Category Archives: Half-Marathon Training


Things have happened, are happening, and will happen.

I’m a Dailey Method Instructor!



I had hesitations about taking on Dailey Method instructor training during 70.3 training for obvious reasons.  The training, class observations/assists, endless practicing, and mock classes were just as time-consuming and emotional intense as I expected.  The quality of instruction is very high and TDM means a lot to me so I knew I would have to fully invest myself in the process.  That investment really paid off.  I felt confident and prepared for the mock classes at the end of my training.  Mocks typically don’t have high attendance so please picture my face when my second mock had 11 people, 6 of whom had never taken TDM before!  I was a bit intimidated but it went well and I learned a lot about how to respond to who is in the room and how to spontaneously tailor my language to the needs of the present clients.

On Sunday, I taught my first official class.  It was a typically light time slot but just like my second mock, it was inexplicably PACKED.  More and more people came in and I realized I would be teaching my first class to a nearly full room.  I taught TWENTY people (the room holds 24) and had a ball.  Friends and other instructors came to support me and we had some serious thigh-shaking fun.

First Class TRIUMPH!

First Class TRIUMPH!

I had several more classes this week and they all went well!  My language is feeling more and more organic, which is a huge relief.  I opted to script all my transitions and cues which ultimately gave me the security to go rogue.  I even killed a spider without losing count or my train of thought.  SO PROFESH!

So, how did this all balance with the last 8 weeks of Half Ironman Training?

I’ll just show you:

Funfetti of Training!

Funfetti of Training!

June looked like that too except all the workouts were longer.

In the last 8 weeks, I’ve maybe missed 5/90 workouts.  Without question, I’m in the best shape of my life.  I’ve lost about 10 pounds by adjusting my food (gluten-free, no refined sugar or carbs.)  I generally have a lot of energy and have completed workouts without problems.  This last week has been really tough and I’m not sure why.  I’m hoping it’s hormonal because I’ve been struggling bigtime physically and emotionally but that’s a topic for another post.  Generally, training is going well and I’m making progress in all three sports.

Some exciting things have happened in my singing life.  I traveled to the Ojai Music Festival to perform Beethoven, Ives, Feldman and a program of spirituals.  I sang a solo recital of Debussy and Wolf that got a positive review.  There are some other exciting things that I will share as soon as I can.

Not in sweaty spandex!

Not in sweaty spandex!

The big thing I’ve taken away from these intense months is to just GO FOR IT and take risks.  People have been unbelievably supportive of each leap I’ve taken and that makes the successes so much more wonderful.  I hope to have the space to blog more and elaborate on some of what I’ve been going through, especially in my 70.3 training.  In the meantime, I hope YOU are having a wonderful summer and taking some fun risks of your own.


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Sneak Preview

Good morning!

Kind of…

No.  I'm not sticking my lower lip out.  This is just what we're working with today.

No. I’m not sticking my lower lip out. This is just what we’re working with today.

It’s okay that I inexplicably look like a prizefighter.  I’m only working with like 75 adolescent singers today.  They won’t notice.  Hopefully I can distract them with a bold mix of prints.

Don't look at my face.

Don’t look at my face.


Moving on…

So, after a bit of athletic malaise, I’m fully back in action!  Training for the Oakland Half Marathon (deferred from last year) begins on 12/2 and I’ll be using the FIRST plan outlined in the book Run Less, Run Faster .

Does anyone else really enjoy reading on their iPhone?  It's like a little doll book!

Does anyone else really enjoy reading on their iPhone? It’s like a little doll book!

This plan appeals to me on every level:

* 3 running workouts a week.  Yay for avoiding injury and burnout.

* The workouts are targeted, specific, and aggressive.  A welcome change from lots and lots and lots of slow miles.  Exactly what I need to push me out of my comfort zone.

* To ensure that you get adequate cardiovascular training, the plan requires at least two key cross-training workouts (swimming, cycling, or rowing).  This is a PERFECT bridge to triathlon training which will begin properly in May.  Might even be ready for some early season sprint tris!

* Strength training is a requirement.  Yay Dailey Method!

* The paces are completely individualized and based on my recent 10k PR.  These paces will train me to run a 2:06 half marathon (a 4 minute PR).  This is a conservative estimate of improvement but one of the tenants of the plan is not to choose a time goal that is unreasonable because you will run the first half of your race too fast and fade or bonk.


Can everything please have an app?  So, so, so happy.

Can everything please have an app? So, so, so happy.

I am really excited about this program.  Last week, I did a modified (read: easier) version of the track workout and the tempo workout to give myself a little sneak preview.

