I’ve run quite a few half marathons. I could go back and count, but I’m pretty sure it’s somewhere between 15-20. I don’t really care the exact number. When I started it was a brand new thing and 13.1 miles seemed so far and a huge accomplishment. I really had no idea how I was going to get to that mileage. I went to a bookstore and grabbed a stack of books on half marathons. I chose one based on the fact that I agreed with enough things that the author said that I would trust him to get me to 13.1 miles. I chose the beginner plan since I was very much a beginner. I think I had run up to 7 miles at that point. I know I had run a few 10ks and a quarter marathon. I had done a handful of sprint triathlons and one olympic distance, but never had really trained for long distance running. It worked, I made it to the finish line and right at my 2:10 goal. It was exciting and I fell in love with distance running. After that I don’t really remember how I trained for half marathon number two. I ran a full marathon three months after that first half so assume I didn’t have trouble keeping up mileage for a half four months later. I was able to cut 10 minutes off my time and break two hours with a 1:59:56. I was pretty stoked. I later worked with a coach. I didn’t really like how that worked out. It wasn’t the right fit. I ran a faster half. I got injured training for another full. Blah, blah, blah. Skipping over quite a bit that I’ve probably already rambled on about and cut forward several years to now: I’m once again coming back from injury and want to train for a half marathon.
I know how to slowly build up my mileage. That’s exactly what I’m already doing. But I want a plan. I’m sitting here with books and the internet and I literally don’t like any of the plans I’m finding. They either run too many days a week or not enough or have you running way too many miles the week before a race. I currently think I know too much and too little at the same time. I know I can get back to the miles. I’m not worried about that, but I want a plan. I think I know why I worked with a coach over the last few years. At least this time was a lot more successful than the first time I used a coach. But right now I’m paying for a personal trainer and that is important to keeping me healthy. I do not have the money to pay for a running coach on top of that. I’m thinking about it for my November half, but need to decide what the hell I’m doing for my August half.
I think I’m going back to good old pencil and a paper calendar. I will make my own plan. I have written a few for a friend. I generally know what to do and I think a lot of it will come back. I’m not planning on any speed work right now. I’m still hyper-paranoid about re-injury so will stick with my painstakingly slow mileage build-up. On a positive note I did register for the Madison Mini so that really is happening. It will be awesome and there will be post-race beers on the terrace.