I ran my first 5K when I was 17 and my first half marathon when I was 20. Since then, I’ve run a handful of 5 and 10K's and one or two half marathons a year - nothing too crazy - and I certainly haven't ventured into full marathon territory. Around this time every year, I start slacking on my fitness. I'm over the cold temperatures and my new year's resolutions have worn off. However, I usually try to combat this lack of motivation by signing up for an upcoming race since it essentially forces me to stay in shape. If you're in the same rut, I recommend signing up for something like a race or an intramural event because it definitely makes you think twice before hitting snooze or driving past the gym on your way home from work.
I've listed my favorite Kentucky races, and I love them all for different reasons. If you're looking for a running buddy or want to sign up for a race, let me know! It's always better to have a friend there for motivation.
Favorite 5K Races:
November 24: The Great Turkey 5K, Bowling Green
November TBA: Girls on the Run 5K, Lexington
Favorite 10K Race:
October TBA: Medical Center 10K Classic, Bowling Green
Favorite Half Marathons:
April 2: Run the Bluegrass (shorter options available), Lexington
April 30: Derby Festival Mini-Marathon, Louisville
October 16: Iron Horse Half Marathon, Midway
I'm ready to try some new races. Here are the ones on my radar for 2016!
April 16: (Un)Pleasant Hill Trail Runs, varying lengths, Shaker Village
August 13: Midsummer Nights Run 5K, Lexington
September 17: Railrunner 10 Miler, Nicholasville
Because that was a semi-boring post, I'll share a humorous little backstory about my first half marathon...
The race itself is only notable since it was my first one, and it had some big hills, which are no longer part of the course. However, the pre-race details stick out the most. For starters, neither Alex nor I were really familiar with Louisville at the time, so we stayed in a hotel on the outskirts of town. When we checked it, I was really excited to learn that the hotel had free (aka really cheap) drinks and appetizers. It was a month away from my 21st birthday, so I felt pretty fancy drinking a glass of the white zinfandel out of a plastic cup. Alex was already 21, and I think she was smart enough to not partake. After our wine and cheese, we lounged by the hotel pool with the sound of interstate traffic drowning out our gossipy conversation. The hotel's policy was that an employee had supervise the pool area whenever it was occupied. Since it was late April, we weren’t in our bathing suits and weren’t even thinking of getting in the pool. Nevertheless, a pimply teenage employee sat out there to monitor us until we left to carb-load at a pasta dinner. While the evening wasn't too crazy, I laugh every time I think about how slick I thought I was drinking cheap wine. If I drank that now on a night before running, I would probably be seriously sick during the race. Oh, to have the liver of a college student...
Since this was my first half marathon, I took training really seriously. I followed one of the training plans from Hal Higdon, and I found it to be a really great starting place. Now, I’m lucky if I get two or three 10+ mile runs in before I run a race. I just try to consistently run about five days a week in the months preceding the race.
Cheers and happy running!