Half Marathon Contemplations…

Sometime after the Army 10-Miler and while stressing out about Tough Mudder and otherwise waiting for ski season to start, I started seriously contemplating doing a half marathon in 2012. 13.1 is a new distance for me and probably the longest I’ll go because I can’t fathom training for a full marathon without a personal chef and an extra 4 hours in the day. I probably would also need a clone. Major props to everyone who can organize their lives to make marathon training work!
My half marathon musings looked something like this (half baked, I know):

So, what exactly was I thinking? A few things:
1.  I want to run a well-organized race. I can’t impress this point enough. I once ran a short-distance race that piggybacked onto the longer distance marquee race, and ever since then, I’ve dubbed the race I ran the ignored step-brother (or sister) of the marquee race. At one point, the road race went cross country. Not kidding.

2.  Training can’t interfere with ski season. I have a distorted view of the duration of my ski season; nevertheless, this knocks out races from December to May if I want at least 8 weeks to build mileage and speed.

3.  I really, really want to finish in under 2 hours, or within spitting distance of 2 hours, mostly because I don’t feel like moving non-stop for much more than 2 hours. This is going to be HARD WORK for me. I need a course that can give me the best shot at doing this, like a flat course (aka, not B’more).
4.  Along those lines, I am such a heat wimp that I need cool weather conditions, too. This tosses us into late October/November if in the mid-Atlantic. 
5.  Small-ish race. My longer distance races have been Bay to Breakers and a few Army 10-Milers. I’d like to try a race that has, I dunno, less than 30,000 registrants. Preferably under 10,000.

6.  Supportive crowd. Even if it’s new, in Annapolis, I may be able to glom onto my friend Wendy’s family. Philly’s established, but even still, I may be able to con my former roommate Jen into forming a cheer squad. Richmond…well, I’d have to rely on it being an established race.
7.  Transportation. Sure, I have a car. But who wants to drive a few hours after racing 13.1 miles? Is Amtrak a feasible post-race transportation option? It sure would be nice to sit back and let the mind wander…
On a whim earlier this week, I went over to the Richmond website, curious as to whether a date had been set for next year’s half/full marathon. November 10, 2012. Then I discovered that the entry fee for the half was a ridiculous $45 through Thursday. Seriously. That’s a steal.
I consulted my calendar. Don’t laugh. I’m actually already booked for both the weekend right before and right after November 10, 2012.
I consulted the masses.

I consulted the Magic 8 Ball.

I registered for the 2012 McDonald’s Richmond Half Marathon on November 10, 2012.

I told the Transporter, whom I drove across the country with in 2010, that I had registered. She registered, too.

Let the wild rumpus begin!