My Half Marathon Training Plan

Let’s start out with a lil’ lunch…

Two egg whites + Roasted red pepper hummus + Spinach + Whole wheat sandwich thin

Egg Whites + Spinach

"Hummus, Hummus, I Got the Hummus!"

Along with my sandwich, I enjoyed fresh zucchini slices and a cold, crisp apple.


An Apple a Day...

Veggies: check! Protein: check! Fruit: check! Whole grains: check! 😀


My Half Marathon Training Plan

I am following a hodgepodge of training plans as I train for the Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon on August 1.

Chicago Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon

My plan is a hybrid of Hal Higdon’s intermediate half marathon plan (I’m only following his recommendations for the once-a-week long-run distances), a plan my friend Merri sent to me, and my own running desires.

The plan I’ve created for myself that I’ve been following looks like this:

  • M: Total-body strength training, 25 min. cross training (if desired)
  • Tu: 5 mile run
  • W: Total-body strength training, 25 min. cross training (if desired)
  • Th: 5 mile run
  • F: Total-body strength training, 25 min. cross training (if desired)
  • Sa: Long run (Increasing mileage by 1 mile a week)
  • Su: Off + Stretching

For now, this is the plan that works for me.

When I ran my first half in 2007, my goal was to run the whole thing (which I did… yay!). This time my goal is simply to finish and feel good (not dead) after the race.

I’m not incorporating any speed work or hills into my training because of the simplicity of my goal. I’m running the race at the tail-end of my bachelorette party, so simply finishing the race while still feeling energized would be a victory. 😀

Though I’ve created a plan I think is right for me, I still enjoy researching other plans and recently came across the SmartCoach free personalized training plan.

By using a recent race time and asking you questions like “how hard do you want to train” and “how many miles do you run per week,” this plan calculates a personalized plan to best meet your running goals. It’s pretty neat and I thought it might interest those of you who are training for various races as well as newbie runners who may want a more individualized plan.

Of Possible Interest

Question of the Afternoon

  • If you’ve run in a race before, did you follow a training plan? Any favorites?

Sandwiches > Salads

To me, sandwiches > salads.

Though you can cram a bunch of stuff into a salad, I still prefer lots of veggies smooshed between doughy bread smeared with whatever condiment is calling to me that day.

Chicken Sandwich

Today I made myself a simple chicken sandwich on a Pepperidge Farm whole wheat deli flat. I topped the bread with roasted red pepper hummus, spinach and plum tomato slices.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

On the side I enjoyed a cup of perfectly ripe grape tomatoes.

Grape Tomatoes

Lunch is Served

Even though it’s hotter than Hades outside, I am grateful for this season because of all the extremely fresh and inexpensive produce. 😀

Question of the Afternoon

What do you prefer: sandwiches or salads?

Lesson Learned

One should not indulge in happy hour after drinking only 20 ounces of water throughout the day, the night before going for a long run in the morning.

Lesson learned.

After work yesterday I headed out to happy hour with some of my coworkers.

(For those of you who follow me on Twitter, and are wondering if I took my greaseball hair out in public, oh yes I definitely did…


My hair was so greasy yesterday, I swear I was a brunette.)

Annnnyway, at happy hour, I only had two drinks and was home by 9:30 p.m., but I think the alcohol coupled with the lack of water in my system left me quite dehydrated.

The Run

This morning, I leashed up Sadie to conquer a 6 mile run, the first “long run” of my half marathon training plan.

For the first mile and a half, I felt fine. Strong and solid.

Around the two mile mark, a light cramp set in. By 2.2 miles, the cramp was debilitating and I had to walk. I walked for three minutes or so before attempting to run again. Major cramp again. 😦

This pattern went on for another 10 minutes or so, before I finally threw in the towel on this run and walked home.

Here are our stats for the 6-mile run that never was:

Not Quite 6...

Crampy Camper


I was really disappointed because I know that with the proper fuel and adequate hydration, the cramping would not have been an issue.

You live and you learn.

