Friday, July 22, 2011

The Running Chronicles - the half marathon horizon

At this time last year, I was struggling to run the 3/4 mile walking path near my house without needing CPR.  I could barely get to the end of my street before being winded.  Today, I have completed nine races (two more than all last year), including 5K's, 8K's, and 10K's.  I can safely run at least 6 miles without the need for an ambulance near by.  I have made some pretty decent progress in the last 12 months.  Wow.

My 2011 races as follows, to date:
March 13 - St Paddy's Shamrock Shuffle 5K - time 28:07
April 10 - Chicago Shamrock Shuffle 8K - time 44:24 (with a 5K PR time of 26:54)
April 17 - Equestrian Connection 8K - time 49:16:5
April 23 - Egg Shell Shuffle 5K - time 26:03
May 26 - Chicago Corporate Challenge 3.5 miles - time 29:10
May 29 - Salute Inc. Memorial Day 10K - time 59:32:3.
June 5 - United Run For The Zoo - time 1:00:41
June 11 - CVS Run to Stop The Cycle of CVS - time 26:03
July 3 - Frontier Days Stampede 10K - time 1:01:28
Next on the calendar - Running in the Brook - 5K July 30th

Now that's a pile of miles

So my longest run, to date, is the 7.64 trail miles I did last weekend.  It's been super hot here and my schedule this week hasn't gotten me out of the house for a run, about which I'm totally bummed.  Still, I'm going to work on 8 miles this weekend.

I've been thinking, for a while now, that my next step should be a half marathon.  Logically, it wouldn't be that hard to stack on some more miles on my weekend runs, and it wouldn't be that difficult to put my two week night short runs back on the schedule.  I get it.  I could do it.  I keep hearing people tell me it's totally realistic, and it's the next logical step.  OK.  So why is my head giving me such a hard time?

Is it because 13.1 miles *seems* so insurmountable a distance?  Is it because I'm afraid my IT bands aren't up for the challenge?  Is it because I'm afraid *I* am not up for the challenge?

This is the right time for me.  I've finally started to pace myself, take it slower, and I think I even had a negative split in my last 10K {don't get too excited, it was probably only about a 30 second split}.  So why am I not 100% sure of myself meeting the challenge of the half marathon?  Why?

Muddy shoes = a race well run {?}
I guess, in my mind, I have this image of the half marathon runner which I don't relate myself to.  I can't say what it looks like, but I don't think *I* look like it.  The good shoes.  The hydration belt.  The visor.  The sleeveless racing shirt.  The running skirt.  The great stride, the steady pace.  What?  What is my problem?  It's not about how you look, it's about getting out there and doing it!  Accomplishing a goal, beating a personal best, performing and recovering like you never have before.  Doing it.  That's what it's about.  Getting out there and just plain doing it.  Who cares if you walk a little, stop for water, get passed up by the AARP crowd or the stroller jogger, or the junior high track star {my friends and I have a running joke (no pun intended) of "Guess who I got passed by" in each of our races together}.  You're out there, you're doing it, and that's a lot more than most people can say!

Chicago MarathonImage via Wikipedia
At the same time, I'm considering doing the Chicago Marathon in 2012 to celebrate my 40th birthday.  What?  Dude.  I don't know what's come over me!!

So, I'm on my way to my first half marathon.  There.  I said it.  Now if that's not hot confidence, I don't know what is!!

You aer a star - by Ethel

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