Three Friends

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Friday, January 17, 2014

I Think I Can ...

Train to run a Half Marathon!

There was a time when this sign represented something difficult for me:


Two miles was a struggle. Two miles was counting every step, eager for it to end. Two miles was hard.

Two miles isn't even on my radar anymore. Three miles is a short run. If I only run 2 miles it's because it was too warm outside to keep going, or I was in pain. 

I have signed up for the Irongirl Half Marathon, which will take place on 27 April. The Irongirl came to Columbia in 2012; it's a women-only half-marathon and a 5k. I participated in the 5k the first two years, but inside, I was wondering if I could ever run 13.1 miles. It seemed impossible. But then again, there was a time when 5 miles seemed impossible, and I dashed that off this afternoon after work.

Pausing Mid-Run to Photograph Two Curious Deer
I can't quite remember what pushed me over the edge of the decision to sign up for the half. I was kind of thinking of it toward the end of last year, then at some point I just made the decision to do it. They're expensive -- more than what a week's worth of groceries cost. But I think the accomplishment, in the year of my forty-(coughmumble) birthday, will be priceless.

I have begun to train. The route for the half-marathon is a bit hilly .... That spot just past mile 5.24 looks pretty rough! Then the entire last half is uphill all the way! Yikes!

So I've been training in Columbia's Centennial Park for my long runs ... steep hills, but not as long as the ones in Columbia:

Elevation Gain: 687 ft
Elevation Loss: 686 ft
Min Elevation: 316 ft
Max Elevation: 383 ft

I love Centennial Park ... once around is 2.4 miles. It's a gorgeous place to visit.

Particularly in the Autumn.

For my shorter runs, I run after work in the quieter parts of the military base in the next county. It's quite scenic in its own way.

Okay, it's prettier in the other three seasons. This time of year it's just kind of barren and dreary. But there is always wildlife! Deer, fox, groundhogs, geese, ducks ...

And a pretty lake...
The downside is the non-stop construction and the heavy truck traffic in spots. For one memorable week, the sewer lines were being replaced. Oh, the odor ... indescribable.

A look back .... 

My first 5k ... the Irongirl

First 5-miler ... Navy-AF in DC
 So far, my only relay (8 miles)
I am so excited for this half. I'm only up to 7 miles distance, but I have a bit over 3 months to train for it and I'm halfway there. 

So far my biggest challenges are dealing with my blood sugar issues (the family curse) and talking myself out of purchasing any more running apparel. Athleta is my biggest weakness ... and they're opening a store in Columbia next month. I might have to do like gambling addicts do at casinos, and self-ban.
First 10k (of only 2 so far) with Slick
I'm counting on you all to keep me motivated!

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