Half-Marathon Training Check-In

This year I am aiming to complete 13 races in 2013.  Key among these races will be my first half-marathons.  I will be running the Iron Girl Columbia in April and the Frederick Half Marathons a week apart which will make me a Titanium Girl.  Yeah, this Hysterrunner goes BIG! LOL!


Ever since I started running again in November, I have been going one step at a time.  I am not an elite runner by any stretch of the imagination.  My first run back was barely over a mile long.  Even before my surgery, my long runs were 4 miles.  So choosing to go BIG requires a plan.  I couldn’t go from 1-2 miles a week to 13.1 overnight.  So here is what I have been doing.

I spent November 2012 getting myself back to being comfortable with running again.  It was a slow and frustrating process to get back to 3 mile long runs.  There was a lot of internal struggling and crying.  But, I kept at it.  At the end of November, I joined the Road Runners for additional training in addition to my regular runs with Black Girls Run and the Resolution Run training I had started to work back up to 3 miles.  The Road Runners of Baltimore are doing a middle distance training program to get members ready to run a 10-miler in February.  I felt that working with these awesome runners was just what I needed to get my base up in a supportive environment.  It’s because of RRCA Baltimore that I learned how to properly do speedwork.  Books and online training plans are great but sometimes you need to learn from other humans.

Over the past few months, with training from RRCA and support from Black Girls Run and my other running buddies, I have built my weekly base up to 16 miles and gotten down to a 14 minute mile.  I am well on my way to a less than 12 minute mile by the time of the Cherry Blossom 10-miler in April which is my aim.  My long run is up to 6.5 miles! This lines up perfectly with the Train Like A Mother Half-Marathon Finish It Plan.  After I finish at the RRCA 10-miler in February, I will be able to pick up the TLAM plan and keep going right to the finish line! WOOHOO!!!

Unfortunately, life is about to get in the way.  In my non-hysterrunner life, I am a prevention research scientist who teaches at a University.  My class for this term is on Thursday evenings which conflicts with speedwork evenings with the RRCA.  I’m  not giving up on speedwork, however.  I hate gyms BUT the gym on campus has an indoor track complete with a track only membership.  I have paid for that and will be doing my speedwork on the track as well as using the track for occasional indoor runs when the weather is really yucky this Winter.  In order to not take too much time away from my family, indoor track runs will be done at lunchtime.

Next week will mark my first 7 mile long run, I am hoping to do it in about 90 minutes! Wish me luck!

2013 Race Goals


In the spirit of looking back and forward, I am presenting my goals for the New Year.  These are what I aim to do with the hope of continuing to improve on myself.  After my health scares in 2012, I am blessed to be alive.  Every day that I am able to wake up, spend time with my family, and run is precious to me.  With that being said, I am grateful for the experiences that I had in 2012 and am looking forward to new experiences in 2013. 

12 months year of you

I will be aiming to run 13 races in 2013.  My cardiovascular strength and endurance has been building since my return to running post-hysterectomy.  I am up to ~15 miles a week.  I actually exceeded my 10 mile/week goal for December!  With this base, I am well poised to reach my race distance goals for 2013.  I have set up my races for the first half of the year to gradually build up to a half-marathon.  One year ago, I just wanted to run a 5K.  Now, I’m looking forward to becoming a Titanium Girl/Half Fanatic!!! Here are my January – June Race Goals.

resolution run 5k 2013

January 1 ~ Resolution Run 5K

January 19 ~ Winter Runnerland: Moms Run This Town Virtual 10K




February 24 ~ RRCA Club Challenge Ten Miler

March – ?

April 7 ~ Cherry Blossom Ten Miler 20121116203347

Isn’t this a cute pic of Amanda of the awesome blog www.runningonwaffles.com and I at the Cherry Blossom Kickoff?  Amanda is one of the social runners for the race.





April 28 ~ Athleta Iron Girl Columbia Half Marathon

This will be my first half marathon!!!! WOOHOO!!!

May 5 ~ Frederick Running Festival Half Marathon

2 races, 7 days, 3 medals = ONE TITANIUM GIRL!


June ~ Decisions, decisions, decisions…

There are 4 races that I want to run in June!!! I’ve already registered for the previous races which puts me at 5.  I can do 1 or 2 races in June and still be on pace for 2013.  But, I am not sure if I should race 4 times.  That being said, here are the ones I am considering.

