Nothing’s Finer than a Shiner {especially after 13.1 miles}

I’m sure race envy will rear its ugly head at some point, but for right now I’m really relishing the fact my life this summer isn’t tied to a training plan for a fall marathon. Like, REALLY loving it.

A few months have passed since my last race and it’s been nice to run only when (and for as many miles) as I want. In the back of my mind I knew there would be a fall 13.1 but wanted to enjoy the beginning of summer and easy miles.

I loosely drafted a training plan back in May and didn’t open it again until last weekend. And then on Tuesday I registered for a race:


Running this race in 2012 didn’t quite pan out so I knew it needed to happen in 2013. Since Brad and I are pretty much in love with this beer, it only seems right to travel a little over an hour from Austin out to Shiner for the race in November.

As a creature of habit, I generally default to the FIRST Run Less, Run Faster training plans. Nearly every plan I’ve created over the past two years has been an even mix of speed, tempo, and long runs. But the first time it truly failed me was last summer while preparing for Philly. Nailing the paces I needed on 400s and mile repeats in the humid 95 degree evenings of summer was nearly impossible and every run was a struggle. I had set myself up for failure with RLRF.

I dug up my training log from Marine Corps in 2011 and poured over it. Since it was my first marathon and still fairly new to running, I dropped most of the speed workouts and subbed in easy runs. So I ran easy on Tuesday, tempo’ed on Thursday, and long on Saturday. The plan didn’t include any paces – I ran by what I felt was “fast” for me on any given day. That probably sounds absurd to you but it worked. Now that I’m looking back, one week my tempo pace was 10:45 and then a couple weeks later it was 10:15. I was getting faster and it wasn’t forced. And I wasn’t getting injured. (IMPORTANT!!)

The TL;DR – I’m going back to basics for Shiner.

Shiner Half Marathon - Training Plan

Low mileage, slow build, no paces – but still only running 3x per week. Because that’s what works for me. And if it ain’t broke? Don’t fix it.

Oh and while I was tweaking this plan to my liking yesterday, I remembered another little race which I should probably plan for:

Houston Half Marathon Registration

Oh hey Houston, guess I’ll be seeing you in January! Since technically a 12 week plan would start on October 27th, I’ll probably take a small break post-Shiner and run maintenance mileage through December to keep my fitness level up. Logistics on that front are TBA, but most importantly – I’m in for Houston!

Houston Half In-Training

And now that I’ve registered for two half marathons and my credit card is cowering in the corner begging me not to use it again in the near future, it’s your turn:

What is your fall goal race? Do you have to travel or is it local? Where does your training plan come from: a coach, the internet, or do you create it yourself?

Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Kim
    Twitter: HealthyInCity

    I’ve thought about doing the Shiner Half, but it’s going to have to wait this year. I have a BUSY fall: Chicago Marathon in October, followed by Dallas Allstate 13.1 two weeks later, then the Dallas Running Club Half Marathon a week after that, then Route 66 a few weeks later(either half or full… I haven’t decided yet, but already bought my plane ticket), then the Dallas Marathon two weeks after that. I’ll probably do a small, local New Year’s Eve half marathon, and I am in for the Houston Full as well. Whew, I’m exhausted just listing all that out!! I want to do Austin too, so I can get the Marathons of Texas swag (

    As for a training program, I’m training with the Dallas Running Club. They’ve got a really great and affordable program that mixes recovery, base, tempo, hills, intervals, and long runs. The target race for that program is the Dallas Marathon and we start this weekend. I’m a bit behind on my Chicago marathon training, but my base isn’t too bad right now. I’m just excited to have structure again after a loose summer!

    Good luck with your training!
    Kim recently posted…Friend Makin’ Monday: Foodie QuestionsMy Profile

    • Is the the race you’re doing on NYE part of the New Years Double?

      Sounds like you have quite the fall racing season coming up! Have you run Dallas 13.1 before? I’ve heard good things about that race series but haven’t made it up to Dallas to run it yet.

      I’m always jealous of everyone that receives their Marathons of Texas medals at Austin! Someday I’ll run all three 🙂

      • Kim
        Twitter: HealthyInCity

        It is the New Years Double… I did the Day this year and I’m trying to do 1 half marathon a month for the entire year. I might do the 5k on New Year’s Day, but I haven’t decided yet.

        I haven’t done the Dallas 13.1 before, but I’m excited to do it this year. The course hits some of the same points as Rock n Roll Dallas and Dallas marathon (half), but it has a different finish, so I’m excited about it!

        You could always do the half marathons in each of these cities and still complete the “challenge”! You are already in for Houston and that is the only lottery of the three.
        Kim recently posted…Friend Makin’ Monday: Let’s Talk About TVMy Profile

  2. Looks like you have a good plan in place for a fun fall & winter of running & half marathons. I created my plan myself (partly by using Run Less Run Faster) for my fall marathon. I will have to travel across the country! So, we are going a few days early. I think it can be fun to travel for races!
    Kristen L @ DYL recently posted…OBX Marathon Training: Week 2My Profile

    • That’s exciting! I LOVE traveling for races. It gives you the opportunity to explore an area you might not have otherwise visited.

      Best of luck with your training for OBX!

  3. I just don’t know. I have run very little since hurting my back in January/February. I’m all recovered now but sort of unmotivated. I’ve been walking and cycling which has been fun but isn’t keeping me in shape (read – I’m gaining weight). I keep thinking that I need to go back to running and find a fall race so I can have a training plan and get committed and do it!

    Do you have any suggestions? It needs to be in Austin or very near and I don’t want to do heavy training in the Summer. I was considering Decker.

    Open to suggestions.
    Debra recently posted…Ace’s Baby LayetteMy Profile

    • I am still traumatized by Decker from last year’s race. If you don’t mind hills though, it could work well for you. Another note: the course isn’t very spectator friendly, if that’s important to you.

      What about BCS on 12/8? It’s in College Station, is that too far?

  4. Hi Melissa
    It sounds a really great plan, I am sure you will be ready and have a great time in the 2 races you have entered. Look forward to hearing how they turn out

  5. I don’t know how the heck I missed this but YAY you are doing Houston!!! I am too! We should link up maybe before the race or something 🙂
    Chels recently posted…A Crash Course in TX Weather.My Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge