That's correct, I recently ran my third half marathon. For someone who never wanted to run more than a mile at track practice, I kind of amazed myself! It turns out that what I really like about running (at a lovely s-l-o-w pace) is having some alone time to just think and listen to music. Running around our neighborhood is wonderful, because I get to run mostly past cattle ranches, big yards, gardens, oak trees and fields, among rolling hills. I am not sure I would run in another setting. Plus, the fog is a HUGE bonus - I've always kind of loathed running in the sun (did I mention I ran track in Arizona?! For Pete's sake, what was wrong with me?)
As I was training for this half marathon, I found myself looking at some articles and blogs that I haven't looked at before. For example, the training program I used this time was called "Couch Potato to Half Marathon". I looked up tips on how to deal with aching feet, tight Achilles tendons, and joints without constantly eating ibuprofin (my solution, and I think it might have worked - at least, I ran the whole thing pain-free - was taking Turmeric tablets. You can research for yourself...) The best (?) article was actually recommended to me by someone who will remain nameless (not a family member, but a friend who also runs). It is from a web site for women over 45 who are training for 10Ks and beyond, and the article is called, I kid you not, "How Not To Poop Yourself While Running". I am proud to say I did not have any such issues at any point during my training or the race. The grossest thing I had to do was use my sleeve to wipe my nose.
The best part of the race was seeing my husband at about mile 3, cheering me on from the side of the road, and then of course at the finish line, where I was greeted by my sweet daughter Grace and her great friend Stephanie (who I love), dressed up in hilarious outfits with signs. They made me laugh so hard I forgot to look at my time (it was 2:20 - I looked on the web site later on) and brought me my post-race drink, my favorite pink fleece (it stayed gloriously foggy and cool the whole way), and my flip flops, and gave me a ride home so I didn't have to take the sweaty shuttle (not the real name, but everyone knows that's what it is).
I am really enjoying not getting up for training runs when it is still dark out, but I really had so much fun that I have already signed up for another run - this time my absolute favorite, the 8-mile Castle To Coast run that starts at Hearst Castle and ends in Cambria and goes right along PCH. I'm looking forward to that....and to getting a new pair of running shoes!