My Half Marathon Goals

When I started running over a year ago, my one main goal was to run a half marathon. At the time, 13.1 miles seemed like a daunting task. The great thing about goals is they have to scare you a little bit. What are they if they don’t make your heart beat a little faster or your mind a little anxiety-ridden? I’ve dreamed of this goal for a while and I can’t picture not finishing a race with an exhausted, thrilled expression and a medal around my neck. It’s my kinda dream.

The great thing about half marathons is it’s the perfect distance (for me anyway). You have to do a bit of training for them, but they don’t take over your life like dedication to a full marathon would. I’ve heard many people say if you can do 8-10 miles then 13 miles won’t make much of a difference.

I hadn’t put too much thought into a specific half marathon until I finished the Turkey Trot. I left that race thinking, “That wasn’t so bad.” I had some foot aches and pains, but a few extra miles certainly won’t break me in the long run. I had a friend tell me after the race that the pain doesn’t ever let up, but it’s your mind that really drives you to the finish. It resonated with me because once I hit 6 miles, I went into pep talk mood. “C’mon Amber! You can do this! Just 2 more miles! You can make it up this hill!” In the grand scheme of running, it really is mind over matter.

So here I sit, dreaming of my half marathon dreams.

Last week, I checked out my usual racing site, Run On, to see early 2013 races. It’s one of my favorite things to do. While I was browsing for races, I noticed they offer half marathon training classes. Something finally sparked within me. I finally had the confidence to look into an actual half marathon race. The culprit: the Rock ‘N Roll Dallas Half Marathon on March 24th. I really have no interest in taking the classes. They meet early in the mornings three days a week. I’m an evening runner. So, I went hunting for a half marathon training plan for a novice runner. I really didn’t hunt for long because I already had one in mind. I had heard the name Hal Higdon very early on in my running adventures. Hal has years of running experience and his website is filled with tips and training plans for any type of runner. After 30 minutes of checking out the plans and having a serious pep talk with myself, I knew I could do his Novice 1 training plan.

Half Marathon

12 weeks. Run 3 times a week with cross and strength training. Done.

My next move was to grab a 2013 calendar and count backwards from the half marathon date to see when I need to start this bad boy. January 1st is the big day. What better way to start off 2013 then with a great plan to run a half marathon and a continuation of living a healthy lifestyle! It’s a little scary to think about, but it just makes me think that it’s not a goal if it doesn’t scare me.

I’m looking forward to getting started. This race will become reality when I take the plunge and register. That’s the official go-ahead. *Big breath* I haven’t actually registered, but my plan is to register early (by January 3rd) so I can get the early bird price. Gotta save the bucks somehow. Plus, this is the best way to keep me accountable. If I pay $85 for a race, I’m doing it no matter if I’m crawling to the finish line.

imageBeginning in early January, I’ll keep you all posted on my progress. I’m comfortable running 4-5 miles, so anything past that has got to make for great running adventures.

Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend friends!

  1. Congrats! I just did my first half in October! As a newbie halfer, one thing I’d REALLY recommend – taper the week before. I did a training schedule similar to yours, but I moved my 10 mile run up a week and then just did a few smaller runs the week before….and nothing for the five days before the race. I thought it helped me tremendously – I was trying to be healthy/not injured for the race. And get a massage after the run! You’ll feel so much better the next day! GOOD LUCK!

    • Thank you thank you thank you! I thought the 10 miler a week before seemed a little off. I think I’ll heed your advice and change that 10 miler. I appreciate all the advice. And a massage after the race will definitely be on my agenda. 🙂

  2. John said:

    Go for it, I did my first half in October after starting running in January.

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