My first full: Week one

Since the Derby half, I’ve done a pretty decent job at maintaining my running base. May is our craziest month at work but I managed to run a couple times a week, usually 2 – 4 miles at a time. Maintenance mode continued into a super busy June when I squeezed in runs whenever I could, including inadvertently joining a Pride run in Chicago during a 5-miler on the beautiful Lakefront Trail.


This is the most focus I’ve ever put into maintaining my base that early in the summer. But it’s because of this big, looming, kind of scary but totally exciting thing that’s officially underway now that it’s July: Training for my first full.

I’ve previously written about my freakishly driven personality, part of which involves always looking for the next challenge. It is a little terrifying to think about 26.2 miles but then I remember what it was like training for my first half. At that time, I had never run more than three miles so 13.1 seemed impossible. I found a training plan, gradually built up my mileage and crossed the finish line feeling incredibly proud.

I’ve now done five half marathons and the timing just felt right to step it up and take on a full. (Disclosure: I signed up on January 1 from a flat in London and may have still been drunk from Prosecco-filled NYE celebrations the night before…)

I jump-started my training by running the Firecracker 6 for the first time. It’s a solid course that winds through downtown with multiple water stations. I went out guns blazing with my friend Jill for the first four miles and paid for it in the last two. But I finished in under an hour which was my goal.

Firecracker 2015 IMG_20150704_100715








The next day kicked off my training. I adapted one of Hal Higdon’s training plans, aiming for running 3 – 4 days, doing crossfit 2 – 3 days (with Sundays focusing on mobility and/or a light WOD to keep me moving after long run Saturdays) and resting one day each week.

For my first half, I freaked out if I missed a run. I’ve since learned that unless you have no life and also never get sick, there will be days you miss workouts. And it’s okay. The long runs are the most important and I’ll always choose running over crossfit if something has to give. But if I miss a shorter run here and there, I know it won’t ruin me.


After my first official training run, I called my dad – which is sort of our thing – and he asked if it felt different in any way. It was only three miles, a distance I’ve ran so many times now, and the race is in November so it doesn’t totally feel real yet. But it was exciting!

I’m not going to blog every week but I will provide some training updates periodically for the interested few. I’m anxious for the first time I run farther than 13 miles. For the first time I run double double digits for 20 miles. And of course for the feeling of crossing the finish line! Assuming I make it that far…




6 thoughts on “My first full: Week one

  1. Pingback: My first full: Week five | Melanie Woods

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  4. Pingback: My first full: Week seventeen | Melanie Woods

  5. Pingback: My first full: Twenty six point two | Melanie Woods

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