A Wife Loved Like The Church

Posts Tagged ‘Half marathon

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I’m in the final days of training for the half marathon on Sunday. Is it just me, or have the last 8 weeks gone by really fast? Whew.

It’s been a good training time with some lessons learned. One of those lessons being – after your third baby, your badder just ain’t what it use to be. TMI? Perhaps. But consider it a warning ladies…

Another good lesson learned – I am insane. Granted I knew that already, it’s just now I get to prove it to all my family and friends. Again.

But perhaps the most important lesson {re}learned – My husband rocks. He’s been so good about dealing with the crazy-Sarah that comes out during training {let’s just say I can go a little overboard sometimes} and has rallied around me yet again to see me through to the end.

While so many people are racing this year to either support a great cause or to prove to themselves that they can run such a race, I’ll be honest and say, at this point I’m just really looking forward to a post race P.Terry burger and shake.

For about two weeks, every time I ran I felt defeated. There wasn’t anything that went wrong necessarily, but by the end of each run I was either physically or mentally exhausted.

Having a bad run can throw off my mental game. And that can set me up for really not enjoying running like I want. When that happens, I have to throw in a few tricks to get my running mojo back.

How I keep running when I feel like I hate it ::

1. Short runs – I don’t want to face a long  run on the heels of a bad training week. Instead I take a couple of short runs to give myself a mental boost. Giving yourself a shorting goal can help you feel accomplished and act as a cheerleader to help you refocus.

2. Fast runs – Just like short runs, having a fast run can really boost your confidence. Shorten your distance and run at just above your normal pace. It’ll get your heart rate up and allow feel good endorphins to kick in.

3. Fun runs – There are certain routes by my house that I dread taking. You’d immediately think they are hilly or extra long, but they aren’t. What I dislike is that they are flat and out of the hussle and bussle of everything, making it boring. While boring runs are inevitable, I try avoiding boring routes to keep running fun.

After combining those three tactics the last week and a half has made for some great training and given me back the joy of running.

How do you keep running fun? Running groups, new routes or upbeat music?

 

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It’s been a long while since I’ve written anything about running. But as February 19th approaches and I’m staring down the Austin Half Marathon, I’ve been thinking a lot more about training post baby. Of course, my first half was post-baby, but Hannah was 6 months old when I first started. But training at 6 months is different than 6 weeks.

Half Marathon Training Post Baby – Simple Tips

1. Hydrate – I’ve talked about this topic before, but I can’t stress how important it is to be well hydrated especially if you are nursing. As a nursing mom, your body is already draining itself. Top that with working out, and your need for water is essential.

2. Focus on Distance NOT Pace – When you’re starting out, don’t focus on your pace, working on your distance. Pace will come. I’m currently running 1-1.5 minutes off my normal pace. And I’m okay with that. Because the more I run, the faster I will become.

3. Make Running a Family Affair – If you can afford it, I highly recommend buying a jogging stroller. We were gifted a double jogger and I love it. We haven’t taken all three kids out yet, but now that Julia’s school has started back, I’ll be taking Hannah and Joseph out for a stroll.

4. Enjoy Yourself – You aren’t racing against anyone else. You aren’t competing against other runners on the street. You are only competing against yourself. So enjoy it. Enjoy running. Run with friends. Run in fun races. Just enjoy it.

{photo via Tara Chen on Pinterest}

What workouts do/did you do post-baby? Do you have any races planned this year?

*Disclaimer: All tactics/tips are my own personal opinions and not medically backed. Please seek medical advice before starting any running program.

Maybe it’s because I had just had a really good workout. Or maybe it’s because I really, really miss running. Or perhaps the crazy heat and pregnancy hormones have finally done me in. Whatever the case may be, last night I signed up for the Austin Half Marathon in mid-February. It’s the same race I ran last year ::

{I was pregnant with Baby Boy and didn’t even know it}

I’ve been debating for a while as to whether or not I should do the race this year. If Baby Boy comes when he is suppose to, it gives me just under 3.5 months before the race to get ready. If he shows up later than expected, that just limits my time.

