Wednesday, March 7, 2012

feet fail me not

We're two months away from the half marathon (as of yesterday!) and we're still going strong with training. Our furthest distance so far is 8 miles, which we ran about 10 days ago. This week is an easy week with 3, 4 mile runs before the 10k we're running on Saturday.

I say "we" a lot, because Joey and I are 100% in this together. We train the same distances, we talk about it incessantly, and we motivate each other to run on the days that we really don't want to run.

But running is an isolated sport. Ultimately the only person you have to answer to is yourself. It's you and the tunes on your headset, making your feet hit the pavement thousands of times in a row before you quit.

Joey and I have never gone for a run together. Both of us training these long-ish distances, and managing a household with two cuties is a bit like a choreographed ballet. Certain days I have to pick the kids up, other days Joey picks them up so I can start running right away after work and then get done in time to get supper ready and start our bedtime routine. I don't have any idea how we're doing it, but we are.

Before I started training for the half marathon, the furthest recorded distance I'd run is a 3k (1.86 miles), which I ran in 17:56 (9:37 pace). The fact that I can go run 8 miles today without much of a thought boggles. my. mind. It really requires no pep talk on my part, and I don't dread it, it's just something I need to do and I do it.

I've learned a few things along the way, from what to wear (and what not to wear!), to the fact that I MUST bring kleenexes with me, because my nose will run the entire time whether it's 20 degrees or 70 degrees, to the fact that I must have the smallest ear canals on the planet because even the teeny tinyest ear buds don't fit me. So far we've avoided injury (knock on wood, throw salt over shoulder), other than a few blisters on our feet.

When I started running in December, it hurt. The side stitches were intense, and I felt like I could never get enough air. My pace was 13ish minutes per mile. I was overjoyed the first time my pace was in the 12's. Then slowly but surely I got faster. I never really tried to run faster, I just was. My legs were stronger and I could run further without being winded. For the last 2 months I've consistently ran between 9:30 and 10:00 minute miles. This past week, it feels like I'm making another transition. Like my body wants to go faster, but my brain isn't really willing. When I ran my four miles on Monday night, I forced myself to sprint for the last two tenths of the second mile. I stopped at the turnaround spot, and caught my breath, I realized it wasn't really that bad to push myself. I watched as two girls ran past where I was standing on the trail. They were jogging quickly, probably around my normal pace. I decided I'd let them get a 50 yard or so head start, and then I'd catch up to them (hi, I need a goal). So I did, and I passed them, running hard. Except, it felt so good, I just kept going. I ran that hard all the way home. I finished that run with a 9:05/mi pace. Say what? It felt awesome. Ok, the last half mile BLEW. I was DONE. But I knew if I slowed down, that stupid Runkeeper lady would come on my headset and tell me my pace was getting slower.

I've always been my own worst enemy when it comes to working out. Halfway through the workout I always start to doubt my ability and endurance. Once that seed of doubt creeps in, I'm done. If my plan was to run 2 miles, I'd give up at 1. If my plan was to do 100 sit ups, I'd stop at 25. I was a quitter.

I feel like I've changed that pattern. I don't quit now, I keep going. People always smile and say something like "oh good for you" or "I could never run a half marathon" or "I can't even run a half mile". And I want to scream YES! YOU! CAN!. Seriously, I was a quitter with the best of them. And while all the sentiments about me being such a model of health are sweet, honestly the only thing that keeps me going is the fear of failure. I signed up to run THIRTEEN POINT ONE MILES. In two months. And today I'm not sure that I could do that. But two months ago I couldn't run eight miles, and now I can. And two months from today, Lord willing, I will be a half marathoner.


  1. Aww, this makes me smile. Good for you! You're going to KILL that race.

    Also, we need to teach you have to launch snot rockets. So much easier than kleenex and much more runner legit. :)

  2. I've said it before, running is the PERFECT EXERCISE. People scrunch their noses up at me, but there is a personal strength that running creates that no other activity has ever done for me. A CORE, deep in your soul, amazing, powerful strength that simply makes you CRAVE that feeling more and more. And everytime I finish a run, I look up and thank the good Lord above for giving me the strength and ability to achieve something SO awesome.

    You are doing AMAZING, friend, I am so proud of you. Keep up the good work.

  3. What an awesome accomplishment! I hope this is a healthy behavior you hang on to for life. I'm so impressed!

  4. Yea you! That's fantastic progress lady. Isn't amazing what we can do when we decide to do it?
    (I too am nervous, that marathon weekend is so soon!)


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