Thursday, March 13, 2014

More Half-Marathon Talk

One of my goals for the year is to run a half-marathon.  I talked last week about some of the things I'm learning while training to run the race. I hesitate to ramble on about running because I'm afraid I'll bore my readers who stop in here to read about books, homeschooling, and my kids.  However, I've been getting questions from friends here in blogland and other friends in real life so I want to do a question-and-answer to cover the basics. 

If you have a question I missed, let me know and I can address it in another post or in the comments. And if reading about running is not your thing, I'll be talking about my kindergartener's favorite art book on Monday.


How long is a half-marathon?  A full marathon is 26.2 miles so a half-marathon is 13.1 miles.

Do you have to run the whole thing or can you stop to walk?  My goal is to run the entire course (with the exception of water stations), but I am free to walk as often as I need to. There is a 3 hour, 15 minute time limit on the race which I can accomplish even if I need to take extra breaks.
What is the farthest you've run? My longest run to date is 10.2 miles.  Several weeks before the half-marathon, I'll do my final long run of about 12-13 miles.  It is said that if are able to run 11 miles in training, you can run 13 miles on race day. 

Will you be able to eat or drink during the run? There will be aid stations along the course with water, sports drinks, and sports gels.  I will stop for water, but I plan to bring my own mid-run fuel since that is what my body is used to.  I've found that pitted dates keep me from hitting the proverbial wall.  I eat one at mile 4 and then continue eating one every 1-2 miles until I'm finished.  At the post race party, every runner is given a plate of  "recovery" food, high in carbs and protein. 

What do you eat after you run to maintain your energy?  I learned the hard way that I need to eat right away after I run.  I keep a container of power balls  in the refrigerator for quick fuel after a run.  I've tried other recipes, but this one has a delicious blend of  oats, peanut butter, coconut, flax seed, honey, and chocolate chips.

I've read that chocolate milk is an ideal post-run snack because it contains the perfect ratio of carbs to protein.  Brian loves it after he works out, but I'm a diva and prefer peanut butter hot chocolate instead.  It still has milk and chocolate, but kicks it up a notch with peanut butter, too.

Other things I eat pre- and post-run are cottage cheese with banana or pineapple, sourdough toast, hard-boiled eggs, oranges, or oatmeal.  

How can you run with bruised toes and a black toenail? I curl the toes on my left foot when I run and it has resulted in several blood blisters and a black toenail.  It is not nearly as painful as it sounds. My toes were sore for a few weeks, but never near excruciating.  Once I realized what I was doing, I made a conscious effort not to do it and aside from waiting for my black toenail to grow out, I'm all healed.  In the meantime, I keep purple polish on my toes to disguise the ickiness. 

Will you ever run a full marathon? I've been asked this question multiple times, most recently by my husband yesterday.  (I think he was hesitant to hear my answer.)  When I first started running, I couldn't run even half a mile without gasping for breath so the idea of a marathon was ludicrous. Now that I am training for a half-marathon, a marathon does not seem so far out of my grasp.  The reality of it, though, is that training takes significant time and effort.  I'm choosing to make it a priority right now, but when the race is over, Brian will be in his busiest season at work.  I am looking forward to dialing down the intensity on my running and spending extra time with my kids and on other hobbies.  Maybe plan for a marathon in fall 2015? Maybe.


  1. I can't believe you've only been running for a year and a half. A half marathon will be a great accomplishment and a wonderful example of hard work and perseverance for your children too!

    1. Sometimes I can't believe it either! I never thought I would be a runner and now here I am training for 13.1! Of course, then there are also days when it feels like I've been running forever.

  2. Runner's Toenail. I get that with walking, too, because my second toe is just slightly longer than my big toe. My toes get so sore sometimes! I'll have to pay attention to see if I am curling them. I think your running posts are a great encouragement. It is a significant "bit and piece" of your life, so we want to hear about it!

    1. Glad I'm not boring everyone! My second toe is the same length as my big toe, but my 2nd and 3rd toes seem to get the brunt of my running. :-/


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