I decided about a month ago to not run the Air Force Marathon, and even though my stepfather passed away not long after that I still knew I wouldn’t be able to run it. There just wasn’t enough time to build back up to a decent amount of mileage and properly taper and stay healthy. I considered dropping down to the half marathon, but that would also mean rushing back into a set training plan and I’m not quite ready for that yet.
I also considered signing up for a later marathon, most likely Harrisburg again, but that still didn’t feel right. That would allow me extra time for training, but that would still tie to me a plan that I may not be able to fully commit to.
I’ve looked at this time off as a way to recharge, refocus, and relax. I’ve done that it has been wonderful. Of course, the healing process takes time and it is often a one step forward, two steps back kind of thing but I’m doing pretty well. After some thinking, plotting, and looking at different races, I decided that a half marathon later in the year would be the way to go. I immediately thought of one race:
From their website:
“Long stretches of relatively flat ground, with a gentle, hubris-inducing downhill near the beginning at mile 3, a long, steep downhill (the great Rock Road Ravine) after mile 7; two tough little uphills after mile 9 and 10, and a final, soul-crushing climb to finish the race.”
I’ve had this race on my list since I first started running half marathons in 2012, and have never been able to work it into my schedule. This is a tough course and to be perfectly honest, one of the reasons I never signed up is because I doubted my ability to run and complete it. I’ve never tried to hide the fact that I am (1) a slow runner and (2) a hater of all things hills (but I am getting better about them!). My fear of coming in last place was (and still kind of is) real for this particular course, but I’m going to give it a shot. I still have a few weeks before training officially starts, so I’m using this time to rebuild some of the fitness I’ve lost, work out some routes that have no shortage of hills, and come up with a strength training routine that I can stick with, because I am seriously going to need it.
Any advice for tackling a 164 ft. rise over 1.24 miles (2.5% grade) and a 5% climb over a particular stretch?? Did I mention this climb is around mile 11.5???