Monday, December 19, 2011

Your Questions Answered

A few days ago I asked you all to come up with some questions that you wanted to ask me and today I finally have time to answer them! Thank you to everyone who had a question, I hope you like the answers.

asked, how did you prepare for your FIRST half marathon?

Mike and I have only done one half marathon so far, the Fall Foliage Half Marathon in Rhinebeck, New York on October 23, 2011. After completing the Bridge-to-10K program, we decided to jump right into Hal Higdon's Novice Half Marathon training program. This program worked out really well for us, but a different program or a combination of programs may work better for other people.

Running to the finish!

I do love sweat

The Novice program required four days of running: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Tuesdays and Thursdays were shorter runs that started out at 3 miles and increased to 5 miles. Wednesdays were recovery days (at least that's how I viewed it) with really low mileage starting at 2 and ending at 3 miles. Our long runs were on Sundays, some people prefer them on Saturdays but Sundays worked for us. The mileage started out at 4 miles and capped at 10 miles. We were supposed to run in two races during our training, a 5K and a 10K. We "raced" the 5K and we did a 5 mile race instead of a 10K. We also raced a 10 mile race the week before our half marathon. Some people don't like this approach but it worked for us.

The one thing I can say that we did not prepare for were the hills! I knew that the half marathon was hilly by looking at the elevation but we never trained on hilly terrain. We should have included more training runs that better resembled what we were going to experience during the half marathon. Live and learn!

She also asked, how do you prepare for any race in general?

When we first started running we went through the Couch-to-5K program and then moved on to the Bridge-to-10K and ended with Hal Higdon's training program. Now that we have been running for awhile I don't think we have to prepare too much for 5Ks or 10Ks. We just need to maintain our training.

We like crossing off training runs

When we start training for our upcoming half marathons and marathon we are going to continue to use Hal Higdon's training programs. We will probably use the Intermediate training program for half marathons and the Novice or Intermediate program for the marathon.

Other than that I try to eat right and get enough sleep two nights before the race. That is actually when it is the most important since you most likely won't sleep well the night before, but you can get by on adrenaline.

I also have to say that figuring out your fueling preferences is crucial. For shorter races I don't need fuel, just hydration, but for longer races I do like to have some fuel. Everyone is different and if you are like me it may take you a few tries to figure out what you like!

Clif Shot energy gel all the way!

Nina asked, can you remember the first time you heard about marathons and long-distance triathlons?

I don't really remember the first time, but I do remember watching part of the Ironman on TV when I was younger (not sure my exact age). Also, a co-worker of mine ran the Mount Desert Island marathon when I was in high school and that may have been my first exposure to marathons.

She also asked, did you know you wanted to do these races as soon as you heard that there were races like this?

No! I was a swimmer growing up and I did not really enjoy running that much once it went up to 3 miles in high school. I never really thought about triathlons as something that I would want to do.

I do remember fantasizing about swimming the English Channel, though. Maybe that dream was foreshadowing that I would one day be an endurance athlete, just in a different way.

Laura asked (Suz, too), was there anyone in particular that inspired you to start running and go for a marathon/Ironman? Mike's mom also asked, what made you decide that you wanted to do an Ironman?

The dream to run a marathon (and many more) was just sparked when Mike and I started running. One day when we were in the car, I told him that I wanted to run a marathon before I turn 30. It looks like I am easily going to accomplish that so now my goal is to run in the Mount Desert Island Marathon before I turn 30!

The Ironman dream came about for so many different reasons. Mike once mentioned that he would do the Ironman, I think at the time he may have been joking a little bit. My dad told him that there are training groups out there for that and then went on to talk about the triathlons that he did when he was younger.

The final push for me to want to do an Ironman was reading about Emily's Ironman experience on her blog Sweat Once a Day. I was so amazed and knew that it was something that I wanted to accomplish!

They also asked, what's your favorite race distance so far?

I would have to say that I really enjoyed our half marathon! My best race so far was our 10 miler, but I know that I am going to love longer distances.


I already mentioned that I really hate the 5K but I am still willing to do it because I know Mike likes it!

Kelli asked, who or what inspires you?

So many people! I already talked about how inspirational my mom is and how she is the most amazing runner that I know (without even running in a race!) Mike's mom is also a runner and she has run about 10 marathons.

All of us before a run in Maine

Mike is probably the most inspirational person for me. He works extremely hard and is very dedicated to this sport that we have both fallen in love with and I am so glad that he is there with me every step of the way!

While this may not be very inspirational, I do find setting and accomplishing goals extremely motivating. I think that is one reason why I love this sport!

Rena asked, how do you convince Mike to do the running thing with you?

At this point I don't have to convince him to do it since he is just as into it as I am!

In the beginning I thought that this would be a great way for us to get in shape and have some time for just us. We completed all three running programs together and I never had to convince him to do it with me, he just did.

If I had already been running or vice versa it may have been more difficult to do it together.

Finally, just for fun, Laura and Suz wanted to know how Mike and I met.

Mike and I met my second year and his first year of college (yes I'm older). We always just tell people that we met on the swim team which is only partially true.

I was on "the hub" (what we used to download music) and this random person started talking to me, no not Mike! I happened to mention that I was a swimmer and this guy mentioned that his roommate (Mike) was a swimmer. All three of us decided to meet up and after hanging out with Mike for a few hours I knew that he was special.

Early on, we were so young!

It's interesting to think that we would have met anyway since we were both on the swim team, but things may not have turned out the way they did.

One other interesting fact about us is that we celebrated (and still do) our dating anniversary on September 20th. We never really had that "will you go out with me" moment in our relationship so we just decided that the day we met would be our anniversary. We got engaged on our 5 year anniversary in 2009.

I hope you enjoyed this questions and answers post!


  1. That's so cool that you married your college sweet heart. BTW when i just typed that I kept on typing sweat heart which you guys are cause you work out together! Haha. I'm so clever. :P