This winter was a bit rough on my running, but I did try to get out at least once a week for a good run and did workouts during the week at home. I still haven't shaken off the extra pounds I gained while training for Fox Valley and Chicago last year. I could blame it on the winter, but honestly....my motivation just wasn't there. I haven't slept well in months, and I'm just thinking of quick and easy (but not necessarily healthy) meals by the time I get home from work. So now I'm re-committing to eating healthy and staying active...again!
This time next week I will hopefully have another half marathon under my belt. I'm traveling up to Door County, WI to run the Door County Half Marathon with several friends from the area. It's supposed to be a beautiful and challenging/hilly course. I'm pretty happy with my training, especially with getting a great 11 mile run in last weekend. However, the 10K race I did in Batavia on Saturday has shaken my confidence a bit.
It was a perfect day for a race - sunny, low 50s at the start, and a bit of a breeze. I got to see my sweet friend Jen and some of her friends from the gym, and soon we were off. The first three miles or so went really well. I was keeping a decent pace, and was feeling optimistic that I might beat my PR. However, after mile 3 my feet started feeling numb...almost like how your face feels after getting a shot of Novocain. So I stopped once to retie my shoes. Things were okay for about a half-mile or so, and then it came back. I felt very frustrated, and completely out of sync. Everything felt...off. My left hip started aching (which is new...that side has been fine through both marathons), and I just wanted the race to be over.
Luckily my good friend Aldona was out on a run, and came up on me from behind. She gave me that boost I needed to make it the last quarter mile. She was 9 miles into her run, and looked amazing! I wish I had had an ounce of her energy, since mine was shot by then. My time for the race ended up being a bit over 1 hr 15 min, and while it wasn't my best it wasn't my worst either.
Then I came home to see this picture posted on the Run the Edge Facebook page:
This really put the run in perspective. The afternoon after the race I attended a memorial service for a friend who left us way too soon, due to brain cancer. She loved being outside, and would sometimes run over to my house with her boys leading on their scooters, and our boys would play together. I'll miss her spirit, her smile, and her zest for life....and I know I'm so fortunate to be able to spend time outside, putting one foot in front of the other.
So when I run the half marathon this weekend I will carry her in my heart....and no matter what my finish time is, I will be so thankful that I'm out there, sharing the road with great friends and hundreds of other runners in this great, beautiful world.