What better way to send off 2011 then with a half marathon?  Crazy talk, I know.

more camel-bell: look who I ran into at mile 6

Yukon Do It was my third half marathon & the race earning my way into the exclusive Half Fanatics club.  By exclusive, I mean you have to earn your eligibility with crazy feats of vigor.  My streak (3 half marathons in 90 days) earns me a bottom rung Neptune moon level.  Don’t believe me when I say I haven’t already started planning my rise through the levels.

This was a weird race for me.  My training  since my second half marathon has been spotty, almost non-existent.  Prior to yesterday’s race, I had run 25 miles all December.  Not exactly good.  I should have run 25 miles each week.  As you can imagine, I was freaking out a bit by my lack of training even though my lack of discipline had gotten me into this mess.  On top of that, fueling during the race was off.  It wasn’t until after the half way point, I took my first shot block.  I was not thirsty.  I didn’t take salt.  I am still learning how to fuel mid-race but perhaps the weather had a hand in it this time.

It was cold; at 8 a.m. it was 25 degrees.  The first mile was downhill and an icy one at that.  Serenaded by barking seals, I made my way along Yukon Bay.  The next few miles were along the water with gorgeous views of the Olympic Mountain range.  (First time I didn’t take photos.)  Add in crystal clear water, ducks, herons and a bald eagle fly by – beautiful, scenic run.  At the mile 1.5 water stop, I considered following the 5k runner turn-around.  My heart was not in running this race.  Who needs to be a Half Fanatic?

At mile 4, I caught up with my friend Beth and we ran together until we reached Manchester State Park.  I tried the remainder of the race to catch up with her but it didn’t happen until I crossed the finish line.  Beth was a godsend because I had a reel of negative thoughts running repeat in my head until I caught up with her.  I am not much of a talker while running but I may reconsider my stance.  While we were together, the negativity disappeared & the running didn’t seem as hard.

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions but I am going to make an exception for 2012.  I resolve to be mentally tough in regards to running.  I teach my players to be mentally tough & I believe I am mentally tough on the volleyball court.  But I have spent over 20 years playing.  I must also remember to master a skill, you must put in 10,000 hours of practice.  Along with being mentally tough, I must  be kind to myself while I am learning to run.