At the age of 32 and with three kids ages eight and under, I ran a half marathon for the first time in my life. Yep, the whole 13.1 miles. I’ve done hard things but running Nebraska’s Good Life Halfsy, this was easily the hardest.
My husband and I have kept our physical health and fitness on our list of priorities for about seven years now. We do our best to eat well and work out at home almost daily. But run? That’s a different ballpark for us that we don’t play in often. How did we decide to run for 13 straight miles on a random (and thankfully beautiful) Sunday in early November? Well, you can call it peer pressure, but the good kind if there ever was one.
Two of my sisters completed a half marathon in Lincoln at the beginning of the year. If you finished the Good Life Halfsy, too, you ended up with three metals. They wanted the three and also decided to convince, no, encourage my husband and me to join them. These are the same two sisters of mine who somehow got us to participate in a full 75 Hard. They must be secretly trying to get rid of us or something. Or just have a very silly way of trying to help us be the best that we can be.
Nonetheless, we signed up.
Again, my husband and I are both in pretty good shape for our age. But, WE ARE NOT RUNNERS. We immediately knew we needed a plan to prepare and train. And we were going to have to do it all around two full-time jobs, his college classes, and raising our three sweet kiddos.
Here’s how we did it.
Trusted good ‘ole Pinterest
We started here by searching for a training calendar that accommodated our needs and schedule. Based on when we signed up, we decided on a 16-week plan, but there are a variety of options in terms of how far out you want to start preparing. There are even people out there who lose bets and just have to go run one without training. . . HIGHLY not recommended! We also had to consider the time of year we were running and when we would be doing our longer runs. Because we don’t have a treadmill, they would all have to be outside and with our work schedule and the kids’ activities, long runs (anything more than 5 miles) had to happen on Saturdays.
Picked a Route
At the time of training, we did not have a treadmill. Every run had to be outside but we were not going to push our three kids during those runs. Sure, the challenge of it before the race would have probably made the actual day seem like a walk in the park. But can you imagine a kid being entertained enough in a stroller for 90 minutes? It’s possible, but not enticing. Thankfully, we live in one of the surrounding neighborhoods of the new Gretna Crossings Park and it has a great set of trails to log miles. We needed to be able to stay close to home in case the kids needed us, but also not get bored out of our minds running around the same block up to 10 times during a single run.
Continued to Weight Train
Lifting is already my favorite so I was all on board when the training calendar said to keep lifting to help build muscle strength and endurance. It also helps the recovery of the muscle connecting tissues and cardiovascular health. It’s very important to always listen to your body, though! As much as I wanted to train to a T, I did get sick, our muscles did get really sore, and we did have to skip a few training days to give our body the rest it was asking us for. But we still crossed the finish line.
Did our BEST and Forgot the Rest
We prepared mentally and gave ourselves grace in all areas. This was going to be one of the most challenging things we had ever put our bodies through. We ran 11 miles in our preparation for the race and we FELT it the next day. So we were prepared for what was to follow after we completed the half. To my own disbelief, I made it through the whole day of work after the race. Our bodies got familiar with running as we completed every mile each week so our bodies didn’t fail us during the actual race. And we trusted that we would cross the finish line, which is exactly what we did and we got some pretty cool metals to show for it.
Do all moms need to run a half marathon? Absolutely not (but I’d happily encourage you through it if it’s something you’re contemplating).
Can all moms do hard things? Absolutely YES!
And that’s what this half marathon was for me. A way to challenge my body and mind. Something to prove to my kids that putting your mind into something and then dedicating the work towards it means that you CAN do it. And maybe a little bit of me caving into yet another insane idea that my sisters had for me. Just don’t expect to see me diving into a 26.2 mile full marathon anytime soon!