I am (or maybe should be) committed. I registered for two races this morning. The first is the local Turkey Trot in Parker. Having confirmed that I will be in town for Thanksgiving, I decided to give this one a shot. I’ve lived in Parker for about 13 years but ironically have never done a race in town. This one will be pretty easy just a 5K out and back along the Cherry Creek trail which I know well. It ought to be nice not to have to drive down to Castle Rock or north all the way to
. Washington Park
I did register for another, slightly longer race as well. On May 5 of next year, it’s my intention to run the Colorado Marathon.
Yes, I did say marathon, not half marathon. This will be my second attempt at the distance, the first being the Rock & Roll Marathon in
in 2006. That one was not bad considering it was the first time. I finished at
5:01:07 after struggling mightily during the last 10K. The course was fairly
flat, especially in the second half and while the weather was a bit warmer and
more humid than I expected, I managed it okay.
There were other factors that slowed me up that year including plantar fasciitis and a nagging case of IT Band Syndrome. I have no regrets about the race. Running 26.2 miles is no mean feat for anyone. But despite coming out of the race thinking I would do another, I never did. Training proved to be too grueling and time consuming and I just lost my passion for it. That didn’t really change until I discovered triathlon.
That brings up the question of what has changed to make me want to do this again. There are multiple answers.
First: Last year I saw my brother have a lot of success in our 70.3 mile triathlon, HITS after having done a full marathon in the early season. That’s not to say he had an easy time of it (he assures me he did not) but while most of us had slowed to a walk, he ran it in. I doubt I’ll be as fast as he was in my next half iron event, but anything that would shave several minutes off my 2:46 time would be good. Imitating the success of others is always a good strategy!
Second: I meant it when I said that I had no regrets about that first race. However, that does not mean that improving upon the time has not been bothering me. Nothing drastic, just the ability to put a 4 at the front of the time would be nice. I have a much better training plan now. I’m also more disciplined in my training. Furthermore, I’ll be about 14 pounds lighter on race day than I was back in 2006. All bode well for a PR.
Third: Last weekend, I caught the highlight show from this year’s Ironman Championship in Kona. Let’s face it; it’s a lot easier to watch people out there suffering than to do it myself. Nevertheless, I felt a desire to be one of them. Not a competitor at Kona (that would be nice but it’s unlikely) but to be able to call myself an Ironman. Most folks who read a triathlon blog understand. For anyone else, if I have to explain, you wouldn’t get it. Running a marathon as a stand-alone event is hard. Running it after swimming 2.4 miles (over an hour) and riding 112 miles (over six hours) is almost surreal. If I decide I’m going to commit to 140.6, then I need to know I can run the distance. That’s still a very big if, but I am still willing to explore it.
So now what? Cast aside the biking and swimming so I can prepare for a run event? Hardly! If I learned anything from my experiences several years ago it’s that cross-training can help me reach the cardio needs of such a race and help prevent injuries. I’ve been able to work out six days a week because I vary what I do.
This is a big step. Deciding you are going to run 26.2 miles always is. However, I feel like I’m going in the right direction on my path as an endurance athlete. If that path does not lead me to a full Ironman event, so be it. If it does, well, very few people can call themselves an Ironman. I would be honored to be one.
More to come on this one including training progress, deets about the race and how my 43 year old body holds up.
Thanks for reading!