About a year after the birth of my youngest son, I decided it was time to get serious about being healthy. I was like most young kids/ teenagers and involved in sports and then somehow a few years into college, I just gave up. I spent most of my twenties being inactive and eating a variety of crappy food and drinking way too much beer. It was fun, but it was time to get back in shape…mentally, physically, and spiritually. So I did what was easiest and most convenient, I started biking. This was the most convenient, seeing as my husband has been in the bicycle industry for the past 17+ years and could fully support my adventure. After a year of towing my kids in the chariot and cruising around the neighborhood, it was time to start running again. Talk about challenging! I could barely make it 1 mile without feeling completely breathless. Where did my fitness go?! Note to self: You can not take 10 years off of running and just pick it right back up where you left off.
So, a year after that, I signed up with a girlfriend to do my first race in over 17 years. I decided on the Irongirl Duathlon, 2mi run, 22mi bike, 2mi run. It was just what I needed to get serious about my commitment to health, to cycling, and to my ever-challenging, running. It was amazing! It was addictive. It gave me a purpose to my “training”. I ended up finishing 147 out of 862. I have to admit it, I did awesome, but now I needed to try again.
On Sept. 26, 2010 I did my second Irongirl Duathlon and came in 38th out of 987 finishers. It just proves that hard work pays off and I also had some bad ass race wheels to help me power up the hills:)
What to do next? I am now addicted and need more.
I decided to really push the envelope and signed up for my first half-marathon. Not only had I never ran more than 4 miles, but I was going to do this thing in January, in Minnesota. Why not?! Could it really be any harder?
It forced me to do two things I am very uncomfortable with: 1. being outside when it is really cold and 2. run for 2 hours. I followed a very structured 12-week training plan that had me running 3-4 days and cross-training (ie spin-class) 2 days a week. Guess what? It worked. I increased my mileage by 1 mile per week and I didn’t die. In fact, I liked it. I enjoyed the weird looks from people in their cars when I was running on -4F days. Side note: why would anyone get mad at someone for exercising?! Some people shook their fists at me for being on the road, but those were the same people eating a McDonald’s sandwich and drinking a Coke while driving by me. I even had someone speed up and splash me with a huge puddle of winter sludge on one run. I didn’t care, okay I did, but I felt alive and healthy.
On January 29, 2010 I ran my first half-marathon. I finished in 1:48:49. You may be thinking that is not too shabby for a first timer. Now is when I admit to the world that Securian accidentally shorted the race by 1 mile. 😦 I guess I have to do another one:)