Yesterday I ran 4 miles, bringing me to 36 for the week. It would have been only a 3 mile run, but Husband pointed out as I was leaving that I was 35 weeks 3 days pregnant and joked that I would be falling short in getting my weekly mileage to correspond with my pregnancy weeks. Couldn’t have that, of course. But I also couldn’t stand leaving my mileage at 35.5. The 0.5 would irk me too much. From now on though, at least until this baby ejects, I really want to be better about… tapering? Slowing down? Taking it easy?
I’m not sure that any of those are just right. I guess I want to be in a place where no matter if I’m putting in 30 miles a week, or 10, I am happy and grateful to be active and running and feeling good. I cannot say how thankful that I am to still be running, even though it does lead to silly decisions like… you know, sending in my half marathon registration for the event in 3 weeks.
Truth be told, I don’t particularly want to run a half marathon.
I would be happy with the free 5K that starts right by our house in two weeks. I would gladly skip the 11-12 mile long run this weekend and the half marathon itself. The thing is, I, the runner who by nature have not really sought out running with others or enjoyed it much, have completely changed my tune over the past year.
Even though I know how good it is to run with other people, not just the “safety in numbers” thing, but also because it’s good for training to have your slower friend days and your speedier friend days (and if you are female, run a 1:25 half marathon, and live nearby I would love to become your “slower friend” once this baby is born – PLEASE.) I just have not been a fan. Give me my running shoes and my ipod and I am happy to run alone. Or at least I was until last year when training wasn’t going as well as I would have liked. It was running with people then that kept me going. Once I ended up pregnant, and as the pregnancy has progressed, it seems like the only thing that has me lacing up my shoes (Yes, if I bend right I can still lace up my own shoes, thanks.) at 6:05 am and getting out into the cool and dark Autumn mornings.
Somewhere in this new “running with people” stage of my life, one of my most faithful running partners went from running 3-5 miles of my long runs with me to signing up for her first ever half marathon (the one coming up in a few weeks). I know she already wanted to run one but I would like to think that I had just a little part in pushing her over the ledge into actually committing to a half marathon. Having never EVER run with anyone consistently while they were training, it has been fun and amazing to see my friend change as a runner. I have missed only a couple of her long runs and got to be there for the new milestone of 10 miles a few weeks ago and (presumably, baring any glitches in my anatomy) will be there for her first 11 mile run this Saturday. We were also joined by a third friend and hopefully we can all make it through the half marathon, come mid-October. Together. Without me going into labor.
I don’t think I would run a half marathon this late in pregnancy for the fun of it (though I think it will be fun and funny). And yes, I if I can actually make it to the start AND the finish line I will be quite proud and pleased with myself and my body for what it has accomplished. But at this point, the miles run with a friend in training is really what pushed me, in the end, to sign up. I could be there, of course, for the finish line fun. If I am injured, or too tired, or in pain, or (0% chance of this) have a baby by then, that is where you will find me, yelling like crazy. But there is just something about putting in the time running with another person. I feel invested in the experience and for once actually feel like it’s about the journey and not the destination (this is usually Husband’s line and it makes me want to smack him). There have been too many dark mornings, too many conversations, too many times where one or the other of us pulls the other through rough miles or tired days. You can’t set out, putting one foot in front of the other for that many miles and not want to be there for the final experience, even if mile 13 is all uphill.
Call me crazy, but I have to say that I am very excited about running this half marathon. Here’s hoping for a few more weeks of problem-free running and no crazy baby deliveries by the side of the trail in a few weeks. :-)