This will be rather short and sweet, as I’m not feeling very well. For the past two weeks or so, I have been having issues with TMJ, or my jaws. Muscles have locked up, leading to me not eating and nasty headaches. Unfortunately relief and a fix is not something that comes quickly. I’ve been trudging through and doing my runs, even not feeling so well. Tonight I really, really didn’t want to go for a run. I took last night off after running 4 miles on Wednesday night. After my day today, with the kids, the headache, being the end of the week, adding extra work onto my work from home job, running was the last thing I wanted to do. But I did. And it was bad. Or was it? For the first time I was running at a pace of over 12 minute miles. I felt dead on my feet. I only ran a little over 2 miles. But I did it, even as bad as I was feeling. So instead of feeling bummed that it wasn’t my best run, I decided to feel proud, because I could have used my pile of excuses and sat at home on the couch. So no, a slower than normal, shorter than normal run wasn’t bad at all. It could have been much worse, not done at all.
I took Thursday evening off from running. Friday was supposed to be my on day. But the day was longggggg. I have been having issues with my jaws and I have been suffering through daily headaches. My kids were on their A game in terms of torturing mommy. By the time my husband got home, I was so mentally drained from the day, that I had every intention of taking another night off. I reasoned with that decision, saying it would be good for my body to take 2 days off, and that it was just such a long day and I needed to rest. Up until putting the kids to bed, I had no intentions of running on Friday night.
But I decided that there were no excuses on my list good enough to actually ditch my run for the night. I put the kids to bed and without really thinking, I immediately went to my closet and changed into my running clothes. Maybe just a short run I though, just to get out there. And out I went. I got passed the first mile. I completely meant to loop back around to my house, and get to two miles, and call it a night. But again, I decided against that. I had to keep going. And I kept going. I took a few extra turns and ended up making it my longest run to date, 3.62 miles. I still maintained under 12 minutes a mile, and I ran my fastest 5k to date. I felt pretty pumped after I was done. Not so much because my times were improving, not because it was my longest run, but because I had decided to push myself and get rid of excuses.
Tonight’s run, while a tad over 3 miles, was broken up into two parts. Less than a mile in, it started raining. I stuck it out until it really started coming down. So I headed back home. But before I started out on my first run, I came out to a gorgeous, complete rainbow. Yes, ohh, ahh, pretty, but no big deal. For most people that is.
Over 9 years ago, I lost my first born son Chris to SIDS. He was 2.5 months old. Naturally, it messed me up, big time. But all the depressing details aside, I remember one evening, a few months after he died, I was missing him and I looked outside and saw a rainbow. I felt connected with it, like it was him, somewhere out in the universe, showing me this rainbow for hope.
One of the biggest motivating factors for me when I am running is Chris. I start feeling tired, I start feeling like maybe I should take the shortcut home, and I think of him. My baby who will never grow up, who never took steps and never got the chance to run, I take that thought and I keep going. My ability to get out there and run is something I won’t take for granted.
I already get emotional thinking about crossing the finish line after the Princess Half. I am doing this for him. I am taking him with me, his memory, and I am running with him, for him. 5 days after the race is the 10th anniversary of his death. I think about that a lot.
Seeing this rainbow tonight, and knowing how much I think about him when I run, once again it felt like he was out there, saying hello, saying he is with me, and telling me to keep going.
Let’s just get this out of the way early. An admission of sorts. I hate running. A lot. I ran track in high school. I was pretty awful. Out of 2 years of track, I think there was one race that I didn’t come in last. I ran the 1600 and the 3200, also known as the mile and 2 mile. I was slow, but being uncoordinated and not having an athletic bone in my body, it gave me something to do, and a chance to be involved.
After 2 years of high school track, it was literally years before I started running again. Years as in over a decade. It was last summer that an online friend tempted me, and got me running again. I watched my friend P complete the 2011 Disney Princess Half Marathon while pregnant. I so wanted to do that! I love Disney. If I ever win the lottery, we are buying a house(a big house) in Florida where I can spend all of my free time at Disney. And as a lottery winner, I will have lots of free time. Back on track. I got to running, with the goal in mind of doing the Princess Half this year. And by the end of summer, I lost all of my mojo(on top of my milk supply). I got burnt out and never registered. And that didn’t bother me at all.
Until the Princess Half rolled around. And I literally had to hide P on Facebook over that long weekend, because I was so jealous watching her experience everything. She even got an upgrade to the Polynesian resort, the one resort I have been dying to stay at since I first stepped foot on Disney property over 5 years ago. This was a sign. The universe’s way of saying “See? You should have stuck with it.” So with no excuses this summer other than laziness and my hatred of running(which aren’t very good excuses), I made the decision to stick with it and commit to doing this next year.
