Training for the Columbus Half Marathon: Time to Take Hydration and Fueling Seriously

The Columbus Marathon is in 55 days, or 1 month and 24 days from today. I have 8 weeks left to train for the Columbus Half Marathon as I just finished my eighth week of training.

Training for the Columbus Half Marathon

This past week was a recovery week. It didn’t feel like it at the time, as I jammed my four miles, four miles, four miles, and six miles into a four day span, Monday through Thursday. By the end of my six miler on Thursday, my legs were tired, weak, and I was done. But it was okay, because I was done for the week. I learned about flexibility in scheduling with my first half, and have learned time and time again to just go out there and do it even when you don’t feel like doing it.

So it got done.

And now things are about to get real.

This week I run four miles, five miles, five miles, and nine miles. Nine miles happens to be the length in which things get all serious business for me. I can run eight miles only mildly hydrated and without considering mid-run fueling. I can. I have. I will again. It’s not the best choice, but eight miles is a good distance for me. Someone should make eight mile races. I’d own them.

But nine miles? Nope.

And so, Project Hydration begins. My kidney disorder leads me to dehydrate very easily. So with Project Hydration also comes a temporary ban on alcohol. Womp womp. We all know that alcohol dehydrates our bodies; it does so about ten fold for me, and it can take days to regulate even two glasses of beer. As such, I don’t drink much as it is or, if I go out for a special occasion, I try to drink lots of water with my alcohol; if I don’t, I pay for it for a few days. Training season leaves no time for “let’s sit around and wait until my body processes fluids properly again.” I need to be on my game.

So goodbye, Sam’s Summer. Goodbye, Pinot Noir. Hello, All the Water.

I have a fancy new water bottle to keep me on task.


As far as fueling goes, my first step will be getting back into the habit of consuming calories for breakfast. I kind of fell off that train when the Pittsburgh Marathon ended, and I can tell its hurting my performance in general. I’m likely going back to smoothies, though I also predict some oatmeal with Greek yogurt and cranberries when the weather starts to cool off. If the weather starts to cool off, which is maybe a post in itself—this sudden return to summer temperatures and humidity. All the more reason to make sure my hydration and fueling practices are being put into place now.

The Leaves May Be Falling...
The leaves may be falling, but temperatures are rising.


I need to figure out if I can fuel in a different manner than in previous races. As much as I like Sport Beans, I am curious as to whether or not my body can handle Gu yet. I’ll be testing out some different options over the next three weeks on some of the longer-short runs to see what my body can and cannot handle. I’m hoping to have all of this figured out before the fourth week in September, because at that time, fueling options need to be locked into place and not messed with until after the race ends. I also need to figure out what pre-race pasta won’t upset my stomach and which race-morning bagel/carb option I will go with this time.

Lots to figure out in the next month.

But running is coming along just fine.

Monday, run 29: 4.01 miles, 41:12, 10:17/pace
Tuesday, run 30: 4.01 miles, 40:28, 10:06/pace and a Highlights Kids’ Run training run, .36 mile, 3:40, 10:08/pace
Wednesday, run 31: 4.01 miles, 39:31, 9:51 pace
Thursday, run 32: 6.01 miles, 1:01:01, 10:10/pace
Friday: REST DAY/travel
Saturday: REST DAY/travel
Sunday: REST DAY and Highlights Kids’ Run training run, .36 mile, 3:53, 10:55/pace

OH, HEY! It’s the HALFWAY POINT, YINZ GUYS! Eight weeks in, eight weeks to go. 50% finished with my plan. 32 of 64 runs. BAM.


Notes: Monday felt like running death as I did a crazy workout on Sunday evening. Lesson learned: Don’t do a crazy workout before you have to jam 18.04 miles into four days. Bad choice. Sunday’s Highlights Kids’ Run training run marked the boys’ slowest pace yet. Why? We ran at the cemetery near my parents’ house which turns out to be very hilly. The boys had their first experience with the glorious downhill and the not-so-great uphill. They hung in just fine, never stopping but definitely slowing with the uphill. I was so proud of them!

My Runner Boys

My husband is running with me again, though our schedules are still a little off so we ran some separate from each other this week. On the boys’ first day of school, we parked at the beginning of a local trail and did a four mile loop of our city, which ended up being almost four miles of uphill. Good hill training, right? My husband is battling some Achilles pain and just recently bought some RockTape, which I recently used on my back. He’s hoping for a good training week. Aren’t we all?


This week I’m going back to Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday for my training, with a potential arm workout on my rest days. Saturday may happen on Friday due to childcare. Additionally, the boys will run on Tuesday and either Saturday or Sunday. The temps are high and humid this week, so the focus on hydration will be key.

Here’s to week 9!



The Land of Nod, design for kids and people that used to be kids

3 Replies to “Training for the Columbus Half Marathon: Time to Take Hydration and Fueling Seriously”

  1. Can I just say you are inspiring! :) I’ve been meaning to ask you how do you stay hydrated on your runs? Do you carry your water bottle, or just drink plenty before/after your run?

    1. I carry water on all summer runs. Winter runs not as much. I have a FuelBelt with two water bottles. I need to upgrade to one with four water bottles though, as I’m struggling in this summer heat.

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