That photo above is me right after I finished the Mankato half marathon in October 2010. I had undertrained (longest run prior was 10 miles) and was woefully unprepared for the 13.1 mile distance. Only sheer stubbornness and competitiveness drove me to finish. But I was slow – turtle slow. I did finish around my “OMG the shit hit the fan time”1, but those last three miles were brutal.
After that race – and since I’m terrible at running in the winter – my distance slowly whittled itself down to 3-4 miles on the treadmill over winter 2010.
Then a number of things happened:
- I ran a 10k in April 2011 in cold weather with little preparation. Hey, I did a half marathon, I can do this!
- I started training for my 2nd half marathon in May. Except I didn’t start out slow and work my way up to the distance. I did 13.1 miles! This is a cakewalk!
- I did not do any strength training.
- I then pulled my piriformis muscle.
- I spent 4 months of getting physical therapy and deep tissue sports massages to repair it – and no running.
The next two years I fought trying to train for a half marathon, then falling short for one reason or another and running the 10k race instead. Last year, I ran my fastest 10k ever and said “I’ll just train for that distance and get faster!”
That didn’t happen either. I was in a flux in my professional life and the stress of that kept me from focusing on my training – it also made me fall off the nutrition wagon2 BIG TIME.
This year, I got the greatest job in the world3 and my professional life is amazing. But, I also started traveling in the course of my job – and as a creature of habit, it threw a wrench in my exercise plans. Well, there weren’t really “plans” to begin with – I just tried to exercise somewhat regularly. But I struggle with exercise while I’m traveling. Also, there’s the eating and drinking ALL THE THINGS.
Now I know you’re thinking “so what changed?” – and that’s a great question. But my answer isn’t: I. Don’t. Know.
It’s a number of things: being unhappy with how my clothes fit, realizing that I’m doing nothing but get older, feeling like I could be doing more, etc. It’s not really one specific thing.
But! A good friend of mine told me once that once I put my mind towards doing something, I do it – no matter how difficult it is.
Thus, I decided to do another half marathon. I actually signed up for a race series that has a couple 5k races, a 7k, a 10k, and a half marathon spread throughout 2014. To meet this goal, I have a plan:
- Running (duh) – this will involve a lot of treadmill running since WINTER IS COMING. Running outside in a Minnesota winter? Homey don’t play dat.4
- Strength training – the gym I go to has some amazing group strength training classes.
- Karate (well, it’s really Taekwando) – my husband just signed up for it and loves it. Since I’m always up for trying new things, I’m going to do it with him. Took my first class last night and it’s fun.
Also, I’m being conscious of what I’m eating and drinking – buying organic when possible, keeping the meat consumption low and veggies high, not having my nightly glass(es) of wine, and drinking more water. Been doing this all week and it feels good.
Anyway, it’s a lot of things happening at once and some say I might be insane:
My family: so supportive. LOL!
1 – I set finish time goals for myself: the “fast” time, the “normal” time, and the “OMGTSHTF” time.
2 – If I could live off pizza, I would.
3 – Hey! Psst! We’re hiring!!
4 – Except one of the 5k races is the Polar Dash on New Year’s Day. Brrr.