idea.  Anyways, by the time, I was in the starting line, I had literally 2 minutes before the start!

On that Saturday, it was still unusually humid and warm for September.  Normally, September is when it cools off but this week has been hot and humid!

I was set to run in the first group.  I was surprised that I was not nervous at all.  The first few miles, I ran at a good pace, not going out too fast.  I took my energy gel at mile 3.  Around mile 5, I could feel the fatigue start to set in.  Mile 5 and 6 were tough, which is surprising because miles 3 to 6 are usually my best miles.  The course turned out to be quite hilly, unlike what was described, as flat and fast.  It was not flat!  At mile 7, I was on track to meet my time for the half.  That's when I was in trouble.  I tried to run about 10 steps and my calf muscle would tighten up.  Every time I attempted to run, it would tighten up and give out.  I was worried that I would not be able to walk.  I attempted to stretch a few times and even started to drink Gatorade at the water stops but it didn't help.  It was frustrating knowing that I would have to walk for the rest of the race.  The spectators on the course were supportive and I wish that I could of kept running.  I was so happy to see the finish line and I wished that I could of run it in but I knew I couldn't.  I was greatful that I was able to cross the finish line without myAchilles  giving out but I wish that I was able to run most of the course.  My time was disappointing, under 3 hours.  Yes, I finished and completed my first half marathon but I was so disappointed with myself.  I was fighting too many battles, both mental and physical...

Back at the hotel, I had realized that I needed to turn this negative attitude around and focus on the positive and what I learned.  I learned so many lessons that I would not otherwise have learned.  Here are some of the key things I learned.  Not necessarily in this order:  I needed to have a positive attitude and make sure mentally I am prepared for the race, to not get distracted.  Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate days before the race and especially the night before!  Yes, I read this and I was told to hydrate but I didn't.  Make sure to eat enough calories and carb load a few days ahead of time.  Bring water and snacks with me for the trip, don't count on getting it the day before the race in a new town. Get to expo and eat early so I can relax and unwind.  Don't wear new sneakers the day of the race.  Again, I read this, don't try anything new on race day!  So true!

I remember thinking that I would not do this race again next year but after a few days, I realized that I want and will do this race again next year.  Redemption, to do it right and to conquer the hills!  So for now, I will rest my Achilles and look forward to when I can once again run and get back to running!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Long Run on Treadmill: approx 100 minutes

My Achilles have been feeling better and I woke up with no pain.  Ok, pain in my quads from 50 minutes on the exercise bike yesterday.  It finally came in yesterday!!!!  Anyways, I was feeling good so I decided to do a longer run on the treadmill.  I rubbed in some absorbing jr, and taped my Achilles with KT tape and set out to do my run.  No incline on the treadmill and at a speed slightly slower than normal.  The first 3 miles went well and I walked for a minute after each mile.  At 3.5 miles, I was feeling good and I continue to feel good all the way to the end.  After 3.5 miles, I again decrease the speed (a little) and continue to run for approx a mile and walk a minute.  When the Achilles were feeling slightly tight, I'd run for 5 minutes and walk for 30 seconds before resuming my run.  Overall, I felt great and no real pain on my Achilles.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Before my Achilles got bad last time, I had a great run and paid for it the next time will tell and I'm hoping I don't wake up with pain tomorrow!!!  Either way, I'm still going to take it easy and not over do it before the half marathon....  I just did not want to go a month running at a low mileage every week and worry about my endurance for the race.  Now having done 10 miles, I can feel good about it.

Yesterday, I decided that I was going to book the hotel room for another night.  Originally, I had planned on coming home after the race.  With check out at 11:00, it would not leave me little time to get back to the hotel for check out.  To eliminate the stress, I am staying another night.  This way, I can enjoy the race and post race activities and not have to worry about rushing back.  I will now have plenty of time to take a shower and ice down my Achilles and take a nap afterwards, if necessary! Perhaps a bit of sight seeing and maybe the after party that night.  We'll see!  I'm glad it's coming together.  I want to make this event as stress free as possible and really have a fun and rewarding experience.  2 weeks...yikes!  I can't wait:)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

17 days to my first Half Marathon

I'm sitting here writing in my blog while my rice is cooking.  I am making spicy tuna rolls for dinner. I still need to prepare the crab meat but that can wait.  I am actually feeling good right now.  I hope I'm not being delusional but my swelling on the Achillies looking better and I'm not feeling any pain. It felt good walking on it.  I have been keeping  asorbine jr. on it most of the time.  I have been going easy on my training and took Tuesday off.

