Sunday, December 9, 2012

"I Can Do More" Challenge

Reading running blogs has really inspired me.  And the funny thing is I wasn't even aware of running blogs until I happened upon one while doing a Google search for something else.

I have 5 that I read regularly and I know that there are a gazillion more out there that I would LOVE but I'm finding it hard to keep up with these five...let alone doing my own posting.  But of these five blogs there is Dane who ran a full marathon every weekend for an entire year.  My husband and I actually met him and bought his first book.  Its a great read.  Then there is Becca in Colorado.  This was the first blog that I found and her posts really "flipped my switch" about running.  She was recently named Half Fanatic of the Year for 2012 and did 34 half marathon in 2012.  And then there is Skinny Runner.  She is the one that inspired me to create a "challenge" for myself.  She did a "Man Up" challenge in which she did 4 marathons in 8 days...or something crazy like that.  I'm so thankful for all the running blogs out there.

So what could my challenge be?  My first half marathons (1997, 1998 & 1999) were the 500 Festival Mini Marathon and I was a walker.  Then I got a job that was extremely time consuming and didn't do anything for the next 10 years.  In 2007, my husband started training for an Olympic distance triathlon and I was inspired by the running that he was doing so I too started my attempt at running.  I was all set to attempt the Mini Marathon as a runner in 2008...and then had unexpected hernia surgery.  I was crushed!  I remember crying as I watched it on TV.  I immediately signed up for the race in 2009 when registration opened.  At least I WAS able to do a "new" half marathon in November of 2008 - the Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon.

I think it might have been a newspaper article that I read about a guy who had done a full marathon in every state that got my wheels turning to set that same goal for myself but with the half marathon distance.  Now mind you, in 2009 I was already 39 years old.  Probably should have started thinking about this in my 30s but it is what it is.  Now it was time to start planning.  Up until that point I'd only done ONE half marathon a year. I couldn't keep that pace or I'd be 80 when I complete this.

Which brings me back to my challenge.  I had upped my game by doing more that one event in 2009,half marathon & full marathon in the same year.  And then in 2010, I did 4 half marathons and a full.  Then in 2011, I did 3 half marathons and a full and done two of those half marathons in the same month but one was at the beginning of the month and one was at the end.  Through September of 2012, I had done 5 half marathons and a 6 miler.  I'm not a good or fast runner and I never really push myself but as I was researching other half marathon to do I found out that there were 3 within a 2 week period that would fit in my schedule...and thus my "I Can Do More" Challenge was born.
  • On October 21st, I did the IMT Half Marathon in Des Moines, Iowas
  • On October 27th, I did the Muncie Half Marathon in Muncie, IN (and then did a 5K later that night in Clermont, IN)
  • On November 3rd, I did the Monumental Half Marathon in Indianapolis, IN

Its amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it.  Who knows what else I'll be able to accomplish?  I now even have a "sub-goal" from the half marathon in every state which is to run my 50th half marathon the year I turn 50 - 2015.  This now means I'm obsessed with researching and planning half marathons in 2013! 

I can't wait to see what the future holds.

A "Monumental" Affair

This was the 5th year for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon and Half.  I did the half the inaugural year and then did the full marathon the following year.  It was my very first full marathon.  But after taking two years off from the race, I thought I'd run it again.  Plus it fit in to the "challenge" I was doing and I read about a discount on the entry fee!

Race morning was chilly but one of the hotels was open near the start line so I was able to make one more bathroom stop and stay in the warmth of the lobby until closer to the start time.

I don't remember everything about this race from 5 years ago but figured the route would be similar.

On a personal note: as luck would have it, I should have started my period 4 days before race day but nooooooo, I started THAT morning.  Not cool Mother Nature!  Initially I didn't feel too bad but cramps would hit me hard later in the race.  (sorry it all of that is TMI for some).

One interesting note, I saw a guy running and he had a sign on his back stating that it was his birthday.  So as I ran up to them, I sang Happy Birthday to him. 

Mile 10 would come to be the undoing of an "up to that point" decent race.  All of a sudden the cramps hit really bad; my lower back and my gut.  It was excruciating.  I was in so much pain that I was running at times with my eyes closed - not good or safe!  I was near tears at times.  And then of course, it started sleeting.  REALLY?  I just put my head down and tried to push through although I started taking walking breaks.  And it certainly felt like the temperature had dropped; it was definitely colder by the time I finished.  I could barely text my husband (who was in San Fran) because I was shaking so much from being cold.

This was half marathon #21 for me and 8th for the year.  That's a drop in the bucket for some but this "older" girl is pretty proud of what I've accomplished so far.