Back-to-Back Half Marathons

The ever so beautiful Mission Bay is part of the
Mermaid Series Half Marathon course. 

Happy Friday, everyone! I apologize to my family and friends in the Midwest/East in advance, but this gal is saying goodbye to the winter blues. Catch ya later, polar vortex! Today, I'm taking off to kickstart my birthday weekend in the sunshine and sand. Casey and I are packing our bags for SAN DIEGO!

Last year I ran the Mermaid Series Half Marathon on my birthday (Feb. 9) and the race organizer, Heidi, (with a microphone in her hand) sang "Happy Birthday" to me in front of everyone before the race started. I turned bright red and was totally embarrassed, but at the same time I thought it was one of the sweetest gestures. Even the volunteers shouted "Happy Birthday" or handed out words of encouragement as I passed them, and overall everyone just made me feel so special. It was such a lovely experience that I decided I would go back and do it again. Maybe even call it a tradition? Plus, we didn't need much of an excuse to head to our second favorite city in the dead of winter.

My #1 fan/supporter/cheerleader since my first marathon in 2005.
Don't worry Casey, you're also tied in the #1 spot. Thank you both!

In 2013, I ran the race before work and had to run through the finish line, race back to the hotel, shower and make it to our first of two activations that day. This year, I'll actually get to enjoy the post-race and have Casey there to support me (although you did an amazing job mom and we'll miss you this year!).

So, long story even longer...I've started a tradition to celebrate getting older every year by running. It's something I love and I think it subconciously makes me feel younger. ;)

Instead of a medal, the MS gives out a charm at the finish.

My birthday falls on a Sunday this year (aka race day/anywhere, USA), but the Mermaid Series Half actually falls on Saturday, Feb. 8. I was perfectly happy to run just one half marathon even though it wasn't on my actual birthday. After all, since coming back from an injury towards the end of 2013, I haven't even approached 13 miles yet (not smart). I've slowly been building my mileage and have tried to respect the 10-percent rule.

Wellllllllll....I was on my phone (as usual) looking at races and searching random running stuff when I came across the San Dieguito Half Marathon which falls on my birthday, Feb. 9. Immediately, I thought "Don't even think about it!" The wiser-wants to stay injury-free-abiding by every rule out there-me would think it would be a terrible idea to run back-to-back half marathons when my mileage isn't there yet, my knee is still throwing occasional fits, and I should give my legs at least one rest day after any race. Plus, I researched race recaps from fellow bloggers who have participated in this event previously and they all seemed to complain or warn about the extremely hilly course (dead legs+hills=perfect idea, right?).

I think you know where this is going...the spotaneous-somewhat irrational-me won. I registered for the San Dieguito Half. For the first time, I will be running back-to-back half marathons.

However, I will be approaching this weekend differently than I ever have before. As mentioned, I am slowly building up my mileage and trying to gain back the speed and endurance I once had. Therefore, I won't be pushing myself this weekend. I'll be aiming for mileage or what others like to call "junk miles" (which btw, MILES are MILES. No junk about it) and experience versus speed. I'm there to have fun. I might attempt to "race" on Saturday, but Sunday is going to be all about having a blast. I don't care if it takes me two hours or more, I'm there to have a ball. I'm envisioning beer stops at water stations, chatting with runners, possibly walking some of the hills, etc. I won't take myself, or my times too seriously. Running is such a gift (and the best birthday present at that) so, I just want to go out there and enjoy doing what I love and that's what it's all about.

This may not be the smartest move and I wouldn't necessarily recommend it...

but hey, it's my birthday and I'll run back-to-back halfs if I want to. 



For "insta-updates" follow Casey (@cagarms) and I (@jlcox6) on Instagram. 

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