A Fall Half Marathon

>> Friday, August 17, 2012

Happy Friday, folks! It's a dreary one here in upstate NY. But in a way, I like it. Leaves are beginning to fall (yes! already!), and my favorite season is now upon us. Autumn also means another racing season. One that isn't too humid for my liking.

Woo to the hoo!

I've signed up to run race the 1st annual Runner's World Half Marathon on October 21st. That's 9 weeks away, so I'm already completing week three of training. I'm following Hal Higdon's advanced training program, but cutting out Monday's run and lengthening a 3 mile run each week as I see fit.

Runs make up 5 days of my week. Rest, 2. I might consider adding some cross-training, but right now I'm trying to get back into the rhythm of serious training. It's an adjustment. My body is feeling it. I'm pushing myself. I'm ready to go outside my comfort zone again for the first time since I became pregnant 18 months ago.

Here's a glimpse . . .

I'm trying my best to follow this plan to a T, since I haven't been strict with my training since before having Ada. It's difficult to re-learn the discipline, but I think it will be rewarding in the long run. Still, I am taking liberties -- for example, this weekend calls for a 5K race. I'm doing that next weekend instead.

I ran my first double-digits run last weekend since June. It was tough and I almost gave up at mile 9 because it was hot and my legs were tired. Seeing 10 pop up on Stephen's Garmin was rewarding, though. I feel motivated to reach my sub-1:45 goal. A new PR for me, hopefully.

Otherwise, my runners club friends have been fantastic at keeping me accountable. I've had lots of company on training runs and kind words said in my direction. You gals are the best!

If you ever told me that nine months after having a baby I'd be back into my pre-pregnancy shape, or even fitter, I would have called you a liar. Now? I am a believer.

There won't be any more postpartum body updates. 9 months of pregnancy. 9 months after. There's no reason to dwell there any longer. No photos, since I look pretty much the same. (Plus, we took enough on Writing Chapter Three this week.) My weight, however, is now back where I started. Some of the time. I still waver in a three-pound range.

Eh. I'll admit, I do take pleasure in being back closer to "normal," even if I use a number as a gauge. I am starting to get definition in my abs again. But, seriously. None of this has been without struggle and frustration.

To pregnant or other postpartum women out there: Breastfeeding isn't a miracle weight-loss tool. At least, it wasn't for me. Even running/working out hard isn't going to necessarily get you mind-blowing results. The weight dropped off ever-so slowly for me. There was no rhyme or reason to it. My body did what it wanted to do.

So, if it doesn't happen immediately for you either, that's totally normal. But through patience and understanding your body and new priorities, you, too, will normalize after a while. Or find a new normal. Or get fitter/stronger/slimmer/etc. Our bodies and lives are so different, there's really no telling.

Anyway, back to running! I invite you to join me as I chase a PR in the half marathon this fall. And I'd love to know what races you all are running and how you plan to succeed.

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