I was at the playground yesterday when my friend asked me for advice about training for a race. She knows that in the last few years of my past life (pre-kids), I had become really hooked on running. Even though I'm not disciplined at all these days, I still have memories of the strategies that worked for me. I told her about Hal Higdon, the first training guide my sister Jill recommended when I signed up for my very first 3 mile race way back when. I still recommend that website to people who are just starting out because it wasn't at all intimidating to a beginner like me at the time. Something about the way he set up his programs made me think "Yeah, I could totally do that!" and following a program made it so much easier for me to get into a groove with running.
Anyway, my friend is training for the Bolder Boulder, a very popular and pretty well known annual 10K race here. Nathan and I first heard about it when we knew we were moving out here and immediately signed up. I can't remember what happened that first year, but for some reason we didn't do it. I think it had to do with not having anyone to watch Zoe or not being in shape...(excuses, excuses in other words). The next year, I walked it with my friend because we were both pregnant and last year we watched from the sidelines because Owen was so little I hadn't even considered signing up. As it turned out, I actually ran my first (post-baby #2) 10K all on my own the morning before the race. I felt proud of myself that morning, but disappointed because ever since walking it the year before, I had harbored this wish to be able to say "I walked it with my big belly last year, and ran it a year later!" I consoled myself by promising myself I'd do it the next year...
If you read my blog regularly you'll know that over the last year or so I've had bouts of Wonder Woman like motivation here and there. I've had weeks where I pushed myself and succeeded and felt so proud that I was sure I was on the running/working out track for good...only to find myself wiped out and/or short on time the very next week (or day sometimes, honestly). On those days/weeks I find it just as rewarding (in the moment only) to scarf a whole bag of mini chocolate chips and waste time on the computer during the 45 minute window I have to myself on Zoe's school days (after I put Owen down for a nap). Of course, we all know that the satisfaction felt post-workout is much longer lived than the "sitting on my ass doing nothing but eating chocolate" one but being a stay at home parent leaves you feeling so exhausted and lonely sometimes that you just need instant gratification. I've been known to hurriedly shovel down a whole chocolate Easter bunny over the kitchen sink while the kids were momentarily preoccupied in the other room, as a matter of fact. These kids do that to you sometimes, I'm telling you--it's really crazy!
I had already been slightly entertaining the thought of signing up this year when I had this conversation with my friend yesterday. I'm in good enough shape right now that if I just make sure to get out running a handful of times over the next couple of weeks, I'll be able to complete the race and probably enjoy it so I decided to go ahead and sign up (thanks for that last nudge you didn't even know you gave me, Marisa!). The thought of running it got me excited and prompted me to take a look at Hal Higdon's website just to maybe bring back some memories....a half hour later I had convinced myself that what I really should be doing this summer is training for a half-marathon. It all became so clear. I realized that yes, the challenges I face running-wise are much different now that I have kids but I certainly faced plenty of challenges back when I had actually never run a race before. I was able to pull it off then, so really this isn't any different. I know I can mentally handle the distance because I've done it a couple of times, and I think I'm even more mentally tough now that I've given birth naturally not just once, but twice. No, I have no idea how I'm going to fit the training in but I know that I'm going to. I'll figure it out. I signed up for the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon on August 11, 2012 and there is no turning back.
There are tons of people who inspire me and keep me motivated...my sister-in-law Catherine is gearing up to do the Atlanta 3-day walk (Team Warrior Princess--please take the time to click on the link and make a donation!) to benefit efforts to find a cure for breast cancer...my friend Kerry has a niece living with Cystic Fibrosis. Every year Kerry and her family travel down to Florida to participate in Great Strides, a national fundraising event benefiting CF research. Kerry told her niece Ella that she would always walk with her, but she unfortunately can't make it down there this year. Instead of sending a check, she and her family are doing the event here in Denver. (To donate or to find out more about participating, click on either of the links I just provided). These amazing ladies along with a handful of Facebook friends who are fellow exhausted short on time moms doing amazing things like training for their first 5Ks, running marathons and doing triathalons have lately gathered together in my psyche and encouraged me back out the door with my running shoes on once again.
The core of my inspiration for this latest goal of mine, though are my three sisters. I couldn't get them out of my head last night as I tossed and turned in the excitement of this latest burst of motivation. The very first thing I did this morning was write them this email:
Late last night (I don't know about you but that's always when
inspiration strikes me...then I can't sleep!) I decided I'm throwing
this woe-is-me crap out the window and doing a half-marathon at the end
of the summer. I couldn't get the three of you out of my head and will
be keeping you there as I train this summer for these reasons: Jill, you
inspire me to get off my ass and get moving. Rach, you inspire me to
push myself further than I give myself credit for. Ess, you inspire me
to do it all MY way. Along with all of that I know you all love and
support me no matter what.
I love you guys.
Every time I re-read it I get motivated all over again so I printed it out and will hang it right next to my training schedule in the kitchen. It'll be my mantra this summer: Get off your ass and get moving, push yourself further and do it all YOUR way.
Wish me luck!