When I talk to my friends and family about the Run The Bluegrass Half-Marathon, the response I get, more often than not, is why. Why do I want to run 13 miles? Why do I want to layer up in all sorts of cold weather running gear and do a long run in 20 degree weather? Why do I think they should take up take up the challenge?
The answer for me seems fairly simple. I have talked before about transitioning from a guy who runs into a runner, at least in my mind. The transition seemed to coincide with becoming a married man with a full time job who was taking Graduate School classes. As my responsibilities increased the free time I had to hit the gym or go for a run began to decrease. It became better for me to set long term goals and to look into a structured plan to stay in shape (round is a shape, right?).
That’s when I began to take races I had run for fun, like the Midsummer Night’s Run, a little more seriously. I used the Runner’s World website, and now the iPhone App, to create a training plan and found that when I had set days and set structure, it was much easier to plan for the run. I had toyed with the idea of a half-marathon but never really put forth the commitment. When Lexington announced their Half-Marathon last year, the predecessor to the bigger and better, and locally owned, Run The Bluegrass Half-Marathon, the opportunity could no longer be avoided. I had never run more than five miles before I began training, but the first day I ran double digits, ten miles, I knew I was hooked. I actually looked at my running watch, did a little dance, and high fived a tree (I may have been under the influence of the “runner’s high” at this time). From that point forward, there were no question marks about whether or not I could finish a half-marathon, only the drive to run it the best I could.
So, the why for me is because I love the structure of a long term running plan. It makes it easy to fit into my schedule of teacher, husband, father, and drinking buddy. It is a set time that I leave the stress of the work day and can retreat into my own personal reflections. It is an activity that makes me feel good about myself.
Now why should you sign up for the Run The Bluegrass Half-Marathon or the newly added 5 K? Because running is pretty much the best exercise and activity you can do. There is a reason you see a lot of running on The Biggest Loser, it is an activity that everyone is capable of doing and it helps you keep your body, and I believe your mind, healthy. The beauty of any race is that it is a community event and a rare athletic competition where everyone can win. Instead of competing against another runner, most runners compete against themselves and their own times. If you want to walk part of the race, you can walk part of the race. What matters is that you have begun to lay the groundwork for being a runner. Your next race, you will walk less, and when you do, you will feel victorious, regardless of your time.
Now that a 5K (3.1 miles) race has been added to the agenda, there is no reason sit on the sidelines. Run The Bluegrass Half-Marathon has added so many sponsors that I cannot list them all, but I encourage you to go to the website at Runthebluegrass.org. Once there, you can find other bloggers, including the awesome Skinny Emmie, motivation, and best of all a running plan to get you ready for your first half-marathon.
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