They.  Were.  HARD.

Like serious sweat-pouring, heaving, bargaining with Jeebus hard to finish.  It’s great!  Just a little intimidating.  I’ve heard from a few Twitter folk that the paces are really tough to execute.  Since I’ve never really done workouts that were too hard to complete, this is just what the Operation: Speedy doctor ordered!

2:06 would be a great PR.  Eventually, I’d like to go sub-2 but I don’t think a 10 minute PR is realistic.  My gut tells me that this plan will train not only my body but my mind to go faster than 2:06 so stay tuned for that.  No matter what, I’m looking forward to running faster and getting more comfortable with discomfort!

I have a feeling that getting more comfortable with discomfort is going to come in handy next year….

Yeaaaaaahhh BUDDY!

Yeaaaaaahhh BUDDY!


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Hopefully not the first of many.

The last couple months have been a shitstorm of minor injuries.  I’ve had glute pain from overstretching, strange foot pain, and my recent bike crash.  Each issue has forced me to cancel several workouts.

This morning, I attempted my first run post-crash.  I still have some pain in my left quad and buttock (said in Forrest Gump voice, natch) but not significant.  Despite the lingering soreness, I was optimistic about still being about to run the Hellyer 10k on Saturday.  It was a gorgeous day and the plan was to keep the pace easy and see what was what.

Less than five minutes in, the foot pain that sidelined me most of last week showed up.


I figured it was worth running a bit to see if it stretched out and also to test my banged up leg.  My leg mostly felt good but it was clear that this foot was not meant to be run on.  I bagged it after a mile, walked back to the car, and made a doctor appointment for tomorrow.  My fear was a stress fracture but the more I read, the more it appears to be Posterior Tibial Tendinitis.  I’m not sure if my GP will be able to diagnose it but at least I will have done my due diligence.

When I made the appointment, I planned to wait until after to decide whether or not to race on Saturday.  Then I thought about what I would say to a friend in the same situation.  I would say:

“Which would you rather run: a random 10K that you can do any other time or the half marathon you’ve spent $100 on and looked forward to for months?

It’s a no-brainer.  I contacted the awesome people at Brazen Racing and offered to volunteer in exchange for a transfer of my race entry to another event.  They graciously obliged.  I will be trucking an hour down to San Jose on Saturday morning to be there at the ungodly hour of 6:30am.  To not run.  Better than losing the money, I suppose.

What a shitty feeling to drop out of a race.  Ugh.


It was announced recently that wrestling, one of the original Olympic events(!) is being eliminated. WTF?

In honor of a legit and homoerotic sport, I had a major wrestling match yesterday.

Me vs. Me

Round one was in bed when I woke up. Neither Me could decide what type of run to do. The Me’s engaged in an endless debate between tempo and intervals (pyramid or fartlek?!) that continued through dressing, teeth brushing, and deodorizing. I dragged us into the car and headed to Alameda.

As I circled for parking, Me told me to turn around and head home. And to stop at Burger King for a ham and cheese biscuit, no egg thankyouverymuch. Me calmly explained to Me that no, we had a day off on Monday and it was time for a run. Round 1 went to Me and we got out of the car to begin a 3 mile tempo run.

(Are we confused yet? Try being me. Or Me.)

We all headed out for Round 2. Too fast. The pace felt good but we all knew that it would be a struggle to sustain. Me suggest that we do the first two miles at tempo and cool down in the third. Me called Me a weenie and reminded us that the point of this run was to struggle. To hurt. To get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Embrace the pain. It’s temporary. Success is FOREVAHH!!!

(Me has clearly spent too much time looking at inspirational mantras on Pinterest…)

And hurt we did. Whenever Me wanted to abandon the workout, Me begged us not to. In the third mile when our heart was exploding and Me strongly urged us to take a brief waking break, Me put Me in a headlock and kept Me at bay until the run was DONE.


And we all won.

(Cue 80’s sitcom audience “awwww”)

When both Me’s are equally matched, how does one edge out the other?

Bring it, Eleanor

I think I may have actually done something every day this week that scared me!

Monday: Okay, the week didn’t really start off that scary. I *did* go to TDM after running 7 miles and cycling almost 7 miles the day before. Class had the potential to be quite crappy. It wasn’t!

Tuesday: SPEEDWORK. ‘Nuff said. Oh and a brutal TDM class after. My thighs and calves called shenanigans.


