When I finished my first 10K race in April, a Twitter friend immediately said, "You should go for a half." I scoffed, said something along the lines of "hell no, I'm not a masochist," and went about my day.
The next day at work, I bragged to one of the assistant principals about my successful race. After he congratulated me, he said, "You should do a half marathon now!" Again, I scoffed (and this time, kept my response professional and work-friendly), and went on my way.
So I texted Mr. M. the Reasonable himself, "Two people have told me I should go for a half now." His response, given in person at the gym the next day, was a slightly-evil grin and, "Hey, Meg...I think you should go for a half."
I thought he was on my side.
But the idea was planted. And in the weeks since then, I've decided to go for it, and started increasing my long run mileage (currently at 8.25) and experimenting with ways to stay hydrated while running in the heat. (Step 1: get up really, really, really early).
The original goal was to aim for next Spring--giving me plenty of time to comfortably ease into the idea, but there is a half marathon in Sacramento on October 5th--the Urban Cow. The more I thought about it, the more I realized having a little over three months to go from 8 miles to 13 is really more than enough time. To be sure, I cornered the long-suffering Matt at the gym today and said, "So, do you think I can do a half by October?"
Here's the thing about Matt--I don't think he's capable of being rude. Well, okay, I'm sure he is, but he never has been to me, anyway. The last thing he'll ever do is say, "You're being an idiot," but the look that flashed across his face today was one of supreme patience, and it clearly said, "I'm going to pretend I don't think you're being silly thinking you can't do this" before he smiled calmly and said, "Of course you can."
We got to talking, and he gave me some tips about training mileage. For example, train to 10 miles, not 13. Investigate the run-walk method of training (I've Googled it; it has merit, but changing my mentality to go from run-only to run three minutes, walk one minute, will be really hard for me). Finally, I said, "It's funny...you know I can do this, and here I am, doubting myself."
It's very true. In all the time I've known him, Matt has never once told me I can't do something, and has always helped me find a way to work towards any goal I set. I haven't even paid for training in over two years, but he's still happy to answer endless questions, to offer advice on form, to look at workouts I've made for myself. I should probably tell him more often how much I appreciate him.
Our talk this morning ended with me calling out over my shoulder, "Just keep telling me I can do this!" as I left the aerobics room where we'd been chatting, and being followed out the door with, "You can do this!!" As soon as I got home, I went to the Urban Cow site and took a look--it turns out that the race raises money for several local Cross Country teams, including the team at my dear old Large Suburban High School. Registration for the half is capped, so I figured if I'm going to do it, I might as well fork over the $60 today and have it on my calendar.
And that, my friends, is how I now have an email in my inbox confirming that I will run the Urban Cow Half Marathon on October 5th (all half finishers receive a cowbell, and this delights me to no end. MORE COWBELL!!).
Now, if you need me, I'll be busy researching Jeff Galloway's run-walk method, looking for a handy-dandy hydration belt, or, you know, out there, pounding the pavement.
Bring it on.