Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Oh Hi There... Here I am

So... It's been a while.... I haven't forgotten you, and I'll do my best to catch you up. It seems like so much has happened since we sat down together! Thankfully I'll start off by letting you know that I survived what I'm referring to as the "Pneumonia Plague". In the end I had to take a good four and a half weeks off from running completely which shut the door on my plans for running the Kalamazoo Marathon on May 8th. Fear not I did not give up or quit. I just backed it down a little and with some help from recently found running buddies I ran the Half Marathon instead and surpassed my goal time! Success! Who are these new running buddies and what was this amazing goal time you ask yourself! Hang on I'm getting there! Lets go back about a month, it twas the week before my Birthday and with the Kzoo race rapidly approaching in less than a month I finally gave in to what I already knew to be true. From all the time off from being sick I wasn't going to be ready and comfortable with running the full 26.2 especially since my longest run of the year was one 15 mile run the day before I came down with the plague for the first time. So I sent in an email and requested a transfer to the half marathon. The race director obliged and informed me that I was a quitter officially registered for the Borgess Run for the Health of it Half Marathon (hell of a long name right?) So anyway I was talking to a friend on facebook who had also been training for the Kzoo marathon and told him the news of my down grade and how my next marathon would now be Chicago in the fall. Upon hearing this information he began to tell me about start corrals at Chicago and how I could qualify for a better one using the Kzoo half marathon to shoot for Corral B. Now I was intrigued and once again had found renewed excitement for the looming race. I then began to research these illusive start Corrals and discovered that if I could run under 1:35:59 in the half then I would qualify for Corral B and not have to start in the throngs of 35,000 plus people! The only question now was could I actually do it? I wasn't sure with month + layoff from running. It was going to take some work. I did the math and figured out that I would have to average 7:15ish miles in order to qualify for B. The start corral info wasn't the only gem of knowledge that my friend bequeathed to me that night! He also spoke of the wondrous people that he's met and has been running with all winter! "What?" I exclaimed! "you mean I don't have to do this all on my own?!?" (I tend to be slightly not outgoing when it comes to meeting new people...they pretty much have to find me lol) So anyway he told me all about this group of lads and lass' that meet almost every day of the week in some form or another for group runs all over the city! They call themselves  The EPIC Crew and it is a group of like minded runners ranging from wicked fast to well.... slow and everything in between. I decided I had to check this group run thing out and boy oh boy I'm glad I did! This is what my running has been missing! It's just like being on the high school cross country team only it's legal when we drink beer after races now! haha. I've been running with the group for about a month now and already my race calendar for the summer has more than doubled! I'm uber excited for the coming year in running. I've been running with a group of guys who are crazy fast but will tone it down a little for me a couple times a week (usually because it's their second run of the day! CRAZIES!) and they have been giving me just enough of a push to keep me improving, and improving I have been! So now I know you've been wondering. "How did my first Half Marathon go?" I killed it!!! I was shooting for 1:35:59 and I did one better! 1:32:46! I'll give a race recap probably in my next post because this is probably getting long, but I'll let you know that I didn't stop with the half because the next weekend we were back out there and I was "convinced" to run a 25k (first ever) up in Grand Rapids (the largest 25K in the US!) How did it go? I'll let you wonder that til next time. So in summary, my computer still blows and shuts off on it's own, I survived the "plague", I'm still running, I've made new friends, and you'll see me starting the Chicago Marathon this fall from "Start Corral B"!

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