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Thank You Sir, May I Have Another?

Sporty Young Woman Relaxing Outdoors With Earphones

I’ve never been one to be in love with running. Running and I have had a difficult relationship, full of breakups and reunions. I treat it like any relationship: if it’s more painful than beneficial, I just have to end it. I’ve never been particularly fast (save for 1st grade field day where I DOMINATED) and I’ve never been particularly interested in long distances until I signed up for the half marathon because I needed a goal to get me motivated.

I trained smart. I increased my mileage slowly and carefully and mathematically. It helped that as it was my first half, I had almost no goals for it except to finish and not hurt myself. So when I made it through training and the race without hurting myself — and actually felt good afterwards with minimal soreness, I started thinking, “What’s next?”

(Side note: I thought most of the risk in training for a half marathon would be overuse injuries. But I underestimated the risk of the actual race; I ran into wire that tripped me, and I saw two women go down hard. Race day injury risk is real.)

My legs were not even fully recovered last week when I went online to start searching for my next adventure. Unlike my husband who was scarred for life by the 13.1 miles, I was feeling no pain and excited about my next goal. I decided to go ahead and sign us up for a Thanksgiving Day 5K Turkey Trot. It would be a short race, but something fun we could do together, and it would give me reason to keep running.

But that didn’t feel like it was enough. Having the experience of a half under my belt, I want to try again. Now I have a time to try to beat. And for me, the half seems like the perfect distance. I didn’t have to go crazy with my weekly mileage. My longest training runs were just over two hours, which is much more manageable than the long runs required for marathon training. So I signed up for a half in April. It’ll give me time to take it a little easier right now, incorporate more strength training, which definitely fell off my radar as my running time increased. But it’ll give me a reason to keep running, and it’ll give my runs more purpose as I start narrowing down my goals.

I signed my husband up for the 8K.

Have you ever signed up for races immediately after crossing a finish line? I wonder how many marathons get signed up for before people come to their senses? —Erin

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