It's official. I have signed up to do the Charleston Half Marathon in January.
Prior to having any kids I had completed three half marathons (one in Myrtle Beach and the Kiawah Half Marathon in 2008 and 2009). After having Andrew I wanted to do another one, but I couldn't seem to find the time to actually train. Before I could really think about doing it we decided to have another baby and then I was pregnant with Elliot.
While I was pregnant I continued to run as much as possible, but I had to give it up around 26 weeks due to too much discomfort. With Andrew I was able to make it to 36 weeks, so I was disappointed that I had to give up so early the second time around. I gained more weight during my second pregnancy, and that wasn't easy to swallow. I also felt like it was harder to drop the weight the second go 'round, and that did not help my self esteem. I haven't felt good about myself or comfortable in my own skin since getting pregnant the second time. People would tell me that I looked great, but I didn't feel like it.
There is also the issue with finding time. I work full time and the boys are in daycare and school Monday through Friday. I feel like since I am not with them all week I need to spend all the time that I can with them. It's led to feelings of guilt on my part. To take time away from them to train has felt selfish. Over the last couple months, though, I've come to realize that it isn't selfish if it makes me feel better about myself. I will be a happier mom and that in turn makes me a better mom. Running has always been a stress reliever for me. It gives me time to clear my head and focus on me. After a good run I am more relaxed - I feel better mentally and physically.
All of that led me to my decision to sign up for the race in January. It gives me something to work towards and forces me to take some time for myself. It won't all be by myself, though. I got J to agree
to get a used Bob Revolution Duallie stroller so I can do more runs with the boys as well. We already had a Baby Trend Navigator double stroller, but it's clunky and not easy to steer if you have to lock the front wheels (which you have to if you're going to run with it). I found a Bob on a local B/S/T page and scored it for $300 (which included the parent console, rain cover and snack trays). My first run with it proved to me it was worth every penny.
So now if need be I can do some of my shorter runs with the boys. I'll probably be doing my longer runs solo.
Last night I did my first official training run. I messed up when I made up my training schedule and thought I didn't start until next week. Oops. Anyway, I decided to knock out my five miles while J went to go pick up the boys. All in all I think it went pretty well:
And the timing was perfect. I ran around the corner to our house just as J pulled up with the boys. So I got my run in and didn't even sacrifice any time with my boys. My training schedule has my runs on Tues/Thurs (long)/Sat, but since J picks the boys up on MWF I will most likely shift them to those days. My plan going forward as the long runs get longer will be to work from home on Wednesdays so I can get started by 4:00 and be done by 6:00 at the latest. That way I can do my training AND be there for my boys.
So in less than 14 weeks I will be completing my 4th half marathon. I'm hoping that by that point I will be ready and that I'll still be smiling.