Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A rediscovery of the half-marathon...

I still remember the first 5K I ran. I had a busted ankle and few base miles under my belt. Training was a new thing to me, and I fought/limped my way around Epcot to a 32:30 time. I wasn't happy with it, but I was hooked. In my next 5K, I dropped 5 1/2 minutes from my time, and I wondered if I could handle a 10K.  After that, what about a half-marathon? A full? I've made it through them all and have found myself looking for the next challenge. I'm already on the hunt for an Ultra race and am knee deep in GORUCK endurance challenges and trail races... several of which will be run with a full rucksack.

Why? Because I make poor decisions. It's the only reason I can come up with.

All of this, coupled with a new approach to life and workout regimen, has resulted in increased distance and speed, increased muscle tone, decreased weight, and more base miles. When I was training for my marathons, I ended up with 7 1/2 mile mid-week runs and long (13-15 miles) runs on the weekend. Now, I'm at that point without it being part of a training plan. I have no doubt that I could grab my gear and run a crisp half tomorrow if I wanted.

All this has reopened the half marathon to me again. If I'm traveling for work, why not see what races are being run in the area and jump in? What about local races that happen to match up with my long-run day? There was a point where I considered running a half in all 50 states. Is that a reasonable goal? Well, I decided to just run...

... and see where it got me.

Well, it has me running further and faster than I did during my training days, and I'm optimistic about participating in some random and amazing races in the coming months. Where? Which ones? No spoilers, you'll have to read about them when they happen. I'm already registered for 4 half-marathons this year and wouldn't be surprised to find myself jumping into more that fit my training schedule. The catch is going to be getting them to fit my life schedule. I will be driving all over the country every weekend this fall, either for college football games or challenges that I've already put on the calendar. Finding time to slide in additional races might be a mistake. But, as usual, I will make them real-time, spur-of-the-moment decisions. Those are usually the best kind anyway. Unfortunately, living in Orlando won't offer me many opportunities to cross states off the list. Still, I always have something up my sleeve.

I've taken a page from another runner and will be keeping up with my runs and their locations. Keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming post that talks the races I've already run (registration, expos, course, crowd, medal, etc), as well as race reports for each one I have upcoming. I'll update the list and map as I get going.

2009 Tampa Gasparilla Half-Marathon
2009 Salt Lake City Half-Marathon
2009 Rock 'n Roll Seattle Half Marathon
2009 ING Philadelphia Distance Run
2010 Los Angeles Marathon
2010 San Francisco US Half Marathon - The Other Half
2010 Dublin Marathon
2011 Cocoa Beach Space Coast Half Marathon

Five States (and two countries) Down

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