Which Half-Marathon Should I run for my first?

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything about running.

Just as I was gearing back up from the heart attack, I broke my arm. So, there was another little delay. I’m going to write about goal setting again soon but, for now, I want to focus on the running.

A good while back (pre-heart attack), my intention was to run the Myrtle Beach half-marathon this year. As it turned out, there was no Myrtle Beach half (or full) marathon this year due to the snow/ice. When I had to reschedule, I just moved it to 2011. Now, I’m going to change again.

This will be my first half-marathon. I’ve learned a lot just in the preparation phase. Here a few of the things I’ve learned.

1)     Preparation for a February race is tough. The days are short and your preparatory runs need to be long. Practically, this makes it difficult.

2)     In addition to the physical preparation, there is the psychological component. Nothing against Myrtle Beach (which isn’t that far from where we live), but they are not used to snow, ice etc. and that makes their February half a risky proposition when the weather is like it has been this year. All that mental prep getting put on hold for a year can be tough.

3)     Probably the least troubling about a race getting cancelled is the financial impact. The Myrtle Beach folks were very clear on the registration form that the registration fee was non-refundable – even if the race was cancelled. But, that was the least expensive part financially speaking. Folks come to that race from all over the country. They had money tied up in air travel, hotels and time off from work only to spend it watching the snow melt. The Myrtle Beach folks are giving a 50% discount for next year’s race to those folks who were registered this year, but the airlines and hotel expenses certainly aren’t refundable.

So, with this mind, I’m going to change my plans to run a half in May of 2011. There will be warmer, longer days to prep, chances of cancellation due to weather are less and it is local.

So, that’s the new plan. In the meantime, there will be a couple of 5K’s this spring, 10K’s this fall. Of course, all of this must be headlined with the caveat, “if the Lord wills.”

What are your goals and what plans are you implementing to get there?

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