Event: OUC Orlando Half Marathon 2012
Date: December 1, 2012
Location: Downtown Orlando, Lake Eola Park
Division Place: 7th out of 289
Gender Place: 44th out of 1,661
Overall Place: 244 out of 3,193
This was a great and well organized half marathon put on by Track Shack of Orlando. It was a refreshing change from the over crowded and chaotic Disney half marathons, which are the only other options in Orlando. I had no problem parking, hitting up the port-a-potties and getting to the start line with enough time to do some stretching.
The weather was absolutely ideal and the course was nice and scenic! I ran this one last year with a time of 1:54:38 (it was my 2nd race and 1st half marathon after having my baby boy in May). I still had an extra 15+ pounds of baby weight to lose at last year’s event and it was only my 2nd race after taking a full year off from racing and 9 full months off from running altogether.
My time at this year’s OUC Orlando Half Marathon was obviously a vast improvement and it was my 8th half marathon since last ‘s years! I attribute training and running all these events to losing the rest of the baby weight plus some extra!
I hit my all time PR of 1:39:41 in May of this year and came close again in September at the Chicago Half Marathon with a time of 1:41:35…1:54 away from my PR. I came even closer at the OUC half…54 seconds from my PR! I felt I did MUCH better at the OUC compared to Chicago, even though its only a 60 second difference, because the Chicago Half Marathon was a totally flat and easy course. The OUC Half was a nice course but it got pretty challenging after mile 10, when my legs start to get tired anyways. Right after we crossed mile 10, we were met by numerous hills and about 2.5 miles of brick pavers! The pavers make it a little more slippery, a lot more uneven and there are definite hidden drop offs and some of them are coming up so it’s easy to trip. Even though I was consciously pushing myself to run faster, I could feel myself subconsciously slowing down. I knew I was going to be awfully close to my PR when I crossed mile 11 so I tried to speed it up as much as I can; it worked on the last mile but I lost speed during miles 10-12 so it just wasn’t enough to PR. Either way, this is my second best time of all time so I am happy with it!
I went in to the race fairly prepared. My training has been on target (I’m training for the 2013 Disney Marathon next month) but my stretching and recovery methods haven’t been great. That’s something I’m always working on. My legs did feel a bit heavy up until the 3rd mile but loosened up after that.
Next Race: Walt Disney World Marathon January 13, 2013
XOXO The Glam Runner
It’s been a while since I last posted to the Glam Runner due to some work travel and a laptop that decided to crash on me but I have my new computer up and running and I’m getting inspired to share more health and fitness tips!
My lapse in fit blogging reminded me of what many of us do with our fitness routines this time of year…we slack and deviate from our normal healthy eating and work outs. I am definitely not one of those who deprives themselves of a good Thanksgiving dinner by eating mashed cauliflower and skipping dessert…boring! One meal isn’t going to kill your fitness plan – it’s when you keep all those leftovers and have Thanksgiving dinner and dessert the week after is when you to get in trouble. Right after Thanksgiving comes those highly caloric Christmas drinks and treats at Starbucks, then the Christmas parties, the baking and Christmas itself! Then to top it off New Years Eve and Day follow a week later!
It is very hard to stay on track during the holidays but you can DEFINITELY avoid the holiday weight gain. I am doing my part by training for the Disney World Marathon (January 13, 2013). I ran 18 miles the Sunday after Thanksgiving and I will run 20 miles the Sunday before Christmas – there is motivation to sign up for a January Marathon! If you aren’t ready to go for 26.2 miles of fun there are other ways to avoid the holiday jiggle. Mainly, avoid eating holiday treats the time between Thanksgiving and the New Year. It’s hard but this month is what does it. Starbucks has many delicious coffee drinks and treats but keep in mind a White Chocolate Mocha can set you back 800 calories! I get the Skinny Peppermint Mocha, it’s only 100 calories and it’s sugar-free. I generally stick to my grande iced coffee with soy milk and 1 Splenda but I can’t resist the Skinny Peppermint Mocha during the holidays.
