Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Challenge: Committed or Crazy?

I can't exactly pinpoint one catalyst that made me decide that I wanted to start running as a hobby. It was probably a combination of wanting to loose weight, needing an outlet to de-stress, and a yearning to achieve some physical feat before I became too old to do so. However, in October when I made the commitment and printed out the training schedule for my first marathon, I knew that it was something that I was going to commit myself to execute.

That first marathon was supposed to be the Mardi Gras Marathon in New Orleans on February 1, 2009 ... and that was a daunting date to see at the beginning of October. I started following the online training regimen religiously, and was on-track to make my goal. However, in mid-November I realized I didn't want to make a complete ass of myself on my home turf in my home city. As a result, I signed up for the Baton Rouge Beach Marathon on December 6th, 2008 and actually completed it (in 4 and a half hours) very successfully... two full months ahead of schedule. I proceeded to complete the Mardi Gras Marathon in February and then the Georgia Marathon in late March. Three full marathons (26.2 Miles) in 4 months, but I wasn't satisfied.

As summer concluded, and I was offered a position with a local professional sports team, I wanted to set another goal to achieve before I became completely obsessed with work. Since I was turning 26 on my August birthday (and a marathon is 26.2 miles long), I decided to commit to a marathon a month during my 26th birthday year. That would be 12 Marathons in 12 Months. Healthy? Maybe not. More healthy that eating an extra slice of birthday cake and sitting on my butt... definitely.

To kick things off right, I traveled to and completed the San Francisco Marathon on July 26th ... 3 days before I started my job. Sure, it wasn't in August ... but neither are any decent marathons (due to heat) and I would be consumed by my job as soon as I started. Having that first notch on my board was a great feeling, and primed me for the coming months. Here's a list of the planned marathons for the next several months:

September 6th - Tupelo (Mississippi) Marathon
October 11th - Chicago Marathon
November 1st - New York City Marathon (Still Trying to get in)
December - Up for Debate (Either Baton Rouge or Vegas, depends on work)
January 9th & 10th - Walt Disneyworld's Goofy Challenge (Half and Full Marathon)
February 28th - Rock N Roll Mardi Gras Marathon

We'll see how things progress, and if you stay tuned ... you'll see along with me.

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