I purchased a new pair of sneakers last week.  The current pair I am wearing is not that old, maybe 3 months but I have run in the rain with them several times so I was concerned about the padding.  It is a good thing I took a closer look because the outer edges are worn.  I also looked at the other pair of sneakers I purchased several months back and they too seemed worn.  It's weird because I ran in them a few times on training and once in a 5k race.  I purchased them on line and honestly, I wasn't happy with that particular pair of shoes but I didn't want to deal with the hassle of sending them back.  In hind sight, I should if sent them back.  Next time, I will know better!

Today, I decided to do a light taping on Achilles before my run.  I did 40 minutes on the treadmill, again at only a slightly slower pace and no incline,  it still feels weird to run with no incline because I have run for so many years on a 3.5 incline and I wonder why I have Achilles pain!  To not further aggregate the leg, I took many short walk breaks.  It was a good run and no pain when I was done.  I still iced it for 20 minutes afterwards.  So far so good and I hope it will continue to improve.  Again, I hope I am fooling myself but I want to be happy and not depressed about the injury.  I am again getting excited about the race which is only 17 days away!!!!  Yeah!!:)

My exercise bike should be here tomorrow so I'll be able to do some cross training.

I'll keep posting about my training and progress on my blog!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Update on my half marathon training

I had a great run last Tueaday.  After running for 30 minutes on the treadmill, I decided to run the other 30 minutes on the road.  Instead of going to the trails, I ran by the house.  There are lots of rolling hills.  I felt very strong and ran at a great pace and finished strong.  To my surprise and anguish, my Achilles hurt the next day and in fact my right Achillies were swollen.  Not good.  I am about 3 weeks away from my half marathon and I do not want to think about not running, let alone my Achillies blowing out and I won't be able to walk.  What a nightmare.  Not being able to do something I love.  I didn't think I love running but when faced with the possibility of taking time off or not being able to run again, I realize how much I do love running....

It has been hard taking 5 days off.  I have been icing my Achilles a lot and putting absorbing jr. on it. It's amazing the emotions I have been through these last 5 days.  Mostly anger, sadness, denial, etc...  My Achilles started to feel a lot better on the 3 day and there was very little pain....  Maybe I am in denial but I am still planning on running my first half marathon in September.  After that, I will see if I am able to do the 2nd half marathon I signed up for in November.

There is so many reasons why I want to run this half marathon in September.  It's my first half marathon after all.  After all these years of running 5ks, I finally got the courage to train for a half.  I have also made the hotel reservation and my MIL will be here from up north to run in the race series. I need the short vacation!   Not to mention, training hard...maybe over training!  So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will be able to run in the race.  Okay, run/walk/run.  I will not have the time I want to finish in but my goal has shifted to just finishing the race because of my injury.

I did return to my training today.  Of course, my training is at a much easier level.  I did a total of 30 minutes on the treadmill with short walk breaks.  Weird to run on the treadmill with no incline, I have never done that...and at a slightly slower pace.  I didn't want to push my luck so we'll see.  I hope the Achilles will be okay tomorrow (fingers crossed, no pain hopefully).  I will really be cutting down on my mileage until the half.  I ordered my exercise bike (will be here Thursday) so I'm hoping to do some major cross training on it for endurance, instead of going for the long runs.  Let's hope it's enough for me to finish the race amd cross the finish line.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Training day: long run

I have been running off and on since high school.  I ran on my high school track team...not that I was an exceptional runner.  It has always been ingrained in me not to walk.  Walking was quitting and I have always believed this...until recently.  When I signed up for the half marathon, I had called someone who I knew ran half marathons.  She told me about Jeff Galloway and his run/walk/run method.  I told her "I just can't walk."  Well, dispute my self I still ended up buying a few of his e-books and a hard cover book.  I still like having the book in my hands...I'm old fashion like that!  I talked to hubby about this walking thing and he said it made sense to him and Jeff Galloway is an Olympian.

I have been training for my half marathon with walk breaks.  Not necessary to the extent he has suggested in his book but when I am tired or on a big hill, I will take a 30 seconds to 1 minute break, if necessary.  Yes, I do feel better afterwards and my running seems better.

