Bring It On, Half Marathon!!

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on September 14, 2009

I reached a new distance PR today! :)

Today was my last planned long run before my half marathon in 13 days (Sept 27th). My goal today was to do around 12 miles.

Last week, I was debating whether I would do 12 or 13 miles as my longest run and many of you gave me some awesome input and offered your own personal experiences.

Many of you said that 12 miles is typically the longest run in most half marathon training plans so that is what you did. Others also said that it isn’t necessary to run the full race distance because really what difference does 1 mile make when you are racing? Probably not much.

Some of you also said that you want your race to be the first time you have ever run that distance so it is automatically a new PR.

Others said that you try to run the race distance just so you know what to expect and you know that you can do it. It is sort of a confidence builder in this respect!

So when I set out today I told myself that I would shoot for 12 miles. I knew I was running the Murder Hill route and because it involves so many intense hills, I didn’t want to push it. Plus, my half marathon course is mostly flat, so if I can do these intense long training runs, I know I can run a flat course.

Eric was such a sweetheart and dropped off 2 water bottles along my route (on his way to work this morning). The only water I have been bringing with me is a pathetic 5 oz bottle which does not give me enough water by any means. Today I had two 500 ml bottles planted at pre-determined spots along my route. What a guy! :)

I really looked forward to the water bottles when I approached their locations. The first one was at about mile 3.75 and I drank about 1 cup and carried it with me until about mile 6 when I polished it off. I was actually surprised because the water bottle wasn’t as difficult to carry as I expected it to be.

But man oh man, did I ever notice a difference in my energy with being properly hydrated!!! It was like night and day. I felt so strong and fast on these hills. I am almost kicking myself for not doing this sooner because I know that I was probably dehydrated in my previous runs. Live and learn I guess!

I felt really good today and I just felt really proud of how far I have come since I started running post-injury back in April. I rocked out to my Nirvana, Offspring, and Green Day tunes again.

Unfortunately at mile 4, my foot pod battery died on me and I had no way of measuring my pace or distance, so I had no idea how fast I was running. I found it quite hard to pace myself because I didn’t have any visual feedback!!! It is crazy how much I rely on my Polar RS200. I just tried to run as well as I could and not lag too much. Once I got home I had to go to Map My Route and map out how far my run was.

Around mile 10.50, I met the nicest old man who was on a walk. He told me he was 85 years old and walks everyday! He was so cute! He encouraged me and told me how great it was that I was running. Well, you should have seen the look on his face when I told him I was running 12 miles! haha. It was cute. He told me to watch out for traffic and we said goodbye and parted ways. It put such a big smile on my face for the next half mile. He probably has no idea that his kind words helped me finish my run today.

I definitely want to be that 85 year old person who is fit and active!!!! Anyone else? ;)

During my run, I stopped about 8 times to walk and rehydrate (for about 30-60 seconds each time. At mile 9 I had my Homemade energy gel and it gave me a nice boost of energy.

Here are the stats for my run:

  • Distance: 12.40 miles (I went longer than I thought!)
  • Duration: 2 hours 8 minutes 53 seconds
  • Avg pace: 10:23 min/mile
  • Max pace: 7:52 min/mile
  • Max heart rate: 168 bpm
  • Avg heart rate: 151 bpm

So because my distance was not tracked, I actually over compensated and ran over 12 miles which is fine by me!

I felt great on my run, just a bit stiff in the legs and shoulders by about mile 11 onward. Actually around mile 12, I got some chaffing along my chest from my heart rate monitor band. This has never happened in this spot before, so it is good that I found it out now. Before my half I am going to put some Body Glide in that area (I also have to put it in the centre of the band too.

I guess it is true what everyone says- it is good to do long runs before the race so you find out how your body will react! Luckily I had no strange blisters after today’s run.

I got home and did my traditional long run recovery routine.

If I thought I was excited for my half before, I am even more excited now! :) I have this crazy goal of coming in under 2 hours, but we’ll have to see. I think since I have been training on Murder Hill I may just surprise myself during the half. Time will tell!

See you later for new Glo bars and US shipping news! I will also be sharing a really inspiring story from a reader who began to run. :)

I’m off to work, work, work!


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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Courtney September 14, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Whoooo hooooo!!! Awesome job on the long run! And good job on keeping on even after your foot pod died…that would be a little frustrating!
I bet your actual race will be a breeze after all your hill running!
I did a very hilly 5 mile race this weekend and I’ve been training for a few months on the actual course. All around me I heard people complaining about the hills and struggling while I was pounding up them!! It was awesome.
Adventures in Tri-ing


Heather September 14, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Great job! I think a lot of people have a goal to finish under 2 hours, whether it’s achievable or not. I aimed for it my last race and was 5 minutes off, and I’ll definitely aim for it next time! Race day adrenaline does a lot!


Kristen September 14, 2009 at 2:33 pm

you’ll get it next time for sure :)


Paige @ Running Around Normal September 14, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Wooo hhoooo! Awesome, job:) So inspiring. I’ll bet those water bottles helped a lot! Such a nice husband.

I’m so excited for your US shipping news!!!


leianna September 14, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Great run and water makes the difference!
I want to be an 85 year old who is active and still exercising everyday!
Can’t wait to see your new creation!


Bec September 14, 2009 at 2:17 pm

glad you had a great run!


Pam September 14, 2009 at 2:18 pm

You’ll achieve your goal…great going!


Pam at Highway to Health September 14, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Wow that is AWESOME! Congrats on the new PR. You are totally ready for the half marathon!


