Sunday, July 7, 2013

It takes a (running) community to get me on my feet

Who doesn't have a crazy life? It might be pretty peaceful and full of great people, fond memories and every other warm and fuzzy thought... but it can get crazy. How the heck to balance it all?

A general recap of last week would include hubby's birthday, a killer long run and planning a course for my local chapter's Moms RUN This Town virtual race. I'll leave out the recap on laundry and tough stains.  
The Mario and Princess figurines were not made of fondant, but that cute 1up mushroom is!
Starting out with something sweet, Bug-a-boo helped me whip up a cake for the guy who does it all.  With out hubby's unwavering support,  I can tell you I would have quit running by now.   So for his birthday, we whipped up a toasted butter pecan cake with cream cheese frosting and then covered with marshmallow fondant.  For my first cake with fondant, I was pretty happy with it... and it didn't taste icky (like typical fondant does).  [Recipes linked in the text above.]   

This week has had me reflecting a lot on my running and how I got here.  There's that proverb that "it takes a village" to raise a child, but it takes a village to make me a runner! 

Last Sunday, I left the house in the cool of the morning to get in a long run of 6 miles.  I hate out-and-back running and wore out looping the neighborhood, so it seemed like a good idea to leave squeakers (the baby) with hubby and hit the course with Bug-a-boo in the jogging stroller and meet up with them at the end of the 6 miles... have a little picnic, rehydrate and get a ride back home to the air conditioning.  Well... some plans are better in thought than in action. 

I left the house way later than I had hoped (around 9am) and the heat had already set in.  On top of that misery, I was just completely unprepared.  I had no idea hubby had packed snacks for me and Bug-a-boo in the bottom of the stroller and I had completely forgot to put sunblock on myself.  After 2 1/2 miles, I realized I planned my course to go by a friend's house.  I called her to "borrow" some sun block, a sweat towel and a refill on water...  stopping long enough to fuel up, it became apparent that I had better just call it quits.  I had the shakes, chills and was not thinking clearly.  I got three miles in and felt like I was cooking.  My back looks like it too! 

Stay hydrated people! 

Without a friend willing to help me out that day, I get nervous speculating if I could have gotten heat exhaustion or really compromised myself and my daughter out there. 

Lesson learned and I am so grateful for good friends... and that they live so close!

I picked up the remaining three miles that evening and then June left and July started!  With July, it had been my goal to run 13.1 miles in the month.  The WHOLE month to get that distance down.  That was my goal in April when I first learned of Moms RUN This Town and signed up for the virtual race.  After some encouragement from friends and a pretty good response to others wanting to do the virtual race with me, I started a local chapter.  Now it's time to start racing and logging miles for the virtual.   

I had some serious doubts in April about my stamina and if I could accomplish the 13.1 miles in time.  I wasn't sure I could handle more than a 5k once a week!  After reviewing training guides, I latched onto Hal Higdon and went for it.  So that I couldn't back out of the commitment, I signed up for a half this October ("Run Like Hell").  It will be the 10th anniversary of this race and it's the 2 year anniversary of my first race ever. (Which happens to be the 5k "Run Like Hell" in 2011.)  I'm pretty jazzed about it.  I try not to interject that "I'm running a half this October." into every conversation, blog post and facebook status update. 

Anyway....  I've been working on a course loop for my gals who signed up to do this with me, and with training in general... I completed my miles in 7 days!  This morning I finished up the final mile and hubs was there with the medal to reward my hard work.  Seriously, this guy needs a medal for being super dad and most supportive cheerleader. 

This morning a friend sent me an email saying simply "I need to know how you started running."  Already I've been wandering down nostalgia lane with my running shoes in tow, so it turned into a long email that I won't bore you with too.  Suffice it to say, I wouldn't be here without cheerleaders, awesome friends backing me up and running partners willing to slow their pace but challenge me to pick up mine.  It has been an emotional couple of weeks... discouragement from the heat, relief in friends and running mates, leaning on my wonderful husband and completely bewildered at how far I've come these last few months and my accomplishments with training. 

Thank you everyone.  I hope you all know who you are and that you have helped me tremendously. 

     Who or what is your running community?  What helps keep you going when things get tough?


  1. Wonderful work! Good job on out-running your own expectations of yourself!! And thanks for sharing the lesson on hydration and being prepared- I'm not used to doing such long runs (preparing for a 10K versus a 5K) so I'm not used to thinking about working out for an hour or more at a time.

    1. :D Thanks Dayna! It is a completely different mindset, and I have to get used to it too. Lesson number 2 from yesterday: Don't run right after dinner. Digesting food and running 4+ miles made my tummy not so happy. :) But- sometimes you sneak runs in when you can and shovel food down to hurry and get out the door before something comes up to take you away from it... Good luck too on your 10K, you're going to rock it! ;-)