Monday, March 1

1/2 Marathon Monday, Part 2

Today is my second 1/2 Marathon Monday post. As I mentioned last Monday, I plan to write one post a week to update you on the training I've started for the Buffalo Marathon (I'm doing a 1/2) being held Memorial Day weekend.

I'm referencing three different training programs, mostly because I didn't love any of them individually (see links at the end of this post). The Hal Higdon program is my primary "go-to" for mileage, etc. I like it because it is a 12-week program (as opposed to 8 or 10) and it incorporates a good mix of cross training in with the running. What I don't like about it is that there is only one day of rest incorporated a week. While I don't necessarily feel like I need a ton of rest days, as a mom of two small children my life does not allow me to workout 6 days a week on most weeks. The other programs allow for 2-3 days of rest during the week.

All that said, training has been going pretty well so far. I'm only running 3-4 miles at this point, but I'm feeling stronger and stronger, which is encouraging. I haven't trained as many days as I would have liked to in the last week and a half. My biggest challenges have been the snow (Buffalo in February, yuck!) which has forced me to do more running indoors, I got sick for two days last week and then just juggling times to run with taking care of the kids, my husband's work schedule, etc.

So here is what my training has looked like in the last week and a half, leading up to today:

Friday: 4 miles on treadmill
Sat: 4.2 miles outside
Sun: 2 miles outside
Mon: off
Tue: 3.5 miles on treadmill
Wed: strength training with a trainer (who happens to be my brother!) at the gym
Thur: rest/very sore from strength training, get sick later in the day
Fri: 3 miles on treadmill
Sat:  meant to run, but end up going shopping with my sister!!
Sun: 4 miles on treadmill
Mon: 3.1 miles on treadmill

So, if I look at just my Sun-Sat last week, my mileage was not what I would have liked it to be. I would have liked to have squeezed one more 3 or 4 mile run in there...but looking at the big picture so far, I feel like I'm doing pretty well.

All that said here are three important things I've learned about goal setting/training this week:
1. Set a date
2. Make mini-committments along the way
3. Cut yourself some slack

1. Set a Date
Having this Memorial Day race on the calendar is crazy motivation for me. I have something to work towards and a concrete date on which something needs to be done and I work so much better with those sorts of guidelines in my life! I need to start doing this more for my writing...

2. Make mini commitments
The intention is to do my longer weekend runs with my sister and/or a few other friends who are also training for the race.  When you have to be somewhere to do something with someone you're much less likely to make excuses. Even my Wed morning workouts with my brother at the gym have been helpful. If I were not meeting him there I don't know how likely I'd be to get up at 7 a.m. and trudge through the snow and cold to the gym to workout. I'm grateful for the commitments and I feel like they help to add some very much needed structure and discipline to my life.

3. Cut yourself some slack
At the end of the day I am the mom of two small children, my husband has a very busy job, I am tired on many days and I don't have the kind of time for this as I would have, say, eight years ago when I was working 9-5 at a publishing company and had my nights and weekends completely free (oh, to be able to have some of that time back!). I'm may get sick, one of the girls may get sick, Scott will have to go out of town for several days, and I will not be able to stick to my schedule...but, as I'm learning to be ok with, this is one day at a time, failure one day doesn't mean the same the next.

All in all what I like about this training is that it is a challenge I've never taken on before, I feel like it's helping me gain back some of the physical stamina I once had during my high-school track days (boy, do those feel far away!), and it is difficult but manageable- most of the runs are shorter distances until the very end of the training.

So, there you have it! My 1/2 marathon life so far. Looking forward to sharing more next week!

FYI- Here are the 3 Training Programs I'm referencing:

1. Hal Higdon--have heard great things about this one
2. Marathon Rookie- this one focuses more on running, but offers an extra day of rest
3. Fitness Magazine training schedule- a friend used this last year


  1. I love your tips! And I needed to hear the "cut yourself some slack" one today as I had to skip my workout this morning due to a sick toddler, but was still beating myself up a little feeling like I should have worked it in somehow. But I'm letting it go; there is always tomorrow!

  2. Woah, VERY impressive!! Keep up the good work!! I honestly don't think I could ever do it.

  3. I swear by Hal Higdon. I just love him and all his plans. :-) You can actually incorporate 2 days of rest into the Novice plan. Your "stretch and strengthen" day is technically a "rest" day, because your not running. I highly recommend doing yoga on this day, either before the kids wake up or at the end of the day when you put them to bed - if you have the energy. ;-) This stretch and strengthen/yoga day is SO important when you get into those with big miles. Your body will crave the stretches. I promise.

    On "official" rest day, you better believe I rested. :-D So, basically, your running 4 days, with one day being an easy run with some weight training. You really do need to work-out 5 days and add cross training into your routine, like biking or swimming, because this will help strengthen other muscle groups which will improve your overall performance.

    No weeks are perfect. Kids will get sick. The weather stinks, or you'll go shopping. Who wouldn't?! ;-) Don't stress over it. Start fresh next week.

    Looks like you off to a great start! Keep it up, mama! :-)


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