Please note that this page contains some affiliate links. ORRRC and Indian Hills Run links are NON-sponsored. I am not affiliated with either outside of being registered for their events.
2020 marks the year that I accept my status as an almost middle aged woman and lean head first into its stereotypes. I've done what so many before me have and signed up for a half-marathon. It was either that or get an "edgy" haircut. Who am I kidding? I'll probably do both. Along with the half, I'm also doing a Spartan Sprint. A what? A Spartan Sprint. It's a 3 mile obstacle course race, and that's the short one. Then, to cap off the summer, I'm running a 20K Trail Race over the gentile and forgiving terrain of North Central Appalachia.
First up, the Ohio River Road Runner's Club 53rd Marathon & 31st Half-Marathon on April 5th in Xenia. This was actually the last race I committed to this year. A participant and friend from Ultimate HIIT recommended I look into it. The ORRRC describes this race as "the lowest cost/low-key marathon around." I have never done a marathon (full or half) so I don't have anything to compare it to. My friend said its one of her personal favorites, and I trust her opinion.
Next, just as summer is hitting its suckiest...The Spartan Sprint in Lawrenceburg, IN on July 25th. I begrudgingly admit that this is the result of targeted Facebook Ads. They just kept popping up in my feed! Curiosity got the best of me, so I looked at the 2020 schedule and saw that there was a Sprint not too far from Dayton. After watching some clips of last year's races, I decided that I'd give it try, willfully ignoring the fact the my grip strength is atrocious and many of the obstacles require that you have the agility of an orangutan. Regardless, I'm going to give it go. I'm still 5 months out, I have PLENTY of time to train. (This is me also willfully ignoring my long history of procrastination).
Finally, after all my bumps and bruises from the Spartan are healed, I'm doing the 20K Indian Hills Race in Hocking Hills on September 19th. Last year I challenged myself to do the 10K and absolutely loved it. I surprised the hell out of myself at that race. I don't know if its the cardio conditioning from all the interval training that I do (thank you STRONG by Zumba® *cough* not a dance class *cough*), but hilly races make me feel like golden god. I've done a few 5k trail runs and last year I did two 10K trail runs, and one thing I noticed is that I recover super fast after trudging up hills. I typically end up passing people after hills, and let me tell you, as someone who has never seen herself as "athletic" that's a HUGE ego boost. Of course this is based off of my observation from running with people whose pace is close to mine, which is still pretty slow.
Never did I ever think that I would commit to, and be excited for, long distance running and obstacle course races. Being able to run 3 miles without stopping has always been the gold standard for me. It wasn't until June or July of 2019 that I even thought of doing more than a 5k. I don't know if its the impending doom of being middle aged and the corresponding feelings of mortality that's driving me to push for longer, more intense runs. There's also a pretty good chance that this is being driven by a deep seated need for approval and validation. Or maybe its from my growing fear that the zombie apocalypse is going to be more like World War Z and not like Night of the Living Dead and we'll have to outrun freakishly fast super-zombies not lethargic, leprous ones. Whatever the reason, my personal feelings towards races like these has done a 180 and I'm honestly shocked that I'm looking forward to them.
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