I've just completed C25k, ran the Susan G. Komen 5k in NYC on Sunday the 18th, and am now starting Hal Higdon's 12-week half-marathon plan for a Jan. 7 Disney half-marathon. Anyone else making this leap? Am I crazy? I could barely walk after the 5k for some reason - I probably pushed too hard. (My practice runs were ok; sometimes I had pain, sometimes not. I'm about 10 lbs. overweight.) Am now worried about whether I am overshooting by attempting to do a half-marathon, if a 5k can take me down like that! I'll do my first 10k around Thanksgiving. In any case, would love to hear from others just starting the 12-week plan. Or any half-marathon plan!! It seems IMPOSSIBLE and rather terrifying at the moment.
Your situation, and level of motivation, seems to me to be pretty unique. Most C25K graduates go on to B210K, or some other 10K training program. A half-marathon is over 4 times the 5K distance, so it's definitely not a joke of a distance. I'm a little concerned about how wiped out you were after the 5K, too. I'm curious to know what exactly the pains you were feeling, as this can either speak to form or fitness level, both of which could/should affect your decision to run the half.
All that being said, however, the Hal Higdon Novice Half Marathon plan is very good at easing you into the distance. Weeks 1 and 2 are not too different from Week 9 of C25K, so I think it's definitely possible for you to do it. A few suggestions for you (from my own half/full experience):
1) Don't ignore the stretch/strengthen portion of the training. Your core (as well as the rest of your body) needs to be strong in order to handle the stress of 13.1 miles. Do the lifts that are recommended, or supplement with some other kind of strength training that focuses on core/legs.
2) Jan 7 is 14, almost 15 weeks away. Repeat a couple of the middle weeks so that your buildup is not too fast.
3) Slow down! Your half pace won't be your 5K pace.
4) Don't ignore the rest days
5) Because you're jumping into a long distance training program so fast, your adherence to the schedule is even more important. If you miss too many days (injury/illness/vacation, etc.) then you're going to have a rough time.
I don't mean to worry you or anything, but you do need to be aware of what you're jumping into. Best of luck, and run healthy!
Thank you so much Terranss—I'm sorry for the delay in responding. After the 5k, and ever since (it's been a few weeks), I've felt like I've pulled something in my hip, so I don't know what I did wrong. I suppose when signing up for the half, it didn't seem that insane—I had more than 12 weeks to prepare. Now I'm wondering if I've made a mistake, but I did register and pay for the race, which is really expensive - $170 - it's at disney - so I guess I am going to give it a go. I will take all of your advice into consideration, ESPECIALLY the bit about stretching and strengthening, as I have been neglecting that part. Before the race, I have about three weeks off, so any suggestions about what to best do with that time would be great. Also, I'm doing this all on my own, save Hal Higdon.. should I see a running coach or something like that before I do the race? How does one find one?