My Super Sweet 13(.1)

A 1st Half Marathon

31 Days Until… (Eek! Only a Month!)

Homer looks like I feel - but the trick is to keep at it... right? Slow and steady, progress is being made...

Oh my, only a month until the 2012 Kentucky Derby miniMarathon. This week I turn another year older – 31; that’s 13 backwards! Lucky symbolism or cute coincidence? – and will ring in my first day as a 31-year-old by running the Papa John’s 10 miler this Saturday. I’m not sure if that’s a masochistic or celebratory way to start out my 31st year. I’m favoring the latter for now.

I’ve been diligent and smart with my training; I did 45 minutes of intervals yesterday instead of the prescribed “30 minutes easy run” pace, if only because I was too tired to motivate myself to run for 30 minutes without stopping. I know I can, and have done so frequently, but I was just tired. Our Blue Mile group run this past Saturday went well – I stuck with the group, and I ran three times last week as well as took a couple yoga classes and I hit the weights and core pretty hard, as per last week’s “resolution.” I’m glad I stuck with my plans and am pleased with where I’m at, training-wise. We did get a gust of hot, 80+ degrees (F, 26 degrees Celsius for all those metric-lovers out there) which made running a little harder (hot! breathe!) but a lot more fun (hot!). I compared notes with my German pal who has also recently (like within the last year) taken up running, and we’re around the same level of time/distance. I have to admit though – the warm weather and the email inviting me to sign up for this summer’s Open Water Swim has made me crave the pool more than the pavement this week. Luckily, we’ve dropped into spring-ier temperatures, so I’m not wishing I was at the pool as much, but I think I’ll always prefer swimming to running.

So I’ve got a month of hard work ahead of me – 31 days – until I run 13 miles. I’m getting excited but I’m also nervous. I find it much easier to run distances in races because of all the people around me doing the same thing, but the 10 miler covers part of the mini course, meaning the dreaded (though I’ve done it before!) Iroquois Park hill. I think part of the fear comes from being tired – the semester is winding down, which means the classes I teach are in full throttle, and I’ve got a couple of chapters to knock out before Derby, which is when Louisville officially shuts down for a week and parties like it’s 1999, thus also when professors on committees become a bit scarce. Then there are the multiple weddings to plan for/buy for/travel to, and I have a job interview this week. I think it’s amazing how much we juggle daily, and add running to it? I’m proud of myself for my will power and perseverance this week – I’ve tackled the hills in Cherokee Park, sure, but the real accomplishment was getting off the couch. Thinking about my lofty, honeymoon-phase talk about training for a couple of marathons (Chicago’s or NYC’s, as well as the Marathon to Athens, Greece, marathon were on my mind…) I chuckle now. I just want to get this half marathon complete so I can go back to being lazy – I hope this fog lifts a little. Part of the issue is the chronic tight hips, sore hamstrings, etc. that come along with running, and while I thank myself on my runs, doing core work isn’t that fun. But it’s worth it; I am very excited to be diggiing my heels in and committing to these goals – it’s pretty empowering.

Hope the rest of you out there in the runner blogosphere are thanking yourselves for your own small victories. I hope I do well on the 10 Miler, but I also hope I have fun doing it. I’m going to work on a page with some yummy and healthy runner’s snacks (’cause you get hungry running all the time), but until then – Happy trails!

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