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Notice I didn’t say, “If you like to run…” because I don’t know too many people who admit to loving the act of running itself. No, it’s the post-workout high, the release of stress, and the feeling that you are in total control that keeps many runners coming back for more.

I was never a distance runner growing up. In fact, my workouts rarely included running in the first 33 years of my life. While I cannot recall a day of my childhood when I wasn’t on a sporting team and thriving on competition, my level of focus and ability to train independently had never been tested. Then came the summer of 2010 and the Omaha Triathlon, when I knew my husband and I were done having children and I yearned to reclaim part of my pre-baby self. I decided to compete in my first-ever endurance race.

I could barely run a mile without getting seriously winded when I started my conditioning. I was not in bad shape. Both my weight and Body Mass Index were in normal range for my height. I just did not have the lung capacity or proper frame of mind for endurance running. Chalk that up as an excuse that repeatedly ran through my mind: I will just never be able to run long distances. My body isn’t made for that kind of exercise.

Now I have a couple of years under my belt and can confidently claim that I can complete a five-mile run rather easily. Do I enjoy the act of running any more today than I did when I started to build up my endurance? Well, I can definitely claim to enjoy the time I make for myself to run and to clear my head. Every mom needs that mental escape.

I’m registered to complete my second half marathon on May 6 in Lincoln. For anyone else out there who also plans to run a half-marathon this summer, here’s a little guide to help you get in your proper training miles. (thanks to marathonrookie.com)

10-Week Half Marathon Training Schedule
Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Total
1 3 Rest 3 3 Rest 4 Rest 13
2 3 Rest 4 3 Rest 5 Rest 15
3 3 Rest 4 3 Rest 6 Rest 16
4 3 Rest 5 3 Rest 8 Rest 19
5 3 Rest 5 3 Rest 10 Rest 21
6 4 Rest 5 4 Rest 11 Rest 24
7 4 Rest 6 4 Rest 12 Rest 26
8 4 Rest 5 4 Rest 9 Rest 22
9 3 Rest 4 3 Rest 8 Rest 18
10 3 Rest 3 Walk 2 Rest 13.1 Rest 21.1

Printable Schedule (PDF)