Ask and You Shall Receive

Do you ever have those moments that are so coincidental it’s scary? A couple months ago, I remember thinking that I really wished I had a nice DSLR to take some better pictures on vacations and for my blog. I had an issue last year where Barnes and Noble (die B&N, die!) advertised 50% off the Canon Rebel XS for Black Friday so I jumped on the deal, ordered the camera, my credit card was charged, and two days later they sent me (and tons of other people who ordered the same camera) an email saying they made a mistake in the price and had to cancel my order. No apology, no coupon for future purchases, no discount off the full price of the camera, nothing. It left a very bad taste in my mouth.

Luckily, right around Black Friday 2011, I was reliving that bitter memory when Woot came to rescue. Same camera. Same price. $5 shipping. No sales tax. I love you Woot! Now I just need to learn how to use it properly.

My "Artsy" Photo

Then, just a couple of days after my camera arrived I remember thinking about the old treadmill we used to have at my house and wishing we still had it. Our insane wind was back and making it very difficult to get in a long run before my race. The next day, Woot had a treadmill for sale! Unfortunately, I didn’t have an extra $500 lying around, or a place to put the treadmill, but it was a weird coincidence.

The point of my long, drawn out story is that I really believe that sometimes if you really really want something and think about it hard enough, an opportunity can just kind of appear.

One thing that I have had on my mind quite a lot lately is my next race in March. I made it public knowledge that I want to run a sub-2:10. I really had no clue how to actually go about achieving this. I mean, it’s simple right? Just run faster. 

At first I thought I would just hit the treadmill and not allow myself to run anything slower than a 9:50 pace at all times. Well, usually about a mile into that I remember how much I hate the treadmill.

Luckily, as I sat down at my computer this morning ready to search for training plans that help knock off minutes on my half marathon time, I saw PBF’s new post for the day:

So You Want to Run a Half Marathon

Where she linked back to some of her older posts, leading me to discover this:

After inputting my previous half marathon time of 2:18, selecting the day of the week I wish to do my long runs (Saturday), and the intensity at which I want to train (I originally did moderate then switched to hard to get closer to my goal time), and date of the anticipated race, I had my own personalized training plan that will lead me to an estimated finishing time of 2:11. Now, I know that’s a minute more than my goal, but the training plan it gave me actually has be running my long runs at an 11:54 pace (???) so I know I can increase the speed on those.

Get your own plan here!

What I really like about this plan is it incorporates more speed training, which is something I’ve never done before and really want to test out. If I can run a sub-2:10 half marathon with the help of my SmartCoach plan, I will seriously be so stinking happy I might be delusional enough to consider running the LA Marathon next year. Maybe.

It was just such a coincidence that PBF’s post lead me to find exactly the kind of training plan I need to accomplish this goal. I also love that it has me running 3-4 days a week instead of 5 like a lot of other training plans. Physically, I’m sure I could run 5 times a week if I was training properly, but half the time it is so hard for me to find the time. I’m not a morning person, and if I try to run at night after work I spend the whole run imagining things chasing me in the dark. And I hate running on the treadmill most days. Again – so boring.

So now I promise to try to post a little more frequently since I’ll be testing out and reviewing this training plan.

Also, I recently joined DailyMile and rarely remember to update it, but if you’re on it please come find me (Danica V)! Maybe if I have more DM friends I’ll update it more too 🙂

Has anyone used the Runner’s World SmartCoach to train for a race? Did it help you reach your goal?



Filed under Goals, Half Marathons

7 responses to “Ask and You Shall Receive

  1. Good luck in your training!! What half are you planning to do?

    • Thanks! I’m running the Pacific Half Marathon in March. It’s part of the Great Race of Agoura series. I was totally sold after reading the description of the after party and all the food they plan to have!

  2. Great post! My brother bought my dad a tablet off Woot, and it’s fantastic! Also, I am nervous about running in the dark too! I get creeped out, and end up scaring myself thinking that somone will jump out of a bush or something. Good luck with your training!

    • Thanks! My Dad got a tablet off Woot too and loves it! I have to limit myself though… the no sales tax and $5 shipping is so enticing I get tempted to buy things I don’t even need.

  3. I have printed SmartCoach plans a few times, with good intentions of using them but then never do. I get bored with the structure and end up just doing my own thing. For my last 4 half marathons I made my own plan week to week. Probably not the best idea, but it works for me – I ran a 1:49 at the beginning of December – maybe if I followed a plan I could be faster..

    • 1:49 is awesome! I did the same thing for my first one. My plan was basically to wing it each week and get in one long run. I just don’t know how to really add in speed work other than just “run faster” so I’m hoping this will help me stick to it. Otherwise, if I get bored I’ll probably go back to your strategy too 🙂

  4. Pingback: The Secret to Treadmill Running & My Embarrassing Secret | girlsthatrun

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