13.1 in 5?

I’m a runner who has in recent years shifted from competitive racing (half marathons and full marathons) to more “recreational” running (the outdoor weekday jog or 10-minute miles on the hamster wheel while watching the latest episode of American Idol or 90210).

My husband is interested in running a half marathon on May 15th, as in, 5 weeks from this Saturday. Eep! As I seem to recall, running a half marathon is one of my New Years Resolutions, and we are one-third through 2010 already, folks.

I’ve been ill-prepared for marathons before, and it’s not pretty. Or fun. Torture, really, is the name of that game. My average mileage is currently at about 15-20 miles a week with 1-2 hockey games a week (and as of late, some yoga and strength thrown in there). I run 10:00-10:30 minute miles comfortably for long distances and simply want to finish and not be stiff as a board for the following 3 weeks.

As many of you are much more seasoned runners and racers than I, do you advise for or against this race? If for, any recommendations on training schedules? 🙂 In other words, can you play Hal Higdon for me? Five weeks just isn’t much time to prepare…and I just KNOW I’ll need a taper week in there 😉 Additionally, I have a hockey tournament the weekend before the race.

Am I crazy? Or should I go for it?! It makes me nervous just thinking about it! I haven’t run over 7 or 8 miles in a REALLY long time!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Thanks for everyone’s insightful comments yesterday. There were a lot of really great points made and I respect all food preferences, even if I don’t personally agree with them.

Question: What distance race is your favorite and why? Can be running, walking, biking, swimming…whatever!

Get me in the race moooood, please!! 😀

I have had hockey games the past 2 nights and have been at a computer approximately 43 seconds (okay, I exaggerate a bit…but not much!) each of the past 2 days. So, I look forward to a calmer day today and catching up with you all! Thanks for being such loyal, wonderful readers. You make my heart smile!

P.S. Holly over at The Balance Broad is giving away Larabars! Check it out!

Almost Friday,

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42 Comments

Filed under challenge, diet, exercise, hockey, marathon, physical activity, racing, running, work, yoga

42 responses to “13.1 in 5?

  1. I don’t know what to tell you. I think of you’ve done them before and you’re not looking for a particular time goal then go for it. I’d just jump the long run mileage a lot more than normal each week.
    And I said I wasn’t sure what to say 🙂

  2. I think if you go into it to have fun and not try to break your PR or set any major goal… you should go for it! Would you be alright if you ran/walked the half?

  3. i think if you are reasonable about your training, it can be done. when i first started running, the longest i had run before my first half was only 9 miles.

  4. thehealthyjunky

    You can do it Nicole!
    After reading all your post the last couple of weeks, you sound like a very busy busy person. However, you seem to manage your time very well. I would only take it on it you feel you can handle the training. The last one I did, I did not have enough time to train and it was miserable. Throwing up everyone at the finishing line haha 😦 There’s a marathon taking place this Sunday in downtown STL and I just dedicated my post today to one of my friends who will be running it. I was reading your post and I was like OMG too funny!
    Anyway, have a good day!

  5. I think as long as you run easy and walk when you need to then it is fine. But don’t go out and race it because that is just an injury waiting to happen!

  6. A lot of people say you don’t have to run the total miles when training for a long race. Classic e.g. is the marathon. We run up to 20 to 22 miles and not the 26 so you can proceed with that mind set.

    Also, if you increase your miles in the next few weeks, and get close, say 10 miles, then use the half as a training run. Have fun with it. Take it slow. Walk when you have to. Enjoy the race.

    If you are one to get SO nervous that it will completely consume your thoughts for then next 5 weeks, then don’t do it. Racing should be fun and not a painful (mentally at least) experience.

  7. I would say you’re kinda short on training time, but you’re seasoned enough to where you can totally do it! But I agree with Kelly- don’t get overly competitive with it… know your limits and walk if you need to!

