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Finish Line Half Marathon Training
Fitness, Life, Uncategorized

Navy Air Force Half Marathon Training Plan

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:

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 and 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.

Navy Half Marathon Training Plan
Week Date Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Total
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?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on them, I receive a small commission for referring you. As always, all of my opinions are my own!

Cost Estimates & Breakdowns, Fitness, Life

Race & Budget Report: Tar Heel 10 Miler

I’ve talked about the Tar Heel 10 Miler a number of times around here. I was on the fence about going when I wrote up what I thought things would cost to participate. Then I committed! And I was able to actually train to the point where I felt like I was ready physically.

And then, of course, because this is how these types of things happen, I came down with a nasty case of food poisoning five days before the race! It was a dark couple of days and I wasn’t sure I was going to feel up to driving down to Chapel Hill, let alone running in a 10 mile race. Spoiler alert: I was able to fully rebound and I completed all 10 miles on race day!

So, I decided to write up a race report (kind of like how I did when I ran the Color Run in Philadelphia a couple of years ago). This time, the write up comes with a twist of budget breadown!

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Cost of the Tar Heel 10 Miler
Cost Estimates & Breakdowns, Fitness

Cost Estimate Breakdown: Training & Running in the Tar Heel 10 Miler

I’m currently thinking about running a 10 mile road race in April. Specifically, I’m thinking of running in the Tar Heel 10 Miler in Chapel Hill, NC. As I mentioned in my goals for 2015, I want to get back into the swing of exercising. In particular, I want to get back into the swing of running.

The cold weather of late isn’t making me too inclined to lace up my shoes and get out there. While I figure it out, I figure there was no better time than now to plan out how much this decision might cost me.

Tar Heel 10 Miler Cost Estimates

Overall, I estimate that I would rack up costs for food, gear, cross-training, the race itself and travel.

Food – approx. $10 – $30

It almost sounds silly to add a food expense to the cost of running in a race, but training for a long(er) distance race means fueling oneself properly. Generally, I like to use something like CLIF Shot Blocks, GU Chomps or GU Energy Gel when I am training for a longer race. Since it’s only a 10 miler, I would probably only end up needing to use about 3 or 4 packages total for training and the race.

If I end up buying energy supplements at my local running store a la carte, I expect that I would spend under $10. If I were to go the Amazon route and order by the case, I’d probably spend around $30, but would have supplements left over for the next race I decide to tackle.

Cross-training – $0

I currently have a membership to my local rock climbing gym. This membership gives me access to the gym for 3 months and cost me $210. I was tempted to add this as a cost of running in the race, but decided to not include it because I will be paying this membership regardless or whether I run in the race or not.

However, it’s important to note that cross-training is important for properly training for a race. There are plenty of ways to cross-train, both for free (riding your bicycle, doing body weight exercises, etc.) and at a cost (gym memberships, classes, etc.).

Gear – $90 – $120

While I have plenty of exercise clothing, it’s almost time to invest in a new pair of running shoes. I’ve had my trusty Mizuno Wave Rider 16s (identical to the infamous pair worn by Wendy Davis’ filibuster) for a few years now. I’ve had them a long time, but haven’t replaced them yet, because my mileage in them hasn’t been that high.

If I commit to this race (and running more in general), I will likely invest in a new pair of running shoes sometime between now and race day, which adds another expense to the list.

Race Fees – $60 to $70

Depending on when I decide to register, my fee to run will change:

  • $60 before March 1
  • $65 before April 1
  • $70 until the race

What do you get with the race fee? Entry into the race and a t-shirt. I’m sure there will also be a few other goodies included when I pick up my packet, but those are the major things that the cost of entry gets you.

Travel to Race – approx. $175

I do not live in Chapel Hill, where the Tar Heel 10 Miler occurs, so that will add to the cost of my excursion.

Fuel: $50

Since Chapel Hill, NC is pretty close (especially compared to when I lived in Rochester!), I would plan to drive down for the trip. Google maps tells me that Chapel Hill is approximately 250 miles from where I live. With highway driving, I can often get up to 300 miles per tank. Let’s round up and say that I will need two tanks of gas throughout my trip. With gas prices hovering near $2.00/gal. right now and an average tank (for me) costing $23, let’s assume that my fuel costs will be about $50.

Lodging: $0

If I go to this race, my plan would be to stay with one of my friends for two nights. If I were just going to a race like this by myself, I could easily spend $100 to $300 depending on what hotel I stayed at and whether I stayed for one or two nights.

Food & Entertainment – $125

Part of the point (and fun) of doing this race would be to visit friends at the same time. A twofer, if you will. I expect that I would incur the following expenses:

  • Friday night food on the road: $20
  • Post-run breakfast/lunch: $25
  • Dinner & drinks out: $60
  • Sunday food on the road: $20

 The Verdict

If I choose to run in the Tar Heel 10 Miler, I would likely spend somewhere between $335 and $395.  I’m feeling a little sticker shock as I read that number, but I’m trying to keep in mind a few things:

  • A majority of the costs will be for travel ($175) and I’ve been wanting to go down to Chapel Hill anyways
  • These expenses are split across two months
  • I’d be getting new running shoes in the next couple of months anyways ($90 – $120)

When put that way, it seems a bit less scary. After all, the race itself costs $60 and the cost for the energy gels is not high either.

At this point, the only thing that is keeping me back is the training itself. I technically haven’t started to formally train, so there is some chance that I wouldn’t be able to properly train in time.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on them, I receive a small commission for referring you. As always, all of my opinions are my own!

Smiling for the Camera Post Color Run
Fitness, Life

First-Timer’s Guide to Running in a Color Run

It now seems like ages ago, but once upon a time, I traveled to Philadelphia to visit some friends and we all ran in our very first Color Run. We had a great time and we really lucked out with the weather. Being a hot July morning, we were pretty relieved that it was fairly overcast. It was hot without the sun, so we could only imagine what it would be like with full-force sun.

Since we were all new to this, there were some things that we found out through trial and error that we wish we had known or thought about before the race. If you’re thinking about running in a Color Run or if you are signed up and ready to go, here are some tips that you might find useful if you are a first-timer.

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Running Shoes
Cost Estimates & Breakdowns, Fitness, Money

The Cost of Running

Running is often seen as an inexpensive alternative to having an expensive monthly gym membership. However, what many people tend to forget is that running isn’t just about buying a pair of shoes and venturing out into the great outdoors. In actuality, it’s a hobby that can vary greatly in terms of expenses.

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