… the half marathon business, that is.
I came to running a bit later than most — I was 41 when I started. 9 months (and a few days) after my first run I ran a half marathon. I ran that whole race at a ten-minute-mile pace and I didn’t stop to rest once. I could not have been more proud.
Other than fair-weather hiking and kayaking I had never been “sporty” or “athletic” or even “fit.” But in the spring of 2013 I was all of those things. I was “in shape” for the first time in my life.
And then it all kind of went downhill from there. Summer came. It got hot and humid. I hate hot and humid. I didn’t train enough during those months even though I had another half in late September. I let myself transition from running entire races to doing running/walking intervals: run for three to five minutes, walk for a minute to 90 seconds. Rinse. Repeat. I still intended to run that entire half marathon course, though, despite my lazy training.
And then I came down with a cold the day before the race. Come race morning I felt like HELL. But it was my birthday, I’d travelled all the way to Providence, and there was no way I was going to skip that race. So I did my little intervals, pounding Boiron ColdCalm every fifteen minutes, and I finished that race. I had every intention of getting back to training for real as soon as I was better.
And then Life happened. Some shitty things happened. I let those things get in my way and I let myself train lazily throughout 2014. I don’t exactly regret the way I handled my training and running that year, but I do wish I had tried a bit harder. I never really got back to fully running anything longer than a 5k. I gained 10 pounds. I lazily ran five(!) half marathons. I did run/walk intervals for all five of those half marathons.
Meanwhile my boyfriend and I had started experimenting with trail running. We found that we enjoyed it much more than road running and decide to shift our focus from road running and racing to trail running for 2015.
I’d grown tired of half marathons, and he (who was never really interested in them in the first place but had gotten into the game by then anyway) was in complete agreement. We spent 2015 running more trails, fewer road races, and, of course, doing a lot of hiking and camping. It was great.
And then it was late 2015 and we found ourselves talking with a friend about the coming year. Before we knew it we had all verbally committed to three half marathons in 2016. We’ve already registered for the first one (taking place in May). The second and third are in September and November. We’ve been running more seriously for the past two months and I can do four to five miles without walking, albeit not at my preferred ten-minute-mile pace… yet. But I feel confident that I will be able to do these races with very few (if any) walk breaks. I’m even toying with the idea of breaking the 13.1 mile barrier this year. No, I am not interested in running a marathon. But I might at some point this year be willing to run a little farther than ever before. And I mentioned earlier that I don’t make NY resolutions, but I do plan on getting back to some semblance of my 2013 self this year.
So. It seems as though we are back in the half marathon business.