Tag Archives: half marathon

Longview Half + Training Update

18 Nov

Last week was my last “hard” week of training. It was my third week of 60 miles, which is the most mileage I have ever done back to back. Last year when I trained for NYC, I only had one 60 mile week. This year, I knew I needed to do a couple more if I wanted to see improvements on race day.

When I started the week I was feeling pretty blah. I decided I needed an extra day off, and also needed to cut out a hard workout to get me back on track. I am so glad I did because it made the half marathon on Saturday much more enjoyable.

Part One – Training Update

Monday – Off

Tuesday – 8.25 miles at 8:46 pace. Took it nice and easy since I wasn’t feeling that great.

Wednesday – 10.25 miles at 7:44 pace.ย 2 mile warm up, 6 x 1 mile repeats with 400m recovery. First 3 @ 7:00, Last 3 around 6:55. Cooled down another couple miles. Had to do this one on the treadmill because it was just so darn cold outside.

Thursday – 8.03 miles at 8:09 pace. Had a few pick ups in the middle of the run.

Post run burglar selfie.

Post run burglar selfie.

Friday – 8.05 miles at 8:34 pace.

Dinner with friends Friday night.

Dinner with friends Friday night.

Saturday – 18.25 miles total (see below for more details)

Sunday – 7.55 miles at 9:00 pace. I was so cold and a tad over-served the night before at our friends house. Made for such a fun run.

Total mileage: 60ish

———————————————

Part Two – Longview Half Marathon Race Recap

Saturday was my last big long run before taper. I was so excited for this run, and also dreading it. I had 12 miles of goal pace miles on the schedule, so I decided to just run the half marathon hard and take care of the goal pace miles there.

Stacy, Diana and I started the morning with a 4.9 mile warm up. We took it nice and easy (9:20 pace).

The race was out at Longview Lake, which is a beautiful area. It was really cold, but we were lucky to avoid the snow that the weather people had been predicting.

Once we finally got started running (they delayed the race because there was a bad traffic situation), I met up with my friend Amber and ran with her. We ran the first 6 miles with the 1:35 pace group, then separated. I knew I was running too hard for a long training run, and that she could run much faster than 1:35. Once we parted ways I slowed down a bit and gave myself some distance from the 1:35 pace group.

As the miles went on I kept the 1:35 pace group in sight but ran a comfortable pace that I knew I could easily maintain. I felt surprisingly good considering the miles I had done earlier in the week.

Start of the race.

Start of the race.

Around mile 11 a girl named Jess came up next to me and told me she was going to run with me for the rest of the race. I was just fine with this since I was getting a little lonely. I also love to run with other people. Jess was really sweet and we had 2 miles of good conversation. It certainly made the last couple miles fly by.

brrrrr

brrrrr.ย 

As Jess and I approached the finish we decided to pick up the pace and catch a girl in front of us. I am so glad I got to meet her and run with her for a bit.

Running to the finish with Jess.

Running to the finish with Jess.

Done with the race and with 18 miles!!

Done with the race and with 18 miles!!

I ended up running a 1:35:15 half which made me pretty happy. It is really exciting for me that I was able to pull off that race after a hard few weeks. And I will say that the course was not flat. Crazy that just 3 years ago I trained hard for a half and ran a 1:36:39.ย It goes to show what hard work can do for your running. Dedication will pay off.

Amber ended up getting first in our age group, and I got second! That made the morning even better.

Running together for 15 years :)

Running together for 15 years ๐Ÿ™‚

We are ready for taper.

We are ready for taper.

Splits:

  1. 7:31
  2. 7:15
  3. 7:33
  4. 7:00
  5. 7:01
  6. 7:14
  7. 7:21
  8. 7:11
  9. 7:15
  10. 7:24
  11. 7:20
  12. 7:11
  13. 7:05 (+ :57)

I am SO excited that taper is finally here and I can prepare my body for race day. I got an email yesterday stating it was 19 days away. I semi hyperventilated….

xo,

Ali

2014 Kansas City Half Marathon

23 Oct

Last Saturday, I ran the Kansas City Half Marathon. This was my 5th year running this race – and it is truly one of my favorites.

