One year ago today, I began my training for the Boston Marathon. Since running the marathon in April, I’ve been trying to figure out what’s next. I knew that running the Boston Marathon was not on my to-do-again list (at least, not right now) but I wanted something to work towards this winter. My friend Courtney and I have been saying for years that we want to run an ultra-marathon before we turn 30 in May 2016, but I’ve spent the last few months feeling like that wasn’t in the cards for me. So, what do I do?
On October 19th, I received an email from Race Cancer about a new half marathon – the Howling Wolf Half Marathon – taking place at the Stone Zoo (aka in my neighborhood, on my usual running routes). Price: $45. Date of Race: November 15. The location and price mattered more to me than the timing, so I signed up, even though it was LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY and I had not trained. That weekend I ran 8.5 miles. I did my usual strength training 2x a week and went for my usual short runs during the week… and didn’t do another long run in preparation for the half marathon. Whoops. Even still, I managed to get through the half marathon — even with the crazy Malden hills and a LOT of knee pain — in 2:20:16. That, my friends, is a pretty standard half-marathon time for me… when I’ve trained for it. It’s actually faster than 4 of my half marathons. Clearly, all that strength training is making a difference!
This past Sunday, a friend was over watching football with Eric and he asked what my next race was… and for once I didn’t have a single race scheduled. Even though I’ve been taking it easy since April, I at least had 5Ks on my mind and on my calendar. His question was enough of a spark that I started looking into spring half marathons, and in the past 48 hours I’ve signed up for not just one, but two races.
Half at the Hamptons – March 6
This is my most favorite place to run, and where I’ve achieved my two fastest times. Granted, I usually run the Smuttynose Rockfest in Hampton in October, but I missed it this year. My goal is to get under 2 hours, which means cutting 5 minutes off my fastest time of 2:04:20.
Eastern States 20 Miler – March 26
Yes, you read that right – 20 miler! I’m not ready to sign myself up for a full marathon, but to give myself something to really work towards, I just signed up for this awesome race that starts in Maine and runs south through New Hampshire into Massachusetts – 3 states! AND it ends in Hampton, NH (see above how Hampton is my favorite place to run). While I’m not putting too much pressure on myself with a goal for this one, it would be awesome to finish in around 3:30.
I’m so excited to really train for these races. And, I’m excited to stay focused on the nutrition side of things, too. While training for the marathon last year, I let my nutrition slide into the backseat. This winter, I’m determined to stay on track and achieve my racing and nutrition goals.
Happy December 1st!