I did it. I have registered for the Miami Half Marathon. I am willingly paying good money to go out and run 13.1 miles. I like to think of it as the next step in my running evolution. I have run several 5K races. Even placed 2nd in my age group in a race last year. (I’m not going to say which one because then you may go online and see how few there were in my age group, not to mention my time.) I have run the 7 Mile Bridge race 3 times. Which is over half of a half marathon. So I figure 13.1 miles is the next challenge. Another distance I can say that I have done.
To help me along the way, I am following a training program through the Nike+ website. It’s kind of a neat gadget that works with my ipod to keep track of how far and how fast I run. I can look at the site and see neat graphs of my runs, set goals, join challenges, and the like. And this training program gives me specific workouts based on my goal time for the race.
And just when I start to think I am doing ok, making progress to my time goals, along comes an incident to keep me humble. Like the time I went into a local drug store to pick up a few things. Living in a small town, you get to know the people who work in the places you frequent. So as I was talking with the cashier, she mentioned she saw me out this week. More specifically, she said she saw me out “walking” one morning. I am admittedly no speed demon. When I say I run, I realize I am using the term loosely. But I think I at least look like I am doing more than walking. So I assuaged my ego by telling myself she must have seen me during my “I’m over half way done so I am going to catch my breath and take a couple of minutes to walk” break.
Then there was yesterday morning. I had run south along the bike path for a couple of miles and was taking my aforementioned walk break. I had turned around and started running again when a car stops in the bike path a few hundred yards ahead. Someone gets out and starts walking toward me who I think I might recognize. When I get close enough, I realize it is someone from church. I take off my headphones to say good morning and am greeted by concern. “I saw you walking so I turned around to check on you. Are you ok? Do you need a ride home?”
I guess I have brought this one on myself. My main response when people say they see me out running is, ‘Sorry you had to see that.’ Apparently it is not a pretty sight! But in spite of it all, I’ll be back out there tomorrow. You might not see me as much, because I think I’ll stay on the back roads for a while. But I’ll stick to the program. After all, it’s only 3 months to race day!
Update: This was originally posted about a year ago, so the Miami race was in January 2010. I finished, but was not too happy with my time of 2:43:52. But I will be trying again next year and hope to do better. In the meantime, you can still see me out ‘walking’ 4 or 5 days a week 🙂