My boss and I have been running this week. Last night, we were talking in the room, and all of a sudden I had this strong desire to run. I started changing clothes, and she said, “Are you going running?” “Yes,” I answered. “I have to move.” She said she was going, too, and we raced downstairs to ask the front desk where to run. As is typical of most smaller town areas, there aren’t a lot of runners asking where to run. He had no idea what to do, and we finally decided to head to the riverfront.
It was already getting close to dark, so we needed to hurry. We found a place to park, and there was a nice trail that went along the Red River. I suggested we run/walk for 20 minutes or so and that way we’d be back to the car before dark. It was actually nice out, and we quickly knocked out our run. The river had obviously been way up recently. Segments of the trail were covered in sand and clay. I stopped at one point to take a picture because it was really pretty in the dusk light. Missy said, “Is that a gator in that puddle?’ I looked. It sure looked like the head of one, but it was in the puddle right next to us, and I couldn’t imagine one hanging out there. “Yes, it is,” she said. “I just saw its eyes blink.” I told her to go stand by it, and I’d take her picture. She refused, and we ran away.
I’ve been doing my run/walk thing for the last few weeks. I haven’t really told anybody or said anything because of all the injuries I’ve endured the last few years. One year I lost probably $300 on race fees for races I couldn’t start because I got injured during training. I’ve been gun-shy to set any race goals or even to run anymore. Plus, the summer is miserable, and I haven’t thought of running at all in this heat. But, lately, I’ve been missing the feeling of finishing a good run, and I’ve been sneaking in a run/walk 3 days a week or so. Ashok only goes when it’s early in the morning because it’s too hot for her.
I even looked up Jeff Galloway’s training plans the other day. I started noodling doing a 10K sometime in November. I just won’t tell anybody, I told myself. I could train quietly, and, if I made it without an injury for a month or so, then I could commit to a race. I even downloaded one of his training apps which were on sale over the July 4 holiday. But I still hadn’t committed – not even to myself. So, yesterday, Missy started talking about her desire to run a half marathon one day. I told her about my little 10K venture and how I’d like to run the Turkey Day run in New Orleans’ City Park on Thanksgiving Day. She mentioned the Jazz Half Marathon was around that time. I googled it to see what it was about, and the first thing that came up was an article about Runner’s World magazine selecting it as one of the best half marathons in the country. Read the article here.
So, I really started thinking about it. The race is on the same list as half marathons in Maui, Chicago, New York and Key West. All of a sudden, I started remembering how much fun it was to explore cities in my previous half marathons. I remembered how much fun it was to be involved in training for a race and the routine and motivation it created. On an impulse, I registered for the October 31 race. I didn’t say anything out loud, but I started talking to Missy as if we were going to do it. I set up the training calendar on my phone and told her we could do our long runs in Bay St. Louis for fun. She said, “You registered?” “YES, I did,” I said loudly and laughed. “Well I’d better get registered, then,” she said. “This is a bucket list thing for me!” She may even see if her husband wants to do it, too.
So, I’m registered for the Jazz Half Marathon in New Orleans on October 31st. There … I said it. If anybody wants to join in on a run/walk plan to complete a half marathon, why don’t you join us. Here’s the plan. It’ll be Missy’s first, and it’ll be my first in a long time. I figure if something happens, I can always walk it. But, I’m going to take it slow and easy like a beginner…. and enjoy the party. Apparently the awesome post-race party is one of the reasons it was chosen! That’s all for now. I have to go for a run.