Prior to the Race

I started writing my race recap and this came out, so I decided to do a “prequel” to my race report.  I didn’t blog much during training, because life was kind of stressed and I felt I had nothing positive to say.  But here are a few thoughts I want to share about how my training went and where I was emotionally leading up to my second half marathon.  
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I’ve been itching to run another half marathon since last fall, and made it one of my New Years goals to run one before moving this summer.  I chose the local 10th Annual Run for the Warriors, because it was at a good time of year for me and because it’s the race wherein my husband first challenged me to push beyond a 5K and try the 10K.  I knew they also offer a 13.1 run as part of the race, so it was a perfect fit for me. 
At the same time, the ladies at Another Mother Runner announced they would be hosting a half marathon challenge.  A fifteen-week training plan, access to a running coach through a private forum for participants of the challenge, regular newsletters specific to the challenge, cool swag and a finishing medal and t-shirt stating “No Limits”.  Yep.  I asked my husband and he gave me the go ahead to sign up for it.  
I was all excited, began training and then all hell broke loose around me.  More than once I wanted to quit the training plan and quit the race.  “It’s too hard.”, I would think.  At the same time I knew I couldn’t quit.  I could only control part of what was going on around me, but I could definitely control whether or not I trained for and ran this race.  I had the support of my family to leave them on Saturdays for long runs and plenty of support through friends and the mother runner community involved in this challenge. 
So, I did not quit.  But boy I sure got nervous.  I had wanted to try losing maybe a little weight while I ran, but that’s where the stress hit and I didn’t lose anything.  I know it’s not realistic to lose weight while training, but I still wanted to try.  I knew the 20 pounds I’d gained were slowing me down and that was absolutely frustrating.  
However, every time I went out for a long run or finished a speed workout or even took part in a spin class I saw how strong I was becoming and I knew I would be able to finish.  It wasn’t always easy, but I was confident I would be fine…just slower. 
Facing the slow pace is what held me unable to accept and look forward to this race.  It’s sad, but I was vexed and felt like a failure for not being able to get my weight down and/or pick up speed.  Then about two weeks before the race I began to choose to enjoy this race and the fact that I would be able to finish – no matter the time. 
So, I was excited all the way until the night before.  Then the nerves hit like crazy and I was a mess.  It was almost comical how nervous I was.  I just wanted the whole thing to be over, so I could move on past the “slow and bad race”.  
Little did I know this race would be anything but bad and I would finish strong and smiling the entire way!
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