Sweet Pea’s Side Dish: Half Marathon Training
Welcome to the fourth edition of “Sweet Pea’s Side Dish”, where once a week I share with you what’s going on in my life besides food. This is a place to share with you what is going on in my life, baby stuff, our traveling adventures, and whatever else I feel like rambling on about that week. This week I want to share with you my half marathon training schedule and how I began running.
It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year again…the time to start training for spring races. Never in a million years did I think running would become such a huge part of my life. I love how accomplished I feel afterwards and how it lifts my spirits. Five years ago, I would never have imagined using the word “marathoner” to describe myself; I could barely run four miles, much less 26.2 miles.
It wasn’t until college that I really started running on a regular basis. It was a form of exercise that was “easy” because I didn’t have to mess with the weights or machines, all I had to do was throw on my running shoes and go! I would run three to four times every week but never ran more than 4 miles at a time. I enjoyed running but I looked at it as more of a way to ward off the freshman fifteen then anything else!
Fast forward to my first year of teaching where a handful of my coworkers would get together after school and run. It didn’t take long before I found myself joining them on these after school runs. During one of the runs one of my coworkers suggested that we sign up to run the Indianapolis Marathon as a relay team. Looking back now I must have been crazy! I had never ran further than 4 miles at one time but peer pressure won me over. A few days before the relay I found out that my leg of the marathon was 6.55 miles long. The thought of running that far made me so nervous but I was determined to do it. I couldn’t believe the energy coming from the crowd as I ran my part of the rely. There were people cheering, bands playing and people holding signs. All of the excitement made those miles fly by like it was nothing and after finishing my leg of the race I was instantly hooked!
At the time I was living in Indianapolis where they host the largest half marathon in the nation. The same friends that I ran the relay marathon with decided that we were going to run the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in May. Knowing that I needed some guidance and training, I signed up for the NIFS Mini-Marathon Training Program. It was an incredible program where over the course of 14 weeks we would meet up one night a week and run our designated long distance with a group of 10 to 12 other runners. It was addicting! I started to love running and would look forward to our runs every week (even if it was in snow and high winds). Although we were planning on running the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon we didn’t sign up in time (the race sells out in December), so we ended up running the Geist Half Marathon instead. Blame it on the runners high. Blame it on the fact that I am crazy, but two weeks after running my first mini marathon, I ran my second one (Capital City Half Marathon) in Columbus, Ohio. Since then I’ve ran a full 26.2 marathon, at least one mini marathon a year (with the exception of 2012 when I was signed up but per doctors request told not to run because I was pregnant), hundreds of miles and made some awesome friends in the process. I honestly can’t imagine my life without running now.
During this time of the year I always get really excited to start my half marathon training. The first few weeks when it is super cold outside I do all of my running on our treadmill. Luckily by the time the miles really start to rev up it is warmer outside and I can run on the 26 mile public rail trail that’s within walking distance to our house. I just strap Little Sweet Pea into my Bob Ironman Running Stroller and take off. He loves being in the stroller and it gives me a great upper body workout too! Nothing like pushing a combined 45 pounds to make you work!
Listed below is my Mini Marathon Training Schedule that I follow. Print it off and add your own dates. It’s perfect for someone that is a beginning runner that wants to finish a mini marathon. It starts off slow and gradually builds as the mini marathon approaches. Don’t expect it to be easy and don’t get discouraged when it’s hard. Running is difficult..be proud of what you can do.
The Races I Have Ran:
Indianapolis Marathon (as part of a relay team) October 2009
Geist Half Marathon May 2010
Columbus Capital City Half Marathon May 2010
Indianaolis Monumental Marathon November 2010
Indianapolis OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon May 2011
Heights Half Marathon: signed up unable to run per dr. request (pregnant) March 2012
Indianapolis OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon May 2013
Are you currently training for a spring race? If so, what’s your goal for it?
Disclaimer: Please remember that I am not a physician. Do what is best for YOU and your exercise needs. Please ask your doctor for advice specific to your needs and body. I just want to share with you my experiences and what works for me.