Well, I got to thinking and reading more of the facebook posts from this running group, and I decided to sign-up for a half marathon. Mind you I had never run a race in my life (excluding those in gym and field day). Let me tell you I got some grief from well meaning people about signing up for a 5K first, etc. But you know I figured that I was already running 20 miles per week, usually in 5 days because of chaotic weekends, so I figured why the heck not! Granted as we had some really hot days in July and August I was really regretting training for a half marathon over the summer, but I survived. I developed my own gatorade (because I'm cheap) and learned I needed to wear my hair different on long runs and that a bandana was a great friend on hot days. I learned that the switch from 8 to 10 miles sounds harder than it is, but 10 to 12 was a little more challenging than I thought.
I also learned that in some senses running long distances is a lot like completing your dissertation. A lot of people think you're crazy (you are!), your family needs to be on board (who else is going to watch your kiddos when you need to go run for 2 hours), and it's easier when you have an actual goal date. Also you think to yourself mid run "Why am I doing this? I could be...... (fill in the blank)," you start saying things like "I'll be back in an hour, I'm only going to run 5-6 miles, it's a light day for me," which is comparable to the "I'll only be at the library/Starbucks/Panera/office for 2 hours today." You dream about running, and at least these were happy dreams for me, not the terrorizing dreams I had while finishing my dissertation. Your life revolves a bit around your running schedule. I had posted on our refrigerator my running schedule for each week leading up the race, which could be a bit daunting at times, but it was super helpful to me.
So then the next thing I knew the race was right around the corner, less than 3 week away and I started to get nervous. I mean what had I signed myself up for, so I did what all crazy people do: find someone just as crazy as themselves. I convinced a co-worker who I knew was a runner to run this with me. She at least had some experience running a long race, but we were both newbies to the half-marathon. Of course then we were two nervous crazy people constantly talking about running, but at least I had someone to be nutso with. All of sudden race day came: this past Sunday and it was an amazing experience.
My friend and co-worker and I ran the Philadelphia Rock and Roll Half Marathon. There was live music along the course, cheerleaders, crazy fans and family and of course the running. It was a nice course, relatively flat compared to what I am used to running. I had a goal of 2:20, while I didn't make my goal (2:26) I ran those entire 13.1 miles! It was a great experience and unlike my dissertation, something I'll gladly repeat (I mean who wants/needs a second PhD!)
So all in all it's just another day in the life of the crazy mom, with my usual life lessons:
- If you can set your mind to it and train/study for it- You can do it.
- Saying you can't do something because you have kids is an excuse (yes I know there are some exceptions to this)
So here I am just finished my first half-marathon and 25 pounds lighter than I was this time last year. So what are you going to go do?