Columbus Half Marathon Training: Week One

Base miles are finally over and I’m finally back on a training plan! I’m excited to have structure back in my running and my workouts will be focused on the goal of running Columbus half in October. I’ve made a few changes for this plan, mostly because I’m still a bit worried I could fall back into the injured category. Here’s what’s different this time around.

-Back to 16 weeks. I’m spreading out my mileage more than my sweet spot of 14 weeks. Hopefully I won’t get burnt out with the longer training schedule.

-Running 4 days a week. I’d prefer to run up to five days, but I’m keeping mileage a bit lower this time, and adding more days to recover in between workouts.

-Lower mileage. I’ve always done well on the lower end of mileage, but I’m keeping it a bit lower than normal. Lower mileage plus fewer days running will hopefully keep me injury free.

-Yoga, lifting, and ab work. The more cross training I do, the stronger I hope to be.

Here’s what I have planned for the next 16 weeks.

Columbus_Half_Training_-_Google_Sheets (1)

And now to week one recap.

Monday: 4 Miles + Abs & Hips

Tuesday: 0

Wednesday: 3.25 Miles (1 mile w/u, 2×800 w/200 recovery, 1 miles c/d) + Abs & Hips

Thursday: 6 Miles

Friday: 0

Saturday: 3.5 Miles

Sunday: 0

Total Miles: 16.75 Miles

Monday was the first day of the training cycle, and typically I use Monday as a rest day. Because of some travel later on in the week, I had to get my run in then. Lucky for me, it was incredibly hot and still 90 degrees when I got home from work. But even though it was toasty, I still managed to stay just above 9:00 and my legs still wanted to go faster. Thankfully I had sprinklers to keep me cool along the way.

Too hot.

Too hot.

Wednesday was the first track workout of the cycle. I ended up at a new track near my parent’s house and ended up having the whole thing to myself. It was nice to focus in and not have any distractions. Starting from scratch, I did just two 800’s, and ran 3:51 and 3:47. It’s been a long time since I did 800’s, but they felt a lot better than the 400’s from a few weeks ago.

All by myself...Until the fox showed up.

All by myself…Until the fox showed up.

I ended up running my long run on Thursday. Typically my long run would start at 8 miles, but I decided to start at 6. I met up with Mo and we ran a loop through her neighborhood. It was pretty hilly, and my legs were a bit tight. But I still managed to get it done in a decent pace. It wasn’t my best run, but they can’t always go as planned.

We traveled to Houston over the weekend so I moved things around to do my recovery run on Saturday. And I’m so glad I did. I went out with Cori and her pup and we headed to Hermann Park. I was definitely not prepared for the heat and humidity. As early as 7am it was already 85 and felt like 90+.  I felt like I was wearing heavy fleece and had a harder time than usual breathing. I had to take a few walk breaks, but we managed to get 3.5 miles in.

Smiling, but sweating to death.

Smiling, but sweating to death.

So beautiful, yet so humid.

So beautiful, yet so humid.


It was a good first week of training. I got all my workouts in and even though my mileage was lower than I typically run, I hit all my miles. I’m hoping to stick to the plan as much as I can, but also know that things may happen and if I feel any ounce of lingering injury then it’s time to back down.

I’m excited to get back into training and see what the next 16 weeks hold!





As much as I love Cleveland, I love traveling down 71 to see old friends. Friday night was spent in Wooster, partly to make sure I wouldn’t be borrowing a friend’s couch to sleep, but also to help break down the drive. I woke up Saturday and did a short run to shake out my legs, trying not to blow away I headed around Route 83, dodging cars, and quickly found a housing development. I heard my knee pop just as I turned onto the sidewalk. Immediately I thought, this couldn’t happen, after taking two weeks off and being careful, I couldn’t bare starting the pain all over the day before the race. I slowed down and turned back. Luckily it was just a pop and some small pain. By the time I got back, it felt like nothing happened. Hopefully this was just my body’s way of telling me to be careful this weekend.

The drive from Wooster to Columbus felt like forever, probably because I was so excited to get to the expo! I was even more excited that Darren would get to experience it, and maybe it would make him want to be a runner….(wishful thinking). I got my number, pretty cool shirt and race bag, then I was off to see what I could find that “I had to add to my running closet” After spending more than I should have, and spending more than enough time, we were off to watch the Buckeyes at Eddie George’s.

We met up with one of my best and oldest friends Elayna

She stayed for the first half, and then left me in charge of Darren’s friends. Let’s just say that being the only sober person in a bar during a Buckeye game, isn’t always fun. But OSU won, so it was a great start to the weekend!

After spending about 6 hours at the bar, we met up for dinner with my old high school running buddy at this cute little pizza shop. Luckily the pizza was good, because we found out they took pasta off they’re menu. I was not a happy camper 😦

Laying in bed, my mind was all over the place. I don’t know Columbus that well, I wasn’t even sure how to get to the start of the race, or even where good parking garages would be. I wasn’t familiar with any of the race course, so I had no idea what to expect for the course. I had trouble sleeping because I was so worried about getting lost, but I could have easily overslept had I really wanted to. I was still really unsure as I was getting ready in the morning. I was so excited that a number of friends would be running their first half/full marathon. But my excitement quickly diminished for my own race. My stomach was a mess and I was undecided on long sleeve or short sleeve all morning. Stresses I didn’t need.

On my way to drop off my bag, I found Sarah, a friend from high school who was running her first. She was so excited and nervous, everything I had felt 5 months before, getting ready for Cleveland. I wished her good luck and was about ready to start. I barely fit on the street, but started to get excited as the fireworks went off and the race began.

