I started writing my race recap and this came out, so I decided to do a "prequel" to my race report. I didn't blog much during training, because life was kind of stressed and I felt I had nothing positive to say. But here are a few thoughts I want to share about how my training went and where I was emotionally leading up to my second half marathon.
I've been itching to run another half marathon since last fall, and made it one of my New Years goals to run one before moving this summer. I chose the local 10th Annual Run for the Warriors, because it was at a good time of year for me and because it's the race wherein my husband first challenged me to push beyond a 5K and try the 10K. I knew they also offer a 13.1 run as part of the race, so it was a perfect fit for me.
At the same time, the ladies at Another Mother Runner announced they would be hosting a half marathon challenge. A fifteen-week training plan, access to a running coach through a private forum for participants of the challenge, regular newsletters specific to the challenge, cool swag and a finishing medal and t-shirt stating "No Limits". Yep. I asked my husband and he gave me the go ahead to sign up for it.
I was all excited, began training and then all hell broke loose around me. More than once I wanted to quit the training plan and quit the race. "It's too hard.", I would think. At the same time I knew I couldn't quit. I could only control part of what was going on around me, but I could definitely control whether or not I trained for and ran this race. I had the support of my family to leave them on Saturdays for long runs and plenty of support through friends and the mother runner community involved in this challenge.
So, I did not quit. But boy I sure got nervous. I had wanted to try losing maybe a little weight while I ran, but that's where the stress hit and I didn't lose anything. I know it's not realistic to lose weight while training, but I still wanted to try. I knew the 20 pounds I'd gained were slowing me down and that was absolutely frustrating.
However, every time I went out for a long run or finished a speed workout or even took part in a spin class I saw how strong I was becoming and I knew I would be able to finish. It wasn't always easy, but I was confident I would be fine...just slower.
Facing the slow pace is what held me unable to accept and look forward to this race. It's sad, but I was vexed and felt like a failure for not being able to get my weight down and/or pick up speed. Then about two weeks before the race I began to choose to enjoy this race and the fact that I would be able to finish - no matter the time.
So, I was excited all the way until the night before. Then the nerves hit like crazy and I was a mess. It was almost comical how nervous I was. I just wanted the whole thing to be over, so I could move on past the "slow and bad race".
Little did I know this race would be anything but bad and I would finish strong and smiling the entire way!