Eight weeks ago, after running a 5K with my brother and blowing up after mile one, I emailed Joe (here) and asked him if he would be willing to develop me an eight week training program for the Detroit 1/2 Marathon.
The email went something like this:
So, here's the deal, I have been following Hal Higdon's intermediate half marathon schedule and I feel like I need to step it up. I thought what better place to go than to you..a running God of sorts.
I am pacing Jenn D (one of the gals on Daily Mile who also happens to be my friend from college) in a 1/2 Marathon on September 12th. That being said, I still feel like I can train hard over the next few weeks. What would you suggest? The 1/2 marathon I am running (where I would love to PR) is the Detroit Free Press on October 17th. My current 1/2 PR is 1:54.14 which I ran last October in Columbus.
I know you're really busy with Landry's impending arrival so I completely understand if you don't have time. Just thought I would ask the expert!! I mean I was seriously spent after my 7:23 first mile this morning...which was evident in my two mile split of 8:05.
Thanks so much Joe
I was thrilled to get an email back from Joe which stated:
Thanks so much for the message - your comment of ..... "a running God of sorts" definitely made my day .... you are very good for my ego in my fragile state!
I for sure would love to offer some advice as you get ready for the Detroit Free Press in October.
I took a look at Hal's Intermediate schedule, and then took a look at your PR and what kind of mile/split that represents in the half. You've also got some pretty long "long runs" and basically a full marathon under your belt recently - so I think I have a pretty clear picture of where you are, where you can be and how to best get there. I'll tell you this - with basically 8 weeks of training available, 7 where you can really push it before tapering for Detroit - you can absolutely get some great training in.
Attached to the above email was a very organized excel spreadsheet containing my eight week training plan. I took the training plan and ran (literally) with it! In the past seven weeks I have done a lot of awesome workouts including 7 tempo runs, 1 half marathon, 7 hill repeat workouts, 7 pace runs (2 of them in the form of 5K races in which I placed first in my age group at both and PR'd and was 3rd woman overall at one), and 7 long runs. There have been all kinds of factors to contend with over the past 7 weeks. Temperatures in the 90's for hill repeats, torrential rain for a 10 miler, and perfect weather for many other workouts! Over the past 7 weeks, I have gotten faster and have felt the new found strength in my legs during the hill repeats. I have been diligent about ice baths and listening to my body and slowing down when necessary to avoid injury!
Yesterday I ran my last long run of my eight week training plan. The weather was perfect and I rocked out 12 miles in 1:45:58 (8:49/mile pace). Immediately following my run I made sure to take an ice bath so my legs would feel good today! I am pleased to report that I am feeling great today! I gladly welcome the taper that is before me! I have 3 running workouts left this week and then I'm headed to Detroit!
The Detroit 1/2 promises to be a great course. We actually run out over the Ambassador Bridge into Canada and then back into Detroit to finish which I think is pretty awesome. I will be experiencing a first at Saturday's expo when I am required to present my passport in order to receive my race packet! First and foremost, I want to set a new PR on Sunday. In a perfect world, I would love to see 1:50:XX on the clock as I cross the finish line!
A special thank you to Joe for having my back and giving me a great training plan to get me to the starting line on Sunday!
Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!