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Posts Tagged ‘Half Marathon Training’

May 25, 2012

Shake it Baby! (Bean Bag Friday)

You might remember bottles of this omega-3 drink popping up frequently during my half marathon training.

Each week, Drink Chia shoots a casual vlog, sharing how people in the community step out of their every day ordinary schedules to shake up their lives, hence their tagline:

Shake it, Baby!

They call this segment Bean Bag Friday and last week, they interviewed me!

Drink Chia Bean Bag Friday

I’ve been a Mover and Shaker: Friend of Drink Chia since the beginning of 2012, and still feel honored to be one of the four currently representing the brand on their website.

Ready for the Drink Chia video shoot

I showed up to their offices last Thursday around 11 a.m., greeted by the wonderful Co-Founder Chandra Davis.  She was dressed in my favorite work attire: running shorts and a tank top.  I love that everyone in their office exemplifies a healthy, active lifestyle.

We started chatting about the product, then about different recipes and drink ideas to try it out with.  I’m eventually going to share a few of them on the blog, but for today I have this one:

Drink Chia Protein Smoothie

Drink Chia Protein Smoothie

Although it was a little frothy on top, the smoothie tasted great.  I’ll have to experiment more in the next few weeks and come up with more variations to share.

Bean Bag Friday Video

Bean Bag Friday was casual, laid back and the video captured real, unscripted talking.  So casual, that I didn’t even realize we were taping at first – hence why you see me Instagraming at the beginning of it.

This was the photo!

Drink Chia video shoot

The topic was healthy living, running and setting goals.  A lot of what I talk about you can find somewhere in my Running for Beginners and Pre-Training posts.  Two things:

1) I realize (now) I wasn’t speaking that loudly.  Sorry for that.

2) There’s no editing here people.  Stuttering happens and yes, I’m laughing with you at myself. ;)

Thank you, Chandra, for letting me chat about getting the motivation to run my first half marathon!

Shaking it up

Similar to the Drink Chia brand, I too like to Shake it, Baby.  For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been making a conscious effort to change up my workout routine.

While training for a race, I stayed true to running four days and taking barre classes two to three times a week.  Although I’ve missed being outside, I’ve really enjoyed a few different types of workout challenges.

This week, I completed three different P90X videos.

P90X equipment

Scott just started his second go around with the 90 day program, and I’ve enjoyed popping in every now and then.  I’ve never committed to doing the full 90 days, but maybe I will one day in the future.

Those workouts are INSANE!  I did the chest & back, plyometrics, and arms & shoulders videos this week, and am usually sore for at least two days after each one.  Awesome.

Whenever I’m in need of a good booty kicking, I know where to find it: at home through these videos.

Speaking of insane, I’m really excited to join Shaun T and 300 others for an INSANITY workout tomorrow morning! I’ve never done an Insanity video before, but I have done his Hip Hop Abs videos for years now.

Hip Hop Abs with Shaun Tsource

Is that embarrassing? Ha… nope! I love it, and it certainly keeps me in shape.

I’ll let you know how it goes.  Have a great weekend! :)

March 6, 2012

Race Day Q&A

Good Morning!

After going through 10 weeks of training, then racing the 2012 Gasparilla Half Marathon, I thought it would be good to compile a few questions I’ve gotten about the process into a post.

*NOTE: All of the information below comes from personal experience, articles I’ve read, and are solely my opinion.  I am not a health professional, but instead consider myself a health/fitness enthusiast eager to share my stories and advice with you!

Scott and I after Gasparilla Distance

I could go on and on about training and food, so I’m going to do my best to keep this post specifically on the subject Race Day.

Common questions & answers I encountered from running for the booty…

Gasparilla Booty Medals

Here we go… :)

1. What should I eat/not eat the night before a race?

Proper nourishment is a key element to successfully running any long distance race.  No two people are alike, and the ideal night before a race meal varies from person to person.  The key factors here are to fuel your body with foods you know won’t upset your stomach.

Eat: A meal that’s at least 65% carbohydrates with protein coming in second, followed by fats.  Eat a good portion, but be careful not to overindulge.

Avoid: Foods high in fiber and whole grains, heavy sauces, spicy food & extremely fatty food.

Carbs are important, but that doesn’t mean you should order a large pizza from Papa Johns.  Think of how you feel after eating carb-heavy meals in the past and go from there.  Reading to avoid whole grains surprised me, but it makes sense.  Although I love eating fiber rich foods on a daily basis, I don’t trust the timing of digesting these foods from then to after race time.

