The time is here. We’re 3 days out from our first half marathon!
How am I feeling? I’m relatively calm. We killed our training plan the first few months but when the new year came and Bry began his new job and started working days and 10 hour ones at that, it all sort of went downhill. I’m still proud of the training I’ve put in and feel confident about the race on Saturday. I know I did what I could. The past 3 weeks I really lost my mojo. I think it had a lot to do with beginning training SO far in advance (we began at the beginning of October). By the time we were a month out I was drained from running and training on a schedule. I fell in love with running by being able to wake up, look outside, get drawn in by the sunshine, lace up my shoes and bust out whatever distance I felt like that day. At the beginning that meant 3-4 miles.
Knowing I had to run a certain distance each week was motivating in the beginning, especially during the winter when I’d rather curl up in bed then don my running shoes but after awhile it just felt pressured and the fun of running was lost. So for the past few weeks I cross-trained more. I’d still get in 2 training runs a week (usually a short 6 miler and a long run of 10 miles). The other days I’d either take off if I really had no motivation or I’d do yoga or another exercise DVD. Last week I literally did nothing after a 6 miler Monday until we ran our last mid-distance long run of 8 miles on Sunday (and a short hike Saturday). I just didn’t have it in me. I have to say it was actually a smart decision, for me, because by Saturday I felt completely renewed and energized and was ready to tackle not only our last training run but the race itself. Sometimes you just need to give yourself a break.
When I started training for our half the longest distance I’d ever run without stopping was 1 mile (no, really). The longest distance I’d ever run was 7 miles and that was once. In the beginning 5 miles felt hard. Really hard. I huffed and puffed through it and motivated myself with dreams of pizza, wings and beer. 3 days out from my first Half Mary I can easily run 6 miles without breaking much of a sweat (metaphorically. In reality I sweat buckets that don’t smell like flowers). I can easily get through 10 mile long runs on most days (so long as the little guys been nice and not waking up every hour the night before). I can run 3 miles without stopping and do it in under 30 minutes without trying to go fast. And I can do it all while pushing a 20lb baby in a 25lb stroller (and up until a week ago with a 20lb carseat as well). I’m proud of the progress I’ve made from the beginning of training to now and I’m so glad that in August, after just having a baby, I randomly signed up for my first half marathon. I’m also so thankful for my husband for agreeing to run it with me and for training with me all these months.
How was training with my spouse? Challenging, encouraging, strengthening and fun! Bry and I are very different people in a lot of respects and it comes out in the way we exercise. For me, I like to give it everything I’ve got, leave it all out there and really bust my butt for the time I’m putting aside to exercise to get the most out of it. Bry on the other hand is a very methodical person. He’s very laid back when it comes to exercise and would rather stop and smell the roses, read signs on the sides of the trails and take his time. Sometimes our different training styles left me cursing him under my breath wishing he’d pick up the pace and actually run. There were times we’d be “running” at speeds that I could easily power walk and left me feeling like we were spinning our wheels. There were times when Bry would insist on putting his water bottle UNDER the stroller so we’d have to stop every few feet to fetch it for him to get a drink instead of putting it in the easily accessible cup holder on top of the stroller. At times, it was super frustrating. But at other times our different styles really worked for us. There were times when I didn’t feel like running. At. All. I’d had a long night of constant wake-ups with Jax, I was BFing and dehydrated from it and the last thing I wanted to do was run. But Bry would make me. And his slow and methodical running technique helped me finish strong. There were times when he didn’t want to run and tried to bribe me to skip it but I’d make him get out there and do it with me. We really helped motivate each other and it seemed like we were always on opposite sides which was perfect (meaning the days he felt unmotivated, I was really energetic and vice versa). So overall, while at times it was challenging, training for this race with my husband was amazing. It also brought us closer together and gave us time to bond and talk while doing something we both love so much. It was especially wonderful having just had a child, to have that time together since so much of our lives now revolve around Jackson.
Tomorrow Jack and I pick up our race packets (Bry has work so we’re going to pick up his too). It’s scary and surreal that it’s actually here. Almost like the night we went to the hospital to bring Jackson into the world (OK not quite to that level). But this is something, like pregnancy/childbirth, that we’ve spent months preparing for and waiting for and the day is almost here.
Right now race day is supposed to be a perfect 60 degrees with a 40% chance of rain. I’m excited!! Running in the rain is fun! And since Jax won’t be with us it won’t even matter if we get drenched. At least it’ll be WARM and raining. And I’ll be completing one of my life goals with my very best friend.