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Tales from the Pavement

March 8, 2012
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This weekend I completed my first 1/2 marathon since having my adorable daughter 8 months ago. Completing a half marathon no matter what the circumstances is a huge accomplishment. It takes time and dedication to train and prepare.  I should know because I wasn’t very dedicated to my training. Along with the baby, my son, my Etsy store, and the other general everyday tasks I’m not sure how I found the time to run at all.  I managed to squeeze in some shorter runs.  The furthest I had gone before the race was 6 miles. The night before the run my stomach was a bundle of nerves.  I almost decided to fake a stomach bug. But I didn’t and the next day I dawned my running clothes and headed to my old stomping grounds, Pullman.
 
To understand the true magnitude of my accomplishment you have to know my back story a little bit. I have never been athletic.  I didn’t play sports.  I have never ever resembled anything close to a runner.  And I really wasn’t overweight until college. Horrible time to be overweight.  It resulted in a lot of bad decisions and very low self-confidence.  When I came back to Spokane to do my student teaching I decided I was a little tired of being overweight.  I joined a gym and started working out.  I eventually hired a trainer. I was watching what I ate and slowly the pounds started come off.  The more weight I lost the more obsessed I became with working out. It probably took a year but I made it down to 150 pounds.  And I was loving life.  Not long after I met my husband.  When I got pregnant with my son I had the best intentions to keep working out.  I did for a few weeks maybe.  But it didn’t take long to fall into the trap of eating for two.  I gained 50 pounds with him.  And he was worth every pound.  After I had him I was on a mission to regain some of my former glory.  The keywords being some.  I started walking my neighborhood with him in his stroller. We walked almost every morning. I started to slim down again. I will never forget the day that my husband told me I looked skinny. I was elated.  My cousin Lori and I started walking together and she was the one that introduced me to this wonderful thing called jogging.  Remember the famous quote from the critically acclaimed “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”? Ron says to his buddies “Veronica and I are trying this new fad called jogging. I believe it’s ‘jogging’ or ‘yogging’, it might be a soft ‘J’, I’m not sure. But apparently you just run for an extended period of time.” That is exactly how I felt at the time.  But we would walk and jog together.  Eventually I could run for longer and longer.  My first real race was the S2S relay race.  We ran, as a team, from Spokane to Sandpoint.  I did well in my legs and that inspired me to try my first half marathon. I ran that in October of 2011 and finished in 2 hours and 12 minutes.  At the time of that race I was in the best shape of my life.  I felt fantastic.  About two weeks later I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. And I knew that I would have to start the whole process over again.  I did work out longer while pregnant with Belle.  But I was too tired of dieting to watch what I ate for too long.  I gained the same amount of weight with her as I did with my son.  8 months later I am about 20 pounds from where I would like to be. This will bring us back to my ½ marathon. Hope you enjoyed that detour.
 
So Saturday it was a clear cold morning.  We met at my cousins to drove as a group down to Snake River Canyon.  It was a nice drive down.  We had some time to chat along the way.  Once we got down there we time to check in and get ready for the race. My nerves had dissipated and I was excited and ready to start running.  My friends were far more prepared for this race than me so it didn’t take long for me to be on my own.  The first few miles my body was looking for its sweet spot.  Everything felt tight and stiff.  Around mile 2 my friend Kim ran by and we got to chat for a few minutes.  It was nice to distract myself from what I was feeling.  She left me too (but that’s okay).  By mile 4 I was feeling much better.  I felt like my legs had stretched out and warmed up. People from the Pullman area will know how beautiful the Snake River Canyon is.  We were running with the river on one side and rolling gray, brown, and yellow hills on the other.  I loved the neutral palette that set the scene for the race.  Runners brightly colored attire popped out against the background.  I really wanted to have my camera.  Leave it to me to find a way to carry my camera on a 13.1 mile run.  Maybe by next year I will have created something that will let me do just that.  This was an out and back course.  The turnaround point seemed to come pretty quickly.  It took me 1 hour and 12 minutes and my pace was 10 minutes and 20 seconds.  I thought was pretty decent.  And at that point I hadn’t walked yet.  I ran through the turn around and started to make my way back.  By mile 9 I had to walk.  From then on it was kind of brutal.  The wind picked up and I was getting to the point that I wanted to just be done.  I kept going running a little and walking a little.  My pace dropped to 12 minutes and 30 seconds.  I knew that once I could see the finish line that would be the motivation I needed.  I did get a second wind when it came in site and ran the final mile.  I was so happy to see my running friends waiting for me.  It was an amazing feeling to cross that finish line at 2 hours and 44 minutes.  Not too shabby for my first ½ marathon.
 
The aftermath of this race was much rougher than the running itself.  I should have brought some gel or gummies for during the race.  I tried eating right after and that didn’t work out so well.  It took me until Wednesday to feel like my stomach was back to normal and Sunday I had to take a nap.  During those days I said I wouldn’t do the Windermere ½ in two months.  I am starting to reconsider.  I think that I need another race to keep me motivated to keep running.  Without it I can see myself getting lost in my other new ventures.  And I so badly want to get rid of some more of this baby weight. Plus running is a break for me.  When I was in the zone I was loving it.  I was alone.  No one wanted anything from me.  It was quite.  It was very oddly peaceful.  That’s one of the biggest reasons I love to run. It’s a wonderful escape. 
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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 8, 2012 9:49 am

    Way to go Liz!

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