Saturday, February 4, 2012

Run For the Whales Half Marathon Training Run

Aloha!  As I mentioned in my last post, I have been spending the week in Maui with my family and a few friends.  Although this has been super relaxing and wonderful, it hasn't been the most conducive to marathon training.  I've found myself slipping into training apathy more and more each day.  I did, however, make time for an almost 60 mile week IF you count from my 19 mile run on Sunday to my 15 miles total today.  Not bad for vacation in Hawaii.  But I'm still feeling apathetic about my Boston goals.  Perhaps the "go get 'em" fire will come back to me once I get home.  If not, I'm not too terribly worried because 
with or without lofty marathon goals (I know, I know, a totally different tune than my "Like It's Your Job" post from a few weeks ago.  See what Hawaii will do to this fickle gal).  

Marathon Pace Training Run
Although some might disagree with Pfitzinger's training plans, he does call for several long runs with some miles at marathon pace.  I think this sounds all nice and dandy if you can do that sort of thing on your own.  However, I find myself needing a little push with these sorts of workouts.  A race setting is the perfect opportunity for me to hit my marathon pace without having to race all out.  If the race is at the right time and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg, then I'm all about using races to help me with these marathon paced training runs.  So, today was a good day for that!  

Most of you on my Runninghood facebook page convinced me to get my lazy vacation bum out of bed at 4 a.m today to drive an hour south on Maui to run this Run For the Whales Half Marathon as my training run today.  I'm glad I did.  So, thank you to those of you that encouraged me.  I think I'd already made up my mind but it helped to have so many people agreeing.  It was a great end to a fabulous vacation! 

To use this half marathon as a way to get myself up early and make the most of my day while still fitting in a solid longer run with some at marathon pace.

What is Marathon Pace Amanda?
Not sure on this one.  I'd like to spout off some bad ass number like 7:15 but I know that isn't true.  7:20-7:25 even sounds too ambitious right now so 7:30 is a good number to shoot for.  I'd be happy with breaking 3:20 in the marathon so 7:30 would be better than this.  I'm sure I'll narrow my range down once this month is out but for now I've been thinking of MP as 7:20-7:30.  

Can you really just "run" a race?
Yes and No.  No, I couldn't just go out at an 8:30 pace for warm up but yes, I was able to keep myself close to marathon pace.  I was only supposed to do it for 8 of my miles but I kind of tried for the whole 13.1 except for a couple of miles closer to 8 min pace due to stopping for water and fuel (by choice) and just sucking arse on a hill.  

I begged an old lady to take my picture since I was all alone.  


  • Beautiful course!
  • Overall 3rd place woman and first in age group even though they took me out of the age group pool.  
  • Um, I'm in Hawaii.
  • Great bag, t-shirt, giveaways, etc.  
  • Awesome age group ad overall awards.  I won several really cool things along with a Whale Tour for 2 that I'll be gifting to someone in Maui.  
  • Opportunity to see more of Maui and still have my whole day.  
  • A solid 13 mile run @ 7:36 avg including stops and getting lost.  
The Swag.  The bags are really great!  And the award bag for the winners were sweet!  I think I might be getting a Columbia bag and shoes in the mail too.  :)  

The note and shell from my girls were so special to have during my run while they all slept in the wee hours of the morning. 

The medals for winners were unique.  I like this.  

  • Badly organized in my opinion.  They gave my number away, I couldn't figure out where to park in the dark early hours of the morning and missed my 4 mile warm up run.  
  • The lead packs were directed in the wrong direction.  This totally stunk and it threw me off for the rest of the race.  I think this was close to mile 5 or 6??  
  • I was really out of it for most of the race.  No plan.  Very wishy washy about what I would do.  Part of the way I thought I'd race it and then I decided to stick with the plan.  
  • HILLY!  The profile course doesn't show how hilly it felt.  Perhaps I'm out of hill shape.  
This is the best my non-techie self could do right now to show you the elevation profile.  It doesn't do it justice.  :)

  • They don't have definite times for us since we got lost.  They said to just take 3 minutes off of our times.  How official?? Not too concerned since this wasn't for a race time and certainly not for a PR.  I feel sorry for people who ran this for their first half marathon.  
Overall, I had a great time and am glad I did it. I'm trying to focus on all the positives instead of the parts that were less than stellar!  As you can see from my splits below, I ran a few of the miles too fast for marathon pace but the hills had something to do with that. With every uphill, there is a down hill.  The 8 min miles were from stopping to take a drink and fuel (cliff gels) and not stop my watch.  I didn't have 13.1 miles on my Garmin...only 13.0 or something but that was probably due to me stopping my watch when I got lost and kept running.  But out of the 13 miles I ran, I'm happy with hitting close to marathon pace on most of the miles.  Definitely not 100% confident that I could do this pace right now for 26.2. At least not today.  Maybe 20 miles but not a full marathon.  Good thing I have until April, right?  


Way better way to recover than a stinking ice bath!!

This was a pretty sweet part of recovery too!
Happy Weekend Peeps! Excited to catch up with so many of you. 



  1. YOU ARE AMAZING!! A 1/2 marathon IN Hawaii....I am just a little jealous:) Congrats on the 3rd overall and you will definitely be able to keep that pace by April!

  2. Can't help but thinking while looking at your recovery photo in the bikini on the beach that you should definitely be ready for any pt work on any muscle strains you have. :). Seriously sounds like such a fun fun thing to do on vacation. A wishy washy feeling/race will be perfect in the big scheme of getting ready for April. Congrats on the 3rd overall!

  3. Love it!!!! Great job! You are amazing and I am so glad you did this race! We are all living vicariously through you :)

  4. Great Run- Neat Little Swag- although the Note is the BEST ♥ Congrats on the Place- Great Paced run- gives you an idea of where you fall- for getting lost and some hills- you did this run perfectly- not zapped so you not you have lots left- and that is promising for Boston- you are on track- !!

  5. Fantastic swag bag and stick with those MP runs. Yes they are a bit of bugger to get your head round and feel so HARD but I can tell you from experience they work. Honestly. It leaves enough juice in the can for you to use on race day!

  6. You are speedy! Nice job! Hawaii would be so pretty to run through.

    I ran my first 1/2 today...muuuuch slower, tho it wasn't a race. Your splits are inspirational!

  7. It's always fun to do a race when you're on holidays. Yours was great! Annoying about the lack of organisation and getting misdirected. But, hey, you came third and that's nothing to be sneezed at.

  8. Great job! The shirt is a great one, so bright too! Bummer on the disorganization, that stinks. At least you were just using it as a really amazing training run!

  9. That IS a hilly course. The Garmin graphs are deceiving bc they are set up on a 0-100 scale. You had lost of short steep hills and some longer steadier hills too. Great job! Solid run! And hot looking mama, no need for squats and leg presses for you:) This gets me so excited for my own trip and can't wait to pick your brain about places to stay and things to do when you get back.

  10. Congratulations! I am jealous you are in Hawaii! Definitely beats being in Chicago. :D

  11. 3 minutes off your time? That makes so much sense to take the same amount off no matter your pace...

    Looks beautiful - glad you had a great, relaxing time!

  12. how convenient! i am glad you decided to run too. always fun to run in a new place. sounds like it was a successful 'workout' race. congrats on the overall placement!

    i must say though, had you sent me my plane ticket in time i would have been able to take your photo and you wouldn't have to beg old ladies. ;)

  13. Holy heck your determination is inspirational. I'm thinking if I were in Hawaii I might do a nice "jog" along the beach - but that's probably about it. GOOD FOR YOU MAMA! You look amazing. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

  14. Nice job! You are seriously one speedy woman! Sounds like it's been a great vacation!

  15. Awesome!!! I'm so glad you did this race - and as always, you were a speedster!!! Way to go :)

  16. oh, I'm so glad you decided to run the race. That's my absolute favorite thing to do is run or race in a new area. I do hate the early morning, "up and out" while on vacation, but I'm never disappointed.

    looks like great training to me> YES, you have plenty of time ahead of you. hope Feb. is a great month for you.

  17. Vacation races are the best- no pressure just FUN! (besides the whole waking up way too early thing...) I love that medal too! I think it kind of looks like a Christmas ornament!

  18. Bullet point # 3 takes the cake! Even though it was not a perfectly run race, sounds like you took away much more than it lacked. And how can you pass up running in paradise?!


  19. So glad to hear you did it, sounds like it wasn't ideal... but I'm sure there was something you could take away from the race! Congrats on your medal, so much for 'not racing', heehee!

  20. Hey girl! I read this a few times. Yes, hills! Super proud of you for doing this race! Tough to do on vacation! Really a quality training run! You look beautiful as always! OK-really short on time but hoping to catch up with you a little this week!

  21. nice run! I am so jealous of your speed, but even more, I'm SOOO jealous of you being in Hawaii! Although you have been missing some amazingly beautiful sunny days here in P-town (but still only 50 degrees so yeah, you win).


  22. Love that you took this on as a fun race and a workout- and still finished 3rd! Your vacation has me a little jealous! :) I will save you some rain here....

    What a great job you did, Amanda. After just having the strain issues, you are doing some very solid running.

    Great swag!!! Can't wait to find out more about your trip and see how training is going with the 12 week plan :)

  23. Two words (usually do nto like to say this phrase - but it is appropriate)


  24. If you did that well at a disorganized race, . . .

    Congratulations on the awards and for not accidentally turning it into a three-quarters marathon.

  25. What a great way to see 13.1 miles of Hawaii?!?

  26. Wow! Great idea while on vacation and getting to see a part of Hawaii you wouldn't noramally get to see. Good Job!

  27. Amanda -- I ran the race on Sat too. Luckily, I'm much slower than you so we didn't get mis-directed like you lead pack (I'm still trying to figure out where they mis-directed you to?!?!).

    Anyway, the course was short. I clocked 12.6 miles on my Garmin. Just FYI. And WAY more hilly than I thought it would be.

    I loved this race. But I'm a small race fan, so being really dark at the start and not super organized is kinda par for the course for these small races in Hawaii. The race swag was so much better than I ever expected. Glad you had a great break from your vacation.

  28. Awesome race!! That's a great pace, especially for a hilly run. Why did you get knocked out of the age group award? I'm planning to do the same kind of thing with the Austin half in two weeks, use it as part of my marathon training, though my pace is closer to 8min/miles. Glad it worked for you!

  29. Solid workout Amanda! It is a good thing you were not necessarily "racing" this because that would have been incredibly frustrating.

    Love that last picture of you and am glad you got such good training in while on vacation. I am so jealous!!

  30. Sounds like an awesome run! And yeah, as I look at my FEET of snow, I am a wee bit jealous (ok, maybe more than a wee bit). Hawaii!!! Awesome. :)

    You asked about the changes we made to the Pfitz plan - we added in a "recovery week" every third week, and added in some key workouts (a 16 miler at mp, and a 23 miler that will have me running for my goal time) A few other slight adjustments just for my schedule, what works for me, etc. Sounds like you are doing great!

  31. I SO WISH I knew you were running on Saturday - I could at least have said "Hi" at the start (you are WAY faster than me). I had a 4+ minute PR, so I was happy, but I forgot how tough the ups and downs (and the semi-technical running on the crappy road out to the lava fields). It was a beautiful day.

    Congrats on your win and sorry we didn't meet up!


  32. First off, I'd love to go to Hawaii, never been. Secondly, you've convinced me I need to time it to be there when a race occurs.

    Awesome/beautiful pic of you at the race.

  33. that is awesome, amanda. What a great experience...congrats on a strong 'training run' even with the hiccups. HOpe you are enjoying your vacation!!! aloha!

  34. That is so awesome!! Congrats on your race. It sounds like it was a little frustrating with the lack of organization but it looks like you got some really cool stuff from them. You rock. Enjoy Hawaii. I've always wanted to go there.