First Time Training

8 Jan

Good morning everyone!

I’m still on a roll with this getting up early aspiration! Although Chris would argue that technically I woke up 5 minutes later than yesterday. But still, I’m overall waking up 10-15 minutes earlier. It’s a start, people!

So I don’t know about you, but yesterday was a total Monday. You know what I mean – those Mondays where you feel like you’re totally dragging and can’t manage to get motivated at all. THAT kind of Monday. I swear I spent most of the morning just trying to convince myself into starting on the giant pile of paperwork.

Luckily a cup of coffee (and a lunch break with some equally unmotivated Monday coworkers) helped jump start me for some super productivity in the afternoon.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who hates Mondays this much? Especially after an awesome weekend.

After work I headed over to the gym for 45 minutes of ellipticalling. I’m trying to take it pretty easy this week in preparation for the race on Saturday. It definitely got me sweating, but nothing too insane.

I have to admit though, ellipticalling for long periods of time totally brings me back to the beginning of my “healthy journey” when I was a cardio-only kind of girl who would just sit on the elliptical for 30 minutes and call it a workout. Oh how times have changed!

After a few errands (where I got some serious stares for wearing a t-shirt and capris walking into Target, considering it’s like 30 degrees outside), I headed home and Chris and I put together this delicious, albeit beige, dinner.


Flounder with a sweet soy glaze (a la Tina), savory roasted acorn squash, and quinoa. Delicious.

First time Training

So since the Disney Half Marathon is coming up in T-4 days (AHHHH), I thought I’d do a little recap on how our training has gone. This is the first time Chris or I have ever done a race longer than a 5K, so we’re definitely newbies when it comes to training. We’ve also had a lot of obstacles in our training, including the insanity of the wedding, a week off for the honeymoon, lots of traveling, and some injuries.

But here are some of the few things we’ve done or learning in this process.


The distance was that part that scared me the most about the half. Prior to training, I’d never done a run longer than 5 miles, so 13.1 was a little scary.

We’ve been following a general training plan put out by Disney that basically has us upping our mileage every weekend by a mile. When we came back from the Honeymoon, we started out at 4 miles, and our longest was technically 9 (it was supposed to be 10, but then my ankle issue started).

However the more we’ve run, the more confident I’ve become with the distance. I NEVER thought I’d be able to run 9 miles, and now I’ve proven to myself that I can do it.


The biggest change I’ve noticed in all of this is our endurance. When we first got back from the honeymoon, 4 miles was a STRUGGLE. Last weekend we did a 4 mile taper and it felt so easy. THAT gives me confidence that we can do this.


This one was probably the most difficult for us to figure out. Chris is much taller than I am (6’0” to my 5’2”), so his legs are like practically twice as long as mine. He easily takes 3 strides to 4 of mine. We are determined to run this first race together, so finding a pace and intervals that works for us both was hard.

We finally settled on a pace that’s slightly faster than I would normally run, but slightly slower than his typical pace. We’ve practiced enough with it at this point that I’m pretty confident that it will work.

In terms of intervals, we’re pretty much settled on a run 13 minutes, walk 2 minute pattern. Again, it took us a while to figure out what worked for us, but this seems to have done pretty well for us on our longer runs, so I’m crossing my fingers that we can keep it up for the extra 4 miles of the half marathon (since our longest run is only 9 miles).


Thanks to recommendations from family and other bloggers, we’ve been trying a couple of different fueling options for race-day.

We both really liked the Clif shot bloks, although they did take a little bit longer for me to digest. My other favorite was the clif shots themselves. I’m still getting used to the gel consistency, but I really liked the ingredient list most on these. I found that most other fuel gels were full of HFCS or fructose/sucralose, which I’m not really a fan of.

Chris and I are going to be picking up our final choices this week from VA Runner, so I’ll let you know what we decide!


That’s where we are in terms of our preparation. As I said, we’re taking it pretty easy this week and adding in some extra carbs where we can, so I’m hoping that all of this hard work is going to pay off come Saturday!

Have I mentioned how excited/petrified I am????

So tell me: Do you have any running or training tips that have really worked for you?

Since this is our first time ever training for a race, we weren’t really sure how to approach it. Hopefully we’ll have a much better idea for our next race!


8 Responses to “First Time Training”

  1. Chelsea Eats Treats January 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

    I’m planning to run a half marathon at some point this year (probably through the NY Road Runners Club because it will be free- but there aren’t any available to sign up for yet so I have to wait and see) and I’ll need a good training schedule. I can’t wait to hear how this goes!! Good luck!!

    • MyFreckledLife January 8, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

      I am definitely hoping to do at least one more this year (if this goes well). I was originally thinking about the Marine Corps Historic Half in May since it’s like in my backyard, but Chris and I are going to be doing the Warrior Dash the day before, and I dont know that I’ll be up for both in one weekend. You’ll have to let me know which one you decide to do!!

  2. forthesakeofcake January 8, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    How did I not realize you were doing the DISNEY half?! Can’t wait to hear what you think since I’m doing the Disney Princess!

    I’ve tried the Gu and found it to be pretty weird! The consistency and taste (I tried vanilla) weren’t my favorite, but at least it didn’t upset my stomach.

    • MyFreckledLife January 8, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

      Yes! My mom lives in Orlando, so a whole bunch of my family is doing it. I’d love to do the Princess though, it looks like so much fun!

      And I agree with you on the consistency. I had tried the vanilla flavor thinking that I would like it (I usually LOVE vanilla things), but I was not a fan. I’m much more of a fan of the berry flavors, which I thought I would hate. Weird how that works!

  3. ahellams January 8, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

    Good luck in your race. I just posted about pacing so it is fresh in my mind…be careful not to go out too fast in the first few miles, it can really make the end miserable! Have a great race and a great time.
    P.S. I am so jealous your husband runs with you, I always wanted that but my boyfriend blew out his ACL twice so my hopes and dreams of that are pretty much dashed.

    • MyFreckledLife January 9, 2013 at 9:22 am #

      That is always my biggest problem too – starting out too fast. I’m hoping the giant crowd will help slow us down at the beginning. And I do love running with my husband, even though it took a lot of convincing. That’s a bummer about the ACL though – and twice?? Ouch!!

  4. di @ life of di. January 9, 2013 at 9:45 am #

    I am fairly new to running so I don’t really have any tips for you, but I just wanted to tell you how awesome it is that you have been able to increase your mileage by so much. At the beginning of last year, I couldn’t run a mile without getting winded (it was really discouraging) but by October, I ran the Columbus Half Marathon. I am hoping to run the same one this fall but I plan to be more consistent in my training so that I can actually maintain higher mileages year-round 🙂 I think the biggest thing I have noticed is that consistency is key. Even though I work out about 4-6 days/week, if the workouts don’t include running, I start back at square one. It’s definitely something I’ve had to keep up with 🙂

    • MyFreckledLife January 9, 2013 at 9:58 am #

      Thank you! And wow, that’s amazing!!! Congrats on running the Columbus Half!! But I totally know what you mean – if I take a few days off, I can DEFINITELY tell the difference in my running stamina! And you definitely sound like a runner to me!

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