On Sunday my 16 week journey from 0 miles per week to 12-15 miles per week will be tested in my first ever half-marathon. I have done the physical preparation -- every Saturday group run, Tuesday/Thursday solo and buddy runs as well as Wednesday cross-training (ok you all know that involved sailing and beer!). Now I just need to run so I can stop wondering "what will the race be like?" and does it really matter if this is a non-Gatorade race?!? (Because I can't see carrying little packets of Gatorade to mix while I run, the answer is no. I have my favorite energy source - Clif Bloks, so that's all that matters to me!)
So what have I learned in 16 weeks?
1. Running is fun... if you find your groove, awesome running partners and a good trail. Good trails = Capital Crescent, Custis Trail and the National Mall. Bad trails = Pierce Mill at Rock Creek Park.
2. Every future marathoner or half-marathoner needs an awesome group of runners and non-runners alike to encourage, cajole (recognize yourself?!?), and generally keep them honest.
3. Being speedy gets you to the finish line first, but the back of the pack has more fun.
4. Running is a worse cult than rowing, my former temple of pain
5. I couldn't have asked for a better training program than Team in Training. If you're thinking about joining them - to run a marathon, cycle 100 miles, or complete a triathalon - do it! It's a great cause to be associated with and a wonderful group of people.