My Second Half Marathon!

Happy Friday!

Guess what?! Yesterday I signed up for my second half marathon — the National Half Marathon in Washington, D.C. on March 26, 2011!

SunTrust National Marathon

My grad school friends and I have been talking for awhile now about wanting to do a half marathon in the spring, but we were debating between a bunch in different locations, including the D.C. National Half. So when I heard yesterday that a bunch of my blogger BFF’s had just signed up for the National Half, the decision was made! D.C. Half Marathon or bust :)


As most of you know, I ran my first half marathon in June of this year in Annapolis, MD.


It was actually one of the most torturous things I’ve ever done. I was well trained (my training plan can be found here) and had done up to 12 mile runs, but it was literally 95 degrees and 100 percent humidity on race day. I will never do another long summer race, that’s for sure.


Can you see how miserable I was in these race pictures? I think heat and humidity are my running kryptonite. In my original race photo post, I titled the photo on the left below “I Have No Idea Why I’m Doing This To Myself or What I’m Doing With My Hands,” and the photo on the right was affectionately named: “Hot Sunny No Shade Hilly Bridge of Death.”



It was bad, friends. Read my race recap… it’s kind of entertaining in a painful way, particularly the mile-by-mile breakdown.

Anyway! Even though I’ve decided I enjoy shorter races and working on speed more than long distance running, I really want to do another half so I can do as well as I should have last time! I finished in 2:04:03 last time, which I’m REALLY proud of considering the conditions. But I want to finish a half in under 2 hours :)


I’ll be posting my new training plan as soon as I make it, and I’m also going to start ramping up the strength training again — particularly in my legs. Long time readers will remember that I had a lot of knee trouble while training for the Army Ten Miler in the fall of 2009. If you just started reading my blog you might think I’ve always been doing long races, but the Army Ten Miler in October 2009 was actually my first “long” race (I’d only done 5 milers and 5k’s before it):


Between lots of leg strength training, lots of icing, and lots of foam rolling, I was able to train for and run the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in the spring, followed by my half marathon in June, without any knee issues. (For more details about how I worked to overcome my knee injury, check out this post.)


I’m excited for this new challenge, and I hope you guys will enjoy following along as I ramp up my training and running mileage once again!

Have you ever run a half marathon or marathon? Any tips for my second time around?

~  ~  ~

I’m off to my last day of work — it’s been fun being back in the office and seeing my work friends again, but I’m excited for a real break next week! I’m ready to sleep in, laze around in front of the TV in my pajamas, go running in the middle of the afternoon, do some long-overdue updating for the blog, and see family and friends. Plus, I still have to do my Christmas shopping! :)


  1. 1

    I’m so excited you’re doing it, too! :)

  2. 2

    I just signed up for my first half marathon…I’m excited and terrified all at the same time!!!

  3. 3

    Yay, I was thinking of making that my first half for my birthday..thinking about it. ;)

  4. 5

    Congrats on your new half marathon adventure! I think it’s pretty safe to say that this one will not be hot. My husband ran the half in 09 and it was pretty chilly.
    I’m signed up for it too; a friend from the gym is running and suggested I sign up, too. It’s my first half, but I’m doing things backwards and running a full marathon next month. After a full marathon, a half should be easy, right?

    Good luck with your training!

  5. 6

    Looking forward to March and your half marathon. Enjoyed the one you did in the heat of summer. Anne, I have to give you credit, you looked like you were suffering but you persevered. This is the first time in a long time at 10 am I am still in my jammies. Have fun next week. My boys will not be here for Christmas but my girls and and their families will. My boys wifes and our grandkids will be here the week of New Year. Enjoy your vacation.

  6. 7

    Yay! So many people signing up for this race. I’m likely running as part of a realy from my office. Enjoy the training journey.

  7. 8

    I’m running that race, too! I also entered the lottery for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, and got selected to run it again, so that’s the weekend after. I’m going to do both, but just take it easy for the 10 miler because I really want to run the half for time!

  8. 9

    HEYYY!!! I’m also running this one! I ran it last yr and LOVED it! Hopefully we can find each other at this one!

  9. 11

    This race sounds really fun but I don’t want to pay the high fee for it. Wish I had been interested in it back in July when it was much cheaper. ;) I think I’m going to do the Park’s Half Marathon in MoCo again this year and maybe another one.

  10. 12

    Oh, I ran this half last year and I liked the course because it takes you through parts of DC you might not otherwise see. I’d sign up again but I’m running the Shamrock Marathon in Va Beach the weekend before. And I’m really glad I’m not running the full in DC because the logistics of the course (half and full runners are together until a split around mile 12.5) totally favor the half-marathoners. I felt bad for all the marathoners running through the celebrations of the half-marathoners!
    Good luck with your training!

