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How to Train for a Half Marathon and Somehow Still Gain Weight

WEEK 1

Monday: Think about running.
Tuesday: Think about running.
Wednesday: Spend $100 on shoes when the cute salesman at Fleet Feet tells you you “overpronate.”
Thursday: Spend 30 minutes at work doing research on energy gels.
Friday: Think about running.
Saturday: Think about running.
Sunday: Run less than 2 miles.

WEEK 2

Monday: It’s kind of raining a little bit! You shouldn’t run today.
Tuesday: Run 4 miles when you thought you had run 3! You’re doing great! Have some chocolate milk!
Wednesday: “Stretch and strengthen.” 
Thursday: Rest.
Friday: Think about running.
Saturday: Run 3 miles.
Sunday: Skip your long run so you can go see a movie instead.

WEEK 3

Monday: You didn’t run yesterday. Run 4 miles.
Tuesday: Stretch and strengthen.
Wednesday: Stretch and strengthen.
Thursday: Stretch and strengthen.
Friday: Stretch and strengthen.
Saturday: Who are you kidding? Drink.
Sunday: You only ran once this week. Guilt-run 4 miles.

WEEK 4

Monday: Stretch and strengthen.
Tuesday: Run 3 miles.
Wednesday: 40-minute cross training.
Thursday: Sleep through morning run, but you did intend to run, so it kind of counts.
Friday: Run through the neighborhood with your roommates singing “you don’t know you’re beautiful.”
Saturday: Rest.
Sunday: You’re just really busy.

WEEK 5

Monday: This week is going to be different! Run 4 miles!
Tuesday: 30-minute cross training! You are a rockstar!
Wednesday: Start complaining to friends about your “athletic injuries.”
Thursday: You’re going to run tomorrow.
Friday: You’re going to run tomorrow.
Saturday: You’re going to run tomorrow.
Sunday: There’s always next week.

WEEK 6

Monday: Maybe you just need some motivation? Run to Firehook bakery! 4 miles.
Tuesday: Think about running.
Wednesday: Think about running.
Thursday: Casually mention that you can’t go to happy hour because you “have to train.”
Friday: Sleep through morning run.
Saturday: That bakery thing seemed to work right? Run 5 miles! Good work!
Sunday: Too hungover.

WEEKS 7 & 8

UNANTICIPATED REALLY EXPENSIVE TWO-WEEK TRIP TO BRAZIL; YOU’VE BEEN HAVING A REALLY ROUGH TIME AT WORK, THOUGH — YOU JUST DO YOU, GIRL.

WEEK 9

Monday: Realize you’re still doing this. Run 6 miles followed by ice cream.
Tuesday: Jet-lag, amirite?
Wednesday: Jet-lag, amirite?
Thursday: Run 6 miles.
Friday: Tell everyone at work you’re doing this so you can’t back out even though you really probably should at this point.
Saturday: 4 mile run.
Sunday: 2 mile run. Damn girl, four runs a week? Have some more fries, you’re an athlete now.

WEEK 10

Monday: Catch the fear. Run 10 miles. Outrun a rainstorm. You’re invincible!
Tuesday: You ran 10 miles yesterday! Have an extra taco.
Wednesday: Two days ago, you ran 10 miles! Have an extra taco.
Thursday: Three days ago, you ran 10 miles! Have an extra taco.
Friday: Stretch and strengthen.
Saturday: Fuck it, just run to Popeyes.
Sunday: Try to run 6 miles. Run 4 instead. Count it.

WEEK 11

Monday: 30 minute cross training.
Tuesday: Stretch and strengthen.
Wednesday: 30 minute cross training.
Thursday: Stretch and strengthen.
Friday: Run 7 miles at a pretty solid clip.
Saturday: I think it’s called “tapering.”
Sunday: I think it’s called “tapering.”

WEEK 12

Monday: Run 4 miles. Don’t want to tire yourself out.
Tuesday: Come up with super-sweet team name.
Wednesday: Make t-shirts!
Thursday: Try to find where you bookmarked all those energy gels on your work computer.
Friday: Don’t forget to make a playlist!
Saturday: Carbo-load like you’re running a full marathon.
Sunday: Race Day! Don’t worry. Somehow, you will actually get through this.

Mona Madgavkar is an amateur Arabic linguist and professional falafel snob from Washington, D.C.

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