What have I done? (Again.)

Prompted largely by the assistance of a little liquid courage, I registered for the Olathe, Kansas Half Marathon last night.

Oh my god.  What have I done?  I can do this,  I know, but wow.  It’s on April 10, 2010, so I have 6 months to train.  Currently, I could probably run 6 or 7 miles at a stretch without walking, so I feel okay about this.  There are three major half marathons in my area–one in April (a month before the wedding), one in June (a month after the wedding), and one in October (not ready this year; don’t want to wait a full year to do it next year).  I didn’t realize the April one existed, and was debating whether half marathon training the month of the wedding (and on the honeymoon) would work, logistically speaking.  So, I got all excited and pulled the trigger, figuratively speaking.  Interesting fact: this race goes around and finishes at Garmin’s international headquarters.  I’ve already asked Santa for a Garmin Forerunner…let’s hope I’ve been good this year!

A few things I need help with:

  • Dumb question, readers, but where exactly do you find trails to run on?  I know they EXIST, but I’m kind of scared to just get on a trail and go.  Are there websites where you can find trails in your area?  I would like having a map pre-run.
  • Any recommendations for a training plan?  I’ve looked at a few and it seems like the Hal Higdon ones are my favorite.  I like that they incorporate strength training, stretching, and that there are different levels.  But am I a novice?  Intermediate?  I know I’m not an expert, by any means.
  • I’ll start the training program in January, 12 weeks before the race, but what do I do now?  Just…get better at running?  Work on distance?  Speed?  Both?

This is going to be an adventure!  Cross your fingers!

In other news, I appear to have somehow tweaked my left shoulder, so that it hurts when I try to raise it above parallel.  I’m icing it and taking a total rest day today, and tomorrow will be a fun active rest day.  I have a pretty cool activity planned, and I’m excited to blog about it!  Happy Saturday!