The course starts in Crown Center, where I work! Then travels through downtown, around to Westport, and back through the Plaza. They do such a great job of showing people how beautiful and unique Kansas City is. I would strongly suggest doing this race if you are looking for a smaller fall marathon or half marathon.

When I started my training for the St. Jude’s Marathon, I knew that the KC Half would be part of my training. I also knew that I would love to try to PR my half, which was a 1:34:31. I ran 1:34 at my very first half marathon, which happened to be the KC Half Marathon in 2008. It also happened to be 6 years to the dayย since I had ran my 1:34.

Leading up to the race, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had been experiencing some foot pains, as well as having a cold/bad allergies. With my asthma, any kind of cold or allergies can really knock me out, so I was just a tad (ok a TON) upset when I didn’t feel well. The week of the race, I was smart and finally got a prescription to knock out the gunk. I also got an amazing pep talk from my Mom and Stacy. They reminded me that it was just a run, and that I needed to go out and do my best. They always know what to say to me to make me feel better.

Saturday morning was a new day, and I woke up so excited to race! I decided to get up extra early to do a nebulizer treatment for my asthma, and also drink some warm coffee. I figured anything to loosen up my chest would be beneficial.

We arrived to the race around 6:15. First stop was an indoor restroom, then we went outside and I met up with my fellow GOTR SoleMates! It was fun to meet the other girls that had been raising money for GOTR. It was also nice to see some familiar and friendlyย faces at the booth.

Hanging with the other SoleMates!

Hanging with the other SoleMates!

After a few minutes at the tent, I headed to the start. I really wasn’t too nervous – mostly just excited to get the race started (and over with…)

At 7:05, after a little “Let’s Go Royals” chant, the race started.

I decided to run with the 3:05 marathon pacer. I figured that this pacer would be running a 1:32:3o half marathon time, which would make me extremely happy.

I stuck with this pacer for the first 5ish miles, then started to pull away. I was feeling good and confident. While I had a few coughs, I didn’t feel as though my breathing was slowing me down. And my legs felt great.

From this point on, I stopped looking at my watch and just ran on feel. I knew I was running a pace I could maintain, but didn’t know what that pace was. I figured it would be a great way to gauge my fitness and also practice pacing.

At mile 8, we split from the marathon and I popped my earbuds in. It was pretty sparse around me, so I decided a music distraction would be nice. The next few miles I focused on getting over the hills and to mile 10. Since I know this course so well, I knew that mile 10 starts 3 miles of some great downhills.

Mile 10-13 cruised by. I felt amazing and just tried to maintain the pace and effort. Around mile 12 I finally snuck a peek at my watch and was pleasantly surprised by the split – 6:23. I knew I was moving fast, but had no idea I was moving that fast! Eventually, I saw the 1:30 pace group and tried to close the gap as much as possible.

Running up the final hill of the race to the finish was awesome. I could see the clock and knew it said 1:30:xx. I couldn’t wait to finish.

When I hit my watch I actually couldn’t believe what I saw – 1:30:32. I just beat my PR that I had been chasing for 6 years. And best of all – it felt so good on my body.

017a284c9c4ed7981af27880aeaf1125

I won’t play it down – I was (and still am) so proud of myself. I overcame my mental and physical barrier of not feeling well and just ran the race.

“Shut up and run” is what I told myself. And that is what I did.

This race gave me confidence that my training is working and I am doing everything as I should. And I am excited to see what else this fall could bring ๐Ÿ™‚

Splits:

  1. 7:45
  2. 7:01
  3. 7:11
  4. 7:01
  5. 6:51
  6. 6:45
  7. 6:31
  8. 6:36
  9. 6:51
  10. 7:02
  11. 6:35
  12. 6:23
  13. 6:30

Elevation chart:

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 8.56.51 PM

 

 

 

 

You can see the climbs and the downhills in my splits.

