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Sonya Sorich: Time to train for Soldier Marathon and Half Marathon

It’s 5 a.m. I don’t want to run.

Wait. If I drag myself out of bed and suffer through a few miles, I’ll get that cool sense of post-exercise euphoria.

Then again, I really need to catch up on my rest. I could just sleep a little more and hit the Riverwalk this afternoon.

But come on, will I really follow through on that plan?

Welcome to the inner workings of my mind. That conversation means one thing: half marathon training season is here.

Now in its second year, the Soldier Marathon and Half Marathon will take place in Columbus on Nov. 12. The race starts at the National Infantry Museum. Registration is under way, and costs vary based on when you sign up.

The event also includes a Soldier Kids Marathon that lets participants ages 6 to 12 accumulate miles in advance and run their final mile on the night before the Soldier Marathon and Half Marathon.

Organizers say last year’s event attracted over 900 runners. I was one of them.

I plan to experience the thrill of a half marathon all over again. Thinking about joining me? You can do it.

I’m not a longtime runner. I started a half marathon training program with only 5K races under my belt. But I made it through the entire race, largely by following these tips:

Start now. Most training schedules pair long Saturday runs with shorter runs throughout the week. You should be in a position where you can comfortably increase your Saturday distance on a weekly basis.

If you’re used to shorter distances, you can start a program now and add one mile to your longer runs every Saturday.

Find a buddy. Try one of the programs offered by local running stores.

Below The Knee has a free group that meets 6 a.m. Saturdays at Rotary Park. Call 706-322-3552.

Big Dog Running Company is offering a Jeff Galloway Run-Walk-Run Half Marathon Training. It relies on the training methods of Jeff Galloway, a former U.S. Olympic team member who has run over 130 marathons.

Cost is $95 and includes specialized training, discounts and more. New participants must be able to run five miles. Contact shelly.g.dinkin@gmail.com.

Know your body. Tell people you’re training for a half marathon and you’ll inevitably receive all sorts of “expert” advice. Listen, but don’t feel obligated to follow every tip that comes from a former high school track star.

Take it seriously. I won’t lie: training for a major race kind of dominates your life. The program can affect everything from your diet to your Friday night plans.

You’ll sweat, complain and second-guess yourself -- then want to do it all over again after crossing the finish line in November.

Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at ssorich@ledger-enquirer.com or 706-571-8516. Visit ledger-enquirer.com/blogs to read about her life adventures on her Walk of Shame blog.

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