One way to try and fight the seemingly inevitable holiday weight gain is to sign up for a half-marathon in January. Seeing as the longest competitive races I’ve done are 5K (3.1 miles) and the longest runs I’ve take for pleasure are about 8 miles, running 13.1 miles in about 8 weeks seems like an impossible dream. A painful, impossible dream. But dreams do come true, and on January 25th Jenn, Ashley (remember them from the obstacle course) and I will be waking up in Carlsbad, California, to intentionally put ourselves through some real pain for some sort of gain. For instance, a medal of some kind and a free shirt. I’m just that easy.
Even after writing a post about the many adrenaline highs and lactic acid lows that running can give me, I still have never been able to explain to others, or myself for that matter, what would possess me to run 13.1 miles without anyone chasing me. I’ll admit that it is at least in part peer pressure. Jen and Ashley competed in their first half-marathon last winter, and still have the drive to do it again. My baby sister herself completed the Detroit half-marathon a couple years ago. I’d rather die than admit that I don’t believe I can do it, and I take some solace in the fact that they all came through the experience, port-a-potty pit stops aside, relatively untraumatized.
Another motivating factor is simply as of yet unanswered question of what my body can do. I’m young, healthy and fairly fit. If I’m ever going to be able to complete a 13.1 mile run (within a set time limit), it will be now. I’ve hiked, biked, and meditated my way to health, and running has become a reliable addition to those activities. Why not test the boundaries of what I’m capable of now, while I still have a relatively good chance of achieving the goals I set without risking imminent death?
Finally, despite the minor marital disturbances that have been caused by lululemon and her amazingly wonderful yoga pants (seriously, put on these pants and watch your butt transform) that are, I admit, criminally priced, I believe a 13.1 mile run deserves the proper attire. As a reward to myself for completing all the training and simply making it to race day, I will be popping in to the lulu store conveniently located in the same city as the race, Carlsbad, California. Maybe I’ll find the perfect pair on sale (just for you, honey) or maybe not. But if I’ve just spent the typically most indulgent month of the year watching my booze intake so that I can complete all my scheduled training runs, I deserve to drop a hundy on some miracle-pants. That’s just common sense. (Sidenote: For the record, Dave has, at least once or twice, spent more than $100 on one round of golf. And I spend those dollars on a tangible, reusable, self-esteem boosting health-related item! Now who’s crazy?)
And so, on December 14th we will start our six-week Hal Higdon inspired training. Bit by bit, I hope to maintain the integrity of my knees, hips and ankles at least through noon on the 25th of January, where I plan to collapse into a proud, if not pitiful, puddle of lululemon-clad goo. Stay tuned for pictures of that moment.