When Jill asked me if I wanted to join the 12 in 2012 Running Challenge**, I thought, "that sounds like fun", but I didn't realize how much it would consume me, not only my time and energy during races, but my time and energy looking for / deciding on races and my time and energy looking for running routes and training for races. Not to mention that, like travel, once the running bug has bitten you, you are doomed. I made my friend run a 5k with me when I went to visit her in Kansas. I made Mr. Lovely run a 5k (I ran the 10k) with me when we went to Florida on vacation. I am dragging my friend K out to do run/walk intervals once a week. I am perceived as the "healthy" friend. How did that happen? On the other hand, I am seen as an obsessive compulsive nut job. Guilty as charged!
**In case you are not familiar, the 12 in 2012 Challenge is a goal to do 12 Half Marathons, ideally one a month, for the year of 2012. You can see my post about it up at Fitfluential.
So, one third in, two to go. How has it been so far?
The first race, the Coyote Hills in Fremont, was a nice hilly race on a bike path. At the time I considered this a trail. Until I actually ran a trail race. This race was in a beautiful location, with views of San Francisco across the bay and perfect weather. There were several hills and a little bit of single track, but it was mostly wide and fairly flat. I had a new PR of 1:47:03 (Recap HERE )
The second, the Bay Breeze Half in San Leandro, was also along the bay (but farther north) and was on a nice wide asphalt bike path, as well as some packed gravel. This was a windy and slightly chilly race, but the course was totally flat. This race got me another PR and second in my age group at 1:42:40 (Recap HERE ).
The third, in Chico, was the Bidwell Classic. This day I was under the weather. However, the weather at the race was great and the course was a nice double loop around Bidwell Park. And I got served water by the firefighters. Best part of any race so far! I did not PR, but was still very happy with my time, at 1:44:04 (Recap HERE).
April's race was the Grizzly Peak Trail Run in Berkeley, which showed me what a trail race was all about. There were several 700 ft elevation gains, and a total ascent of 4496 ft. It was muddy and steep and very, very slippery. However, the views of the city once I got to the top made all the work totally worth it. I came in at 2:14:55 and third in my age group (Recap HERE).
So, what's next, you ask? Good question. I really liked the trail race. It was fun, the group was smaller and the time is not so much of a factor. I will probably do a couple more of of them. However, I do plan on doing a marathon in a few months, so I don't want to do hills ALL the time, so I will probably throw a couple of "fast and flat" courses in there as well. Maybe.
The tentative schedule for the next third of the challenge:
May - Cinderella Trail Run -- Oakland
July - Golden Gate Trail Run -- Marin Headlands
August - Summer Breeze Half -- San Leandro / Marathon
Coupled with that, there are a few other races I have planned. May 5th, only 2 weeks away, is The Relay, my first relay race. I am excited about the race, but as the days get nearer, I am not sure I like having to deal with the additional logistics of transfers, additional people, food, driving, etc. It's already hard enough to get one person (me) to the start line on time with food in my belly and proper clothing. But I will tell you more after I am done.
Also, there is a relay race around Lake Tahoe (after I just said I wasn't sure about relays!) which is 70 odd miles around. It is 7 runners who run roughly 10 miles each. It's June 9th. Anybody want to do it? You have to sign up by May 15 to get a good price.
So, the insanity goes on. However, I am not the only nut job. You can see some of my bloggy buddies recount their tales as well. Go check out Jill, Jill, Nancy, Courtney, Suz, and Rachelle as well as the other participants when you get the chance and root them on!
Have you ever taken on a challenge that has taken over? Are you a list maker? How are your goals for 2012 going so far?