Half Marathon Game Plan

The final run of my half marathon training plan is D-O-N-E!


5 Mile Stats

I must say it feels so good to be completely finished with training.

I am not a naturally good runner. I don’t just fall into a comfortable stride immediately and breathe effortlessly as I run. Running, for me, is work. Though it is tough for me, I do enjoy the way my body feels after a good run and the clarity of my thoughts during a run. (You may read my running story here.)

That being said, it sure will be nice not to feel like I have to run on certain days after this race on Sunday!

I like working out in the morning, but I also like doing what I want to do to get my heart rate up. Without a half marathon looming over my head, I’ll feel much more free to take a spinning class, swim or complete a challenging interval workout.

Clearly I’ve missed the variety in my cardio workouts! Variety, after all, is the spice of life! πŸ˜€

Half Marathon Game Plan

As I was running this morning, I started to think about my game plan for Sunday’s race.

Initially my training plan had me completing a 12 mile run last Saturday, but since my training was derailed for a couple of weeks due to some serious pain in my heel, my long run only ended up being 10 miles. I actually felt pretty wiped out after the 10 mile run, so I am going to be sure to listen to my body during the half and take breaks when I need to.

Though I was never planning to run for time, I did have a little goal in the back of my head to run the entire race without stopping like I did during my first (and only) half marathon back in 2007.

Well, I’m officially scratching that goal. I am going to embrace breaks if I need them. In fact, I am planning to stop at the five and 10 mile mark for at least a full minute to refuel and stretch.

My new goal is to seriously enjoy the race. I will be running it with four of my girlfriends and want to have a great time before, during and after the race.

Of course I will put forth serious effort to get to the finish line because I can’t just breeze through 13.1 miles, but I am excited to run a race for fun and not worry about anything other than enjoying the race and the people I’m running it with.

And that, my friends, is my new game plan. πŸ˜€

I really wrote all of the above content to sort through my own thoughts, so I apologize for those of you who are drooling and falling asleep at your computer screens now. How about we move swiftly into breakfast to tantalize your senses and bring you back to life?


Why is peanut butter so good? I mean seriously. Why?

Why can’t broccoli taste like peanut butter so I could eat buckets and buckets of it every day?

Obviously peanut butter made a stellar appearance in my breakfast this morning in the form of a peanut butter and peach sandwich.

PB + Nutmeg

After spreading a copious amount of peanut butter onto half of a whole wheat sandwich thin (and eating a peanut butter finger in the process), I placed peach slices on the other half and dusted the sandwich with nutmeg for a little extra flava-flav.

Life's a Peach

The Goods

It's Not Okay to Look That Delicious

I was still a little hungry after this sandwich (running will do that to ya!), so I also enjoyed a creamy cup of Chobani plain Greek yogurt with a squirt of honey.


Breakfast is easily my favorite meal of the day!

Questions of the Day

  • Are you a competitive person? Were you competitive growing up?
  • If you’re a runner, do you run races for time or run them for fun… or a mix of the two?

48 Responses

  1. I’ve never been competitive with others, but am competitive with myself. I run races for the personal challenge… Not only time, but to see if I can push myself to new limits.

  2. Hey Julie! Good Luck on Sunday! And I really hope to see and meet you Sunday!

  3. I am not competitive, at all! Due yo that, I basically just run for fun! Yes, it’s fun to beat a PR, but I never set out with that in mind, bc I feel like that just adds too much pressure and doesn’t allow you to fully enjoy the experience!

  4. I’m not super competitive, but I would love to run a race! I used to play soccer when I was little and all the way through high school, but I’m not so much into team sports. I think there’s a physical component of athleticism and working out, and I like to do my stuff solo – I love yoga, biking, everything! But I definitely also run for fun and health.

  5. Only competitive with myself.

  6. I have to admit itΒ΄s kind of relieving to hear your game plan. I often feel intimidated by all these awesome running plans/times on blogs I read. I know I COULD push myself to run harder, faster, stronger, etc. But I also know that every time I have (i.e. all of high school) I just ended up burning out and not having fun.

    I still like to challenge myself, but fun comes first.

    P.S. Breakfast is undeniably the best meal of the day!