However, I will say that I’ve been reading up on racing after delivery and will be pacing myself. Unless my body is ready, I don’t plan to run the entire race. My goal is to run 6.5 miles. Anything I can do over that is gravy. The rest of the race I will be walking.  I haven’t set out my exact running plan yet, but it will look something like this :: 1 mile walk, 2 mile run, 1 mile walk, etc.

As I’m staring down the final weeks of my pregnancy, I’m realizing I’m going to need some motivation to exercise once Baby Boy arrives. Now that I’ve paid the runner’s registration fee, I can’t back out. Jonathan won’t let me.

Do you have any races you want to run? What’s your motivation for working out?

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While I originally only planned for my series to be three parts, I thought you’d all like to know how my half marathon went last weekend. In a nut shell it was awesome.

Before arriving, I was so incredibly nervous I thought for sure I was going to loose my breakfast. I was snapping at Jonathan while he was driving and was just getting overly annoyed and anxious. Everything was going completely opposite of how I’d planned {and specifically how we’d prayed the night before}. However, as soon as I stepped out of the car {with plenty of time to spare thanks to my wonderful husband} I felt a flood of relief. Just like a switch, my nervousness was gone and I felt total peace {thanks God!}.

 

Half Marathon Training {The Finish}

 

1. Prepare to be overwhelmed – The most amount of people I’ve ever run with was 30. Sunday I ran with 20,000. Yeah, that’s a lot of folks. And at times it was a bit overwhelming to keep my eye out for people passing me and me passing people. Not to mention the bum rush to water stations and bathrooms.

2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate – When I ran my half last spring I didn’t hydrate well enough. And I paid dearly for it by the end. This time around, I’ve trained with hydration breaks and made sure to stop at every water station I came to. At one point I was tempted to pass the last few by {because of the crowd} but then I remembered “HYDRATE!”.

3. Don’t give up – Somewhere around the 8 mile marker, I was done. My feet were hurting, my time was off and I was ready to lay in the grass and wait for the “dropped runner” cart to pick me up. I started using every metal trick in my book. I made up games. I gave myself a pep talk. I counted how many people I saw in certain colored shirts. Whatever it took to keep me focused {and running} I did it. Running a half marathon is tough, but don’t give up. You can do this. You can do this.

4. Enjoy your victory – My time was off what I expected and half way through I was really beating myself up for it. But once I crossed that finish line I thought “I don’t want time to steal my victory”. And so I didn’t. And I won’t. I ran my race, I did it well, and I succeeded.

Standing outside P.Terry's waiting for my burger and chocolate shake

5. Reward yourself – As a little extra motivation, promise yourself a reward once you complete your run. Maybe a nice night out. Maybe a massage. Or maybe those running shoes you’ve been eyeing for the last year:

*happy sigh*

For Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of this series, click here {Part 1 – The Physical and Part 2 – The Mental and Part 3 – The Emotional}.

*Disclaimer: All tactics/tips are my own personal opinions and not medically backed. Please seek medical advice before starting any running program.

I cried when I finished my half marathon last April. Well, I suppose I didn’t technically cry, since I was borderline dehydrated. But I did cry out. The last mile of my run was overwhelmingly emotional. A mixture of victory and defeat {I walked mile 11 when I wanted to run the entire race}. A relief at being done. A sense of accomplishment, mingled with a desire to do more.

Running is every bit emotional as it is physical and mental. Yet we tend to gloss of the emotions. But I’m here to tell you: It’s your party, cry if you want to.

Half Marathon Training {The Emotional}

 

1. Finding your center – Wow, if that didn’t sound New Age-y, I don’t know what will. But honestly, running can really help you focus, sort through your emotions, and recenter yourself. Just channeling your efforts into exercise can help clear your mind of “emotional baggage”. I attribute it to all the time aloneyet another reason I don’t listen to music while I run.

