It’s a few weeks in the past already, but on June 24, 2012, I ran my first-ever half-marathon in Canton, Ohio. I finished the race in 2:15:29 (clock time), which was about 5 minutes faster than my goal! It was a hot, humid, sweaty morning, and even though the race started at 6 a.m., it was already 70 degrees when we started out.
I spent three months training for the race in Pittsburgh, snagging cool early-morning runs whenever I could. I explored the awesome river trails around the city and pushed myself to limits I didn’t know I had. My most triumphant training run was 12.75 miles, and when I successfully completed that, I knew that I was ready for the half-marathon. Much to the annoyance of my friends, I think I became one of those people who only talks about running. I complemented the training with two or three weekly Bikram yoga sessions. Bikram yoga is performed for 90 minutes in a room heated to 105 degrees. The stretching and deep heat helped my muscles adjust to the heavy running. Between the two activities, I felt the best I ever have in my life.
Now, post-race, I’ve basically stopped running in favor of cycling. I just finished a cycling trip through Massachusetts and Connecticut, which I’ll post about next.
But at the end of the half-marathon in Canton, I was so exhilarated and proud that I decided to start training for the ultimate runner’s goal–a full marathon. My friend Brian agreed to train with me, and we’ll start in earnest in a few weeks. The Philadelphia Marathon is scheduled for Sunday, November 18–see you there!