My Half Marathon Recap
This past Sunday I ran my 2nd half marathon. 5 years ago I hated running. Running a mile would have been pure torture. What changed? Life.
It began about 3 years ago. Hubby started running on the treadmill in the morning. I’m a little bit competitive so I decided to give it a shot too. I found a plan online that took you from walking to running 3 miles nonstop. We signed up to do our first 5K, Race for the Cure in Lansing April 2010.
We got the racing bug and signed up for a fall half marathon. Hubby and I trained all summer. Sunday mornings consisted of a long family run with the double stroller. 5am runs in the dark (which almost led to an encounter with a skunk)
I loved the half. The sense of accomplishment. Being part of the awesome welcoming community of runners. (And yes, I finally called myself a runner!) The day after the half I began to feel a little nauseous in the morning, a feeling that I knew all too well. I found out I was about 6 weeks pregnant with baby #3. I also cite this as the reason hubby beat me in the half by 8 minutes.
I am not one to exercise all through my pregnancy. So running fell by the wayside. Then came Little Man and with 3 kids who has time for running! But Little Man grew and became not quite so dependent on mommy. And mommy got a little restless. During my pregnancy I quit my job to stay home with the kiddos. Something I am very grateful for and love very much. But I needed something that was for me. Something I did just for me.
I love how Dimity from Another Mother Runner put it. Her words describe why I decided I needed to start running again. “Because every run I do makes me feel bada**. Honestly. There’s something so deliberate and self-accountable about a run. I decided/forced myself to go. I ran up hills and past people in cars and in the dark. And I was responsible for every step, every drop of sweat. That, to me, is just bada**. In this world, where there are so many outs and excuses, and in my world, where almost everything else I do during the day involves somebody else, any run lets me pin an invisible bada** badge to my chest and summon it when I need confidence, patience, or strength during the day.”
In Spring of this year I started to think about running again but needed a push. I needed some motivation. For this reason I decided to join Team In Training. I signed up for the Grand Rapids Half Marathon and committed to raising $1250 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
It felt so great to get back into running. Some of the runs were very hard. Some were really easy. I will admit that I didn’t follow the training schedule as closely as I should have. Once school started and mornings started getting darker I found it hard to get my weekday runs in. But I love the quiet during my runs (unless I’m running with G and Little Man in the stroller!) I love the rush I get after my run. The slight soreness in my legs that instantly makes them feel firmer.
I surpassed my fundraising goal and raised $1400 for blood cancer research. During my training I was amazed at the number of people who had first hand experience with some type of blood cancer. Sadly, it is way more common than I knew.
Sunday was the culmination of 5 months of training and fundraising. I was ready. The night before the race, I attended the Team in Training Inspiration Dinner. And inspirational it was. We met Ryan, the 5 year old boy who was diagnosed with Leukemia 3 years ago. Tears come to my eyes even as I am writing this as I think of what this poor boy has gone through. It definitely made running 13 miles insignificant in comparision. I also sat at the same table as Beth. A cancer survivor who was walking the half marathon.
Team in Training was a great experience. It was great to be a part of something bigger. Knowing I had people counting on me also helped me get up at 6 on Sunday morning to get in my run. It helped me remember how blessed I am.
For anyone looking to do a half marathon or marathon I highly recommend Team in Training. They offer great support and will help you reach your goals. They are also a terrific charity that has raised $1.3 for cancer research. My husband was so inspired by the inspiration dinner that he is considering doing a Team in Training event in the future as well.
I had a time goal in mind for my half on Sunday. Which I am disappointed to say, I didn’t make. Maybe there were too many missed training runs. Maybe I let my mind override my body and my heart. I finished in 2:11:49. Key words being I finished. I crossed the finish line. I finished what I started.
Now that the race is over I am definitely not going to stop running. So that time goal? We’ll tackle that one again next year.