This summer, my eldest daughter – at the ripe old age of 11 – will attempt to complete her first half-marathon.
She is not new to running. She has run numerous 5K and 8K races and in 2012 ran her first 10K at 10 years old.
She is also not the youngest person to ever attempt the half-marathon. You probably caught the news last year of the 6-year-old who ran the Showdown Half Marathon in Fairview, Texas. This little lady was shown up just one month later when a 5-year-old ran the Trenton Half Marathon in New Jersey.
But Emily is excited about the new half-marathon challenge in front of her.
About one minute after she finished her 10K about a year and a half ago, she started asking when she could run a half marathon. I was excited to see her so enthused about running, but also afraid to push her too far too fast. Still she kept asking, and this year felt like the right time. Now we just had to find a race, and a training plan.
We decided on the San Francisco Half Marathon for her first 13.1. For starters, there is no minimum age for this race. Many races state that runners must be older than 18 in order to run. And it also is unique in that half-marathoners can choose to run the 1st half or second half of the marathon race. So it works out perfectly for me to run the San Francisco Marathon and link up with Emily for the second half of the run, allowing us to finish together. I am beyond excited about that!
Next up was the training plan. After pouring through dozens of plans from books, past-issues of Runner’s World, and on websites, Em decided to follow the Couch to Half-Marathon Training Plan from Women’s Running. She is not exactly coming from the couch, but she also wasn’t particularly interested in the plans that involved lots of speed work or running at specified paces. She just wants to run 13.1 and enjoy every part of the training and race day along the way. Gotta love that!
Emily will be blogging about her experiences with training, running, and annoying mother-runner coaches at the 11 going on 13.1 page on this blog. Feel free to give her a shout-out of encouragement or tips for her first half!