Half Marathon Training

So, I’ve mentioned it a few times, I guess, but I certainly haven’t talked about it too much.  I’m running a half marathon in 4 DAYS. No big deal, right?  This isn’t my first long distance race. I’ve run the Broad St Run 3 times and have run 2 half marathons – the Philly Half in 2008 and the Oktoberfest Half in 2012. I’m doing the Oktoberfest Half again this year. It’s a great little race, like 500 people – all run in Pennypack Park in the Northeast. Most of the race is on a paved bike/running path, with 2 miles on a flat trail in the middle. I’m excited for the race. My training has been fine, but certainly not stellar. I kept up with a couple shorter runs during the week, in addition to my other strength/bootcamp workouts. I got long runs in on most weekends, with a few exceptions. My long runs felt strong, and things were going awesome. It certainly wasn’t the hardest training I’ve ever done, but I never really had a goal for the race other than just wanting to have fun. Can I tell you that just training for something to have fun is the most refreshing experience?!?! Since when does running have to be so freakin’ serious?

Then, a few weeks ago (during Week 9 below), my IT band starting bothering me. I foam rolled, stretched, and it seemed okay. Until it wasn’t. I rested a few days, and I was planning on a long run that weekend. Well, I woke up that day about two weeks ago, and I realized that I most definitely could not run 9 miles that day. So, I continued to rest. That’s what everyone says you should do. But I could not go two weeks without running!  At that point, my longest run had been 8.6 miles. Yikes.

I took almost a week off from running (Week 10-11), and ran 2 miles last Wednesday. I followed it immediately by a yoga class. There was no pain but definite tightness. The next day, I ran 3 miles and followed that by a yoga class. Similar feelings – not pain, but not great. Saturday, I ran 10 miles (after I took 3 ibuprofen). It actually went really well. It wasn’t fast, but a good steady pace. I had some tightness on the inside and back of my knee. (It seems that IT problems usually present themselves on the outside of the knee). I went to yoga the next day. Monday, I ran 4 miles. It was a good run, with a little more tightness than before but still okay. Tuesday I rested. Yesterday, I ran 3 miles – my last run until Sunday. By the end, my knee hurt. Not a lot of pain but not just tightness like before. Today, I fit in 40 minutes of yoga and am getting ready to do a little foam rolling. My IT Band is a little achy right now. My half is on Sunday. I just have to hold it together until then. Between now and Sunday, I am going to do a little swimming, a gentle yoga class, some other yoga on my own, and a lot of rest.

Wish me luck.


If you are interested, here was my *actual* training. Real runs, not planned runs. You can see that my mileage never got crazy high. However, those low-ish numbers can be pretty deceiving. So, I added in how many cross training workouts I did as well, since I do a lot of those. They range from Ranger Cross Training (Strength), Ranger Training Bootcamp, Lithe Method, and yoga.

Week 1 (7): Wed – 4 miles, Thurs – 3 miles +  (5 Cross)

Week 2 (12.5): Mon – 4.5 miles, Wed – 3 miles, Sun – 5 miles + (3 Cross)

Week 3 (12.5): Wed – 3 miles, Sat – 2.5 miles, Sun – 7 miles + (3 Cross)

Week 4 (3): Wed – 3 miles + (5 Cross)

Week 5 (14): Tues-  3 miles, Thurs – 3 miles, Sat – 8 miles + (4 Cross)

Week 6 (14): Tues – 2 miles, Fri – 4 miles, Sun – 8 miles + (3 Cross)

Week 7 (12): Tues – 2.5 miles, Wed – 3 miles, Sun – 6.5 miles + (3 Cross)

Week 8 (7): Fri – 3 miles, Sun – 4 miles + (4 Cross)

Week 9 (16.5): Tues – 4 miles, Thurs – 4 miles, Sun – 8.5 miles + (2 Cross)

Week 10 (3): Tues – 3 miles + (4 Cross)

Week 11 (15): Wed – 2 miles, Thurs – 3 miles, Sat – 10 miles + (4 Cross – 3 were yoga!)

Week 12: Mon – 4 miles, Wed – 3 miles, SUN – 13.1!


Be sure to go to my running partner’s blog and wish him luck! I’m going to run with him and pace him – and he’s going to *KILL* his last year’s record!


IT Band Woes

This week, I’ve been getting to know a certain member of my body that I hadn’t had the pleasure of taking notice of before. I think he was starting to feel left out, so wanted to be sure that I noticed him. (Yes, it’s a he.)

Let me introduce you to my right IT Band. Let’s just say that it hurts.

I haven’t run since last Tuesday – though, I was doing other exercise.  It started bothering me two weeks ago, but went away a bit after the shorter run. I ran again two days later with no pain at all. I did some foam rolling and stretching, and ran that 8.5 miles that Sunday, and it hurt a bit around mile 8, but nothing serious. I dutifully foam rolled Wednesday and Friday when I was at Sgt Nate, but Sunday morning, I woke up and it wasn’t feeling right. I was supposed to run 10 miles, but well – I decided not to.  I went to a Lithe Method class called Watershed, where you essentially roll around on a hard spiky ball. It helped, but good thing I didn’t run, because it was sore just from walking around. Monday, instead of running, I decided to go swimming and to a gentle yoga class…. but again, it was sore from walking around. Those do seem to have helped, though, as it’s not hurting as much today. I’m resting completely today, and I’m going to try to run tomorrow.

My half marathon is in a week and a half. I’m certainly going to try not to injure myself more than I am, but I still want to try and run it……    I’ll keep you updated.


Anyone with experience with ITB issues two weeks pre-race? What did you do?


Rest Days

They say rest days are the most important days. I personally hate taking them. I feel lazy, like I’m going to ruin my progress and *gasp* not burn off calories. However, I know that rest days are vital to making progress. Your body needs time to rest and recover from the hard workouts you’ve done. Since I took 2 days off last week due to my crazy schedule as of late, I worked out all weekend – Friday night kettlebell class, about 3 hours on Saturday at that Be Well Philly Bootcamp – and an hour at Lithe on Sunday too. My legs were very tired, and yesterday at kettlebell class, my back was feeling tight. I knew today had to be a rest day. I am going to do some extra walking today, but I really am going to take it easy. Too much exercise and not enough rest can start to negate all of the hard work I am putting in, which clearly makes no sense. Also, I really do perform better when I’m rested. Despite that,  it can be hard to remind myself that your body gets stronger when it has time to heal and recover.