Last year I briefly contemplated doing the GoodLife Fitness half marathon here in Victoria. Several friends were doing it, I haven’t done one for a while (6+ years), and I was fresh off my high from completing the Tour de Victoria. Then I started training. Very lightly. I don’t know if I was tired of training, just not into doing any runs longer than 30 minutes, or if I was too busy with life, but whatever the reason I was not enjoying it. At all. And during one morning run I just decided to screw it and be a (really good) spectator. Yes I exercise more regularly with a goal, but I’d just achieved my Tour de Victoria goal and I wasn’t really into doing anything else at the time.

Actually, after re-reading the previous paragraph I think I remember the real reason. I hate doing half marathons. It’s a freaking long way to run for me, I’m a slow runner so it takes forever, and every one I’ve done has been very painful. After I completed my last one, I told myself the only reason I’d do another is if it were a destination race. And doing Victoria for a third time certainly didn’t fit that bill. So I continued through the summer running once or twice a week, riding occasionally and keeping in moderately good shape. In October I proudly watched my friends do the half and had no regrets.

But then these same friends started talking about doing another race, the Rock ‘n’ Roll half in Portland in May. And I found myself seriously thinking about it. It’s a destination race (no, it’s not exotic, but it’s still not a bad place to visit) and there is live music every mile. My kind of motivation. A complicating factor was that I’d already signed up for the 2012 Tour de Victoria, but that almost made it more appealing — training for both at once would be a great goal for me for 2012. So I took the plunge and decided to go for it (theoretically, any way…for the record I haven’t actually signed up for the race yet).

There will be some barriers that I need to navigate around, time being the biggest. I’ve got this mother gig going strong and taking several hours out of each weekend to train for both a ride and a run is going to take some work, especially when Greg is also training for the Tour. My ideal schedule will probably not be feasible and I’ll have to accept what I can do. I also have another two week Saudi trip tentatively planned for the end of March, and I’ll have to figure out how to do some significant exercise in the confines of a hotel room. But the point isn’t to win, the point is to have some fun, get back into shape and feel challenged.

And I’ve started the year off right. On January 1st I went for an hour ride, and this morning, having slept only four hours due to a sick dog, I dragged myself out of bed and went for a 30 minute run in the PISSING rain. And enjoyed it.

As I was finishing my run, I had a surge of positive energy, and I had the thought (as Elliot would say): I’m SO going to do this. Let’s see if I can hold on to that for the next five months.

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