Monday, January 23, 2012

Running Breakthrough

It feels good when you finally realize that a dream of yours is within reach.  It might take some planning, it might take some training, but to have that realization that yes you can do X, that's an incredible feeling.

I had such a breakthrough not too long ago.  I've been kicking around the idea of training for a full marathon for awhile.  It took me forever to convince myself I was capable of running a half marathon. Once I proved I could train and run one, I started thinking about a full marathon.  However 26.2 miles is a long way to run. I have way too much self-doubt about my abilities and my mental strength to fully commit.   It was something that I kept thinking about but wasn't ready to do.  Then when I found out I was pregnant I knew I wouldn't be able to train for a Spring marathon like I was thinking about.  I was ok with that.

Something crazy happened though.  While I'm still able to workout I'm having to pay close attention to my heart rate.  This means I'm running at a much slower speed than normal.  This also means that I've been able to keep up my distance and increase it for my weekly long runs.  I'm not putting as much effort into the runs, because I can't, so my legs aren't as tired and my body isn't fatigued and I can go further.   Up until recently the longest distance I have ever run consecutivly was 13.1 miles, a half marathon. 

A couple of weekends ago I decided that my goal was to run 12-16 miles for my long run.  12 was doable as that's what I've been doing.  16 was a pipe dream.  I came up with 16 because the route I run at a local park is roughly 4 miles, although I've been adding extra routes in to make it a tad longer.  So 12 mile would mean 3 loops, 16 miles would be 4 loops.  Hmm.   I met up with a couple of othe women for the first time.  The one runs slower so she offered to run with me most weekends since I've been lonly and missing my normal running group (I can't keep up with them right now).  She then found another girl who wanted to run with a group.   So we started out and they were super cool and stayed at the pace I needed to go.  We did 9 miles together because that's what their goal was for that day.  I was feeling good.  My legs were incredibly sore from the workout I had done the day before, but I felt good.  I ate part of a banana and headed out for another loop around the park.  I got close to my car and was at 14 miles.  I felt good.  I ran further and then decided to only push it to 15.  I do believe at that point my thought process was "You crazy f***, you're pregnant, what are you doing running 16 miles." 

When I hit 15 miles I stopped and walked  back to my car.  My legs were on fire, they were so sore from the previous days workout.  The rest of my body felt great.  My mental state was awesome. I've been dealing with a lot lately and have no way to relieve stress.  This run did it. Not only did I finally feel like I got in a good workout, I did 15 miles.  15!  Who would have ever though I could run for 15 miles?!  Nobody!

I was estatic. I was pumped. I got back to the car and looked at my phone and saw it was almost 11:30. I had been running for almost 3 hours.  I panicked. I called the husband thinking he was probably freaked out and when he answered I said "I'm alive".   When I said that I realized just how alive I felt. I felt on top of the world.  I was estatic.  I wanted to yell, I wanted to scream. I wanted to tell somebody but had nobody who would really care so I just had my own little happy party and patted myself on the back.  I just freaking ran for 15 miles and I felt great. I felt like I could have kept going.   I realized, for the very first time, that I could run for 26.2 miles. I could run a full marathon.  Sure, I might not be able to do it at the pace that I want to, but the first one is just about finishing isn't it?  Once I can finish a marathon I can work on pace for another one right?

This feeling, this feeling of realizing that you can accomplish something that you thought about doing but didn't really think you could achieve, that's the most amazing feeling in the world. 

I do realize that running 15 miles is probably not the best thing to do while pregnant, even though my body is fit and I've been keeping up with my workouts.  So I won't do it again.   I also realize that once Baby Girl arrives my priorities will change.  I realize that I'm not going to have 3+ hours to devote to running on the weekend.  I realize that training for a marathon takes a huge time commitment and I'm not going to be able to do that for awhile.  But that's ok.  I'm ok if I have to wait 2 or 3 or 4 years before I can train for a marathon.  Because I know I'll remember this run and I'll know how it felt to realize I could do it.


  1. Love it, Kris! You *can* do it! That's an exciting realization. Go get your dream, girl.

  2. ughh I want to run so bad but we are finaly getting winter her grr and treadmills are sooo boring! I need to get on it this week. Thanks again for the insperation.