2. It’s a BIG deal – Whether you’re completing your goal of a 5K or a marathon, finishing is a big deal. You’ve likely spent weeks training – time away from your family, friends, work {and truthfully favorite t.v. shows}. And coming from a former non-runner, crossing that finish line means so much more than time and speed. It means accomplishing something great. Sometimes accomplishing something great is celebrated with tears.

3. You’re a BIG deal – Once you’ve transformed from non-runner to runner, something about you changes. You understand you can rise to the occasion. You can conquer. You can do something you never thought possible. Whispering in the mirror, “Sarah, you’re a runner” in the wee hours of the morning before I go running gives me the emotional {and mental} confidence to succeed. Despite the stretch marks. Despite the abs that will just never be the same. Despite whatever I’m feeling, I know I can do this. And you can to.

How do you feel after a run? Have you ever cried?

My half marathon is this Sunday. I’m going a little crazy this week with “Am I ready, am I not?”. But come Monday, it will all be done. And it will have so been worth it to wake up and say “I am a runner.

For Part 1 and Part 2 of this three part series, click here {Part 1 – The Physical and Part 2 – The Mental}.

*Disclaimer: All tactics/tips are my own personal opinions and not medically backed. Please seek medical advice before starting any running program.

When I started running long distances {5+ miles}, I was shocked at how the run was as mental as it was physical. I read in Runner’s World {which I think is perhaps the runner’s bible} that your body can keep running further than your mind. In other words, if your head’s not in the game, your body won’t be either. Over the last year, I’ve picked up some technics for staying trained mentally.

Half Marathon Training {The Mental} 

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1. Prepare for the worse – Understand that running 3 miles is not easy. Running 13.1 miles is even harder. I don’t want to scare or discourage you, but it’s true. However, for me, if I start the run knowing it’s not easy but can be done, then I feel prepared. It’s like walking into a final exam – I know it will be tough, but I’ve studied hard for the test and plan to succeed.

2. Find a cheerleader – When I feel like I can’t accomplish something, I need someone to encourage me. My someone is Jonathan. Time and time again he tells me how amazed he is that I’ve completed a long run, or gives me a pep talk before I leave for a run. Even if he is rarely my running buddy, Jonathan’s always in my head cheering me on, telling me I can go that extra mile.

3. Talk yourself through the run – I don’t listen to music when I run. Some of you may think that is crazy, but it’s true. Now before you think I’m some running purest, it has nothing to do with not wanting to listen to music, but simply that my iPod broke 1.5 years ago and I’ve never replaced it. Since then, I started talking myself through my runs. I try to run familiar routes and set visual goals {park is 1 mile, crossroad is 2.5 miles, etc}. Talking myself through my runs looks like: a) encouraging myself as I pass my visual goals, b) sorting through personal issues, and, c) praying/mediating. As you talk yourself through your run, you’ll find that you don’t actually need music to run, and it brings the {good} intensity of running to a whole new level.

4. Make some compromises – This last weekend I was suppose to run 8 miles. I woke up and loathed the idea of running 8 miles. I wanted nothing more than to lay in bed with my family and then s-l-o-w-l-y start the day. I knew I couldn’t miss a training day, so I compromised: do 3 mile hill training, followed by 5 mile bike training. In the end, I cut my training time in half so I could get back to my family {but thanks to those brutal hills – I was much more sore!}.

5. Cut yourself some slack – Not every run will be great. You’ll cut a run short. You’ll walk away feeling defeated. It is okay. I’ve walked away from a 3 mile run in tears with how poorly it went. And I’ve walked away from a 7 mile run feeling amazing. Just like having bad days, you’re gonna have bad runs. Understand that one run doesn’t determine your life as a runner – it’s getting back on the road that does.

Just keep your head in the game {even if it’s insane}.

For Part 1 of this three part series, click here {Part 1 – The Physical}.

*Disclaimer: All tactics/tips are my own personal opinions and not medically backed. Please seek medical advice before starting any running program.


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