Half Marathon Training: See Jane Run Edition

girl running with dog drawing
Does drawing yourself running count as beginning to train for a race?

Do you know what I love more than running?

Chocolate and champagne.

Yes, dark, decadent chocolate and fizzy bubbles are a match made in heaven and always delicious, but they taste EVEN BETTER after running 13.1 miles. (I’m pretty sure this is like a scientific law or something.)

Fortunately, the folks at the See Jane Run series understand the amazingness of this trio and host an annual women’s half marathon in the Bay Area with chocolate and champagne at the finish line—the See Jane Run Half Marathon San Francisco.

The 13.1 mile course runs through Alameda, California with beautiful views of the San Francisco skyline, and while I’ve never run it myself, I’ve heard great things about it from others.

I signed up for the race last night and am putting in my first official half marathon training mileage after work today. EXCITEMENT!

The race is on June 21st, so that gives me 8 weeks to train harrrrrd. In the past, I’ve stuck to a 12-week training plan, so with only 2 months on the calendar, I definitely can’t let myself slip or skip too many runs.

Do you have a good 8-week half marathon training plan? Shout out if you’re also training for an upcoming race!

xoxo,

Melissa

P.S. Learn more about the See Jane Run Bay Area race; there’s also a 5k!

San Jose Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon Race Recap

Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon Finisher

Another 13.1 miles complete!

On Sunday I ran the San Jose Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, my second half marathon to date, and had a great—albeit sweaty—time.

With 90°+ temperatures all weekend, I knew I’d get hot during the race, but I didn’t fully realize how challenging it would be to run in the heat all morning until I was mid-race. Much of the course was exposed to the sun, and, due to a relatively late start time of 8 AM, I spent most of the race either on the hunt for Gatorade stations or daydreaming of cannonballing into a swimming pool.

Besides the heat, the San Jose Rock ‘n’ Roll was a great race. Admittedly, I didn’t make my goal time (my race time was 2 hours exactly), but it was a great learning experience that taught me a lot about training for my next half marathon.

Mostly, I started out way too quickly. During my practice long runs I focused on running negative splits, but on race day I let my excitement get the best of me and ran each of my first three miles 1-2 minutes faster than I should have. By Mile 10, I was exhausted, and the heat really took its toll.

If you can pace yourself better than I can, I highly recommend this race for fellow beginners, as well as anyone looking to PR, due to its flat, easy course.

It was also a very well-organized race. Tons of volunteers staffed water, fuel, and sponge stations, and the 20+ waves at the start line were well-staggered, which meant I never felt crowded or like I was running as a part of a herd.

My only big complaint is that there wasn’t as much live music as I anticipated. For a “rock ‘n’ roll” half marathon, most of my race would have been silent had I not prepped my own race playlist and brought my headphones.

Overall, this was a great race, and I would love to run it again! The month following my first half marathon at the Oakland Running Festival, I ran very little and felt momentarily disenchanted with running, but this time around I feel more dedicated than ever to improving my speed and training smarter.

After a day of rest, I’m back at it and looking forward to finding another half marathon to train for!

The Week Before My Half Marathon: Prepping My Running Playlist

View of Fort Mason and the Bay from the running trail
Getting a sunset 5.5-miler in near Fort Mason in San Francisco

It’s coming! It’s coming! My half marathon (affectionately referred to as “Halfsie #2”) is just around the corner, and I can’t wait!

I’ve been training for a half marathon for the last two and a half months, and I am very excited to see what I can do on Sunday at the San Jose Rock n Roll Half Marathon. Half marathon training is never easy, and I don’t think anyone ever really feels like they did enough to prepare. I missed a few runs, cut a few short, and didn’t stick to my Nike Training Plan as well as I intended, so I’m a little curious—and by curious, I mean anxious—to see how I’ll actually do on race day.

Until then, I’m just trying to stay hydrated, rest a bit, and prep the all-important race-day playlist.

I enjoy running without music while trail running and when speed isn’t the goal. However, during a race, I need a really good beat and a killer running music playlist to keep me going and pump me up through each mile.

Are you looking for some new running music? Check out my list of current favorites below, and let me know if you have any good songs that I should add to my playlist.

Running Songs:

Bang Bang – will.i.am

Jealous (I Ain’t With It) Dillon Francis Remix – Chromeo

You Make Me – Avicii

Delta – C2C

Runaway Baby – Bruno Mars

Comme Un Enfant (Freaks Radio Mix) – Yelle

i – Kendrick Lamar

All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor

Don’t – Ed Sheeran

Miss Jackson – Panic! At the Disco (featuring Lolo)


Happy running (and dancing)!

My Longest Run to Date: 14 Miles DONE!

View of the Golden Gate Bridge from my run
View of the Golden Gate Bridge from my run

In March, I completed by first half marathon by running 13.1 miles in the Oakland Running Festival. In training for it, I didn’t run more than 11 miles, and by mile 10 on race day it was clear that I should have bumped up the distance on my long runs. With 3 miles left, my body began to exhaust, and all I could think about during miles 11 and 12 was how badly I wanted to just stop and give up. Fortunately, I didn’t give up, and I still beat my goal time. However, I promised myself that I’d make sure I had enough gas in the tank to finish my next half marathon strong.

So when I began training for Halfsie #2, I planned to log two 14 mile runs, and several 12-milers to get myself feeling much more comfortable with the 13.1 distance.

Well…(if you couldn’t already tell from the title of this post)…I’m happy to say I finished my first 14 mile run yesterday evening, which is also my longest run to date! Happy dance x14!

My 14 mile route through San Francisco
My route through San Francisco

I won’t lie; it wasn’t easy for me. I’ve felt really good about my two 12-milers accomplished so far this training schedule, but this longer distance felt significantly more difficult. Those two last miles always seem to kick me in the butt, but I’m still super proud of myself for finishing. I’m expecting my next 14 mile run and subsequent 12 to feel easier, and hopefully I’ll be able to PR my upcoming half. (Fingers crossed.)

Yeah, like I said, I was really tired when I finished and not feeling particularly photogenic…

Me after my 14 mile run
“Just give me Gatorade, and nobody will get hurt.”

Fortunately, I like to treat myself to a good meal when I complete a long run. A couple slices of Zachary’s gluten-free pizza and a glass of red wine was just what I needed to round out the day and feel on top of the world.

Slice of Zachary's pizza
Best. Pizza. Ever.

And the best part of running on a Friday evening? A run-free Saturday morning. I got to curl up with a book, a cup of coffee, and my cat instead of hitting the trail this morning. Perfection.

Reading a book with coffee and my cat