Hello from Indianapolis! Many months ago, I signed up for the 500 Festival Mini Marathon and hoped that six months would be enough time to train and get back into racing shape.
Now just days before the race, I think six months is definitely plenty of time to build up that level of fitness if you have a dedicated training plan and stick to it.
I made the training plan. I didn’t do it.
Postpartum running has been sort of a rollercoaster for me. When I was pregnant, I had all these high hopes and big ideas about what it would be like to bounce back into running shape.
I thought I’d be out there with the jogging stroller, gliding along and pushing myself just like I used to. My recovery from childbirth took longer than expected, but more than that, I found it really hard to get my mental shape back in focus to run.
Even though I love running, I find now that my motivations have changed. There are only so many free hours in the day, and when I have to prioritize and choose how to spend them, I often find myself choosing family time over solo runs. Of course that is a choice that I made, and I’m okay with that.
Even more so, I’ve found it really hard to re-learn how to push myself. For over a year, between recovering from my car accident, and then exercising through my pregnancy, my instincts were to dial back and take it easy. In that time, I’ve forgotten how to work through pain and really push myself to the next level.
Now six months postpartum, I think I’m slowly finding my way back to a point where I’m ready to start challenging myself again. I don’t know that I’ll ever have the same relationship with running that I had before, and that’s okay. Now I have to share running with so many more parts of my life. But when I do actually hit the pavement and get those runs in, they feel that much more special.
When I first sat down to write this post (two days ago), my intention was to tell you that I’m not running the half-marathon this weekend. I didn’t properly train for it – my longest run was seven miles. And after mastitis last weekend and a lot of stomach trouble this week, I don’t feel very confident or prepared heading to the starting line.
We packed our bags last night, and I left my running shoes at home. And then just before our car pulled out of the driveway, I ran back in and grabbed my things. Just in case. We flew overnight last night from Seattle to Indianapolis. Cullen was really the only one that got much sleep!
But now that we’re here, I’m feeling the itch to run. I know I’m not physically prepared, and that it will be very challenging. But I’ve run a lot of races before, and a small (foolish?) part of me thinks my body will remember how to do this like it used to. We headed to the expo this afternoon to pick up my bib number!
Casey is going to be out there cheering, and plans to meet me around the halfway point. I am motivated, but I’m not stupid. If I am feeling bad at the halfway point, I’ll probably drop out. If I feel strong and confident, I’ll keep going. At this point it’s a game day decision.
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but if nothing else, it has at least given me the motivation to train well for my next race in June. Wish me luck!