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Friday, November 4, 2016

COUCH TO 13.1

In August of 2015, when Grace was 6 months old, I knew that I wanted to start incorporating exercise into my daily life. I wasn't ready to leave Grace in a gym daycare facility and trying to exercise around Andrew's work schedule was not ideal (he leaves the house at 4:30 every morning! I could go in the evenings, but I like having time with him then and have no motivation to work out that late in the day) so I decided I needed a jogging stroller. Andrew wasn't as quick to jump on that bandwagon since A) we already had two (awesome) strollers and B) good jogging strollers are pricey! I started watching the swap/sale pages on Craigslist and Facebook and quickly came across a BOB Revolution. Perfect! Unfortunately, I didn't find the motivation to actually start a real running regimen. I used the stroller for walks around our neighborhood but that was about the extent of it.


 
Fast forward to April of 2016: Andrew and I took a trip to Nashville. Our trip happened to coincide with the Rock 'N Roll half and full marathon. After a few cocktails (and apparently a contact runners high) we both declared that we were going to run a half marathon. We got back to KC and started following the Hal Higdon novice training plan. We signed up for a half in Marion, Kansas that would take place in mid-August. In late May, I ran a 5K because I had never ran in a race before. Yes, you read that right, I signed up for a half marathon without ever running a race. I absolutely loved it! I had been running all of my training runs on weekdays with the jogging stroller so I was pleasantly surprised with my time, but I also loved the camaraderie that surrounds a race. So we both signed up for a Memorial Day 5K the following weekend.
 
My first (and only) race with the stroller

 Andrew quickly realized that he hated running. His knees hurt, he would start out way too fast and then stall out after a few miles, and he says he never found his natural pace or hit a runners high. I was the exact opposite. The more I ran and the longer my runs got, the more I loved it. I had stumbled into something that I was doing just for me and I found such peace from that. As a wife and mother, it's so easy to give all of yourself to your family. Running gave me time each week that I was doing something just for me. It helped clear my head, I loved feeling my body getting stronger, and I truly enjoyed doing regular physical activity. It was so nice to have found a regular workout activity that I could add in to my daily life that didn't involve organizing childcare for Grace. She was such a trooper through all of my training!
 

Stroller Fan // Stroller Liner that I used is sold out, similar here

 Andrew quit the training at the beginning of July. It was making him miserable and following through on a (slightly intoxicated) statement was not worth it. We traveled down to Marion (about a 2.5 hour drive) the Friday before my first half marathon. We were staying with our good friends, the Schroeders, who live there. Grace went down like normal at bedtime that night. At midnight, chaos started. She absolutely would not stay asleep. We tried rocking her, we tried laying her with us, I tried laying beside her pack 'n play, we tried giving her milk (something we hadn't done in the middle of the night in at least 10 months) and nothing would keep that child asleep. We never had a night that bad when she was a newborn. At one point, Andrew suggested we just drive home because he didn't see how my body would be able to handle the physical exertion of running 13.1 miles. I declined. At 5 AM, after roughly 3 hours of sleep, I had a cup of coffee, got dressed, and ran my 1st half marathon. I missed my "B" goal by 3 minutes. My "A" goal was to finish!
 
Marion, KS "Run for your Momma" Half Marathon. Official time 02:13.

 After the Marion half marathon, my knees hurt and I endured about 3 days of soreness, but I went forward with renewed excitement. I treated myself to a shiny, new jogging stroller and Grace and I kept hitting the pavement 3-4 days a week. I continued to run, hoping to work on my time, and get ready for the KC half that takes place in mid-October every year.
 

10K in DTLS

 The KC half marathon and full marathon is notoriously hilly and normally at the beginning of the dip into cold temperature gearing up for a Midwest winter. This Fall has been uncharacteristically warm so far and the half marathon was no different. It was hillier than I had anticipated and unseasonably warm and humid that morning. I still shaved 4 minutes off of my first half time, but also missed my "goal" by 4 minutes.
 
KC Half Marathon. Official time, 02:09.

 I can't decide if my (race) running is over for this year or if I'll try to squeeze one more in before the holidays. It's been nice not feeling like I have to run on certain days or must hit exact mileage, but my scheduled self has also missed having guidelines to follow. Either way, my journey with running is just beginning. I submitted my registration for the 2017 Chicago marathon this morning. Unless you pre-qualify (which I don't, since I've never ran a marathon) then it's basically a lottery. 53% of applicants get chosen, so we shall see! I'm so thankful to have found a form of exercise that I love. It makes me happy that Grace will grow up seeing that her parents incorporate exercise into their lives. And, it helps that I get to bring my adorable running buddy along with me whenever I like!
 
JJ Cole Toddler BundleMe // BOB Weather Shield // Grace's Hat + Mittens
 

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