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So why DO I run? It’s complicated.

Oh, hey there. I’m just sitting here at my dining room table in my yoga pants, t-shirt, and running shoes. I should note that I have never touched a yoga mat, I don’t remember the last time I “dined” at this table, and well, I’m not being a very good runner lately.

I’m starting to think I may be in a little over my head with this whole half marathon thingamajig. Starting with the fact that I don’t really know where to start. A twitter pal suggested the Hal Higdon half marathon training guide, so I googled it (like just now googled it because I am on top of things). Here’s the first line:

THE HALF MARATHON IS A FRIENDLY DISTANCE.

Oh, Hal. It’s like you don’t even know me. Probably because you don’t. I mean we JUST met through the Googles like 2 minutes ago.

I’m wondering if I’ve bitten off more than I can chew with this distance. I chose the half because it was either that or the 5K. Three miles wouldn’t be a challenge for me right now, other than trying to improve my time, but I’ve never timed myself running. I’m not really as concerned with getting the best time as I am completing the race, and the way it’s looking now, I am plenty concerned about finishing this race with all of my toes attached.

ZOOMA Texas training officially starts in January, but Imma have to start waaaaay before that in order to get this distance under my belt. Like last month. But don’t worry! I have a whole cabinet full of excuses as to why I’m not training as much as I should. In no particular order:

  • I have 3 small kids, 2 of whom are only in school 8 hours a week. A WEEK! The rest of the time they are hanging on my every yoga pant clad leg.
  • I have no more YMCA membership at which to drop off my 3rd appendage when her sisters are at school.
  • I have no treadmill.
  • It’s cold. Shut it, Northerners. 57 degrees IS cold.
  • I have no real plan. I need to treat it like I do my writing schedule, or my cleaning schedule, or my laundr–ok let’s stop right there. I don’t have any of those either.
  • The waistband of my compression pants keeps sliding down, putting those to my rear (hee hee!)(yes I’m 12) in grave danger of getting an eyeful. Crack is whack.

Yeah. So. Excuses, excuses, I KNOW. But seriously, what gives, compression pants? You get me through 12 miles of mud, water, and mud and crap out on me in your second performance? So lame.

But for real, I’m having trouble fitting running into my not-so-busy busy schedule. I know that the best time for me to do it is in the morning, mainly because I hate running at night, and it’s frowned upon to leave one’s children parked in front of ongoing episodes of My Little Pony on Netflix while one goes for a jaunt around the neighborhood. Also, that means I have to drag my stays-up-too-late-not-a-morning-person-but-hey-he’s-a-great-dad-and-all-around-hard-working-guy husband out of bed in the morning so he can tend to the short people while I get my run on. It’s not a huge deal, but it is a point of contention at times.

So why do I do it? Why did I commit to this event? Why not wait until next year when the big girls will be in kinder and Zoe will be in preschool a few days a week and I will rejoice in the silence!!! — I mean have a little more time to run?

  • It’s a challenge, and I do love a good challenge. I’m not your typical risk taker, but when I commit to something, I have a really hard time quitting. Like “drowning in work and kids and vomit but God as my witness I WILL DO THIS!!! type of hard time. That MAY be why I feel just a tad overextended sometimes. Possibly related: Learn how to say no to things that aren’t important. (But everything’s important! See???)
  • I’ve always been an athlete. I played some sort of team sport from age 6 up through high school, a little intramural in college, and co-ed softball 12 weeks into my twin pregnancy. Running is one of the ways I can keep my body in good working condition.
  • Speaking of keeping my body in good condition, I’m a newly crowned 34-year-old. Let’s face it — getting in shape or losing that baby weight that didn’t really come from the babies isn’t going to get any easier as I get older. Sources say it may, in fact, get harder.
  • I want my kids to lead active lifestyles. I want them to not only get involved in physical activity, but I want to take part with them. Kick the ball, play catch, run around the neighborhood. It starts with me (well, us really. My husband is pretty fit himself). I love it when they ask me about my “essercising.”
  • A friend of mine is running her 2nd half in January, and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let her show me up. Ptew! (That was my spit sound. Spitting at her feet.)(Just kidding, girl, I love you.)
  • Running is pretty much the only time I have my thoughts to myself. And the only time I can listen to music that’s not on my kids’ Pandora station. Although I am partial to “Three is the magic Number.”

