I'm Gonna Lead This Race From Start to Finish!
I always like to keep an open mind and try new things, especially in multisports. This year in 2011 after moving across the state, returning to school, and finding a new way to fund myself, I have come to the realization that a heavy race schedule might not be the best option.
This year is/was supposed to kick off on April 16th in Oshkosh at a half-marathon simply to gauge my run fitness and see where I stand. I looked at the financial aspect of driving across the state, staying in a hotel, and running a half-marathon and the price tag simply was not worth the price of admission, especially since this race is more or less to test my fitness. There is a half-marathon a couple weeks later here in La Crosse that I have thought about entering, but "Crazylegs" (a popular 8K in Madison) is the day before and that is a "MUST RUN" every year, so I will be doing that instead. With no option in sight for a half-marathon in the near area and time frame I have selected to try something new. Run 13.1 miles on my own, timed on my own, supported on my own, and routed on my own. Why not? I have done runs of up to 16 miles on my own before so why not just run a half-marathon on my own. After all, the only real difference is some gels and water every mile provided to me, and a sometimes crowded race course with a medal and shirt usually waiting at the fnish line. Spectators? yeah I won't be passing as many, but Kate will be in tow on her bicycle with me for the ride. It will seem like I am the race leader with a bicyclist leading me, but I guess that I will be the race leader from start to finish!
I thought about this long and hard for a bit and the answer seemed easy. Take off for 13.1 miles on my own, learn to pace on my own, and have Kate follow behind via bicycle. This way I am running for free, I can pick my own route, and learn more about pacing longer distance without the aid of runners all around me. To me this seems like a great idea and maybe the new way that I wil jumpstart my own season every year.
So now the only thing left to do is pick my route and run. I will still run on the 16th of April at 7:30am, but now it will be here in La Crosse on my own. I will use my gps watch to "certify" the course and hope my running in the off-season will let me cruise through another PR. I am already looking forward to this new race format!