Owens Corning Half Marathon Training Recap: Week 1

I’ll be recapping each week of my training leading up to the Owens Corning Half Marathon in April. I’m running with Dave’s Spring Marathon In-Training (MIT) for 16 weeks leading to race day. If you’re local and interested in joining, you can still sign-up for Dave’s MIT through January 31st or the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon weekend.

The temperatures this week were still below zero with windchill, but I got by with a newly activated gym membership and my first trip of 2018. It was actually cold enough on Saturday morning to cancel our first group run. In an excellent weekend to get away, I finished my long run on a beautiful 45/50 degree day in Austin, as well as two more runs from week 2.

This was my second time visiting the city so I was already anticipating running along the Colorado River, through Zilker Park, and along all of the paths. Austin is an excellent running town and it’s running paths and dog parks won Alex and I over again. My favorite segment, appropriately named “Just Like Jesus” on Strava, takes you across floating paths over the river. Alex’s favorite part is undoubtedly the section through the dog park where dogs of all sizes are run, chase squirrels, or dive into the river to swim (even in January).

Aside from an extra, unplanned rest day on Monday from an enthusiastic celebration the evening before, the first week went well. I’m trying to prioritize sticking to the schedule this year. There’s obviously room for a little personal grace, but if I need to run before work, I want to get it done on time, instead of pushing it off until later or cutting it short because I don’t want to get into the office late. Stick to the plan. Make it a priority so that training doesn’t eat up other important, non-training time.

  • Monday: Rest day (New Years Day)
  • Tuesday: 1 warm-up mile, 2 @ half marathon pace (9:05, 9:05), and 1 cool-down miles on the treadmill
  • Wednesday: (am) 3 easy miles on the treadmill (pm) Pure Barre
  • Thursday: (am) Pure Barre (pm) my first Dave’s MIT track workout at BGSU: warm-up, 9 x 2 minutes hard with a 1 minute jog in between, cool-down. The “indoor track” function of my watch estimated 4.2 miles. 9 repeats were hard. Actually, 1 repeat was hard, but it is extra motivating to keep going when you really want to pull over and stop.
  • Friday: Rest day/travel day
  • Saturday: 5.2 mile long run
  • Sunday: Rest day
  • Weekly mileage = 16.4 miles, 2 PB

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Spring Training Begins in the Winter, Arctic Tundra Previously Known as NW Ohio

This side of 2018 is cold. Like coming-at-you-from-a-nonnegotiable-treadmill-situation-because-it-feels-like-negative-fifteen cold. I felt I ought to explain the title if you’re reading this from somewhere you can feel your face when you walk outside. Winter wanted us to build our resilience fast this year.

It’s been three months since the Chicago Marathon, and I’ve been sleeping more, running less, and brainstorming how I’d like to train for a spring half marathon.

A couple things cleared up the latter quite nicely. First, I was selected as a 2018 Mercy Health Glass City Marathon Ambassador. As you might remember from last year’s spring training, the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon is my hometown race, and I finished with a huge PR at their Owens Corning Half Marathon event. As I wrote in my application, I love the city of Toledo, and I love running and racing; the combination of the two makes up just about my favorite day in this city.

Both events run by my parents’ home, but I spent my childhood happily sleeping through the opportunity to cheer on the runners. By the time I became a runner, life never lined up with the ability to come home and run it until I moved back to the city after graduate school. After running the half marathon event last year, I knew I wanted to run it again, and the new ambassadorship just cemented it as my goal race.

Second, after the persuasion of neighbors, fellow Pure Barre-rs, and other convincing testimonials, I signed-up for the Dave’s Spring Marathon In-Training (MIT). The 16-week long program appropriately began on the first day of the 2018, and I’m really excited to push my comfort zone and train with a group. This year’s Owens Corning Half Marathon will be half #6, and I’m looking forward to continuing to build on my best running year yet. It’s only been three days in, and my husband (who has also signed up for his first Dave’s MIT) can attest to how ridiculously excited I’ already am to be a part of a local group who loves running as much as I do. If you’re interested, you can still sign-up for Dave’s MIT through January 31st. We meet at least once a week at an indoor track and on the weekend for the long run in rotating metroparks.

I waited until 2-3 days before the start of the new year to commit because I was battling my con list excuses (I don’t know that many people, what if I can’t keep up with my group, is it worth the weekly drive to the track, I usually run alone). Ultimately, I finally decided that I couldn’t determine it wasn’t for me until I tried. Honestly, that’s what I would tell you if you’re also considering trying something new this year. If you’re thinking about training for your first half marathon (or 5k or whatever), register for one and give it a try before writing it off. Most importantly, don’t give yourself an easy out. I can guarantee you training might not be very fun in the beginning when the alarm clock rings earlier than usual and your lungs are burning, but you might just discover you love it anyway.

I was reading Lauren Fleshman’s blog post on the art of goal setting, and one line in particular jumped out at me. I’d been mulling over my half marathon race goal before committing to a pace group at Dave’s MIT, and I caught myself doubting my ability to run that fast.

An appropriate goal stretches you but still assumes some sh#t will go down in the pursuit of it.  -Lauren Fleshman

I laughed out loud when I read that because it seemed so obvious. I didn’t expect my new goal would be achieved easily.  It’ll stretch me (because I’m trying to do hard things), sh#t will go down in the pursuit of making it happen, and I’ll come out the other end.

Anyway, I’m very excited to represent the Glass City Marathon and continue to share why it’s a race I’ll continue to return to and you should try (if you don’t already know about this speedy, hometown gem). I hope you had a happy new year, and I’ll be sharing my first week of training on Monday.

My favorite running training partners: Alex and our pup Schezney.