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2012 Races: Fire, Bears, and a Big House + Giveaway

Posted Jan 02 2012 12:00am

Happy New Year! Here’s to reaching big running goals and making good on all those last minute resolutions in 2012!

So. I finally sat down and finished planning out my 2012 races last night (barring any last minute, “hey, what the heck? might as well!” entries of course). Want to know my super strategic strategy for selecting which races to put on the calendar? It’s simple. Whatever races I lose sleep over, I’m in. For real.

It happened twice in December as I tossed around which races I’d throw my hat in. Two races I lay in bed late at night thinking about, Big House Big Heart and The Warrior Dash .

Big House Big Heart is a race I’ve wanted to run for a long time. It’s probably one of if not THE largest 5/10Ks in Michigan (except maybe the Turkey Trot in Detroit on Thanksgiving). It’s in Ann Arbor, home of the Wolverines, and ends in U of M stadium. Probably not a PR race because there’s so many people, but still a must do for Michigan runners, at least once (unless maybe you’re a Spartan and for you there’s no hope anyway ;-).

Sadly, once, has never come for me. Something always gets in the way and that something is usually another fall race, either my local 5K (can’t miss that!) or the marathon I’ve chosen to run for the year. If not a race than it’s something silly, like you know, the birth of one of my children. But this year, this year folks I think it’s going to happen. The race has been moved to the spring and having just given birth a couple of months ago, I’m certainly NOT pregnant, nor will I be marathon ready in just a few short months. So I’m in!

Then there’s the Warrior Dash .  It’s a 5K + well, um…some obstacles. Beer, mud, things to climb, barbed wire, really now, what’s NOT to get excited about? Oh and did I mention the fire? You know I have to run this one just for the story if nothing more. I mean seriously, who doesn’t want to hear stories of this extraordinarily uncoordinated clumsy mama jumping over pits of fire while wearing a Viking helmet?

But I’ve been on the fence about what my BIG year end goal should be. Another marathon? A PR in the half perhaps? Try to make the rounds at some local 5Ks? Switch over and try my hand at trail running? (that one makes my husband laugh hysterically btw. He doesn’t see me navigating the uneven terrain and hoping over stray branches well. It’s that whole uncoordinated thing. HA! Wait ‘til he sees me at the Warrior Dash).

So I’ve been mulling around this and that, until last night. Last night, I found it! The Marquette Marathon . I was literally up until 2:30AM because of this bad boy. I read every word of that website. Mapquested to see how far from home it was. Gave my pitch to my husband (he’s always got to be on board or it’s just no fun for any of us). Looked up and read every review I could find. Counted the weeks on the calendar to see if training would be doable. Then I lay in bed FOR HOURS thinking about what it’d be like to run there and what sort of training plan I’d put together to make it happen. And when I peeked over at the clock and it read FAR too late for woman who’d probably be up at 6AM to feed a hungry baby, yet I was STILL wide awake, I knew THAT was THE race for this year.

But not so fast.

Then, I talked to my mom this morning. My mom who used to camp frequently in the UP as a kid (that’d be pronounced U.P. For you non-Michiganders who just read that “up”. We’re talking Upper Peninsula of Michigan here). Our conversation went something like this:

RunNana: “Don’t you have to worry about bears there?”

Me: “Bears? What?! No.”

RunNana: “Listen, I’ve dealt with bears camping and trust me you don’t ever want to do that!”

Me (confidently): “It’s Marquette! That’s a pretty big city.” (then a little less confidently) “Isn’t it?”

RunNana: “It’s still the UP. I don’t know Kelly. I’m gonna send that race director a message.”

Me: '”No. Don’t do that! I’m sure it’s fine.”

15 minutes later, I sent the race director a message. Then I did a Google search to make sure that nobody got mauled in the two years they’ve been putting the race on. So far so good. Still waiting on the race director, though.

Ahhh…yes, ladies and gents. It’s gonna be a fun year…with lots of good stories to tell!

So how about some free stuff to get the year started off right! I will randomly select 10 winners to receive a running mama bumper/window sticker of their choice, which can be viewed here .

All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment either here or on this post on Facebook with your big running goal for the year. Or if you don’t want to share your goal (because I know those can be private), just tell us one of the races you’re going to run.

Want to double your chances? Tell some people on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, email, whatever about this contest and/or blog. Just let me know in your comment that you did and I’ll enter you into the drawing twice. ***Please note: you can not enter this contest anonymously. Use your real name, a screen name or some made up batch of numbers, but I must have some way to identify you as the winner or your entry doesn’t count.

All comments must be received no later than Monday, January 16th, 2012 at 11:59:59 PM. I (or one of my little peeps) will select the winners at random from a big bowl (or perhaps a running shoe box since I’m sorely in need of a new pair) and announce the winners the next day.

Best of luck! And I’ll get back to you on the bears!

 'Til next time...

P.S. Need a coach to help you hit your running goals? I just posted my winter coaching specials online here.

P.P.S. Want to see the rest of my 2012 running plans? Here’s my racing calendar.

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