I started running four years ago (come October) because I wanted to live a healthier, happier life. It was very slow in the beginning with lots of trial and error. Eventually I sped up from the slow crawl I was doing on my treadmill by getting out in my neighborhood to run. I remember how hard that was, not only physically but much more so mentally. My “run” was a quick shuffle, and I had stuff bouncing and swaying that I definitely didn’t want the whole neighborhood to see. It took a lot of courage to get out there. I began to love running because it was my time to sort things out in my mind, to feel fast (hey, I was going faster than walkers anyway. Well ,usually!), and to feel like I’d accomplished something good and admirable when I was done. After a while, I got the 5K racing itch and ran my first 5K at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Tupelo. It was so fun and was just the beginning of many 5Ks to follow. This past fall, I trained for a 10K and ran farther than that late in my training. Unfortunately, a bad thunderstorm came in the night of the race, and I abandoned hopes of completing it. After that, I sort of lost my motivation for running. I’d trained so hard and didn’t get to run the race, so I was a bit discouraged. I got into other things, specifically P90X and Chalean Extreme, and put running on the back-burner.
A month or two ago, I heard about a race in October in Madison, MS, called the Run for Life Marathon and Half-Marathon. Although the marathon seems like too long of a distance to run, I had hoped to one day run a half-marathon. Of course, I assumed it’d be some years down the road when I’m a “seasoned” runner. So then I thought, am I not a seasoned runner now? I know I am able to run a 10K distance. Why not a half-marathon? Besides, what better way to celebrate my 30th birthday, which is about 2 weeks before the race. And what solidified it was that this race welcomes walkers, so if I bonked and ran out of steam too early on, I could just finish it by walking. So that’s how I talked myself into running the half this fall. I’m really excited about it. This is the only half around here that isn’t held in the freezing cold of winter or in the middle of our sweltering summer, which other people, I’ve heard, call spring. We don’t have those in Mississippi :o) So as I train for this event, I will keep my blog updated on my progress as a sort of training journal.
For this week, I ran several short 2-mile runs to get myself back into it. It was pretty hard, especially on days when it wasn’t rainy and was so incredibly hot and humid. This morning, I had to get up at 4 a.m. (after 4 hours of sleep!) to take Jamie to Winona to catch a ride to the armory, and when I came back home, it was lightly raining. Instead of going back to bed, which I really wanted to do, I downed a Red Bull (sugar-free!) and dressed for my run. I bought a few new running shorts yesterday to help with my motivation. I just love running clothes. So I put on my new black UA shorts and a moisture-wicking shirt and headed out. The rain had slowed to a very fine mist, just perfect for running. It was still cool out, about 75-78 degrees. I was determined to do a 4-mile LR this morning. Although it was wonderfully cool and my breathing was really good, there were times when I thought that lower back pain (from not being used to running and biking so much) and my achy right knee were going to have me fall short of my goal. I did the entire 4 miles, though, and at a 12 minute per mile pace, which isn’t too bad considering that I was trying to slow down to 1:30 to 2:00 per mile slower than race pace like the long distance runners on Runner’s World advise for the long run, so I accomplished that. It felt so good to do that long of a distance. I felt like a runner again!