I never thought I would be a Mother. I never wanted kids growing up…it just wasn’t a life goal of mine. I have always considered myself a free spirit, and one who wanted to fly by the seat of my pants. I never used to be good with commitment…I have had so many failed relationships in my life both growing up, and in my 20’s that I found counting on myself was my best bet…
But in 1999 I was blessed with a gift…after more miscarriages then I can count, my life changed with a positive pregnancy test just after Christmas of ’99. September 22nd I was blessed with a child, a gift from God, and a reminder that life is a miracle. Just months later I found myself divorced, alone with an infant, and scared out of my mind.
How would I raise a child on my own, when I never even dreamed of having kids? I didn’t have family close to help, so I held on dearly to my Air Force family that helped me raise my little J for the first 3 years of her life…
And then…I met my soul mate in 2003, and my life would be forever changed. He not only fell in love with me, he fell in love with my daughter who would soon become his first born. I was told to never try and have more kids…yet we tried in 2004, with our first attempt resulting in a miscarriage. I wasn’t sure I could try again…but WE did…and a second miracle graced herself in our life, and we are now a family of four +1 furbaby.
Today I was woken up to my family dressed in running gear, with gifts of running gear for Mommy…I held back the tears, changed my clothes, and hit the trails running/walking with my family. MY family…my “persons” knowing what I love best, planned a beautiful day of running, going out to breakfast, and BBQ’ing in our backyard…
I USED to think my life would always be in turmoil…I had a couple decades of very tough years…heck, haven’t we all?
But I changed my mindset, and in doing so, I changed my life. I continue to surround myself with positive forces, friends, and family who keep me movin’ forward.
Tonight, we signed up for a half marathon…but not just ANY half marathon…my husband decided to run a half marathon WITH me…YAHOOO! I can’t wait. Fox Valley half here we come!!!
After a nice week of rest, this week start back at it with training!
Race day started a little like this:
I woke up this morning just before 3 am to pee…and couldn’t fall back to sleep. When I retain water, I feel it first in my hands and as soon as I woke up I realized I couldn’t get my rings off…the scale confirmed added water weight, and immediately got nervous. I tried to go back to sleep with no luck, so I was starting race day with about 4 hours of sleep. Ack.
I got up at 0540 hrs and slowly started getting ready. My gear was all set out, so thankfully I didn’t have to think about too much. I was ready…
I came downstairs, had my Nuun water and scoop of peanut butter with chia seeds…it’s my go to pre-race fuel as my stomach often likes to act up on race day.
I met the girls at the school where the buses were shuttling runners to the race, and we were lucky enough to have Katy’s husband drop us off. We were there with a good 45 minutes to spare, so we checked our bags and made our way to the porta potties. It was windy, overcast, and quite cold but made for perfect running conditions (minus the wind). I did a 1/4-1/2 mile loop to warm up, and soon it was time to settle in to our respective starting time waves.
I went into this race with NO expectations. I wanted to finish, and not die. My winter running has been sporadic to say the least, and the polar vortex of Chiberia kept me indoors most of the winter which meant 2-3 miles on the dreadmill, and walking the halls of the hospital on lunch break. Thankfully the last month or so I have managed to get my long runs in on the weekends, but the longest I’ve done in 2014 is 10 miles. I have, however, been working on my speed work outs ensuring at least 1-2 of my short runs were at desired race pace or faster. I worked so hard to get my speed last winter, which often curtails in the summer due to full marathon training and heat which slows me down. This year, however, I will NOT be running any full marathons, so my goals early in the year were speed. Yet I digress…back to the race.
As our wave took off, I watched Janel and Melissa take off at breaking speed…I smiled, knowing my own limitations of having to hold myself back the first few miles in order to save gas for the end. Katy and I hung together the first couple miles, and around mile three it was time to break away and run my race.
