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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Half Marathon Day

Sunday is my big day, it's the Kaiser Permanente San Fransisco Half Marathon! This will be my first Half Marathon and I am really excited. It is supposed to be one of the most scenic runs in America. It starts in SF Golden Gate Park and then works its way down The Great Highway to the SF Zoo and back up. So it is right on the coast!

I have been walking and attempting to run for years, but really set out do it regularly when I started the Belly Fat Cure 14 months ago. My walks turned more and more into runs (first only the downhills sections, then parts of the flat, then all the flat, then finally the hills. Argh, the hills). I didn't add distance, I just added more running, instead of hiking, to what I already did. I was a very sedentary person before, never been a gym rat or enjoyed cardio.

I am not really sure about my motivation for completing a Half Marathon. I know I'm NOT doing it to lose weight or get in shape. I can do both of those things with the BFC and a lot less running. I think one day I just realized I COULD DO THIS. I am not a competitive person, but lately I like the idea of challenging myself and seeing what my body can do. After a good run, I can feel that my body really did something (true exhaustion from exertion), and feel proud. I followed Hal Higdon's Half Marathon Training schedule for Intermediates, pretty much to the T for the last 10 weeks. I went out and put my miles in, whether I felt like it or not. I wanted to do the work and really training, instead of just going out and killing myself on race day.

Here's my gear... turns out running long distance is as much about the gear as it is your ability!
  • I run with my Nexus One Android Phone for music and mileage tracking. It lets me know my pace every half mile and brilliantly keeps track of all my training miles. (I recommend CardioTrainer, its free)
  • I strap it to my arm with a Belkin armband
  • I purchased a new pair of Brooks Glycerin 8s when I decided on this and realized I should have gotten new running shoes a year before. Man, they made a HUGE difference in my knees and hips. And they're pretty.
  • My LuluLemon jogbra has been a lifesaver, but on my last two long training runs it rubbed my skin until I bled through my shirt. Not good at all, I think I need a smaller cup size now is the problem. But I don't want anything new on race day. 
  • I use a hat for sun protection and to keep my gaze strictly on the road, otherwise I get freaked out by hills and how far I have to go. (Eyes on the road Amber, eyes on the road)
  • Weather is supposed to be 65, I will wear a sleeveless top and long tights or shorts (all from Target and well worn). 
  • I bought these special long distance running socks that don't wrinkle or rub, and I LOVE them. They have cushions on all the right places too.
  • Music - This is the key for me! A great song changes EVERYTHING in the moment. I've been loading up on new music all week. 
I am a real sweater, so my clothing is completely soaked through on long runs (completely, even my hat is soaked). My internal heater is hot, even though my skin is cold to the touch. So I have to be careful if I'm wet from sweat and then a cold wind hits. The Hubby and kids are coming up to cheer me on, so I'll have them hold a few clothing options and a banana in case I need some sugar midway. I have a goal in mind to finish in 2:10, which means I have to maintain a 10 minute pace per mile. Wish me luck!

Do you have a big goal in mind? Has losing weight made you realize you can do things you never dreamed before? I'd love to hear it!



  1. SO excited for you Amber!!! Although I am not a runner, I have a lot of respect for those who can endure these kinds of physical challenges. I know you will do GREAT and feel such a huge since of accompishment when it's over. Take pictures and let us know how you did.
    In the words of Forrest Gump: RUN AMBER, RUN!!!
    Best of luck,

  2. Wish you luck on your run. I have always wanted to try and run a marathon but I am not much of a runner. It really has to make you feel good of all your accomplishments. And what beautiful scenery.

  3. Amber...you go girl!!! I love that you have a time "goal" in mind for yourself. I have NO DOUBT that you will do it in the time allottment you have allocated. I too wish that I could be a runner but I have achilles tendonitis and it is never gonna happen for me..I will only ever be a walker....but its ok. I will be cheering you on too and thinking about you tomorrow!! Best of luck and DONT break a leg!! Have hubby take your picture as you cross that finish line!! :)

  4. My son lives in S.F. and I wish he was running in this. It sounds like such an awesome run, and the temp. actually sounds great for such a distance. Good Luck Amber. Please post pictures as you stride through the finish line!

  5. hi Amber-
    I've been wanting to ask you for awhile...... how has your diet changed since you started training? and i mean amounts, maybe?
    i've started training for a half marathon, and i've noticed that running longer then an hour really shifts things for me.... Most of the long distance trainers are high carb, low fat and protein, so i'm really curious what you do....

    what foods do you eat going prior to a run, and what foods do you eat coming out of a run?

    i've been low carb, high fat and protein for awhile, but since increasing my running, i've been wanting and seem to be thriving from more carbs....

    thanks, and good luck on your half marathon! :)

  6. I have been doing regular BFC this whole time. In January I started Fast Track again, so no grain BFC and a little more strict. I noticed though that my muscles were hurting and I was having a harder time on my long run days (9 plus mile days) recently. I think that had to do with not enough carbs for such long runs. So I did up them this week, but not by a ton. I didnt have any big pasta meals or anything like that. Just back to regular BFC. Im not sure I did the right thing, I want to protect my body for the long term and not burn actual muscle. So I am talking to my Dr about it next time too.