Knee Braces, Aspercreme, and Pace Groups! Oh, My!

In November, I posted (here) about having made the decision to train for my first half marathon.  In the post I shared a riddle, explained why I made the decision, and offered my top three sources of inspiration.  I also stated that the idea of running a half marathon was intimidating.  I . . . am not . . . a runner.

The only time I ever ran for a significant amount of time or distance was for pre-season training and practice for high school sports . . . which was, um, over 20 years ago.  Since then, the only running I have done has been an occasional sprint down a grocery store aisle in hot pursuit of my mischievous preschooler.  But thanks to knee braces, Aspercreme, and having participated in a fitness boot camp fairly recently, I at least feel somewhat prepared for the rigors of training.

In an effort to stay accountable, I signed up to train with a local fitness organization.  The start of the 17 week schedule was last Monday.  On my own, I met the first week training recommendations of 2 miles on Monday, 3 miles on Tuesday, cross training on Wednesday, 2 miles on Thursday, and rest on Friday (yeah, Friday was the worst!).  Then on Saturday, at 6:45 a.m. in mild but drizzly weather, I joined 499 others for the group training kickoff.

We were split into pacing groups categorized from Half Marathon Walkers to Sub 2 Hour Marathoners (runners whose goal is to finish the marathon . . . not half, but whole marathon . . . in less than two hours – Geesh!).   Unsure of which group would be the best fit for me, I followed the recommendation of a pal and started in the 3/1 – 3 hour pace group (run three minutes, walk one minute – estimated half marathon finish time of three hours).  I didn’t really like the idea of switching from running to walking in such short intervals and, as I suspected, was not quite ready to walk when the first three minutes were up.  So I continued jogging and caught up to the 10/1 – 2:30 pace group.  You can “bet your sweet Aspercreme” I was ready for that one minute of walk time when the first ten minutes were up!

Thankfully, the rest of the 3 mile run went well.  I was able to stay with the 10/1 pace group and we finished in roughly 40 minutes (which included two temporary stops at a traffic light).  Not too shabby, if you ask me.

So, with the help of my knee braces and Aspercreme, off I go into Training Week Two.

Leave a comment


  1. Sue Brown

     /  January 9, 2012

    Good start – and I disagree with you, I think you are a runner 🙂 Look forward to hearing how you get on. Good luck with it all.

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Sue! Hmmm . . . perhaps I should reframing my thinking. It can only help, right? 😉 Thanks again!

  2. Good for you, Blake! I’m glad that you’re doing this. *waves pom-poms*

    I can’t wait to get back to running. I never thought I’d say that. *looks for winged pigs* 😉

    • Yay – my own personal cheerleader! 😉 Thanks so much. Oh, and I just saw a winged pig pass by! Hop to it, chickie. We’ll cheer each other on. 🙂

  3. I agree with Sue. You ARE a runner!

    I did the jog three mailboxes, walk three mailboxes routine Sunday and managed to eke out a sluggish mile and then walked (no jogging at all) 2 more miles. Baby steps…

    You go girl! Proud to hear you are going to do a half marathon!

    • Thanks, Jamie! Ah, the old Mailboxes routine. Love it! Yes, take it in baby steps. I’m trying to do the same, lest I get injured and have to drop out. Thanks so much for the encouragement!

  4. Good for you! I started training Monday to do the Avon Breast Cancer walk. So far that’s only included walking three miles at a brisk pace, which I can handle, but my legs HURT today! I need to stretch better!!

    Good luck–you can do it!

    • Thanks so much, Alyssa! Yes, no matter how you slice it, three miles is a workout! I must take the time to stretch better, also. So glad you, too, are training for a great cause. Best of luck!! 🙂

  1. Fait Accompli! « simplyblake

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