Monday, September 23, 2013

Then and Now

So just over a year ago I ran 18 miles. Damn. It seems like lifetimes ago.

After my marathon, I made the decision to put off doing any more long distance races for two reasons. One, I wanted to drop the extra weight I was carrying, and I had been reading that endurance training can make it more difficult to lose fat. Second, I struggled for a lot of last year with foot problems (PF?) and ended my marathon with some killer shin splints, and I didn't want to aggravate anything to the point that I couldn't run at all. And then, of course, there was this.

But then, earlier this year, J suddenly decided she wanted to start running and train for a race with me. What, what? My 17 year old wanted to spend time with me? Doing something I love? I was not about to pass that up, so we looked around and found a trail race at the end of August.

However. Things were not going well for me. I tried to start with C25k, but once I got a few weeks in it just seemed SO DIFFICULT. I got really discouraged, but instead of giving up, we just pushed back our race date. We found the Run for the Hills Half Marathon in West Virginia in mid-October. The entry fee included a free night of camping at the Spruce Knob Mountain Center. It was perfect!

However. Things continued to not go well. I gave up on C25k and started following a beginners 13.1 training schedule, running intervals and increasing my distance. My foot started bothering me. Then my knee started bothering me. Then I turned my left ankle on a 5 mile trail run, and my right foot hurt so bad after the same run that I could barely hobble around. Still, I refused to give up, and the following weekend I ran the 6 miles on my schedule.

And that was when I realized there was just no way I was going to be running a half marathon any time soon.

Luckily, there is also a 5k in the WV series, so I will still get to run a trail race, in the mountains, in October. Yay!

However. Scaling back to a 5k and starting C25k again and struggling even more than I did when I first started running...when I really was a couch potato...well, that was tough to swallow. But, I swallowed it and kept at it, and Friday I ran 20 minutes without stopping and it felt just as awesome as it did the first time I did it three years ago.

This morning I had an great run on one of my favorite local trails. This year, the beginning of fall actually feels like fall and it was a perfect morning for running. I was able to run more than "Nan" (the name I gave the voice from the Get Running app) told me to. When I was done I found a bench by the lake and just hung out for awhile savoring the morning. And suddenly it didn't matter any more what I was doing or was able to do a year ago.

I can't wait to run 3.1 on October 13 and cross the finish line with my daughter! 

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