Well, I did it again. I’m registered to run a marathon on February 7, 2010 in Huntington Beach, CA. And then for April 24, 2010 in Nashville, TN and a half-marathon in VA Beach on September 5, 2010. And I’m looking for a second half to do, for a grand total of 78.6 miles.
I’m terribly (and, perhaps, foolishly) excited. Rhyte will be joining at Huntington Beach, and Mad will be in VA Beach, and TG is pondering doing the half in Nashville, so he can up his redneck credentials (ah, the life of the teen searching for ways to rebel).
I bought new shoes–the same kind I ran in for Seattle. I’d tried New Balance in the interim–much wider toe box, but my feet felt increasingly terrible in the ensuing months after each run, to the point that I was avoiding running. So, back to the Asics. I love breaking in a new pair of running shoes–I’ve no idea why, mind you, but I do love the feeling.
I ran 5.5 miles to day and walked an additional 1.1 (and will do the same tonight–the walk part, not the run). Ran 11.5 miles last Sunday–a train wreck of a run, but it felt so good just to be out there (foot pain notwithstanding) and just moving. I took one of my favorite courses, up a really wide local street–a beautiful stretch of homes, people, and trees (and, not incidentally, hills). During each run, I pondered my time, but didn’t worry over it. I accept that I am pokey, and I don’t want running to become yet another area that causes stress (oh no…I’m so slow, I suck, etc.) for me.
I run because it allows me to celebrate–to feel myself move, to see and smell the world, to be alive. I don’t run to compete, and I hope I don’t psych myself into thinking that I need to do so.
Which is not to say I don’t have speed goals–I’d love to do a 4-hour marathon once. I hope to get to the point that I can consistently do a sub-5 marathon, though I think there is something to be said for the mental stamina of those of us out there for more than 5 hours.
So, I am training to run the first of the marathons next year at 5:15, which is about 20 minutes faster than Seattle, but slightly slower than the pace Mad and I kept for the half in VA Beach. It seems a reasonable goal. The primary goal for the Nashville marathon is to finish–it’s less than three months after the Surf City Marathon. In the future, I hope to run Catalina (oh my god–what a beautiful course) and Big Sur to Carmel, but the latter of these requires that I get to a sub-5 marathon, so we’ll have to work up to that one; it’s a six-hour course, but I’d rather err on the side of have more than 30 minutes before the course closes when I finish. And then there is New York. Someday.
My first race in training is on Halloween–Run Like Hell 5K. Why? Because running through a cemetery just seems like the appropriate way to spend Halloween morning (before driving up to the mountains to see the final Raider team competition of the year). I’m thinking of dressing like an elephant, since my knee tights are gray and pink. I’d look smashing in a pair of elephant ears, I feel certain (and the threat of showing up to TG’s competition dressed like that is almost too much fun to ignore).
The marathon in Huntington Beach is particularly significant to me because February 7 will be my one year sobriety anniversary and one year since the date I started training for the Seattle Marathon that started this whole love affair with distance. It seemed fitting.
So, in short (ha!) here we go again!