Here I am, five weeks after our little Nell's arrival and exactly nine weeks from the Nike Women's Half Marathon in DC. To say I'm anxious about the latter is an understatement. While I'm not exactly “freaking my head off” as my 4-year-old would say, but I am definitely worried about how, exactly, I am going to muscle my way through 13.1 miles in mere weeks.
When I signed up for the race, I was about five months pregnant and still running rather regularly, and swiftly, I might add. A half-marathon, while not a drop in the bucket, was totally doable...then. Now, with my longest run in months measuring just 4.5 miles, I'm very behind where I should be training-wise. I sat for an hour today trying to adjust a half-marathon training plan (which I've used before) according to my current fitness levels. But, in the end, I filed it away and decided that I'd just have to wing it for a while until I've built up a base solid enough to even start a serious program.
I admit, I'm a touch jealous when I read Tweets and FB statuses about fellow runners logging 15, 20, and even 30 mile runs (OK, not envious of the 30 mile runs...that's just nuts). When half-marathon training last year, I got to the point where 10-mile-plus runs were just so, well, familiar. Today? I need to give myself a serious pep talk to get past the 4-mile hump. I'm just hoping that with every run moving forward, my body will adjust and I'll get back to that place, both mentally and physically, where running--especially running long--is not so intimidating.
The silver lining? On my run today, I dipped under the 8-minute mark for a portion of my third mile. And that's all because I spotted a woman with an Ironman visor about 400 meters in front of me and made it my business to pass her, which I did. Once a competitor, always a competitor, post-baby or not.