Friday, July 30, 2010

Blogger on the Run

Dear readers,

I'm back! As some of you already know, I spent a big chunk of the beginning of this summer doing volunteer work in Haiti (if you'd like to read about my experiences, visit www.tellmeastoryhaiti.blogspot.com). After a couple weeks of recovery, I'm ready to regale you with tales of Oakland County's fine, funky, fascinating folks once again!

 For starters, I'd like to highlight what is, in my humble opinion, one of the best things to happen to Oakland County in years: the Brooksie Way 5K and Half Marathon. The race began in 2008 to promote healthy and active living in Oakland County, and the proceeds benefit programs that do the same. The event is named after Oakland County Executive L. Brook's Patterson's late son, who was an "avid sportsman."

I'm not sure if it was post-runner's high or just a desire for challenge, but after my morning run yesterday, I signed up for the half marathon. I ran cross-country in high school, and have kept myself in decent running shape, although I've only run one or two races since then. I've always thought that running is mostly a mind game, and while the training regimen for a full marathon always sounded liked an excessive amount of time to dedicate to running, a half always seemed more reasonable.

Earlier this week, I did a little research on the Brooksie and the Detroit Free Press marathon. Both looked fun, but registration for the Brooksie was cheaper, and I wanted to support my home event! The race takes participants through Rochester and Rochester Hills, including stretches along the Paint Creek and Clinton River Trails. In our three years of living in Rochester, my husband and I spent many hours of walking, running and biking on those trails. They're well-maintained and particularly beautiful in the fall, and I'm thrilled that the race is bringing attention to them.

When I started talking about it more seriously, a friend said he was going to run the Brooksie and encouraged me to try. Yesterday morning, I got up and ran a mile farther than I normally do. I few clicks later, I was signed up.

I found a free 9-week training plan on the website for Runner's World magazine. For now, my goal is just to finish the race in under three hours. Training officially starts Monday. I plan to keep the blog posted with brief updates along the way. Today, I'm headed to Runnin' Gear in Waterford to check out some new shoes. Wish me luck!