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.