Training for the Glass City Half Marathon: First Two Weeks

I’ve announced it elsewhere, so I should probably make an official announcement here: I’m running the Glass City Half Marathon. My husband is also running in Toledo, but he chose the full marathon.

Training for the Glass City Half Marathon: First Two Weeks

We’re foregoing Pittsburgh for the first time in a few years, so I thought I should do a quick rundown as to why we chose Toledo.


Toledo, Ohio is kinda flat. I’m not even too proud to admit that was a major determining factor. I’ve spent the past few springs running up crazy hills, and I needed a break. Of course, I’m training on hills because of where we live, but I’d like to head into a spring race without dreading hills. It’s ranked as the 6th (or, factoring in average weather, 5th) fastest course in Ohio. It just seems like a good choice for 2016.

The date

The Glass City Marathon takes place place on April 24, 2016. What’s so great about April 24th, 2016? Well, not only is it the day before my birthday but it’s my last day in the 30-34 age bracket! What better way to celebrate the end of an age bracket than by running a race. Especially a flat race. Amiright?

It’s new to us

We’re looking to branch out a little this year and try some new races in some new places. Neither of us have run any races in Toledo, let alone participated in the marathon or half marathon. Not only would the drive be semi-doable anyway, but we’re planning on staying with my husband’s sister the night before the race as she lives much closer. We’ll only have to do a semi-normal (read: very early) wake up to get into the city on time. Bonus for not having to shell out hotel cash.

Did I mention it’s flat?

But seriously.

While I set a PR in the full marathon in 2015, I did not do so in the half marathon. Granted, that wasn’t my goal as I knew going into the half last spring that it was a much more difficult course and I wasn’t likely to beat my previous half time. However, not setting that PR felt kind of icky.

Before anyone tells me that not every race can or should be a PR, I’m already planning on running another half marathon in late spring in which I know it would be nearly impossible to set a PR. I’m merely saying, “Hi. It’s been a minute since I set a half marathon PR and I would like to do so this year, particularly with this race.” So let’s do it, shall we? (More on the other spring half later.)

All that said, I just finished up the second week of training yesterday.

After the Columbus Marathon last October, I took it easy. By “took it easy,” I mean that I ran when I wanted to and how long I wanted to and didn’t really push pace or distance all that much. In fact, I allowed my pace to slow a bit because I didn’t want to enter training season injured or already tired. I did run regularly, save for the two weeks of holiday celebrations.

I also entered this training season trying to focus more on whole body fitness rather than just running. I’m not 100% certain that will result in the setting of a PR, but right now it feels really good to know I’ve found some arm muscles I didn’t know I had. I even had to ask my husband what one muscle was that hurt one morning; it’s been a minute since high school Anatomy & Physiology. I can do more sit-ups and more push-ups than I’ve done since high school. In fact, while high school me still has me beat on sit-ups, I’ve beaten high school Jenna at push-ups. Also, my squat game is on fire.

The weather has been odd, to say the least. I started half marathon training wearing capris and a short-sleeved shirt as we had a number of 60 degree days in February in my part of Ohio. However, we then had some negative degree wind chill days. My husband texted me from work one night and said, “We need a treadmill.” I told him we could pay the five dollars to go to the gym during open hours. Instead, he went straight from work to the store the next morning and brought home a treadmill.

So now we have no excuses.

All of last week (week two of training), including my “long” run (five miles), was run on the treadmill. I don’t really like the treadmill. As a hot runner, I overheat easily. I may plugin our box fan directly in front of me this week. I had to re-learn to run on the treadmill as I hadn’t run on one since last February during the Polar Vortex of DOOM. I finally sped up a bit during my long run, but I still have a long way to go to get to the pace I’d like to run for the half marathon.

All this to say: I’ve finished two weeks of training for the Glass City Half Marathon without missing a run OR a workout and I feel like a million bucks. Well, half a million. I have some creaky joints and my back gave me some “hey, slow down” messages yesterday when I decided to do some deep cleaning after a five mile run on the treadmill. Slow down, Jenna. Slow down.

I’m excited to see what the rest of training brings. I’m excited to run a new race. I’m excited in general. Let’s do this!


Running Hills After Pittsburgh

It’s been just over a week since the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. I didn’t waste any time getting back into running. I’ve learned after a number of races, running helps shake out the soreness, aches, pains, and general tiredness. It also helps keep the Post-Race Crash feelings at bay.

I started out the week slow and short with a simple 1.19 mile loop around my house. My goal for the next two runs was to move a little further and a little faster. I did accomplished those goals, but the

Running Hills After Pittsburgh

On Friday, I decided to run right after drop off due to the high temperatures. I started at my sons’ school, ran up past the high school, and out to the mile point on a nearby trail before turning back toward my car. I’d never run this route before as running back involved running back up the hill to the high school. It seemed a bit too steep for my liking, so I avoided it. Until Friday.

I ran right up it.

I took the weekend off, save for a few walks and an hour long hike with my family on Mother’s Day, but went on another two mile run today. I decided to run out the country road, down the hill, and out to a mile before turning to run back up the hill. As the temperatures already passed 80 degrees, I decided to take the hill in three segments, pausing for 10 seconds in two spots—but honestly, I could have tackled the whole thing in one go. Maybe if I slowed down a bit, I could have slogged up the whole thing.

But pausing or not pausing, the point is that I still ran it without talking myself out of it before running down it in the first place.

Running Pittsburgh takes the fear out of running hills. Big hills, steep hills, slow, never-ending hills. You just run them. You just put one foot in front of the other and you run. You run. You move. You keep running. You keep moving. You don’t give up.

Add that as another good thing to come out of Pittsburgh this year. Of course, with each day, the pain and heat of the half marathon fade in my memory. Let’s run all the hills—to train for next year.


Check out what the other Official Pittsburgh Marathon Bloggers are up to this week.