I know a ton of people who ran in the Pittsburgh Marathon last weekend — full, half, veterans and first-timers. And I’m proud of each and every single one of you. No matter what the time, you all killed it last week.
And let’s be honest: I’m also jealous as hell.
I was supposed to be among you last week, and it’s still irritating that I wasn’t. I think I made the right decision, vis-a-vis my ailing groin; but feeling smart didn’t help me much as I watched all of you running by my spot on the Seventh Street Bridge Sunday morning.
No worries, though. I’m coming back.
I’m approaching a week without pain in my pesky groin; I promised myself that as soon as I got through two weeks without so much as a twinge, I’d start running again. I’m not quite there yet, but I may bow to impatience and take a brisk walk in the next day or two, just to see how things are feeling. And if that goes well, I’ll start a walking/running mix.
And if we’re good with that, I have something else in mind.
As we’ve discussed before, I need a goal in order for the running thing to work. I had good schedule — with decent results, at least until I hurt myself — as I worked toward the Pittsburgh half; before I decided to run that one, I was kind of drifting — my runs were sporadic, and it was way too easy to talk myself out of getting out of bed in the morning and putting on my running shoes.
So how do I keep my motivation going? Easy — I run once race every month for the rest of the year.
I’ll take it easy to start, and give myself some time to get back into shape; I’m thinking a July start will be perfect. I even have a schedule in mind, although just a couple months are carved in stone at this point:
- July: TBD, yes. But having a t-shirt from the Whiskey Rebellion 5K in Canonsburg on the Fourth of July would be really cool. I think that would be a fun run, too. The July Fourth parade in Canonsburg is a big freaking deal, and as this race is a precursor to the parade, I think there would be a built-in audience.
- August: Again, to be determined. But I’m intrigued by the Brookline Breeze 5K on Aug. 11. This race is part of an annual community party, and I would hope to get some support — and perhaps some post-race beverages — from the Burghseyeview crew.
- September: This one is carved in stone, as in I’m already registered: The Great Race in Pittsburgh (Sept. 30). Watching all of yinz guys have fun in this one last year was the reason I started running last fall, and this race was my original goal. With that in mind, when Mrs. Crappy and I saw that discount registrations were available at the marathon expo, we signed up immediately. A nice bonus: the race takes place on a road-game weekend, so we don’t have to miss any football in Columbus.
- October: Next payday, I’ll register for the Columbus half marathon on Oct. 21. I’d still love to have Pittsburgh as my first half, but I’m not going to wait until next year to run one. Columbus in October is a perfect second choice. All I have to do it is pray that the Purdue game is a noon start. This will also be nice because I’ll have a built-in support team at the ready.
- November: I love the idea of running to make room for Thanksgiving dinner, and the proximity of the YMCA’s Turkey Trot 5K downtown makes this race a natural.
- December: As I found last year, there is a surprisingly large pool of December races to choose from; in the interest of symmetry, though, I’ll probably run the Jingle Bell 5K, just like I did for my first race ever in 2011.
Ambitious? Maybe. Stupid? Definitely. But once I get started again — and keep in mind this schedule is subject to change; I’m now very aware that injuries can make a mockery of plans like this in an instant — I know I’ll need goals and dates to keep going through the summer heat. And a schedule like this would be the perfect way to do that.
C’mon, groin. Get better quick.