Countdown To Race Day.

Here we are – just one week out from my first postpartum half-marathon of this season!  I figure it’s high time I talk a bit more in depth about my training, before it’s all over. 

I started “officially” training for the Rock N Roll Seattle Half Marathon back at the beginning of April.  Before that point, I’d only run a handful of times since I had Graham back in October.  But I’d say I was relatively comfortable running around three miles.

I ran this same race back in 2011, the summer after I had Cullen.  I showed up completely undertrained and unprepared, and I hobbled my way through to a 2:19 finish.  I was proud that I’d done it, but I had certainly wished I’d put in a better effort in the months leading up to race day.

So this time around, I set my goals not around a particular finish time, but more so on a level of preparation and confidence.  In a former life when I used to be a speedy distance runner, I always ran my best races after very consistent, dedicated training.  Imagine that! 

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So I made a training plan, added it to my Google Calendar, and did my best to stick to it.  Did I do all of my runs?  Not even close.  But I gave it a solid effort, and I’ll feel pretty good showing up to the starting line next Saturday morning.

I modified a Hal Higdon half marathon plan (which is what I’ve always used in the past!), but cut it down to three days of running each week (from the suggested four, which I knew would never happen).  Most of the time, I ended up doing two of the planned three runs.  And while I know that certainly isn’t hard core training, I still feel pretty good about it.

During the week, I typically ran with the double BOB.  If my two runs were supposed to be three and five miles, I’d try to tackle the latter.  And maybe I’m just looking for justification or excuses here, but pushing a 34lb stroller + 34lb toddler + 18lb baby = a serious workout.  So I felt okay about lumping two runs together with the added resistance.  And honestly, many weeks I just couldn’t make both weekday runs happen.

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But the one thing I did commit to – and carried out! – was my longer weekend runs.  I am proud to say that I did each and every one – regardless of traveling, Casey traveling, or whatever other weekend stuff we had going on.  When we went to Atlanta a few weeks ago, I ran seven miles in the pouring rain during nap time. 

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And two weeks ago, I squeezed a seven mile run into a day that also included toddler soccer, a Touch A Truck event for the kids, a preschool BBQ, and a baby shower dinner for a friend.  I was determined to get them all done, and I did!  And while it was not always fun or logistically easy at the time, it has made me feel far more confident going into next weekend.  I am very grateful to Casey for being a major reason I was able to tackle so much weekend mileage.

Last Sunday I finally entered double digit territory – tackling ten miles with my friend Lacey.  Casey dropped me off at her place after Cullen’s soccer practice, and we ran eight miles together along the Burke-Gilman trail.  She is training for her first ever half-marathon, and it’s so fun to have an occasional running buddy again!  We ran out and back to her house, and then I tacked on two solo miles at the end to run back to my house.  It was ugly, but I did it.

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Tomorrow is my last long run before the race, and I’m going to make it an early one so that I feel a bit better prepared for the 7am race start.  I’m not really sure what to expect for my pace and my finish time next week.  I won’t pretend to not have goals or hopes.  I would LOVE to finish under two hours, although I don’t know how realistic that is.  Regardless, I’ll know that I put in a much better training effort this year, and I feel good about that. 

Excited (and admittedly, nervous) for race day – one more week!