Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Running . . . again . . .

I would love to write that in the midst of training for next weekend's half marathon, I have been enjoying blissful, joyful runs that are the best part of my day.


I can't write that. It's a BIG FAT LIE.

I am glad that I can run. Happy to be getting more fit. Proud of myself for training for a half marathon and running it 8 months after pushing out a 9 pound, 6 ounce baby. Super happy to have a running buddy after 8 long solo years. Pleased that I seem to be regaining bladder control during my runs after pushing out said baby. (TMI? Don't read my blog. Sometimes I am all about TMI. Just read the poop posts.)

But enjoying the process? Not so very much.

Running is a means to an end right now. It's all about getting some semblance of post-baby fitness and maintaining my sanity, with a little goal-achieving thrown in. It is not because I am blissfully happy to be pounding the pavement at 6:30 in the morning. Just ask my running buddy!

So why do it?

Because I know that six months from now I will be happy I did. I will (theoretically) be getting more sleep and thus hopefully feeling a bit more human without chugging a million cups of coffee. I will have run my half marathon and a bunch of 5Ks this summer, and of course the Beach to Beacon 10K. I hope that I will be back to a place where I enjoy running.

Of course, there are the occasional bright spots in this "blah" running time. My first seven mile run this training cycle was on one of the first spring-like days, and I felt GREAT. I ran the last five miles faster than I had run my shorter tempo days and loved it. I had a glimpse of runner's high, and that keeps me going.

This past weekend's long run was another bright spot. Kristin and I had to do our longest pre-race run, ten miles! I haven't run ten miles in one go since training for my marathon in 2005, so I wasn't sure how it would go. I have in my head that I would like to run the half in less than two hours, which translates to a 9:10 per mile pace. I won't be devastated if that doesn't happen, but it would be nice.

I carb-loaded Friday and tried to get sleep Thursday and Friday nights. (Ha! Thanks for nothing, Jude!) Then Saturday came. Kristin and I ran the first mile together, and then split up. I was pleased to find out that my first mile was just under 9 minutes. I could do this!

Then I got to two miles and already felt tired. Not good. Time for a gel, glad I brought two! From there on I was praying to make it. To keep running, keep on my time goal, to have fun and enjoy it. I got to mile four at about 33 minutes, and was greeted by John and Sophia cheering, taking pictures, and holding my water for me. What a pick-me-up!


They cheered for us at a couple more spots along the way, and picked up my mom (we were running to my parent's house) so she could cheer with them. It has been so long since I ran a race, I forgot how very much spectators push me along. Thank God they were there, cheering us on!


An hour and 27 minutes after starting, I had finished my 10 miles. I was three minutes under my goal, and had my confidence boosted going into the race.

Two runs out of many since November. Two that are really memorable among the drudgery and make all the effort worth it. Two that make me motivated to stick with it, keep plugging along and look forward to reaping the rewards of my hard work.

Sometimes I get discouraged (Hello! Today's three miler sucked!) But I'm going to keep going, because I know what's coming.


Post-10 Miler Goofiness!







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