  7. I love your new game plan – hooraaay for fun and girlfriends πŸ˜€ that’s the best way to look at it, Julie – positivity – AMEN SISTA! I’m so happy for you – and congrats on all the hard work, you deserve so much credit, through injuries and all πŸ™‚ you ROCK!

    I am definitely competitive, but only to an extent – if being competitive is gonna ruin the fun, then count me out πŸ˜› I was a competitive figure skater for most of my childhood up until I started college, now I just do it for fun, and I still adore it just as much!

    Love breakfast – who woulda thunk peanut butter and peach go together?!


  8. The peanut butter and peach combo sounds delish! I would have never though to pair the two ; )

    I love running and doing races but it is now for the fun and the health of it! I used to be more competetive with myself – but did not enjoy it as much that way.

    Good luck & have fun!!!!

  9. Congrats on completing your training, you’re going to do great sunday!!
    The only person I am competitive with is myself, love pushing myself to the limit.

    I was just wondering, apart from your long runs during training do you ever do HIIT training?

    Have a great day:)

  10. Hope you have a great time running the half on sunday! Enjoy your bachelorette weekend. I know you girls will have a bunch of fun in Chicago.

  11. Good luck with the race this weekend – have fun with it!

    I definitely run my races for the mix of competitiveness/fun. I want to do well, but I don’t want to kill myself. πŸ™‚ I am a competitor by nature though – years of swimming will do that to ya!

  12. I can be a super competitive person, I was competitive about everything growing up, but now I’m only competitive about certain things and with certain people. I really don’t like that about myself but it is motivating.

    Running is an example of something I’m not competitive with. I love to run, I do it almost every day, but I know that I’m not a real runner so I leave that to the pros. When I run it is 100% for fun.

  13. So important to express that you are willing to listen to your body and take the breaks you need.

    I *suck* at running. I can’t figure out why I’m just no good. I feel like I have weights on my body.

    Okay that was soooo Debbie Downer! Let me rephrase. Running is difficult for me. I strive to be better, but not a true ‘runner’ per se. If I really wanted to be a runner, I believe I can πŸ™‚ There. Much better.

  14. My longest run before my half marathon was 10 miles and I finished in 2:06, so don’t sweat it!! You’ll do great. My mindset was that I wanted to keep passing people as I ran. That way, you know you’re going to do better than someone, even if it’s only one person! πŸ˜‰ Good luck Sunday!!

  15. I am more competitive with myself than other people, which can be worse sometimes. LOL

    I love your new game plan. It sounds perfect and just the way to approach a Bachelorette Weekend marathon. πŸ™‚

  16. I think running the race for fun is definitely the right idea!!!! Especially since you’ll be running it with girlfriends, and doing fun bachelorette stuff that weekend too!

  17. I think that is a great game plan for your 1/2. Since i’m running my first one in Nov I definitely have a time goal I want to meet.

  18. It’s make me so happy when I hear others aren’t natural runners. It’s such a challenge to me. I’m trying the couch to 5 k program right now to try and teach me to run… but if you can train for a half marathon without being a “runner”, then there must be hope for me yet! πŸ™‚

    • there is DEFINITELY hope for you. i know this sounds odd, but i feel JUST as tired after running a 5k as i do after running a 10k. it’s SO mental. i think whatever distance you tell yourself you’re going to run, that’s all your body wants you to do that day or something!

  19. i am SO SO competitive…i played team sports and golf growing up and it is just so engrained in me now! i love it though…i like the rush i get from competition πŸ™‚ and i like running, but i don’t love it enough to do it competitively…mostly because i’m super slow πŸ™‚

  20. That sounds like a great plan–almost identical to mine for the Chicago Half in September πŸ™‚ I just want to enjoy it!!

    Good luck and have such a fun weekend!!

  21. Hey Julie! I’ve been reading you since your O2 days, but never a commenter. πŸ™‚ Just wanted to wish you luck in yoru race!

    … And yes, I am a hugely competitive person. As soon as I realized I was running a decent pace for my 5mile race I went from running a race to say I did it to “I must win this race” lol uh oh!

  22. after trying nutmeg on my pb and banana sandwich, then yes, I’d say it’s very good!

    I hope you enjoy your half–I plan on running one next september. I am a little nervous because like you–I am not a natural runner!

