Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Second Half Marathon Training, Week 1

So, let me just wrap up last week before I get on with it.  It was pretty much a bust.  I injured myself and couldn’t run Monday and Tuesday.  Wednesday I had an event to go to and still felt a little stiff, and apparently I had something emotionally to work out as Zliten and I stayed up until 4am drinking on a weekday, so I was too exhausted Thursday after slogging through a tough day at work hungover on no sleep.  Yeah.   Hello, me 3 years ago.  I did get up and do a 6 mile run and a killer DDR circuit Friday and Saturday, but I am still very disappointed with how much I’ve let distance running lapse this summer, and how HARD that was to just keep up a pace that was about what I’ve targeted my long run pace to be (around 9:45 per mile).  Sunday, I counted 6 hours of shopping as my cardio.

Yet again this week, I am terrified of the scale.  Not that I think I did that badly, it’s just this irrational thing that happens once I let go of tracking, I think I’m going to just start gaining and gaining.  I don’t trust myself yet to really know what to do without the numbers.  We will see.  A healthy day today and a nice long run tonight, and I’ll be ready to hop on tomorrow morning so I can give a “start weight” for the half process.

While my goal is still to get down to under 150 by December 31st, I am not going to actively try to cut calories very low for the rest of the year.  I reached my low weight of 150.2 a few weeks into half training last time just with increased exercise (before my appetite caught up).  Maybe this will happen again!  Regardless – pushing my body to run harder, better, faster, stronger is more important than losing a few lbs as of today.

So, let’s get on with it.

Basic Half Marathon Goals:

-Using the FIRST half marathon methodology (of course, an amalgamation of lots of different plans though), I’m going to be ONLY running 3 days per week.  But the running days, they are killer.  Most Mondays are sprints days.  They vary between 4×400 to start out with (with a mile warmup and cooldown) and 5×1600 (same).  Wednesdays are tempo runs, ranging from 4-8 miles before the taper.  Friday/Sat/Sun (one of these days): is the long run, progressing from 5 miles this week to 12 miles before the taper.

I noticed that I am a lot better and fresher with a day off between runs and feel like I can expend more effort.  I also remember feeling like slogging through some of those 4-5 mile slow pace weekday runs were pointless.  I totally get the 3 quality runs per week idea and the research shows that most people PR with the training.  It also means I can keep up with DDR and weights as well without feeling like I have to squeeze it in.

-I’m going to try the “lots of food/good food” type approach.  Trying to limit my intake during training was like trying to ask a dragon politely not to breathe fire.  So I’m going to give myself permission to snack as much as I want on APPROVED things, like veggies, jerky, pistachios… and probably find some healthy, whole grainy carb type things.  I will keep my meals unchanged.  This is not going to be an excuse to hit the buffet and eat 1500 calories.  I will also NOT eat out of the fridge.  This has to stop before it starts.  If I want a modest snack of turkey pepperoni, a bowl of pistachios, and a tub of mixed greens, I need to serve it to myself and take it at least to the couch.

-My “pie in the sky” goal is sub 2 hours.  My 5k time translated into half marathon time says I should be able to do it.  The reality is – I’m just much better at short distance speed than I am picking up the pace beyond my “run forever” pace of about 10:30-11 minute miles once I get in the double digits.  My realistic goal is to beat my time from the last one.  My “the-day-is-shite” goal is just to finish without walking.

This week is a little weird as I’m doing a 5 mile race on thanksgiving.  I haven’t trained for it for crap, but I think with race day jitters I can at least pull out a 45 minute (9 min mile) pace.  If not, hey, I ran 5 miles Thanksgiving morning before I stuff my face with turkey, and I got a groovy shirt.  Totally win.  So this week is:

Monday: 5 mile pace (let’s call it a tempo)

Tuesday: DDR circuit (these are still kicking my butt wonderfully)

Wednesday: yoga/rest

Thursday: 5 mile RACE (let’s call this my long run)

Friday: DDR circuit

Saturday: 4×400 sprints (1 mile w/up + cool down, 400m recovery in between)

Sunday: rest

Normally, it would be run M/W/F, DDR circuits Tu/Th, but the race mucks this up.  I already screwed up the ability to run this all outside (unless I decide tonight to hit the track for 5 miles in the dark…hmmm…didn’t think of that before) but unless the weather brings forth some icky icky clouds I’m golden for sprints at the track on Saturday.

The paces frighten me.  For an approximate 9:10 goal pace, which is a 2 hour half, here is what they want me to train at:

400s – 1:58 (no problem)

800s – 4:02 (again, no problem)

1600s – 8:25 (no problem in theory, 5 of these in one workout will be KILLER though)

tempo: 8:55 per mile (err, 8 miles below 9 minute miles? sceeery!!!)

long run: 9:40 per mile (this will be pretty brutal too, but I feel more confident about this than the tempos).

Wish me luck!  Anyone ever done 3 day per week running training, or at least focused on quantity over quality miles?  Any suggestions on making improvements on long distance pace?   My brain just seems to get intimidated and shut off the ability to really push myself above a 5k.

I’m about 9k words behind.  I’m going to try and rally this week… but that would mean almost 2700 words per day.  What I’m going to do if I *don’t* finish is to dedicate at least 1.5 hours after work 2 days per week and 3 hours on a weekend day EACH WEEK until I finish.  Unless I’m really inspired to talk about it before then for some reason, I’ll let you in on how I did December 1st.

And, if you made it through this far, let me reward you with this gem.  I feel greeeeeeeaaaattt!  Baaaaabiiiieeesss!!!!  Happy faux-Wednesday if you’ve got a short week like we have for Thanksgiving!  If not, happy Monday to the lot of ya.


Without Really Noticing…


Happy Tweetsgiving – Part 1


  1. happy faux-wednesday to you, too!!! that’s the thing that made me hop out of bed with a smile on my face this morning. sounds like you’ve got a good plan for running. maybe it’ll motivate me to sign up for another race!

  2. Good luck! You can do it — just take it one run at a time.

    For me, tempo runs are the hardest. I don’t know how to make them work. good luck with those!

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