Training for the Charleston Half Marathon (Nov 10-16)

New goal race = New training log post title.

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The Charleston Marathon, Half Marathon, and Shrimp and Grits 5K are in their fifth year and held on MLK weekend. The proceeds benefit arts in Charleston County Schools, which is a cause I’m very passionate about because I played the flute for seven years in middle and high school. My high school’s band program has since been cut, so I like racing for a cause that hopefully keeps band around for Charleston’s kids- and maybe my own kids someday, if I have them.

I ran the Charleston half marathon in 2013 and paced in 2014. I considered pacing again this year, but a lot of people want to pace, so the slots were taken. I was okay with that because everyone should have a chance to be a pacer, and Charleston has a lot of amazing runners who’ll be encouraging and helpful at it.

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After hearing that the half marathon pacer slots were taken and randomly PRing last Saturday’s 13.1 mile training run, I considered this a sign that I should race Charleston.

I haven’t specifically trained for half since 2012, so I don’t have a goal time. My goal is to safely increase mileage, remain injury-free, and still love running after the training and race are over. I’m excited about the challenge!


This week, I ran 38 miles and did 2 BodyPump classes.

Monday: 6 AM BodyPump, followed by a busy day of technical writing and adult responsibilities. I really just wanted to go back to sleep.

That night at speedwork, we ran a tempo run (3.16 miles in 23:22. I go out too fast during races and tempo runs, so I was proud I kept all the miles within 12 seconds.

I looked back at my training log and saw that my pace was a few seconds per mile faster than our first 2-mile tempo run back in September. I felt exhausted after that first 2 mile tempo run, but I didn’t feel that on Monday night. I love seeing progress, and tempo runs have made a huge difference for me.

Tuesday: 5 easy miles around Avondale.

Wednesday: Speed night- 5 miles including 4 1/2 mile intervals. The weather was beautiful, and I wish we could run more intervals because I felt like I had two more in the tank. We decided not to since a few of us were racing on Saturday.

Thursday: Holiday Festival of Lights Fun Run/Walk night!

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I ran 2.5 easy miles before the Festival of Lights, which I walked with my friend Cindy and the Thames family. I thought about jogging through the lights, but it was a lot more enjoyable to walk it and take pictures (I did not see anyone running).

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I didn’t think a fun run/walk would be timed, but the finish line had a clock! Lots of stopping, talking, hanging out, and picture taking went on. All of us joked that it was a PR since it was our first official 2 mile event.

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Friday: Rest day. I did some housework since Clay’s family was visiting on Saturday.

Saturday: 7 miles total, including the Old Village 5K and a personal record. I’ll write a full recap later this week.

Consistent hard work + good coaching + positive self-talk go a long way toward PRs.

Sunday: 13 soggy with OnShore Run Club this morning. It rained the entire run, so my 13 miles included 3 wardrobe changes (Note to self: Check the chance of rain before wearing a white shirt). I ran in a green short sleeved shirt I had in my car, teal shorts, and black gloves- I looked ridiculous but I was comfy, not cold, and not showing my sports bra to all of Downtown Charleston.

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I met up with Ed and Virginia to run 3 miles before run club. I’m glad I saw Ed when I got to the park, because if he hadn’t been there, I would have sat in my car waiting for others and not started earlier. We ran the usual 8 mile route, then Howie, Vanessa, and I ran 2 more laps around Hampton Park.

Run club was a soggy shuffle, but I’m prepared if a race turns into a soggy shuffle. Running in wet shoes is worse than being rained on. I skipped brunch to go home to shower and thaw out before Clay and I went to the movies and grocery shopping. The joy of adulthood= your date includes a trip to Publix.

I hope everyone had a great week!

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12 Responses to Training for the Charleston Half Marathon (Nov 10-16)

  1. Pam says:

    You had a fantastic week of training Amy.It surprised me to read that pacers sign up so early for races 3 months away. I loved reading that you played the flute in middle school and high school. I also played the flute and went to Boston Conservatory for my first year of college! Stay warm this week, it looks like the arctic freeze is going to settle in for a few days here in the south!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      The pacers are provided by TrySports, so they are on their game with getting people to pace. Sure beats waiting till the last minute, too.

      I haven’t picked up a flute since high school! Once I was done my senior year, I was done. I’m not musically talented but I loved being in band and the lessons it taught me transferred well to college and then real world life.

      Today is pretty nice but tomorrow is not supposed to get out of the 40s here. Maybe I need to rearrange my rest days this week… ;).

  2. Jennifer says:

    The festival of lights looks a lot of fun. I will be running the Charleston Half this January and very excited about it. I’ll probably join the 2:30 pacing group. Good luck with your raining and enjoy the holidays.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Good luck with the half- and that should be a fun pacing group. That’s the time I paced last year and we really enjoyed it. I’m sure you’ll love spending time in Charleston and running here.

  3. Sounds like a good week! I didn’t know pacing was that popular! I wish they had pacers for slower people 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      There are a few levels of pacers, with a goal time rather than a min/mile pace (I know some races do “10 minute mile”, “11 minute mile”, etc. For the half last year, it was 1:45, 2 hours, 2:15, and 2:30. I remember working at the pacer table last year at the expo and having a few runners ask if we had 2:45. Most people who signed up to run with them were 2 hours or longer.

      I’m not sure what the full pace times are.

  4. Yes, the soggy shoes are way worse than the actual rain.

  5. harveylisam says:

    Whee, good luck with your training!!

  6. tiarunnermom says:

    Great training week! The evenly paced splits on your tempo is a good indication that you are pacing it right and improving your LT. I think you could definitely build up the right way for your half. I say go for it! : )

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