Tag Archives: running

Half Marathon Training Week 1 recap and My Running Story

I’m starting my training with Hal Higdon’s novice 5k plan because I have not run regularly since I ran a half marathon last December. I ran the Decker Challenge in Austin and it was my first half marathon ever.


Do my fingers look less swollen like this?

I had never run that far before. In fact, before starting training for that race I had only ever run 6-8k tops.

For a first half marathon, I picked a HARD one. The Decker Challenge is full of hills, with a really long incline around mile 10.


Not my photo. I can’t believe I ran this.

I used Hal Higdon’s novice plan for half marathons to train for it. The longest run you do in that plan is a 10 miler the week before the race. According to Hal, you didn’t need to run more than that before your first half marathon, because the adrenaline and excitement you experience during the race will get you through to the end. Well, for me it was sheer willpower. After that huge hill at mile 10, it took EVERYTHING I had to get through that race. I HAD to finish. And I HAD to finish having run the whole thing. Those thoughts were the only things keeping me going. I had no music to push me and no podcasts to distract me. John was on a business trip at the time and I didn’t have many running friends or people who would willingly wake up early on Sunday morning to cheer me on. So, I didn’t even have that to keep me going…. just me and my thoughts. I was also running in between two pace groups, the 2:15 group I believe and the 2:20 group.For a lot of those last few miles I was running by myself.

I have never been good at running. Always huffing and puffing and lagging behind. Hating my life with every step. I remember being a senior in high school and having to run just one km during PE and I was dying. I was only 18, how embarrasing, right? I wasn’t overweight, just really unfit. I also have a pretty high resting heart rate. In the 90’s last time I checked, which really bothers me.

I didn’t start running for exercise until I was a Sophomore in college and I had gained the Sophomore 15. I had to start out really slowly. Run/walking until I could do 3 miles without walking. I was pretty confident in my running at that point. So much so that during the annual sportsfest at the university I was attending I signed up to run the one mile race after the original runner had cancelled. Sportsfest was just an event where different floors of the different dorm buildings at the school competed against each other. Some students were athletes, most were not, so it wasn’t a super serious competition. I had just had a bowl of oatmeal and the race was in half an hour, “yeah, I can totally do it.”


Look at how confident I was

Well, I nearly barfed after that race. I did come in third though, out of four.

After that I didn’t run for a few years until I moved to Amsterdam and lived near the Amsterdamse bos (Amsterdam forest).


Amsterdamse bos on a really good day. Also not my photo!

I decided I would start running in there and I started out slowly until I could run 6-8k without stopping. I would always quit in the winter time though because I couldn’t and still can’t stand the cold. In fact, it was the cold that stopped me from going running last year after the Decker Challenge and I lived in TEXAS.

When I moved to Austin I lived right next to a busy trail which was always full of runners.


Just one of the many things I miss about Austin.

I got inspired to start running again after yet another hiatus and signed up for the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5 mile race. I had so much fun I decided I was going to train for a half marathon and the rest… the rest is history.

I have about nine months to train for this next half marathon which is why I’m starting with the 5k plan. I’m also taking my dog out running with me and he needs to slowly build up his miles too. He has gotten way out of shape since we left Austin.


Time to get fit doggy!

I want to try to keep running after this race. Now that I live in California there are a bunch of cool races around: Big Sur, the North Face challenge (I think), the San Francisco half, the San Francisco women’s half, and so on and so forth.

I do really miss the trail I used to live by in Austin though. I just don’t see as many runners out here. I like running where other people are also running around me.

Training is going well so far. This week the longest run was 1.75 miles. Piet, my dog, is getting used to it too. When he hears my watch beep he starts running. I listen to podcasts while I run. If I listen to music I have a tendency to blast it and that’s not good for my ears. I find podcasts a lot more distracting than music too. I try to listen to inspirational podcasts to help me feel hopeful about my life. It’s a good start to my day.


Disneyland Tinkerbell Half Marathon Training Day 1!

This morning I woke up super early and took my dog out with me for my first run in nearly ten months. Last December I participated in a half marathon. After the event, I kept running now and then for about a month and then I just stopped. It was winter time, and I was tired of getting up early to run in the cold. One particularly cold day I woke up and decided to just stay in bed. And you could say I’ve basically stayed in bed since!

I didn’t really workout regularly again until June. I did stay active: a lot of walking with my dog, I commuted around the city on my bike, and stuff like that. I just didn’t set aside an hour of my day solely dedicated to training of any kind. The last 4.5 months I’ve been doing some strength training and treadmill running at the gym.

This morning was my first run and since I have 9 months until the half marathon, I decided to start with an 8 week 5k plan. The first run was only 1.5 miles. I thought my running on the treadmill would have helped me out but it didn’t as much as I thought it would. They might as well be two different workouts. One thing it does though is keep up my cardio but my legs were still super tired during this first run and I ran really slowly: 12:30 was my avg pace. My average pace for the half marathon last year was 10:20 and it was for the Decker Challenge in Austin, which is known for being a hilly race.

Nine months is more than enough time though. My plan is to do Hal Higdon’s novice 5k plan for the first 8 weeks, and then go through his novice half marathon training plan twice before the race. I’ll have to see if there is space to maybe do some repeat weeks if needed.

I’m super excited. If all goes well I might register for the Walt Disney World Marathon next although maybe not. Disneyland is at least in the same state I’m in. I might look for other interesting races in California to do instead.

This will be my first Run Disney event and second half marathon ever. I appreciate any and all tips! Especially if it’s related to Disney running events!