Friday, February 25, 2011

Spring is the Season for Races

A start line in Pecan Park. On your marks...

Since the marathon I have completed five runs. My longest run was five miles and it wasn't exactly pleasant. This isn't to say I haven't been exercising - I'm still working out an average of five times a week (five is the magic number!) but I've been choosing swimming, yoga and rock climbing over running. This is all fine. After months of marathon training I needed a break, mentally and physically.

But breaks cannot go on forever, especially when you love running and you have a bunch of spring races on the horizon. April and May are going to be busy and I need to be ready - ready to race, ready to PR, and ready to run my heart out before it's 100 degrees and any pace under nine minute miles is but a wistful memory. Here's my current race calendar which is, as always, subject to change:

March 26: Texas Quest Adventure Race (12 hours)
April 9: Davy Crockett Bear Chase Half Marathon
April 16: Mighty San Gabriel Adventure Race (12 hours)
April 30: Bark-o-thon 5K
May 7: Lake Tejas Triathlon
May 28: Spread Your Wings Adventure Race (18 hours)
June 11: Houston Beer Fest

First, a word about adventure races. If you haven't done one I recommend starting with a shorter race - four hours is pretty nice for beginners. I've done two adventure races so far and they're a fun challenge. Truly, adventure racing is Nathan's passion and I am on his adventure racing team because 1. he loves me and 2. he needed warm bodies with which to race. I'll blog more about those races as we complete them, but all you really need to know for now is that they include biking, running, rowing and special challenges. As long as I continue running and cross training I should be in fine shape for these races. (For more information, check out my recap of the New Orleans Urban Adventure Race, the Lumberjack Sprint, and Nathan's blog which he seriously needs to update, Amateur Adventure Racing.)

The Lake Tejas Triathlon is a brand new event. It's close to where I live and it's a sprint distance so I think I'll be able to handle it without getting overwhelmed (as I did last summer, when I trained for an Olympic distance triathlon that I never actually raced.). I've been working hard on my swimming but I'll have to find time to get back on the bike. Luckily, the weather is getting nicer so that should be easy to accomplish.

As for running races, the Bark-o-thon 5K benefits the local animal shelter and I'm really looking forward to it. I love 5K's and think they're one of the hardest distances to race. I'm also really excited about the Bear Chase. My half marathon PR is from last year's race and I'm hoping to beat it. Maybe I can run a 1:55 half marathon? We'll find out! I've convinced my good friend and yoga instructor Amy to run the Bear Chase with me once again. She's faster than me and I always run my best when I'm secretly competing with her.  

Amy and I after the 2010 Bear Chase. RAWR!

Naturally, I made a training plan for us to diligently follow. It starts this Sunday, which makes me feel better about the fact that I skipped the run I planned for this morning. Come Sunday, there will be no more skipping!

Click to enlarge.

Six weeks seems very short when it's laid out like that, but I'm certain it can be done. Also: wow. This post ended up being way longer than I'd originally planned. Thanks for reading until the end, and have a very happy Friday.


  1. Yes, lots of races coming up! I can't wait to hear about the adventure races. Good for you supporting the local animal shelter, too! :)

  2. Looks like a great half-marathon training plan! After yr second marathon you're set to PR big time!

  3. Just wanted to let you know that I read till the very end.

    What's the race distance at the Houston Beer Fest? That sounds like something I need to know about. :) Christy's birthday is June 10th, so that sounds like a good excuse to go to Houston.

  4. Ha! I was waiting for someone to catch that. It's actually not a race at all. Just beer! But I am considering it my official celebration for a successful season of racing. :) You guys should come! It's the first one ever and looks like fun.

  5. This looks awesome! Those adventure races seem pretty intense, but I'm flighty and have a hard time picturing myself being able to focus for that long a period of time. You never fail to impress Chrissy!

  6. Don't be impressed yet! The longest race I've done to date took five hours. I'm actually kind of scared of the 12 hour and up races. I get very cranky when I've been awake for too long, and I fear that I might resort to a tantrum. Either way, you'll hear about it!

  7. You have packed spring schedule! Good luck with the training! I'm sure you'll rock beer fest!

  8. I am most confident about my performance at the beer fest. I have been training very hard for it. ;)

  9. Hi Chrissy! I've been lurking here a while and just wanted to say hello--I find your posts inspiring, thoughtful and funny. Keep it up, girl!

  10. Awesome calendar and great training plan. I like halfs because they do not require a great deal of training - except if you're training for a very specific hard to reach goal. I think 6 weeks is a great amount of time. For speed work do you use a treadmill or track? I suck at speedwork but I'm vowing to start integrating it....when marathon training June.

  11. Rebecca! Thank you! That is one of the best things anyone has said about my blog. I really appreciate it! :)

  12. After the marathon, a half seems so easy! Crazy how your perspective changes.

    I'm planning to do my speedwork at the track. I try to avoid the treadmill - I feel like running is harder and I'm slower when I'm on the treadmill. It might just be a mental thing, but even so. I avoid it whenever possible!

    Luckily, the university has a track which is less than a mile from my home. I run from my house to the track as a warm up, which is mighty convenient.

  13. A Bark-a-Thon is such a cute name!!

  14. It sounds like a lot of fun!! I'll tell Christy about it tonight. Maybe I'll
    be done with the NCLEX by then too and it can be my post-test celebration as
    well. :)

  15. I'm interested in learning more about this 12 hour race.

  16. I almost signed up for a 6 hour one last year but didn't.