Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Finish a Half-Marathon: Check!

The more time that passes, the more there is to write about, the less motivated I am to write.

Call it some law of don't-wanna-blog or something.

Or maybe it's the fact that while writing those first two sentences my almost two-year old interrupted me twice to ask for a clothes change and a cup of milk. And all three of my children are running around the small apartment playing hide and seek and their screams are echoing in my head.

But when the few faithful readers, like my grandparents, remind me that they haven't seen an update in a while, I finally decide to click "new post" and attempt to write.

I've recently been avoiding all things political which means I've tried my hardest (and mostly failed) to not post things on facebook that are political, and tried to focus on my kids and life. I'm afraid of the small glimpses in myself of anger and frustration at this country and at the potential four years we have ahead of us with a man that would talk about women, like my three girls someday, the way he does...well, I'm going to stop myself there. I just can't.

So, instead...

My Half-Marathon! Never do I remember setting such a specific goal and completing it!

My first goal, of course, was to register for one and complete one in 2016. (I wrote about it way back on January 1st.). I'm not a long distance runner, and before this had never run more than 3-4 miles. So 13.1 sounded crazy to me!

As I'm a super literal person, I downloaded my training plan and set to work. Having a written plan really helps me, and I stuck to it! I don't think I missed a single run (maybe once?). A typical training plan involves running about 4 days a week, with some cross training that I mostly didn't do. I ran my long runs on Sundays, and for most of my training I ran the weekday runs early in the morning before Michael left for work. It was a commitment to wake up and run while it was still dark, but quickly 5 miles felt like a short run!

I couldn't have and wouldn't have done this race if my friend Lissa hadn't found the race and asked me to join her in training for it. Just knowing someone else was running and trying to balance life and kids and training was really helpful. I recommend finding someone to train alongside if you ever want to do a race.
Lissa and me at the starting line
Not only did I complete my first goal, which was to finish, but my second (and not as important) goal was to see if I could run it in under 2 hours. My final time was 1:58. I was beyond thrilled.

Race day was beautiful and the weather was cold but not freezing with no rain-perfect running weather. (Most of these pictures are from Lissa.) The race claims to be the most scenic marathon/half marathon in the US, and you can see why. It was beautiful. Yellow and orange leaves. A view of the Columbia River Gorge.

I'm proud of myself for finishing and working so hard. I have to admit I've only gone for one quick run since that day, over a month ago. I've needed a break and I've been doing some intense cardio/boxing videos. I'd like to do a half-marathon again, maybe in the Spring when the sun is out more and I don't have to train in the dark.
Lissa caught a picture of me as we passed each other near the halfway mark.
I'm now working on a different weight loss goal, as I learned soon into my training that you can't count on weight loss to happen when you are running such long distances. The body has to hang on to calories and it just didn't happen.

I'm proud of myself and was thankful that Michael was so supportive of me. He often encouraged me to get out the door on those mornings or afternoons when I didn't really feel up for a run. He and the girls cheered me on on race day, and it was fun to show the girls how setting a goal and completing it is possible and rewarding. We've been talking now at home about setting goals, and it's fun to have a good example of that. 

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