I am a little shocked that the past 3.5 months of training for my first ever half marathon has flown by so incredibly fast. To date I have ran 336.5 miles in 103 days. I have increased my longest ever run to 10 miles now. And I lived to tell about it (partially joking)!! I have lost a little over 20 lbs as of last week, I have burned tons of calories. I have ran (and fell) in ice, snow, wind and sun. I have ran with more clothes on than I thought I ever would. I have rethought what "girl time" is after taking a few long runs with a few good friends.
I am following the Nike+ 1/2 marathon training program. As I looked ahead for the next 5 weeks, the training intensifies in length of runs as well as frequency of long runs. As amazing of a husband I do have for scheduling time for me to run, I know that I am a Mom first.
I couldn't help myself from thinking last night as my littest one refused to sleep after midnight, "I am so glad the kids will be with Grandma the night before the race." I have ran with my 6 year old on her bike and me pushing a jogging stroller. I have ran many miles pushing my 4 year old and almost 2 year old in the double jogger. I am thankful to my husband who has sacrificed hours while I have ran alone.
I do have to say that my time running has really decreased my need to window shop, hunt for deals or bargains, etc. When the kids are driving me bat shit crazy (because we all know that there is at least one time of the month that the kids are able to push our buttons), all I need is twenty minutes, an hour or maybe two to lace up my shoes, tune in my Ipod and get out of my own head and into nature.
It is mid April in North Dakota. Last year, we had snow at this time. I am so thankful that the year I decide to run my first ever half marathon, we have had a mild, though windy winter and spring. I have tan line to show already! I honestly think growing up in the clowdy, overcast and dreery Northwest, I crave the sunshine. I know people in the frozen tundra we call North Dakota that take Vitamin D suppliments during the winter months. I have always been bad at remembering to take suppliments, but I do feel a huge difference when I get outside and take a run in the sunshine. I can breathe deeper, I can take a moment before I react, I can appriciate life a little more.
So, did I say I have 5 weeks until race day?! Is that relief to be done training for the longest ever race in my entire life ~or~ fear? Honestly, I am not really sure which. I am a person who operates better with a very busy and scheduled life. The more time I have to relax, to slack off, to do nothing - the more... well, I will do exactly that. The busier I am, the more productive I am. I think to know I have basically my toddlers 2 hour nap to get on the treadmill and get my 4 mile run completed and a shower drives me to do more.
Let's be honest though... I HATE the treadmill. I am not exagerating. I am not fibbing. I am not a fan of the machine in my basement with the rotating belt. It serves a purpose if I have no other choice, or am too busy to do otherwise. I find no enjoyment of watching crappy daytime (or even worse early morning) TV while going no where.
So, as the weeks tick down, I have been trying to read up on what to expect. I am still uncertain and I know once we leave to head to the race the nerves will hit. So much to think about - What will I wear for the race? What to eat in the week before, the night before? What time to get up to run? What time will I finish in? (This one makes me smile - though I have a goal I am shooting for, FINISHING a HALF MARATHON is really the goal!!)
My fears for the half is 1) I will have my period during the race and 2) That I will lose toenails. I have heard horror stories about feet.
So as I look forward to the highlight of my May being running my first ever half marathon. To me, I look forward to this more than my 35th birthday, not even my anniversary of meeting my husband or of marrying the wonderful man. In the meantime, I do have weekly dance classes, an end of season dance performance, weekly soccer practices, weekly soccer games, weekly church school and my darling baby's birthday that are all admist the training. That is right... training to run 13.1 miles has to be in between my regular duties of being a Mom.
In just over 5 weeks, I will return home after a 4 day, 3 night vacation from the kids as a half marathon runner.