I signed up for a half marathon – now what?


I am convinced that half marathons cause amnesia.

Hear me out.

Every time sign-ups come around for a particularly alluring race, I find myself overcome with excitement over the prospect of being part of the pack. I wait patiently till registration opens, and in a flurry of activity, I hold my breath, enter all of my vital information, and click submit. It’s a rush. A runner’s high without the running.

Because something in the back of my mind always tells me that I need to get into that race. Why? Well, (1) all of my friends are doing it, so it seems like I should do it too and (2) I have foggy memories of race day being fun last year. At least I think it was fun, right?

Except for those miles when it torrentially down-poured. Or that long stretch toward Coney Island with zero crowd support. Or that pain in my knee that always sneaks up on me when the mileage gets too high. Or those weeks and weeks of early morning training runs.

How is it that, each year when race season arrives, I conveniently forget all the bad parts about running and only focus on the good?

Probably because the good far outweighs the bad. Running is, after all, pretty awesome. But do you see what I mean? Good or bad, running definitely causes amnesia.

I used to call myself a “runner.” I ran a few races a year, and half marathon training was as much a part of my schedule as doing laundry. After hurting my knee and then moving to New York, my running has fallen a bit to the wayside. And to be honest, I haven’t consistently run in months.

But I do like running – even if I need to remind myself every once and awhile. It’s an old and trusted friend, and I enjoy the challenge of training toward a goal. I may grumble about it, but I genuinely do like those early morning Saturday long runs. And the camaraderie of spending hours training with friends. And the natural excuse to brunch my brains out whenever I please.

So I guess now would be a good time to acknowledge that I signed up for the 2016 Brooklyn Half Marathon on May 21. 

I ran this race last year and was disappointed in my time. I wanted to consistently stick to a goal pace and my legs just weren’t able to deliver on race day. That’s okay – but this year I want to try again.

So here is the training plan I’m going to follow in 2016. I modeled it off of the one Amanda has on her blog (thanks Amanda!) and infused it with some of my old stand-by techniques. Here is the plan I used last year – it’s just slightly different.

This year I want to focus on three things:

  • Consistently doing strength workouts to keep my muscles healthy and strong (and my grouchy knee in check)
  • Actually doing the speed and interval workouts (no excuses)
  • Enjoying the experience, on good run days and bad



I’ll check in from time to time with updates. If you have any specific questions, or tips to share, please leave a comment below.

Also give a shout if you’re running this race too – I’d love to hear from you!

Happy training everyone!

Meaghan is the creator and editor of The Fit Crasher. A transplant to NYC from Washington, DC, she’s here to give you the skinny on all of her latest sweaty adventures, must-try trends, and fitness discoveries. When not exploring the city in spandex, Meaghan enjoys cooking, bluegrass music, and finding that perfect Instagram filter.


  1. Nicole March 8, 2016 / 12:50 pm

    I’m running it too. Let’s hope it doesn’t rain!!

    • DC Fit Crasher March 8, 2016 / 1:26 pm

      See you out there, Nicole!

  2. Dronile H. March 8, 2016 / 9:48 pm

    Ah, Meaghan this is so exciting! I feel the same way about running: I love it, it’s what made me fall in love with Health & Wellness to begin with! The adrenaline, the people, the delicious meals after?! But gosh the moment I stop consistently running, trying to get back into it just makes me drag my feet. I’m crossing my fingers to get back into running halfs this year. They suck in the middle, but at the end? It always feels great! Excited to see how your training and race goes!

    • DC Fit Crasher March 9, 2016 / 10:00 am

      Dronile – thank you so much for your awesome comment! And for the reminder that (in addition to the free food at the end!), running halfs are always a good idea and so much fun once you cross the finish line. Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. Ash Diamond March 9, 2016 / 2:07 pm

    Oh girl I’m so excited!!! This is a GREAT plan! I have found that my body likes rest days to be the day before the race so other than that our plans are pretty similar. It seems like our crew is all about the run 3x plan!

    • DC Fit Crasher March 9, 2016 / 3:46 pm

      Thanks so much Ashley! Excited to cheer you on in a few short weeks!

  4. Nicole @ Fitful Focus March 13, 2016 / 12:22 pm

    Race amnesia is for real. What we’ll do for a medal, right?! haha I’m signed up for Brooklyn, too! We’ll have to get in some training runs together 🙂

    • DC Fit Crasher March 18, 2016 / 10:36 am

      That’d be so fun – let’s do it! Good luck with your training!

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