I am turning 40 this year!
What’s a big birthday without a big project? I needed something that would challenge me, be measurable, but would not make the delicate haystack of my emotions crumble like the foam from the inside of my bathmat after it had been washed one too many times.
The answer: Run 40 half marathon (distances) BETWEEN MY 39th and 40th birthdays!
The only rule I have is the run must be continuous (so no 6 miles in the morning and 7.1 in the evening). Walking, running, racing, intervals are all fair game, but it MUST be a continuous 13.1 recorded by gps.
I am kicking ass at this goal. Let’s recap the first quarter (12/8 – 3/7).
- #1–Kiawah Island Half (appx. 2:28). Too much to say. This race felt strong and amazing, and this whole weekend was the stuff of which dreams are made.
It was my birthday. I spend the weekend with 18 of my running friends in a giant beach house in South Carolina. I ran a half marathon—which included stopping at the house to use the bathroom and get some candy— in 2:28
- #2–Sunday morning figure 8 half (2:34). Why did I think this was slow and steady?
- #3–5 am run with the Go with the Flowe group. Ran 9.5 miles with a group that generously waited for me to catch up, and, and then finished the last 3.6 miles on the final.
- #4–Sunday morning run through Old Town (2:38). This run was forgetable. Not bad, but I must not have been listening to anything amazing because nothing about it sticks in my mind. Usually I can remember exactly what I was listening to when I review the route. Not here. (Hence no picture)
- #5–MLK Afternoon run (2:36)–Spent the weekend with the family, attempted sledding (until 20 minutes into the expereince, my niece went a little too fast, flipped her sled, and needed stitches in her chin. She was a champion through the experience.) I HAAAAAAAAAAAATE running in the afternoon, and despite eating pancakes with the family in the morning, still had to make an emergency Starbuck’s stop to get some life-giving bantam bagels.
- #6–Windy Sunday morning half (2:48) Listening to Tara Westover’s book Educated. Some of the descriptions of the abuse she suffered as a child were so real and striking that I felt sick to my stomach. But I’m glad I had a calm, rainy, cool windy morning to not hurry through the run or hurry through the experience.
- #7–President’s Day Half. Slowest one to date, but it was on the heels of leading a spin class. My legs were TIRED.
8. End of the Trail Half Marathon (2:15)–what a difference a PLAN makes! This is a specacular, well organized, flat, fast, FUN race. I made a last minute decision to use a training plan I had loaded on my watch: 1 mile WU, 3 miles at moderate pace (10:30), then 1k run/90 second rest intervals. It worked like a charm—13 minutes faster than the last half I raced, the first time I landed on the 2:15 mark in YEARS, and the whole race felt so good. PLUS! I got to meet a fellow Nuun Ambassador and see a whole bunch of local friends.
#9–Sunday afternoon half. The husband and I had spend the weekend out of town visiting the kiddos, and that means that this early morning runner had to begin my run (journey on the struggle bus?) at 2 pm with two laps around the Dry Creek Park 10K loop. Lessons learned–DRINK YOUR DAMN WATER. I started out the run thirsty, and it got so much worse as time went on. BUT! I had a very smooth recovery and got to have all the Napa Marathon feels wearing the shirt and thinking about everyone who had run that morning!
Things I am discovering–I am getting less mentally tough when it comes to these runs. If I am alone, I have no desire to go fast and can find any excuse in the book to walk. I’m still determined to cover the miles, but there is a definite difference between my times running with peer pressure vs. running and not listening to the book.
Here’s to getting stronger, perhaps faster, and settling into knocking this challenge out of the park.