Don’t drink alcohol at every holiday party you go to. I know some people go to many holiday parties during the season and indulge in many cocktails; alcohol is 100% totally unnecessary and not only highly caloric but full of empty calories. Plus alcohol leaves you bloated and lethargic the following day making it more likely that you’ll skip your work out. I’m not saying to skip it altogether but don’t indulge at every single holiday gathering you go to. If you do drink alcohol, choose your drink wisely – stay away from the egg nog and sugary punches.
Limit the baked goods. I used to bake cookies like they were going out of style for Christmas and I would eat half the batch and make more. I would keep some for myself and eat them all week. Again, moderation is the key. You can enjoy some of your favorite holiday baked goods but limit the amount. If you like to bake and give your treats away like I do, then give them away. Don’t keep them lying around for you to eat later.
If all else fails on the eating front be sure to stick to your fitness routine and/or add more intense work outs. Just because you work out doesn’t mean you’re not going to gain weight but working out will keep the weight gain to a minimum. If you decide to try something new or more intense, there’s an added bonus! Make time for yourself during the holidays to get your sweat on most days of the week no matter what! We’re all busy but we all deserve health! If you skip a work out or have a slack week, that’s ok, there’s always the next day or next week to get back in to it.
There are times to enjoy and indulge during the holidays – just don’t keep the party going the entire season and stick to your workouts and you should be in control! If that doesn’t work out, the New Year is the best time to lose weight!
XOXO The Glam Runner
Have you ever thought taking spin classes could help your running performance? I have taken spin class for the past 9 years and have been a huge fan since my first class. I actually have been spinning longer than I’ve been running.
Of course spin class or biking outside can be a great cross training activity for those days that you don’t run but believe it or not spinning can actually help you with your running speed. Some cases have proved it to improve 5k times by 3% and 10K times up to 9%! That’s a pretty significant percentage in a shorter distance race. Spinning and running are different because obviously running is very high impact but spinning is virtually impact free. You get a killer cardio work out that almost duplicates running sprints and pushing high resistance builds strength in key areas of the legs used for running.
I attribute my ability to do as well as I do in races to my years of spinning. I only started running in 2009 yet I am a competitor in my division in pretty much every local Orlando race. I went in to training for my first race with my cardiovascular system in top shape because of my 5 years of spinning prior to running – I really only had to get my legs used to the soreness of long runs, the impact of running and figure out my pace when I first started running outside and training for my first race. I even got my cardio system back fairly easily after taking a full year off from running after having my son. I started out with spin classes to get my cardiovascular system strong then I trained for the 2011 Hot Chocolate 15K. I am now faster than before pregnancy.
Spinning is pure interval training. In a good class you are doing a variety of “drills”. You climb hills, you sprint (always with resistance), you do longer faster paces or short bursts of speed with various levels of resistance and there are times where you’re pushing it as hard as you possibly can followed by a bit of recovery. It mirrors running repeats and will increase your endurance as an athlete. If you’re taking a good class from a knowledgeable instructor they will remind you to always keep a level of resistance on your bike. Sprinting with too little or no resistance can take your safe no impact work out to a knee injuring work out and really you’re not doing anything if you don’t have resistance anyways. A sure test to see if you have enough resistance is to make sure your butt doesn’t bounce in the saddle when you are riding fast; if it is you need to turn the resistance knob to the right!
Spinning also helps strengthen the muscles used in running. Now, spinning is not meant to replace lifting weights but when you’re pushing resistance you are gaining strength without the impact. As runners, our bodies need time to recover from pounding the pavement every time we run but with spinning you can get some of the same benefits without needing that impact recovery time. I usually will take 2-3 spin classes or ride my spin bike at home during half or full marathon training.
Studies have also shown that there is a connection between pedal stroke cadence and foot cadence while running. The more times your feet strike the ground the harder it is on your body and the more likely you are to get injured. In a perfect world we would be working on trying to lengthen our stride so our feet strike the ground less but that is not always easy to do without a coach. The more times you are able to get that pedal around is supposed to help you have a higher foot strike cadence making you less prone to injury.
I hope all the runners out there who haven’t yet tried a spin class will try one and see how it affects your running performance. Personally, I think spinning has a lot to do with my speed and endurance as a runner.
XOXO The Glam Runner