Training for the Columbus Half Marathon: Heat, Humidity & Shadow Games

While I didn’t make an official announcement, I mentioned it earlier. And so, I’ll make the official announcement now: I am running the Columbus Half Marathon on October 20, 2013. I began training two weeks ago, which means it’s time for my bi-weekly training updates that you came to know and love (right?…) as I trained for the Cleveland Half Marathon this past May. Yay!

Training for the Columbus Half Marathon


Whenever asked about my goal for the Cleveland Half, my answer remained, “To finish.” This time, it’s a little more specific but a lot more vague. I’m running with my much-faster sister-in-law. She suggested we shoot for 2:05… which is an 11-minute shave off of my previous time. That’s a big goal in and of itself. However, I couldn’t find a Magic Shave Eleven Minutes Off of Your Previous Time and Run a 2:05 Half Marathon training plan, so I’m using a Sub-2:00 Training Plan. With the heat and humidity, the training plan falls just shy of useless, so how about we say that my goal is: Anything less than 2:16:21.

Training Plan

I’m using Jeff Gaudette‘s Sub-2:00 Half Marathon training plan. He boasts a 1:05:30 half marathon and a 2:22:02 full marathon. His training program is available on RunKeeper. I chose this plan in hopes of increasing both my speed and endurance. I’ve already received some negative feedback from people who feel I can’t handle this type of intense training. We’ll see. I’ll adjust as my body tells me to do so, as I always do!

How Training Is Going

Training is going. That’s about it. Despite having a few speedwork and tempo runs in my training already, I’ve been barely able to just run the distances involved thanks to the wicked heat and humidity. I did manage to roll on out of bed on a very rainy morning in order to get a 5 mile run in before my firefighter husband had to go to work for his 24-hour shift day. I felt pretty awesome about myself that day, let me tell you.

Me, After a 5AM Rainy Run!
After a 5AM Rainy Run!

Not so awesome, however? This humidity. I’ve been able to beat the true heat of the day by running early, but the humidity has been ridiculous with 88% being the lowest in two weeks. I’m drowning. The air hangs heavy and thick, choking me at times. Right before I left on my long run yesterday morning, Runner’s World tweeted an older article by Coach Jenny Hadfield on, yep, training in the heat and humidity. It turns out that even the pros take walking breaks when it’s this ridiculous outside. Well then. If it’s good enough for the pros, it’s good enough for me. I walked at the 2mi, 4mi, 6mi and 7.5mi marks during my 9mi run yesterday, walking for a total of .54. In my head, as I neared the end of my run, I felt like I should run another .54, but got past the perfectionistic thought process. The theory is that training in the humidity is like training at altitude. When the weather adjusts itself come fall, I’ll be just fine running like normal. Or, you know, I hope.


For the most part, I am using my Garmin Forerunner 10 except on runs that call for speedwork or tempo work so I can listen to the prompts from the lady’s voice on the Runkeeper app on my iPhone 5. (I do upload everything to my Runkeeper account, not Garmin.) I am using a Lifeproof case and a Lifeproof armband so that I can run in the rain without worrying about ruining my phone. I am adoring my new (as of June) Mizuno Wave Rider 16s (aka, Wendy’s filibustering shoe, so I can be guaranteed to outrun patriarchy on race day! — I own the mint). The Injinji Performance Toe Socks seem to helping my toe crossing problem. I own three pair now, but I may pick up a few more as the season progresses. As my first week and a half of training happened in all rain, all the time, I grabbed a Under Armour Running Hat off eBay — in green, obviously. After my run on Sunday, I vowed to take water on all runs over 5 miles. I own this (very bright pink) FuelBelt as I don’t like to carry anything in my hands (my fingers swell while running), and I think I’ll be picking up some 10oz bottles to replace the 7oz ones.


Some of my Training Gear
Some of my Training Gear

In non-running related gear, I got the Columbus Marathon shirt from Homage. It’s awesome.

Columbus Marathon Shirt by Homage
Columbus Marathon Shirt by Homage

Shadow Games

As the heat and humidity continue to tank my monthly pace, I invented a new game to keep my mind off of the fact that I’m running much slower than I was even just one month ago. Basically, whenever I cross into the shadow of a tree, I run faster until I exit the shadow. Kind of like a nature inspired fartlek. The little mental game keeps me moving forward when I just want to sit down in the shade and not move for another hour or two.


I’m taking my Rest Days seriously and resting — or, you know, resting as much as you can with two boys, a husband, a full-time job, and a dog. Speaking of the dog, she is helping me a little with my cross-training. We’ve purchased a nice harness for her, and I’ve started to train her on shorter runs for non-training/rest/cross-training days. She’s run 2.20 miles in one stretch so far, with a walk break up the Monster Hill, and she’s loving it. Me too. Except when she tries to kill me by crossing her paws in front of my feet. Fun. I may write more about this after I learn more about this.

Running with the Dog


If you’d like to follow my training more closely than my every-other-week Monday updates here on the blog, you can follow me on Runkeeper. I also encourage you to follow the Columbus Marathon on both Twitter and Instagram as they’ve been great at engaging with runners thus far. Of course, you could also register to run too. It’s going to be a great day!

Are you training for a fall race? Tell me about it!



Firefighter Apparel by Black Helmet Apparel

11 Replies to “Training for the Columbus Half Marathon: Heat, Humidity & Shadow Games”

    1. Most of that gear was grabbed at silly low prices. The Garmin? I got on eBay from someone who got it for Christmas and upgraded 3months later. I rarely pay full price for anything.

  1. Go, you!

    I’m training for the Cape Cod Half on October 26th. I found an interactive training program on Runners World & am shooting for about 2:15 or so. Bookmarking the program you mentioned, though, because I think I’m going to want to shoot for closer to (or below…) 2:00 on my next one. xo

  2. I just started running last November, and I really mean started running. In my 23 years I refused to run unless I was being chased. But I’ve kicked my butt in gear and can consistently run 3 miles (a HUGE feat for me). I’ve dedicated myself to running a half by the end of 2014, so the rest of 2013 is focusing on reaching 5 miles consistently. My issue is actually getting out the door and starting the run, not the actual act itself!

    I LOVE these bi-weekly running posts, I look forward to them throughout the month and loving hearing updates about your experience, it is such great motivation. Thanks!

  3. You’ve had negative feedback for trying to achieve a running goal? Shame on the haters. You and I are kind of in the same boat. I’d love to run something near two hours. I’ll have to give that plan a look for down the road. I’m just starting to learn what “real” training is – fartleks, tempos, etc.). Keep us updated!

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