1/2 Marathon Training: Cowtown or Bust!

I am currently training for the Cowtown Half Marathon on February 27th.  I thought I would share some of the common questions that I’m getting as I train.

Half Marathon Training for Beginners

Why are you doing this? IE Are you sane? What is your problem? Are you a sucker for torture?

When my brother asked me this, I responded, “It’s a huge lifetime accomplishment.” He replied, “So is drinking a bottle of jack daniels.”
I laughed for 5 minutes. He really is an awesome brother. But back to the point of why I’m running the 1/2:

  • Huge accomplishment (which my brother pointed out is maybe a lame reason)
  • I want to see if I can
  • I want the 1/2 to be a stepping stone to a full marathon
  • It will keep me running (If I don’t have a goal, I ten to slack off and quit)
What has half marathon training been like so far?
I’ve had a little trouble with my knees, but nothing that icing, ibuprofin, and some therapeutic exercise hasn’t been able to manage. Half Marathon Training for Beginners is not for wimps!
I think the most surprising thing about training is that each long run I enjoy more and more.  It’s so insane.  I hit mile 4 or so and my legs are on autopilot and my brain is lost in the music 🙂
getting ready for running a half marathon

How did you start running?
Running and I have a long and complicated relationship. I started running with a “Couch to 5K” program my junior year of high school.  I ran off and on throughout the rest of high school and college. I was doing pretty good running 2-3 miles 2-3 times a week.
Then Nate and I got married and we moved to Laredo.  Those Laredo summers (heck, springs and falls) really killed my motivation–consistent 100 degree weather will do that to you! Both winters I ran more consistently but as soon as it got hot, I just really couldn’t bring myself to run. I’m such a northern girl. 🙂
Back in August, I ran with my sister at Family Camp.  It was a very painful two miles.  But I did it again later that week. (My sister can be quite persistent.) I think then I realized how out of shape I was in general and how much I really wanted to commit to a consistently active lifestyle again. 
Since we just moved to Fort Worth it seemed like a good time to make a fresh start with running.  And our move eliminated my two biggest running excuses: No safe place and bad weather.  So I slowly started running again: 2-3 miles a couple times a week. Then I decided to do a beginner 10K training program which I completed mid October.  November was a hectic month and I did minimal running.  Life settled down more in December and I was back to thinking about running.  But I need a goal to keep me motivated; otherwise I am the queen of excuses.  So I decided to run the Cowtown Half Marathon, ran 3 miles a couple times and then left for the holidays.  Not so good on the training plan.  Neither are Christmas cookies.  But I was (and am) committed to the 1/2. Then I signed up, paid my race fee, and announced it on facebook. There was no backing out.

Will you do it again?
I think yes–but my eye is on the marathon prize! I’m dreaming about my first marathon next January at Disney…

Are you doing this to lose weight?
No! Even though I’m doing WeightWatchers at the same time the goal of the 1/2 is not weight loss.  Getting in the exercise is a plus for my weight loss plans, but long distance running is actually not the most effective way to drop pounds. Weight loss and 1/2 Marathon training in my mind are completely unrelated.

Do you have any goals for this race?
Completion!! I’ll also take beating walkers, mom’s pushing 15-20lb babies, and anyone in their 70s. Seriously, any time will do, just as long as I cross the finish line.

What has been the hardest part?
Getting out the door! It is so true that “you never regret a run.”

What’s the best part?
The last half mile, when the end is in sight and I can push myself hard to the finish! And after I finish. I normally give a little whoop/leap/victory arm raise. 🙂

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