Within the first half mile, I was already regretting running. I was thinking of ways I could get out of the race, trying to convince myself it wouldn’t be my day. Right as I wanted to turn off I felt an arm around me. Who is hugging me in the middle of the race? It was my aunt! We ran together for a few minutes, got my mind off everything and she sped up to do her own race.

The miles went on and soon I decided I needed to take a bathroom break. Waited in line for 2-3 minutes, then I was back on the road. My stomach was in bad shape and I could feel my legs slowly deteriating. The only thing getting me through was knowing I’d be a fanatic at the end. I was still keeping my normal 10:00 minute pace, but there was no way I’d be able to negative split on any miles. By mile 7 I was growing thin, my stomach was growling, cramping and on the verge of losing the Cliff bar I had in my stomach. This was about the time that the volunteers were handing out some sort of energy gel. I grabbed one. I figured nothing else could go wrong, so I might as well try one. Thinking in the bad of my mind, never try something new on race day, I figured it was worth a short, anything to help me through the race.

Slowly but surely, I started feeling better and had some energy. My legs were still sore, but I was feeling better. Thinking back, I should have put more IcyHot on to block out all pain. Around German Village I remember Elayna said she would be there to support me, I tried to find her, but unfortunately couldn’t spot her. She later told me she found me and that I looked great.

Two miles left and I hit my usual wall, not as hard, but my time was definitely slowing down. From then on it was just a solid line of fans on both sides cheering and pushing everyone to get to the finish. I don’t remember much of this part, but for the first time I knew I was going to make it. When I saw the sign that told the half marathoners to split off, I started to speed up, increasing my stride and opening up my legs, I was just seconds of finishing. And that moment never felt so good. With everything against me I made it at 2:17:38, just 2 minutes off my PR (Shouldn’t have taken that bathroom break) My greatest feeling was that I was finally a fanatic. I had worked hard to get to this point, and I could smile through the pain.

So here I am, Half Fanatic #1441. My toughest race to get to this accomplishment. And even though it was a horrible race, it made me stronger. I was 90% mentally not in the race, but somehow I made it through, had some firsts, and wasn’t far off my regular pace. Even bad races can be good.

Columbus swag

After I got myself steady I got a much needed massage, watched the finish and waited to see a fellow Muskie come across the finish line. I was already on the verge of tears after watching little kids squeeze through the fence to finish with their parents and saw a man being helped to the finish after his legs gave out 500 feet from the line. So watching Kimi finish her first marathon, I was completely overwhelmed. Even the guy next to me was excited for her. So proud she had an amazing race!

She’s my inspiration

Oh and hey back 13.1……I’ll see you next year!

What’s Next?

Now that I’ve started my fall races, it’s good to see what I have coming up so I can mentally prepare myself. Crazy, but after this past weekend’s half, I was considering doing the Sandy Ridge Half Marathon. I love the feeling after I finish a race, so yes this idea came up the day of the River Run. The reason I like the Sandy Ridge Half is because it’s close, but it also passes the house I grew up in. I remember watching runners go by for many years in this race. Plus I’d have a great cheering section from my parents. The decision is still undecided, but I have until Friday so I’ll see how this week goes.

In less than two weeks I’ll be doing the Akron Marathon Relay with some fellow Muskies! I’m sure you’ve seen a few of their posts about this race, don’t worry, mine will be coming up soon. I’m excited for this, it brings back memories of the mile relay, except the distance is a little longer, and apparently has more hills.

Then less than five weeks from now I’ll have to Columbus Half Marathon. I’m really looking forward to this once because I feel the River Run gave me some training so I’ll be more prepared. And I plan on doing some harder training before then as well.

After that I’ll be done for the year, unless anyone knows of any other races that I must sign up for. I’ll be getting ready for 2012 races: four half marathons!

And the question that I keep getting, now that I’ve done another half, am I intrigued by a marathon? Nope, still no desire, but the utmost respect for all of you marathoners!

Slowly becoming a runaholic…

Words can’t describe how excited I am for this summer and racing. But after taking a year off of running, I may have bitten more than I could chew. As I’ve mentioned, doing the Cleveland Half Marathon, was exactly what I needed to get back on the horse. I had originally planned four races between now and September. I won’t lie, I’m easily persuaded, and now have six, and looking for more. My aunt suggested the Columbus (Half) Marathon after I crossed the race in CLE. After looking into it, and loving the fact it is a fall race, I’ll be running that just five weeks after the River Run Half. Thinking I’d get bored in between and wanting to stay in shape, I was easily persuaded to do the Akron Marathon Relay with fellow Muskie alums (@mollyberries, @kimikay, @lilypea, @jess_rowland)

The gap between the Girls with Sole 5k and Duathlon is too much for me, so I’m looking into the Winking Lizard Shot in the Dark on July 16th, as well as possibly a race on July 9-10, any suggestions for races? And while all of these races I’ve lined up are great, I’m really looking forward to the River Run Half Marathon. Last year I rode in the Tour de Cure, a great experience for many reasons. This year I wanted to do something on my own, and call me crazy, but I prefer running a half over biking 30 miles. I’ve decided to run the River Run Half Marathon and raise money for Diabetes. The main reason I’m doing this is because my better half has Type 1 Diabetes, but he never lets that stand in his way. He lives life to the fullest and will let you know he’s always “having more fun than you.”

River Run Half Marathon, ADA Donation

So here starts my training for what seems to be an endless summer of races, but I’m looking forward to it.