Tinker Bell Training Update: Freaking Out & Gearing Up

December 13, 2012

People have been asking me how the Tinker Bell Half Marathon training is going, in fact- the pugs have been curious too, so here’s my update with a bit of side-windy nervousness, but we will get into that…


Running With pugs


When I first started training for my first half marathon which is now coming up in January, I had a cute little countdown in my blog’s sidebar and for a time, seeing the countdown in the triple digits was uber comforting.  Now, as we come up to the Christmas holiday, I realize that I have a little over a month before I run my first half marathon, the Tinker Bell, and yes, it’s finally feeling real.  Oh, and we hit the $500 fundraising goal for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, so it’s really real.

Shortly after I started running this past July, after a lifetime of laughing at joggers and getting huffy puffy up a flight of stairs, signing up for a half marathon was an unrealistically big goal, but it was as big in my mind as it was far away in time.  I knew I had a long, long way to go before I could cross the finish line of my first 13.1 miles, but I also knew I had some time to get ready.


Team Refuel Blogger


Since that innocent (delusional) sign up date in July, I’ve been training my arse off- virtually turning around 26 years of inactivity and un-athleticism.  I’ve been running 10-20 miles a week, and now go to the gym 3 days a week for cross-training. I watch what I eat and I have quite a hearty stash of workout gear and yes, 5 pairs of running shoes.  As much as I’ve changed since summer- I still haven’t done a “long run” to see what it’s going to feel like.  The furthest race I’ve done is a 10k (6.2 miles) and an indoor run of 8 miles.


Needless to say, I’m freaking out a little bit.  


I’ve worked hard, but I fear it’s not enough.  I keep telling myself that I can do this- even if I have to go slow or walk for parts.  I know I’m improving overall- my pace has gone down overall, but there are race days I totally wreck it. Last weekend, I ran two 5ks at a slower pace than I’d done the week before (by a full minute on average).  I will include details on why I completely tanked the Holiday 5k later this week, but needless to say- sometimes my hiccups in training are hilarious.

I vividly remember last week’s Holiday 5k where I wanted to barf (after having ignored the wisdom of not trying new supplements on race day), and had to walk a big portion of the race- though I felt horrible, I had the epiphany  that made me feel bold and awesome even if that wasn’t reflected in my physical performance that day-

Even on my worst running day-  I’m still better than my best day on the couch.

I’ve been scared and uneasy all week, but I’m ready to move forward.  I’m ready to finally double down and tackle my longest distance run yet- 12 miles.  Part of me wanted to stay in the realm of “ignorance is bliss” and “if you don’t know how much it will suck, you won’t talk yourself out of doing it,” mentality that got me through my first few months of running- ignorance is fine as you learn something new, but it’s not good for race day.


first half marathon training


This weekend, I have finally committed to doing a 12 mile practice run.  This is part of my #decdoubledown Girls Gone Sporty challenge, and I’ve even signed up for a 12-12-12 virtual race (with an adorbs medal) to bribe myself to do it.

I’m nervous, excited, curious and totally ready to try it.  Well, I thought I was ready until I realized I didn’t have the right equipment for 10+ miles without water stations, so I had to head out to the local run shop and pick up some stuff.  I spent far too much time debating between water fanny packs, utility belts and hand held strappy bottles. The lady in the run shop thought I was a total werido since I was crowdsourcing hydration advice via Twitter the whole time.

Oh, yes, and I OFFICIALLY OWN BODY GLIDE.  That’s kind of a weird bridge to cross as a runner, eh?

Distance Running Gear


So, here goes nothing I guess?  I have all the running gear I need, my snazzy little hydration-fanny and snazzy new blister-preventing Injinji  socks.  Now I just need the courage to do something crazy and the patience with myself to get through even the slowest miles.  I have no idea what 12 miles is going to feel like, but I’m ready to find out.


Do you have any half marathon or long run training advice?

When did you start to see improvements in your running?




13 comments so far.

13 responses to “Tinker Bell Training Update: Freaking Out & Gearing Up”

  1. Body glide is amazing, and there is no shame at all in using it. =)

    My big improvements in distance running started when I started getting the right gear. My cheap self waited way too long! Getting a water bottle with a handle and pouch – and I even went all out and got a belt where I keep sunscreen, sunglasses, extra nutrition, etc for runs that start in the dark but can end in the blistering sun.

    • Shannyn says:

      So true! I know my first few purchases of fitted running shoes and some dry wic gear with wool socks wasn’t a lot- meaning it was totally necessary but man, it was expensive. Since then, I’ve been building my inventory (sometimes with much nail biting) since I had all summer gear and needed long sleeved tops, running tights, new sports bras for high impact and longer socks.