 

We wore KC Royals pride, and Ramsey PR'ed too!!

We wore KC Royals pride, and Ramsey PR’ed too!!

Celebrating by the blue fountains!

Celebrating by the blue fountains!

Race Recap: KC Half Marathon

22 Oct

The Kansas City Marathon is one of my favorite races.

In 2008, the KC Half Marathon was the first half marathon I had ever done. I trained relatively hard, and went out there having no clue what I was doing. Originally my goal for the race was 1:45…well, I shocked myself and ran a 1:34. To this day, that is still my half marathon PR.

This year was my 4th time running the race, and my 6th time being down there for all the action. Like I said, I LOVE this race. The city is beautiful to explore and people come out to cheer you on. It is also usually a perfect fall day.

I decided that this race would be my final “long” run before the NYC Marathon. It was perfect timing being two weeks out, and Ramsey was registered too – which meant I would get to run the whole race with one of my favorite running buddies (awwwwwwwwww).

Our goal was to beat 1:50, which would give Ramsey a PR and allow me to run a good pace before NYC (not too easy but not too hard). I was very excited to run and to be there for Ramsey to beat his goal!!

I wore my favorite socks at the race!!!

I wore my favorite socks at the race!!!

We got to the starting line right on time, and I was able to say hello to a few friends that were running too. We all hugged and wished each other luck, then Ramsey and I parked ourselves next to the 1:45 pace group.

One of my favorite pre-race moments was when the National Anthem played. There were some issues going on with the audio, and part of the way through the Anthem the music went out. Instead of the crowd losing patience and moving along, everyone started singing. And we sang until the Anthem was over. I got chills, and choked up. Not sure why…but something about it was so moving. We were all united as one, and ready to conquer the miles ahead.

A beautiful morning in KC!

A beautiful morning in KC!

The first few miles of the race were slow. Some of the biggest hills of the race are in miles 1-4 (which includes one of the biggest hills in KC!). We ran these miles conservatively, and chatted about the course and what was coming up.

Miles 5-8 were fun because they go through one of my favorite parts of the city – The Country Club Plaza. We also got to see our friends Adam and Amber out cheering. This was definitely a boost for Ramsey.

Miles 8-10 are more hills. And they suck. If you run the KC Marathon, these gremlins hit you right at mile 21. If I am cursing them in the half, I can only imagine what my friends running the full were experiencing.

Once we got through mile 10, we had a 5k left. I was giving Ramsey non stop pep talks and chatting his ear off. But he liked it (whether he admits it or not!!)

Mile 11, 12 and 13 we really picked up the race. Ramsey wanted to finish, and I was going with the flow! I knew we would break our goal of 1:50, but wasn’t sure how close to 1:45 we could manage to get…

Before we knew it, the end of the race was in front of us. I really wanted to do this adorable finish line photo of us holding hands, but Ramsey was having none of that. He was focused and wanted to get past the finish. So there went my frame-worthy photo opp ๐Ÿ˜‰

Finish time: 1:45:50ish

I am CRAZY proud of Ramsey and how well he did. He really toughed it out on those big hills and never gave up (mentally or physically).

Post Race photo with Ramsey!

Post Race photo with Ramsey!

I will be back to run the KC Half Marathon next year, and I suggest that you consider it as well.

Splits:

  1. 9:01
  2. 8:17
  3. 8:40
  4. 8:10
  5. 7:50
  6. 8:10
  7. 7:47
  8. 7:59
  9. 8:03
  10. 8:03
  11. 7:27
  12. 7:15
  13. 7:27

Judging by these splits, we ran a very smart race!

