Looking forward to this fall half-marathon ~ Oct. 14, 2012

While there’s so much to love about the Olympics, there’s one not-so-good thing that’s tripped me up these past couple of weeks: staying up so late each night to watch. It’s addicting–and it’s wreaking havoc on my ability to get up and go in the morning. Ah, it may be the end-0f-summer laziness seeping in, too–you know, taking advantage of any additional moment you can to sleep just. a. few. moments. more. before all-out school and work schedules take over–but I do have to say that it likely will be a good thing for my morning exercise routine when I can get to bed at a fairly reasonable time and feel not-so-groggy the next morning when my alarm goes off.

Today I did say a word of thanks when I awoke to rain falling. My training partner Ann doesn’t care much for running in the rain, so I knew a quick text to her at 5 a.m. asking about re-scheduling would yield an enthusiastic “Yes!” I did, however, have Pilates at 7 a.m., and despite a summer cold that’s taken hold in the last few days, I knew a good workout on the Reformer machine was just what I needed. Though I was very, very tired. Darn those Olympic games! (Oh, and that late-night phone call with my best friend who lives in Connecticut probably didn’t help my sleep schedule much, either…)

An inspiring and fascinating book.

So I stretched my tired muscles and worked my core during a 50-minute Pilates. And later today, because I really want to stay on track with my training for the Lighthouse Half Marathon this October, I pushed myself to run 5 miles–a different route around my neighborhood and across the busy road by the ski hill just to shake things up. I ran without music, without a watch. I loved the overcast and cooler temperatures, and I wanted the stillness of no tunes. I’ve been reading ultra-marathoner Scott Jurek’s memoir Eat & Run — a well-written book that offers a fascinating look into the mind of highly-successful ultra-endurance athlete — and I find myself wondering about pushing my own physical and mental limits. What can I accomplish if I really put my mind to it? What could my body do? How do you toughen up mentally? How does that guy run so ridiculously long? Could I ever do that? Am I crazy to even think this?

Ann and I haven’t laid out specific goals for this half-marathon, other than of course to have a good race. We both want to finish feeling strong. But we’ve also told each other that in another month or so we’ll take a closer look at our training run times and talk through what we’d both like to do come race day.

I am really excited about this inaugural race–it’s been awhile since I’ve run this distance. I recently spoke with race director Daniel Siderman, about the event. If you’re considering a fall half, consider checking out this one. Some more detail from Daniel, who locals may know as the manager of the downtown Running Fit store. He’s also active in the Traverse City Track Club and serves as race director of the Bayshore Marathon.

This is the inaugural TC Lighthouse Half and the second 13.1 mile race the TC Track Club hosts on Old Mission Peninsula. This new one, however, is on the west side of the peninsula—how did the route get chosen?

The idea for this event, a fall half marathon, has been kicked around by TCTC and the running community for a couple of years.  The running community wanted a fall event here in TC, this event was created to fill that need.  As for the course, many options were looked at…the course we settled on provides great views, little traffic, and the least amount of residential impact.

The route’s terrain is hillier in parts—how can runners best prepare themselves for this race?

Don’t be scared away by the hills. While this is not a PR course, the hills are rolling and only enhance the views of the colors and the Bay. It should be peak-color season this time of year, so not only will there be spectacular views of the Bay, but there should be plenty of color as well.

Why do you hope runners choose to run this race?

It is put on by the TCTC.  Which means you will get the same organizational excellence that you do at Bayshore. It also means that it will benefit the community. All the workers that help out with this event are representing a nonprofit group or sports team which the TCTC then donates money to. This is not something all races do; in fact it is quite rare. Most events are put on by for-profit companies, who struggle to get volunteers and don’t always come through with promised donations…after all, it is based on profit, no profit means no donation for these companies. The TCTC always pays. We find that this makes it easier to get volunteers and gives them a vested interest in our events, which in turn makes them better volunteers/workers. We find that small details like this make our events great for everyone.  Any profit from this event then gets put back into the committee via donations from the TCTC throughout the year. Last year the TCTC donated over $120,000 back into the local community … It’s a great fall event close to home. It is truly a beautiful course, I can’t stress this enough.

Hoping to capture some beautiful pics of the Upper Peninsula this weekend during our camping trip. Please let me know of any great spots to explore–whether it’s a great place to eat or take the family. I hope to squeeze in a run, too, so please share any good running routes you may know of in and around Munising.

Where is your running taking you these days? Anyone else training for a fall half-marathon?




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