Thinking about the spot where half marathon finishers medal #6 is going to be I realized that I’ve been giving short shrift to the “Six Halfs In a Year” headline. At the completion of the MetroPCS Dallas Half next Sunday I will have completed a major running event each month for the last five months, more of an accomplishment than I’ve been considering it to have been.
Granted, there are probably thousands of runners out there that complete an organized half marathon event every month so in they eyes of the world my accomplishment is far from earth shattering. But for me it’s a great achievement considering where I was at the beginning of the year.
On a whim I decided to fly down to Austin to run the 20th annual 3M event (it was brutally cold here in Omaha so why not?). I hadn’t really been training for a half, hell I don’t even think I’d actually put in any more than a handful of miles of actual “running”. Truth be told I’d only been working on my fitness since mid-December. I didn’t even run Austin, I “Wogged” it – a word I came up with to describe my walk/jog approach.
I had no grand expectations, I just wanted to finish in 3:00 or under. I met my goal with a 2:51. In a galaxy far, far away I had run the Baltimore half in 1:54, so that 2:51 kinda pissed me off even though it was what I deserved in light of my lack of training up to that point – but the gauntlet was thrown.
I came back to Omaha on a mission, not to run six half marathons in 2014, but to prove to myself that I could get back to being able to actually RUN the entire course without any walk breaks. To motivate me on this mission I registered for the Revel Rockies inaugural, the Omaha Half, the Des Moines half, and a couple months later the Richmond half. Dallas didn’t even enter into the equation until after I’d finished Des Moines and then realized that I couldn’t finish the year with an odd-number of finishers medals; it’s a left-brain thing.
I felt redeemed when I finished the Revel Rockies a full 23 minutes faster, and that with a pulled muscle in my right leg that manifested itself at mile 7. My 2:16 in Omaha a month later quieted the naysayers in the back of my mind telling me that Revel was a fluke because it was all downhill.
My daughter Kelly, with whom I ran the Richmond event last month (I the half, she the full) has challenged me to PR for the year in Dallas with a 2:10. An ambitious challenge to be sure, but considering what I’m running Dallas in support of – challenge accepted! I already have my race day shirt packed, I’m running for a cause and so I’ll cross the finish wearing my Navy Seal Foundation shirt.
I’m just unhinged enough that I’m considering a run at 12 medals next year. I’m already registered for Grandma’s Marathon in June, with the Ogden half slotted in May on my training calendar. Now I’ve got myself thinking that I should run a half each month leading up to Grandma’s, then a half in each of the next five month’s and cap off the year with a full in December. Major undertaking, but I think it’s possible.