  8. I am not a distance person at all…lol. I walk and don’t count distance, other than that, I’m on the elliptical. 🙂

  9. I agree that if you can get to 10 miles, you’ll be totally fine to finish a half! You have five weeks, so spend 3-4 of them upping your long run (say you’re comfortable at 6 miles now – do 7 this week, 8 next, then 9, then 10) and then tack a one-week mini-taper on to the end.

    You can definitely do it!

  10. I definitely think it’s doable! Are you familiar with the Galloway method? (Run/walk)? Maybe you could use that if you find yourself in pain during the race. I do have to say, though, to be careful! My first 1/2 marathon I ran, the longest training run I did was 7 miles. I ended up getting a stress fracture during the race and was off from running for 6 weeks. 😦 But if you just listen to your body and walk if you have pain, you will do great!

    I would have to say my favorite distance would be a marathon. I hope and pray I’m able to again one day. I even had a dream about it last night! I love the long training runs, especially – miss those days!

  11. I’d say you could run it just for fun, and if needed to take some walking breaks you always could! It would probably be nice to run a race with no pressure on!

  12. I think it’s totally doable!! I ran my first half marathon and didn’t train properly. The most I ever ran before it was 6 miles. Yes, I was a little sore the next day, but I made it and was able to run the entire thing without stopping. I’d say try to work up to at least 9-10 miles before the race and you should be good to go.

  13. You can do it!!!! If you’ve getting regular cardio, and even running 8 miles occasionally, you can so handle a 13.1. I just ran a half marathon in Prague after 2 weeks of no running (granted I was doing a great job carb loading in Italy).

    This is as close as I can get you to a consultation with Hal Higdon: I customize a running schedule for every race. Love it better than any book. 🙂

    Good luck!

  14. I honestly have no idea.. though I think it is possible. I ran a 10 m race with no preparation at all and I suffered but survived ;).

  15. I’d say go for it with the training, and then if you get to mile 9 or 10 in your training runs and feel really overwhelmed, you can always back out of it!

  16. I think if you set your expection for just finishing and trying to have fun go for it! During my first half marathon my longest prep run was 10 miles and I was only sore for a couple days after the half. Just don’t push yourself too hard during the training so that you don’t hurt yourself.

  17. I say go for it. If you’ve been regularly running… then you should be fine. As long as you listen to your body and walk when you need to 🙂

  18. My favorite distance run is from the couch to the fridge, but in the spirit of keeping with fitness, I love the short interval runs with quick bursts of high intensity coupled with a slow jog . My fav. 🙂

  19. I feel SO rude….I forgot to thank you for the shout out! 🙂

  20. That seems stressful! Is there another race you could pick that would give you more time? I would say pick another option if one is available. I don’t like my goals to be making me TOO stressed. And it sounds like this one is to you. I think you could do it, but it might be hard on you mentally and physically. More so than it would have to be.

    And perfect race length for me would probably be a 5K. I have never run a race so that is the only length that even sounds remotely doable to me. HA!

  21. I bet you can do it. You’ve still been running so it’s not like a couch to half marathon type thing.

  22. I think you could do it, you’re just going to have to increase your mileage a bit more than suggested each week. I would run 11 miles the week before the half marathon, and then taper. The last 2.1 might be tough on race day but you’re tough and could push through

  23. I’m definitely not a seasoned runner, but it seems like that race is coming up fast. As long as you were willing to take some walk breaks I think you could do it though! I can’t wait to hear what you decide!

  24. There is no reason you can’t walk a portion of it, unless that feels like cheating yourself or your resolution. If you can get to 10 I’m told you should be able to finish (LOL says the person who can only run 5). Just see it as something you are doing for fun, don’t focus on your time or speed or competition, just run for the joy of running with all that energy and excitement around you it should be fun.

