My Road to 13.1 (Part 1 of 2)

Me and my little running buddy!

Me and my little running buddy!

Back in March, a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to run a half-marathon with her on Labor Day weekend. I have previously only run a 10k race (an annual tradition) for the past 4-5 years, and I always told myself that 6.2 miles was my limit. However, with a free promo code to save myself the $100 registration fee and knowing that I had the support of my friend – an avid runner and half-marathon participant – I figured I would go for it. So here I am, halfway through my training, so I thought I would give you a recap of my road to 13.1.

A little background on myself: I am a casual runner, usually only clocking 3-4 miles on a typical run maybe 1-2 times per week when I’m being good. I am the mommy to a now 9-month-old son, so my time is more precious (and harder to come by) than ever before. Keeping those two thoughts in mind – not being a distance runner and having minimal time to train – I found a “family-friendly” training plan online and tweaked it for my needs given the approximately 19 weeks I had between the start of my training and race day.

My friend and I get together with our sons (she has a 1-year-old boy) to run every few weeks, which is fun, but thankfully I am disciplined – and scared enough of race day – to keep up with my training. Most of the time I take my son on runs with me, and I can definitely tell that the jogging stroller is helping me when I occasionally run without one. My son probably thinks he’s helping to challenge me too with his constant growth spurts!

I am doing my best to incorporate some cross-training/cardio + strength training, along with yoga to help stretch my sore muscles, in attempts to get my body prepared for the task of running 13.1 miles. I also discovered a series of stretches called Myrtl that aims at strengthening your hip girdle, which I try to do after most of my runs if I’m not too tired or tight! Here is the YouTube video on Myrtl stretches.

Below is my 19-week training plan; I started out with a 16-week plan and added some buffer weeks to fill in my time, so feel free to do the same to fit within your own training timeline:

Week #1

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Cross-training
Wednesday: 3 miles
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: 3 miles
Saturday: Cross-training
Sunday: 3.1 miles (long run)

Week #2

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Cross-training
Wednesday: 3 miles
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: 3 miles
Saturday: Cross-training
Sunday: 3.5 miles (long run)

Week #3

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Cross-training
Wednesday: 3 miles
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: 3.5 miles
Saturday: Cross-training
Sunday: 4 miles (long run)

Week #4

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Cross-training
Wednesday: 3.5 miles
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: 3.5 miles
Saturday: Cross-training
Sunday: 4.5 miles (long run)

Week #5

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Cross-training
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: 3.5 miles
Saturday: Cross-training
Sunday: 5 miles (long run)

Week #6

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Cross-training
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: 3.5 miles
Saturday: Cross-training
Sunday: 5.5 miles (long run)

Week #7

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Cross-training
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: Cross-training
Sunday: 6 miles (long run)

Week #8

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Cross-training
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: Cross-training
Sunday: 6 miles (long run)

Week #9

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Cross-training
Wednesday: 4.5 miles
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: Cross-training
Sunday: 7 miles (long run)

Week #10

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Cross-training
Wednesday: 4.5 miles
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: Cross-training
Sunday: 7.5 miles (long run)

Week #11

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Cross-training
Wednesday: 4.5 miles
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: 4.5 miles
Saturday: Cross-training
Sunday: 8 miles (long run)

Week #12

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Cross-training
Wednesday: 4.5 miles
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: 4.5 miles
Saturday: Cross-training
Sunday: 8 miles (long run)

Week #13

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Cross-training
Wednesday: 4.5 miles
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: Cross-training
Sunday: 9 miles (long run)

Week #14

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Cross-training
Wednesday: 4.5 miles
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: Cross-training
Sunday: 10 miles (long run)

Week #15

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Cross-training
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: Cross-training
Sunday: 10.5 miles (long run)

Week #16

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Cross-training
Wednesday: 4.5 miles
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: Cross-training
Sunday: 11 miles (long run)

Week #17

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Cross-training
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: Cross-training
Sunday: 11.5 miles (long run)

Week #18

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Cross-training
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: Cross-training
Sunday: 12 miles (long run)

Week #19

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Cross-training
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: 3 miles
Saturday: Cross-training
Sunday: RACE DAY!

Some weeks I’m more successful than others, but it seems to be a very manageable system so far. Right now, I am in Week #10 and just starting to do longer runs (meaning, longer than the 10k that I’m used to) so I am entering unknown territory with how to stay hydrated, energized, and resist fatigue during the runs that lay ahead of me. If my post encourages or inspires you, great. If you think I’m crazy, I totally agree. I plan to do this one and bow out of running more than my usual amount, but it’s fun to have a goal to work toward… and hopefully I will reach it come August 31!

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