Thursday, March 31, 2011

Favorite Half Marathon Training Program

Ok, so maybe it's a little presumptuous to call this my favorite since it is the only one that I've followed to conclusion and have only ran one half marathon in my life... BUT!!  I have reasons to support my statement.  The first being that when I was putting a schedule together for myself last year, I looked through at least six to eight other programs and felt that this one had the best chance of fitting into my busy life of taking care of two little ones.  Second, my sister-in-law has ran several half marathons and her feeling is that her fastest half came as a result of using this program.  So, I wanted to share.

I did a little research, and the program was written by Bill Pierce.  He originally had created a marathon training program called FIRST, which I understand is also very successful.  He then cooperated with Runners World to create this 10 week half training program.

Some other reasons why I think it is a plan that can be successful:
  1. It's not alot of hassle.  It is running three days a week - so relatively low mileage and reduces the risk of over-training or burnout... or better yet for busy Mom's making three runs work in a week is pretty do-able!
  2. The three runs that you do are specifically purposed to give you the most benefit.  Speedwork makes you faster; tempo runs raise your lactate threshold, enabling you to hold a faster pace; and long runs increase endurance.
    • Speed sessions vary between 400s, 800s, and 1600-meter repeats.
    • Tempo runs build up from two miles to eight miles at faster than your normal pace, and faster than your targeted half-marathon pace.
    • Long runs are done slightly slower than your targeted half-marathon pace but not as slow as you might typically run for a long run.
  3. The times for each run are tailored specifically for your goal finish time.  It gives you the exact paces to try and hit for your runs.
  4. Cross-training is encouraged but not required to hit your target pace.  The plan recommends that you take one or two rest days and cross train for 30 to 40 minutes on the other days, gradually upping the intensity as you get fitter.
So... I can attest that this works.  I did not do any of the cross training but was pretty good about getting in my three runs.  The last three weeks of the program I struggled getting all of my runs in, but as the program has a two week taper, it did not hurt me much as I still finished 11 minutes UNDER my goal time!

I created a training program page with the details of the plan; choosing your goal time, setting your target paces, and the actual 10 week schedule.  I thought it might be nicer to have on a page without all of my above ramblings!  Let me know if you find it as successful of a plan as I did or if you made adjustments for yourself that made it better for you!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Struggling with uncertainty ...

I'm having one of those kinds of days where the uncertainty of what the future holds for my kids is really trying to make me anxious.  More specifically, what the future holds for "Peanut".  She is still struggling with speech and seeing the verbal gap between her and "Nutmeg" (who is 22mo younger) increase is hard.  As a Mom, I want to fix it for her... but I can't.  I want to fill in the word for her when she doesn't, but she won't learn that way.  The SLP's that she works with are becoming more convinced that she has childhood apraxia of speech.  Unfortunately, there is no test they can administer to determine this definitively.  They arrive at it by eliminating most other possibilities.  It also means that it is uncertain to what degree she will overcome her speech delay.  And, there's that word again, "uncertain"...

I was talking with my sister today and we arrived at the conclusion that sometimes God uses our kids to help teach us that we are not in control and that we need to trust.  That's one of my biggest road bumps right now.  I find it much easier to trust if I know what the expected outcome is supposed to be, even if it isn't one that I would prefer.  But trusting when I am walking down a dimly lit path?  Really?   *sigh*  So, I picked myself up today for the umpteenth time, said a prayer asking God to teach my stubborn self how to trust, and smiled at my girl because she really is exactly how God intended her to be... my beautiful little miracle!  Tomorrow... well that's another day and one in which, hopefully, I'm a little closer to the path of Trust!!

Here are a few of my favorite pictures of Peanut!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I have been wanting to start blogging for a long time and have half started and stopped several times... so here goes, for real!!  My reasons for blogging are not that my life is so interesting, on the contrary, it is quite ordinary.  HOWEVER - there is nothing wrong with ordinary, in fact it is in other people sharing their "ordinary" lives and struggles that have been a huge inspiration for me!!  My other reasons are more "selfish"... I have been needing some additional motivation in many areas of my life and have always felt what better way to increase your motivation than to make yourself accountable to someone.  I hope you don't mind that someone is you! :)  But don't worry, not all my posts will be about my struggles... I'm sure a fair amount will simply be about life and my two beautiful little girls!! :)