My big, scary goal for Saturday.
Originally, my goal for 2015 was to complete a half marathon in under two hours; I'd chosen a goal race, on December 12, and I was able to stay on track...until May and the siren call of registration for the 3rd Annual Jacob Wells 3 Bridges Marathon.
The marathon was scheduled to run the weekend after my goal half marathon, so I decided that I would alter my goal; instead, I ended up with a 25-minute marathon PR and that was a huge accomplishment (you can find my recap here).
While I was thrilled by the outcome of the marathon, I still felt this nagging desire to accomplish my half marathon goal; after some reflection, I've discovered there's a lot more significance to it than I think I'd imagined.
My current half marathon PR of 1:56:23 was set in October 2008; on the surface, I'm sure I appeared as though I had it all together: a cute, new husband (we married in April 2008); a well-paying, management level job; a nice home; fun friends; and good health.
Here's the reality: I was keeping HUGE secrets from my new husband; I hated my job, yet I was compromising my integrity so that I could maintain my financial status; my home was more than I could afford (but it looked good!); I was spending lots of money on my "friends" with the hope that they would continue being "friendly;" my hair was falling out; I was smoking at least a half a pack of cigarettes a day (but I was thin!); and I didn't take care of myself very well.
On Saturday, I'll be running in the RussVegas Half Marathon; billed as a "party on the pavement," I've heard lots of great things about this event from local running friends and I decided that I would target this as my goal race. It's not hilly, compared to the Little Rock Marathon (which I finished on March 6 at 2:01:33), but everyone has already warned me about "the overpass that starts around mile 11."
My regular long run route includes a bridge climb in the next to last mile, so I've been working on it; the incline I normally run has a much greater elevation change, so I'm going to try not to worry about this one.
As usual, I received an excellent race plan/strategy from my coach; he does a great job of researching races and looking over my training throughout the cycle to determine the best plan of action. I feel pretty confident that I can break the two-hour mark.
I've broken some old PRs from those days I mentioned earlier, in shorter distances, over the past year; my big, scary goal for Saturday is to not only break two hours, but also to break this old PR time.
When it happens, it will remind me that I don't have to lose 20 pounds to do it; I truly am faster as a master's runner (over 40); I'm just as good as I was BP (before prison!); and if I keep doing the work, I can reach my ultimate running goal (qualify for Boston).
It may not happen at this race, and that's okay, but it's going to happen; no matter what, I'm going to have fun on Saturday. I'm going to rock my short shorts, try to feel confident in the body that got me to the starting line, and embrace the challenge.