The impact of running is hard on the body, and it takes time for the leg muscles and tendons to adapt to deal with the impact. The time it takes for your body to adapt to the impact is typically much longer than it takes to increase your cardio fitness. And unfortunately there isn't really any way around this time issue.
I'd definitely recommend a Couch to 5K plan as the best way to get into running. These programs work through progressively increasing intervals of running and walking. www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_artic
Coolrunning has C25K plans, as well as 10K and half plans. www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_4/index.sht
In terms of timeframes, C25K takes about 8 weeks, and most experts recommend adding no more than 10% a week to your distance, which implies about 8 weeks to double your distance. Progressing faster than this puts you at risk of injury, as your body just can't adapt that fast to the new demands you are making of it:
So, in terms of time frames:
Couch to 5K 8 weeks
5K to 10K 8 weeks
10K to half 8 weeks
I agree with the consensus on this thread that running a half marathon is not a safe or sensible goal for mid March.
But I don't mean to sound negative or discouraging. I see at least 3 options that are realistic goals for you:
1. Sign up for a 10K in mid-March
2. Relax your timeframe and aim for a half in May (although this may run into conflict with increasing time demand for wedding prep)
3. Find a half in March that has pretty generous time cut-offs, that would allow you to run/walk it.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
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