Scouring the internet and Facebook, there were two things that hooked me---these are challenges that can push me, but also seem doable. At least while I was sitting on my couch in my sweats. The first challenge is called "2015 in 2015". Yes, 2,015 miles logged in 2015. My mileage in 2014 was around 400, so I knew that this was not doable for me. But the creators of this challenge wanted to get people MOVING, and if creating a team to do this would help you, so be it. They originally stated a team of no more than 3, but were willing to go with teams of 4. Again, "moving" is the goal, rather than some strict "follow the rules" type of challenge. So I enlisted 7 of my friends, and we broke into two teams. Five hundred and four miles was going to be a challenge, but I was excited to push myself further, to grow as a runner rather than just plateau after several years of growth.
But in order to get to those 500 miles, I again needed a "carrot". What could I train for, what could motivate me to run 500 miles? I needed a race to train for, and I was not wanting to do St. Jude's Country Music Half Marathon again. It was too big, too hilly, and most importantly--my friends were not racing it. My husband had registered for it (the marathon), so I needed to keep an eye on the kiddos that day.
I was not a fan of traveling too far away for a race, so I searched the internet for a close race in southern Illinois, southern Indiana or Kentucky. And something flat. This area of the country can be hilly, and I HATE hills. I finally found my race: Paducah (KY) Iron Mom Half-Marathon. How cute is that??? Iron Mom, because we moms are just awesome! And it happens over Mother's Day weekend, so how appropriate, right? So with the 2015 challenge and another long race on the horizon, I felt I had the "carrots" in place to keep me going.
I'll recap this race later in another posting, these two items were the start of something that is turning out to be trying, challenging, and something I would never change.