Today I signed up for the Miami ING Half Marathon. It will be my third half marathon, having my first and second in 2009 in NYC and Chicago. I'm excited! Signing up for a race gets my caboose in the groove of running. Why do I need to have a race on the horizon to really remember how much I enjoy running? Not sure, but the weather here is getting so nice and I have the time to actually train (which I haven't done before in any strict fashion). I thought why not.
It is on January 29, 2012, so I have a good amount of time in front of me. I found a 8 week free training schedule online to follow and begin in a few weeks. For now, I'm just going to go on easy long runs and get back in the swing of running over 5 miles (which I haven't done in months). Today, I also decided to join TeamFox. It is Michael J. Fox's Foundation for Parkinson's Research grassroots fundraising arm. The Fox Foundation is an incredible place, so well run in my opinion, and my grandfather fought Parkinson's for more than ten years before he passed away in 2008. So if I am going to run, I feel I should also do some good for others, and this organization has a place in my heart.
First let me express the #1 thing I need in my training regime -
Wool socks. I'm verging into TMI territory, but bear with me. I have to wear these Smart Wool socks on any run more than 3 miles or I get blisters. My feet get pretty sweaty and these socks do not rub and absorb nicely, so there, aren't you glad you know that. But seriously, these socks are amazing and I highly recommend them for anyone running or walking long distances.
Tomorrow I'm going to go on a 5 miler and then this weekend do 6-7 I hope. I never thought of myself as a runner until a few years ago. I always played sports, but was never the fastest in long distances and was too impatient to slow down and try to find my pace. Well I found it one early Saturday morning in 2009 in Central Park. I found a man who looked north of 75 just starting around the 6 mile loop in the Park. I thought to myself, if this man can do this, why the heck can't I? I plodded 5 yards behind him for 6 miles, got over that mental hump, and have never looked back. I hope he's still out there in his yellow windbreaker pounding the pavement.
I hope you're finding what makes you happy by being active and pushing your personal boundaries in a comfortable way. I know that sounds strange, but I think one has to have ownership over the physical activities they do and experiment with new things in a non-abrasive environment. I was yelled at by coaches long enough, and this elderly gentleman didn't even know I was behind him, but he made me comfortable to be active in another way I now love.