What have I done? (Again.)

Prompted largely by the assistance of a little liquid courage, I registered for the Olathe, Kansas Half Marathon last night.

Oh my god.  What have I done?  I can do this,  I know, but wow.  It’s on April 10, 2010, so I have 6 months to train.  Currently, I could probably run 6 or 7 miles at a stretch without walking, so I feel okay about this.  There are three major half marathons in my area–one in April (a month before the wedding), one in June (a month after the wedding), and one in October (not ready this year; don’t want to wait a full year to do it next year).  I didn’t realize the April one existed, and was debating whether half marathon training the month of the wedding (and on the honeymoon) would work, logistically speaking.  So, I got all excited and pulled the trigger, figuratively speaking.  Interesting fact: this race goes around and finishes at Garmin’s international headquarters.  I’ve already asked Santa for a Garmin Forerunner…let’s hope I’ve been good this year!

A few things I need help with:

  • Dumb question, readers, but where exactly do you find trails to run on?  I know they EXIST, but I’m kind of scared to just get on a trail and go.  Are there websites where you can find trails in your area?  I would like having a map pre-run.
  • Any recommendations for a training plan?  I’ve looked at a few and it seems like the Hal Higdon ones are my favorite.  I like that they incorporate strength training, stretching, and that there are different levels.  But am I a novice?  Intermediate?  I know I’m not an expert, by any means.
  • I’ll start the training program in January, 12 weeks before the race, but what do I do now?  Just…get better at running?  Work on distance?  Speed?  Both?

This is going to be an adventure!  Cross your fingers!

In other news, I appear to have somehow tweaked my left shoulder, so that it hurts when I try to raise it above parallel.  I’m icing it and taking a total rest day today, and tomorrow will be a fun active rest day.  I have a pretty cool activity planned, and I’m excited to blog about it!  Happy Saturday!

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7 Responses

  1. Okay, I just checked an my half marathon is May 9th – so a month after yours. But we can totally do this! Just take the training slow. I think the most important thing is to not increase your weekly mileage by too much – that’s how injuries happen. Some running and cross-training before you officially start sounds perfect to me 🙂

    Ha, I just jump on the trail closest to my house and see where it takes me! I do an out-and-back route on it. I like it because as I increase my distance every week, I get to see a little more of it! City/county/state websites may have maps for local trails though.

  2. I just did my first half-marathon this July and I have my second one in 4 weeks! I never ever thought I would be doing this.

    The training plans that I worked with were Self Magazine (online) they have 2 schedules, 1 for if you run 15 miles or less a week when you start training and another if you currently run over 15 miles a week. I used a combo of both Also check out the Nike Plus running website and go into challenges and you can pick your goal and they have about a 12 week plan.

    Good luck

  3. I just found your blog and I am so excited that you are training for a half. I’ve never done one before (and I currently can’t run because of my knee) but I hope to do one someday and I can’t wait to follow your progress!

  4. I’ve used Hal Higdon’s novice plan 4 times. I’d recommend that one because it solely focuses on getting the distance covered. For a newbie half marathoner, you probably just want to finish the race and aren’t concerned with your time too much. His plan is do-able and doesn’t make you feel like you are constantly training.

    Feel free to email me if you want to know anything else. You will rock the race!

  5. trail running is an entirely different sport. so laid back. you use a different stride too. and people are more friendly haha. i hope you like it

  6. If you can run 6-7 miles at any given time, you can run 13.1. At that distance, it becomes more about hydration, fuel, and mental toughness. A mix of running, speedwork, cross training are fine with a training schedule. My only advice is to never skip the long runs.

    Additionally, I’m inspired by your determination and discipline. You have a great story. Keep it up!

  7. This is a bit late but no one else mentioned it so…

    I always use mapmyrun.com to find routes. I get really bored using the same route and I don’t have a Garmin, so this way I can find paths, track mileage and determine good training routes for tempo, speed, hill, etc. runs.

    If, for some reason, the paths aren’t noticeable in the ‘hybrid’ setting of mapmyrun (sometimes they’re hard to see), you can browse the routes of other people in your city and hopefully some of them have already tracked that area before and you can use it as a guideline. Seriously, mapmyrun is a lifesaver for Garmin-less folk.

    Also, as far as training for a half goes (I just finished mine), definitely include speed intervals if you can and one long run per week. The rest is up to you, but I find tempo runs useful as well. I only run three days a week (I train for triathlons so I needed the other days for bike/swim/strength training) so those are the three runs I do most of the time.

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