Friday, October 17, 2014

The Super Secret List, Part I

Not too long ago, I hinted at a Super Secret List of races I want to do, and mentioned that I might share that list with you eventually. I'm finally going to do that! I'm breaking the list into 4 categories, each of which will get its own post. That way, I can explain some of them in further detail. My plan at the moment is to post another section of the list each Friday, but we'll see if I can stick to that.

Part 1: Specific Races I Want to Do for Specific Reasons

1. Arlington 9/11 5K: This was my first-ever 5K, but the experience left something to be desired. It's a great event, and I'd love to support it every year that it fits into my schedule. First of all though, I am seeking redemption. My first time back to the race, I want to enjoy it, whether it goes well physically or not. I want to savor the experience, fight through any moments that are tough mentally, and finish strong. Then eventually I would like to run the whole thing, as was my goal the first time I attempted the race. Ideally I could accomplish all of this in one shot, but if not, I'll take the mental victory first and the physical one later.

2. LARS Turkey Trot: This is another race I have run before and want to take another stab at, but not because I need any kind of redemption. I just think getting out and running a race on Thanksgiving morning is a lot of fun -- I can see why Turkey Trot runs are so popular! This race is local, passing through some of my favorite parts of my town, and it benefits a great local charity. I hope to make this a family tradition every year we're in town for the holiday! Oh, and I'm already registered for this year. ;-)

3. Marine Corps Marathon 10K: I loved this race when I did it in 2010, and like the previous two, I'd like to start doing it every year that it doesn't conflict with something else. The Marines really know how to put on a race! The course is great and being part of the marathon event is exciting and inspirational. I'm registered to participate this year, in just a little over a week! Yay!!

4. Baltimore St. Patrick's Day 5K: Now we're moving on to races that I haven't done, and that's precisely why this one is on the list. I registered for it in 2010, right before I succumbed to the pain, went to the doctor, and was diagnosed with a stress fracture. I spent the month of March limping around in a removable cast instead of running for green beer. It was frustrating to lose the money, but even more frustrating to miss the experience of my first race when I felt so ready for it. I'd like to run this race someday, for fun and to complete my unfinished business. And, of course, for the beer. :)

5. Cooper River Bridge Run (10K): I've been saying I'm going to do this race for years, and someday I must make good on that promise! But I'm motivated by more than just that. I grew up in Charleston, SC, and had a lifelong fear of the bridges that once stood over the Cooper River. I was so afraid of those bridges that I had recurring nightmares about them -- actually I still do from time to time! I did the Bridge Walk (which used to be separate from the Run but part of the same event) once while I was in college, and it was terrifying. The bridges were just so tall, and narrow, and rickety. The new bridge is wide and sturdy and safe, but still very very tall. The thought of running across it is not appealing to me at all, and yet I feel compelled to do it. I honestly don't know why. I doubt that running the bridge will conquer my fear of it any more than walking it did so many years ago. It's just something I have to do. Someday.

6. Iron Girl Rocky Gap (sprint tri): This was the triathlon Candice and I were first planning on doing. Even though I switched to Columbia for good reasons, and ended up finishing my first tri even sooner than I would have if I'd done Rocky Gap, this still feels like unfinished business because it had been in my mind for so long. The timing is challenging because it's right after school starts, which is always a chaotic time of year, but hopefully someday I can make it work. Maybe I can even get Candice to do it with me!

7. Iron Girl Columbia (sprint tri): My first triathlon will always hold a special place in my heart, and it's just a wonderful event that I'd love to participate in every year that I can. In 2015, though, my goal is specifically to beat my time. The first time around, my goal was just to finish alive and preferably in an upright position. I wasn't concerned about time at all (as evidenced by my 10 minutes in T1...LOL) and was perfectly satisfied finishing in just under three and a half hours. But I know I can do better! There is plenty of room for me to improve in all three sports (and transitions!! hahaha), and by next August I should be able to obliterate my old time. I can't wait to give it a tri!!

Each of the above races has emotional and/or psychological significance to me, and will be very gratifying to complete. Though they aren't necessarily the most important goals on my horizon, they are good for keeping me motivated to train and improve while I ponder and select other goals to pursue as well. I look forward to reporting on another satisfactory MCM 10K experience soon!

Meanwhile, stayed tuned for The Super Secret List, Part II: Specific Races I Want to Do for Vague or Random Reasons....coming soon....

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