Jennifer Fontanez is a kindergarten teacher in South Jersey who is training for her first half marathon.

It's been about a month into training and as the mileage has been increasing, so has the time commitment.

Initially, the training schedule was similar to a typical workout schedule with a 3-mile run several times a week. This made it about 30 minutes of a cardio work-out and even with the addition of 4 or 5 miles into the schedule, I was still doing under an hour of cardio, which was a new type of workout, but no more time consuming than my typical cardio workout at the gym. However, now that the long run this past week was 7 miles and included 6 mile runs in the week, the training is starting to test my commitment level. It takes more time to run the long runs, which means I have to be able to plan my run into my day. I'm looking forward to this week's training schedule that has routine 4-mile runs during the week and just one long eight miler at the end of the training week!

This week's schedule:

  • Monday: OFF
  • Tuesday: 4 miles
  • Wednesday: 4 miles
  • Thursday: 4 miles
  • Friday: OFF
  • Saturday: 4 miles
  • Sunday: 8 miles

Working out and training always has it's ups and downs, including when you just don't feel like going to the gym or getting your run done. It's easy to make excuses for why you can't do it. You're too tired, you haven't worked out in awhile, it's raining, you haven't washed your favorite running shirt, or you're just too busy. But they're all still excuses, which will get you nowhere. Typically I run an out-and-back route, which, for my non-running friends simply means I'll run to a halfway point and then turn around and run back to the starting point. I'll be honest, sometimes when I'm feeling tired during my long run I debate just maybe stopping just short of the halfway point to shorten my run by a little bit. Whenever that thought comes up, I always remind myself that as a runner, the only person holding you accountable is yourself. When you cheat on your run, you're only cheating yourself of achieving the overall goal. Training requires commitment to yourself and remembering why you started out on that run in the first place.

The schedule created by the Wild Half Marathon is a twelve-week training schedule, which means there's little room for slacking off. Less than two months till the big race... no more excuses!

Aside from injury or illness, is there such a thing as a good excuse to not run?

Run with me!:

Follow me on twitter as I continue with the next week of training: @fitfunjen203.

If you haven't yet registered for the Wild Half Marathon, click here. readers get $10 off registration before May 1 by using promo code PHILLYDOTCOM at checkout.