I am very excited to announce that David's brother Ken is now the fourth person to complete my world famous half-marathon training program! Okay, so its not really world famous or even famous at all ... but Ken did just successfully complete his first distance race this past weekend in Baltimore, MD - the Baltimore Half Marathon!
Ken - Half-Marathon Conqueror!
I put together a 12-week training plan for Ken that he actually started two weeks early. What an overachiever! The schedule was loosely based on Hal Higdon's Half Marathon training program which I also used for my first half marathon in Phoenix in January 2005. Variations of this schedule are also what I gave my three other running protegees David, Kris, and Jenna!
Ken's Half - Baltimore Half-Marathon - Oct '09
Several months ago David and I were talking about distance running and I told him that I had a feeling that his brother Ken would want to do a half-marathon at some point. Ken had never expressed an interest in racing to David so he dismissed the idea immediately as crazy talk! Much like many of my other predictions to David though, this one came true! Only a week or two after we had this conversation Ken told David that he'd signed up for the Baltimore Half-Marathon along with a few friends. Ken immediately turned to the mother of marathon training for a schedule ... me! ;o)
There are many half-marathon training plans out there but I think its hard for a newbie to choose one that will fit their fitness level, training availability, and life scheduling without some help. I found out how many days a week Ken wanted to run, what days he wanted to run, and made a simple schedule. His schedule had him running 4 days a week with a long run on Saturday starting at 4 miles and progressing to to 10 miles. I also looked up a few local 5Ks and 10Ks to try to work into his schedule to get him experienced at "racing". In the end those races didn't work out so he just stuck to his regular training run.
About six weeks ago when I was in Maryland David and I took Ken to a local running store to get him fitted for running shoes. He'd been complaining about knee pain and my first thought was that the culprit was his shoes. When we got to the store a shoe expert had him walk about 15 feet out and back and immediately noticed that from the overpronation of his left foot, his right knee probably hurt. Bingo! She was right! She fitted him with a pair of stability shoes which he thought felt better almost immediately, and which then helped him continue on with his training.
Ken logged his miles on dailymile.com (which I'm also a member of) so I got to see his training progression along with commentary throughout his training plan. He did really great with staying on schedule and steadily logged his miles. By the time he did his 9 and then 10 mile run I knew he'd do great.
Congrats again K-dog! Looking forward to running a full marathon with you in the future! :o)
My Other Three Protegees
David - Austin Half-Marathon - Feb '09
The next most recent person I've trained to a half-marathon was David. We ran our first half back in February of this year in Austin, TX. Not long after finishing that race David had the running bug and had his sights set on a full marathon!
Before the Austin Half-Marathon
We looked at races on both the east and west coast and decided upon the Marine Corps Marathon which we are training for now. 13 days to go! Along the way with our training we also ran a second half-marathon together in Plymouth, MA. On this weekend we were actually scheduled for 20 miles, so we ran the half-marathon (in the rain) and then chugged on for 7 more miles. Now THAT is dedication! (More details here in my last blog post.)
After the Plymouth Half-Marathon
(before the last 7 miles to get to 20)
(before the last 7 miles to get to 20)
Kris - America's Finest City Half-Marathon - Aug' 06
My dear friend Kris was the second person I talked into racing with me. Kris had always been a workout buff and a casual runner (2-3 miles regularly), but had never raced further than a 5k or 10k turkey trot. I can't remember how it was that I got Kris to agree to run a half-marathon, but I'm glad I did! I think I enticed him with the idea of a weekend in sunny San Diego! (Don't be confused, this was years before I even lived here, and a bunch of us from CA/AZ were planning on meeting in San Diego for a weekend getaway.)
I sent a copy of my half-marathon training schedule to Kris and he started doing his training in Michigan while I ran in Arizona. It was ironic when we'd get together and compare training notes. I was running through the miserable desert heat of a Phoenix summer while Kris went through fluctuating Mid-West temperature swings from nice, to hot and humid, to rainy.
I was a little worried about running with Kris since the few times in the past we've tried to run together it didn't go well. I run about a minute pace slower than him and it was taxing for both of us to slow down or speed up. For the race though we decided that we'd try to stick together and for some cheesy reason we even decided to high-five at every mile.
High Five Kris!
The high-fiving for all its silliness and simplicity actually made the race a lot of run. We managed to high-five at every mile marker up until mile 12 (the big hill up to Balboa Park). After mile 12 Kris charged on up the hill and I slowed down to a walk. Ironically by the time I got to the top of the hill I was recharged and plowed towards the finish line. Kris on the other hand was fairly taxed and slowed down a bit.. and we ended up finishing only 10 seconds apart! Unfortunately we didn't get to high-five across the finish line, but the race was still a lot of fun.
Jenna - PF Chang's Rock N Roll Half-Marathon - Jan '06
Jenna and I ran our first race together not too long after we started working together. Our first race was the Susan G. Komen 5K in Phoenix. We ended up arriving late to the start, not being able to find parking, and having to run through the second wave of walkers to break through to the running pack. We were so late for the race that our finish time wasn't even recorded because we started so late! Oh well, it was still a lot of fun and the start of our tardy racing career!
We next ran the Lost Dutchman 10K in Apache Junction, AZ and we both placed in our divisions! And there were hundreds in each division! Ha ha, okay, there weren't, but we still beat out a number of slower chicks in each of our age groups. We then ran the Cave Creek Luminaria run which is a cool night race through hills where the path is lit up by Luminarias. By this race Jenna was hooked and she wanted to go for a half-marathon! I gave her a copy of my previous year's training schedule and she started training for the half while I trained for the full. We unfortunately didn't get to see each other the day of the race but it was still fun to do the run together in spirit.
Cave Creek Luminaria Run
We ran the Lost Dutchman and the Cave Creek runs the following year, along with the New Times 10K, Iron Girl 10 Miler, and the Pat Tillman run a couple times. Throughout my my years in AZ Jenna was my constant racing buddy! I kept hoping that she'd get the marathon bug and want to train for a full with me, but I guess insanity doesn't bite all of us. :o)
New Times 10K - Phoenix
Over the years it has been so much fun for me to see my friends start to get into distance running the way I have. Running (and racing specifically) is one of the things that I enjoy most in life, and I'm so happy to share that joy with other people.
Next Up - Christina - Nike Women's Half-Marathon - Oct'09
Another good friend of mine is actually about to run her first half-marathon this coming weekend. Christina started training with a group in San Francisco (she missed out on my world famous plan!) and is preparing to run the Nike Women's Half-Marathon on October 18th!
Good luck Christina!
For anyone else who has ever thought about training for a half-marathon, I totally encourage it! Before I started training for my first race I had never run more than a few miles. Running even 10 miles seemed crazy to me. Running 13 seemed even crazier, and running a full marathon was beyond my comprehension. With the right training plan and support though, I think its possible for anyone who dedicates themselves to be able to complete a full or half marathon. The training is long and takes a lot of dedication, but when you cross the finish line the first time (or second, or third), its really an amazing feeling and I truly think it changes your life.