The Next Big Thing!

Well, it’s official. I signed up for another big race.

Photo on 7-19-15 at 7.43 PM

Yes, this does call for an overly-enthusiastic, makeup-free selfie. I am proud to have the confidence to feel good about signing up for a race more than 2 months in advance. I wasn’t this confident a year, or even 6 months ago, so this is a good feeling.

I’ll be running the Houston Half Marathon on October 25. I ran this race last year and had a great time, so I’m looking forward to running it again.

I’m incorporating more speedwork into my plan, so that I can get faster, and found Hal Higdon’s intermediate plan to be a good starting point.

Because I don’t want to run 5 days a week, the plan is to replace one of the easier runs with a cross training day (kickboxing, here I come). I’ll also incorporate strength training once a week, if possible.

The training schedule on Hal’s website is also only 12 weeks, and I’m about 14 weeks out from training (well, 15 as of starting to train last week). I added a few weeks to build a more solid base and reacclamate to running in the hot, hot heat.

So, here’s my schedule:

Week 1 (14 mi.): 3.0 mi. | 30 min. tempo | 3.0 mi. | 5.0 mi.

Week 2 (15 mi.): 3.o mi. | 6 x 400 m. | 3.0 mi. |  6.0 mi.

Week 3 (16.5 mi.): 3.0 mi. | 35 min. tempo | 3.0 mi. | 7.0 mi.

Week 4 (13.5 mi.): 3.0 mi. | 5 x 400 m. | 3.0 mi. | 5.0 mi.

Week 5 (15 mi.): 3.0 mi. | 30 min. tempo | 3.0 mi. pace | 6.0 mi.

Week 6 (12.5 mi.): 3.5 mi. | 6 x 400 m. | 3.0 mi. | 5K race

Week 7 (17 mi.): 3.5 mi. | 35 min. tempo | 3.0 mi. | 7.0 mi.

Week 8 (18.5 mi.): 4.0 mi. | 7 x 400 m. | 3.0 mi. pace | 8.0 mi.

Week 9 (17 mi.): 4.0 mi. | 40 min. tempo | 3.0 mi. | 10K race

Week 10 (21.5 mi.): 4.5 mi. | 8 x 400 m. | 4.0 mi. pace | 9.0 mi.

Week 11 (23.5 mi.): 4.5 mi. | 40 min. tempo | 5.0 mi. pace | 10.0 mi.

Week 12 (21.5 mi.): 5.0 mi. | 9 x 400 m. | 3.0 mi. | 15K race

Week 13 (25.5 mi.): 5.0 mi. | 45 min. tempo | 5.0 mi. pace | 11.0 mi.

Week 14 (25 mi.): 5.0 mi. | 10 x 400 m. | 3.0 mi. | 12.0 mi.

RACE WEEK – Week 15 (21.5 mi.): 4.0 mi. | 30 min. tempo | 3.0 mi. | 13.1 RACE DAY

After marathon training, this looks very doable on paper. I’m hoping to average 11 minute miles on race day, but we’ll see how it goes. So far I’ve been very slow, so hopefully perhaps that’s because of the heat and just getting back into the swing of things.

I’m a very results-driven person, so the thought of setting a goal and not meeting it is daunting. With running especially, I have a difficult time setting a high enough goal for myself without being unrealistic. Without doing any speed training before, I’m not 100% sure how much I can expect to improve overall, but I’m hopeful that the results will be uplifting in the end. At the very least, I think I can meet last year’s goal of under 2 hours and 30 minutes.

What’s helped you get faster, and how do you gauge/set realistic athletic goals for yourself?

Cheers to half marathon #2!

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