Saturday, February 27, 2016

When Just Running is Enough

Tomorrow I'll run my second post baby half marathon, and let's just say the past two weeks have not been the lead up I'd wanted. I got sick, thought it was nothing, got sicker, found out I had a sinus infection, a wheeze, and to top it off, I'm anemic. All fixable things, but not news anyone wants to hear before a half.

The Seaside Half Marathon has always been special to me. I grew up close by and came here often, so as we enter Florida on our drive down each year, I get this strong, nostalgic feeling of coming home. I love this beautiful town and the race here. Jason and I ran it twice before having kids, and then my parents and sister, along with her family joined us every year. My dad and brother-in-law babysit while my sis runs the 5k and then she helps too while Jason and I run the half. 

My PR is here (1:44:45), and even when I don't run a personal best, I always have a great time running this race. It is an out-and-back course, so I always see Jason with the front runners as he's speeding back to the finish. It always gives me a lift to see him. Then as I'm heading back I see my mom and get another lift. When we finish we get a gorgeous Vera Bradley bag, and I love hearing how everyone's race went. 

Last year I ran the 5k because Matthew was only 8 weeks old, and I won 3rd place in my age group. It was my first race after having him, so it was fun to do well. 

This year I've been looking forward to running the half again. The Elkmont half last month was my first post baby return to this distance and it showed me where I was and reminded me that I could, in fact, run this distance. I had hoped to knock two minutes off my time there, and I knew what I needed to do in my training to make that happen in Seaside. I was excited and ready to get started...

But for some reason, or many reasons actually, my training never got where I wanted it to be. Crazy winter weather, friends who needed our help, and finally sickness that lasted two weeks...

Even tonight I can still hear the wheeze in my lungs. I feel a ton better after a few days of antibiotics and I think my iron supplement is beginning to help some too. I'm definitely on the mend, but I'm not 100%, and not in the racing shape I'd hoped to be in by now.

And yet...we have had a great time so far. My girl has a serious love for the beach and seeing her out there is witnessing pure joy. My boy is one now, and everything is new to him. He soaks it in, and I love seeing that too. The weather has been perfect, and I've already eaten at my favorite spots and gotten coffee at my favorite cafe. 

And despite the past two weeks, I am looking forward to the race tomorrow. It won't be my best - it won't even be an improvement on my last most likely. But I can still go out there and enjoy running in this place I love with people I love, doing an activity I love. I've made peace with whatever outcome may be, and for tomorrow, the simple joy I find in getting to run will be more than enough. 

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