Today, was my long training run.  12 laps, with each lap being over a mile.  It was a cloudy day but humid.  My water bottle leaked and left my shorts wet.  Yuck!    The first mile turned out to be challenging and I found myself  taking several walk breaks and I wonder how I was going to finish my 12+ miles and if my time was going to really slow!  The first 3 miles were overall challenging.  Around mile 4, I had a GU energy gel.  I had purchased a few boxes with different flavor and I must admit I enjoy the salted caramel flavor!  Yes, it actually tasted like caramel.  The next 3 miles went better.  Mile 7 was a bit tough and I tried to say my mantra, smooth and easy.  It did help.  After mile 8, I told myself only 4 more miles.  I can do it.  I realized around mile 10, I was kind of in the zone (not that I was feeling energetic or anything) but my feet kept moving!  It turned out to be one of my better miles.  I have only 2+ miles to go!  The last mile or so went well since I knew the end was in sight!   I must admit that I was very excited to be done.  According to my runkeeper, 12.85 miles!  Yeah, I decided not to push myself any further, though if I had to, I could of keep running until 13.1... I was drenched from my run but it was great to finish and stop running :).  As it turned out, even with all the walk breaks, my time was 15 second faster per mile than my long run last Friday!!!!

On the drive home, I did wonder if I was crazy to want to run a half marathon...but then I realize no, I'm not.  I feel a sense of accomplishment!  I feel good about myself.  It's good to have a goal to work towards.  I think that makes makes me grow as a person.

It felt great to get home, soak in the tub and ice down my Achilles.   Goal accomplished and less than 30 days to half mararthon race!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Training update and crochet too

New project:  In The Shade Top
I didn't blog anything last week.  I did all my runs on the treadmill last week.  4 training runs, with Monday and Tuesday running for total of 90 minutes each day with 1.5 incline.  On Thursday and Saturday, 60 minutes each day and 1.5 incline.  No long run last week...tapering off a bit to give the legs a rest.  This week, I have already completed my runs for the week.  50 minutes on the treadmill each day on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Today, I did my long run outdoors at the trails.  (Today was my best bet to get my trail run, otherwise I would have to do the long run on the treadmill tomorrow)....

It was much cooler today but humid.  The weather cooperated and I did not get rained on!  I was able to run my furthest to date of over 11.5 miles!  The first mile started out good.  I have been going without my energy drink and energy candy for the last week or so because they were making me sick, od on caffeine!  I was getting tired at mile 2 and I wonder if it was because I was not running on fresh legs, having run 3 days in a row or/and the negative messages.  Anyways, I waited until mile 3 to take my energy gel.  Mile 4 was a bit of a struggle but I felt better running miles 5 and 6.  At mile 6, I had another energy gel.  I was thinking of the comic by oatmeal while I was eating my energy gel and it made me laugh and gave me energy to keep going!  I break the run up into 3 mile increments, which makes it more manageable in my head...I read in one of the blogs how it helps to break the miles up so it's not so overwhelming.  Around mile 6, I was thinking no problem, only another 3 miles then 2 more, I can do it!  My arms are more relaxed and I actually have a better running form.  Then I started to get more tired around miles 7 and 8 and I took some 30 second and 1 mile walk breaks.  Mile 10 and 11 were a little harder and I try think of some mantra in my head, "I have a lot of endurance", "smooth and easy", etc...  The last mile was tiring but having to get around some walkers, I actually picked up the pace to get around them!  I was so happy to finally be done and stop running!  Of course, it was a great accomplishment but I am glad to be done with the run!

I have been using my runkeeper to keep track of my distance.  I really like the app in that I can see how fast I run every mile and my total distance.  The last mile, the app stopped so I had to restart the last mile.

When I got home, I took a nice bath and iced down my Achilles.  After a nice meal, I am feeling better, back to normal.  I'm not sure if I will get another short run in on Sunday or call it good for the week.  I am kind of excited it's August because September is my FIRST half marathon.  :)

Now onto my crafts!  I had to put my crochet top on hold.  After getting 3/4 of the front done, the top is going to be too big so I started on another top, called "in the shade".  It is also a crochet pattern and I have completed the upper front and back portion.  Hopefully, I will be motivated to work on the top this weekend.

Top #1 (too big)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Training day: 10+ miles

Normally, on Saturdays, it is my long run day.  I try to increase my running mileage by one mile per week.  Last week I ran 9.5 miles so today, I ran about 10.5 miles.

