My husband had run to the store right before my run this evening. As I was running where I run all the time I noticed a balloon that said, ‘I love you” and some flowers on a bench. No note, no name, no people around. For one brief minute I thought… Maybe, my husband put them there for me! I called him and asked if he put anything out here like flowers? His response, “What? You do know who you called right? Did you call the right person?” Its safe to say they were not for me. Ha ha. But, I hope whoever they were meant for saw them. We need more of that in this world. So sweet.
This is a very helpful review and gives me a better idea of what I am training for. Also, reaffirms I picked an awesome first half marathon.
Now that I decided to sign up for my first half marathon my dilemma is which one to choose! I am contemplating a more fluffy half marathon like a Diva or Disney type half marathon which focuses more on being fun, less stress regarding a specific time limit and just do my best. OR choosing a half marathon that is considered a more “legit” (for lack of a better description) one that I am not only proud to say I ran 13.1 miles, but I ran “The San Francisco Half Marathon!”
OK, so here are my reasons for each and I need some feedback from serious, experienced runners. I am not walking it, or settling for 16 minute miles.. I am taking this serious and plan to really train for it as such. But, I am not sure how realistic I am being. So here it goes…
If I choose the Diva Half Marathon in San Francisco its in June and gives me approximately 8 months to train. It’s less pressure to get it done within a certain amount of time, it’s flat as a pancake course, its fun, it gives blinged out medals, champagne and roses at the finish line, it’s mostly women so it could feel empowering and fun.
If I choose the San Francisco Half/Full Marathon it’s seen as a real, legitimate course and does have a time limit. I won’t get an official finisher medal if I don’t complete the first half marathon within 3 hours. If they don’t think you will finish within 3 hours you will be asked to move to the sidewalk and won’t be considered an official finisher! It takes place in July and gives me roughly 9 months to train. It crosses the Golden Gate Bridge in BOTH directions and how often does anyone get a chance to run in the street of the Golden Gate Bridge?! Right? So here is where I lean towards… my personality tends to want to take the more legitimate (I know its subjective, as well as I recognize running ANY distance is legitimate) but my psyche does make a differential between the two types. I tend to like the idea of having to train harder and the embarrassment of being asked to step to the sidewalk would mortify me. I can’t let that happen! I think if I am going to train that hard to finish a goal such as that it needs to be more of a substance win and not fluffy. I tend to be a bit on the overachiever side and like finishing things above the standard. But, running isn’t easy. I have to be committed and train my ass off. There are hills, it’s not flat.
I know finishing in under 3 hours isn’t an impossible feat. Many people do it. But, I am worried if its a bit unrealistic for me to do it. I would have to keep a 12 minute pace, which isn’t impossible, but I have to keep it for 13.1 miles. I can run that pace now, but the longest I have kept it up is 6 miles. I guess, if I run hills, and follow the a strict training plan and really want to pull this off I can. I am just having a little hesitancy as the fear of not finishing it in the allotted time would be like standing naked in front of a classroom or something. I would just die. Maybe, the fear of that is enough to motivate me!
Has anyone been at this stage in their running and questioned their ability? How did it turn out? I am kind of starting to cringe at the thought of my first half marathon being the pink feathered boa and tiara marathon. I probably already know my own answer, but would love to hear any feed back. If you haven’t followed the blog from the beginning, I have improved my 5K time easily by 4 minutes since my last 5k. I am improving with each month for sure. What do you runners think?
I can’t sleep.
I have a million things going through my head, and I came up with something. I don’t know if it’s the lack of sleep or I have genuinely had another epiphany- Probably both. I wonder if there are really any coincidences? I have known from the beginning that running has been so much more to me than just an exercise. I say that in every blog, because it’s really been that powerful for me. It must resonate with a lot of people this way or why would, “Running is cheaper than therapy” be such a popular slogan. Why do so many people feel compelled to blog about it? Or resist the urge to high five a complete stranger who is running the opposite direction…Right? It’s powerful! As I lay here tonight tossing and turning I began thinking of different things, and why things happen when they do, and how it usually coincides with something else, for example with my running. I am changing, and in a big way. I am recognizing that more and more.
