My First Half Marathon

Since junior year of high school - running has been part of my life. Typically I would run a few times a week, for about 3 miles, and after a while, I just got addicted to it. In the last ten years, I probably haven't gone more than a week or two without fitting in a run.

I've run quite a few races - 5ks, 10ks, trail runs, and fun runs and I've coached for Girls on the Run, but this year I finally decided to bite the bullet and do something I haven't done; a half marathon. 

I decided to finally commit to my first half for a few reasons.

  • I'm in good running shape right now. 5 mile runs are comfortable, and I have been able to push myself to finish an 8 mile run with only a few stopping points.
  • I have the time to fit in training over the next few months
  • I have the perfect training partner, my friend Kristin. She hasn't run a half marathon either, and her and I are into the same workouts and keep each other accountable. 
  • Joel is an expert runner and is "coaching" us - within my patience level (And can be fired at any time)
With the half marathon not until October 26th, we have a lot of time to train for it. Our long runs (+7) miles don't start until September, so for the next six to eight weeks my typical training schedule is this:

This week:

 2.5 miles

Hot Yoga  with weights

 Wednesday Strength & Speed

Either an interval class or HIIT workout


3 miles



5 miles

2 miles or strength & stretch

It's a pretty do-able schedule, and I'm swapping in an extra spin class when I can. 

My runs in the last few weeks have been pretty quick. I've never run any race under a 10 minute mile, and my goal for the half is to just pace under 11 minutes - and finish the damn thing without dying.


Oh, and since we've been working out a lot, Joel thought it'd be a good idea to get a foam roller - you know, to really work out our muscles. Ya, well the damn thing left my back bruised in the same grid, so I'm a little nervous my whole body might be rejecting this training thing.

I hope that one day this is true.  The part about running because I already eat a lot..
But, seriously, let me know if you have any first-timer advice. I'm open to any tricks of the trade that might make this thing not half bad.


  1. So excited for you and your upcoming race! Your runs/times look great, keep up the great work love!

  2. I'm LOLing at the foam roller. I LOVED mine when I was training but also lived for:

    1) Uncooked rice pack -- toss a cup or so into a tube sock, tie off the end, pop it in the microwave. It's amazing, slow-releasing heat that you can put on targeted areas.

    2) Tennis balls -- mini massagers without any grid issues

  3. Impressive goal!!! Can't wait to hear about it!

  4. Color me way impressed! I still haven't completed a RUNNING 5k. Maybe I'll do that this year. But I'm scared. I don't have the mental fortitude for it.

  5. I think you can do it Tess, and be way more successful than me. haha

    I recommend sticking to your training as much as possible. And don't feel bad if you have to walk some. You may get to a point where it hurts whether your walking or running, I definitely did. lol And definitely fill up at every station. Most stations I took 2-3 cups of gatorade/water.

    Don't be surprised if you don't get much sleep the night before. It's the night before that that's important. Drink plenty of water the days leading up to it. Have a great playlist that will keep you motivated. And be sure to walk around for a while afterward (and the next day) and ICE. It will suck and you'll be sore, but you won't be as sore the following days.

  6. Im doing a 1/2 in December. I have done 2 before...walked both of them though...one when I was 7 months pregnant. You can do it!

  7. Love this goal!! I ran my first half marathon in 2006 and then my first marathon in 2007- it becomes addicting! Your training schedule sounds perfect. You can do it!