And now I’m training. I’m not even training hard yet. I’ve done no more than 3.5 miles at one time. I will admit that considering at this point last month I hadn’t even started running, and was only doing Zumba once a week, so being able to do that is pretty good. But I still hate every mile of it. It’s boring. But you know what? It’s worth it. I’m losing weight. Very slowly but it’s happening. It is alone time for me, quiet time, without kids or housework or fighting or noise. And at the end of it, I get a Disney vacation. Without kids. A whole 5 days to myself. If you added up all of the time I’ve had to myself in the past 3 years, I don’t think you’d get 5 days worth. So if a stress free, girls only vacation involves running 13.1 miles and training 3-5 times a week in the months leading up to it, well I’d say that’s a pretty fair trade.
Is killing me!! We have over 200 days until the trip/race. We have booked our resort already. Unless a better deal comes up between now and February, or one of the girls currently planning on sharing our room decides not to do the trip, we are booked at Disney’s newest resort, the Art of Animation Resort. While I don’t typically prefer to stay at Disney value resorts, this one is new, and based on the pictures, it looks so cool! Since we have 3 adults right now, including myself, we booked one of the suites in the Lion King section. But that’s about as far as we can go right now. We can’t book ADRs until 180 days out, so still over a month before that. We’re waiting to see if other discounts are released. And of course waiting for the trip. Of course I have a lot of things going on between now and then, including lots of training. We’ll have school starting, with my oldest in 2nd grade this year, and my middle child starting preschool 3 days a week. Then we get to look forward to the holidays, and I love the holidays. Once the holidays are over I will really kick it into gear, getting ready for my trip.
Just a snapshot of how far I’ve come(literally) in the past 2 weeks.
Registration for the Princess Half opened on July 10. My original plan was the wait until the end of the month to register but I got so excited watching others register that I jumped the gun, and registered that day. Registration in itself is a little thrill. The price is a tad hefty(although I’ve never done a half marathon, so I have nothing to compare to) at $140, before additional fees they tack on, but it is Disney after all, and their magic comes with a price. Personally I’ve always found it worth it. When you register, you get to pick your favorite princess, and your race bib will have that princess and one of her colors on it. Some of the choices included Cinderella, Tiana, Ariel, the newest princess Merida(from Brave), and Rapunzel. It was such a tough decision that I let my 3 year old daughter pick for me, and she picked Rapunzel. Because I registered before December, my bib will be personalized with my name. At the time of registration, you also have the option of purchasing a commemorative pin and/or necklace. Each time we take a trip to Disney, I pick up a pin of the resort we stay at(if available) and one of either my favorite rides or my favorite characters, so of course I opted to purchase a pin. And after all that excitement and all of that money spent, you sit. And you wait. And you run.
I love that after less than 2 weeks of being back to running, I’m already seeing the effects in other parts of my life. Besides the obvious affects on how well, how far, and how fast I can run(ummmm, 3.15 miles anyone?), it’s really boosting my endurance in other areas. Before I got back to running, I liked to think I was “in shape”. I mean, I did Zumba once a week! That qualifies right? I could make it through the entire class without passing out, and that’s an hour of working out. But I always noticed that halfway through class, during peak, I was dragging. Huffing and puffing and my body just felt zapped of energy and I had to push myself through it.
This past Monday was my first class since I started running. The change was huge. I didn’t find myself looking at the clock after every song, counting down the minutes until the class was over. Not once did I find myself lacking energy, or huffing and puffing. It was an enjoyable workout and a nice break from running. I love seeing the results for the time and effort I’m putting in to training for the half marathon.
Registration Confirmation for:
This is for the 2013 Disney’s Princess Half Marathon on Sunday, February 24, 2013.
I am officially registered for the Princess Half. I remember last year I hemmed and hawed, my heart and head knew I just wasn’t into it. At the end of summer I stopped running and of course, I didn’t register. So this year I took a different approach. Instead of waiting to make sure I stuck with this to register, I registered first. I’m kind of stuck now I guess. Now I *have* to keep going, because I just spent a crap ton of money to register for this race. To celebrate, I pushed myself on my run tonight, and did just a bit over 5k. And I was really comfortable with it! It took me 35 minutes and some change, which is pretty decent, under 12 minutes per mile. With each passing week, I’m growing more and more confident that I CAN do this.
This week has been a great week, I’m feel like I’m off to a great start. I decided to ditch the C25K plan. I just felt like I was a little beyond that. Last summer it worked well because I was so out of shape, but it’s a different story this summer. I have been liking the Nike running app much better. To be honest, at this point I don’t really have a set training method or pattern. I’ve just been getting out there to get miles under my feet. Jeff Galloway’s half marathon training program for the Princess doesn’t actually start until the beginning of October. So I’m kind of just winging it for now. At some point I will start playing with run/walk patterns and longer runs.
Yesterday was an awesome run. My first goal was to run one straight mile. Something I haven’t done since high school. And I did it, with no problem. I had a time of 9:28, which isn’t too bad. I also made it my longest run, and did a total of 2.26 miles. I felt really good afterward. I’m pretty pumped.