And a quick shout out to some of my friends that ran this race and PR’ed!!! Lee ran a 3:24 marathon, Amber ran a 3:14 marathon, and Krista ran a 1:33 half. Wow….I have some FAST friends!!!!!!! I am still in awe over their times!

Did you run last weekend? Have you done the KC Marathon or Half Marathon?

xo,

Ali

Lola trying to wear my medal after the race.

Lola trying to wear my medal after the race.

{Yowza} Broadway Bridge Half Marathon Recap

16 Sep

About a month ago, I made a last minute decision to run the Broadway Bridge Half Marathon in Kansas City. I had a few other friends running, and thought it would be a perfect way to get my long run in for the week while getting in some “race pace” miles (anything at 8:00 or right under). I also thought it would be a great way to trick myself into running 13.1 miles hard! (Is it just me, or do races always seem easier than if you would just go out to run hard??)

In the days leading up to this race, I kept hearing how hilly this course was. I am not a wimp when it comes to hills, and sometimes I really like hills. So I considered this fact an added bonus of running the half. Now I will get hills, race pace and a long run in! Could it get any better?!?!

Answer: Yes it could get better! Add the insanely humid 85 degree weather to the mix and we had the perfect race to test me physically AND mentally!

My attitude about this race stayed extremely positive, and I was actually really excited to run it. I love hometown races, and this race was one going through quite a few places I had never ventured to before (including the downtown airport). Even when I walked outside the morning of the race and felt the weather, I remained excited. Call me crazy, but I was totally ready for the torture to come and knew it would do nothing but help me in NYC.

Pre-race photo with Sally and Amanda!

Pre-race photo with Sally and Amanda!

The first few miles were semi flat, with a few rolling hills. The bad thing about these miles was the sun beating down on us. I think I was sweating 3 minutes into the thing, and I don’t usually start sweating until at least a mile or two in!

Mile 6 was the first BIG hill. I remember thinking “one step in front of the other” all the way up that hill. And when I finally made it to the top, we were blessed with a mile of all downhill. I cruised through the mile and knew I had to use it to my advantage, as one of the biggest hills in Kansas City was waiting (I ended up running a 7:37 split!).

Chatting with Candace!

Chatting with Candace!

All smiles on the broadway bridge!

All smiles on the broadway bridge!

Mile 8, we hit the monster hill. I decided I would try to run this hill like a hill sprint and hang on to a solid pace for as long as I could. It was my goal to run under 8 minutes this mile, and it took all of my guts to make that happen! When the Garmin beeped a 7:54 mile, I had a BIG smile on my face!

Right after conquering the big ass hill.

Right after conquering the big ass hill.

The last 5 miles of the race were all about survival. This hills were brutal, the sun was HOT and my legs were getting VERY heavy. I just kept trying to hit under an 8 minute mile, which would result in my “goal time” of 1:45.

For Mile 13, I decided to put all my energy into it and see if I could make it my fastest. My old bootcamp teacher would always tell us that the workouts we did when we were the most tired made the biggest difference. So I figured I might as well try to run my last mile the hardest I possibly could!! There were a couple BIG hills that last mile, and when the watch beeped 7:28 on mile 13, there might have been a tear in my eye from being so proud of conquering them!

I ended up finishing in 1:44, which was a 7:52 overall pace. If I want to PR NYC, I need to run this pace for 26.2 miles…so I would say this was VERY good practice.

This was by far the hardest half marathon I have ever done, yet I would consider it my second best half marathon ever completed. Not because of the time, but because of the mental toughness I was able to fight through. The heat sucked and the hills were never ending. But my attitude remained extremely positive the entire time. Sure, I would’ve loved to run closer to 1:42 or 1:43, but I can’t be anything but proud of how I ended up.

