I was doing my usual Sunday long run yesterday and as I neared the end, it struck me: I'm ready to be in a race. For a long time, I've avoided races--just not really feeling them. But yesterday, all of a sudden, it felt like a very good idea. I have just one more workout and I will have completed the New Rules of Lifting for Women. I have been looking for what to do next in terms of lifting programs and I honestly thought it was settled: after I finished with NROL4W, I would just take a week off and start NROL4Abs. But this didn't get me excited at all. This race? It does. So this just seems like the perfect time to start training for a race.
I signed up for the Yonkers 1/2 Marathon on Sunday, September 18, 2011. Currently, my weekly mileage is somewhere around 9 or 10 miles and so I have a bit of work to do. I like the challenge. Initially, I thought I might like to come in under two hours but as this is my first race, my goal is to finish. I think that's a good enough goal. Once I conquer this first race, I'll be better able to tell if races are for me and then I can set other goals.
The next question is how to train and there are tons of training programs available. I know I want this to be fun and not interfere with other aspects of my life most especially running my household and taking care of my family. Over at Black Girls Run, there's a "Run Your First Half Marathon Training Program" and it's the one I've chosen for better or worse. It's an 8-week training program and I'll train for 5 days (3 days running and 2 days cross training) and rest for 2. On my cross training days, I will lift as I am not willing to completely sacrifice my strength gains (and this fabulous muscle I've put on). I'm going to just re-start the New Rules of Lifting for Women although I do not wish to to complete the whole program again. I will also probably do interval training on the stationary bike or elliptical--no more than 20 or so minutes. On my rest days, I'll practice yoga or just rest altogether.
I've never been really technical about my runs so I'll be learning a lot of new terms and techniques. I think this race is just what I needed to shake things up a bit. So, yeah, I'm excited about it. It will be a real change of pace.