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!

Ugachaka, Ugachaka

I can’t stop this feelin’, Deep insiiiide of me
Girl, you just don’t realize, What you do to me
When you hold me, In your arms so tight
You let me know, Everything’s all right

I-I-I, I’m hooked on a feelin’
I’m high on believin’, That you’re in love with meeee!

I heard this song on the radio on the way to work this morning and can’t get it out of my head! I’m not complaining though because I loooove it!

What song can you never get out of your head?

You know that terrible song by Adam Lambert, “Whataya Want From Me?” Gahhh, that’s the worst one for me because I don’t like it and yet I can’t stop singing it once I hear it!


I “ugachaka-ed” my way through lunch today!

My mid-day meal was a roasted red pepper hummus and artichoke sandwich with a side of roasted veggies with garlic salt.

Hummus + Artichoke Sandwich

Thursday's Lunch


While my meal was yummy, it was my dessert that stole the show.

I give myself a pat on zee back for this one.

I dipped a coffee bean dark chocolate Attune bar into a hot mug of General Foods International French Vanilla Café.

Coffee Bean Dark Chocolate Attune Bar

When I Dip, You Dip, We Dip

The chocolate melted a little bit and definitely satisfied my sweet tooth. I love day desserts. 😀


I cannot believe how yummy the recipes you guys are submitting look!!! I’m literally drooling at my desk today.

If any of you are looking for a yummy recipe, click here and check out the comments section of my dinner post last night. The recipe roundup is awesome!

Jumping on the Bandwagon

“Hummus, hummus, I got the hummus!”

(Anyone else remember that episode of Friends where Phoebe wears a big Christmas bow to cover her hummus stain? Hysterical!)

I got the hummus in my lunch today. 🙂

I copied my sandwich from Tuesday’s lunch and made another roasted red pepper hummus sandwich with portobello mushrooms.

Hummus + Mushroom Sandwich

This sandwhich was awesome. You’d think Ryan and I just discovered hummus or something this past week. He’s had it on his turkey sandwich every day since Sunday!

On the side I snacked on fresh green and red peppers dipped in Laughing Cow light Swiss cheese and enjoyed sugar-free strawberry Jello for dessert.

Peppers + Cheese

Thursday's Lunch


Snack Time

Today’s morning snack was oh-so-good!

I made a double chocolate and peanut butter protein cake (courtesy of Miss April‘s recipe) with All the Whey chocolate peanut butter cup protein powder (which I buy here on and cocoa powder.

I spread a semi-thawed frozen banana on the divided cake and smooshed the two slices back together for a chocolate peanut butter and banana delight! April, I love you for this recipe.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Cake

Stuffed Up

I also enjoyed some salty peanuts.

I ❤ Peanuts

Jumping on the Bandwagon: Ask Me Anything

Now that it seems like the Ask Me Anything phenomenon all over blog world is dying down, I figured I’d suck it up and participate. Better late than never!

I’m not anticipating a lot of questions since I’m not the most interesting person in the world, and I’m a little nervous about what kind of questions I might get! Buuut, I know I really enjoyed reading other question and answer sessions. It’s fun to learn something new! So, without further ado, click here to ask me anything!

Remember, it’s completely anonymous and I cannot see who submits questions… It’s cool for you, but I know it’ll drive me crazy since I’m the most curious person in the world. 😀 Just ask my mom, who still has to hide my Christmas presents from me.

Free 8 x 10 Photo

Click here to get a free 8 x 10 photo print at Walgreens today!