The night before my half, I ordered a bowl of penne pasta with chicken and veggies in a light marinara sauce. Here’s something pretty similar:

Penne pasta with veggiessource

2. What should I eat/not eat the morning of a race?

Just like the night before a race meal, make sure to load up on carbs.  Drink plenty of water and keep your breakfast light, with a purpose.  An ideal breakfast for me would include a banana, and a half a bagel smeared in peanut butter, with a light drizzle of honey.

Race Day Breakfast

What I ate for my first half marathon:  half a bottle of water, a banana 1 Zone Perfect protein bar.  I was going to try a new bar with more calories, but I decided to stick to what my stomach is most used to.

*TIP: Don’t use this time to test out new foods, protein bars, or energy packets. Use long run training days to test out what foods and combinations work best for you.

3. What should I wear on race day?

Similar to picking out your pre-race meals, you want to wear something you’re used to comfortable in.  Whether it be a pair of running shorts or pants, test out how you feel in them on your long run training days.

You want to invest in a good pair of running shoes and running socks.  Replacing a thin pair of socks with a thick, cushioned pair can save you from getting blisters and callouses.

Don’t weigh yourself down with too much.  Some people race in fitness belts stocked with water and energy packs, but I don’t think this is necessary, as long as your race has water stops.

Before the race, I made sure I was hydrated, stuck a pile of tissue in my shirt for my runny nose, and put an Accel Gel in my back zip pocket.  I purchased an arm strap holder for my iPhone, which also played my music and tracked my distance and pace for me through the iMapMyRun app.

{what i wore for my first half marathon.}

Gasparilla Half Marathon 2012 me

Running top: New Balance via race expo

Running shorts: New Balance via race expo

Running socks:  Thorlo Experia socks via Track Shack

Running shoes: Mizuno Wave Enigma

Headband: SportBandit via Track Shack

*Also try BIC bands! – both are similar styles and really stay in place during long runs.

iPod/iPhone armband holder: NATHAN Sonic Boom case via Track Shack

4. Should I bring my own music/ear buds or go without?

That’s completely up to you!

Personally, I don’t like to run long distances without music and the lady on my iMapMyRUN app telling me updates of how I’m doing every 0.5 miles.

Scott and I both noticed that the serious (meaning leading) runners didn’t wear them.  If you do have music, make sure not to blast it full volume, since it’s important to still hear and know what’s going on around you.  The half my mom raced the same day as us actually banned iPhones/Pods for safety regulations for that very reason.

If you do bring music, make sure you are willing to carry it the entire race, or strap it to you somewhere.

Nathan iPhone iPod case

I wore this NATHAN Sonic Boom armband while Scott just stuck his in his shorts pocket.

5. What should I take to replenish calories mid-run?

Again, use the training process to test out products and brands that work best for you.  As much as I used GU Gels and GU Chomps in my training, I found my stomach became upset every now and then using them mid-run.

The one long run I got through entirely without stomach cramps was Accel Gel, so I decided that was the gel for me.

Accel Gel

After my unfortunate training incident during Training Week 8, I asked a worker at Track Shack if there’s anything I can to to offset an upset stomach from using gel products.  She suggested not consuming anything besides breakfast and water before the race and save either 1 pack or 1 serving of chomps (half the bag) to use during the race.  If you have a sensitive stomach like me, don’t consume the entire gel pack all at once.  Take half of it after 45 minutes of running and the rest at the 1 hour 30 minute mark.

I did this during my race and had great results!

6. What can I do about chafing?

I didn’t experience chafing too bad, however my poor husband has been fighting with his thighs rubbing together on runs since Week 1.  If you’re having the same problem, invest in a pair of running shorts that has a moisture-transfer liner.  Brooks has tons of options for this.

Also, you can try applying Body Glide Anti-Chafe balm on problem areas.

Body Glide

It looks like a deodorant stick and provides a layer of lubricant to help with rubbing.

7. Does KT Tape really work?

Scott pulling off KT Tape

I mentioned in my race recap that Scott used KT Tape on his right knee for the race.  The main purpose of this is to prevent swelling, and after running a half Scott said his right knee (the one that was giving him problems) felt fine, while the left one hurts.

Once you apply the tape, it can get wet, go through showers and last for up to a week.  My knees have felt the most discomfort since the race, and I’m starting to question if I might use it in the future.

After reading some requests, I’ve decided to do another Q&A on how to get the motivation to train and sign up for a race.