In my past there have been a few defining moments that I can usually link to an extremely powerful relationship. I was very close with my father growing up. I won’t go into all the dynamics that plague father and daughter relationships, but my father was super charismatic, funny, everyone loved him and you wanted to be loved by him. Did I mention everyone loved my father? He was someone that drew people to him and I was his favorite. But, he never told me that. He never would tell me he loved me. I just knew he did. Everyone knew I was the apple of his eye growing up. It caused a strained relationship with my mother and sister my whole life. But, when he remarried I lost him, and we didn’t have that bond anymore. But, I was still crazy about him. I always tried to be perfect and that overlapped into my adulthood when it came to my relationships with two key men in my life.
I always thought about what would happen if I lost my father? What if he died, how would I cope? I didn’t know if I could, because I loved him so much and how could I ever prepare for that. Some might know what that feeling feels like. Over the years I tried so hard to be above average so he would be proud. But, it always seemed to be juuuusssst out of reach. I would always seem to fall short of getting that affirmation from him. Until lately. This is where I began drawing a connection. In two of my relationships I felt the exact same way. They both made me feel like I was so lucky to picked by them. I felt like I was somehow so special, and I wanted nothing more than to be just perfect for them. But, I never could just quite reach that total acceptance. In both of those relationships I remember specifically the point where I wondered what am I going to if it comes to an end? I felt that connected emotionally to them. In a way I didn’t feel for most people. These people had the special qualities that not every person had. After all they were the extra special qualities only my father possessed too. It was a hard combination to find, so when I did find them- I knew that dance.
In all of those relationships, including my father I thought if I was the perfect woman they would “pick” me forever. But, now I realize it isn’t if I was good enough for them. I am. I am so much better and far more amazing than ANY of them even deserved. When I think of my father now, I don’t give him the admiration I once did. He lost my respect . They all did. I was giving them all far more credit than they deserved. When I realized my worth and I don’t need any of them to validate me. Actually, if my father validated me now I would wonder what I am doing wrong. It’s sad to say, but if I lost him now I could live with it. I did everything I could on my end to be a good daughter and he just isn’t capable of unconditional love. That was my pattern. I set myself up for disappointment time and time again with the same scenarios. They will always end the same, until I change myself. When I demand to be treated differently and expect it. I can’t dwell on it anymore.
Now, I am realizing there is a connection-through running I am investing in myself. I am feeling so good that I am taking care of myself that I no longer need my worth to stem from some male relationship that I thought was so extraordinary that it defied logic. With both those relationships I see in hindsight I am worthy of so much more than either of them could possibly give. To be honest, with one of them I thank my lucky stars it never worked out. I would have been miserable. I have grown leaps and bounds and outgrew him ages ago. I feel sorry for him when I see what happened to him. What a difference time makes! It’s funny, because in the past I would have given my soul, shit, I practically did, for him to want me. Now, I am so glad it never worked out. Amazing how self esteem works!
As I started running, it stirred a lot of emotions up in me. It’s probably why some people like to run without music. It gives them the time and quiet to be alone with themselves, to meditate. Running actually solves a lot of issues! Which is another reason I believe running is more mental than physical.
I am learning to detach myself. I don’t need to be attached to someone emotionally. If someone doesn’t value me who am I to try and convince them they should? That is ridiculous! Fuck them. That is their problem. And, it is THEIR problem, not mine. I need to move one. Let it go. And instead of focusing on trying to be accepted by them, I am focusing on accepting myself. I realize my husband accepts me just the way I am. I don’t have to be perfect. I am so much stronger mentally than I was a year ago! I am putting the same fierce commitment and loyalty into myself. It takes a lot of time and commitment for me to run.
So, in thinking about ALL that tonight , I realized I need a bigger goal. No, not world peace. I need something to really focus on and achieve for myself. I am committing myself to a half marathon. I am going to train for it, and complete it, and even though 98% of it is all for me, there is that other little 2% of doing it to say, “Fuck you, I was already good enough.”
As I mentioned earlier its getting darker earlier and with work, and raising a 4 year old I have to squeeze in running when I can, and that is at the gym until the weekend when I can get outside. I ran on the treadmill, which I don’t mind for about 3 or 4 miles, but then it gets very boring. I need different things all the time to keep me motivated, whether it’s a new song to add to my playlist, or friendly competition. I run using the Nike App, also, as I mentioned in an earlier post. I have since found a facebook page that allows runners from all over the world a forum to post about anything running, and many use the Nike running app as well. I have about 40 people on my list which has been great motivation to keep me going. Many are way out of my league in that they run far more miles a week, or faster times, etc. But, there is always going to be that in anything I do. It’s nice to see how others are doing. There are challenges you can send to people on your list if you want to compete with someone, etc.