I had originally planned on getting up super early and be finished by 8am.  When I woke up around 6, I could hear the rain.  I decided to sleep in a little longer.  By 8:00, I was ready to get up and get ready until my daughter said "I want pancakes"!  Just hearing her beautiful voice ask for it, how could I not make them for her?  After making them, I got ready for my run and I noticed it had started to rain again, a brief thought occur to me to skip my run but I was going anyways.  I won't be able to run next Saturday because hubby has a competition so I better do it today, stick to the plan!  When I arrived at the trails, I noticed very few cars.  Yes, it's later than usual, after 9:30 and rainy,  I saw a familiar face starting out.  The rain steadily fell and at times, poured but I was determined to finish my whole run.  First 3 miles were a bit tough.  I felt stiff and my Achilles was hurting a bit.  Mile 4 and 5 felt better.  I was getting into the rhythm.  Mile 5 was a good time to take my energy gel so I could keep my energy up for the later miles.  Around mile 6, it started to pour.  I thought about calling it good enough but I continued to run.  I finished the last mile at a decent enough pace and felt good I did it.  The rain even stopped!  I went back to take a picture of one of the puddles I ran through.

Unfortunately, no pace and exact mileage of today's run.  I must had hit the button to stop the running app during my run.

Once home, I soaked in the tub for a while before finally getting food to eat.

It was a good day, I am a Runner and I feel good. :)

Final note, I love this:

Friday, July 18, 2014

Easy Friday...

This is going to be an easy day.  A light weight training workout and no anticipation of my long run tomorrow of 10+ miles.  There will hopefully be good things to blog about tomorrow after my long training run :)

Yesterday, I ran for 80 minutes on the treadmill.  A good deal of my runs are done on the treadmill because of convenience and sometimes just life circumstances.  Sometimes, I have to push through those thoughts in my head that makes me want to quit.  I was able to push through them and have a good run at my usual pace.  I feel so accomplished!

Today, I decided to do something else that I!  I have been wanting to try out something I found on pinterest.  Recently, I found Nutella (again...I remember having it long ago).  I spread the Nutella over fresh dough then cut and braid!  It looks complicated but it couldn't be easier. With the left over dough, I made hubby's favorite, calzones with meat and cheese.  The house smells great!  Here's a picture before it went into the oven:
Nutella bread idea from Pinterest and my Calzones

In between going shopping (wanting more running clothes) and taking my daughter swimming, I have been crocheting on my pineapple top.  I am a bit concerned about the sizing but I am going to keep going until I get the whole pineapple motif done.  I'll decide then if I can make this top fit or if it will be way too big.  Wish me luck! 

Ready to take my stuff out of the oven.  Yum:)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Training for my first Half Marathon, craft talk, and life

It's been 3 years since I posted on my blog and recently, I decided to revive my blog!  I am still knitting and crocheting but just not at the speed in which I use to.  Life has gotten much busier with me being a full time teacher to my daughter, training for my first half marathon and finding my love for sewing!  Oh yeah, and my addiction to candy crush!

Lately, my mind has been focused on running.  I eat, breath and think about running a lot.  It is nice to have a new goal to work for!  My last race was in June, the 10k Torture Trail run.  I have been running for most of my life but started running regularly again 3 or 4 years ago, mainly 5k.  I was
nervous about this race because I have not been running the longer distance and the hills!  I am happy to say that I did well and felt strong enough to sprint to the finish.  3rd place for my age group.  Look at my beautiful hand made stain glass award.   After the race, I decided it was time to proceed with my new goal of training for a half marathon.  (It has been my dream to run the New York City Marathon)!!!!  Since then, I have been increasing my mileage every week to get ready for my first half marathon in September, Run like a Diva Half Marathon.  Next time, I will blog more about my training.

My latest knit project is the Icarus top (above).  This is the first item I finished in a while.  It was a fun top to knit with the right amount of lace.  I had some trouble with the sleeves so it was heavily modified to fit me.  My only complaint was the 1 ball of yarn that was a different shade of orange. ...

At times, I feel a bit unproductive because I do not have a project on hand so today, I started a crochet top.  It is not really a pattern but a chart of the top.  I always love pineapple tops so I really wanted to make this.  The chart does not come with any other information so I am hoping that a fingering yarn on a size c hook will fit me.  I hope to finish this by September so I can wear it at the expo before my race!
Marifu6a crochet top chart