The Wild Half half marathon

When life hands you lemons…

like not making it into the Broad Street Run lottery…

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sign up for a half marathon instead! Goodbye 10 miler, hellooooo 13.1 miles along the beach. I’m considering it a kickoff to the end of the school year. May 17th, we’re gunning (or really, “running”) for you!

picture source

Rich and I did a COLD 6-miler along the river in Philly yesterday. After we warmed up– we hadn’t accounted for the wind kicking off of the river a below 20 degrees– it turned out to be a really great run. Right around mile 3, we realized that there was actually a race going on, but it was so small that they hadn’t closed off the path. When we had turned around (we ran right into the city itself, passing the Art Museum and then looping back), we eventually asked one of the race leaders heading back towards the finish what the heck was going on– and, ironically, it turned out to be a 10k. If only we had known! Another .2 at that point wouldn’t have made a huge difference. We ran a solid negative split for the run, and ended up at around race pace (8:30) for the last mile or two. Long runs usually dictate that you stay around a minute slower than you’d normally run the race, but we were just in a groove.

I don’t have an actual “training plan” set for this race, but I’ve been following this general pattern:

Sunday: long run. We’ve been basing these on minutes, rather than miles (except for yesterday, because it was effing freezing and 6 miles brought us right to the car).

Monday: yoga class

Tuesday: 3.5-4 mile run, plus strength

Wednesday: fast tempo run, 3 miles at race pace, plus strength

Thursday: 6 am boot camp. I haven’t been making these a priority lately, frankly because I’ve just been interested in sleeping in and not seeing the 5 o’clock hour on my alarm clock. When the end of March rolls around and I’m back from vacation (I’ll explain below 😉 ), these will switch to Tuesdays, and I’m going to do my best to commit to them. It’s the only time of week when I do any legit lifting– I usually do body-weight strength workouts– so it’s important that I make it.

Friday: cross train, 35 mins on bike/elliptical + strength

Saturday: 3-3.5 mile tempo run. I like doing a speedy workout before a long run to warm my legs up.

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There’s been a lotta this outside lately…I have a new appreciation for those kind souls who salt their sidewalks. Think of the runners, people.

My middle-of-the-week runs will increase slightly in distance as the race approaches, but I aim not to increase my total mileage by more than 10% a week. I’m also going to TRY (key word…) to get up for a second yoga session at 5:30 am on alternating Wednesdays, especially after challenging long runs. I went to one session, and once you’ve woken up a bit, it’s actually a really nice start to the day. Other additions (mostly in late March-early April) will be some speedwork sessions and hill workouts.

In other news…

If one picture defined my life, it would be this one.

If one picture defined my life, it would be this one.

I’m in the process of packing for an epic, 2-week adventure to GREECE AND ITALY!!! Every year, a local teaching legend (and a personal friend/mentor) leads a departmental trip to Europe in order to study Roman and Greek historical sites, architecture, pottery, ruins, etc. This year, at my request :), we’re heading to Greece from March 5th until March 13th, and then hopping from Athens to Rome and traveling down the southwestern coast of Italy until we pack it in and fly home on March 20th.

And of course, the first thing that’s all set to go is my arsenal of snacks. 5 packets of Justin’s PB; 2 5-bar boxes of Larabars–Apple Pie and Peanut Butter Cookie + a few extras (I purchased the smaller size box at Target, in their pharmacy section);  4 packets of Trader Joe’s Omega Trail Mix (pre-packaged into perfect portions); 2 snack baggies full of organic dried figs (probably 4-5 servings); and plastic spoons. I also threw three more Larabars into my backpack (which will be my carry-on), three more packs of trail mix, and two baggies of dried apricots. We’re flying from JFK to Rome to Athens on Thursday night-Friday morning, and with all that air time, I know I’m going to be hungry. Plane food makes me bloat horribly (I’ve flown internationally regularly enough since I was 16 to have figured this out the hard way…), so I’ve made sure to have plenty of minimally-processed food for the journey to Athens, across to Rome, and back home on the 20th.

I’m hoping to blog the whole experience, but I have no idea what my free time/internet access is going to look like over there. I’m also not really worrying about training while I travel, since none (literally, not one) of the hotels we’re staying at has a gym. I’ll have my sneaks with me anyway– we’re climbing Mt. Vesuvius right at the end of the trip!– but I’m not comfortable running alone in Greece, and I’ll see how I feel in Italy. I’ll have plenty of time when we return to get my butt in gear for 13.1.

Do you have any must-bring snacks when you travel? I once ate an entire sleeve of English fig newtons on my way back from London a few years ago…I didn’t know that Icelandair didn’t serve in-flight food…

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