I strongly believe that your time does not always dictate your performance. Sometimes it is your mental strength that will determine how well the race went. While a 1:44 will show up on paper as my time and won’t look that great comparative to some of my other half’s, it does not make me feel less of my performance. That thing was freakin’ HARD. And anyone that made it through all 13.22 miles (yes, adding on the extra .12!!!) is a rockstar in my book!! No matter what your time was, you should be proud of that finish ๐Ÿ™‚

DEG runners.

DEG runners.

Congrats to my friend Noreen on her first half!!! (red shorts)

Congrats to my friend Noreen on her first half!!! (red shorts)

Stacy and Di were there too!

Stacy and Di were there too!

3rd in my age group!

3rd in my age group!

Splits:

  1. 7:49
  2. 8:06
  3. 8:29
  4. 8:07
  5. 7:48
  6. 8:14
  7. 7:37
  8. 7:54
  9. 7:53
  10. 7:40
  11. 8:06
  12. 7:41
  13. 7:28 (.22 1:44)

Have you ever done a race that was not your best time, but made you so proud?

Did you run Broadway Bridge???? And did you survive??

xo,

Ali

Life Always Gets in the Way

28 Mar

Hospital Hill Bloggers Series

The last Hospital Hill blog post I wrote was a moderate level training plan you could use over the next few months. For this post, I would like to discuss sticking to the plan and following through with training.

For me, one of the hardest parts of training is balancing your running and your life.

Life will ALWAYS get in the way.

Throughout a three month training period you will always have reasons you don’t want to run.

And it’s not just you.

I have made every excuse in the book why I can’t run or don’t want to run. Here are my top reasons to skip a run:

  1. I am tired
  2. It is too cold
  3. It is too hot
  4. I’d rather go to happy hour
  5. I don’t feel good
  6. I don’t even like to run (in the last year all of my running buddies have yelled this at some point)
  7. I am on vacation
  8. I’m too busy at work
  9. I don’t want to run alone
  10. It is dark outside

All of those excuses are ones I make often. And I can only imagine how much harder it gets when you are balancing children and spouses too.

You will ALWAYS find an excuse why you can’t run, or why you shouldn’t run. But how you deal with these excuses is what shows on race day.

As you go through your training, think about WHY you are doing it. Are you running to complete your first half marathon and push yourself to new limits? Or to get back into the sport? Or to PR?

Whatever your purpose for running this race is, I will guarantee you that if you cave to the excuses you will pay for it when you start the race on June 1st.

You must stick to the plan to meet your goal. And you will be so much happier if you do.

The next time you consider skipping a run, think about WHY you are skipping and if you really need to skip. If you are injured or sick, it is OK and a good idea to sit it out. But if you are tired, cranky, hot, cold, etc. get that booty out on the pavement and run towards your goal!!

One of my best ways to deal with the excuses is to visualize the finish of my race, as I am meeting my goal. That right there, gets me outta bed every single time ๐Ÿ™‚

Good luck these next few weeks!!!! I have enjoyed meeting so many of you over the last few weeks and hope to meet you in person on race day!

xo,

Ali

P.S. Consider volunteering for the race! I am working packet pick up on Thursday afternoon. (click here)

Half Marathon Training Plan

28 Feb

In my last Hospital Hill blog post, I talked about when you should start training. In this post, I would like to share a training plan I put together.

I made this plan based on a few I found online, as well as my own experiences training for races. I am not a certified coach, or a running coach at all for that matter, but I do believe this is a good schedule based off my experiences.

This schedule is great for intermediate runners, or someone wanting to get back into running and challenge themselves. If you would like to follow a more advanced schedule, add miles to your Tuesday/Wednesday workouts (which happen to be your harder workout days). I have been using schedules very similar to the one below for years, and my hard days and total mileage adjust to the race and goal I have.

2-28-2013 12-37-31 PM

For a larger view, click on the schedule and it will open in a new window.

