So today's run is a little less than last week's. Today I am running a half marathon. This is a fad that has really taken off in the past few years. It used to be all 5 and 10K and full marathons. The half is an excellent compromise and a great stepping stone on your way to a full marathon if you just can't help yourself.
So 13.1 miles. Definitively easier than 26.2, but still not something you should just hop off the couch the day before to do. Here's my official recommendation. If you are new to running, as in haven't run to the mailbox in over a year, then plan on training for 4 months before tackling this bad boy. Even if you think your heart is up to the exertion, your bones and joints might not be. Running is a high impact exercise. I read that it takes 6 months to fully adjust your skeletal structure to the changes required to sustain that impact.
If you've been running for a few months, or jogging- let's say even one mile per run- than I would give you a 9 week training program.
Either way, it's not a good idea to see an ad for a race, that's say next month, and sign up and think you'll be ready. I like to stay in the kind of shape where I can pick up a half marathon even a week before. But it means staying in that kind of training mode year round. At least one run a week is 9 miles.
So if a half marathon sounds like something you want to achieve, go for it. You'll probably get a really cool medal. Just make sure you plan ahead and give your body time to adjust to your own needs. For me, the sense of accomplishment was absolutely worth the training. And the knee pain.