Is Sea Wheeze Your First Half? Here is How I Did It.

Introduction   I thought I'd start a separate page to chronicle my running training to get ready for the Sea Wheeze marathon in August. It's going to be quite a challenge for me since I was never a runner, am turning 48 this year, and have a rather daunting double-digit number of pounds I'd like to loose. However, you never accomplish anything if you don't try so I am going to give it a shot.

I never liked running as a kid. That's probably because I got all wheezy and stitches in my side whenever I ran hard. I realized when I was an adult it's due to Exercise Induced Asthma but back then people weren't as enlightened, not my parents nor my gym teachers, so I grew up thinking I wasn't athletic (and hating any activity involving running in gym class). It wasn't until I did a century bike ride in my twenties that I realized I could enjoy an aerobic activity.  I wasn't a regular gym goer (though I've joined quite a few) until I quit my job to stay home with the kids but since I started taking spin classes and got hooked on the endorphin high I've been a regular, going at least twice a week for the past four years or so.

Anywho, cut to a couple of weeks ago when running friends of mine told me I had plenty of time to train for a half marathon and they talked me into it. My husband has also gone from a non-runner to someone who is doing his first half marathon in a couple of weeks so his example has inspired me, too. I put it on the blog and now I am committed. I started the Couch to5K program on January 4th.

C25K W1D1 (Couch to 5K, Week 1 Day 1) - Wednesday, Jan 4, 2012
For the first week, the C25K has you do a warm up walk for 5 minutes, then run 60 seconds, walk 60 seconds and repeat for 20 minutes. The first day was hell. I had done a spin class an hour and a half before but I was high on endorphins and thought I had energy to do this wimpy half hour workout. I was dying. I really wanted to quit after the first 60 seconds. I looked at my watch after 40 seconds and counted down the remaining 20. My heart rate shot up into the stratosphere. I talked myself into doing another interval and by the third one it wasn't so bad. I finished the workout but I was hurting. My right hip flexor really bugged me towards the end, something that kicks in when we take any walk over 6 miles. My chest also felt a bit tight at the end.

C25K W1D2 - Saturday, Jan 7, 2012:
This workout was worse than the first one. My asthma kicked in on this run, early. My heart rate went through the roof. We had been to Disneyland two days before and walked over 9 miles (my husband wore a pedometer) and I did spin class the day before so my hip flexor twinge turned into a sharp pain by the end of this run. I think part of my problem on this workout was that I started running too fast. I was very discouraged when I got home. The asthma brought up so many negative feelings from junior high and high school. I figured there was no way I could run for 13 miles. It just wasn't going to be physically feasible. After I did a bit of googling on running and asthma I found that running with asthma blog which gave me some encouragement. Many people have had success using an inhaler 15 minutes before running until their lungs got stronger through running so I dug out an expired inhaler I had left over from a bout with bronchitis and decided to try it the next time. I also made an appointment with my doctor to get a new prescription.

C25KW1D3 - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2010:
You are supposed to run the C25K every other day but my two favorite spin teachers teach on Monday and Friday so I've decided to run on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. My husband told me I'd have to give spin up to run since it uses the same muscles and that's what Jeff Galloway says you need to do when training for a marathon. Spin is my first love so there is no chance of doing that. I'll just work it into my training somehow. So far it seems to be ok. I am only running 60 seconds at a time so I can't believe it's that big of an issue at this point.

Anyway, on this run I had a nice two days off, had coffee (caffeine is supposedly a bronchial dilator) and I used my ancient inhaler beforehand. I also made sure to take smaller steps and slow down. What a difference! The running was much easier. I even added three extra 90 second intervals at the end of the 20 minutes. I didn't experience any asthma at all and my heart rate stayed fairly low (max ~162) I added a cool down walk of a mile which seemed to work better for my hip flexor than stretching. I felt so good (it's probably more accurate to say I didn't feel as awful as I anticipated) I signed up for the Sea Wheeze the next day.

