Monday, April 18, 2011

(Half) Marathon Man

As 2010 came to a close I began to consider my goals for 2011.  You see, I am the type of guy who needs goals.  Otherwise, I will let the comfort of my chair and a good cup of coffee keep me from heading out into the cold to train.  So without the hard-driving internal motivation that so many athletes possess, I have to rely on upcoming events to keep my mojo on track.

From a cycling perspective, it’s pretty easy to find local events to ride so this is not a problem.  Plus, I am always up for riding with friends whether I have a pending goal or not.  However, I have be honest and say I ended last year a little burnt out on cycling and very, very tired.  I was beginning to feel like it was time for a slight change of scenery.

So, I started running again this year.  Running was my exercise of choice many years ago until I broke my ankle trail running in Annadel State Park.  (BTW –This accident led me to road cycling but that’s a story for another day).  My original goal was to use running for a little cross training and to provide a kind of mental break from cycling.

Of course, as I sat in my chair with my coffee and listened to the rain this winter, running became an excuse not to ride on the trainer in my garage, which I detest.  I wouldn’t get on the trainer because I was going to “go for a run”.  I needed a goal if I had any hope of turning this around.

I half-heartedly decided to run a half-marathon.  I’ve participated in hundreds of 10k runs so that didn’t seem long enough to be a good goal.  I say half-heartedly because while I did choose a distance I didn’t actually choose an event so I don’t think that qualifies as a real goal.

That’s when I discovered that about 15 people from work were all running the Windsor Green Half Marathon on May 22nd.  It did not take much convincing for me to jump on board.  Now that I finally have an event, let the training begin.

My original plan was to ensure running didn’t interfere with cycling.  What was I thinking?  With no major cycling events on the horizon running is my main focus right now.  I usually ride between 4,000 – 5,000 miles a year, which translates to 1,000+ miles a quarter.  I finished March with just over 600 miles of pedaling and nearly 100 miles of running. 

As to the running plan, well so far, so good.  It was sidetracked just a bit as I worked my way through a nasty cold in February but otherwise, it’s going smoothly.  I already reached the 7-mile point and with 5 weeks remaining I am confident I will be ready.  The really cool part is running with friends in Annadel again.  I forgot just how beautiful it was up there (running in Annadel will be featured in a future post).

Will I keep running after my half-marathon?  Probably!  However, it will be relegated back down to my secondary activity that helps with a little cross-training.  Still, it will be nice to have that running base just in case another cool opportunity arises in the future.  And when it does, all I’ll have to do is make it a goal and I’ll be ready.


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