My Half Marathon Journey: Part 1

Have you ever been disappointed in yourself? Sickened by what you saw in the mirror? That was me just about six years ago. I was at my heaviest weight and scared for the person I’d become. That’s why I started running, and why I refuse to be stopped. Follow along with me as I share my half marathon journey – I’ll be running my second half in Pittsburgh this May – with weekly updates. (*articles may contain affiliate links*)

half marathon journey

If you’ve been following along with my Instagram, you probably know that I started training for the 2017 Pittsburgh Half Marathon in December. Even though I did some running in 2015 (including finishing last but placing first for my age group in a local 5k), I really wasn’t committed to it and it really wasn’t doing anything to help me lose the weight I’d gained after having the twins. It truly was a “started from the bottom now we here” moment, pulling my running shoes out and hitting the dreadmill.

Combined with YFit, I’ve been faithful at working out since December and it is paying off. I shared my successes with my Whole30 journey earlier this week, but I know it is also due to my dedication to running, resting, and lifting.

Why the Half?

I decided to sign up for the half again this year for several reasons:

  • I know I can do it. I know if I did anything less (a relay leg or two), I’d be sad like I was at the 2014 race.
  • I need to do it. If I don’t set a high goal for myself, it will be very easy to quit. Quitter I am not.
  • There’s totally a chance to PR. My first half was quite an accomplishment, and even though I’m currently about 20 pounds heavier than I was back then, I’m fitter and improving with every day of training.

Training Plan

The goal was to train for a 5k using the Couch to 5k program (9 weeks to a 5k) then transition right into the 10k plan. After that, I was going to follow the plan I followed in 2013 to train (with 8 weeks before the half). Cross-training would come from Tuesday/Thursday YFit classes.

How’s that going? I’ve accomplished the C25K and have one week two weeks left in the 10K plan. Other than some regression from getting sick the past two weeks, I am lifting more and more at YFit (but I have some big work to do there). As for the next steps, I really can’t follow the plan I followed in 2013.

Why? It’s 8 weeks to a half which is perfect for what remains between next Sunday and May 5, but that’s not the problem. The “problem” is that it starts with long runs of 2 and 3 miles in the first two weeks. Sorry, but I am beyond that. Oh. And there’s the fact that I miscalculated something in my plan and still have two weeks left in the 10k training (see the cross out above? Yeah…I realized it while writing this post).  Some combination of the two plans below are what I’ll be doing, with a few adjustments to the days because of my YFit, church, and work schedules as well as determining if I’ll start with the 6 mile week as my week 1 of 8 or drop back to a 5 and do I run 11 or 12 miles the week before (I did 11 in 2013 – comment with any tips!!!):

…definitely not ending with 10 miles from this one…

Current Progress

February Miles (follow me on Nike+): 35.91
February Average Pace: 13:32

March Miles (so far): 4.8
March Average Pace (so far): 13:43
Current Projected Finish Time: 3:59 (+6 minutes from 2013 pace of 13:13 / 2:53)

I’ve been training at work, really getting to know the Liberty Mile to Penn Avenue to 16th Street Bridge. These will be some of my toughest because of the crowds and other runners (like Greg who will be doing Relay Leg 1) – basically I’ll likely gas myself in these miles because I’ll be pushing hard to keep up with everyone. I want my body to know this part of the course and just take it loosely. It’s great to work right in the middle of this part of the course, and having days that have been gorgeous enough to run along the river have definitely been a perk, too.

Looking forward to logging some longer runs next week and sharing more with you. If you’re running in the 2017 Pittsburgh Marathon events, let me know. Be sure to follow along on my social media – I’ll be using #fitmomintheremaking #pghmarathon and #runpgh with my shares!

Pro Tip: If you are running in the early morning or evening, I highly suggest a LED slap armband. They can be a solid or blinking light to alert others of your presence on the trail. Enjoy your weekend runs in the nicer daylight weather, but put one of these in your Amazon Prime cart for Monday’s run!

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