Archives for posts with tag: half marathon

I’ve been on this earth for a while now. But I think I am finally starting to understand the powerful difference between setting a goal, and the will to achieve it. We can set intentions all day long, but if they don’t hit us on a heart level… on a soul level, we might as well throw in the towel.

After I had my baby it was really important to me to get back to my health. Going through pregnancy and labor is a perfectly healthy thing to do, but there is a lot of strength and endurance that’s lost. Not to mention the complete 180 that your lifestyle has the opportunity to take once the baby has arrived.

The summer that I found out I was pregnant I ran my first half marathon. I actually WAS pregnant when I ran it. I remember the preparation and the running of that race were such milestones in my love-hate relationship with running (read previous blog post here).

In an effort to ‘get my body back’ I set a tentative goal to run my second half marathon this summer- two years post baby. I say tentative because its become so much more important to me to be doing things smart rather than hard. I have a back injury and I just didn’t know how my body would feel pushing those long running distances.  As the deadline of this half marathon got closer and I danced with the reality of actually having to run it I intensified my training. I knew I would have to run at least 10 miles before I would be comfortable considering 13.1.

Well, I had my longest training run this week- 8 miles. As you can imagine, there is a lot you can think about with an hour plus of handsfree time and no where else to go.  While the corner of mind my is chanting ‘light on your feet, lift up from your core, this feels easy- keep it easy’ the rest of my mind is pondering a full spectrum of things from the problems of the world to why the Panera I just ran past doesn’t have a drive-thru.

Previously I had run 6 miles, which is a personal obstacle. My struggle through that first 6-mile run is completely mental. I fight myself the whole time. But once I’m past it my whole mindset changes from doubt to assurance.

So for 8 miles I chose a familiar path, one with plenty of shade, not too many hills, good scenery and I set off. I usually find my stride about 2.5 miles in (lift up through your core, use your muscles, this is easy).

Around mile 3 I really started to believe that this WAS easy. My cross training at Red Rocks and running trails HAD made me stronger (shoulders back, land light, this feels easy).

End of mile 4 was exuberant- just turn around and trace your steps (you’ve already run this, now you’re just running home).

At mile 6 I was high as a kite. I’d come to the realization that I AM as strong as I was before the baby- if not STRONGER. The ease that I was running with was unbeliveable, mostly because I WANTED to be there. I WANTED to be a strong-by-my-standards runner. I wanted to be able to run 13.1 miles if that was what I chose for myself. I WANTED it.

Now that I’m on the other side of that 8 mile run, the half marathon itself is less of a prize. Mostly because I KNOW I can do it. The goal- which was the race- has shrunken in measure compared to the confidence and pride I have gained as a result of my training.  I wanted to be prepared and focused. And now I am. I wanted to be strong. And now I am. I wanted to run as far as my heart could take me. And now I will.

 

 

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So a few days ago I got a text from one of my girlfriends.  ‘Hey there, any interest in doing the Colfax Half Marathon?’ she asked. I remember thinking ‘Colfax, May, could be nice.’ But for whatever reason I didn’t text her back right away. The longer I thought about it the more obvious it got that this was something I should probably do. What I came to realize over the course of the 2 days that I didn’t get back to her was that I have gotten lazy.

Any success that I’ve had toward any goal I’ve set for myself has come from focus and consistency or training. Well, the brutal truth is that the only thing I do consistently these days is be inconsistent!

I am someone who thrives on regiment. I excel at organization and structure. I look forward to making schedules and setting up plans, lists and charts.

I think what has happened is that in my effort to go-with-the-baby-flow I have accidentally become one of those moms who doesn’t put herself on the list. This is a big deal considering that one of the things that kept me from becoming a mother earlier in life was that I knew I was selfish and I wasn’t ready to give that up. I guess I could look at that 2 ways: yay, I’ve let go of some of my compulsions to put myself first which has helped me to relax into mommyhood, or wow, I am the only one who is in the way of getting my butt to the gym! And really I think both are true.

So now that I’ve made it through January and can stop beating myself up about not doing all of the things I thought I would do in the new year, I can get started on some serious goals. As I stated before, my previous successes (of all types) have all come from focus and consistency. So here’s the plan: Every Tuesday, beginning February 5 will be my blog day. My intention is to highlight a different aspect of the Mind Body Battalion Trinity every week to provide you and myself with some consistency. I would like to commit to practicing yoga Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and maybe Sunday.

And yes, I am doing the race in May, so I will have to run 3 times a week. Mondays will be my distance day, Thursdays will be my Red Rocks day, Fridays will be my trail day. It truly does feel good to have a plan and a goal. The Type-A in me is finally getting the structure its been looking for.