First things first: I'm still not running, nor have I picked training plans or their desired outcomes. However, thanks to friendly nudges from my co-workers, I have been finding and signing up for races.
Originally I'd thought of doing the Dam to Dam, mostly because I knew it existed, but I showed up at work Tuesday to find that Emily — who'd invited me to do the Des Moines Half — wanted me to join her at the Drake Relays' half marathon.
The benefit of having a buddy to hang out with pre-race aside, the Drake Relays also appealed to me because of how much earlier it is: I'm less likely to be overtrained by April 28 than I will be June 1, and I'm also less likely to overheat in late April than I am on Memorial Day weekend. The memories of melting down, literally and figuratively, during a half marathon last year on May 20 are too vivid to risk a June 1 distance race.
Hibernation ends Monday (yep, once it gets cold again in Des Moines, go figure), so that would leave me with 3.5 months to prepare for Drake — a big enough gap to tempt me to overtrain.
I'd been urging various other runner friends to either join Emily and me for the half or any of the shorter events on the same day. My reference to making matching T-shirts might have scared some of them off, but it didn't dissuade Marco — whose Remembrance Run registration I used after he pulled a muscle — from showing interest in the 6K.
And there was my answer to how to stretch half marathon training across 3.5 months: pick a smaller distance in the meantime. A tip on the Capital Striders' Facebook page led me to exactly what I wanted, a 5K in March in the Des Moines metro area. It's the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick 5K on March 24 ... with a start time of 11 a.m. What a great stroke of luck!
During my search for that 5K, I did come across a 10K that seemed intriguing: the Capital Striders' Loop the Lake, held at the same spot where I PR'ed so emphatically during the Remembrance Run 5K. (Is it a sign ... ?)
However, I think I'll hold off on signing up until I build some sort of responsible training plan, i.e., decide which distances I should train seriously for in hopes of reaching any goals (that I haven't set yet), and which distances should be fun tune-up races ...
... says the person whose most strenuous activity in 2013 has been carrying laundry up and down stairs.