I am glad this happened to me right at the start of my training, because I now know how important it is to make the effort to drink a lot of water the day before a run. Noted. 😀


As I finished up my pseudo-run, Ryan was arriving home from the gym. We took Sadie on a quick one-mile walk before heading home for breakfast.

I made both of us egg sandwiches on honey wheat bread with spinach and roasted red pepper hummus.

Open-Faced Sandwich



Ryan and I both really liked the combination of flavors from the eggs and hummus. The pop of green color from the spinach made it look extra purdy, too!

Saturday Morning Breakfast

My Plate


Giveaway Winners

Thank you so much to all of you who entered the Monterey Pasta Company giveaway yesterday!

The winners are:

  • Sarah Jayne “I don’t discriminate when it comes to pasta- I chow it ALL! Except puttanesca. HATE olives!”
  • Kelocity “I could seriously live off of pasta. I really love any kind of pasta in a sweet tomato sauce. With a little fresh Parmesan on top. I was in heaven when I went to Italy on vacation. It never gets old!”
  • Kelly B. “I’m a simple girl and LOVE meaty marinara sauce with angel hair pasta! But, I’d have to say my all-time favorite is lasagna! My mom and grandma make the best! Now I’m hungry…”
  • Gabriela “My favorite pasta dish goes way back to my childhood- Pastina with butter!!”
  • Gina G. “I’m bad but I have 3 favorites… my momma’s unhealthy alfredo bowtie pasta, spinach ravioli’s in my mom’s delicious soup, and my grandma’s meat sauce pasta with meatballs and a hard boiled egg on top!”

Congratulations!!! Please email me at with your mailing address so I may send you your coupon for a free Monterey Pasta Company product of your choice! 😀

A Spoonful of Sugar Would Have Been Nice

Remember that song from Mary Poppins that goes,  “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down?”

Well, I think I needed a spoonful of sugar to help my sugar-free Jello knock-off dessert to go down. It was NOT GOOD and tasted like cough syrup. Bleh. 😦

I love sugar-free Jello and eat a little snack pack after lunch almost daily. At the grocery store last night I saw a different brand’s sugar-free gelatin on sale for less than half the cost of Jello.

Being the savvy shopper that I am, I picked up a bulk-size pack of the stuff. Bad move. I don’t think I’ll be enjoying anymore Tylenol-flavored desserts in the near future.

Luckily, that was the only fail of my lunch.

My grilled zucchini and roasted red pepper hummus sandwich, roasted cauliflower and two dark chocolate Dove eggs saved the day!

Roasted Cauliflower


Tuesday's Lunch

I also had a cup of Greek yogurt for some protein which alluded any photographs.

My Jello knock-off dessert was the most disappointed I’ve been in a product in a while.

What product or food have you tried recently only to be disappointed?

Race Time Predictor

This weekend I discovered something. I do not particularly like regular hummus. Blasphemy, huh?

I think it’s bland and needs a little “oomph” to taste good. What I do love, however, is flavored hummus!

My lunch today featured a combination of roasted red pepper and jalepeño cilantro hummus on a whole wheat sandwich thin with portobello mushrooms.

Lunch Time

Hummus & Mushroom Sandwich + Roasted Asparagus

On the side I enjoyed roasted asparagus, sugar-free strawberry Jello and a handful of Planters honey roasted peanuts.

I ❤ Peanuts!

Lunch was gooooood.

Race Time Predictor

Have you run a 5k or other running race recently or timed yourself on your latest run?

Keep that time in your head, and click here to enter it into a “Race Time Predictor” to check out your predicted time for other races, including a half marathon, marathon and 100 mile race! 😀

Pretty neat, huh?

Do you think the Race Time Predictor is accurate?

I think it’s a pretty decent tool and it seemed to be pretty accurate in predicting my times for various race distances.

For me, my pace is pretty similar whether I run a 5k or 10k race… I don’t run for time and literally tell myself to “slow down and enjoy the experience” when I run in a race. Still, I think the race predictor is pretty neat. Based on my last 5 mile race time, I should finish Saturday’s 10k race in 54:22. We’ll see if it’s accurate!