C25KW2D1 - Thursday, Jan 12, 2012:
Wednesday I had a PTA meeting so I didn't do anything physical. I did the same routine on Thursday - coffee and inhaler. The Week 2 workout is 5 min walk warmup, 90 second run, 2 minutes walking and repeat for 20 minutes. This workout also wasn't too bad.  It seems to take me about 3 intervals before I finally feel loose and into it but once I get going I feel good. My hip flexor pain was gone. At the end of this workout I added another one mile cool down walk to boost my calories and because it seems to keep my muscles loose.

C25KW2D2 - Sunday, Jan 15, 2012:
I would have run on Saturday morning but my son had an 8 am soccer scrimmage so I had to get up early. I decided to skip Saturday and run on Sunday instead. I felt good again, good heart rate, no twinges anywhere. I added three extra intervals at the end. I still run very slowly but this is about conditioning my bones and joints to the stresses of running. My primary goal is to be able to finish a half marathon, not finish high in my age class.

C25KW2D3 - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012:
I did spin yesterday morning and last night we walked 4 miles at the beach so my legs were super tired. I was really hurting for the first three intervals or so but then my endorphins kick in and I began to enjoy the run and not feel as bad. I ended up adding two intervals - one two minutes long and the other three minutes. The Week 3 workout is run 90 seconds, walk 90 seconds, run 3 minutes, walk 3 minutes. I was concerned three minutes would feel endless but it wasn't too bad at all today. Of course I was heading downhill at that point but I lasted three minutes. I didn't tack on a long cool down walk today since my legs were tired from yesterday and I wanted to head to lululemon this morning to get a camo Cool Racerback.

I know Jeff Galloway says running and spin work the same muscles but I seem to ache in different places after running than I do after a hard spin workout. With running my hamstrings hurt lower down my leg. Maybe it's because I am nearly shuffling as a run. I don't know but it doesn't seem super similar to me. I need to not crank the resistance up in spin. That is bugging my ITB and hip a little.

C25KW3D1 - Thursday, Jan 19, 2012:
Wednesday was a rest day so I felt energetic at the start of this run. The Week 3 workout is 90 sec run, 90 sec walk, 3 minute run, 3 minute walk. I was very quickly brought down to earth during the three minute run portion - I first checked my watch at 90 seconds, then 2 minutes, 2.5 minutes, 2 min 50 seconds. It was endless, just like the first day I started the program. Gah! My body seems to need two or three intervals before the endorphins kick so by the end of the second three minute run, better than the first but by no means easy, I felt like doing more. I also didn't want to stop yet - it only took me twenty minutes so I wanted to do more. I ended up adding two more intervals. The last one was down a hill and then back up it. That was a big mistake. My ITB bothered me a lot that evening and my knees felt a little tired and achy, like I had been skiing all day. I made things much worse by going to Friday spin class where the teacher likes high resistance and lots of transitions in and out of the saddle. I ended up sitting the last third of the class. Saturday was supposed to be my next C25K workout but it was raining and my knee needed the relief. I got a foam roller and that seems to give some relief, even though doing it hurts like a mofo.

C25KW3D2 - Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012:
I was dreading the workout this morning. I found running for three minutes straight on Thursday very tough. However, the workout today went much better than I anticipated. My knees didn't bother me at all except for a couple of twinges early on and the three minute intervals weren't awful. My heart rate was about 10 bpm lower than on Thursday, probably because I was better rested and took smaller steps. I actually ended up doing five intervals total and ran for five minutes for the last one. I might pay for this later but I feel good right now. I made a few other changes - I took smaller steps and ran only on asphalt on flat roads. I stretched out and rolled right away when I got home. I am thinking I will skip spin class tomorrow. My sister tells me she found KT Tape helped her a lot with her ITB issues.

