Over the past year, I have become a runner. At first it was mainly to get in better shape, but over the months of training I have actually grown to like it. I ran my first half-marathon in October, and said I wouldn't do another one. Over this long, snowy winter I changed my mind. Needing a new goal to force me to get to the gym regularly, I signed up for the More Magazine/Fitness Magazine Women's Half-Marathon in April. That the course is entirely in Central Park sealed the deal for me! I even signed up on a team with my local running store, soundRUNNER, to keep me from backing out of it.
Every Saturday I get up early and drive the 40 minutes to the store to do my 8am long training run with the store's group--on the schedule for this week is 10-12 miles. I have never run outside (on purpose, anyway) when the temperature dips below 60 degrees until this winter. The day of the first group run in January, it was 10 degrees. I told myself that it couldn't possibly be colder than that, so if I could run in 10-degree weather it could only get better from there. The next weekend it was 8. I have actually grown to LOVE running in the cold air. Good thing, considering the climate of our new home. I also love training with a group. It pushes me to go further and faster than I ever would on my own. I completed my first half-marathon in 2 hours and 18 minutes. My only goal this time around is to beat that time.
Hartford Half-Marathon, October 9, 2010
With all of the rain, snow, and ice we have had lately, I have had to do much of my training on the treadmill, which gets really boring. The conditions are slowly improving outside, but I still managed to roll my ankle last week by slipping on gravel left behind by plows and melted snow. After several days off to let the swelling go down, it was back to the treadmill this week. I recently put this sticker on the back of my car, mostly to remind myself to keep going. With all of the moving stuff we have going on, it would be really easy to give up in the next month or two.
Luckily, all of the schools The LT needs to complete before the big move (nearly 6 weeks worth) have been scheduled and none of them conflict with April's race. I am reminding myself that this is the last time for the next two years that I can count on him being around so I can fit in my training runs and plan ahead for races. I'm hoping to complete a half-marathon in each state that we live. Surprisingly, there are several options in Alaska! The Mayor's Midnight Sun in June, the Skinny Raven Half-Marathon in August, and the Kenai River in September. Maybe I'll have some company on at least one of these races while we're stationed in Homer! Any takers?