Have more Race Day questions? Anything else you’d like to know about training?

Comment below and I’d be happy to help! :)

March 5, 2012

2012 Gasparilla Half Marathon

I can’t believe my very first half marathon is already over.

We came, we ran, and we kicked some serious booty!

Gasparilla Distace Classic 2012 in front of water

And by booty, I mean the pirates’ kind of course…

Gasparilla Booty Medals

Let’s go ahead and dive into the details of the 2012 Gasparilla Distance.

Ready to Run

It was 4:30am and Scott and I were up and at ‘em.  What? The last time my alarm was set that early, I was heading to the airport in sweats ready to sleep on a 10+ hour plane ride…sigh.  When our alarms went off we got dressed and ready to head out by 5:10am.  I had planned on eating something like this on the morning of our half.

Oatmeal and fruit

Then I did some research.  As much as I would have loved oatmeal and fruit, I had a feeling it might have been too much fiber right before the race.

Later this week I’m planning a what to do/eat and what not to do/eat the week and day of a long distance race, but for right now let’s keep moving…

What I ate/drank: the night before

lots of water

regular penne pasta (not whole wheat) with chicken and vegetables in a light marinara sauce

What I ate/drank: morning of the race

half a bottle of water

1 banana

1 Zone Perfect protein bar

*NOTE: I was going to try a new bar with more calories, but I decided to stick to what my stomach is most used to.

Start of the Race

When it was time to leave for the race it was raining with 30+ mph wind gusts. OUCH.  We sprinted to the car, got soaked and started thinking “what did we just get ourselves into?!”  The whole way over Scott and I laughed,  got worried, then prayed for the nasty weather to go away.  I was still trying to fight off a nasty cold I had last week from running in the rain, and I wasn’t ready to run an entire race in it!

When we drove up to the race area, we parked as close as possible, put our bib numbers on and jogged up to the starting line to warm up.  We both went up to the 8:47 min/mile pace group, stretched and took this awesome photo to document our luck of weather.

Scott and I in line to race

The wind was still there, but luckily the rain died down to a drizzle at the start of the race.  We were a little nervous about it.

The race started at exactly 6am and by the time we crossed the starting line a minute had already gone by.

Gasparilla race startsource

For those of you who have never raced before, a chip is either attached to your bib or your shoe to track your real race time, so I wasn’t worried about it.

Scott and I both started strong, but struggled to get a good pace going due to the narrow path towards Davis Island.  It wasn’t long before I saw him dart off, while I was content staying with my pace sign buddy at 8:47 min/mile.

Gasparilla Half Marathon 2012 mesource

The 5 mile run through Davis Island went pretty quickly.  For the weather being as awful as it was that early in the morning, I was really impressed with the entertainment that came out, as well as the spectators.  There was a fire juggler at the 1 mile mark directing us and live music the mile after that.  Since it was still dark out during this portion of the race, I was a disappointed that Scott didn’t get to see how beautiful the island is.  Anyone who travels close to downtown Tampa during the daytime should take a drive through… it’s charming.

Getting into the Groove

Once we got out of Davis Island, I felt like the race had finally begun.  The roads widened, the sun was starting to make an appearance and I was pumped!

Running in Gasparilla Distancesource

Running felt like a breeze until about the 6 mile mark.  My body felt good, but my continuous runny nose was really irritating me.  From here on out, I grabbed some of the toilet paper I stuffed into my shirt for this reason and blew my nose at every water stop.

What I ate/drank: during the race

1 tiny cup of Gatorade at the 2 mile mark

water throughout, every other stop

1/2 a Strawberry Kiwi Accel Gel pack at the 50 minute/6.5 mile mark

the other 1/2 of Accel Gel pack at the 1:30/9.5 mile mark

Miles 7 and 8 flew by, and I was really enjoying what was going on around me.  I had ear buds in, but I could still soak in everything like the mime, more live music and spectators cheering us on.

spectators cheering Gasparillasource

Mile 10 seemed to take forever to get to, but I finished up my Accel Gel and powered through it.  At the 11 mile mark I saw a huge crowd of spectators all wearing the same shirts.  When I realized they were all kids most likely from the same school, I joined in on the high-five line and it surprisingly turned into just what I needed to get excited again!  From there on out I kept my pace and had a goal of finishing in under 2 hours.

During the duration of the race, I used the iMapMyRUN app on my phone and it turns out I actually ended up running 13.38 miles.  I think I can blame the bottle-necking at the beginning and the zig zagging between people throughout the race for that.

At mile 12, I was really hoping to hit my goal of 2 hours or under.  My phone had already alerted me I had passed the 13 mile mark, so I was anxious to see the finish line.  When I finally saw it, there Scott was cheering me on.  The little booger finished his in 1:47:10!

Scotts time Gasparilla Distance 2012

I was SO proud of him and excited to see him there.


With about 0.3 miles to go a familiar voice says, “great job, Heather!” and I recognize my friend Mike.  How crazy is that?  When I saw him, he started to sprint and I made it my new goal to keep up with him for the remainder of the race.  I’m so glad I did that because that is what caused me to get under 2 hours… all 3 seconds of it under.

Heather Hesington Gasparilla 2012 Race TimeWhoo!!!!


Once we crossed the finish line, I was handed what looked like a metal lined blanket.  I forgot how cold it was for a second, until I felt the wind again.  I found Scott, he walked over to grab a medal with me and we enjoyed the victory.

Scott and I after Gasparilla Distance

What I ate/drank: after the race

water (handed out)

1 banana (handed out)

1 fruit cup (handed out)

1 Strawberry Citrus Drink Chia

Drink Chia for race

While waiting to find our friends who raced with us we ran into pirates…

Scott with Pirate at Gasparilla

Gasparilla Dinstance pirate

got handed more random things, including baked beans (?)

Scott with baked beans

and found a spot to take a breather.

I forgot to mention earlier that Scott got his knee wrapped in KT Tape the day before when we picked up our racing bags.  His knee has been bothering him, and he said it helped keep some of the pressure off.

Apparently, the tape also doubled as a DIY leg waxing kit.  I couldn’t help but laugh, while Scott was pulling the tape off saying it hurt more than running the half!

Scott pulling off KT Tape


KT Tape fail

Eventually we got motivated to head out to the car and on to brunch.  There was just one problem: both Scott and I pulled a park and run, meaning didn’t look to see where we parked when we got to the race! The weather was nasty, both of us were trying to pin our bibs on, and we didn’t even think twice about walking off in the dark.

To make a long story short, we found our car…eventually…45 minutes after we started looking for it.  That was probably the most painful 45 minute walk we’ve both ever experienced.

Word to to wise:

Never forget to look where you parked, especially in the dark, especially going to a race! Duh.

After all of that, we treated ourselves to a celebratory brunch with friends at my old second home, First Watch.

What I ate/drank: brunch


3 egg white omelet with spinach, red peppers, red onions, black olives and feta cheese

1 English Muffin

3 tomato slices

First Watch Greek Omelet

and…1/2 a ginormous bacon & cheddar pancake (Scott’s choice!)

Bacon & Cheddar Pancakes First Watch

Our first half marathon was a success and we felt great!

I hope you’ve enjoyed following me through my 10 weeks of training for it – or better yet – feel inspired to enter any kind of race of your own.  Shout out to my mom, who also completed her first ever half marathon yesterday!

Mom in half marathon

She’s a perfect example of mind over matter.  She started training with me back in Week 1 and pushed herself the entire way through.  I am SO proud of her! :)

Hard work, dedication and determination is all it takes to train for a half marathon race.

Gasparilla Half Marathon ussource

Arggghhhh you ready?

Pirates Booty Medals

March 2, 2012

Training Week 9 + 10 Playlist

This morning, I expressed my enthusiasm to leave for the race in Training Week 10. To set the tone of the trip off right, I’m sharing the training playlist that got me through the last two weeks of running.

Sunset on Lake

And…in honor of seeing Michael Jackson’s IMMORTAL Tour with Cirque du Soliel this week, I had to throw in a few of his throwbacks.  Enjoy! :)

Half Marathon Training Week 9 + 10 Playlist

-> click here to listen online

See you in Tampa!

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I'm Heather, a 28-year-old blogger, writer and NBA dancer who recently moved up north from down south. Housewife Glamour is a spirited blog that follows my love for health, food, fitness, beauty, and finding the every day "glamour" in life. ♥
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I am not a registered dietician, nutritionist, or certified fitness professional. The workouts I post are what work best for me, but might not be the right type of exercises for you.

I do NOT post everything I eat. All content I post on this blog stems from my personal experience and knowledge, and I recommend consulting a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet or fitness routine.

Also, please understand that affiliate links may pop up on the blog from time to time. I acknowledge when they appear and always genuinely appreciate your support! ♥

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