Training for the Charleston Half Marathon (Jan 5-11)

Only a few days until the Charleston Half Marathon, and next week, I’ll be writing a race recap.

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I feel like the 2 weeks before a big race is the toughest part of training. At this point, the hay is in the barn, so to speak, and there’s not a lot you can do to improve- but the nerves start to hit and you wonder if you truly did all you could in training.

I struggle with anxiety and confidence, and my biggest rival isn’t another runner- it’s my mind. I read a great article on Runner’s World this week, When the Mind is the Obstacle, and wanted to share it here.

This is the part that stood out the most to me:

“I want one day to be able to register or toe the line of a race and not worry that I am not good enough. I want to believe in myself like I can believe in others.”


Here’s how last week’s training went:

Monday: BodyPump + 7.2 miles. I ran 2 miles, then ran 5.2 miles with friends that afternoon.

Tuesday: 5.1 mile progressive/fast finish run in my neighborhood.

Wednesday: BodyPump + 5 mile sightseeing run downtown.

Thursday: TrySports Brew Run, 5.25 miles total. I ran 2 miles, signed in and took a picture, then ran 3.25 miles with the group.

Friday: 7 miles, including 4 x 400.

Saturday: No workout.

Sunday: 10 miles at OnShore Run Club. Yoga at Charleston Community Yoga that afternoon.

Total: 39.5 miles running, 2 BodyPump classes, 1 yoga class.


On Wednesday, I scratched a planned workout for a 5 mile “sightseeing” run downtown. I ran by the glass house on Murray Blvd (here is a Post and Courier article on the house) I’ve run so many interval and tempo runs downtown and never slowed down to notice the glass house. I also saw a beautiful sunset over the Ashley River, and it reminded me how much I love running and Charleston. This is home.

Aside from the sightseeing run, I really enjoyed the Brew Run Thursday night. I ran 2 miles before the brew run, then signed up and took a picture, then ran 3.25 miles with the group. Gary and I ran together and pushed the pace a little at the end. The temperature was in the low 30s and the Brooks brand reps were there with fun reflective vests for us to try on.

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Saturday morning, I volunteered at the Charlie Post Classic 15K/5K race. Since being injured last summer, I have learned to say no to some races and opt to volunteer instead. The Charlie Post Classic is a great event (I raced the 5K last year), but I didn’t want to race so close to the Charleston Half.

As a TrySports Ambassador, I volunteered at the store’s sponsored water stop, and it was fun giving back to the running community and encouraging everyone. When I race, it means a lot to me to see familiar faces on the course, so hopefully we were a welcome site for the other runners. After volunteering, I went to the finish for the awards ceremony and to cheer in the final 15K finishers.                        

Sunday was my last long run, 10 miles with the OnShore Racing Run Club. We had a great turnout and beautiful weather with temperatures in the high 40s. I hope it’s like that Saturday because that’s perfect weather for your first or fastest half or full marathon.

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As for this week, I plan to take it a bit easier. I decided not to taper, but I will focus on quality sleep, nutrition, recovery, and hydration this week and cut my runs short a few miles to have enough in the tank for next Saturday.

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30 Responses to Training for the Charleston Half Marathon (Jan 5-11)

  1. Hollie says:

    It sounds like your runs this week were really enjoyable and new. You ran to sightsee and with brew. That is really cool. I cannot believe how close your race is getting and I know you must be excited.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah, I was feeling a little bleh and had to change it up a bit. The hard workouts definitely get old after a while. We have brew runs, pub runs, glow runs, etc a lot here, almost every week one of the local stores is putting on something. Good way to get some miles in and have fun with it.

  2. I have to admit I have done over 100 runs on the Battery and have never seen the Glass House. I am going to have to look for it on Wednesday! Good luck in the Charleston Half this weekend. You will do great!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      It is the second house down from the intersection of Murray Blvd. and Rutledge Avenue.

      It’s just beside the place where we stopped doing 1/2 mile repeats in Howie’s training program. So for a few MONTHS, I stood in front of this glass house during my recoveries and never noticed it. Granted I was riding the disgust bus between each 1/2 mile repeat but I’m surprised the glass house slipped by me.

  3. Sounds like you had a great running week. I’ve only been to Charleston once since I became a runner and I loved it! Good luck taking it a bit easier this week and have fun at the half.

  4. I can’t believe the time has come! I’m sure you will do great!

    PS – You have become my volunteer inspiration! I really love that you have volunteered so much. Pretty cool 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks, I try to volunteer when I can, but I know some people who volunteer even more than I do for races. It’s a fun thing to do to give back to others and stay involved and motivated even if you can’t (or choose not to) race.

  5. You’re going to do great Amy! I know it’s early, but it looks like weather won’t be an issue Saturday! 60 and sunny, a perfect day to PR a big distance! You’ve put in the miles, you’ve done the tough workouts, so be confident this week! You got this!!

  6. Thanks so much for linking up with the blog this week, Amy Lauren; it’s nice to “meet” you through your blog. Sounds like you’ve got some great training under your belt, leading into race week; not sure if you’ve noticed, but another blogger who links up each week (Run Jenny Run – from the D.C. area) will be running in the race, as well. I can’t wait to hear how things go for you; thanks again and I look forward to having you link up with us again.

  7. I love that quote! Good luck at your race! Can’t wait to read all about it.

  8. Great week… burrrrrrr… I bet it was cold at Post.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      It was. It’s even colder when you’re not running.

      Oh and some of the water dripped on my shoe when I was filling cups! Not wearing shoes with a mesh upper (running shoes) when manning a water stop in the cold anymore.

  9. Jennifer says:

    Looks like you had a good week (and yayy for finding Tara, I think you will enjoy each others blogs). Looking forward to a sunny Charleston weekend!! 🙂 50’s I’ll take it!

  10. In all the remaining days leading up to your race just counter any negative thoughts with positive ones! You will do great!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I am doing just that- wrote a little list of positive things to remind myself, good things that have happened in this training cycle and times when I pushed through on hard runs, etc. I think writing down thoughts helps too.

  11. Fun runs this week!! Good luck next weekend! How exciting!

  12. harveylisam says:

    Whee good luck!! Can’t wait to read about it!

  13. Pam says:

    I think many runners find that little voice in their head, the biggest obstacle on race day. I have bookmarked your article and will review it more than a few times! I will be interested to see what you think about running a half marathon without a taper. My February half will also be without a taper since I am in the upswing of miles for Boston training. Have a great week!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Well, I sorta did taper… it wasn’t really intentional, but it’s pretty hard to keep your mileage high every single week. My highest week was 4 weeks before the half, and I’m cutting all my runs this week back by a mile or so.

      I rested before one of my 5Ks and it was a really bad idea as it was my worst 5K in awhile. I just run better when I’m running often.

  14. allieksmith says:

    Doesn’t it feel so good to change things up?! I need to do that more often for sure. I have yet to run outside this year. Yikes! I might this weekend if I’m feeling up to it, though. Hurrah for change of scenery!

    I can’t wait to read your race recap soon!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I’ve only run inside a few times since my injury! Mostly I run on the treadmill before or after a group fitness class, like if I’m waiting on it to start or want to run a little after to kill some time before work (classes end at 7 and I’m on for work at 8). I can’t imagine living in a colder area and not being able to run outside very much.

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