Gillian September 14, 2009 at 2:24 pm

You should be good to go for the Scotia Bank run no prob – it only has 1 hill that isn’t very big not too long after the half way point (you will go down it on the way out)! From the looks of your murder hill route it should be sans problem!


leslie September 14, 2009 at 2:25 pm

congrats on the pr, angela. it’s so wonderful how passionate you’ve become about running, and how much you’re succeeding! i can’t wait to hear how amazingly your half goes. :)


Katie September 14, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Congratulations, Angela! You’re such a motivation… I hope to be able to run 12 miles one day!


Lizzie September 14, 2009 at 2:29 pm

Wow! That’s amazing. I have my first 1/2 in November and you are truly an inspiration. Keep the 2 hours in mind – you might just surprise yourself, especially if your race is a flat course and you have been training in hills.


Lizzie September 14, 2009 at 2:31 pm

One other thing. The story about the 85 year old guy reminded me of one of my running inspirations – a guy I interviewed last year for work who was 106 and finished his first marathon at 72 (London) and kept running/walking well into his nineties (and walking into his 100’s!).


Kristin (Kristins Nibbles) September 14, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Yay! Good for you! Maybe next year I can do a half marathon with you in Canada =)


brandi September 14, 2009 at 2:39 pm

great job on the run!!!


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) September 14, 2009 at 2:49 pm

Congrats on your PR and I cannot wait for the Glo Bars making their US debut…woo hoo!


Becky September 14, 2009 at 3:14 pm

Congrats on the PR run!


Alison September 14, 2009 at 3:20 pm

I ran my first half yesterday and I can say from experience that adrenaline and motivation will help you reach your time. You were so close to two hours on your 12 miler, with hills to boot! I have complete faith that you can come in under 2 hours! It’s all downhill from here! ;)


Molly Baker September 14, 2009 at 3:28 pm

congrats on your PR!!!! I just wrote a post about running my first 1/2 marathon which was yesterday, good luck to you!


Nikki T September 14, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Congrats on setting a new record for yourself today! That is super exciting!
I just wanted to tell you that your are so inpiring in the way you write!
You really make a person want to dream and achieve and I thank you and your beautiful blog for that!


natalie September 14, 2009 at 3:36 pm

Way to go! You must feel awesome! I bet you will reach your goal of under two hours since you are so close and have been running hills! Awesome!


Marcia September 14, 2009 at 3:46 pm

Awesome job, you should be proud! I bought a fuel belt, and this last run (8 miles, most I’ve ever done), I filled it with water and electrolytes (16 oz), and took a package of Gu with me.

It was AMAZING how much stronger I felt during the run. I ran at a 10:25 pace, which is REALLY fast for me.

My biggest soreness problem tends to be my hips and hamstrings. I have wide hips (made wider and looser due to childbirth), and walking or running, they always get sore first.

Good luck!!


Chloe September 14, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Nice work Angela! I’m so impressed with yout ability to go out there and get a good run in, especially since you have been injured before.

Can’t wait for race day, I’ll be sending cheer-thoughts your way!


Jenny September 14, 2009 at 4:51 pm

you are awesome! congrats on such a killer run and good luck meeting that 2 hour goal! If not, you still rest assured that you probably ran more in one day than I have in the past year :)


Stephanie September 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Amazing! you must be so proud of you!!




Tay September 14, 2009 at 5:59 pm

Girl – you are superwoman!! You can come under 2 hours, I have faith :-) What a sweet old man. I definitely want to be fit & active when I’m that age. I may not be running (haha), but I want to be out there doing something!!


Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries September 14, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Great job!! You’re gonna do great!


Susan September 14, 2009 at 7:10 pm

Congrats Angela!! Sounds like you ended up doing somewhere in-between :) I can’t believe you’ve been drinking so little water during your long runs, I would die! Have you given any more thought to a camelbak? I still love mine. Or even one of those glove thingys with the bottle attached to it…


Liz @ In The Skinny September 14, 2009 at 7:38 pm

My advice is to put Body Glide everywhere – even places you don’t think. ;) I know it sounds gross, but my first marathon left me with some chafing I didn’t expect – the sleeves of my shirt. And I had worn the short on every long run to see where it rubbed.


Amanda September 14, 2009 at 7:45 pm

GREAT JOB on your run!!! You are going to rock the half!

I too am training for my first half and I decided to run 13 miles this weekend! I feel so ready for the half!


Lauren September 14, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Congratulations Angie that is truly WONDEFUL!!! I am so proud of you.

As far as the goal for shooting under 2 hours on your 1/2…I had the same one. But then I started to freak out before I started and thought that the goal was way too ambitious for my first 1/2. I just kept telling myself it didn’t matter, I just wanted to finish and that would be accomplisment enough. Well, I actually did finish in under 2 hours and really surprised myself. I think you will too! But try not to get hung up on times and just run. Run because you love it and you will do amazing!

PS- I know you are one crazy busy lady, but I just wrote a full recap on my 1st half.(
You may find some of it helpful for your upcoming race because I garuntee I was in the same state that you are probably in.
As nervous as you may be now, you will exhilerated with passion! Trust me, it’s amazing! :)


Brandi C September 14, 2009 at 8:17 pm

Great job today Ange!
I can’t wait to start back running! I have been doing the elliptical lately but I think the great outdoors are calling me again =)


Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) September 14, 2009 at 10:49 pm

I definitely want to be fit and active at 85! How awesome!


jokach September 15, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Its amazing what a little water does for a long run, I have the same opinion, you run better when you’re actually hydrated probably.. its such a simple thing, but us runners forget that for some reason ..

Good luck in your race…


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