Thursday: Hill workout. Feels like the worst speed work ever but in slow motion. Also kind of feels like Dailey Method thigh work done WHILE RUNNING. Either way, it’s intimidating and challenging. Oh, and horrible. And I went to actual Dailey Method after where I completely sweat through my purple Old Navy capris. So not sexy.

I did a lot of sweating on Thursday. Above is a sweat stain in the shape of Batman that I left on my front stoop. You’re so welcome.

Friday and Saturday: These were rest days but full of personal challenge. I headed up to a beautiful camp in the redwoods to work as a master voice teacher for several high school choirs. I worked with wonderful colleagues but for an introverted girl who has some anxiety in social situations, I was pretty nervous about spending a weekend away from my comfy routine. It went very well from both a teaching and social standpoint and I had a great time. Big success!

Amazing young singers keeping my art form alive. Inspiring.

Sunday: Today was my second double digit ride. I ventured onto actual roads (taking advantage of the completely empty Bay Area streets. Some sort of sporting match?) I’m going to write more about this ride but for now I’ll say that it was GREAT. I really enjoy cycling and each time I go out, I feel more skilled, safe, and confident!

Ooh! I also figured out how to work my standing floor pump, giving myself a flat in the process.

Hello new friend. How do you work? No, seriously. How?

Overall, an awesome week of fear domination!

What was the last thing you did that was scurry?


My name is Shauna and I’m afraid of speed-work.

I’m not afraid of being in pain, screaming at myself to keep going, sweating, or barfing up my heart.

I’m scared of bonking out during an interval and feeling like my former self: a quitter who had no heart. And as I write that my heart aches a bit. I feel like it’s really mean and unfair to all the versions of me who have done the best they can with what they knew. The “old” me did not know any of this was possible or she would have done it!

Wow, that went to a Judy Blume place I wasn’t expecting! Back to the speed work.

Planned a pyramid: 1 mi warm up, 1 min fast, 1 min slow, etc. up to 3 min and back down. Cool down after intervals to complete 4mi total.

It was cooooold. For California. I could see my breath so I may have started a bit fast in an effort to warm myself up. When my first interval was cued, I hauled ass. It was brutal and when I was prompted to do my next (slower) interval, I was already DYING. Might have gone out a bit too fast.

I dutifully picked up my pace at the next interval. 3/4 of the way through, I just stopped. Paused RunKeeper (CHEATER!). Keeled over to catch my breath.

Definitely went out too fast.

The rest of the workout went pretty much like that. As I told Twitter immediately afterward, I PR’d in stopping: 10 times in 4 miles. #duhwinning

Fairly early in the workout, it occurred to me that my biggest fears about speed work were being realized. I was struggling. Bonking. Stopping. Failing. The workout was too hard.

I got to the end of the run and had a little kick left for the last quarter mile. Humbled and thirsty, I reviewed the interval splits.



NOT TOO SHABBY! I was really pleased when I saw this! Obviously I would prefer the fast intervals to be much, much more consistently paced. And I would prefer not to stop every 3 minutes to ponder my mortality.

Next time!

RACE RECAP – Rock n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon


I’m 30!

It’s all happening!

Pardon the slight delay of the race recap (and 100th post!)  I wanted to process yesterday’s events and I also needed to work my way through this:

If you understand “Family Love Shauna”, you and I are friends.

Yes, that is a birthday cake that looks like a hamburger.  I joyfully LOST IT when presented with the hamburger cake.  Bold, all-caps, nothing can express my love for this man and this cake.

Anyway, I digress…

If you just want the down and dirty stats:

Chip time: 2:16:45 (10:26/average)

Overall: 4749/9790

Division: 379/983

Gender: 1830/5282

So there that is.

Pre-race went smoothly.  I woke up before my alarm with lots of energy.  It barely registered that it was my birthday because I was mechanically going through my morning routine.  We left around 6:30 to head down to San Jose where we picked up Rachel.  Sweet man dropped us off near the start about a half hour before go time.

Still thumbsing at thirty.

Everything was very well organized and surprisingly not packed, considering there were about 14,000 people running the half and the mini marathon.  Potty lines were long but not insane and the gear check was super-efficient.  Well done, RnR.  After a hug, we parted ways and squeezed into our corrals.

Let’s do this!

I had an emotional moment at the very beginning of the race.  It was finally here!  I was doing it!  I’m sure I had the goofiest grin on my face as I blinked back a few tears.

My strategy was to go slowly for the first 5K (around 10:20) and then allow myself to cruise for the majority of the race.  I expected that cruising pace would be somewhere between 9:45-10mm.  Faster than my long runs but sustainable over a long distance.  According to RunKeeper, I executed this strategy exactly as I planned:

Yep. It felt exactly like that.

