Tomorrow I am running my 10th half marathon. And will complete my 11th next Saturday. What??? Really??? I had to sit down and think about it to count how many I have done. Here is the list.
1) America’s Finest City Half Marathon- August 2008-- My first half marathon (ironically, two months after my first marathon). I was hoping to finish under two hours. I came pretty close. 2:04:37
2) Carlsbad Half Marathon- January 2009—I still count this as one of my favorite runs ever. It was the first race where I felt like I ran it on my terms. It didn’t hurt that I blew my PR away by twelve minutes! 1:52:46
3) La Jolla Half Marathon- April 2009—I was right in the middle of training for my second marathon, so I didn’t want to push too hard. This is known as a very difficult and hilly course and I wanted to run it smart. I felt extremely good about my sub-two hour time. 1:56:39
4) America’s Finest City Half Marathon-August 2009 I was looking for redemption. It kicked my butt the year before and I wanted to feel in control. I had helped a large group of my friends train for this race, so my focus was less on my time and more on the experience. This is probably my favorite race experience. Even though I ran the race by myself, the time before and after the race was the most fun I had had. I didn’t have a perfect race, but it was a great day. 1:56:13
5) Kaiser Permanente Southern California Half Marathon- January 2010—a last minute decision to run this. My friend Heidi was running her first half and we carpooled. It was a PR surprise! I was training for my third marathon and I guess I had some good conditioning. 1:49:48
6) Palos Verdes Half Marathon- May 2010—This was a couple of weeks ago and I did better than I expected for such a difficult course. Once again, it was a last minute decision and I wasn’t training for it specifically. 1:53:19
7), 8) and 9)I am counting three races as half marathons (since the Half Marathon Fanatics count them). The Winter Trail Series 21K*, the Malibu Creek 25K and the XTerra Malibu Creek Challenge 22K are all half marathon distance or longer.
I am planning on joining the Half Marathon Fanatics as soon as my budget allows.** After running tomorrow’s race in Laguna Hills, as well as next Saturday’s half marathon in Fontana, I will qualify for the Saturn level, which is four half marathons within a 37 day period (I’ll be doing four in 30 days).
So when did a half marathon become a spur-of-the-moment thing? It used to be something on my calendar months in advance. Now it is something I can run on a given weekend. It serves as a nice tempo run. I like that!
Since I am not specifically training for it, I don’t have high hopes for a PR, especially since it is another hilly, hilly course. My goal tomorrow is to finish under two hours, hopefully under 1:55 again. I didn’t do any sort of taper (I ran 8 miles yesterday), so I am not sure how strong my legs will be. I’d like to get close to my PR next week, since the race is billed as “the fastest half marathon in the world.” Once again, I am not doing any taper (running a half five days before), so my legs won’t be super fresh. We will see.
I hope you are all enjoying the long weekend. Happy running….
*this one may or may not count. Technically, 21k is slightly less than 13.1 miles. However, according to the race director, this race measured slightly longer than 21k. I am counting it as a half marathon. :-)
**I received some money for my birthday that was to be earmarked for things I wanted, but didn’t need, to do. I chose to run a few races.