C25KW3D3 -Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012:
This one sucked. It just never felt easy. I did end up running four intervals after all but I ran five on Sunday and the last one was five minutes long. Today, it was strictly 90 sec or 3 minutes. I think yesterday was a bit low on calories and carbs (118g) and I was not as nearly as well-rested as I was on Sunday. I also ran a lot of the workout straight into the wind up a slight slope so that didn't help, either. I ran on the asphalt again in the development across the street. Two things - 1) there was a huge stink-cloud of garlic today around one particular house, and 2) I need to run by the house of the hottie fireman more often. I am not really looking forward to the Week 4 workout on Thursday: run 3 min, walk 90 sec, run 5 min, walk 2.5 min, run 3 min, walk 90 sec, run 5 min. However, I also seem to enjoy the runs better when I have super low expectations going in.

C25KW4D1 - Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012:
Freaking A hot on this day- 80 degrees and high noon hot sun. The workout today was a 5 minute warmup walk, run 3 minutes, walk 90 seconds, run 5 minutes and walk 2 1/2 minutes and repeat the run/walk portion twice. I didn't do any extra intervals since I have been having various aches and pains pop up when I overdo things. I also want to do spin tomorrow. This run did not suck nearly as much as the run on Tuesday but it wasn't particularly enjoyable either. Running for three minutes right off the bat wasn't too bad either but the five minute run intervals were not easy. I had to keep visualizing how awesome my new Ebb and Flow crops will look as my hips shrink from running. ;-)  I think I might have felt better if I had gone earlier. The first run of the new "week" always seems to be hard so I am hoping things will go better when I run again on Saturday or Sunday. My son has a soccer tournament both days so I have to think about when I want to squeeze a run in. I prefer to work out earlier when I have more energy. My legs were definitely kind of tired during the second five minute run. I haven't felt that before in a run. I've been out of breath but not really fatigued.

Friday, post spin class followup - did spin this morning and made my ITB hurt again. I tried to not transition between standing and sitting as much and "push off" on my right leg instead of my left but it's still kind of achy. I rolled it and stretched it and it isn't hurting so much tonight. I won't run tomorrow since the Santa Ana winds are blowing but will go on Sunday. The next couple of C25K weeks are kind of tough, where you really start building the time up so I am thinking I might have to stop spinning for a brief period while I get my body used to running more. Spin class kind of sucks when you can't do what everyone else is doing.

C25KW4D2 -  Tuesday, January 31, 2012:

I had lots of rest for today's workout. I was supposed to run on Saturday or Sunday but a weekend soccer tournament and my sister's visit delayed my workout until today. I rested yesterday so I had lots of energy for the workout today. The Week 4 workout is 5 min warm up walk, run 3 min, walk 90 sec, run 5 min, walk 2.5 min, repeat twice. I wouldn't say it was easy, and as always I was very conscious of the effort I had to make for the first twenty minutes, but I ended up doing one extra interval to make up for my time off. The five minute intervals didn't seem as endless as the first time I did this workout. I didn't have any soreness during the run at all but my aches and pains seem to come on a few hours later.  The weather was sunny and in the upper 50s/low 60s.

C25KW4D3 - Thursday, February 2, 2012:

Today was my last day of the Couch to 5K Week 4 Workout. My kids have infected me with their cold germs so I didn't enjoy this run very much but I got through it. I am hoping that by exercising and raising my body temp I've killed off this cold. Whenever I feel a cold coming on a good spin session seems to beat it back and people have told me it's due to raising your core temp. Not sure if that is true but I rarely get colds anymore. I am feeling much better this evening than I did earlier so I hope it worked. If I am feeling good enough tomorrow, I'll spin and put the nail in the coffin to this cold.

The next week's C25K workout will be very challenging: Day 1- 5 min run, 3 min walk, 5 min run, 3 min walk, 5 min walk; Day 2 - 8 min run, 5 min walk, 8 min run; Day 3 - run 20 minutes. I don't know if I am up to ramping up the running to 8 minutes and then to 20 minutes but I guess I'll find out. I didn't tack on any extra minutes today and my knee and hamstrings thank me tonight. I have hardly any soreness at all. I guess that will teach me to push too hard.

