The idea started back in September, when my mind always returns to longer distance running, after surviving the hot summer temps that (for me anyway) do not equate with outdoor runs. I wanted to give myself a training plan to follow to slowly increase my mileage and keep me accountable. I thought "wouldn't it be fun to set a goal of running 10 miles or something by Thanksgiving" and I looked up Hal Higdon plans. These training plans are free and I have used them to train for each of the half-marathons in the past, and ended up choosing the Intermediate 1 Half-Marathon Plan. I modified it slightly and hung it in my office and highlighted each workout completed:
|I ran the 3 and 4 mile runs on the treadmill and did the 5 miles and up outdoors.
Of course Phil was in on the plan because we are very competitive and push each other in the best ways. The training didn't go perfectly because life is busy and injuries/illnesses are bound to occur and this roller became our bestie through the aches:
We were pretty consistent with the plan and this weekend was supposed to be our 11 Mile run. A few days before the run, Phil said "you know, if we just run 13.1 miles instead of 11 miles this weekend, we could be done with the whole thing" and that sounded great. That's a perk to running your own half-marathon - you pick the date - and can change it too!
So on Saturday morning, we drank some coffee and split a bagel with peanut butter and jam, and took our time getting ready to run. I kept checking the weather which said it was supposed to rain, but we ended up missing it until the last mile or so. I had been waking up the night before thinking of our route and discussed it with Phil that morning. A 4 mile circuit to the north, a 4 mile circuit to the south, plus 5.1 miles on the bike path that heads east/west. That way we kept coming back near our house every few miles in case we needed bathrooms/water. We put our energy candies in our pockets and grabbed a bottle of water and headed out.
Honestly our run was very slow and uneventful. We talked the whole time except for the end when we listened to my Top Three Don't You Dare Quit Running jams:
Eminem's Lose Yourself
DJ Khaled's All I Do is Win
Sia's The Greatest
Maggie asked us when we returned home, how do you guys have enough to talk about for 12 miles?!?! She just couldn't believe we weren't listening to music the whole time - ha! We each had to use the bathroom - me around 5 miles at The Ice Cream Cottage and Phil around 8 miles at the Rec Center in our town. Both very handy! We walked whenever we ate our energy jelly beans or jellies, otherwise we kept running.
When we got home, Declan took our photo in all our sweaty and rained-on glory:
We went inside and drank Liquid IV with 40 ounces of water. We showered and ate leftover pizza and cottage cheese for me and a protein shake for Phil. Phil took the dog for a little walk and I took the three boys for a tour of the old schoolhouse in our town:
When the kids had screen time that afternoon, we watched Parts 1 and 2 of All the Light We Cannot See on Netflix while we took turns using the massage gun on our legs and drinking more water and maybe eating a little chocolate. We kept looking at each other like "I can't believe we just did that!" We went to Mass that evening and honestly have felt pretty good physically! I think the energy gels and Liquid IV gave us the electrolytes we needed and then we refueled with protein and water and sugar, massaged our sore legs and felt pretty normal. We took a long walk the next day and I will go for a short run today. Phil was not happy to realize that the Step Challenge at his job started on Monday and the 13.1 miles didn't count. That one hurts.
I can remember a time in my 20s when I used to run 3 miles at a time and my brother-in-law ran a half-marathon in about 2 hours. I thought "I could NEVER run for 2 hours straight!!" and yet somehow I've been able to do it four times in my life. So I guess it just goes to show that our mindset is a powerful thing, and it can hold us back or we can use it to achieve great things. I'm so glad I chose the latter.