Getting Up to Speed, Part 2

By Megan Cox

In my last post, I mentioned that I’m eager to speed up this process. No, I don’t mean that I want my first half-marathon in several years to get here any faster. Good heavens, no! What I’d like to do is quicken my slow pace. Two pregnancies have certainly taken a toll on my overall fitness level.

But I am not discouraged. Once upon a time, I was a figure skater, and although I could make it through a grueling four minute skating program, at the time I wasn’t capable of even running two miles at a steady pace.

Over the past decade, I’ve hung up my skates and laced up my running shoes, and since then, I’ve run everything from a 5K to a full marathon. I may not be a hip 20-something anymore (although I’m not sure “hip” was ever a term used in conjunction with yours truly), but I’m certain that I can build my way back up to my previous fitness level.

The key is to do this safely. And, much as I wince at the idea, it’s time to talk about finding a speed workout to fit into my cramped schedule.

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Getting Up to Speed

By Megan Cox

Now that my half-marathon training has gone big-time—as in, I am now getting down to serious business—it’s time to address something that is going to require a lot of hard work: speed training.

If I were to describe my body type it would be like this—average size head on a short body with legs that apparently suffered from too much coffee at an early age. Let’s just say I may be the poster child for stunted growth.

Anyway, if you’ve seen any competitive marathoners lately, the terms “short “and “squat” are probably not words you would assign to them. Long story short—speed isn’t in my genes. My family has always been more brains than brawn, which means we got picked last for sports but kicked butt in class!

Soooo, that means that whenever I put up a good run time, those short legs of mine are moving! My husband likes to say the difference between me and most competitive runners is the difference between a full-sized bicycle and a baby trike (this is said with much affection, of course).

Obviously, you realize which one I am. So when I get going, I resemble a character from one of those old-time cartoons—you know, the ones with coyotes, road runners, and explosives. They’re the cartoons where characters legs turned into an indistinguishable whirl as they ran. That’s me.

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Friday Odds & Ends: Asheville NC Half almost full

A roundup of the week’s news and notes on running, half marathons and the amazingly fast race signups taking place all around:

Wednesday Shoutout: BAA Half registration opens today, Beloit Half cancelled

Sampling of news and notes from around the web on the world of running, marathons and half marathon races — if you have news you’d like to share with readers here, drop me a line by email here.

16 weeks from now, I’ll run 13.1

By Megan Cox

In my last post, I gave a brief rundown of the half-marathon training plans I was considering for my December race in Dallas. As a frequently busy, occasionally stressed-out mama of two little ones, the deciding factor when choosing a plan is time—as in, I don’t have much to spare.

My motivation for selecting plans for past races was glory and bragging rights, which means it was all about finding a plan to push me further than ever before. Now, just finishing a half-marathon will be bragging rights enough. That is, if I even have the energy to brag!

I’ve decided to use the fantastically straightforward, easy-to-manage 16-week training plan featured here. It’s for intermediate runners, and even though I’m not the powerhouse I once was, I’ll claim that status for now.

So let’s take a look at the torture—ahem, I mean, training that I’m committing myself to.

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Monday Shoutout: Recovering runners sought, and Big Sur race fills up fast

News and notes on marathon races, half marathons from around the web this morning:

It’s half time! Finding the perfect training plan

By Megan Cox

It’s time! Time to get down to business. Time to get super serious about running. Time to start planning my next 20 weeks (give or take) of training for a half marathon.

So far I’ve entertained you with stories about training in the past, finding shoes and equipment, preparing my muscles for running after a second pregnancy, and actually getting up and started. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been logging time on the treadmill and performing toning exercises to get myself back to running 3 miles at a comfortable, steady pace.

I’m thrilled to tell you that I’m finally there.

As exciting as this milestone is, I know the steps get harder from here on out. After running after a two-year-old and caring for a new baby, most days I’m just trying to survive from one kiddo’s naptime to the next. That’s why taking on a half marathon is such a challenge. It’s also the reason I’ll be beyond happy when I get to my end goal—the Dallas Half Marathon in December.

The process of selecting a half-marathon training plan is rather complex. There are several factors to consider. First of all, time is a big issue for me. With two little ones and my writing workload, there’s not much downtime, so I’ve got to make every second count.

Also, I’ve previously suffered from IT band injuries on both legs, so I need to train efficiently and safely. I may have been running for years, but I’m a little out of practice. Finally, I will be alternating between running on the treadmill and outside, and most of my shorter runs will be completed inside—at home or at the gym (which has a convenient childwatch).

That’s quite the wish list.

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Odds & Ends: Disney Princess Half opens, new race for NE

Quick roundup of this week’s news on marathons, half marathons and related info:

That’s all, folks! Until our next update.