Run Mama! Run!

"Run Mama! Run!" Those were the words I heard from the jogging stroller being pushed by my Husband as my mobile cheering section accompanied me on my first ever race (as an adult) back in the summer of 2010.  It was a 5K.  Took me almost 45 minutes to complete it.  Last fall, I undertook another 5K, this time finishing stronger, with a good friend stepping in for my daughter...and also chanting "run Mama! run!"  I have no idea what the other runners thought, but the fact that Mandi stayed with me while everyone else took off (my Husband went with my blessing to get our daughter back for her fun run) will forever keep her in my heart.  Thanks to the cheering of Evie, Mark, and our friend Mandi, I ran that race almost 10 minutes faster than my first!

I had started running in the winter of 2010 right after I finished singing and dancing in a very taxing musical.  As part of the ensemble for Curtains, I had a lot of dancing to do for a broken down, old dancer.  Thanks to my orthopedic surgeon and cortisone shots (oh my goodness you should have seen the size of those needles), my knee and hip held up and I actually got in better shape and lost a few inches!  After the gains made during the 2 1/2 months of the musical, I didn't want to go backwards.  My dear Hubby had been running for about a year at that point and was over the moon that I wanted to join him in that endeavor.  We went out for a run one morning before the musical was over and I made it almost 2 miles straight.  I am not sure which one of us was more surprised.  Mark now has more of an appreciation for the amount of work that goes into those dancing numbers.  He put together a little training routine for me, and off I went!  One of the women who had been in the show with me asked to join me on my morning runs, so I had company for a year - which is nice especially when you're running first thing in the morning while it is still dark.

The two 5Ks mentioned above happened, and then Evie and I went to cheer Daddy on at the inaugural Hershey Half Marathon in the fall of 2010.  Then Mommy opened her big mouth. "I think I'll do that race with you next year Honey."  I mean come on, a whole year to prepare?  No sweat.  Well, actually, A LOT OF SWEAT.  I kept up with my three morning a week running, no set training plan would come about until closer to the race.  I struggled from time to time.  Muscles would get sore, I did another musical that had a physically demanding number for me, and I might have put a few more pounds back on.  Nevertheless, I kept plugging away...something I've never been good at or known for.  But, with the love and support of my family, I kept putting one foot in front of the other.

My running partner out paced me and wanted to be able to get better workouts in, so we parted ways as fellow runners.  Right about that time, Mark handed me my half marathon training schedule.  As I looked down I started to see numbers like 8 miles...9.5 miles....12.5 MILES?!  Oh my goodness I thought.  What have I done?!  At that point, my longest run had been 4.5.  It was a long 16 weeks of training.  As the numbers climbed, it became increasingly difficult not just to finish the run, but find the time to fit it in.  Things like this kept me going though:

This was on the front porch with flowers, a bottle of Gatorade, and gummy bears for me during a longer run

The support of my baby girl and my incredible hubby definitely made it easier.  Plus, knowing that I was setting a good example for Evie kept me putting one foot in front of the other.  I completed almost all of my training schedule, only missing from time to time to rest my legs or training was trumped by Mommy-life.

Sunday October 16th dawned cool and bright.  Mark and I reported to the starting line.  I was apprehensive, but confident in my training.  I kept reminding myself that the first 2-3 miles of any run were generally pretty rough.  Regardless, at about mile 1.8, I was already taking a walking break and crying about it.  I pushed on to the first water station, and through the park.  Miles 3-7 were pretty good, as they usually are.  8-9 were tough, but still okay.  From 10- the end, it was ugly.  I passed the 2 miles to go sign crying, just like I did on the way out.  No matter my mood or attitude, Mark was encouraging and supportive.  I tried to remember all of the racing advice from him, from my father, and any other runner who tried to help me prepare.  In the end, I completed the race in 3 hours and 7 minutes.  I had hoped to complete it in less than 3 hours, I had hoped to not walk quite as much as I did, but in the end, I DID IT!  I kept moving forward for 13.1 miles.  I never stopped, only walked from time to time.  While I did this for me, for my health, I also wanted to run with my husband - to join him in that journey.  I think I am well on my way.


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