RUNNING UPDATE // Nike Women Half Marathon DC

nike casual wear

I always knew that Nike made more than just athletic gear, but they’ve really turned it up notch — hello wedge sneakers! These are just a few of my favorite items that aren’t necessarily running-related, but more casual wear that I just had to share because they are seriously cool (all available at Nike.com).

Anyway, I thought it was a good time for an update on my half marathon training for the Nike Women Half Marathon in Washington DC. You may have read this post about why I’m running a half marathon. Honestly, that is probably the only way I would have ever ran a half-marathon (unless my husband really wanted to do one together in some exotic place with a vacation tacked on to it, he could probably have convinced me — heck maybe we’ll do that at some point). He is training with me on the weekends for my long runs which is SUPER helpful to me. I need him there pushing me to keep going, keep me accountable and motivated.

Yesterday we ran 6 miles. Probably the longest I’ve ever ran in my adult life (I don’t think Jr. High track counts considering it was over HALF OF MY LIFE AGO.) Wow, that was a long time… I even remember the Nike running shoes (interesting coincidence no?) I had at the time, they were white and turquoise. It’s funny to think about the things I remember from 15+ years ago compared to the things my husband remembers… I know what brands of clothes I had, what I was wearing at certain events, where I got those items, specific spreads in Seventeen with Drew Barrymore and Hard Candy nail polish and daisies. I might even still have that tear sheet, no joke.

Middle school tangent. Back to running. Right, so yesterday I ran 6 miles. I was really hoping it was going to be a glorious run. My husband suggested that we should go run on the Capital Crescent Trail along the Potomac — it’s flat, and a change up in scenery from the sidewalk running we’ve been doing. Perfect, I thought. But for some reason I was just uncomfortable the entire run. Breathing is a huge problem for me so I’m constantly concentrating on it (I have issues breathing deeply). I also get side stitches that I’ve been working on, this run I was on the verge of getting one most of the run but it never came into full force. I also get tense in my shoulders and have to constantly remind myself to relax. And if I’m not listening to music I about drive myself nuts thinking the same things over and over:

I wonder if I had enough to eat?
Is this side stitch going to get worse?
Wow, it feels like I’m running slow. 
Breathe deep — in the nose, out the mouth.
I wonder how many miles I have left (choosing not to look at my Nike GPS watch which will tell me anything I want to know).
Next time I should eat more before I run.
Relax your shoulders.
I feel like this should be easier.
I feel like I should feel lighter.
Relax your jaw.
I feel like I have a bunch of crap in my lungs.
Repeat.

When I have music on then all I’m thinking is:

Breathe deep — in the nose, out the mouth.
Relax your shoulders.
Relax your jaw.
Sexy legs.
Repeat.

My Mr. thinks I need to fight through my silent crazy mental state to get stronger (mentally). But I about lost it 4 miles into this run and had to stop and put my music on. I was done fighting and just wanted to finish this run. I was sad I didn’t enjoy it more because it was a gorgeous day, running with my Mr. on the trail. I know someday I’ll get to the part where I enjoy it. I am starting to enjoy the shorter runs, so that’s a step in the right direction.

I wonder if for these long runs I’m psyching myself up to not enjoy them? I didn’t think I was doing that this week because I had a great 4-mile run on Thursday that gave me some confidence for 6 miles. Who knows.

I’ve been training for about 4 weeks, and I have 7 more weeks until the race. (Yikes!). But I do feel like with the training (and sticking to it religiously) that I will be able to do the half marathon in a decent time for a first-timer. The one good thing about this 6-mile run was that I thought I was running a lot slower than I really was. So when I took a look into my pace (using my nifty Nike GPS watch and Nike+), I was surprised and happy. My pace has gone down by more than 1 minute in just 2 weeks for my longer runs! Maybe that has a little to do with the weather being 15 degrees warmer as well, but still, that makes me feel like I will continue to get better and better — and hopefully one day enjoy the longer runs.

My Training Schedule

  • 1x/week I do (what I call) intervals. I go up to the track at the University in my area and run 1 lap at a fast pace (timing it), then rest a minute or two (until my heart calms down & I’m recovered). And I do that 8 times, so I’ll have run 2 miles total at a faster pace than what I typically run. I usually jog to and from the track, so I end up running about 3 miles that day.
  • 2x/week I do shorter runs, they are either 2, 3 or 4 miles.
  • 1x/week (usually on Saturday) I do my longer runs, adding a mile each time.
  • And the days in between I do yoga, or nothing.

nike half marathon

What I’ve Learned So Far

  • Shoes. Shoes. Shoes. Are so important. If you are training for something long, you need the right shoes. Go to Nike and they will have you run on a treadmill to see what type of shoe you need. They are looking to see if you pronate or not and therefore to see if you need a stability shoe or a neutral shoe. I slightly pronate, and opted for the Nike LunarGlide+4 and I could not be happier. They are so light and comfortable — I’m loving them.
  • Push yourself. Do you watch The Biggest Loser? Maybe you should if you need motivation. Bob, Dolvett, and Jillian make the contestants run all the time and you can too. You just have to PUSH yourself. Tell yourself, I AM going to do this, not well we’ll see if I can but I bet I’ll have to walk. There are lots of times when I just want to stop and walk. In the beginning I did more than I do now, but make it your goal to NOT stop if at all possible. Don’t let yourself have excuses. Maybe even reward yourself if you can make it. Our bodies can do so much more than we think, you just have to push.
  • Keep your toenails short. I know, this is a weird one. I always keep my nails painted so I didn’t realize they could be a bit hazardous and take a little chunk out of my toe. Lesson learned.
  • Eat potassium. I think this and the timing of when I eat and how much, has really made a huge difference in my side stitches. I mean, I was getting them really bad. Where I absolutely had to stop and walk. I’ve been able to cut them down a lot by just paying attention to what I eat, when, how much, and making sure I stay hydrated. Staying hydrated has never been a problem for me though because I love water.
  • Nike GPS watch. I know I mentioned my Nike GPS watch before, but it’s a bit addicting. As soon as I get back from my run I plug it into my computer (the watch as a USB in it!) and assess how I did. It shows you your pace at all times, the elevation of where you ran, how far, compares it to your other runs, and keeps a log of all your runs. It’s just amazing. I can go back and look at how much faster I’m getting (take the word fast with a grain of salt).

The response to my first post was amazing. So many of you are runners and I am so thankful for all of your advice! I read it all and took it all into account!

Are you training for anything?
Any good running stories for me?
Also, what type of water pack do you recommend? I’ve seen ones around the hips, the backpack version, the ones you have on your hand — anyone have a favorite?

 

*Nike is sponsoring me to run the DC Women’s Half Marathon. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.