Half Marathon training in review

Today will be my last run in preparation for my half marathon on Saturday.  I’ll be in total rest mode Thursday and Friday, and I’m just doing two easy miles today.


When all is said and done, I logged 202.95 miles training for this race.  Hal Higdon’s novice plan calls for 191.3 miles (if I added correctly, which is entirely unlikely), so I exceeded that by over 10 miles, despite two very light weeks due to injury.

Once I hit about 20 miles per week, I bailed on cross training and strength training.  I’m not exactly proud that I failed this aspect of things, but I don’t claim to be perfect or superhuman.  I am at work 9 hours a day, plus a 30ish minute commute each way, and doing lots of traveling and wedding planning, and sometimes four days a week is the best I can do.  I am okay with that.  My primary goal was to finish my half marathon, and I think I’m going to.

I have maintained my weight, which I’m also proud of.  I’ve heard that some people gain weight while training, but I followed my hunger cues pretty well.  Example: I noticed last week I was less hungry since I wasn’t running, so I cut out my morning snack and reduced the size of my lunch.  I was starving and ate all the time during harder training weeks, and that’s okay too!  I think that training really improved my ability to be an intuitive eater, which was totally unexpected.

My body has changed.  I think I have lost a bit of muscle in my upper body, which makes me sad, but it’s my own damn fault for skipping out on weight training.  BUT, the upside is that my ass is bangin’.  Seriously!  It is perky and round and tight.  Who knew running was so nice to the booty?  My thighs have also slimmed down a bit, which is a big deal because they are usually my “trouble zone,” so to speak.  All in all, I am happy with the physical changes in my body.

Mentally, towards the end I got a little burned out.  My horrible 10.4 miler that ended in dry heaves made me feel so broken and like I was wasting my time.  I started missing my house and Tim and the animals.  BUT, thankfully, when I hit that point, it was just about time to taper anyway.   I also really liked that the first few weeks were basically confidence-booster weeks for me—the mileage was low and I was able to prove to myself that I could stick with this program.

Am I prepared?  Well, I hope so.  You’ll find out on Saturday one way or the other.  But, I would give this program two thumbs up so far.  I think that if I was slightly less busy on other fronts and didn’t have to bail on some of the cross-training and strength training elements,  I would have been even happier right now.

So, that’s my review of Hal Higdon’s novice half marathon plan.  I hope it helps anyone thinking about going for a half!


12 Responses

  1. I’m glad your booty is thanking you for all your hard work;)

  2. GOOD LUCK!! I am so excited for you, and I can’t wait to read about how the 1/2 goes. I am thinking about doing the Hal program to train… it is pretty overwhelming though. You are definitely an inspiration!! 🙂

  3. Thanks for this, Brie! It was really helpful!

  4. You’ve put in the hard work, now make sure that you enjoy the day!

  5. That’s so cool! Good luck on your race! (And on a side note, when I was losing weight I absolutely loved noticing the small changes in my body…like the first time my thighs stopped rubbing together!)

  6. wishing you the very best of luck. I am training for my very first half marathon and worry every dayt hat i will either be under prepared or over prepared. which ends up being worse?

  7. Eeeep!! SO excited for you! I hope your race goes very well — they can be tough, but so inspiring. I have done a few races and I well up with tears (if I don’t outright cry) at the end.

    Rock on, Brie!!! 😀 You’ve got it!

  8. Good Luck! I start Hal Higdon’s plan soon for my 1/2 marathon in August!!

  9. I’m impressed you managed to do this since i know how time consuming wedding planning (oh yeah, and working!) can be. Good luck on Saturday, I can’t wait to see how you do!

  10. Best of luck this weekend – you are so inspiring! xx

  11. I’ve done the Hal Higdon plan several times and it’s always worked. I’ve also always felt very burnt out by the end of training. But then when the race comes, you get a renewed energy. Good luck!

  12. I wish you the best Saturday. It’s understandable that you couldn’t do it all (weight training) with your job, planning a wedding, and then training. I hope that you stick with running after the 1/2 marathon. It’s a lifestyle sport!

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