I. Felt. Great. I was running at a pretty constant pace of 9:20 the first few miles…breakdown of my miles: Splits were 9:20, 9:22, 9:37, 9:26, 9:33, 9:16, 9:16, 9:04, 8:52, 9:02, 9:02, 8:39, 8:48, 7:45 for the last .2
I hit mile 6, and I was no longer running…I couldn’t feel my feet hitting the crushed limestone, yet the beautiful sounds your feet make when hitting the ground lulled me into a beautiful rhythm,…I found myself once again, flying. I was running physically, but my body was flying, singing, dancing to a beat only I truly understand. Seeing my friends both on the way out, and coming back gave me an added perk in my step, and I saw a possibly sub 2 in my horizon. At mile 8 I felt my calf cramped up so I stopped at the next aid station to take salt tabs and walk it off. I walked (fast) all of the water stops, and wonder if this lead to the demise of my sub-2 dream…
Yet I kept pushing, nearing the point of losing what little was in my stomach several times (for half marathons I fuel with sport beans only every 4-5 miles to save my stomach), but I was NOT going to give up…I saw Janel and Melissa at mile 8-9 and gave them a quick pat and smile as I barreled through the trails and runners, to finish this race strong. The last mile and a half was beyond difficult, with the slight up hill curve and the wind picking up and deciding to slap me in the very tired face…but I kept movin’ forward. I felt my Garmin vibrate signaling the 13 mile mark, and watched my sub-2 goal fly by in the wind. I crossed the finish line at 2:01:09, and after getting my medal I had to choke back the tears.
People tease the fact I am so emotional at times, but I have come to love who I am, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
This race was tough for me, being under trained after a tough winter both in running, and in life.
But I proved to myself today, that no matter what happens, I don’t quit.
That sub 2 marathon WILL be mine…it’s just a matter of not giving up.
I did celebrate with my daughters, and TRIED to eat this…my poor stomach said otherwise, LOL.
All in all, it was a GREAT race…
Despite some glitches in registration, the race staff and volunteers were AMAZING, the course was well marked, and aid stations were plentiful. This was my second time doing the Great Western Half, and it won’t be my last!
I haven’t posted all week. Ack…my goals of posting twice a week just didn’t happen this week, but I am allowing myself a touch of slack. Work has been crazy busy, and I am still trying to find my way. We are in our inspection window, and I am a bit terrified to say the least not knowing all the ins and outs of the lab. But all I can do is my best, right?
I didn’t feel ‘myself’ this past week, feeling extra bloated, tired and yucky to say the least. I still managed to run 3 times logging my last long run of 8.3 miles yesterday before my half marathon this coming Sunday. I woke up yesterday with the sun, so decided to get up and go to run club. Most of my run club friends are super speedy on Saturdays so I don’t feel guilty if I miss attending, because often times I end up running alone. A friend offered to run a slower pace of 10+ minutes miles with me, so I happily joined the group at 0645 hrs. for our group run. The first few miles are always tough, but I found myself able to settle in and able to run at a ‘chatty’ pace the next couple miles. Around mile 6 my ITB started to get pissy, so I stopped to stretch quick and kept going. This by far was not my strongest run, but I felt great to be out there running with friends. The added nearly 10 lbs of winter weight is NOT helping me at all, and I am having such a hard time shedding said pounds. Between 2 years of marathon training, weight gain, chiberia and eating like I am still training for a marathon (which I am NOT), I am finding myself in an unknown place. I have only been ‘overweight’ after having kids. I don’t know if it’s being over 40, loving food too much, or WHAT…but I am struggling.
I wanted to work out today, but have had a sick little one all weekend so my last two days were spent taking care of her vs. doing anything enjoyable sadly. It just goes to show all weekends can’t be great ones. My weekend was spent cleaning the house, cleaning up puke, and tending to an unexplainable fever…fun? No…but I pray my little one feels better soon.
My half marathon is one week from today, and for the first time in two years I am terrified of the distance. This isn’t my first rodeo, but I feel undertrained, overweight, and SO NOT READY.
Here’s praying the half marathon God’s are with me on Sunday…I’ll need all the help I can get.