Spartan Race

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Asheville Citizen-Times Half Marathon

My time on this particular half reminded me a lot of my brief foray into golf. The foray during which people would tell my score wasn't bad for a beginner, and then find out it was for 9 rather than 18. I haven't run longer than 4 miles since March, and I've averaged probably 1.5 runs a month over the same time period. I frequently don't train for races, but it's usually during a stretch where I'm racing a lot - 3 half marathons in 4 or 5 weeks kind of stuff.  I don't advocate this training style, if you can call it that, but it actually works for me as long as I don't try to PR. That said, I've never gone 6 months without running and then tried to roll out the door and hit 13. I haven't been a slug - I've weight and hiit/kettle bell/personal trainered religiously- but those ain't distance running, and I had no idea how they'd translate into a mountainous half.

I've described this race before in great detail and my 2010 and 2011 posts go into great detail about it. In a nutshell, it's pretty, mountainous, hard, and well run. The weather this year was cool and foggy, which I like, and while it detracts from the views adds to the experience. I was honestly nervous about basically running this one cold, especially given its challenging nature. I have a Spartan Beast coming up in a few weeks, though, so I figured I needed to do something. I'm glad I did. I didn't light the world on fire, but I also wasn't in any danger of being press ganged by the sag wagon. Mrs. Running Quack took pity on me, and kept me company for the entirety of the race. Only once did she roll her eyes.  I learned something, too. I missed racing.

Not infrequently, when I've crawled out of bed at an ungodly hour to go stand in the pouring rain in 30 degree weather, I've wondered why I race. Why I put myself through it, when I could just as easily be sleeping in, and then having breakfast. Having an excuse to have a beer at 9 am wasn't enough for me to run anymore. I started listening to the little voice that said "this sucks".  Only shear terror at the thought of being dragged down at the Beast, not by some obstacle, but by the distance made me jump back into the fray. And it was fun. I liked it. So much that I signed up for a trail half next weekend on the way home. 

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