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… for the Saratoga Palio Half- Marathon! Mark your calendars for September 15, 2013!

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I’m excited for this race for many reasons:

  1. I haven’t ran a half in years and my sister has never ran one; she’ll be joining in on the fun and racing as well!
  2. This will be my longest race distance since last year’s marathon attempt.
  3. I have ran hundreds of miles throughout this city (during my college years) but have never raced this race.
  4. It’s local (I grew up just five miles outside of the city) so our family and friends won’t have to travel to see us whiz by!

I know and have ran each and every mile of this race in previous years, while learning how to run, training for previous races and passing the time with my good friend Marla. I haven’t ran up there in years and I hope to change that over the course of the next nine weeks. It’s only thirty minutes away and if I’m doing my longer runs on Saturdays, I should be able to get up there and beat the traffic in the early mornings. I’m excited to possibly run again with Marla and have her push me harder to make me more confident for race day. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me to help me cross the finish line; warning Instagram followers: I will be posting a lot of exercise posts from here on out.

A couple of people have already asked me if I have a goal and my simple answer is yes- I’d like to finish. Furthermore, I’d love to not come in last place. Yes, I came in dead last at my last half-marathon. Short story time: many years ago when I first decided to start running, during a seven mile long run, my good friend Marla suggested that I run the next week’s half marathon. Let me set the scene for you: it was the last week of December and I had never, ever ran a race before (not even a 5k). I had also never ran more than seven miles.

I don’t know what it is about Marla but she is motivational. I put my doubts aside, showed up race day (New Year’s Day) and finished the half marathon. I got discouraged. I walked some. I froze a little. But I crossed that finish line, last but not least. Two hours, twenty seven minutes and fifteen seconds- five minutes slower than a 76 year old. I can still remember getting passed by that woman; you better believe I didn’t let myself walk after that point. It was nine degrees with a fifteen mile per hour wind. Today, I prefer the cold over the heat, I think because of that race oddly enough.

A lot has changed since that chilly New Year’s Day back in 2009 and my goal is to beat that 11:15 pace time. As of today, I am on track and will work my little butt off to improve. I have a dream time that I will not be sharing with anyone because I don’t want bigger insecurities to rise- but I can tell you this, I know that I am capable of reaching that dream if I just don’t talk myself out of it (and run with all I’ve got).

I’m not following any specific training plan because I’ve found myself in a routine and am looking to gain confidence in the miles I’m running. I run four days a week before work and sometimes before the sun rises, to beat the heat. I’ll be slowly upping my mileage and even plan on running further than 13.1 miles prior to race day so that I know for a fact that I can bust out those miles. I’m planning on hiking as many peaks as possible this summer to cross train and I may start up p90x. I know, I know, I’ve said that before; the only thing holding me back is the fact that I’ll need to find an hour each day for an extra workout. We shall see.

Have you registered for any races this summer or fall? Have you ever trained for a race AND completed p90x?

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