A lopsided love affair

Brittney Spears may have said it best.  Oops, I did it again.  I signed up for another race.  This is by no means nothing new.  I’ve been racing for just over 2 years now, and have quite a collection of medals lined up on the towel rack in my guest bath.

Note to self: get some shadow boxes and put them up on the wall with bibs- sweat stained and creased.  Show off some of your accomplishments!

In my race to reach my 2012 goals of 12/12/12 (12 marathons, 12 Half’s and 12 5K’s) I had to enlist the help of virtual racing.  Have you heard of this?  It’s great if you can’t attend an event, or just don’t have the time to travel, or if you’re an expert procrastinator like me, wait until Oct to knock out 9 marathons of 26.2 miles each just because they don’t have any after April in Florida.  Too hot and wet.

I signed up to run for a charity around Halloween, and added another Run around Thanksgiving to do the same.  Here’s the thing: you register for this run, they send you a tee shirt, and a medal after you post your run results.

The thing I can’t find is a calendar that lists all the virtual runs across the country.  I’ve found a couple of links to some (San Francisco Women’s 1/2 Marathon, the Peachtree Run in Georgia) so I think I’m going to add a giant searchable internet calendar to my to do list.  If you know of a link, post it in your comments, or share this page on Facebook and tell your running buddies to send me links to so I can add them to the database.  I’ll let you know when it goes live.

My personal running calendar for the rest of the year:

10/21     Beach Running Championships 1/2 Marathon  – Cocoa Beach, FL

10/25     Harvest Hustle 5K (should I wear a costume?)

10/29     Halloween Half Marathon (virtual run) http://www.fortheloveofthekids.com/

10/30     Halloween 5K (virtual run)  http://www.fortheloveofthekids.com/

11/4       Wildhorse 1/2 Marathon – Tampa FL

11/10     Disney Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon – Orlando FL

11/11     Baldwin Park 1/2 Marathon – Orlando FL

11/18     St Augustine 1/2 Marathon   –  St Augustine FL

11/19     Turkey Gobbler 5K  (virtual run) http://www.fortheloveofthekids.com/

11/20     Turkey Gobbler 1/2 Marathon (virtual run)   http://www.fortheloveofthekids.com/

11/28     Space Coast Marathon  –  Cocoa Beach FL

I’ll probably post about each of these runs and the 9 other marathon’s I’ll end up adding.  As I looked up the Peachtree run, I saw a link to the Atlanta Marathon on Oct. 28.  Maybe I could sleep in my SUV and call it camping…

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The beauty in a lost run

I was updating my race calendar and found a race in November that I forgot I signed up to run.  A big surprise to me!  The great thing about running across a race you signed up for 9 months ago, is the money you saved! I know what I must have been thinking way back when.  Signing up 6 months in advance can save almost half of the entry fee. And I thought that I could take a long weekend with someone I love and go over to the beach to spend some time in the sand after a run. Alas, finding someone to love on the beach has been a little more difficult then signing up for a race 6 months in advance.

It’s the little surprises like this that are going to help me make my 2012 goal of 12 half marathons. Finding the 12 marathons to run will be a bit more problematic. I am already 3 in for the year but to find 9 more around Florida or Georgia in short driving distance will be an adventure unto itself. Note to self,if you set a goal to run 12 marathon next year, start in January and run 1 per month for the year. 

I guess that’s part of my personality though, I am a procrastinator.  I waited until my forties to start running long distance races. I wrote novels, screenplays, and stories for years all the while waiting for someone to discover me and have published 2 novels so far in 2012 with 4 more almost ready to publish. The Mayan calendar says 2012 is the end of the world.  I think they could be right, it is the end of the world as we know it. Time for something better, like running, publishing, playing, travel and giving myself little gifts that I will rediscover 6 month from now.

One easy step to get started on running

Ultra-running, ultra-writing

It was a Thursday night and I was drunk again.  I’m not an alcoholic, but every Thursday night, and some Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s, I would go out for a pitcher or two with my buddies Josh and Elicia.  We would grab some fried bar food, order a round or two and log in to do our MBA classes together.  After class we would hang out and tell war stories, business stories and just how easy it is to change the world.

During this particular boasting session, I announced one of my bucket list items; I was going to run a marathon at the age of 40.  It’s funny how this particular milestone is on everyone’s list.  I meet thousands of people every year and the vast majority of them say they want to run a full marathon.  26.2 miles of goal setting goodness. Josh laughed. Elicia said I could do it and I logged in and signed up the Disney Marathon in January.

It was August.  The furthest I’d run in years was 2 miles.  But I figure, if you’re going to go crazy, go full crazy.  Don’t half ass it.  That night, I started training.  I strapped on a pair of worn out Cross trainer’s and took off on a circle around my neighborhood.  I made it one mile.  Then I turned around and walked back.

The next day I did it again.  I ran out a mile and turned around to run a half mile back. I finished with walking the next half mile.   I did it on Saturday, though I went out two miles on this hot gorgeous August day, and walked back.  And again on Sunday. 

This was my formula.  I would keep the distance at 3 miles until I could run the entire route.  Then I upped to 5 miles, out and back.  I would run until I couldn’t run, and then walk back.  I drank lots of water, because let’s face it, August in Florida is hot!!!  But I just kept going.  I didn’t worry about time, or how I looked or what I wore or my shoes.

I just ran.  One step at a time.

What are goals for?

My Disney Wine and Dine

Finished in under 2 hours. Goal: 1:30

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:

1 Marathon

8 5K’s

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?

Hallucinations optional.