This schedule is listed by week, Monday – Sunday. I like to start my weeks on Monday for a couple reasons, the main one being that this is the way Daily Mile tracks your training ๐Ÿ™‚

At the top of this schedule, it includes an overview of what that day of the week will usually look like. For example, Monday and Friday are off days, Tuesday and Thursday are your hard days, etc. You will notice not every week follows that format, but the majority of your weeks will.

Your first two weeks of training are about getting getting used to your new routine. You should already have a base built up and be able to run the first couple weeks of miles easily. If you cannot run 4 miles at a time, it might not be time to train for this race.

Take these runs easy and get in your groove. Sticking to your first two weeks will be the hardest, but the most important. These two weeks will help you get into a routine and build a base for the harder weeks ahead.

Now for the rest of the schedule….

Off Days

On this schedule, off days are suggested as Monday and Friday. I find that it can be hard to get runs in on Mondays, and Fridays are just a great day to take off. I prefer 2 days off a week, and 3 days off if you do intense cross training throughout the week (spin, bootcamp, etc).

Hill Workouts

Tuesdays of this training will be your hill days. You are running Hospital Hill, so you definitely don’t want to forget this vital part of training! You can do your hill workouts a couple ways. One being to find a a good hill, and do repeats (run hard up the hill, recover on the way down, do it again). Another way is to plan out a hilly route and run hard on all the uphills. Try to get in a 2-4 hills per workout. Your first mile of this workout should be easy to warm up your body. Then the middle mile(s) will be for the hill work.

If you are more of a beginner runner, don’t stress on hill repeats. Just be sure to get some hills into your training or the race will be very tough.

Tempo Runs

A tempo run is picking up the pace and running faster for a couple miles. During these runs, you will leave your comfort level. Try to run 30 seconds to one minute per mile faster than you normally do (example if you are training at 10min/mile pace, try to run 9:30-9:00min/mile pace). This will feel hard the first couple weeks, but then you will get into the groove and feel yourself getting fast (which is very exciting!!).

Long Runs

On this schedule, your long runs will be on Saturdays. While I realize that not everyone’s schedule will allow for Saturday long runs, but it has worked best for most people I know. If it doesn’t work for you, switch your Friday or Sunday to be your long run. This schedule works your way up slowly to 12 miles. While 12 might sound crazy right now, you will be pleasantly surprised with yourself on this run if you follow your schedule in the weeks prior!

————————————–

If at anytime during your training, you feel an injury coming on, listen to your body and take a break. If you don’t think you can do another day of hills or tempo work – that is OK too. We want you at the starting line injuring free and happy as can be!

Any questions about this or want me to message/email you the file of this schedule?

Two options…

Email me: mileswithstyle (at) gmail (dot) comFacebook me: http://www.facebook.com/MileswithStyle

Good luck, and happy training!!!

xo,

Ali

2-28-2013 12-54-08 PM

Hospital Hill – When Should Training Begin?

10 Feb

Hello to my Hospital Hill runners! This is my 2nd post in my Hospital Hill blog series, and I am already excited with some of the people I have connected to in this process.

Tonight I’d like to talk about your training plan, specifically when you should start.

For many people, half marathon training can be intimidating and stressful (for good reason though, it is a major commitment!). But I want to help you feel like you can manage the training and succeed at following your plan.

The Hospital Hill race is a little under 4 months (17 weeks) away – 111 days to be exact!

Most training plans follow a 12 week program, however sometimes you will see 16 or 18 week plans. I always prefer a 12 week program to avoid burnout and to keep things fun. To me, 12 weeks is doable, where as 16 or 18 weeks sounds crazy.

In the weeks prior to my 12 week training kick off, I like to get in a couple runs a week and some cross training. This will give you a nice base to start your training and will keep you from feeling like you are completely out of shape when you begin training.