C25KW5D1-  Sunday, February 19, 2012:

I've been taking it very easy since I came down with my chest cold or flu or whatever I had and haven't been running since February 2nd but finally got back on the horse today. I decided to go for it and pick up my running where I left off - Day 1 of Week 5 which is 5 minute warmup walk, run 5 minutes, walk 3 minutes, run 5 minutes, walk 3min, run 5 minutes. I downloaded a few new songs to help motivate me for the run. Surprisingly, I felt great on the run. I guess it pays to have well-rested, non-hurting legs. It's been a quite a few workouts since I actually enjoyed running so today was a pleasant surprise. I could have gone longer but I decided to stick to the plan since I seem to bring on aches and pains when I exceed the plan. I want to go to spin class tomorrow morning, too. I've missed spinning - I've only been twice in the last four week and I'm starting succumb to inertia to remain the lazy bum I've been for the last couple of weeks. Week 5 of the Couch to 5K starts to really ramp up the running. The Day 2 workout is run 8 minutes, walk 5 minutes, run 8 minutes and Day 3 is to run for 20 minutes straight. My outfit today was a repeats of previous (so no photo) since I just picked up half-worn stuff off the closet floor: Wunder Groove crops and a Rocksteady long sleeve Swiftly. The temp was 60F and overcast. I should have worn short sleeves.

C25K W5D2 - Wednesday, February 22, 2012
I am so happy with today's run! I was anticipating the worst since my legs were tired from Pure Barre yesterday but I actually enjoyed the run. Yay me! The workout for today is 5 min warmup walk, 8 minute run, 5 min walk, 8 minute run. The second 8 minute run portion was harder to get started on so I can see why people abandon the run/walk method. The next workout is a solid 20 minute run. I was apprehensive about it but after today I think it is very doable. Today's outfit was a Lavender Energy SL tank, Ta Ta Tamer, Groove Wunder Unders (rolled up to my knees. I knew I was overdressed the minute I stepped outside), and a matching plaid hat. It was warm today - sunny and mid-60s.

C25K W5D3 - Sunday, February 26, 2012 
The 20 Minute Run (dun dun dun)
Today was the 20 minute run of the Couch to 5K. I have to say it was a long twenty minutes and after the first ten my legs felt a tired and heavy. I definitely wouldn't have minded a two minute break right about the ten minute mark. I recruited my husband to go with me and we tried a flat asphalt bike path in our city. I'm used to running by myself so I found seeing someone run next to me out of the corner of my eye annoying so I told him to run ahead. He recently ran his first half marathon in 1:54 so I was holding him back anyway. He would periodically double back to check on me and it was nice to have some one to walk back with since we made this a run out and walk back session. All in all he said we covered about 4 miles or so. I definitely feel shin splint issues so I've rolled, stretched, and iced and I think I need to get some different sneakers now that I am running for longer stretches. The Week 6 workouts do more run/walk intervals for Day 1 and Day 2 and then Day 3 is a 22 minute run. I think my husband and I will do the same run next Sunday.

My outfit of the day is a lolo purple long sleeve swiftly, luxtreme Run: Zoom Knee Shorts, and a lolo headband. It was mid-50s and sunny out. I could have worn a short sleeve shirt but the long sleeve was nice for the walk back. My new music download for the run was DoYaThing by the Gorillaz.

C25KW6D3 - Sunday, March 4, 2012:
I skipped writing about my last C25K workout since it was rather non-eventful. I ended up skipping the Day 1 workout altogether which was run 5/8/5 minutes with 3 minutes of waking in between. I ran the Day 2 workout on Thursday which was run 10 minutes, walk 3, run 10 minutes. Today's Day 3 workout was run 22 minutes straight. Because of an 8 am soccer game this morning I didn't end up running until 11 am which wasn't ideal since it was already 83 degrees out. However, it'll be that hot up in Vancouver for the Sea Wheeze so I figured I might as well get used to it.