      Great idea on keeping sunscreen in the pouch- I have a small travel size I should pop in there!

  2. I’m so excited to hear how it goes! I just ran 9 miles last weekend (a distance PR) and was surprised at how exhausted I was after. Not trying to scare you lol – I had run 8 the week before and was fine, so I’m thinking the soreness was more with the barre workout I did the day before. Be sure you bring something to refuel while running! I tried a GU pack for the first time 45 minutes in and it gave me a nice surge of energy to complete the run. Won’t do long runs without them now!

    • Shannyn says:

      Hey Erica- no worries, I’m expecting to be exhausted and sore..that’s why I’m scheduling my 12-12-12 on a later date over the weekend so I have Sunday to rest and recover. I know I was tired and sore after my first 10k, then for my 2nd one I knew what to expect- I wasn’t sure if I was less sore or if I just knew what was going to happen so I felt less horrible after, lol.

      I have two packs of Gu (going to finally use one) and a recovery shake after. Another trick I love is the Sports Beanz by Jelly Belly, they’re small and fit in a pocket so easy!

  3. Good luck with the long run! I’d love to do a half, and may one day, but that would mean switching from beach running (which is even cheaper because I do it barefoot) to pavement, which with a shoulder injury already, makes me nervous about screwing up my legs too. For me though doing intervals on the beach was like nothing else for improving cardio. In fact I’m pretty sure I can do a half marathon if cardio was all I had to worry about. So maybe try the beach, or do intervals (you may be doing this already).

    • Shannyn says:

      You’re a beachrunner? Can I just say how badass that is? I know people get really proud of their shoe collections with all their sciencey things and gel insoles, but barefoot beach running sounds way cooler than any pavement trotters I could find, that’s awesome!

      While I live moderately close to the beach I may have to try it! I have done some runs along the beach (on sidewalks) but nothing barefoot on the sand… I think running on the sand would be an interesting challenge! You just blew my mind. lol.

  4. Nicole says:

    Your story sounds eerily similar to mine; only I signed up for the Tinker Bell Half the day the sale started! I still think it’s crazy, I still think I am out of my mind, but I’ll be damned if I don’t cross that finish line standing upright! I did my first 12 mile run this past weekend (I did 10 miles the last time I was at sea level as well!) and I have to say that I felt amazing afterward! I kept it slow, about a 13 minute mile pace, and ran the entire time. You’ll come out of the other side feeling accomplished and powerful, so don’t even sweat it! I think it’s great you got your gear. I have a hydration belt to carry water, electrolytes and a banana with me. At this point I can confidently say that if I can run 12 miles, I can run 13.1! See you in Disneyland!

    • Shannyn says:

      Nicole you are an animal! I haven’t been able to get myself to “run the entire time” yet. My average pace is around 11 minutes, but I do a run/walk/jog thing… I am getting better at pacing myself though since before I’d just run as hard as I could and have to walk, now I’m able to slower run for longer distances and train my body to get used to the feeling of running longer distances.

      You can TOTALLY do 13.1 and I hope to see you at the Tinker Bell!!!

  5. AverageJoe says:

    We use the Galloway training method (the one that’s on the Disney site). I like it because you are supposed to walk/run. We do the uber-long weekend runs super-duper slow (almost walking pace) AND we run for 7 minutes and walk for a minute. My sister had only run 5 miles at a time and went 15 with us without a problem. Now that she knows she can make it that far, the rest of her training has gotten easier.

    I’ve done six marathons in less than two years after doing none my whole life. We run 7 minutes/walk a minute the whole way. It’s really a blast (although starting to run during late miles is SO hard….).

    • Shannyn says:

      Holy cow… your story is so inspiring! I sometimes feel discouraged because many of the runners I talk to have been runners as a young adult or kid- I never, EVER ran in my life and it feels like a different hurdle to overcome when you have no experience or training even if it’s “outdated.”

      I am going to do the run/walk method tomorrow and do what I have to in order to get through it….no pressure, no comparisons- just me doing what I can do and not worrying about impressing anyone (or myself!)

      Haha, isn’t that the truth- it’s hard but so fun… I have a love/hate relationship with running but I still gotta do it!

  6. […] there who have recently committed to running their first marathon or half marathon.  Shanynn at Frugal Beautiful and Ginna at My Pretty Pennies – good luck to you both!  You’re clearly putting in the […]

  7. Kathy says:

    Cool tip from a friend who ran her first half last year. She had her friends and training buddies each send her the name of their favorite song. She loaded the songs onto her ipod and used those as motivation during the race. As each song played, she thought of that particular person and how much they had supported her efforts.


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