My First Attempt at a Half Marathon

I have two running buddies (I will call them Justin and Steve) that have convinced me somehow to run a half marathon.  For you folks who may not know, that is 13.1 miles.  In other words, a long ass way to run.  So I took them up on this unspoken challenge.

For me, running comes very natural.  I have an ability and I am using it.  However, running a half marathon is not so natural.  It takes dedication, training, injuries and healing to attempt to race one.  I’m a 5k (3.1 miles) to a 10k kinda runner.  Short and fast and get me to the bananas and bagels ASAP kinda runner.  I’m not a slow and steady wins the race kinda guy.  So luckily for my two buddies, they have had to listen to me ask question after question about half marathoning.  Luckily for me, I have two great friends willing to help me along the ride.  So with all that advice I got, I swallowed that lump in my throat and began my training program.

Sometime around late September I realized that training for this race was a must.  I had to buckle down.  Justin and I spoke on the phone one evening about how to go about getting mileage in.  We came up with a plan to try to run during work.  During the week I don’t have the time to run in the evenings, so this was my only option. So, I started packing sandwiches to work.  For my half hour lunch break, I would go knock out 3-4 miles and then stuff a sandwich down the hatch as I changed back into work gear.  I stuck with it and its going to pay off.  Lucky for me, I work on the family farm and have trails to run and family to give me the time and ability to train during work hours.  Thanks Mom and Dad!

Steve is like my distant, distance coach.  He is the perfect guy to go to for mileage and workout advice.  He gave me some great workouts to try.  The one I dreaded the most was a speed workout.  Basically you run 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile, 3/4 mile and 1 mile at full speed and then go down the ladder and finish with a 3/4 mile, 1/2 mile and then a 1/4 mile.  Do these with a 1/2 mile jog between each set.

End Result- LADDER WORKOUT

After seeing the end result of the workout, I felt like I could really do this thing.  I wanted more workouts.  I called Steve.  All I heard was distance, distance, distance.  Oh I hate distance.  Not good for someone trying their first half ever!  I logged in some good miles.  Most of them at the local state park.  I ended up with over 100 miles for the month of October.  That was my first time hitting 100 miles in a month.

End Result- DISTANCE

So with that said and done, I wanted another speed workout.  I called Steve once again.  Bad news!  He suggest repeat miles on the track.  Warm up, run a super fast mile, rest a few minutes.  Do this 3 times.  3 times????  Are you kidding me.  No way!  I packed the gear, the kid, the wife and 2 dogs and headed to the track.  I did my warm up and took a gut check.  Lets do it!

End Result-

Mile 1- 5:51

Mile 2- 5:41

Mile 3- 5:22

Here is a link to my complete workouts as of lately- RUNNINGAHEAD

Hot Damn!  I did it.  I was so proud of myself.  I couldn’t wait to brag.  Not only did I finish the workout, but I got faster as I went along.  This was great news!  I have now realized I am only 22 seconds from breaking a 5 minute mile.  NEW GOAL!

So I am officially done training for the Richmond Half Marathon.  I am so excited about it, I can hardly wait.  The race is Nov 13th.  I am challenging myself to finish as close to 1:30:00 as possible.  We shall see.  I’ve trained my tail off and kept injury free for the most part.  I am looking forward to it and please check back for a race update.  Thanks for reading ladies and gentlemen.

End Result- To Be Determined!

Thanks to Mom and Dad for giving me the little extra time to run during work.

Thanks to Steve for the great workouts and long phone conversations about training and being a positive influence.

Thanks to Justin for the run at work advice and convincing me to become a runner once again.  I wouldn’t even be writing this blog if it wasn’t for you…yo!  Thanks for all other advice not to be mentioned on this rated PG blog.

Most importantly, thank you to my lovely wife who has put up with my addiction to running and given me the time to train on the weekend.

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One Response to My First Attempt at a Half Marathon

  1. Lynn Reese says:

    Congratulations, David! Talk to “Uncle” Rock sometime about your training, too. He ran the marathon at the Good Will Games in Seattle, among other distance events. I know you’ll do well in the race!

    Love,
    “Aunt” Lynn

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