  11. 13

    I’m so excited for DC! It’ll be a blast!

  12. 14

    How exciting!!! I can’t wait to follow along with all of you.

  13. 15

    Glad you signed up! I’m also registered, and I’ve done the Cherry Blossom 10 and Army 10, this will be my first 1/2. I was supposed to do Nashville 1/2 but also ran into knee troubles. If you want to do some training runs let me know! I love running around the city, in Rock Creek, Capitol Crescent trail or Mount Vernon trail.

  14. 16

    Gah, I just signed up for my first one and I think you should come to WA to run it with me. And by with me I mean Ill meet you at the finish line about an hour later! I think Im going to copy your training plan and tweak it for me. What you did in two months Im definitely going to need all 4 months for until April!
    Can’t wait for the post from this new race, perhaps I can do a guest post called: “why in the world did I decide to do this, obviously walking 60 miles filled my head with false hopes :) “

  15. 18

    Congrats on you new half! I just signed up for my 2nd half – Canyonland Half Marathon March 19th! I’m super psyched!

  16. 19

    I’ve run two half marathons and would definitely recommend colder temps for distance running! You will totally be able to PR in this one!

    Recently I’ve been trying to focus on strengthening my legs and stretch my muscles as I train for a full marathon.

    But as for tips – fuel properly and trust the training!

  17. 20

    Awesome! Just started training for my 5th marathon, so I’m in the midst of getting back into good “running shape” and starting to do tempo runs and speed work again! I think the best advice for anyone training for a race is to keep in mind quality over quantity – instead of running along at the same pace everyday and logging tons of miles, it’s much more helpful to incorporate interval and hill workouts. And also to not neglect strength training, stretching and cross-training!

  18. 21

    My first half marathon was awful. I felt awful the whole time, everything hurt. I thought to myself “I can’t run this far. I will never be able to run a marathon!”

    The second half marathon was about a billion times better. I knew what to expect, my body was more prepare. I felt AWESOME.

    I hope it’s the same for you.

  19. 22

    Congrats!! Hope the training goes well, can’t wait to hear about your progress :)

  20. 23

    Awesome!!! I will definitely be cheering you all on! You’ll do great. Second time will be much better :)

  21. 24

    Don’t skip or miss long runs or too many workouts…I didn’t train that well my 2nd half and it wasn’t a great experience like my first one!

  22. 25

    I ran my 1st half a few weeks ago and can’t wait to run my 2nd! I’m considering DC and a handful of other springtime races so we’ll see….

    I beat my goal the 1st time around and I’m excited to set new race goals which will include more speed-work and cross-training. Would be fun to run it with all of you in DC!

  23. 26

    I have my first half- marathon in 21 days!!! (holy crap! Where did time go?)

  24. 27
    Marilyn Lisenbee says:

    How exciting. Best wishes for a successful run.

  25. 28

    I have ran many 1/2 marathons. I love them! Congrats on signing up for another one. I am just beginning my training for a full marathon for the end of March. I’ve ran the Nashville Country Music marathon…I did horrible!!! Some tips I’ve learned is that it’s not just about adding miles and miles. Like others have wrote, you need to do some speed work, hills, and long runs. Good luck!!! The most important thing is just to enjoy it and you will run faster and happier!

  26. 29

    I totally caught the half mary fever on twitter yesterday and am thinking about signing up too!

  27. 30

    Super, Anne! Look forward to following your training! Now to hope for good weather at the end of March… Exciting!

  28. 31

    My advice would be to strength train and do some interval training. Really helped improve my time.

  29. 32
    Adventurer says:

    Exciiiiiiting news! Look forward to following your training and prep. Enjoy the break next week!

  30. 33

    I ran my very first half-marathon last Sunday, and boy did it feel amazing!!
    Although, for me, the conditions were the extreme OPPOSITE. We’re talking temperatures in the teens with a wind chill of 8! :O My throat was so numb I could barely swallow water! It was an EXPERIENCE for sure. I just registered for my next half-marathon, which is also in March, so the weather should be more…hmm, agreeable, I think. ;)

  31. 34

    Awesome! I’m sure the weather will be much better in March. It sounds so fun that so many bloggers are doing this race. I want to do it too (parents are in DC) but I signed up for another half-marathon the weekend before.

  32. 35

    Good for you! Hubby and I are going to register for our first half for March too!! Must be racing season :)

  33. 36

    LOL-ing at your “What am I doing with me hands” comment!

    Can’t wait to run this race with you! :)


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