Through using that app I slowly have begun to know some of the people on my list. There are a few who are close to my time, or run approximately the same distance as I throughout the week. It’s great when you see you are so close to passing someone! It gives me the extra incentive I need to push through an extra mile, or go for one more run this week. Which leads me to my next milestone.
I ran my first 10K. I have never run further than 5 miles. I knew I had to run at least 5 miles in order to stay on par with a few people on my app that I was aiming to beat. So, when I ran 5 miles on the treadmill I thought to myself- I have come this far, how can I not run that extra mile to say I finally ran 10K! So, I did. I ran 6.35 miles in an hour and 2 minutes. Which is so awesome for me. I was running 10 minute miles! That is all I have ever wanted to do. In my opinion that is a respectable pace. I am still overweight, and I am in my mid 40’s. I only started running 6 months ago. I know its going to take me at least a year of consistent running to get in the shape I need to be in to feel good out there running more than 6-7 miles. It was such a great feeling anyhow, and yes, it was on the treadmill, which is WAY easier I know. But, I have to start somewhere with adding my distance.
Today I ran outside. I beat my best outside 5K time without really even pushing myself. My goal was to just run and see what the time would be so I can gauge the improvement. I finished in 37 minutes, which again is better than last month. I am steadily improving with each month, about a minute. It’s hard work for me, but again that is what I like about it. No one can run it for you. I have to run it myself. There are no shortcuts, and with steady work, maybe running more than a 10K won’t be as far out of reach as it seems right now. I love it enough to stick with it, and I LOVE following and reading other dedicated bloggers and their journey running. There are different levels of dedication, of course. I tend to like reading the more serious blogs and the Ultra Marathoner’s blogs. It absolutely amazes me there are people with that kind of strength and will. It’s simply inspiring.
This is a super video. I do a lot of these stretches, but some new ones I can’t wait to try. It’s very realistic, not too long instructional video. Thanks for sharing, Fit for a year!
I am still running. Since my last post I have participated in another 5k run for charity, but this time with my husband and daughter. My running seems to be contagious around here. He pushed our little one in the jogging stroller and ran his own race. He does about 8-9 minute miles while I am now finally running 12 minute miles. I have found, and I don’t know why this seems surprising to me, that the only way to get better is to keep running! Duh, right? But, I was reading everything I could get my hands on about running, talking to fellow runners, trying everything I could that I thought would help me become a better runner. But, today I had an a-ha moment.
The days are getting shorter and my opportunities to run outside are beginning to get fewer. I had to run the treadmill the other night. I have to say I was dreading it.. and even referring to is as the “dreadmill.” But, I also wanted to get my run in regardless of how I do it, so off to the gym I went. It felt so easy this time! I have been running outside all summer and my level of fitness is getting better because of it. My run on the treadmill felt so comfortable I ran for almost an hour non-stop. I knew without a doubt how much I have improved. Also, I felt less stress on my legs and joints which I have to admit is nice a change once in a while on the body. My legs weren’t too bad and a muscle in my calf that has been bothering me for at least a month seems better. When I talked about my run to my co-worker afterwards she pointed out to me that was the first time she ever heard me refer to my run as, “easy.” Nice observation! It did feel easy and comfortable! I am a tad slower though on the treadmill.
This morning when I went for my run outside I felt like I was running slowly. I like to take it easy on my first mile and warm up. In my opinion I was running more slowly than I usually do, until I heard my app tell me when I reached my first mile I did it in 12.10 minutes. Now, I understand that is slow to most runners, but to me… it’s a huge improvement! I started out at 15 minute miles. The idea that now a 12 minute mile is me warming up is just foreign still to me. That is when I had my a-ha moment- I am going to improve the more I keep running! Sure, there are little things that help, but there isn’t any secret someone can teach you or tell you. I just have to keep running. Period. Which leads me to my next thought…
The fact that I have to continue to run to improve is what I love about running! It’s not a class a person can take on Wednesday’s from 6-7 pm. It’s a lifestyle, its a commitment, its something that becomes a part of you. Only another runner can understand this. I have a few friends who have tried taking it up since seeing my posts. I think that few people stick with it. It takes a certain level of dedication that not everyone is willing to give. This is why I love running. Yes, someone who doesn’t run regularly can go out and possibly run 5 or 6 miles first time out. But, will they stick with it? Will they do it next week? Most don’t. That’s why I love running.