It’s time to do it again – a half marathon! Since I ran in the Tar Heel 10 Miler, I’ve been trying to build up a running base to prep me for a half marathon this fall. Fingers crossed, this will be my fourth half marathon and my eighth race.
Choosing a Half Marathon
I’ve been waffling for a while about where and when I should commit to a race this fall. I knew I wanted to do a half or 10 miler sometime in September, October or November. The complicated thing is that there just isn’t a lot to choose from in the area this fall. This is pretty surprising to me considering the fact that DC is a huge metro area and the weather is really nice in the fall.
The races I ended up considering are:
- Abede Bikita International Peace Marathon & Half, Washington, DC – September 12
- Navy Air Force Half Marathon, Washington, DC – September 20
- Divas Half Marathon, Leesburg, VA – September 26
- Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon, National Harbor, MD – October 4
- Baltimore Running Festival Half Marathon, Baltimore, MD – October 17
- C&O Canal Towpath Marathon & Half Marathon, Washington, DC – November 8
- Richmond Half Marathon, Richmond, VA – November 14
- Philadelphia Half Marathon, Philadelphia, PA – November 22
Since I’m like Goldilocks, it was really hard to pin a race down. I pretty much wanted to do something in September or early October, with the option to do a second race in November. I’m planning a trip out West with two girlfriends over Labor Day, so that made picking a date in September complicated. I also don’t really want to spend much on traveling for my first race in the fall. That pretty much left me deciding to do the Navy Air Force Half Marathon. Although looking at it again, the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon would have been a good choice too.
One of the annoying things about choosing a race is that there isn’t any one listing of all races in the area. Or at least one that I know of. And to really get a comprehensive look at what’s going on around here, you need to consult DC, VA and MD lists. I used halfmarathons.net and runwashington.com to help come up with this list.
I’m not sure when I’ll decide to do the second race, but I have my eye on the Richmond Half Marathon or the Philadelphia Half Marathon in November. Clearly, those will require travel, but I think I would try to use points for my hotel stay to help reduce the cost.
Race Cost Estimates
No post here would be complete without an estimate of what it’s going to cost. Here’s what I’m thinking:
- Race Entry – $108 / divided by 2: Race entry for the Navy Half Marathon is currently $100 plus tax. I get a fitness subsidy, so it will be $54 for me when all is said and done.
- Clothing – $20: I purchased a new pair of running shoes after the Tar Heel 10 Miler and I have a good stock of running clothes for both the summer and the fall. The only thing I can see myself buying is more running socks.
- Gear – $20: I recently purchased a handheld water bottle for my long-short runs. Basically anything over 4.5miles, but under 8 miles. It’s getting super hot and humid and this is something I need to stay safe out there on the road. I would purchase it regardless, but figured I would include it here. The good thing is that I already have a four water bottle belt for 8+ mile runs, so no need to buy any additional hydration gear!
- Food – approx. $20 – $30: I don’t usually bring nutrition on a race with me for anything less than 7 or 8 miles. If all goes to plan, I’ll be needing nutrition on about 6 or 7 runs leading up to the race and then again on race day. Generally, I like to use something like CLIF Shot Blocks, GU Chomps or GU Energy Gel, and it will really depend how much I actually end up needing.
- Travel – $10: Gotta get to race packet pickup and to the race via Metro!
- Cross Training – $0 additional: I already have a membership to my rock climbing gym, which is my strength cross training method of choice. I also plan to do some cycling as another form of cross training. Now that I have my bike tuned up, I don’t expect any additional costs there.
So, all in, this local race should cost around $124 – $134. I’ve already started training and will be training for the next three months. If you consider the costs on a per month basis and the fact that it’s not just about the race, it’s about training for the race, my costs come out to about $40 per month.
Half Marathon Training Plan
To give you insight into what my next three months will look like, I’ve put together a training plan. Over the course of the next three months, I’ll be running 207.1 miles if all goes as planned. Assuming I average a pace of 11:00 for all runs, that’s around 38 hours of running. Add in 1.5 hours of cross training per week and that’s around 56 hours for training all in.
Considering the amount of time that I’m going to be spending preparing for this race, this is some good bang for my buck. If I train for 56 hours and my total costs are $134, my training will cost be about $2.40 per hour. Think of all the other things that I could be doing that cost more money per unit! Not bad, if you ask me.
Connecting this to my overall costs, I’ll training will cost me about $2.40 per hour. Not bad, if you ask me.
|1||6/29||4mi||0||3mi||0||4mi Long||0||0||11 mi|
|2||7/6||4mi||0||3mi||0||4mi Long||0||3mi||14 miles|
|3||7/13||3mi||0||3mi||0||5mi Long||0||3mi||14 miles|
|4||7/20||3mi||0||4mi||0||6mi Long||0||3mi||16 miles|
|5||7/27||3mi||0||4mi||0||7mi Long||0||3mi||17 miles|
|6||8/3||4mi||0||4mi||0||8mi Long||0||3mi||19 miles|
|7||8/10||5mi||0||4mi||0||9mi Long||0||3mi||21 miles|
|8||8/17||5mi||0||4mi||0||10mi Long||0||4mi||23 miles|
|9||8/24||4mi||0||4mi||0||7mi Long||0||3mi||18 miles|
|10||8/31||0||11mi Long||4mi||0||5mi||0||0||20 miles|
|11||9/7||0||3||0||0||0||0||9 Long||12 miles|
|12||9/14||4||0||3||2||0||0||13.1 Half Marathon!||22.1 miles|
A couple notes about my schedule. Since it’s so hot during the summer, I plan to do my long runs on weekdays so that I can get it out of the way before it gets too hot and so that I don’t have to get up extremely early on the weekends. I’ve also tried to plan around my Wild West trip at the beginning of September. My plan is to do my longest run before I leave and get in a couple of short runs while I’m on vacay. Then one last long run the week before the race.
So, there you have it! A half marathon is in the works for me in September! I might provide an update about halfway through, depending on what happens, but otherwise, an update will be coming on the flip side.
Do you have any big fitness plans for the fall?
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