Week 1: Wisconsin Half Marathon Training

Week one! Week one! Week one is finally here!

I’ll be recording all of 18 weeks of WIHM training here in an effort to more diligently track and stick to my workouts, which I've completely failed to do in the past.

I’m pretty sure the wrong way to start a new training plan is to leave my entire gym bag containing my Brooks Adrenalines with <100 miles on them and other much-loved gym gear on the bus, with 9 miles on deck that night. Yesterday, I tried to track down my bag by phone through CTA numbers that were either out of service, or answered gruffly before hanging up on me abruptly while I’m in the middle of describing my bag. Today I told my tale to the morning bus driver as I was swiping my card, and he gave me some advice. “Try your best to find the bus driver.” “The bus driver? The one driving the bus I was on when I lost my bag?” “Yeah.” “Um, okay…do bus drivers do the same routes every day?” “Sometimes.”

I also woke up yesterday feeling like total crap. I wore my winter hat and scarf indoors at work and spent the day shivering nevertheless. 

Finally, I am beginning this plan pretty blind. I haven’t raced since July and I have no idea if I’m as fit as I was then, or less, or more. I’ve been “back” running regularly for about ten weeks now, and I feel better now than I remember feeling over the summer. I’ve done some fast-for-me long runs (8 miles at about 9:00 pace), and for comparison, my half marathon PR is an 8:57 pace. I considered that my “half marathon” pace to use for the 4 tempo miles on Tuesday, but that felt too easy and upon reflecting on my 9:00/mile pace during longer runs, I see now that I ran those tempo miles too slow.

All of these, except for losing my bag, are part of the challenges I love about training and racing. The most important thing is that I started my plan, registered for the Wisconsin Half, and in eighteen weeks I’ll see where I’m at. 

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These are from Saturday's very slow 4 miles around my neighborhood. It was an ordinary gray day, but snow started falling just as I was circling back toward home.

December 31 - January 6

  • Monday - Rest
  • Tuesday - 7.5 miles with 4 at my Brooklyn Half pace (8:57)
  • Wednesday - Rest
  • Thursday - Rest, feeling sick
  • Friday - 9 miles
  • Saturday - 4 miles
  • Sunday - 5 miles, still feeling a little sick

Total: 25.5 miles