    • omg really!!!??? lisa, when did you make this decision? did i totally miss it??? awesome goal!

  23. Do you do sit ups or an ab routine? If so, any tips? I hate doing ab work, but really need to. Love your blog, btw!

  24. Breakfast is easily my favorite meal of the day, too!

    Sometimes, I race competitively, but mostly I do them for fun with my friends : )

  25. Yay for getting through your training plan and good luck on your upcoming half marathon! πŸ™‚

  26. i’m only competitive w/ my boyfriends. yes, weird. even more competitive w/ my ex bf. haha. good luck on the race!

  27. Good Luck @ the race! I’m amazed that you are able to keep up your training schedule in the oppressing FL humidity (I’m in Tampa, and a pretty worthless runner in the summer!) I’m pretty competitive vs other people in most sports, but running is all about competing with myself – I run a 5K or two most months of the year & always push for a PR.

  28. I think I am pretty competitive person. I like to try and get PR’s everytime I do a marathon. I really don’t care about times for other races, but I try to come in 1st or 2nd in my age group.

  29. Goodluck! You’ll do awesome, the best goal is to have fun and you sound as if you’ve already got that down pat especially having your girlfriends with you.

  30. Growing up I started dancing when I was 3 years old. I always enjoyed it, but got really competitive when I went to an all arts high school. Now that I am 25 and no longer dancing(on a regular basis) I find myself being competitive in the gym and my yoga classes. I guess that trait never really goes away?!

  31. I am an extremely competitive person, which is one of the reasons I stay away from races! I think it would be too hard unless I was setting some sort of personal record each time. But hey, it is something I’m working on!

  32. Yay! Good luck on your race, I’m so excited for you!! I’ve been running for 7 years and finally did my first race (Disney Princess half in March) and it was ah-mazing. I also ran with friends and didn’t set a goal other than to a. have fun, b. finish and it was the best! I hurt my knee after the race but can’t wait to get back out there and run another one! Good luck!!!!!

  33. Congrats on being “done” with training, that’s an amzaing accomplisment–now you just have to run the race!

    Have an amazing bachelorette weekend, I’m sure you will!

  34. I think you will be just fine after your training…I ran a marathon in May, and my longest run was 16 miles (oops, not planned that way). One of my true beliefs about running (and fitness in general) is that your body can always push itself farther than you think. I’m not about to go out and run 100 miles or anything crazy like that, but it helps me not stress pre-race about not being able to make it. That being said, your game plan sounds just perfect – ENJOY! I’ve been looking at my own running lately much more thankfully, so that helps me enjoy each and every workout better. Have fun and good luck! πŸ˜‰

  35. I’m a very competitive person with other people and with myself, always have been and probably always will. I’m just starting to run races so at least for now they are for fun, maybe eventually I’ll start running them more seriously.

  36. Where is your run in Chicago? I live in the Chicago area.

  37. I think your plan sounds great, Julie! I am so proud of you!

  38. That sounds like a great plan! Good luck! I’m running the same race on Sunday! I ran the Chicago Marathon in the fall and the support here is AWESOME. The crowd totally gives you an extra pushβ€”much needed during the middle miles :). I hope that everything turns out GREAT and that you have an awesome Bachelorette party!

  39. I am super competitive (mostly with myself) when I run races. Since I am in the middle of marathon training right now I just started running races for fun too!

  40. My mental game is terrible these days when it comes to running! I’m not naturally a runner either, but I’m slowly getting back into after burning out from two back to back half marathons in March. Can I just say how amazing it is that this is your bachelorette weekend?! I didn’t even get a bachelorette party, much less have friend willing to train and run that kind of distance with me! Yeah, I may be a tad jealous πŸ™‚

  41. I love that you are able to change your plans! And thank you for sharing that with us. Being flexible is an important part of any exercise plan!

  42. I’m running on Sunday too (my first half- eek!) I just wanted to say I love your blog and good luck!

  43. Man… isn’t that the million dollar question? When I do halves (halfs?), I’m always so tempted to run to my full potential. However, I sign up with my friends, so I always decide I’ll enjoy my time running so much more if I run with my buddies.

    PLUS, that way, I can rope in my competitive nature I’ve alllways had! πŸ˜‰

    Sidenote – breakfast is allllways the best meal of the day!

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