This was year 2 of annual challenges for Scott and me. Last year we challenged ourselves to bike 100 miles around Cayuga Lake. 12 hours later we returned home, exhausted, excited and enthusiastic to pick our next challenge. My good friend Mary had recently tackled her first marathon. We knew we weren't quite ready for that, but we had agreed to select an event that would be really difficult for us. A half marathon seemed like the perfect plan. We selected Hal Higdon's Novice 1 Half Marathon Training program. The program runs for 12 weeks. However, we decided that since we hadn't really run before, we would do each week two times.
The first few weeks were filled with stomping! I really wasn't in good shape, was nervous about running and then also anxious about running with Scott. His pace is naturally quicker than mine, but he had agreed to run with me so that we could do this together. He was completely comfortable with this decision, but I spent my time worrying that I was holding him back.
A run that I remember well started after Elizabeth's school party for Valentine's day. We were only heading out for a 3 mile run. We had both eaten lots of candy at the party, and rushed home to get the run in before she arrived home from school. We couldn't have been 100 yards away from home when I started whining and saying I couldn't do it. Scott reminded me that all our neighbors would see me stomping home if I quit. I said "I don't care. This is hard!" and I proceeded to stomp home. When I got into the foyer I looked at the plan and kicked myself out of the house again. If it is on the plan, ultimately I will make it happen even if a whole lot of whining and stomping precedes the effort.
Scott and I headed up the day before with the kids and my in-laws. We had a big pre-race spaghetti dinner at Olive Garden and stayed in a Hampton Inn near the airport with a pool for the kids. The afternoon before, we looked at the forecast for race morning only to learn that it would be a 40 degree start. We'd run all summer in the afternoons and hadn't thought about early morning temperatures at all. We ran out to the mall to get some shirts to wear for the start of the race! Leaving before the free breakfast in the morning, we got ourselves ready to start the race.
It was a great event! We comfortably ran our practice 10 minute mile pace for the duration of the run. We felt confident and prepared, especially enjoying those last few miles while still having some oomph in our legs. We did split a strawberry gel around mile 10 for a little boost of energy. Our kids and my in-laws made great signs for us, and cheered us on at several points in the race.
When we finished we celebrated our race with a trip to Perinton Park with the kids before driving home and lounging around for the entire afternoon!
54/72 (age group 30-34)