I would suggest having a base of 10 – 15 miles per week before you begin official training. I also like to use the month before training to focus on strength and cross training. Prior to kicking off my last training session, I spent a lot of time at the gym doing Body Pump and Spin. I loved mixing it up with these two classes and have really loved the results from them. Another great workout option are at home DVD’s. Jillian Michaels can be your BFF as well as biggest enemy ๐Ÿ™‚

If you choose to go with the 12 week plan I prefer, your official training should ideally kick off the week of March 4th.

My next post will be focused on the types of runs you should incorporate into your training, and an example of my ideal training schedule.

Please feel free to email me, or comment with any questions you have! I love to hear from you all ๐Ÿ™‚

xo,

Ali

photo

 

Hospital Hill Blogging Team

23 Jan

A BIG hello to my new friends, and welcome to Miles with Style!

My name is Ali, and I have been blogging for about a year and a half. Recently, I was given to opportunity to be an official blogger for Kansas City’s most famous half marathon – Hospital Hill. I am so excited for this opportunity, and look forward to meeting all of the fans of Hospital Hill, and runners preparing for the race.

So who is Ali at Miles with Style? Well sit back and relax, because you’re about to find out!

I am Ali, a 26 year old girl living up life in Kansas City, MO. I have lived in Kansas City my entire life, and boy do I love this city.

I have been an avid runner for almost 15 years, and running is pretty much my “thing”. I find running to be the most therapeutic and relaxing activity in my life. It is also my constant – as it is always there for me. And while every mile I run might not be easy, it is always worth it!

Dallas Marathon 2012

I love to race, and as of last December, I may proudly say that I have completed three marathons! This spring, I will make it four at one of my dream races – The Boston Marathon.

Aside from my marathons, I have completed 7 half marathons (included Hospital Hill!), a few 10k’s and a ton of 5k’s. And my favorite city to race in continues to be Kansas City! I find our downtown stunning to run through – which also offers a nice distraction from the pain we are feeling during those hard miles!

I take advantage of any opportunity I have to run a race (in a tutu whenever possible!), and always love to tell the stories from each on my blog.

Hospital Hill 2012 – The Bride and Maid of Honor.

Although running continues to be a huge part of my life, there is so much more that I love to do and experience. I have been so fortunate to be blessed with amazing friends and family. Without them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

Mom and Dad

Traveling is another huge passion in my life. I believe in always living a balanced life, and strive to follow a “work hard, play hard” approach. And any chance I get to travel – I take!!

San Fran 2012 with best friends and wine

San Fran 2012 with my boyfriend

Kentucky Derby 2012

NYC Marathon 2012

Throughout my Hospital Hill blogging experience, I plan to share tips and advice for all aspects of your training.

Long runs, speed work, fuel, etc. – I will cover it! And if I don’t cover something you would like to hear about, go ahead and ask! After all, my favorite kind of talk is always run talk!

Feel free to send me questions via email (to the right), tweet me, or Facebook me! I will be writing posts about Hospital Hill every two weeks, but my regular blog posts about all things running, fitness and life will be posted weekly.

You may also catch me at the following places:

Twitter: @Alihatfield
Instagram: AliHat
Facebook: facebook.com/mileswithstyle

Until next time – take care and keep on running.

xoxo,

Ali

Gobbler Grind Half Marathon

19 Nov

Yesterday, I ran the Gobbler Grind half marathon. I have been trying to get creative with fitting in speed workouts and long runs these last few weeks of training (because I am getting a tad burnt out!), so I signed up for this half.

I wanted to use this race as a long run, and also as a trial run practicing the pace. All along I have been saying I wanted to break 3:30 for my next marathon. But lately I have been reevaluating my goal. Since I have been training so hard and so long, I decided that maybe a 3:25 could be doable.

The time goal for this race would be under 1:45, at a pace that felt comfortable and possible for 26.2.

This race was relatively small, but very well organized. The course was fun to run because it was in a very familiar area – right next to my office!! Parts of the run were on trails that I often use for my lunch time runs, so I knew what to expect. Although there were some big hills along the way, it wasn’t anything crazy. The water stops were well spread out and had a ton of volunteers helping at each. And even though 3/4 of the race was on the Indian Creek Trail, it never felt too congested.

