New Challenge

This blog started with the intent of tracking my training for the Warrior Dash coming up in Virginia on October 1st. I haven’t been as good about tracking my training as I would like, and I also haven’t been as good about strength training as I need to be.

But I have been running, and last weekend, I even ran my first 5k race, the Superhero 5k at St. Joseph’s Villa on the Northside of Richmond. Actually running a real race lifted the veil of fear and trepidation I hadn’t even realized was there, and now suddenly, all I want to do is run more, farther, faster, and better.

I still have the Warrior Dash to train for. That will be fun and challenging with all the obstacles, but it no longer feels so terribly daunting. 3.26 hellish miles doesn’t seem so bad anymore. Challenging, yes. Worthy of striving for, yes. But nothing to be feared anymore. Only a month ago, I was giving very serious consideration to seeing if I could get my registration fee back. Now, I am not even worried about it anymore. I will train and I will get my crap together and start moving heavy weights around to get ready, but I am not afraid of the idea anymore.

What has happened now is that I have gotten inspired to really, and I mean really challenge myself. I am not talking about shifting from a 5k to a 10k. I am talking about signing up for and training for the McDonald’s Half Marathon, set for November 12, 2011, in Downtown Richmond.

What I like:

  • If I had to, I could briskly walk the whole thing and still finish before the close the course at 11:30 that morning. Of course, that is not how I want to tackle 13.1 miles.
  • MP3 players aren’t verboten (I am surprised by the number of races where they are forbidden).
  • It is local. Really local. As in, it starts 3 blocks from my office. As in, I can get a lot of direct practice in.
  • As far as major races go, it is not prohibitively expensive. If I register by June 30, it is $65.
  • It has earned very high ratings from Runners World as a great course. And Runner’s World rated the 26.2 as the world’s “Friendliest Marathon.”
  • What I like less:

  • It is going to be hilly. I don’t care how many times I chant the mantra “Hills are my friend, hills are my friend” while chugging up a hill, I still don’t believe it yet.
  • It is going to be seriously crowded. Tens of thousands come out for this. I don’t dig crowds. Neither does my family, and it will not be ideal for bringing Grace and Daddy downtown to cheer me on at the finish.
  • It is really daunting to take up the challenge of quadrupling my current ability in only about 6 months, particularly with a hot summer in between me and the race, and the time consuming and energy-draining events of Sapphire Joust and Pennsic in between me and the race.
  • What I like least:

  • That my brain quakes at the thought of running for 2 and a half hours. It is strictly a mental challenge, and the only one that might keep me from lining up on race day.
  • And yes, I wrote 2 and one half hours. Two hours and thirty minutes. That is my fantasy goal. I would be content with 2:45. 3 hours would be disheartening. Not finishing would be devastating.

    Not finishing is the only outcome I won’t accept.

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