24 August 2014

July 2014 Spartan with Liam. So. Much. Mud.

I like to run. Most of the time I do, anyhow. Sometimes I despise running. But let's talk about the times I like running.

I started running during high school, I think as a combined result of having done running for rugby training and having read the book Deerskin which features a character running long distances. 

When I first got started running I would trek around my parents' subdivision with no special equipment or any real idea of what I was doing. I didn't know how to track my distances (where were all those smart phones in the 90's?!) and I'd never heard of interval training. Sometimes I'd take my chunky bulky Walkman so I could listen to my radio mix tape. 

Over the next years, I ran on and off without any clear intentions or goals. I knew that I took delight in being able push myself and that my body felt good when I got up off my butt. In 2002, a fellow classmate and I decided to take on a running training program as part of a self-care project for one of our classes with the end goal of running a half marathon. Six months after getting serious about my running, I completed my first half marathon in a time of 2:13. I lost a few toenails and suffered heat stroke, and I absolutely loved it.

A few years later, my friend Vanessa talked me into running another half marathon with her. We navigated the waters with the support of a local Running Room clinic and in 16 weeks we ran our race. This time around, Vanessa and I crossed the finish line with a time of 2:21.

My third long race I trained for and ran was another half marathon just last year. I talked my friends into entering the world of half marathons with me, and we trained through the summer and autumn for a late October race. My finish time this go around was 2:22.

Last year I also branched out a bit and also completed my first triathlon. It was a nice short race to get introduced to the sport, and I really enjoyed the new mental and physical training aspects that were brought up by adding the biking and swimming into the race.

Earlier this year, I'd given serious consideration to tackling a full on marathon this year, which coincidentally would have been today. I was feeling strong heading into the early spring since I had an entire winter of solid crosstraining under my belt and I'd run the half marathon distance on a whim during a regular weekend run. For a few reasons, including my limited time to work out away from the kids and my uncertainty as to how I'd juggle the training hours during our summer travel, I decided that this wouldn't be my year to take on this goal. I know that running a full marathon is definitely a personal goal and I think I'll more easily be able to handle tackling it when the kids are older.

As for my actual running goals for this year...I still don't know. Other than the Spartan race which we completed in July I haven't signed up for anything. My friends and I have been looking at some possible races and we've started getting some weekend runs in together again, so hopefully we'll pin something down and work towards it soon!


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