January 21, 2018

Weekly Wrap-Up: Week 1 of Half-Marathon Training (recap)

Well, I made it through my first week of half-marathon training!

I haven't run four times in one week since... well, probably a year ago? I'm following my own half-marathon training plan, called "A First Timer's Half-Marathon Training Plan". Even though I'm not technically a first timer, it's been a long time since I've run a half. And let's not forget just how out of shape I am! Haha.

I can't say that this week was a great start to my training. I wish that wasn't the case. But it was much harder than I expected it to be.

Here's the rundown of this week's schedule:

Tuesday - 10 minutes easy
                 5 x (1 min hard, 2 min walk)
                 5 minutes easy

Wednesday - 3 miles easy

Friday - 2 miles easy

Sunday - 4 miles easy ("long" run)

Tuesday - Intervals

(Tuesday's run translates to a 10 minute warm-up at a very easy pace. Then run hard for 1 minute, followed by 2 minutes of walking. Repeat the 1 hard, 2 walk four more times. Then run 5 minutes easy for a cool down. A grand total of 30 minutes.)

The problem with this run just stemmed from preparation frustration. I was completely out of the habit of running, so it took longer to get ready than it took to do the damn run. Once I was dressed to run (on the treadmill), I realized that I had no idea what show to watch on my iPad while I was running (I know, first world problems).

I needed something very fast-paced and that would leave me wanting more. I was already in a bad mood, and scrolling through Hulu when all I wanted to do was get the run over with made me even more irritated.

Finally, I decided to settle on an old favorite: The Shield. I LOVED that show when it aired, and the action never really stops. It's been long enough that I don't remember many of the storylines, so I think it'll work for me to watch during training season.

Anyway, once I started the run, I realized how out of shape I've gotten. Running "easy" at 5.5 mph was hard. I'm not doing heart rate training right now, so I just picked a speed to run, based on my best guess for my current ability.

I thought the intervals would be easy, too--just 60 seconds of hard running! Followed by two full minutes of walking. I did the hard intervals at 7.5 (bumping it up to 7.8 a few times), and the walk at 3.0 mph.

I do love that intervals make the time go by so quickly. I constantly focus on the duration of the segment I'm doing, instead of thinking about how much time left in the run itself.

I was very tired after that workout, the one that I expected to be fairly easy.

Wednesday - 3 miles easy run

This time, I was more prepared. I got dressed quickly. Just before getting on the treadmill, I was hit with a horrible pain in my rib cage. Each inhale and exhale felt excruciating. It was so weird. I literally cried on the treadmill because it was so painful. Finally, I burped (something I rarely do), and the pain started going away. I burped again, twice, and the pain was gone. What the heck?!

I'd always been a morning runner, but this week I've been running in the afternoon or evenings. That day, I ran after dinner, so I'm thinking maybe running just after eating a meal did something. Whatever the reason, that pain completely ruined my run.

Friday - 2 miles easy run

I wasn't hopeful going into this run, after the first two were so bad. Thankfully, things turned around for me! I just set the speed to 5.5 mph and left it there until I hit two miles. The 5.5 speed still felt a little tough.

Sunday - 4 miles long run

Today's weather was really nice (40 degrees, and the snow finally melted!); so, I decided to see if Jerry would want to do our long run together outside when he woke up at around 2:30. He was all for that idea, so we headed out for a four miler.

Jerry and I have been having some really great conversations lately--I'm not sure what prompted the deeper discussions we've had, but it's nice. While running today, the time passed SO quickly. I didn't even glance at my Garmin, because I didn't care about my pace at all.

The run felt really easy (as it's supposed to, because it's an "easy" run), and when we finished, I saw why--our pace was 11:37. Running at that pace, and with a partner, made the run so much more enjoyable.

We both agreed that we should try to do all of our long runs together. Once we add on some more mileage, we'll probably go to the Metropark and the State Park for our runs. A change of scenery is always welcome.

So, our first week of training was a success! I've really liked that I'm thinking of this training season from the eyes of a brand new runner. It reminds me of when I trained for Indy in 2011, and everything felt so new. It's fun to look at it that way.

(The calories listed on there are calories burned, not consumed. It took me a few minutes to figure that out! I knew I hadn't logged calories anywhere, because I don't count calories anymore. But 1200 is a common number when talking about calories consumed, so it confused me. But anyway, that number is calories burned for the week.)

One week down. Now, we just have 12 more weeks to go!


  1. I was thinking that the reason you might have had more difficulty with the treadmill runs is that you're not starting out at the right pace for your current level of running fitness. You're just expecting too much from your poor ol' bod! It's supposedly an "easy" run according to your training plan but you're expecting yourself to be able to do a 10:55 pace easily after however many months off from running. As a person who has taken several breaks from running and then started up again two or three or six months later, I know it is basically like starting all over again. Just a thought! :)

    1. Very true! I am always preaching about how easy runs should be EASY... now I just need to heed my own advice! ;)

  2. I love reading your running reports again! It's always interesting to see how someone else approaches their training (that is, someone who is more like me rather than an elite runner, ha ha!). Great job in getting this week done--it will get easier and more rewarding every week, I'm sure!

    PS: For what it's worth, I skipped my run this morning because it was pouring rain and 42 degrees. LOL, I guess I need to go uncover my treadmill in the barn... ;)

    1. YOU skipped a run?! I could not be more shocked right now. Haha!

  3. As an inconsistent runner, I just have to say that this very encouraging! This blog helped me realize that I don't need to be fast, slow is ok if I get the mileage in.

    1. Exactly! However, consistency will make you faster, so if you can work out a schedule to stick to, you will naturally get faster as you get in shape. Just a thought! :)

  4. if you don't watch Blindspot already, I recommend it as a fast-paced show. Then again, I'm not sure that I could run while watching, as I find myself holding my breath sometimes during intense moments! :)

  5. If you're in to comedies, I will ALWAYS recommend The Office to anyone ;) That's my perfect treadmill show, 2 episodes go by and I don't even realize it! I'm loving reading your running reports again. This is really helping me since I feel like I'm in the starting over phase right now too!

  6. I agree with the first commenter... your easy runs should be EASY. Even if you aren't going by heart rate, listen to your body. If it's unpleasant, it's too fast.

    Pushing hard through the easy runs will mean you won't see the results you are looking for. I learned this the hard way!

  7. Katie,

    I am really enjoying reading your running log as I have my own love/hate relationship with running over the years. I am also training for a half marathon for the first time in June and find your beginners plan very manageable. The key for me will be to stay consistent. I started my treadmill runs slower than you like 3.5 and thought I was gonna die the first few times but I have worked my way to 4.0. I usually listen to music when I run. I have not tried watching tv as I am not the most graceful person. I worry I will get distracted and fall. There have been a few wipeouts on the treadmill in the past. Keep up the great work- I appreciate your 'real' approach to life and training.


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