New Challenges, New Distances

IMG_4424Ever since I returned from my Disney Princess Half Marathon trip (recap part one here; recap part two here), I’ve been anxious to put my half marathon training to the test. As you may recall, I didn’t exactly perform at my best in Walt Disney World — namely, because I decided to make photo ops and character visits more important than my finish time.

I don’t regret that at all, but I almost feel as though my months and months of hard work in training for my first 13.1 will be wasted if I don’t give a “real” race a shot…that is, one where I’m not tempted to stop running and stand in line for a photo with a Disney princess every ten minutes!

I’m looking into one or two local half marathons later in the spring (April and May), but I really didn’t want to wait that long. Call me crazy (no, really, I have seriously lost my damn mind), but I just had to sign up for another longer distance race RIGHT AWAY.

So…that’s why I just registered for a race with a brand new distance (to me): the Miles for Music 20K. In its second year, its an event that supports music education in schools, and as you may know, I moonlight as a private piano teacher…so I felt the cause was definitely worth pushing my body through 12.4 miles!

Photo credit: Miles for Music (milesformusic.org)

Photo credit: Miles for Music (milesformusic.org)

Still, I’ve been mulling over this decision for almost two weeks now, constantly vacillating between the excitement of testing out my training on another long-distance event and the fear of falling flat on my face without those built in rest periods (read: standing in ungodly long lines for character photos) that the runDisney event provided. I’ve proven that I can run straight through a 10K, but I have no idea how I’ll fare in a race that’s double that distance.

I’m trying so hard to stop doubting myself, but I still can’t help but feel just a teensy bit terrified of, say, coming in last or, worse, not being able to finish the race. It is, after all, almost the length of a half marathon…and this will be my first time attempting to run such a long distance for time.

Photo credit: Miles for Music (milesformusic.org)

Photo credit: Miles for Music (milesformusic.org)

More importantly, I think the main reason I want to do this — and so soon — is because I have this incessant need to prove to myself that I could have run the race that I told Disney I could run when they placed me in corral A. My 10K proof of time (56:17) was good enough to put me in the front of the pack at a half marathon that included 26,000 runners, and yet my Disneyfied silliness on race day caused me to finish the race amongst the slowest runners and walkers in corral H.

I had the time of my life, but at the end of the day, I know I could have done better…and I want the chance to prove it.

I really, really want to see if I can finish this race in under 2 hours. I still hesitate when it comes to announcing time goals to anyone I know in “real life,” for fear that I won’t live up to them.

But I feel safe in announcing it here: I am running this weekend’s 20K race with the strict intention of a sub-2 hour finish time. Wish me luck! 😀

Have you ever run a 20K (or some other less-popular race distance)? Any tips?

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “New Challenges, New Distances

  1. Can I just start off by saying I’m even MORE thrilled to have found your blog as I also teach private music lessons and this little tidbit really made me smile?? 🙂

    Were there results posted of last year’s race that you could check to see what the slowest finisher was? I’m a slower runner, and while I’ve not yet come in last place (I did come in second-to-last once), this is something I constantly stress about and I check previous race results often to help calm my fears or to set expectations that I *might* be last so I’m not shocked if it ever were to happen.

    Also, I incorporate walk breaks into all my long distance races – even if it’s just ten steps to catch my breath. Maybe decide to let yourself walk through water breaks if you really can’t bring yourself to let yourself have walk breaks. 🙂 I can absolutely understand the desire to run the entire time!

    Good luck! I’m sure you’ll be great – and, I would be with a 10k time of under an hour, there’s no way you’ll be last!!

  2. OMG, that is SO cool! I’m glad you found me, too! 😀

    I did take a look at last year’s results, and, okay, you’re right…it’s pretty unlikely I’ll be last. And even so, finishing the race is really all that matters! Why do I torture myself with all of these worst case scenarios?!

    I think I’m going to take your advice about walking through the water stops…I try not to allow myself to walk during races, but then again, I’ve never run 12 miles straight before, so what do I know? Haha. I’m pretty sure it’ll make those two hours a little more pleasurable if I at least allow myself to stop for a quick breather.

    Thanks again for your support, I really appreciate it! 😀

  3. Pingback: Race Recap: Miles for Music |

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