Category Archives: Half Marathon Training

2015 Spring Training Races Report

The Spring race season kicked off at Myrtle Beach Marathon in February. I have to admit, it was nice not to be racing. My friend Tara and I had the pleasure of volunteering on Friday night and walking out the condo door to cheer on the runners. We had the opportunity to see Bill fly by at mile 15 looking like he had just started running.

2015-02-14 08.17.44 2015-02-14 12.25.43

As Bill sped past us and Fred PR’d his half and I knew it was time to fill out my spring race schedule. Too much FOMO going on!

nOg St. Paddy’s Run Green 8K kilt run in March has become a tradition in Raleigh. I needed a few more miles that day so I had run 7 prior to the nOg thinking I would have a “fun” 8k to reach my goal but Kelly of River Run Club was after an 8K PR and needed company.IMG_3037IMG_3025

Isnagged a bib for the sold out Tobacco Road Half -perfect training run towards my 50K. This was my 3rd Tobacco race and I reluctantly have run some long training runs on the trail but it’s not my favorite. Love surface, but the tree lined, straight, flat trail gets mundane. It attracted Runner’s World attention this year as a great Boston Qualifier option. The race atmosphere improved this year offering a better beer garden tent and band. The tent was great pre-race for warmth. I finally broke through my half to PR of 1:51  and finished at 1:50.

Next up was All American Marathon with a few River Run Club folks and IMG_3236Ambassadors: Todd Griffin and Paul Laviska. This is a great race I highly recommend. It was easy to park close to starting line, well organized and a great course. I had never been on a military base before so it was cool running through it with Todd as my tour guide. This was the most inspired race I’ve ever ran. #thanksTodd. The bonus of running with Todd is his fan base cheering us on and the fans he picked up along the way. Todd holds the record for running with me longerIMG_3238 than anyone. You learn a lot about someone running 26.2 miles and he’s a good one. Todd didn’t beat Oprah but he will in Sir Walter Raleigh at RnR2015.

Last training race before Run the Rock 50k was Rock and Roll Raleigh. In it’s second year, Competitor Group changed the course and reportedly had fewer runners. But I had a good time and I love running downtown, hills and all. My run buddy was Julie who beat cancer finishing her last chemo merely weeks before race day. This was her last training run before her 3rd trip to Boston. We began in wave 2 at the rope-ahead of where we needed to be and resulted in starting out faster than we planned. Once the 1:50 pacers caught up to us, we stayed with them. The plan was to help me run at my race pace and to keep Julie from going too fast and seeing if she could maintain the pace. I almost immediately had to go to music because the costume clad pacing girls weren’t just pacing, they were coaching; loudly and enthusiastically. Most people hanging with the 1:50 group don’t need and didn’t sign up for coaching. After the 7-8 mile climb, music wasn’t enough to drown them out so I took off. Julie kept me in sights and we finished together. A PR for me at 1:48. I love running downtown- hills work for me! The party afterwards with Smashing Mouth is not worth writing about-they sucked in the 90’s and still do. Also Michelob Ultra sucks. Runners in these parts prefer craft beer, local even better.

IMG_3410IMG_3405 (1)Red Hat Ampitheater

If You Run, You are a Runner


Today I ran with a guy who joined River Run Club in June. He is a guy who doesn’t “look” like a runner. He looks more like Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is the type of guy who is grabbing life by the horns and shaking it up.

“I want to learn how to run,” said Arnold. We made plans to run together at our next meet up. He was so excited by the group energy, he took off with the leaders who planned on running 8 miles, sub 8. “There’s no way he’ll be able to hang with them,” said me. “When he falls behind, I’ll show him how to run.”

Well, he was able to keep up with them for the majority of the run and has been coming back for more week after week. I had told him he was already a runner but he has denied himself that title like so many runners do…until this morning.

We set out to run 10 miles at an even 9 minute mile pace; this was to be his longest run ever. Due to my fantastic sense of direction, we were off by 2 miles, luckily in the right direction. When we finished on pace plus 2 miles he said, “You know, when I came to run club I was a jogger and now I’m a runner.”

