Yesterday I finally ran in my first race in a couple years. I am now 8 months post Piper, and I actually feel like I am finally starting to feel good again running. I haven't been as dedicated to working out as I once was. I committed to 4 days a week of training and that is all. It is really about all I can squeeze in with Piper and work and keeping my sanity and some relaxing and family time. And to be honest, I am perfectly fine with that. I enjoy spending what time outside of work I have playing with Piper or taking her to the park, or being lazy on the couch, or reading a good book. I don't need to consume that part of my life once again with all things athletic for awhile.
So slowly I have begun to feel fitter and fitter with my 4x per week running. I actually have done really no running for speed or distance. Everything has been just running "easy" or however I felt and running mainly on time. I think I run about xx pace so I I want to run 10 miles, just multiply my pace by 10 and go for that long. I kind of liked that approach for these past months. It leaves me with no pressure whatsoever to just go out and run.
I really didn't know what to expect come race day. I figured all this time running that I have been running probably about 9 min pace. So I set a secret goal to myself to see if I could break 1:55. I should say that my PR for a 1/2 is 1:52, granted I really think I could run faster that that, but have only done 2 half marathons before.
I started the race pretty controlled and felt good just ticking off miles around 8:40 pace give or take. I even had it in my to really push the last couple miles. My knee held in there too and really I only had a little pain the last mile which is quite an improvement on that side. I finished in 1:53:49 and am thrilled by that time. I love the tobacco trail and love running on it, so the course was great. On the logistical side of things, the race was a bit of a disaster. I already sent an email to the race director of my complaining of many things. I would have said that this is a great race for anyone looking for a 1/2 or full marathon, but unless they make some major changes to the organization, I would pick another course.
The current plan is to run another half in 3 months up in Michigan and my goal there is to break 1:50. We'll see how training goes these next few months. What I do know is that there will be a lot more pushing Piper in the jogger since once school ends it will just be me and her. Hopefully that will be to my advantage. I have also started to think about switching to running in more minimalist shoes (perhaps the Nike free's) but am not sure, still thinking.
It felt good to be racing again.