Bundled up at the start! (I ended up being slightly overdressed….)

And they’re off!!

I tried to keep a 7:45 pace going for most of the race. I kept reminding myself that this race was a practice and that I had no reason to kill myself. When I would speed up to a pace that started feeling uncomfortable, I would quickly rein myself back in.

The goal was to be able to talk the entire time, which I practiced by telling all the runners “Good Job!” when I passed them. I also wanted to ensure I had minimal leg burn, so I knew I wasn’t pushing too hard. Sure, some of the hills hurt but nothing felt like something I couldn’t have continued after crossing the finish line.

It was a beautiful day out there!

Do I think I could’ve doubled this run yesterday and kept going at the same pace? No. But do I think I could with the proper taper and nutrition? Yep.

My splits for the race were as follows:

1. 7:48
2. 7:46
3. 7:48
4. 7:47
5. 7:52
6. 7:30
7. 7:37
8. 7:43
9. 7:40
10: 7:54 (HILLS)
11: 7:29
12: 7:55 (HILLS)
13: 7:39

Overall time: 1:41:11, ~7:42 pace
First place in my age group too!

This race was a great confidence boost for me. I had a really hard week of training last week, ate terrible the night before (mexican and margs!), but still felt great. It amazed me how easy this pace could feel, even though it sounds so scary.

After this trial run, I do believe that a 3:25 could be possible come race day ๐Ÿ™‚

Any thoughts from the readers on what I could be capable of? I always love to hear ’em!

xoxo,

Ali

 

Running in Tutus

13 Jun

Last weekend, my best friend Nicole got married. Nicole lives in California now, and was coming in town a week before her wedding. We decided that the best way to kick off her wedding week was to run a half marathon, with the goal of a PR for Nicole.

___________________________________________________________________

When I race, I am all about the outfits (umm, duh). For this race, I decided that we HAD to run in tutus. Nicole’s would be white, and mine would be purple (her bridesmaid dress colors). I made the tutus, then hand crafted some shirts, and TA DA!

Due to Nicole’s late night flight and a gala I attended on Friday evening, we did not get to bed until 1:30am. We knew the next morning would be rough, but we were ready to conquer the Hospital Hill half marathon!

Race Time

5:15 came WAY too early. Holy moly, we were exhausted. We slowly got dressed, and staggered out the door to make the trek downtown.

Once we arrived and assembled our ensembles, we walked to towards the start. Right off the bat, people were yelling at us, honking at us, and cheering at us. It was so funny!

We snapped a quick pic with an old friend, found our place in line, and began our half marathon journey side by side.

The weather was PERFECT. This race is always has a reputation of being super hot, and we got such a break this year. I will say one thing though – it was freaking hilly!!! I guess I didn’t really take the name of the race seriously. Who knew that Hospital Hill would be full of hills??

Of course she was wearing a veil.

The future Mrs. Valentine running through Valentine Rd.

It was so much fun running in these outfits because everyone was cheering for us. Seriously, everyone was. It was as if they had never seen runners in costume.

The top things we heard were:

“Oh my goodness, look at the bride! And the maid of honor too!!”
“Look at the ballerinas”
“When’s the wedding?!”
“You’re a nice maid of honor to run a half marathon with her”
“What is with the tutus?”

Nicole and I made it through the hills, and were able to finish strong and very happy.

I love this picture.

Final time: 1:50:25

So….did we get Nicole a PR? The answer is YES!!!! By 20 seconds!

So proud with our medals!

___________________________________________________________________

 

So what did we do the rest of the week? Well…..

We rehearsed.

We relaxed.

We partied.

We watched our girl get married.

And we celebrated.

It was the perfect week, with the perfect people.

XO,

Ali

%d bloggers like this: