Getting Ready for Half Marathon #5

Hi everyone!  It’s absolutely mind blowing to me, but one week from now I’ll be heading to the airport to fly to Utah for the Zion Half Marathon!  I feel like it was just yesterday that I was sitting in my room in Seward registering for the race and dreaming of visiting a new place.  The Facebook page for the Zion Half has been super active lately with pictures, and this one caught my eye:


This is the race medal!  I got chills just looking at it.  In less than 10 days I’ll hopefully be wearing that around my neck! And I’ll need to get a bigger medal rack to make room for it when I get home!

In case you somehow missed it, it’s been a crazy training cycle.  There’s been a lot that has gone wrong in the last 3 months, and some great things that I didn’t expect.  The most notable things include:

  • Taking my training indoors due to low snow and crazy ice conditions.  It’s going to be interesting running on ice-free roads outside during the race!
  • Using a time-based plan instead of a milage-based plan.  I loved that I could tell how long my workouts were going to be, but I hated that it limited how many miles I ran because I’m not fast.
  • Getting injured from wearing the wrong kind of shoes, getting an MRI, and losing a week for recovery.  If you missed that story, check it out here.
  • Easing back into running using a run/walk plan with a 4:1 interval and falling in love with my new hot pink ASICS Gel-Kayanos!
  • Running without any hip pain again
  • Running an awesome accidental 7 miler in the snow
  • Throwing up after my 10 miler

So am I ready for the race?  I’m not sure.  I do feel that race day adrenaline and the chance to run outside on regular ground again will make for an easier time than anything I’ve done in this training so far.  Getting sick after my 10 miler really threw me off – especially since I haven’t had any leg pain since that run!  I feel that my hips and legs are ready for it, but who knows if the rest of my body will follow.  I’m also not sure about my lack of hill training, especially since we have an uphill gain of 466 ft throughout the entire course.


No matter what happens, I can honestly say that this race is the one that I fought for the most.  In the last two half marathons I’ve run I barely stuck to my training plan and only ran up to 8 or 9 miles before the race.  The Love Run Half felt so easy and I guess I thought I could just do that again, but I was really wrong about that.  I consequently had a miserable time finishing both.  I’m worried that my week off for recovery and my drop in milage at the end of training will affect me, but it’s what I had to do to stay healthy and safe.  I can say that I want to finish this race so bad and just crossing the finish line is my goal!

In the next week, I have 5 runs to do, one of which is a 6 mile taper run that I plan on doing outside (and not getting lost and accidentally running 7 instead!).  This weekend will be filled with Iditarod fun but I will get it done!  I also plan on doing lots of yoga and foam rolling to get my legs as stretchy as possible.  No matter what happens, I plan on enjoying my much-needed vacation and making it to that finish line with confidence!

Have you ever had a bad training cycle?  How did you mentally prepare for the race?

23 thoughts on “Getting Ready for Half Marathon #5

  1. I’m so confident for you…you’re going to do great and that badass medal is going to look awesome hanging around your neck! So funny…I actually stumbled upon that elevation chart yesterday while looking up elevations for Jersey!
    This training cycle has been rough for a lot of us I think. Definitely for me. I couldn’t run outside for a couple weeks and it’s a weird transition getting back out there.

    1. Yeah it is. It’s been such a weird winter. It was too warm for me and too cold for you! All I’m going to think about during the race is that awesome medal…and Chipotle 🙂

  2. Yikes, that’s a crazy elevation profile! Anyway, like you said, you’ve worked SO HARD this training cycle in spite of all the crazy stuff that happened, so no matter how the race goes, you should feel immensely proud of all the work you’ve done.

    1. Thanks! That’s what I’m going to tell myself on race morning. It really has been a crazy training cycle! I’m looking forward to the next one being much better 🙂

  3. Good luck Kristen! You sure had a lot of (throw) ups and downs during this training! I am totally rooting for you no matter what body part decides to give out on you! Hopefully none of them do :c)

    1. Haha nice one there 🙂 And I’m hoping the same thing! Why do half marathons have to be so tough?

  4. That elevation map is intense! But what a cool race, and what an experience… you’ll do great! And you’ll have a frikkin’ huge awesome medal to show off afterwards! 🙂

    My training situation right now is falling apart, so I can commiserate. It’s only for a 5-mile race not a steep half, but I was excited to stick to it and see what I could do if I dedicated myself but I’ve been derailed by illness and injuries and it’s definitely frustrating! It gets to a point where I just tell myself that I’ll do the best I can do, and if it isn’t perfect, it’s not the end of the world and I still did my best. I agree with Rae… you should totally feel wicked proud of all the work you’ve done!

    1. Thanks! I have to say that I totally agree with you – no matter what the race distance is, I feel like it would be so nice to get through a training cycle with everything going right! Hopefully we both make it through our races and do amazing!

    1. Oooh that would be a good race! I definitely will enjoy it – the scenery will be so pretty! That is the one thing that has helped me when I start to worry because I know that even when I’m struggling I’ll be blown away by how beautiful the course is.

  5. #yougotthis
    That elevation chart looks like the exact opposite of the Phoenix Marathon lol!!
    I’ve been eyeing Zion 1/2 so I’m super pumped you’re doing it so that I can get firsthand opinions 🙂 Good luck!!!! ❤

    1. Yay I hope I can scope it out for you! I’m already impressed by how great everything looks and I’m so excited to run it! Also, I clearly need to run a half in Phoenix if it’s the opposite of this course!

  6. haha I echo Helly–at first I thought that I was looking at the elevation chart for our race in reverse! This might be a tough race and it might have been a tough training cycle, but just run a smart race and run YOUR race. And then run around and cavort and shove it in everyone’s face that YOU DID IT

  7. That’s so awesome that you’re getting to visit a new place and do a run! I know it’s hard to feel confident going into a race when the training cycle hasn’t been quite what you hoped it would be, but you’re going to do great and end up with that medal one way or another! 🙂

    1. Thanks! I just feel like training never goes as well as I want it to! But I’m so excited to run in Utah and it’s going to be a beautiful race!

  8. That elevation profile is no joke! But I bet you’re right that race day adrenaline and just running outside (sans snow!) will make a positive impact.
    I’d focus more on how hard you worked during this training cycle than on a missed week due to injury or rough 10 miler. I ran 2 half marathon PRs (one in September, another in November) last year after a terrible training cycle that summer! I’d all but given up on a PR, and somehow, both race days turned out to be magical (I also think showing up at the start line stress free made a huge difference). So hopefully the same will be true for you 🙂

    1. That’s awesome! I just finished a lot of crazy stuff at work today and next week is spring break for my students so I should have no stress in my life before I go 🙂 I’m going to try not to worry and hope that it’s my magical day!

  9. yup… I had high hopes for this training cycle but I’ve been sick more than running so doubtful I’ll meet my goals but looking forward to my next half regardless! Good luck – that medal is incredible!

  10. Good luck Kristen, looks like it is going to be an amazing race/time! The medal looks great. My training is not where I would like it to be, but its okay… goals will shift 🙂

  11. Yikes! That elevation profile is the opposite of most races here in Utah. But the scenery will be plenty distracting. I think the fact that you’ve run 10 miles in this cycle and have run multiple half marathons before means that you are ready for this. Enjoy Utah!

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