June 1 – Zooma Annapolis ~ This is a Black Girls Run goal race for 2013 which means lots of my sole sisters will be running this one.  I’m trying to decide if to push for a third half marathon or the 10K.

June 15 – Baltimore Ten Miler ~ I volunteered at a water stop for this one last year.  I need to decide if to volunteer again or run it.

June 16 – Road Runners Club GPS 5K ~ It would be nice to do another RRCA race and it’s around the corner from my house!

June 23 – Baltimore Women’s Classic 5K ~ This is more than likely a definite.  The BWC was my first race in 2012.  I’m thinking of coaching newbies like I was last year.

Regardless of which races I choose in June, for 2013 I will be a …


December Goals Check-in

I’ve had a hard time composing today’s post. Like everyone else, the tragedy in Newtown has had an  effect on me. I both used to teach K-2 and have a son who happens to be autistic. All of the discussions in the past few days leave me with a heavy heart. I pray for all of the families who lost someone and the community of Newtown as a whole. I also pray for those affected by gun violence everywhere – in Oregon, in Chicago, in Baltimore. As I mentioned in a tweet on Friday, I hope this serves as a FINAL wake up call for gun control & violence prevention. We need to stop hitting the snooze button on this discussion.


Image thanks to The Larson Lingo blog.

That being said, I’m going to try to update you all briefly on my progress so far this month.

Running – Although I ended my RunStreak, I’ve still exceeded my 10 miles a week goal. Week 1- 15.7 miles, Week 2- 15.4 miles

Upper Body – Fail thus far.  But, I downloaded an upper arms app for my phone and will be doing a circuit tonight.

Elf4Health – I was just assigned a new elf.  I look forward to getting to know her this week. (Hi Kaleigh!)

Race Goals – I’ve been accepted into the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler in DC in April. My next blog post will share my races for 2013.


Today is a once in a lifetime day.  In fact, it is the last alliteration day for 100 years.  With all that is going on in my life, I felt it was only fitting to discuss health goals for the next 100 years.

Causes of Death 1900 - 2010

Causes of Death 1900 – 2010

To know your future, you need to know your past.  So here is a table that shows the top causes of death at the turn of the century compared to now.  The top 5 causes of death then were: 1) Pneumonia and influenza; 2) Tuberculosis;  3) Diarrhea; 4) Heart disease: and, 5) Stroke.  We have succeeded in reducing causes of death from natural causes greatly.  There are even diseases which caused death in 1900 which we have almost eradicated today.  However, heart disease and stroke are still major killers now joined by cancer.

In the 1950s, my mother had Scarlet Fever.  Scarlet Fever killed many but not my mom.  She is one that survived.  However, it damaged her heart making her susceptible to heart disease as she grew older.  Most people today have never been exposed to Scarlet Fever thanks to the medical miracles of the last century.  Heart damage due to communicable diseases is rare today.

Doctors in 1912 looked to a future where communicable diseases would be eradicated and there was a cure for cancer.  Much has been done since then in eliminating diseases with vaccinations, etc.  However, we now know that heart disease  can be prevented with healthier lifestyles.  I hope that everyone will embrace fitness as a way of eradicating heart disease.  This will be good for both your immediate and the world’s long-term future.

The average life expectancy in 1912 was 47 years old; today it’s 78.7 years old!  We are definitely living longer.  It is my hope that by the year 2112, the life expectancy is 112 years old or longer! (Purely selfish reasons – my son will be 112 in 2112!)

What steps can you take to embrace a healthier lifestyle today?  Eat a vegetable with lunch.  Have fruit for a snack instead of a donut.  Drink more water.  Get up from the computer and walk around.  Whatever you do, start today!

No Hysterrunstreak for Me!

Last night, I made a decision to end my runstreak after 18 days.  I have run or walked at least a mile daily since Thanksgiving.  I intended to keep this streak up until Christmas – a total of 40 days.  Last week Wednesday, I barely made it.  I got the mile in through my 1/2 mile back and forth to my car.  My body was feeling rundown so I didn’t make it to Water Aerobics that day and I LOVE Water Aerobics.  I kept up with it through this weekend.  I got 8 miles in between Friday – Sunday! Great for my training goals; bad for my recovery.  I exceeded my monthly goal to hit at least 10 miles a week for December at the expense of my health. Freezing

Every runner knows that it is essential to build rest breaks into your training schedule.  Your body needs to rest and recover between workouts so that you don’t risk injury.  (For more information about rest from training and why you need it, click here.) 

rest day

I’m still recovering from major abdominal surgery.  I not only need time to rest because of my training but also because of my hysterectomy.  Only a few weeks ago, I needed to nap after conquering the stairs between my first and second floors or walking to the corner.  I may be able to run 3-4 miles at a time again but I am not fully healed.  So that being said, I will not be running today.  I will be going back to my 3 day a week running schedule plus one cross-training day.  This gives me 3 days of nothing but normal activity – family, work, friends, etc.  This will still net me more than 10 miles a week and help me reach my training goals.

For my other goals, I am still doing ok.  Today’s Elf for Health challenge is to drink your weight in ounces of water.  I’m aiming for half of my weight as drinking my full weight in water is not healthy for my kidneys.  I have noticed that a lot of people tend to not drink enough water during the day.  So I would encourage you to drink at least the recommended 8 glasses of water today and every day. 

drink a glass of water

December 2012 Goals

December is one of my favorite months of the year! It is now Advent, a time to be still, reflect, and prepare. Sometimes the preparations get dwarfed as everyone goes straight from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I try to make sure to celebrate each season individually.

I usually spend a lot of time focusing on my family and our holiday traditions in December. Even when I don’t want it to, it can get overwhelming at times.  Since I don’t want any health setbacks, I really intend to stay focused more on my family and traditions inside my home while saying NO to pressures outside my house. I also plan on keeping up with my health and fitness goals for both my recovery and sanity. That being said, here are my goals for this month:

1. Running – I’m aiming for 10 miles a week again. I slowly have increased my runs back to about 3 miles each. This month I start training with the Road Runners for a mid- Winter 10 miler. Hopefully, in following the plan, I will be able to hit this goal. Plus as a part of the Runner’s World Holiday Run Streak, I am aiming to do at least a Mile a Day for this month so I should definitely be able to get my mileage up. My Mile a Day challenge is what I’m doing for the #DecemberDoubleDown challenge for Girls Gone Sporty this month. You can join me!

2. Upper body – I’m going to try to work my upper body at least 2 times a week not counting Water Aerobics.

3. Elf4Health – If you haven’t noticed the logo on the right, I am doing the Elf4Health challenge from Nutritionella this month as well. Each day there are small steps to take which are good for your own health. Today’s task was to track your fiber intake and aim for 14 grams for every 1000 calories consumed. I got 20 grams of fiber! Tomorrow’s task is to eat a salad and make your own dressing. I’ve already put together a salad in a jar for tomorrow’s lunch. Yummy!

4. Race Goals – I will be finalizing my 2013 races and registering for them. I plan on running at least one race per month in 2013 because I can. There are many women who are more sick than I ever was who can’t walk or run much less race. I will be dedicating my races to them.

What are your health and fitness goals this month?


Never Say Never November Goals Update

With 2 days left in this month, it is time to assess how I did on this month’s goals.  Overall, despite a few setbacks, I did pretty good.  I didn’t hit my goals exactly but I did make really good progress back to fitness.  Here’s how I did:

  1. Running – This month I aimed for 10 miles a week by running 3 times a week, especially Twilight Tuesdays with BGR.  I started November just relearning how to run with my “new” body.  I did manage to get a run in 3 days a week; however, I didn’t hit 10 miles yet.  As I wasn’t consistently ready for 3 miles at a time when we started the month, it wasn’t as realistic as I thought. Most of my runs averaged 1-2 miles with a “long run” of 3 miles each week.  However, yesterday I got almost 4 miles in and felt great! I have joined in on the Runner’s World Holiday RunStreak.  So I’m going to keep this goal and potentially aim higher in December.
  2. #LungesforLeftovers – Girls Gone Sporty had a cool challenge this month.  “Earn our Thanksgiving Leftovers” by doing as many lunges each day as you can.  I started out doing 20 static lunges – 10 on each side.  I really took to this goal.  I am able to do not only static lunges but walking lunges and lunges in the pool!  I definitely can feel a difference in my booty!
  3. Strength Training – This is the one area that I fell short.  In getting back to work and life, it was hard to fit upper body exercises in as well as my other fitness goals.  I barely did this once a week this month.
  4. Aqua Aerobics – AWESOME.  I absolutely LOVE my Wednesday evening class!  It is more than just aerobics.  It also includes water running and lots of upper body strength exercises with water weights.  When it is done,  I definitely feel it all over!

I may not have hit my goals exactly but I definitely feel like I accomplished a lot fitness wise this month.  Compared to the end of September through October when I was on bed rest and recovering, I did really well! I’m looking forward to next month as I will start training for a 10-miler with the Baltimore Road Runners Club in preparation for my half-marathon training which starts in January.

How did you do on your Never Say Never November goals?  Leave me a comment to let me know! 

exercise makes me stronger

Why do I run?

If you had asked me a couple of years ago to go for a run, I would have laughed.  Invite me to a group exercise class – Zumba, Pilates, BodyPump – sure, no problem.  But, run?  You have got to be kidding me.

However, over the past few years, I realized something about myself.  Outside of attending group classes, I don’t like gyms.  Trust me, I’ve tried different types – women’s only, BIG BOX, meat markets, you name it.  I just don’t like them.  So between classes, I would walk for additional exercise.  Then, I became a run/walker and now a hysterrunner.

This week the Zooma Women’s Race Series posted a video from Dimity McDowell of Another Mother Runner.  Check it out below:

2012 Zooma Great Lakes

This video got me thinking.  Why do I still run?  After my hysterectomy, I could have chosen to start back with any other exercise but I didn’t.  The whole six weeks immediately post-op all I could think about was when I would run again.  I realized that running has become a friend to me.  It’s a space to clear my head, time to just be me with no obligations, no worries, no…  Running is my getaway.  So, why do I run?  I run to give time to me!

Never Say Never November Goals –

So far so good! I have gotten two runs in this week thus far which puts me on pace for my mileage this week.  The Girls Gone Sporty #LungesforLeftovers challenge has been a bit more challenging.  I have gotten 20 lunges in most days this week; 30 yesterday.  I have done my upper body arm exercises completed on opposite days from my runs, with the exception of Tuesday.  I completed my exercises and ran on Tuesday – a twofer! 

It wasn’t as easy as it sounds to get through my goals this week though.  It is also my first week back at work.  It’s been difficult adjusting to sitting at a desk the majority of the day.  By halfway through, the dreaded swelly belly becomes aggravating and my incision sometimes starts to throb.  I’m grateful that I can be a bit flexible and leave around 3pm instead of 5pm.  I have been coming home and relaxing, even napping at times, then logging on to work email one last time before focusing on my personal stuff – family, fitness, etc.  I am looking forward to being able to go straight through the day.  However, I realize that it is still not time for me to reclaim my SuperMom cape.  One day but not today.

Never Say Never November Goals

Usually on Fridays, I post “Faith and Fitness” motivational phrases.  However, today is the first Friday of the month so I will be posting my goals for this month instead.  Hopefully, it will be motivational to someone! Smile


This month I am truly grateful to be alive.  Yesterday, I ran for the first time since the surgery!!! Woohoo!!! I ran again today.  There’s a blog post in there somewhere but I want to wait until I get a week’s worth of runs in to provide good advice for my fellow hysterrunners.

Although I can run, I know that my body is still not ready for long distances.  I also need to get back to a normal schedule.  I go back to work on Monday so I need to balance work, motherhood, and my fitness goals while my body still heals.  That being said here are my fitness goals for this month.

  1. Running – This month I am aiming for 10 miles a week.  This is less than what I was up to before the surgery but more than I have done for the past six weeks.  I’m aiming for 3 days a week – at least one with my Twilight Tuesday BGR group.
  2. #LungesforLeftovers – Girls Gone Sporty has a cool challenge this month.  They’re encouraging us to “Earn our Thanksgiving Leftovers” by doing as many lunges each day as you can.  I can do 20 right now – 10 on each side.  I want to maintain or increase this number if possible.
  3. Strength Training – I wrote a previous post about my upper body exercises.  I will be increasing from 3 sets of reps to 4 this month at least 3 times per week.
  4. Aqua Aerobics – I’m slowly moving in to cross-training.  No Zumba or Bikram Yoga or anything else high impact/energy other than running until my body has healed a bit more.  However, my doctor said I can workout in the pool since it’s low impact.  I have signed up for Aqua Aerobics on Wednesday evenings.  It doesn’t start until November 14th which gives me time to get used to running regularly first.

november promise

The motivational poster above was my inspiration to write down my goals.  I also have goals for work and my family, etc… just like I am sure you do. What are your goals for this month? Drop me a line to let me know!

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Rock N Roll Philly Half Marathon

Race # 10September 15, 2013
Aiming for a PR!