 

So now that I’ve at least acquainted myself with Hal Higdon, I plan on making some sort of plan. I plan on sucking it up. I plan on sacrificing precious warm bed sleepy time. I may not be a quitter, but I do have a bad habit of saying, “Meh. I’ll wing it,” when the going gets tough (hello, C in Physics for Non Majors!)(seriously, y’all, it was an open book course). Something tells me I canNOT wing 13.1 miles.

Maybe just the last 0.1?

 

Insert unflattering pre-run Instagram photo here. I have no idea why he’s flexing. He doesn’t normally do that in pictures. Key word being normally.

 

Speaking of ZOOMA Texas, have you registered yet? No? Well good. Because I have a code that will get you 10% off your registration fee! Just enter the code TXAMB5 upon checkout, and you’re set!

 

 

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Leigh Ann Torres
Writer, artist, wife, cook, maid, bookkeeper, mom to twins plus one...all around genie in a bottle, except you only get one wish, and it has to be reasonable.
18 Comments
  1. Keep pushing yourself, babe. I know you can do it! I might be willing to get up with the short people to help you, more than twice.

  2. When I trained for my first half many moons ago I used this book: http://www.teampenguin.com/book_marathoning_for_mortals.php

    I liked it because I wasn’t trying to break any world records and it was manageable and practical. However I was childless at the time . . . I can imagine it is hard to find time! Good luck!

    • If I REALLY commit, I need to get up early and get it done. Then again, this morning right as I was about to go, the twins started demanding breakfast, the 2yo woke up crying earlier than usual, and the hubs asked for ibuprofen for a headache. Not exactly a good start. But I went!

  3. I.AM.A.TERRIBLE.RUNNER. I gasp for breath at a mile and look like a crazy person with no efficiency in my running. BUT I know two gals that have powered through the mental obstacles and now run half marathons. Babs Haller and Jill Brown. I’d love to hook you up with them and get you running with them. I think you’d really benefit from their friendship and running knowledge. I know that Jill started running with the Rogue Running camps (because I started her on it) and now she runs with Gilberts Gazelles. I don’t remember who Babs trains with, but can get the info if you want.

    I did do a triathlon before having the kids. If you ever want to do a tri the best one to start with (and get hooked on) is the Danskin. Start training in February for the June event. It’s incredible to do with with all women of all shapes and sizes and ALL age ranges. I got passed by a 70-something grandma!

    Good luck. The hardest part of running is making it out from the closet to the street.

  4. My writing is sort of like your running, or maybe more like your yoga. So, while I can’t relate entirely to the particular challenge, I can relate to the taking on a challenge tha is slightly beyond your grasp but attainable.
    You can do this and you will be great.
    Let me know if/how I can help. You’ll do great with two runs a week plus a long run, and some sort of cross training a couple of days a week. Focus on how good you feel when it’s done.
    I LOVE that my kids are focused on exercise, although my oldest did tell someone the other day that, “my mommy doesn’t do yoga, she just teaches it.”

  5. Girl…if you can do Tough Mudder….you can do a half! You’ve got this. :)

  6. great message leigh! you are a great role model for you kids. They will notice how you spend your time, how you feel better after a little “me” time running. You got this!

  7. Hi Leigh Ann! Loved reading your entry!:) Looking forward to getting to know you better through ZOOMA. I can already tell we have a lot in common!

  8. Leigh Ann!!!! We’ve met before- do you remember? I think it might have been at the Hallmark event last Spring? Anyhoo, welcome to running and welcome to Zooma. You can do it girlfriend!!! I started the run craze when my third child had just turned one- yeah, it was a little nuts at times, logistically, but I kept at it and that one year old is now four! I would love to run with you. I use Jeff Galloway method- very friendly for new runners and DOABLE!!! Good luck.

    • Okay, your profile picture on your blog looks VERY familiar, but I didn’t attend the Hallmark event. Maybe it was the Bloggin Mamas Social? MomCom? We’ll have to figure it out!

  9. I ran ZOOMA Atlanta last April. It was such a well-run race. Such a great Go-Chicks event. Do it for you. That’s why I run. You’ll get to crave that alone time. I’m getting up at 4:30 tomorrow, Thanksgiving morning to drive into ATL by myself. Sit in my car till 7:30 then run 13.1 miles with 10,000 people. Get my medal, stop at Starbucks — then drive the hour home. I’ve done it for 15 years. It’s my solitude and I love it. Your body can do amazing things. Just trust that.