I signed up for the Xterra Wildhorse half marathon over in Tampa today. This will be one of my first official trail races. You know what they say, once you go single track, you never go back.
At the beginning of each year I take a few moments to reflect over what I’ve done the past twelve months, and what I hope do to in the upcoming twelve. All the greatest success experts say this is a really good practice, and it’s a fairly drawn out process for me. First I list everything I’d like to do. It’s broad and general and all encompassing.
Next, I break each down into little bitty steps and write down an action plan to get to that goal. All good so far, right. Except this year, 2012, I may have bit off more than I can chew. Goal wise that is.
It’s 2012, so being the great and wise smart ass that I sometimes am, I published on my Facebook page a goal to do 12 marathons, 12 Half Marathon’s and 12 5K races. Oh yeah, I’d also complete and publish 12 books on Kindle.
Guess how many marathon’s they have in Florida in a given year?
I was thinking I could run 1 marathon each month, and add a couple of Half’s every so often, and then a 5K to boot. No problem, right?
Nah! It gets too hot to run after April in Florida. And then the rest of the country gets hot. So if I wanted to knock out 12 full 26.2 mile marathon’s complete with medals, I was going to have to travel.
So I focused on the Half’s. And now we roll into the last 4 months of 2012. Here are the standings:
4 Half Marathons.
Yikes. I have to run 24 races in 16 weeks!
Luckily, I’ve been training in the heat. After all, Florida is practically underwater with high temps and humidity in the 99% range. It’s hot. How hot? Damn hot, real hot.
And there is the trip to LA. Over Labor Day weekend, I’m running a 10K on Saturday (Awesome 80’s) at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, then down the 405 to Disneyland for the Disneyland 1/2 Marathon on Sunday after which I hope to recover with some friends, or at least a six pack and a hot tub, and then it’s off to the Labor Day Marathon in Huntington Beach on Monday morning.
Here’s the thing. I know it’s going to hurt. So since you know it’s going to hurt, anything after that is just easy, right? Plus, I’m not racing, I’m running. Apparently there’s a difference. The next guy who says it to me though, I’m going to kick in the balls. It’s a freaking marathon! Who cares if it’s racing or running it.
So how does one go about preparing to do all that running?
Turns out, the best way to train for running long distance is LSD. Lot’s and lots of LSD.
Long Slow Distance; what else could I mean?
And water. Lots of water. And salt. And the right kind of food. And did I mention a lot of running.
The best way to get the body ready for all those miles is to put some miles under you.
When people ask how I got started, or how I get inspired or how I deal with stress at work, or missing my children when they are with their mother, the answer is always the same. Hit the road Jack. I put some tunes on my Ipod Shuffle and take off. Heart broken? Run it out. Depressed? 180 footstrikes baby. Had a great day at work and the weather is perfect? How about a slow steady nine mile jaunt?