This morning my oldest daughter and I went to a nearby park for her to participate in a small “Turkey Trot” race for a good cause. She ran a little over a mile and when she was done she asked if she could do “one more loop” (3 loops completed the distance). She really seemed to enjoy the run-and I was very proud of her efforts despite the COLD WEATHER! Just yesterday it got up to 60 degrees, but today, it was in the low 30’s when the race started. Anyway, her desire to run an extra loop makes me wonder if I might have a little runner on my hands! Whether or not she loves running as she gets older, it still makes me happy that she enjoyed it today. She even asked if she could run with me tomorrow, for “at least part of your run”. I think that is a great idea!
Since today was a rather depressing football Saturday (Nebraska lost to Penn State in sadly predictable fashion), there really isn’t a whole lot to share aside from our fun run this morning. It was a pretty predictable day of laundry, getting a child to an activity on time, and trying to keep our daughters from killing each other with their dramatic antics. Our son is on the mend (fever has finally gone down), and we had an overall good day just staying home and spending time as a family of five. It’s nice just having a day to spend without worrying about a long run that I need to complete. Which gets me back to my latest half marathon experience, which, while wonderful, is something I look forward to not having to train for in the next year.
Let me recap a post from 10/30/2017, which I shared on one of my running group pages…okay, two of my running group pages-but who’s counting?
“I’m thrilled by my run yesterday, since I beat my goal time, but I learned a couple of things! Let me bore you with some details. 😉I started out running with a pacer that was pacing at 1:45 as I figured to hit 1:50, as my goal finish, I should go that route since I know my pace can fluctuate when running such a distance. I was feeling great the majority of my run, and even at mile 7 I thought I might pass the pacer-but then he backed out and a female pacer ran up to take his place…suddenly our group was running harder! Apparently he was not running quite fast enough (I probably should have figured this when at one point my running app was telling me I was running an 8:45 pace). Regardless, I didn’t really understand how off the pace was until the guy backed out, because at some points we were running as fast as a 7:15 pace! But I just figured the pacer knew what he was doing! Anyway, I couldn’t catch the new pacer, but I also knew my goal pace and time, so I stuck to that original plan. I was fluctuating between 8 and 8:15. Definitely where I wanted to be but a bit disappointing as I had been running on average 7:15-7:45 up to that point-with the exception of some slower stuff on hills. But in any case, I was feeling pretty well, until I hit 11 miles. Then my body started becoming annoyed with me. But I pushed through and after a final excruciating hill on a bridge I finished with a PR! Of course, a barefoot guy passed me at the end! That was interesting! 🤔 I learned something yesterday though: in order to ensure I don’t burn out those last two miles, I need to do more training runs that include the full 13.1. That is my plan for next time I train for such a race. But for the next year, I’m sticking to improving on my pace in the 5k and 10k! No more half marathons for me until late next year or early 2019!” So, there you have it-my latest half marathon experience.”
I wish I had done a recap of my other four half marathons, but I didn’t. So if I still have you reading at this point, I’ll do a modified “recap” of them. I can recall my first one in 2011 was a very hilly, very cold one, and a bit rainy-and I completed it in 2:09 (roughly). I then ran a very fun race in 2013, completing it in 2 hours and 2 seconds, (better weather, and much better crowds in Lincoln, Nebraska). My next race was in 2014 and the weather was perfect, crowds were great in Lincoln (as usual), and I finished in 1:53. So at this point, I am getting a better time each half! As you can imagine, when planning for the 2016 race (yes, I took 2015 off from running that far), I was fully prepared to knock out that time for yet another PR. I had my nutrition plan all figured out, and my strength training plan to establish a better base pace in order to excel, and all was going well-until the last three weeks of my training when I suddenly got in my head things that normally don’t happen such as “Ugh, I still have another mile to go” (when at mile 9 of 10), or, even worse…MY PACE WAS SLOWING-and I HAD NO IDEA WHY! Except, maybe I did?! Two days later I found out I was pregnant. Had to change my plan, and at the very strict advice of my ObGyn, go ahead and run my race that I had trained so hard for, but once I was done “shorten your runs to NO MORE THAN 5 MILES AT A TIME” as I continue my pregnancy. Clearly, my ObGyn was no runner! Whatever happened to the idea that “you can run as far as your body is used to even when pregnant as long as you have been doing that up to your pregnancy”?! But I’m losing the point here. My point is, my time in the 2016 race slowed to 2:01…but still better than my 2011 time, and the fun part was, I WAS PASSING PEOPLE AS I RAN, AND I WAS 7 WEEKS PREGNANT!! I sure felt like a badass…well, at least that is what I kept telling myself so I could let myself off the hook for being so paranoid that I really felt I held myself back on running harder than I could have because, as I said before, I had a doctor that was not “runner friendly”, for lack of a better description. But I will say I don’t regret how I ran that race, because obviously my baby’s health was the first priority. However, if I could give any advice whatsoever to pregnant runners, it would be to be sure to get a doctor supportive of running!
Just because you are pregnant does not mean you have to be an invalid! I did manage to continue running until I was 20 weeks along-by 20 weeks my back would just kill me when I ran! So in lieu of running I would walk, and of course I participated in body pump class, which was awesome until I slipped on a mat in class when 8 months along, and fell sideways on my stomach. So, I decided no more body pump for me until after Charlie was born! Yeah, that was scary!
So as you can imagine, after all of that, I was ready to come back stronger and faster for my 5th half marathon, and I was successful. An article that inspired me somewhat, giving me confidence at the very least, is from Runner’s World. You can find this article easily by going to the following site: https://www.runnersworld.com/zelle/does-having-a-baby-make-you-faster