  25. If you were a runner before, you might be able to do it but I am scared that you might get injured if you push yourself to hard….if anything, you can walk and run it =)

    BUENA SUERTE! (you make my heart smile t00)

  26. If you want to do it, then go for it. If your weekly mileage isn’t high then you don’t necessarily need a true taper. You could still do a “longer” run the weekend before the race. That way you could just treat the 1/2 as another long run and not like a race. What’s the longest distance you’ve most recently ran?

  27. I don’t know if I would do it with only 5 weeks to train. you don’t want to hurt yourself trying to add tons of mileage in a short amount of time!!

    If you decide to do it, more power to you!! i just don’t know if I could personally handle it.

  28. If you think you can do it, I say go for it. However, if you don’t want to be “stiff as a board” like you said, I wouldn’t. You have a very busy schedule and if you think you won’t be able to train properly, I would say not to do it. Your health and sanity is more important than a race. Is there another race you can run in the future?

  29. YES I think you should def do it!! and you have plenty ot time to prepare…you used to be a runner so you can get right back into the swing og it. I think that no matter how much you train…when you run in a race there is a certain RUSH of adrenaline that has to do with everyone around you competing and it makes it so much easier than you think!

  30. You should go for it! Even if you don’t make it all the way running, I’m sure you’ll be able to walk your way to the finish, and with that deserves a big smile and feeling really good! I would like to find a boy interested in running a race with me haha.

  31. Wow, a hockey tournament the weekend before the race? You’re a busy lady, Nicole! I think it’s doable if you’ve got the time…just don’t put too much on yourself at one time. Good luck, whatever you choose to do! 🙂

  32. I think you can totally do it! Physically you are in shape, so with just a few longer runs I think you will be able to accomplish a half! I just did my first half and did not feel prepared at all. I had to take 3 weeks off a month prior to the race due to an knee injury and then the last 2 weeks before the race I couldn’t run due to blisters. My longest run was actually only 11 miles that I complete 2 weeks before my half but I was able to complete my half marathon last Saturday and within 3 days was no longer sore or in any pain from the race! I say go for it! 🙂

  33. whydeprive

    Ive never run a race before. I was supposed to run a half marathon 2 summers ago, but my boyfriend got me deathly ill the day before. Yah – I was impressed.

  34. You can do it! I’ve always trained for a half-marathon and never run more than 20 miles a week and that was at the very end of training. If you’re running 15-20 now, you should be fine. Oh, and every training program that I have used has topped out at 10 miles.

  35. Vicki

    I think that if you are already running 15-20 miles a week, you could definitely be ready for a half in 5 weeks! Sounds like you’d be going into it with reasonable goals and a great outlook. 🙂

    • Vicki

      I forgot to mention that any running advice I give should be taken with a grain of salt. I am not an experienced runner and I’m only training for my 2nd half-marathon ever, not 22nd or anything like that. Either way, good luck with your decision!

  36. Good luck on your training if you decide to run this race. I am not much of a runner although I actually ran a mile last week, in the rain. I thought the treadmill was broken so I just went for it. It was more like a 1 mile jog, but I did it.

  37. I think if you really want to run the race you should but if you are debating it and really cannot decide I do not think you should. I think then you should sign up for one down the line..

    That is so cool that you play hockey. My dad who is 51 still plays hockey in leagues. So I grew up loving hockey & it is still one of the best sports to watch I think! Are you in a competitive league or a just for fun league?

  38. Hmm..I would love to tell you to just do it! Because it will feel so awesome afterward. But then again, I’m no stranger from feeling the bad effects of training, or should I say over training. I had plans to run a half and I was already running 5 miles. Then suddenly I was feeling ambitious and jumped to 8 miles, then 10. I was so pumped after I reached 10 knowing I can fully do a half marathon. Then days later I could barely bend my knee and had to start over at only running 2 miles at a time. I’m back to 5 right now but I missed my 2 chances of doing a half and regret that I didn’t take my time training. However, you just have to trust your own body and make the decision for yourself. Let us know what you decide!

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