Race Weekend Doubleheader!!

This should be an interesting weekend. I’m going to run a 5K on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday. I didn’t plan this, but it’s what’s going to happen, love it or not.

I did plan for the former race, the Culinaria 5K Wine and Beer Run. I ran it two or three years ago, mainly for the booze and not surprisingly, had a great time. It was kind of weird, drinking wine out of plastic cups before noon after running a race… Yeah, we got pretty -ahem- wasted and made some new friends. It was a good day.

But this time I’m not running for the booze. In fact, I won’t be partaking of any alcohol after the race. I told myself I was going to stop drinking for a year after I got into a scrape with some of my friends on New Year’s Eve. I’ve got 2 1/2 months under my belt and I feel good about it. But the main reason I signed up was to just blast it and see how fast I could go in a race environment. But now, it looks like that will have to wait.

When I broke the internet* and registered for Chicago, I applied for Corral B, which requires a 3:35:59 marathon or better.

I don’t really know how fast I can run a half marathon or a full marathon, because it’s been so long since I’ve run either. The only marathon I’ve run was Portland back in 2010. That is too old to count, not to mention that my time wasn’t anywhere near good enough. And the last time I ran a half marathon? Um… I think I’ve run two halves in my life, but those were two or three years ago. (One of which I ran with my best friend on the day he got married!)

So how did I figure my time? I went by Tony’s time.

Tony is one of the Rockhoppers, the group I’ve been running with that mainly does trail running. But he and several others in the group had just “crossed over to the dark side” and run the Austin marathon. (Which I seriously regret not doing). He’s an older fellow and apparently had a great race, running something like a 3:40. So I figured, if he can do a 3:40, surely I can manage a 3:35. Yep, Corral B for me, please.

After I finally got registered, I must have been so flustered that I missed the part about providing proof of your 3:35:59 marathon or 1:37:59 half marathon time before August 26. (Or maybe I was so naive to think they went by the honor system?) I only noticed this while randomly revisiting the Chicago marathon website the other day. But August 26, that’s five months. Plenty of time to find and run a half, right? Well, not really.

April 3rd through June 2nd I will be traveling, which leaves the last half of March, and June, July and August. I Googled a race calendar for Texas and found few races to choose from, even fewer that were in town. And all of them would be during the ridiculous Texas summer. It’s not even officially spring yet and it was 90 degrees today. That’s seriously wrong. Running a summer race, I’d risk not making my time goal due to the heat. If that happened, there wouldn’t be enough time to find another race. But there was a half … this weekend … after the 5K.

Somewhat grudingly, tonight I registered for the Alamo 13.1. (Sidenote: why are some races so darn expensive?! This one was $85 to start with, and went up to $105. It had better be one good race.) I figure run this race now and get the 1:37. If, for whatever reason, I can’t manage it, I will still have three months to try again. Okay, brain, good plan.

But heck, how cool is it to run races back to back?! I’ve never done that before. It would have been awesome if the 5K was after the half. That way I could run both races hard. As it is, I’m going to have to throttle back at the 5K. Of course, I say that now, but once the adrenaline starts flowing, it’ll be hard not to blast off. Part of me, no, most of me wants to say the heck with it, just go for it at the 5K. I mean it’s likely less than 20 minutes of running!

The main reason this is a big deal to me: if I get into Corral B, I have a better chance at running a time good enough to qualify for Boston. That in itself would be a big deal for me and I would be super stoked.

And what would be even cooler is if I actually got to run Boston…

*   *   *   *   *

Sorry there were any pretty pictures to look at. I’ll have some for the next post, I promise!

*The internet must have been broken since I was able to register, despite serious technical difficulties that resulted in registration being suspended for like two weeks. About 15,000 other people were able to register as well. But I’ll always think of it as the day I broke the internet.

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