I didn't take a photo of my clothes but I wore an Energy SL tank. It's made of silverescent circle mesh, probably my most favorite hot weather/hot workout material that lululemon makes. I paired it with a pair of Moving Comfort compression shorts. I wanted something short and compressive today. I liked the shorts for the most part up until the last few minutes when I felt really hot on my bottom half. I thought the Energy SL was the perfect tank for today's run and I'll probably wear one for the Sea Wheeze. I hope that lulu brings this tank back again this summer in some new colors. It's my favorite hot workout tank - flattering cut and awesome performance material.

I drove to the same bike path I went to last week but by myself this time. I didn't even consider needing to stash my car key until I got there. I initially was going to put it in the pocket of the Energy tank but was having a hard time wrestling it in there. Then I remembered my Flight Running Bonnet had a zipper so I put it in my hat. I never felt it the entire time during my run. Zipper pockets in hats = win!

It took me a good three minutes into my run before I didn't feel like heading back to the car and going home. After that point, it wasn't too bad but it wasn't nearly as awesome as last Sunday's run. I wasn't as well-rested as last week. The last seven minutes or so kind of sucked and I resorted to counting out loud up and down from ten the last two minutes to make it to the end. I actually felt a little nauseous at that point but it was hot and I was going up a slight incline. Overall, I was happy with the run. I have been having noticeably fewer issues with ITB and other aches. I hope this means my joints and bones are getting used to the stresses of running.

I totally slacked off running this week - only going two days instead of three and spacing runs out by three or more days but I hope to get back on track this week. The Week 7 workouts are all a solid 25 minutes in length, no more walking intervals. Week 8 is three 28 minutes runs and Week 9 is the end of the program with a 30 minute run which is supposed to cover 3 miles. I am so slow that I'll have to extend the training out until I actually hit the 3 mile mark. After I get used to running 3 miles then I'll start on a half marathon training program, maybe the Hal Higdon one some of my friends have used. I want to start investigating some different run paths to get me through these longer duration runs. I am tired of circling my neighborhood and the novelty of a new place is a great distraction.

C25K Week 7 - 25 Minute Runs, March 6 & 9, 2012
Week 7 of the Couch to 5K program is running a solid 25 minutes for three workouts. To help keep my mind off the length of the run I tried running in some new spots. This was Tuesday's run - along the beach in Newport and Huntington Beach. It was 60F, breezy, and overcast. I wore a short sleeve Swiftly and my Run: Passion crops. I've started wearing run crops so I can put my car keys in the zipper pockets. I also started the run with my "vintage" Sportif Jacket. I didn't really want to wear a jacket but I couldn't find my amphipod belt to hold my phone so I wore my jacket and ended up tying it around my waist. That wasn't ideal but I forgot about it after a few minutes. Nothing really stands out in my mind about this run other than I started out running into the wind and lasting 25 minutes wasn't at all easy since I had gone to spin class the day before. I didn't really care for running along this section of the beach since the path was so far from the ocean. However, it has ample bathrooms and free parking so it wasn't all bad.

