Way, way, way back in April I posted a few training plans for you to choose from. At that time, a handful of you already knew you wanted to train for the half marathon in September and have been following that plan all along. Keep it up!

But I suspect more of you are like me: We were solely focused on that 8k Training Plan with the expectation of moving on to the 10k and relay team races later this year. Our plan was less ambitious than the half marathon hopefuls because we never expected to cover more than 6.2 miles in any single race this year.

Then along came one of our guest speakers, Dawn Edminston, who inspired a lot of folks to reach for the stars. Iíve joined many others who are now dreaming of walking or walk/running that half marathon in September after all.

What we havenít done yet - and what we need to do now - is switch training plans.

So today, Iím speaking specifically to those who did the 8k on June 24, plan to do the 10k on Aug. 12, and hope to do the half marathon on Sept. 23.

If you are still planning on the 10k in August and the relay team in September, come back tomorrow. The blog will be specifically for you!

It might seem weíre jumping ahead, talking about the fall race before weíve finished the August 10k, but there is an extra run/walk day and overall more mileage for anyone who wants to be ready by September. So this is exactly the day we need to talk about it.

Now, Iím sure I could stroll 13.1 miles. Iíd be sore but itís not a ridiculous distance. But we wonít be strolling. The half marathon course in September is open for 3.5 hours. Thatís equivalent to a 16:02 per mile pace. While even my slow pace beat that by a few seconds on the five-mile course, could I have kept up that pace for another 8.1 miles? No way.

Then I remember that half marathon is nearly 13 weeks away. By golly, weíre only halfway there. Look how far weíve come the past 13 weeks! If you need to remember, go look at that journal you started in early April. You're going to be amazed at yourself.

While itís okay to look back for motivation, donít obsess about whatís ahead. When I told Akron Marathon Operations Director Laura McElrath that 13.1 was a scary idea, she told me not to think about 13.1 Just focus on what needs to be done this week. So I took her advice.

On Monday I took my Half Marathon Training Plan and I folded it to hide everything below the week of 6/26.† This is what I see:

2 miles --- rest --- 3 miles --- 2 miles --- rest --- 4 miles --- cross train

Heck, I can do that. Iím going to knock out this week because next week doesnít matter. And I can recycle that mantra every single Monday.

I'll have copies of the Half Marathon Training Plan for you on Saturday. For those following along at home, or those who don't want to wait to start squeezing in that extra run/walk day, it's posted below.

And remember, you can always switch to a relay team if you decide later that this isn't the distance for you. Following this plan for now will still get you to the 10k and beyond.

- Paula