I'm very proud to say that I crushed my previous best time of about 1:03 and posted a little over 57 minutes.
My face, fittingly, a mixture of elation and pain after finishing the race and starting to run back down the mountain.
My goal was to get under an hour and I certainly did that. Unfortunately, I didn't even come close to getting one of the sweet pottery mugs that they give out to the top 10% of finishers for men and women respectively. That just gives me something to work towards for next year though.
This race never gets any easier, but sometimes I'm better prepared than others. However, I always get about 3/4 of the way through and ask myself what in hell I've done.
The first four years I ran The Bear, I had four consecutive years; since then, I've missed a couple years, but I've got two in a row now and I need to at least break my previous streak and get 5 in a row, so I'll definitely be doing this again next year unless I get blocked out of registration.
I'm probably too proud of this hardware collection, but I like seeing it as I'm going to sleep and as I'm waking up to keep me focused. Lately, it's actually led to several dreams about the race.
Moving Forward: Marathon Training
After running The Bear, I wanted to take a little bit of a break from hardcore training to let me body relax and just do some fun running when I felt like it, but as I'm pretty sure I've written about before, I don't do well when I don't have a training plan of some sort.
In light of that, I decided I would start training for a full marathon in the first week of August. So far, so good, I suppose.
I've been getting itchy to do more distance running again so I'm looking forward to that aspect of the training and having a schedule to stick to so that I can more effectively get 4-5 runs in per week and be working towards something.
Since I'm not certain of specifically where or when I want to do my first marathon, I have some leeway in terms of how I do my training. Naturally, I'm using the Hal Higdon training plans, but I haven't quite settled on which one to use yet.
Now that I'll be kicking my distances back up and running more regularly, expect more regular training updates and general posts to Run and Drum!