On the way out. You can see the horse path on the left (marked by the wood fence), paralleling the bike trail.
On the horse trail for the way back. My home is at the top of the hill that you see on the left side of the photo.
For today's run I decided to run along the Santa Ana River trail that is close to my home. I started out on the bike trail, right next to the river, running into a stiff headwind but hopped onto the parallel horse trail after I spotted a couple of friends running on it. The horse trail was dirt and shaded. I think I have found my new favorite running spot. The weather today was in the low 70s and sunny when I started out. It was 80F when I finished. I wore a silverescent circle mesh Revitalize tech short sleeve shirt and Run: Zoom Knee Shorts. I still couldn't find my stinking Amphipod belt so I ended up putting my iphone in my Flight Running Bonnet. I know I poo-pood that idea when someone mentioned it years ago but it worked really well. I jammed the hat on my head so the phone didn't bounce and I didn't even notice it up there. I think I want to get at least one more pair of running shorts that are knee length, like the Zooms, or above the knee, like the Take Flight Bike Shorts if and when Lulu comes out with them. I think I also want to get an Amphipod ultility belt like my sister has so I can carry my phone and some small water bottles. Anywhoo, this run was a tad easier than Tuesday's and I didn't even have to count out loud to make it through it. I think I will come back to this trail again for Sunday's run but I might change my mind. This trail is crazy busy on the weekends.

C25K, Week 8, March 13, 2012:
Lots of water fowl at the park today
Today I started Week 8 of the Couch to 5K which is 28 minutes of running for three workouts. I ran in the same park I have been for the last couple of workouts except this time I ran along the paths in the park instead of sticking to the horse trail. This was one of the yuckier workouts where it seemed like a major effort from the first to the last minute. I think it's due to not enough sleep because of the time change. The good news is that I no longer have to count out loud to make it to the end so I think I have become used to running in large blocks of time. I only checked my watch a couple of times towards the end. I might start adding a little more time to these runs so I can meet the distance goals of the Couch to 5K. As long as I don't spin my ITB doesn't bother me much at all. Today was in the mid-50s and overcast so I wore a long sleeve Swiftly and a pair of older Run: Team Spirit crops. I should have worn shorter bottoms or short sleeves with the crops since I was a little hot but when it "looks" cold out I want to put on warmer clothes. I dug up an armband for my phone so I was relieved I didn't have to put it in my hat.

Sea Wheeze Training, Status Update April 15, 2012:
After I started week 8 of the Couch to 5K, 28 minutes of running, I was nowhere near the 2.75 miles distance I was supposed to be at (more like 1.8 miles) so I switched over to running for distance on March 15th and following (more or less) the Hal Higdon 5K Training Program for Novices where you start upping your milage 0.25 miles at a time. This is what March looked like:

This is what April looks like so far:

I finally ran a 5K on April 11th (yay me!). For the last three workouts I've been running on the treadmill at the gym. Primarily because it was raining on the 11th and 13th but I like running at the gym for a few reasons. One is that it's easier logistically. I don't need to wear a hat or sunglasses. I don't need to wear an armband. I've also missed being at the gym and seeing the regular faces. The most important thing is that I like being able to control my speed so finitely. For a couple of runs, on March 22 for one and again on April 5th I stopped to walk in the middle of the runs. On the 22nd, I was totally done after 1.91 miles. It was the first time I had ever quit a run so I was pretty bummed. I was really exhausted for some reason. I ended up getting my period later that day so I think hormones had something to do with it. For some reason on April 5, I had to resort to run-walk to complete the distance. I think I went to spin the day before or something. At the gym, I don't stop to walk when I feel tired, I just ratchet the speed down a couple of tenths of a mile for a minute and then up it again when I feel more rested. I think at some point I need to get back outside before I get too used to running on a treadmill but for now I am really enjoying it. The only drawback is that I get super warm and sweaty. I also find that it bugs the heck out of me when people are on the treadmills right next to mine. I need horse blinders - LOL. I hope that will go away. I've also been covering the display with a towel to make the time pass faster and it works. My husband tells me that sort of thing goes away with time. I've been playing with upping my speed the last part of the run and every time out my 5Ks have gotten faster.

I plan to start upping my mileage again to push for the half but I wanted to pause at 5K for a few workouts. I think my next workout will be for 3.5 miles.

