I announced that I am training for a half marathon about a month ago, and I think it’s time for an update. I want to share the highs and lows of this training experience with you not only to keep myself motivated, but hopefully to motivate some of you to get out there and do something you didn’t think you were capable of doing. My announcement was just to let you know what I’m going to do and to ask for your encouragement, but now it’s time to share what this experience has been like thus far and what I’ve learned.
It is not easy to run. I ran track and cross country for a short time in high school, and kind of thought it wouldn’t be hard to get back into that mind frame and athletic shape. Honestly, I am in better shape now than I have ever been. I am strong, flexible and have lots of cardio endurance. However, I am also older. My body has had a lot of wear and tear over the years, and of course, I’m on medication for my blood pressure since birthing Luna. These two obstacles have really thrown me and my body for a loop when beginning the training process.
My meds keep my heart rate lower, which makes cardio-work really weird. I have to plan around when I take my meds to when I run, and it still never feels quite normal. I don’t mind the challenge. In a way, it makes me feel stronger. I am always reminding myself on long runs that I am tough and strong, and that I want Luna to see me over-coming the obstacles in my life that are trying to hold me back. I won’t let them.
My body is a whole different obstacle in itself. I have scoliosis which effects my hips and causes me to run with a form that isn’t acceptable by any trainer. This often causes shin splints. I also made a HUGE mistake and ordered new running shoes online without ever stepping foot in any sort of sports or fitness shoe store. These shoes were totally wrong for me and over a couple of months made my shin splints a thousand times worse and gave me plantar fasciitis. Ouch.
After taking about 6 weeks off, seeing a physical therapist and getting professional advice at Fleet Feet , I am finally healing and running in proper shoes and socks. Oh, does it make a world of difference to have the correct running gear and attire!
Before taking the time off to heal, we (Bella and I – my running partner) were running up to 8 miles. After the break, I had to start my training from the very beginning. This past weekend I ran a 10k and that 6.4 miles is the longest I’ve run in a couple of months. I wasn’t as fast as I’d hoped to be (8:42/mile pace), but I wasn’t terrible either. The good news is I still have 5 months until the Disney Princess Half-Marathon and I am not giving up.
I am now rolling out my feet and legs, icing my shins, using kinesiology tape and listening to my body very carefully. My biggest fear is getting injured and not being able to compete in the Glass Slipper Challenge. I’ve got to be smart and safe.
I love the quote, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you”. I want to be changed . I want to be stronger. I want to be wiser. I want to understand what it means to be a runner and I want to grow as a person. It’s hard and sometimes scary, but I know I’ll come out stronger and smarter when it’s all said and done.
Are any of you signing up for new challenges? I’d love to hear about them!