Half-Marathon: 1 Starting Out

Well, having come to running late in life, I managed last year to complete and enjoy a couple of 10ks, as well as a relay leg of the Belfast marathon (about 6 miles). So I set myself a greater challenge this year – a full marathon is beyond me yet, I’m sure, but I think I could have a go at a half-marathon at 13.1 miles. I found that entries for the Lisburn half-marathon opened in January, and so I have duly paid my fee and downloaded the training plan!

Another of my resolutions is to average a mile a day, which really translates to a pretty feasible couple of good 3 mile runs per week. And with a half-mar in June that average should be as good as in the bag. I’ve just completed my 3rd run of this year. I actually ran on New Year’s Day, which was a great start to the year! And last week I found a new route which I absolutely love – it’s nice and quiet, mostly footpath when its on a main road, not too many steep hills, is part of the half-mar route that I’ll be doing later, and is only 400m from my front door (out the back of Dobbies car park, for any locals.) I ran it again today with one minor change – I’d cut through a muddy field on the way home last time, which was a mistake, so I wanted to do it properly again to set a base time against which I can measure my improvement.

I’m using MapMyRun to record my routes, speeds, pace etc, and I find it excellent. The only thing is I cant work out how to automatically tweet or facebook after the run, but I shall investigate the settings.
christms 12 031
christms 12 033

I invested in the January sales in a proper running top. The temperature is barely above freezing out there, and I wanted something that would keep me warm. This grey and pink number from MPG is great – the long sleeves have little thumb hooks to keep hands warm, it’s really light, body-contouring, and most useful of all it has a little zippy pocket on the back for keys, phone, some change etc.

It’s a real motivator to see my pace getting better each time, even if only by a small amount. I’d love one day to run 10k in under an hour, which would be a pace of 6.00 min/km. I’m a bit off that so far, but heading in the right direction. My last 3 runs were:

1.1.13 7.19 min/km

5.1.13 7.15 min/km

9.1.13 7.12 min/km

I have my iPod shuffle on to keep me motivated – today’s surprisingly upbeat track was The Feeling “Fill my little world”.

And my big dog Max is a brilliant running mate – not much in the way of witty conversation, but unbeatable at pulling me up hills!