Half Marathon Training Week 10: Growth, Lessons, Learnings

After a lifetime of running… the growth, lessons, and learnings are still coming. This week my patience and faith manifested itself once again in the form of fitness. I believed what I could do. I declared what I would do. Now it’s my responsibility to share my story in hopes of motivating others to stay patient and faithful.

Let’s jump right into last week’s training journal.

Monday: Spin at CYCLEBAR. I’ve worked up to the 6 lb bar during the arm circuit. I added an additional 20 minute strength and core routine at home.

Tuesday: Not. Feeling. It. At. All! But I put on my shoes, grabbed my music and drove to the boardwalk. Mentally I had prepared myself for 4 easy miles. Instead, I ended up with 6x800s and a hell of a run! One of the best workouts in a long while. The description that accompanied my instagram post went like this:

“Don’t confuse not wanting to run for the feeling of needing to do it. Imagine my surprise after I talked myself off the couch and onto the boardwalk. I was prepared to run 4 easy miles. I ended up w my fastest 5k in a long time with 6×800’s. Once I started, I decided to run on goal half marathon effort. My last 800 was paced 1min faster than goal. All you have to do is show up kids! Your body not only knows what to do, it’s ready to do it. With that, I’ve released an idea of race day time. One run doesn’t sum up a season. I’ve nailed workouts for over 10 weeks and I am in the best shape I’ve been in 2 years. Vertigo and coming off the birth control can shove it. I’ve trusted myself. I’ve reclaimed my health my way, without medication and with a healthy approach to nutrition and exercise. I’m on the other side, letting my might and love for wellness shine.”

My go-to half marathon training shoe, Brooks Launch

Wednesday: Upper body strength and standing core circuit at home – 30 minutes. With a 9 miler coming up in a few days, I deliberately decided to remove an additional spin from my schedule. Training is just as much about taking things away that don’t serve you as it is about pushing through the tough times. This week I had opportunities to implement and practice making choices for both. I ended the day with a dinner date out with fries, nachos, and sandwiches.

Thursday: Annual training team relay night. It’s an all out 400 which meant I needed some warm up miles on my own and a solid drills session for any chance of turnover. The night was personally fulfilling on a fitness level. Even more so was seeing new team members and clients test their limits and hit paces they would have never had the courage to even dream about! 

Friday: Wedding prep with MOB. An early pizza dinner out and a long evening stretch session at home.

Friday Lunch, Zeke’s Cali Poke’ Bowl

Saturday: My run buddy would be missing due to travel. It was just the push I needed. By Thursday morning, I had decided to run Saturday’s 9 as race practice…alone. And it felt like Shamrock race day weather too with sustained winds and 38° at the boardwalk. Being in between pace groups, I committed to sandwich myself between the two. Trailing off the back of the group 15 seconds ahead of my pace for the first half. That was a smart and phenomenal plan. As I ran, I felt great so I took a page out of my own book, and hid the watch. I let it roll and didn’t look. I just sunk into my 80’s playlist and let the miles tick by one after the other. I ran out for 4.5 miles where I took a short pause to take nutrition and modify my wardrobe. I doubled back and with 2 miles to go, that lovely tail wind from the start was now in my face. UGH! Some of my famous racing words to others have always been “you can do anything for two miles!” And that’s what I did. I leaned into the wind, pull myself up and over the Rudee Bridge with my head down.  I focused on maintaining my effort, without worrying about the watch time. Block by block I made my way North back towards Murphy’s. I felt my watch hit 9. I stopped the clock, stopped my music, caught my breath and took a peak. 9:17 average for 9. I literally was overwhelmed with tears. Overwhelmed with accomplishment.

Debilitating vertigo hit me 3 days after Shamrock last year. We underwent months of doctors appointments, tests, and research. It wasn’t until June before we discovered my birth control pill had taken it’s toll on me in the form of a migraine disorder. A major possible side effect know one tells you about. I was so angry at what I had unknowingly done to my body. Immediately I took myself off of that pill and began my laser focus to recalibrate my hormone levels, heal my insides, and rebuild my stamina and strength. I moved quickly with nutritional changes, meditation, and a new fitness regiment.

Now, with 5 weeks to go until Shamrock, I’m beyond proud of this non scale victory of wellness.  I wanted to be in sub 2 shape by race day (9:09 pace). That level of cardio fitness. That’s where I am use to being and where I belong. When I saw the 9:17 avg Saturday morning, I was flooded with gratitude and joy. I’ve had comebacks before and know I will have more plenty more. That’s the great thing about fitness. It’s always there to be whatever you need for that season. I tackled this journey differently than before. I didn’t worry. I didn’t hustle. I didn’t go hard. I allowed patience, I allowed grace. I allowed time to work it’s magic.

We are four months out from our wedding. Jason knows what this means to me. Before I took off Saturday morning he said to me “Run Strong today, ok?” That stuck with me for all 9 miles. He said it because he believed I could do it. He knew I could step enough out of the comfort nest and trail that faster group. He knew I could do it by myself that day. He knew I was ready.

“There can be a hundred people in the room…and you just need 1 to believe in you” – Lady Gaga

I thanked him for those words after we got home. And followed that up with “just as I am getting back to where I want to be, we will be getting on that baby train!”

I feel sure that will be the biggest comeback yet. I think that is what this journey was for. Running has certainly taught me patience when it comes to my own body. Whatever and however the motherhood journey is served up, I must remember that. I’m grateful for the growth, I’m thankful for my learnings.

Post run self care came in the form of compression from Restore Hyper Wellness and Cryotherapy.  I capped off the night with a margarita and an 8 ounce steak dinner with friends at Hearth. 

Sunday: Coffee, couch church, and conversations of prayer for the week. Who are we praying for? What’s our responsibility in each situation? Where can we find joy and protect our bliss while supporting others? We stocked the house full of nutritious food, planned meals for the week, and took time to fully appreciate the need for a true rest day. 

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