I have been slowly getting back into running after having D. Although I love it, I can sometimes psyche myself out of running by coming up with excuses for why I shouldn't get my butt out there...it's too hot, the jogging stroller is getting too heavy to push...my IT band is flaring up again. That is, unless I have a goal in mind.
The goal this year: half-marathon.
And S and I will be running together. Well, not together together since S is, like, ten times faster than I am. But we're running the same race.
My last official long race was the Marine Corps Marathon in October 2011. Yes, nearly three years ago. And we all know how that turned out. I pushed too far too fast and my body wasn't ready. Since then, our life has been a bit chaotic (two big moves, nine months of pregnancy and a newborn will do that), and I realized I hadn't really set a goal for myself in a very long time. So, the first thing I did after my OB gave me the post-baby all-clear, was look for a half-marathon to start training for. I knew a full marathon in the fall or early spring (2015) was going to be out of the question this time because we will be packing out to move, taking home leave, then we go back to D.C for a little training, only to pack out again and head to our next post--all in a 5 month span. The reality of actually being able to train in the midst of all that didn't look good, and besides, I wanted to take it slower this time around. I learned my lesson after having E. So, half-marathon it is.
Even though I stayed pretty active during my pregnancy, my training started out slow. I stopped running when I was about 5 months pregnant with D, but continued to walk at least 2 to 3 miles a day after that. Still, when I started training, I could barely run two miles before huffing and puffing back home. And my pace time? Ha. Laughable. But I kept telling myself I had just had a baby. Chill out. You'll get there. And I am getting there. My pace is getting better, albeit still nowhere near what it used to be, and I doubt it ever will. But I am okay with that. I am improving my endurance, though, despite this blasted heat. Seriously people, even when I try to get out there early, it's still 90+ degrees and with very little shade. It's hot.
So far I have pushed to 8 miles and I can regularly do 5-6, although not when I'm the one pushing the jogging stroller. Then my max is only about 2.5 miles. Do you guys know how hard it is to push 65 lbs of children (yes plural--we got a double jogger) and gear? It's freaking hard. S usually does the pushing when we do our weekend long runs because he's a machine. It doesn't phase him one bit, apparently. Meanwhile, I'm seriously pondering ways to make a voice-activated, remote control jogging stroller become a reality.
So, in less than one month, S and I will both be running a half-marathon. He will probably place in the top three of his age group, because he's just that awesome. He ran this same race last year and came in fourth in his age group, only missing out on top three by a few seconds. This year he vows redemption. And I will probably be bringing up the rear with the pace car hot on my heels, likely one of the last to finish. Sure, it will be embarrassing, but I'll get over it. As long as I actually finish!
Needless to say, once S and I set one running goal, the next is not too far behind. A plan to run a marathon in fall 2015 is already in the works, and it may or may not involve Disney World...stay tuned.