As noted in my looking ahead post posted several weeks ago, I had registered for several running events in 2014. I even made plans to procrastinate less and continue running through the winter in preparation for the 2014 running season. But old habits die hard, I suppose. I could blame the end of semester activities for sinking much of free time towards the end of 2013 and early first few weeks of 2014 but fact that I made time to enjoy more than several brewed beverages would invalidate any such claim to blame.
Making up mind to sign up for this race was the least painful task: last of the organized racing events for 2013, opportunity to travel, meet good ole friends and share some laughs, participate in my maiden half marathon outside my home state of Michigan and the first of its kind in a big city with hundreds (if not thousands) of fellow participants, run a little and earn some bling, take stock of the 2013 running season, eat some good food and may be even drink some — just some — beer … made the pleasurable aspects that much more pleasurable compared to a little pain. And the mind was made up a little less than two months ago. Exchange of few texts over a short period of time saw my dear friends Nils, Chelsea and Kevin sign up as well – the last two for their maiden half marathon attempt.
Yet another of those events — organized by dear friends, Josh and Nancy — that I had managed to find an excuse for its previous editions but was eagerly looking forward to participate in 2013 for more than one reason: opportunity to not make an excuse, (a short-ish) run for fun with many a colleagues, familiarity with the course (as a result of my affiliation to Lake Linden Wild Goose Chase), and the finish line being mere steps away from the Lakes Lounge / American Legion Post 90.
Whatever momentum I thought I had gained in recent months of running and participating in organized events, I lost at least parts of it since the 2013: XTERRA Marquette Epic Triathlon with Team Winston. Part of it was due to the busy-ness of the new school semester and the responsibilities that come with it while a really really big part of it is the good ole me finding ways to not run as frequently as I could. The only training run I did was a short 3 miler that took me up the Quincy Hill along the tram track, and hoped that prior trail run races would help carry me through this one. Looking through my logs, there was some silver lining running up this copper-ladden hill: my previous such attempt had taken 17+ minutes just for the hill climb; this one took less than 16 minutes for much longer distance before and after the hill climb. For what it’s worth, this race — Porcupine Mountains Trail (Half) Marathon — turned out to be the first of its kind, for me, that had a ceiling on the registration as well as on the time to finish the race.
In an attempt to ride the momentum, if one could call that, that I had gained in the past six months of occasional running and participating in more than my fair share of organized running events — 5 mile Breakers to Bay, 10k Hodag Run, 6k Mt. Baldy Summit Run and a Half Marathon as part of Canal Run — I had run few more times, I had made up my mind to run the Porcupine Mountains Trail Half Marathon in October and was eagerly looking forward to another organized event in September. On one fine day in July, while enjoying a fine beverage in a fine watering hole, dear friend Kris mentioned about an upcoming XTERRA Marquette Epic Triathlon and should our friend Greg (a much much better runner than I am) be not able to make it, I would be in as part of Team Winston.
It is the first time in my life that I have
had the opportunity utilized the opportunity to participate in organized running events on back to back weekends. It is also the first time in my life that I have had the opportunity utilized the opportunity to participate in the same organized running event for a second time. Of all the organized running events that I have participated in so far this year — 5 mile Breakers to Bay, 10k Hodag Run and 6k Mt. Baldy Summit Run — Journeys Half Marathon (in Eagle River, WI) and a 10 mile Hancock Canal Run (@CanalRun) were the only ones I had actually planned to take part in.
It has been another two weeks since Hodag Run – a 10k race in Rhinelander, WI, the heart of the Hodag Country. Preparations for this one were just like that for Hodag Run – apart from (minimal) running around of bases in softball and/or at work, I didn’t make time for any.
It has been almost a month since Breakers To Bay – a 5 mile race from Houghton Breakers to Oskar Bay and about the same amount of time since the last run of any kind, not counting running around the bases and/or in the outfield in softball, and/or at work. Persistent and nagging dry cough due to allergies take much of the blame for keeping me tied down although an equal amount of, if not more, blame can be attributed to my own procrastination.