Ok, I’ll just let the bomb drop…
I just signed up for a 10 mile road race.
Here’s the short story: I have been wanting to do a half marathon for a while. I get to work on promoting long distance running races for several clients at work, and let me tell you, it is super motivating. I get to monitor all their inspirational social media pages and consult with them on ad copy and campaign ideas. I get to help manage live feeds and image assets. And after I do this for several hours or days or weeks, it just actually starts to seem do-able. Like maybe I could run a race too. If 40,000 other people are doing it, why not me?
Here’s the long story: I am an athlete. Maybe not quite as in shape or muscular or strong as I once was when I was in my swimming prime, but I think I will always consider myself an athlete. There’s something about 12 years of 5 am morning practices that will do that to you.
So now that I am forever a “swammer,” I am looking for ways to stay in shape and have fun while I’m doing it. I would love to keep swimming. Sometimes I do still swim. But it is surprisingly difficult to find a gym with a pool, nearby, that’s also affordable. Maybe I have too many criteria, but at this point, I just don’t want to waste my time driving all the way to a pool and spend more time changing, getting equipment ready, fighting for lane space, toweling dry, showering, changing again– by that time I’ve spent more time in the car and getting ready than actually swimming. And that’s if I’ve managed to make it to the pool during their open hours.
Instead, I belong to a gym. Thanks to my awesome place of work, I get partially reimbursed on a gym membership. I like this gym, but I liked our old one better when we were in the city. No biggie though, a treadmill is a treadmill. So I’ve been slowly building up some strength, but mostly I just enjoy different types of cardio.
Due to my criteria (nearby, easy, affordable), running is a natural fit. There’s not much equipment needed, I can run around the neighborhood (or at the nearby, affordable gym), I can run at any time of day. And I can easily just stop when I get tired or sore.
So I’ve been running more and more lately. Our neighborhood is huge so it’s convenient to go for a run, if not exactly easy, since there’s about 200 hills in a 3 mile loop. There’s also some great parks nearby that I love to go to for a change in scenery, and a change in hills.
When you put it all together, I’ve been super motivated to run, I’ve been inspired by my clients and my clients’ missions, and I’ve been training and working on strength and cardio. So really, why not run my first long distance race?
As I mentioned before, I had initially wanted to run a half marathon. It feels like if I’m going to go for it, I should go big or go home. I probably will not do another race. First, they’re expensive, second, I’ll probably die on the course and I won’t get a second chance. I had wanted to run the Pittsburgh Half Marathon because it’s iconic and beautiful and it would feel like home, even though I’ve heard there are easier half marathon races and courses out there.
I was quite literally thinking about all this yesterday. I saw a Facebook ad saying that the 20th is the last day to sign up for the EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler before the price increases. I clicked on the ad to see just how much it cost. It was actually more affordable than I thought ($40 for now). And the more I thought about the half marathon the more I felt like I couldn’t do it. The most I have ever run in my life so far is 5 miles and a tiny bit of that was walking. 13.1 just might be pushing it. But 10… 10 feels feasible. It’s only twice what I’m currently doing. And I have 108 days to train and double my distance. Also, since it’s not in the spring, like the half marathon, I don’t have to worry about losing my motivation during the cold winter months.
I made the commitment and I hope that having a race to actually train for will help me stay motivated and keep running even when I feel like I would much rather be watching Netflix and drinking wine.
I’d like to try to document some of my experiences with training and running here on this blog. So if you feel like reading about an ex college swimmer slash amateur runner with flat feet and unreliable knees attempting to run her first long distance race, then this is for you!
I’ll probably also still write about other stuff though. I’m still figuring it all out.
So – EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler – Bring it on!
Also, if you’d like to join me on my 10 miler race-training journey or join me for the race itself, let me know! I’m curious if there’s anyone else out there running it. And if you’d like to run it and haven’t signed up yet, you can use my referral link here. Prices go up at midnight tonight (7/20).