Moments like these are why I do River Run Club!
Anjanette Wiley

Halfway to Full


I’m on the other side of halfway through 16 weeks of hills, intervals, cross training, short and long runs to my first marathon. What I’ve learned along the way:

Intervals and long runs are hard.
Intervals and long runs are my favorite.

I discovered I love riding my bike.

Running friends make my world go around.

10 Excuses to Embrace During Plantar Fasciitis

  1. Work is too busy right nowPlantar Fasciitis Sucks!
  2. It’s too cold (disclaimer: NC cold)
  3. Less hair maintenance
  4. Lots of late night TV
  5. Less laundry to do
  6. Sleeping in
  7. One less website to keep up with
  8. Liberated Friday night cocktails
  9. Saving miles on new Mizunos
  10. Normal looking barefeet

A more balanced runner friend said,

Giving ourselves permission to be ok with time off is an important part of balance.

I cannot publicly repeat how I responded because none of these ten things beat running. #8 is close but there are 6 other nights!

Daily Mile

Daily Mile

This is one website I think about every day. I really hate it when I don’t have anything to post on this site because that  means I didn’t work out. Daily Mile is awesome if you do any kind of exercise because it lets you track biking, spinning, weight lifting, swimming, walking, elliptical, rowing, rock climbing and running.

I love it for several reasons:

Daily Mile automatically updates my facebook and twitter page. Although I know this must really annoy some facebook friends and some social media purists, it has helped increase my tweets number and I like to think it has encouraged a few people to get active.

Daily Mile keeps track of my miles by the week, month and year and calories burned. It also can be my most un-favorite part because my posts have been too few and far between lately.  As you can see from this picture I am looking at 9 miles tomorrow to make my goal of running 20 miles a week. Last chance workout!

Using Google maps, I map my course either before my run to plan my trip or after to see how far I ran. It’s very accurate and even has some city trails that I can’t track with my car. You can also find other people’s courses that they have mapped out. I don’t save any of my maps because that could get a little creepy and I don’t recommend women advertise the courses they run any where on the internet.

Daily Mile is social! It is tracking my total miles since I joined and shows my goal of running the Cleveland Experience Rite Aid Half Marathon in May.

You can comment on friends’ posts by sending motivation or leaving comments. I find the people on Daily Mile to be so encouraging and supportive of one another. I like the localness of it and plan on attending a Daily Mile meetup. The best thing about Daily Mile is how it motivates me to do something so I can post a workout.

If there is a best, there has to be a worst and the worst is the Leader Board when I’m not even on it!

It’s ok I haven’t run for 3 days, really.

Breath. Exhale. Repeat.

The good news is I’ve got two days under my belt on my new job. The bad news is I haven’t run for three days.

I am really tying to be all Ekhart Tolle, Zen, Mother Teresa about it but the truth is all I can think about is all the running I’m not doing. It started last week when I began to miss a few days and running was everywhere on Facebook, Twitter and Daily Mile. I was starting to get resentful but have moved beyond that. I’m now ok with my running friends and the miles they are logging with out me. Really I am.

I know it can be done, runners have full time jobs too.They make the time and make it work and I will too, hopefully quickly to preserve what’s left of my sanity.

Working peeps, how do you find the time to run? And do laundry, spend time with kids, shop, cook etc?

Run Faster Because You Can

I’ve always been a late bloomer. I’ve been running for a few years for fitness & friendship, ran two half marathons in 2009 and just now feel the desire to get faster.

I want to be able to get more miles in a week without sacrificing any more time spent running. I am very busy (sorry, inside joke). You see, I’m a generally pretty slow running anywhere between 9-10 minute miles.  I have the endurance, I can run for two hours and feel pretty good. But do I feel too good? I feel no pain that day or the next so I’m thinking I need to step up my running game.

