There were many races that were on the “short list” barring I could get thru the Dopey Challenge. Besides getting a cold almost immediately after the marathon (literally I felt my throat getting scratchy at lunch only an hour after the marathon) and getting the 24 hour flu (sleeping 16 hours was beyond glorious for recovery)… my body has bounced back remarkly well after the marathon! I truly believe it was the way I trained (I used the Galloway method… so I felt strong even at the end) and not running “too much.” Most weeks, I ran only 3 days a week (two forty-five minute runs during the week and a longer run on the weekend). Every 3 weeks, I would do five runs a week (one forty five minute run on Tuesday followed by a mini Dopey simulation—45 minute run on Thursday, a long walk on Friday, a longer walk/run on Saturday and a really long run on Sunday). Since I’m already trained… why not just continue on?!
So without further ado, here is the race calendar thru May!
1—Austin Half Marathon on February 15th
— I’ve been signed up for this race since June 2014! I almost got a job in Austin a few years ago and didn’t really have an opportunity to explore the city. Therefore, I’m super excited about this race! I’m actually flying into San Antonio on Saturday (only an hour away) renting a car, so I can explore both Austin and San Antonio before I fly home late on Sunday. The medal was just released this past week. While it’s not the same as the full marathon medal, it still has charm of its own and I cannot wait to get my hands on it!
2—Shamrock Dolphin Challenge (8k on Saturday March 21 and Half Marathon on Sunday March 22)
— St Patrick’s Day is my absolute favorite holiday! Heck, I made my best friend go to Ireland with me because I love the holiday so much. Needless to say, when I started exploring racing the states, the Shamrock Half Marathon caught my eye instantly. And when I heard all the amazing things about it… I knew it was going to be my Virginia race. Not only will I get 3 medals (8k medal, Half Marathon Medal and Dolphin Challenge Medal (completing the 8k and Half Marathon)), but I will also get a participant t-shirt, finishers beach towel (not a little towel, but a big one!) and a finishers hat! I’m also excited because I’ll be doing this race with my high school friend Kathryn and also getting to reconnect with Disney favorites Sarah, Matthew and Lee. There are also a lot of other twitter virtual friends I’m looking forward to meeting as well!
3—Oak Barrel Half Marathon on Saturday April 4
— When my new job got in the way of running my most anticipated race of 2015 (outside of Disney of course), Run the Bluegrass, I knew I had to find some other races to make up for that disappointment. The Oak Barrel Half has always been on my list, so I decided it was time to make it a reality! Plus since I have Good Friday off from work, it makes the whole process much easier to get to and not have to worry about taking days off.
Oak Barrel is a smaller race (less than 2,000 people) in a small town but has an awesome medal (made from a barrel of whiskey) and the logo this year is really sweet, which they will put on the swag and medal.
There is a nasty hill, Whiskey Hill, for about a mile during the race, so I’m not expecting a PR but just hoping to have fun and a good time.
4—Illinois Marathon 5k and 10k (Mini I Challenge)—Friday April 24 and Saturday April 25
— I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2008. While in school, I was very unactive—I think I worked out like 5 times in four years. The Illinois Marathon is a huge deal in Champaign bringing in lots of people to the college town.
It was actually not on my radar until my two best college friends told me that they were looking to do the 5k and the 10k and wanted to see if I was available. What a great experience to help my two best friends get into a hobby that has changed and overtaken my life! I’ll be running the 5k with one of them on Friday evening and then doing the 10k on Saturday morning with the other one. I wish I was doing the half marathon, but maybe another year.
5—500 Festival Mini-Marathon (Half Marathon) on Saturday May 2nd
— Here is another race I’ve been signed up for since May 2014! I cannot pass up great deals. I lived in Indy for six months in 2008, so I am very familiar with the city and I am very excited to run a race on the famed Indy 500 track. This is one of the few races I can easily drive to as well (I know the drive well…). I’m excited to run this race but will have to take it easy because of what is planned the next day…
6—Flying Pig Full Marathon on Sunday May 3rd
— That’s right folks—my second marathon! And the day after running a half marathon—I cannot wait to actually run a marathon eventually on fresh legs! Cincinnati is fairly close to Indy, so getting from one race to the next is not going to be a huge problem. The Flying Pig is very hilly (nothing can be as flat as Disney…haha) but the crowd support, medal and the swag is all worth it in my opinion! I’m excited to make this my Ohio race and bring the piggy medal home with me!
7—Running with the Cows Half Marathon on Saturday May 9th
— There are just too many awesome races all around the same time… ahh!! This race time is not going to be anything awesome but just checking off another state (Kansas) for a cute cow themed medal. The plan is to drive to St Louis on Thursday after work (hopefully get off a little early) and head to Kansas on Friday morning (its about a 4 hour drive). Since that is Mother’s Day weekend, I convinced my mom that spending Mother’s Day in St. Louis is a great idea.
Whew, what a busy 16 weeks ahead of me! I’ll be crossing off 6 more states… yippy! And then I’m going to cool it for June, July, and August (maybe I’ll throw something in there, but it’s really too hot to do much). If I can do the Disneyland half in September, then I’m going to be throwing my name in for the Chicago Marathon in October. If I cannot do the Disneyland half in September, then I’ll be doing some other fall half marathons in other states. Disneyland is wicked expensive (flight alone costs $500!, hotel room will be a little over $500, registration for the race will be almost $400!), so I won’t be able to afford as many fall half marathons as I would like. But the chance to go Coast to Coast (running a race in Disney World and Disneyland in the same calendar year) if work allows it, is too good of a chance to pass up (my boss even agrees!… which is why I am hoping that it can all work out for me!!).
Have a great weekend!