Enter the half marathon. I figure 13.1 miles can't be that bad.
In January, there will be a marathon and half marathon in Charleston, and I think I'm going to sign up. I've run the Cooper River Bridge Run a few times and PC and I did the Ray Tanner Home Run several weeks ago, but I haven't ever "trained" to run anything or had a specific time goal - I've always just enjoyed running.
In a normal week, I run three or four times a week depending on what's going on and usually 3 miles, so 12-15 miles a week. For all you runners out there, I know that's not much, but with everything that goes on, I'm happy to get those miles in. In addition to running, I usually do strength training at least 3 times a week.
For me, running is many different things. When I've had a stressful day at work, pounding the treadmill is my easy stress reliever. It's also something PC and I both enjoy doing, and doing together, so running a trail together is something we do several times a week. It's also the way I totally clear my mind when I'm running alone through the countryside.
I started running really regularly when I was around 14, so really, 10 years ago. There have been some short periods of time when I haven't enjoyed it and it's felt more like something else on the "to do" list than something I'm doing for me and because I want to. That's what I don't want to run into with this half marathon training thing.
I'm trying to decide how to best train for it. There are 12 weeks, so I've thought about following Hal Higdon's plan, but I don't always have five days a week when I can run due to work and other obligations or have time to do a long run on Saturday or Sunday because of fun weekends that I'm not giving up. (If you've figured by now that my goal is to run this half marathon [with a goal of less than 2 hours (PC says I have lots of goals. I think I do.)] without changing much about my lifestyle, you're right!)
I think my goal is going to be to run 3-4 days a week and fit in a long run on whatever day I can. I'll continue doing strength training twice a week like I do, and keep eating healthy without any caffeinated drinks or soft drinks, but add in some more "good" carbs (how I wish Mexican food could count!) and protein and more vegetables.
Am I crazy? Maybe. But I'm really looking forward to that satisfied feeling I'll have when I cross the finish line. And really, it's all about a healthy lifestyle.