I began researching “How to Run Faster.” Everything I’ve seen is so complicated:

Run mile intervals 3-5% faster than race pace.

Run 800 meter and 400  meter intervals 8-12% faster than race pace.

Run 200 meter intervals 12-15% faster.

Unless I go to a school track, I can’t measure those lengths. I don’t want to run around a track, it’s too boring. So here is how I’m going begin the process of becoming a faster runner:

How to Run Faster with Mile Intervals:

  1. Stretch and warm up completely with an easy mile run.
  2. Run 4 x 1-mile intervals at 3-5% faster than race pace.
  3. Walk/jog 400 meters (1/4 mile) between mile intervals. Maintain consistent interval times and rest between intervals.
  4. Warm down with an easy 1 mile run.

I am going to run faster because I can.

info courtesy of

I Want to be a Real Runner

The shoes make the man, so running shoes must make the girl. I have walked or run in New Balance, Asics and currently Nike. Sadly, my cool Nike+ gadget stopped working about six months ago so I am unattached to Nike.  Having logged over 500 miles and 2 half marathons on my current pair of shoes, it’s time for a new pair of kicks.

Real runners wear Brooks. I tried them on and walked around the store feeling how strange they felt. I talked myself into buying them despite knowing for fairly certain they weren’t going to work for my run style. I went for a treadmill run and began walking to warm up thinking maybe they’ll feel better if I warm up really well. (I’m not good about warm up, cool down or stretching. I don’t have time. I only have time to sweat.)

After pushing through a mile run and starting to freak out over the $100 I spent, I thought it best to get off the treadmill, shine up the shoes and return them as soon as possible! After removing the shoes and letting the shoes return to room temperature, I returned them to Dick’s Sporting Good, thankfully, no questions asked. Back to the drawing board.

I still insisted on graduating from Nike shoes, trying on Asics,  but it was back to my trusty old Nike Pegasus’ for me.

Real runners go to real runner’s stores and  have their gait and natural biomechanics evaluated to help them select the right shoe. I just don’t have time for that. Maybe next time.

Running Competitively

I ran the most miles I have ever run in one week.

For no apparent reason.

I am not signed up for any races.

I am not trying to lose anymore weight than the usual 10.

So why? I feel like I’m getting close to being the girl who will pee on herself to keep from interrupting a run. I am not there yet. I repeat, I am NOT there yet!

I am a goal oriented person so to be logging this many miles for no reason feels odd.

I have been reading several running blogs lately and realize it is a competitive sport. Thus far, I have not run to compete with anyone but myself. Recently, while looking for a picture, I  found this race bib and it reminded of this race.

It was the first Susan Hoying Memorial 5K. Mrs. Hoying was R2’s beloved Kindergarten teacher who had passed the year before. Being a Catholic school teacher for 20+ years, the inaugural race was appropriately held on a beautiful fall and crisp, All Saints Day. The race was hilly and hard but my race partner and I were having a good time for a good cause. What we didn’t expect was to be winners in our respective age groups. We both placed first in our age groups beating out like two other runners! It was fun to accept our prizes among family, friends and familiar faces but I never gave competition another thought.

I am in the best running shape of my life. I can run 12 miles and still walk the next day. It’s time to decide on my next half and work on improving my times.

Are you competitive? What races are you training for? Do you follow a plan to help improve your times?

Running Up Hill

As I was approaching my big hill this morning, I spotted a cell phone tower technician on the tower. He wasn’t in the bucket but standing on the rim of the bucket. I could not bear to see him come tumbling down to his death. The scene was similar to the car accident that you can’t help but look at or the really bad reality television (Jersey Shore, anyone?) that you can’t help watch.

My hill was upon me, I looked down at the road, pumped  my arms and ran as fast as I could past the tower never looking up or back. Running forces me to focus, concentrate, block out negative thoughts, emotions, people and situations.

Running up hill is like any other life challenge you experience. You have to face it head on and get your entire being working toward the top. The rewards are great.

How do you run your hill?

Running Changes Everything

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