I hate exercise. I am not a particularly thin person but I love food, so I have long battled my weight and wished that I was one of those people who loved some form of exercise so I could balance out my desire to eat yummy food and thus could stay healthy. Sadly, I am not. Exercise was never easy for me. I’m one of those people who has to drag themselves to the gym and force themselves to exercise. I always have been. Bookworms like me do not generally feel comfortable in the gym. And that adrenaline rush that people claim occurs after exercising, I believe that to be a myth. To top it off, I have several minor knee and leg issues for which I needed Physical Therapy (PT) a couple of times. So I never believed I would or could do any form of exercise and enjoy it. Which is why I was so surprised and grateful to the Jeff Galloway run/walk/run method seems to work for me.
I read many blogs about people who run the Disney races and claim they are not runners, yet they consistently run 10 minute miles (or less) and complete race challenges like the Dopey. I am not one of those. My goal is to not get swept, which means I need to run a sub 16 minute mile. I struggle with this. Sometimes a lot.
Last year N and I started out running adventures when we signed up for the 2015 Disney World Marathon. I’m not going to go into that as N already covered that here (It’s 3 parts so here is part 2, and part 3). But the gist is that N completed and I did 10K while 7 months pregnant. So this year, we are training for the Princess Half Marathon. And I really hope to complete. I have been really nervous about being swept.
Last year, I had to stop training after we had done 11 miles. For some reason, maybe due to the cold, or the fact that things are a little crazier this year, partly due to A and running with a stroller being more complicated, and partly due to the fact that I have a new job so I can’t easily run during the week, we have been pretty lax with our training.
On Sunday, the training schedule, Week 14, was for a 12.5 mile run. N and I had lost our two week advance of the schedule by taking a two week break but we figured we would be fine with an 11 mile run. I changed it to be a 12 mile. So we knew we had a big goal. I had also just gotten new shoes so I needed to break them in.
Sadly our warm winter months fled in fright from the freezing January which is now upon us so we ran in the mid 30s. So it was cold, but not too cold.
We started off doing pretty well. It had rained over the weekend but the NCR Trail where we like to run wasn’t so bad since most of the mud was frozen. We got to mile 6 and I felt good. I was very proud of myself as I had never gotten that far on the trail.
We turned around and were between the five and four mile marker (so we had run around 8 miles) when A started to fret and we realized that her pacifier, a cute lion Wubbanub. was no where to be found. After a quick search around the stroller, we grew concerned that A had thrown it overboard and we hadn’t noticed. So N ran back to the 6 mile marker to look for it. I continued back to the car, which was parked before the trail starts (so basically at 0 mile marker wise). We split up because N has always been a stronger runner than me and he thought he could easily run back, find the pacifier and catch up to me. When we run together, I slow him down considerably.
I took A heading toward mile marker 4 again, and N took off back to mile marker 6. He got there and did not find the pacifier. So I stopped and after some serious searching, found the pacifier underneath A. Apparently we had both thought the other one had checked in that spot, and no one had. So N and I were pretty frustrated. I told N to stop running at mile marker 2 and that I would come pick him up. That way he would only run 14 miles, not 16, and hopefully not injure himself.
I was really struggling at that point. I had reached the mile 2 marker and had to sit for a couple of minutes. It had gotten a lot colder, the mud had increased to crazy levels on the wheels so I was having to push the stroller really hard to keep it moving, me knee was hurting and it had started to snow.
Usually N and I keep each other going, and I had never run a distance run by myself before. (A thankfully sleeps while we run so I can’t really count her as company for the run.) All in all, it was not good. But I knew that I had to keep going, because N was behind me and needed to not overexert himself too much more than he already was.
I got to the car and picked him up, but I was in a lot of pain. After resting for the rest of the day, and the next, I am feeling better. But I am still recovering, my ribs hurt from where I was pushing to get the stroller moving, and my legs are super sore. Thankfully my knee got better after being iced and put in a brace for the rest of Sunday.
I am proud of myself. 12.2 miles is the furthest I have ever run and I did it. I finished in race time. Barely, but in race time.
If I can do that in horrible running conditions, I feel pretty confidant that I can complete the Princess Half. At the race, the weather should be nicer, N will be with me, we won’t have the stroller (Disney does not allow them for safety reasons so A will be with a sitter), there will be other runners, medical tents and the adrenaline that accompanies the exciting Disney Race (it’s what helped me complete a 10k last year after stopping my training 5 months before). So I am excited.
This was a crazy situation, but it leaves me feeling much more confidant about being able to complete this race than I was before. Unlike the training which has longer runs scheduled leading up to the race, (5 weeks from now!!) N and I will probably take it easy now. We may do a few more shorter distances (6 or so miles) but that is it.
Now we can worry about more fun things, like costumes!