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.

The 16-week plan starts with the assumption that I can run 4 times a week and achieve a 4-mile run the first week. That’s a fair assumption, even if it’s not exactly the prettiest 4 miles you’ll ever see. Then, week after week, the long run increases mile by mile—that means I’ll be at 8 miles half way through.

The increase in the long run slows after the halfway point, and my longest distance, which is 2 weeks before the race, will be 12 miles. That’s the longest training distance I completed for my first half marathon, and I’ll admit I may have hit a wall at the 12 mile mark in that race. I thought, “Holy cow! I’m running farther than I ever have.” It wasn’t exactly a pep talk.

This time, however, I have the added benefit of having run a full marathon already, so I won’t be able to think things like that. I’m more likely to think things like, “I hope my toddler isn’t screaming for cookies, because her daddy is so not going to give her one.” Or chanting, “This is easier than childbirth. This is easier than childbirth.” You know, the usual stuff.

Anyway, as I glance over this schedule, I feel a simultaneous wave of excitement and anxiety. Am I crazy? Sure. I mean, I’m still not getting a full night’s sleep (and may not for the next 20 years). But the real question is, can I do this? And the answer is, you bet I can!

How’s that for a pep talk?

This is a guest post by Megan Cox, an Oklahoma City-based novelist, writer and contributing blogger for HalfMarathons.Net. Learn more about Megan at her website.

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