The run felt exactly like what the splits reflect.  My body felt strong and capable.  My heart and lungs were easy and responsive.

But my mind…

My mind really challenged me from the first mile.  I was constantly assessing whether or not I was feeling good, going at the right speed, making the right choices.  Even though the answer to every question, every time was YES, I behaved as though the answer was no.  My body felt great and yet, I feared it.  My speed was right on pace (according to RunKeeper – we’ll get to that in a moment) and yet, I second-guessed it constantly.  The best moments of the race were fleeting thoughts I would have of family, friends, the training that got me to the race, and the incredible changes that have occurred.  Unfortunately, those thoughts were brief and infrequent.  It was mostly two hours and sixteen minutes of unrelenting pointless strategizing.

The only other thing that got me out of my head was anticipating seeing my great guy.  He found a spot where I would see him around Mile 5 and Mile 12.  I spent a good mile looking for him and that was a wonderful boost during Mile 4.  I did the thing that you’re absolutely NOT supposed to do and cut across the ENTIRE street to yell hello to him.  We almost missed each other but he heard me at the last second.  Being a professional voice user comes in handy sometimes.

I can’t say that I ever hit one low point.  It sort of all felt like a low point.  I HATE to admit that because I looked forward to this event so much.   I reminded myself several times that it was supposed to be hard.  It was supposed to be harder than a casual long weekend run.  It’s a race and I was there to be challenged.  That helped a lot more in the second half of the race than the first.

Yeah, yeah, it’s a proof. I didn’t want to pay $30. But look, I’m smiling!

Around mile 9, I started to need bathroom time.  That tends to happen to me during periods of prolonged heart rate elevation.  I told myself to slow down a bit and it would be fine.  It wasn’t.   I kept running and began seriously considering a potty stop.  I was into the 10th mile and didn’t like the idea of stopping so I kept going.  I ran two more distracted, annoyed miles before I spied a single potty with no one waiting.  I dashed in, “evacuated” and immediately felt tremendous relief.  I was about 15 degrees cooler and ready to RUN the rest of the race with no fear and no excuses.

At this point, I was way tired so I just kept telling myself “run to Tim, run to Tim.”  I ran to Tim, screamed “I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!” and booked it towards the finish.  Sweet crackers,  that last mile felt so long!  I kept willing the finish to reveal itself and it just….wouldn’t.  I kept running, taking pride in all the people slowing and walking around me as I pushed with everything I had.  Finally the finish line came into view and I kicked it in.

I had one more tearful moment realizing that I was about to become a half-marathoner.  And then, I WAS!


Rachel found me almost immediately after I crossed the finish.  I grabbed a bottle of water and managed to ask her how her run went.  She didn’t hit her goal but since she’s about to taper for her first full on 11/10 and had trouble sleeping the night before, she wasn’t terribly disappointed.  We had a sweaty finisher picture taken.

Interlocking thumbs up. How I managed that choreography, I’ll never know. And again, this is an ILLEGAL PROOF THAT I STOLE FROM THE INTERNET.

I felt quite nauseated.  I knew I shouldn’t sit down so I drank water, ate a leftover shot blok and stretched.  Then I had to sit.  Each time I tried to get up and walk, I knew I wasn’t ready.  My fueling plan worked well during the race and I clearly used up everything I had to get to the finish.  Surprisingly, my body felt great.  No significant tightness, no pinching or whining.  Just the overall level of fatigue one would expect.   We found Tim and I just curled up next to him for a moment on the ground.  We had left the “secure area” so there was no more free water available but I began to feel better after a few minutes of rest.

So, if you haven’t been able to sense it yet, I was not thrilled with my race.  Based on the pace RunKeeper told me I was keeping, I should have come in between 2:10 and 2:15.  Why, with sub 10mm splits 9 out of 13 miles did I end up with a chip average of 10:26?  Well, because I can’t run in a straight line, evidently.


How in the F*CK did I manage to add over HALF A MILE to my course?  Well, some of it might be GPS inaccuracy but I also didn’t effectively run the tangents.  In retrospect, I realize that I was on the outside of the course most of the time.  I had more room to breathe which felt great but had I known it was going to completely f my time, I would have stayed in the middle and the inside of the turns.  I don’t regret my bathroom stop at all because it was necessary and allowed me to run the end of the race.  I majorly regret giving up time to something as simple as course positioning.  The dull, slightly bummed feeling I have is reminiscent of the math error I made in my 10k.  If my time reflected my effort, I would be thrilled.  In this case, I ran around a 10mm over 13 miles and my time doesn’t reflect that.  Sigh.

