Half Marathon in 2014

IMG_4990I have been a casual runner for a couple of years now. I have run a few 5Ks, and up until now, haven’t really set any particular goals other than “run a little farther next time.”

And the fact that I’m turning 35 this year has me thinking a lot about where I am physically. Yeah, I can run a bit. I have the stamina to crank out a couple of miles here and there. But my back still hurts a lot, probably from years of lifting heavy children and bending to pick up the stuff they dump all over the floor. I am pushing the limits of the seams of my clothing at an alarming rate. My arms are jelly, my core “strength” is almost nonexistent.

I am going to run the Frederick Half Marathon in May. 

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It’s surprising how many running related selfies I actually have in my photostream.

I decided to run it way back in September, giving me about 32 weeks to train. I didn’t tell anyone that was my goal for a few weeks. I focused on getting in two runs a week, at distances I could handle, 2 and 3 miles. After a while I built up a little more distance and started to bounce the idea off of the people around me. And then when I could run ~5 miles, and calculated that at the very LEAST I could probably walk 13 miles, I registered for the half marathon.

So far, here’s my plan:

  • Run 3 times a week Using training programs like like Hal Higdon’s and the Train Like a Mother “Finish It,” I’ll plan out each week’s runs. I also have been increasing my max distance by 1 mile each month, I’m up to 6 now, so I’ll increase a little more frequently now to get me to 13 by the end of April.
  • Cross Training Picture this with air quotes while my eyes make some sort of rolling “I don’t know” face. Getting away from my family for 3 runs a week is going to be hard enough, so I won’t be going for bike rides or rigorous solo hikes or signing up for a boot camp anywhere. For me, it probably means hopping around my living room with some sort of ridiculous 20 min or less aerobic video.
  • Yoga I’m going to get back to a regular home yoga practice. For me, yoga complements running very well and I’ll use it to help with my muscle recovery and to keep the rest of my body moving and stretching, not just my legs. I would love to get back to regular classes at my yoga studio if it works out schedule-wise.
  • Freak out periodically Every run since September I have pictured running the race. Imagined what it will feel like to run more than twice as far as I have ever run. Ever. Wondered what I will do when the maximum time limit hits and they tell me to go home and get off the course for being too slow. Sometimes I think about being in that energetic sea of people, all who have trained and planned for this race and being one of them. Being exhausted and happy and excited at finishing. But mostly there is panic and anxiety.

If you have run a half marathon, or, really, any race distance that you have had to train and plan for, what advice would you give someone like me who is just starting? Anything, like: focus on your core! Or: Don’t worry, they only snow plow you off the course if you’ve collapsed!

If you are a runner, and use Daily Mile, you can find me there (or leave me a comment so I can find you). I also use Run Keeper and we can be friends there as well.IMG_7826

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2 thoughts on “Half Marathon in 2014

  1. I am in the same boat! Have run lots of 5Ks and one 10K, but decided to take the plunge and sign up for a half. I figure it’ll be a good way to challenge myself and get fitter than ever. I’m using the Zen Labs Half Marathon Trainer app. How are you liking Hal Higdon?

    • Awesome! I haven’t committed to Hal v Train Like a Mother yet, I’ll probably end up doing my own sort of mach-up of the plans. The thing I like about Hal is that all the short runs each stay around 4 and 5 miles. In the TLAM the short runs are just shorter than the long runs but still significant distances (for me). So we’ll see as I go. In about 2 weeks I’ll be 15 weeks out so I’ll start following a plan then.

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