Remember a few weeks back I mentioned that I was maybe training for a half marathon, but I wasn’t sure I was ready to admit it because – let’s be real – I can’t run 21.1km? On Sunday, I proved myself wrong. I ran 21.1km. And I even ran them really well!
I don’t really know what to say about all my training this summer. It had it’s ups, but it also had so, so many downs. Back in April and May, right after I had finished my first year of school, I felt dedicated. I felt like nothing could stop me. Actually, I felt like I had nothing else to do, besides loading Isabel up in her stroller and hitting the trails with her. She would sleep, or sit happily and babble, watching the trees go by.
Then June hit and the busyness of summer with it, but I was still running fairly frequently, so I thought, “Ok, I can do this thing. This is the year. I will run a half marathon.” But in July I got tired and Isabel started changing. I felt like I had to run longer, like a short 5K wasn’t worth it. Isabel wasn’t so fond of those longer runs, getting fussier and unhappy being strapped for so long in her jogging stroller. So, I tried running in the evenings. Problem: by the time 7 pm comes around, I just want to collapse on the couch and rinse off the day with a couple episodes of, well, anything. But still, I said, “I’m going to do it. I will. I will.” And then August was hot and running even harder. “I’ll walk across the finish line if I have to,” I said.
On Sunday, I ran across that finish line. My results from the race tell me I ran it in 2 hours, 10 minutes, and 46 seconds, a respectable 6’12” pace. It was way better than I expected to do and I was so proud of myself as I rounded the corner and the finish line came into view. I have been talking about running a half marathon for year, and here I finally was, racing towards the finish line.
(Shout out to Casey from the Waffling Blog, who decided to run the race with me and whose encouragement totally helped me get across the finish line. I have to say, this was one of the coolest ways to meet a long-time blogging friend!)
Now that it’s over, I’m starting to think about what my next goal should be. I know I want to focus on speed rather than distance. Should I find a 5K or 10K race to keep me focused? Should I work on speed over the winter, and then return to distance training for another half next year? Should I just start running all the races I can find to keep myself moving forward? I haven’t decided yet. For now I’ll just let my blisters heal.