PS - Oh yes. Several weeks ago someone had commented in wanting to know if running was affecting my weight loss. Up until the point where I hit 3 miles I'd say it didn't have too much of an impact but I am down 8.4 lbs from the day I started running, the most "dramatic" weight coming off over the last couple of weeks. I have been very lackadaisical about logging my food on My Fitness Pal but now that I am seeing some decent numbers on the scale I am getting better about it. However, I am still not quite at the low I hit in late September. I am only 0.1 lb away according to my scale, so I am almost fully recovered from the holidays. Note to self, do not buy Halloween candy early next year and buy a bunch of crap I don't like. It just started me on a terrible spiral of regaining weight I'd worked to lose last summer and fall.

Sea Wheeze Training Status Update July 13, 2012:
I can't believe it's been three months since I last did an update on my run training. I've actually reached the end of the Hal Higdon Novice Training plan, which tops out with a 10 mile run before the race. I did the 10 miles last weekend. It was awfully hellacious so I'm going to repeat it this Sunday and hope I can do better. I seemed to hit a wall around 8 miles. In my defense it was about 85 degrees by the time I finished. I want to do 11 miles the week after that and then 12. Based on my training times I think I am probably going to complete the Sea Wheeze in a turtle-slow 3.5 hours. I haven't done any hill training at all and the Sea Wheeze course looks pretty hilly. I'm just going to have to suck those up come race time.

I've moved my training runs to in and around Villa Park, CA.  It's all residential, flat, has wide bikes lanes, there is always a breeze, and mostly stop signs so I don't have to stop at lights much. I'm getting kind of bored running this area but it's only a mile or so from my house and I don't want to drive farther to find a flat place to run. I might mix it up for my last few runs but I do feel very safe and familiar here.

Villa Park by Satellite

Here has been my training since April:

I had some problems in April and May with a pulled calf muscle but I am feeling pretty strong these days. I got fitted for some real running shoes for my Mother's Day present and those have made a big difference in my ITB issues. I have stopped using my strap and rarely feel sore after runs. I do get achy knees (like after a day of skiing) after the long runs, particularly 9 miles and up. I'm hoping that goes away the more I do the long runs.

My Mother's Day present was a pair of Brooks Ariels, made for heavy over pronators. They are quite awesome. I've stopped wearing my ITB strap altogether.

I also bought myself my birthday present a month ahead of time. These are Oakley Commits. I was borrowing my husband's Oakley Flak Jackets but he started hiding them on me so I had to get my own.

My new favorite brand of run sock are Feetures Elite Ultra Light. I just love the way they hug my arches. They blow lululemon socks out of the water and I don't wear them anymore.

I've also switched to wearing Zobha boyshort undies for running. No chafing issues anymore. These are just fantastic undies. They are $18 each so pricey but I am slowly building up a collection.

Since I am running farther distances I had to get a hydration belt. I bought the Nathan Speed 2. My husband has the Nathan 4 for his marathon training and really likes it. I kind of messed up sizing this since I sized it to wear on my hip bones but since I have a bedonkadonk rear it sneaks up my behind to sit more at my waist. I should have bought the next size down. I've heard good things about iFitness belts so I might check those out the next race expo I visit.

Extremely lame 10K medal

I ran in my first 10K race in June. I finished with my personal best pace ever but it was a small race and I was one of the last finishers. Lesson learned - only enter big races. I suppose I could work on getting faster but my initial strategy is to enter races with slower runners, or even better - walkers!

Sooo, that is where I stand now. My goal is to be able to run 12 miles at least once before the Sea Wheeze. I know lots of half marathon plans have you stop at 10 miles but I prefer not to have to tough out the last 3 miles of the race. I found doing the 9 and 10 mile training runs quite difficult but I've found, over and over again, the first few times at any distance is tough. Right now I am loving doing the 5 mile mid-week runs and my first times hitting 5 miles was kind of tough.

Oh yes, I've also officially singed up for the Disney World Half Marathon in January so I already have my second half marathon on the calendar.

Sea Wheeze Race Report, August 12, 2012:
I thought I'd add my race report from the blog to finish out this page. Other than sore quads for a couple of days afterwards I didn't have any major problems from the race.