BUT.  (and I’m almost done, I swear.)

I trained for this race.  I ran this race.

My initial goals were to finish strong and get through the training without injury.  Check and check!

I am a strong, healthy, and improved woman as a result of the preparation and execution of this event.

An enormous THANK YOU to everyone who has supported me every literal step of the way.  I love you and I’m grateful.

Twas the Night Before…


Today was a fun and full day!  I’ve been vibrating with anticipation since I woke up at 6am.  Wide awake.  Seriously.

I had an enjoyable teaching obligation in the morning.  As soon as it was finished, I headed down to San Jose for the expo.  En route, I stopped at Kinkos to print out the registration confirmation.  I almost dropped out of the race when I saw that they had ROBBED me of my last day of twenties.  Age: 30?!  McKayla was NOT impressed at seeing that in print.

Not cool, guys.

I arrived a few blocks from the expo and met up with one of my best friends, Rachel!  We took shameless, cheesy pics.


We exercised restraint while walking through booths of cute clothes.  We both moved up two corrals (hurray for training!).  We ate delicious carbs.

Oh hai rice!

After getting Rachel settled into her hotel, I headed home for second dinners.  I thought my beloved’s eyes were going to bug out of his head when I asked him to pick up REGULAR PASTA at the store.  It was so delicious and yellow!


I will race every week if it means I get to eat a big bowl of regular pasta with pesto.  NOMOMNOMNOMONM.

At this point, I’m trained.  Fed.  Organized.  Encouraged.  Cuddled.

Thanks, buddy.






And just like that….

I’m trained.

Couldn’t have done it without ya, Lakester.

This morning was my last training run before the big day.  I didn’t have a time goal.  Just wanted to cruise, enjoy the scenery, and reflect on the last 19 weeks.  I won’t truly know how successful my training was until Sunday but at this point, I wouldn’t change anything.  I’ve gotten faster, stronger, stayed motivated and injury free.  I couldn’t have asked for more.  So, here’s the breakdown:

Weeks: 19

Runs: 55

Missed Scheduled Runs: 1

Dailey Method Classes: 50

Larabars: INFINITY.

Lots of stretching.  Lots of foam rolling.  Lots of telling everyone who would listen “I AM RUNNING A HALF MARATHON!” So obnoxious.  Promise it won’t happen until this time next year.  But that’s a subject for another post.

Plan for today: hydrate, munch, teach, smile.

Plan for tomorrow: hydrate, munch, EXPO, hang with one of my besties who is coming up from Santa Barbara to run!

Plan for Sunday: DOMINATE!

It’s a huge racing weekend!  Who else is running?


Week Of

A couple friends have asked how much I’m running/working out this week.  Since it’s only a half marathon, there isn’t a significant taper period.  Just an easy week leading up to the race so my legs are fresh and happy.  The plan is to have a normal week but taking everything easy.  Except the foam rolling.  Going deep on the foam rolling.

Monday:  Dailey Method.  I am going to classes this week but not pushing myself during the typically brutal thigh work sets.  I can’t even tell y’all how devious and amazing it felt to just go through the motions of thigh work yesterday, with barely a quiver.  I felt nice heat through all parts of my legs but I was not working hard at all.  Must not make that a habit!  I could certainly justify skipping classes this week but as I’ve said ad nauseum, the dynamic stretches in TDM are amazing.  I fully credit the combination of strength work and stretching in TDM to keeping me injury free over the last 19 weeks.

Today: Easy 3 miles.  When I say “easy” I mean the sloooooow pace I’m going to try to start with on Sunday.  Also food detoxing from last night’s sushi/pizza debacle.  I feel like straight up sh*t today.  It’s a water and veggies day.

Wednesday: TDM, foam rolling, happy dancing that it’s almost here!  Detox day two.

Thursday:  What I expect to be a very hot final  run.  It will have to be mid-day and we’re having an unreal heat spell.  Good practice for Sunday morning if it’s hot as hell in the second hour.  Still detoxing, depending on how I feel in the next couple days.

Friday: TDM.  Possibly amazing 30th birthday dinner if I can get myself together and choose a restaurant.  If not, amazing 30th birthday dinner next week!

Saturday:  Rest day, EXPO!  Lunch with my amazing friend Rachel who is coming up from Santa Barbara to run the race and celebrate with me!  Try to fend off the barrage of early birthday presents.

Sunday:  Half Marathon PR!

What are you doing for my birthday week?  I graciously give you permission to do things because I am a benevolent birthday princess.