Lots of bright colors at the race!
I think I couldn't have chosen a more fun race to run for my first half marathon. Everyone was dressed so brightly, the route was gorgeous, the weather was great, and I felt great. Overall I had an awesome time. My sister said this was probably the best half marathon she has run yet (I think this one made number eleven for her). She loved the energy and the route. We both said we'd like to come back for the 2013 Sea Wheeze.

This is the medal. I think it's a key chain (or bag tag) with a pair of shoe laces, that say Sea Wheeze at the tips, as the neck strap. I like it - it's different and practical.

Some photos of the racers heading to the corrals and one of the corrals. I wanted to show how brightly every one was dressed. There was tons of people in Ray, Flash, Paris (bleeding be-damned!), Power Purple, Pow Pink, Currant, and the new Sea Wheeze gear colors - lime, the orangey red, and the blue. As a lululemon fan, it was super neat that nearly everyone, probably 98%, was wearing lululemon. I decided on a different race outfit myself than I had planned on. Originally I was going to wear a Caspian Blue Swiftly tank but decided to go with Paris Pink since I was kind of sleep deprived and wanted a bright color to pump me up. Everyone else obviously had the same idea and being surrounded by so much bright color was very energizing. One other very different thing about this race was that there were no race bibs. We just had our timing chips and a wristband. That made the clothes the star of the race. I really liked not wearing a bib. I thought it was kind of a pain in the 10K I ran and I didn't have to stress about putting pinholes in my pricey lululemon clothes. The downside is that there were no race photos since there is no way to recognize anyone. My husband was taking photos so it didn't matter to me. My sister said she kind of liked it, too, since she always looks bad in her race photos and never buys them since they are so pricey. I would definitely vote for keeping the race no bibs again next year.

Instead of starting in the back, my sister talked me into starting in the 2:30 corral - she is a 2 hour racer - so we could start together. We also found Lulumum so we all started together. I was run walking so they dropped me fairly quickly but I spotted them on the Burrard Street Bridge. I actually caught up to Lulumum at about 11 miles and ran/walked the rest of the race with her. I was really pleased with my time considering how much I walked - there were two long hills that I mostly walked. I think my training really paid off because I felt really good at 10 miles and I started passing people that had passed me earlier in the race. The weather was in the low 70s but felt hotter at times because of the humidity. It didn't bother me too much since I did a lot of my long training runs in temps in the low 80s. Quite a bit of the course was in the shade, which was wonderful. Logistically, I thought the race went pretty well. The only glitch was that the first water station at 5K didn't have cups. They handed me a liter bottle of water which I poured into my water bottles (I was wearing a hydration belt) and then left at the side of the road. We passed the station again on the way back and it had cups on the return. There was quite a bit of entertainment on the course - from a choir, to a dj, to mermaids (see below). I never really spent much of the race thinking about the distance - there was lots to look at and the time seemed to go fast. However, the last couple miles went kind of slow. I ran without a GPS and all the signs were in kilometers so I was having trouble figuring out how far we had to go (I know, I'm an idiot).  My sister said her GPS clocked the course in a bit long - at 13.5 miles - and she thought she didn't weave an extra 0.4 miles. All in all, I would do this race again in a hearbeat.

The brunch was gone by the time I made it back but I figured it would be. My sister and I headed back into the store to get her some race souvenirs (photos and details below). Since she is a 2/4 there was a little more selection than in the other sizes but it was really picked over. We also ended up skipping the concert in favor of taking our kids to the Second Beach pool in Stanley Park so I don't have any info on the concert.

Chip firing off the starting gun

Crossing the Burrard Street bridge was one of my favorite parts of the race. Well, not the long uphill aspect of it, but I liked seeing the racers heading back. I passed my sister on the bridge.

One of the big cheer stations along the route.

Mermaids on the rocks towards the very end of the race.