At least some point during our lifetimes, we will all, inevitably, be challenged. Sometimes, challenges find us, and other times we choose to seek them out, to face them head on. I just happen to be one of those people who chooses to seek out personal challenges as a way to off-set those times when particular circumstances have befallen me.
As you may remember, back in January, I introduced my upcoming fitness challenge (a challenge I freely accepted) — completing my first half-marathon — to all of you, DTT readers. Well, believe it or not, the United HealthCare Half-Marathon is only a few days away. Boy, those 16 weeks certainly flew by, didn’t they? After four months of training, and hundreds of miles logged on my thirty-something-year-old legs, I am ready. I am proud to say that I was able to complete every training run (both long and short) and strength- and cross-training session I outlined for myself back in January. Below is the training schedule that has been pinned to the bulletin board in my kitchen since the beginning of the year. With some minor adjustments, I was able to complete four 10-mile runs, three 11-mile runs, three 12-mile
runs and one 13.1-mile run. Due to weather constraints, I was only able to complete three of my long runs outside, but one of those long runs was a 13-miler, so I’m feeling pretty confident that I’ll be okay come race day. Since most of my training was completed on a treadmill, I did incorporate an incline to simulate outside running. I set the incline to 1.0 at the beginning of my training and slowly increased it to 2.5 over the course of the last 16 weeks. Hopefully, the incline training will enable me to keep up the 8:30 pace I posted during my outdoor long runs. My training is done. My mp3 playlist is just about ready to go. And, I’ve pulled together my gear for the day. Some essentials for race day include: my GPS running watch (so that I can track my progress and pace), a butterfly wrist wallet (to remind me of the girls) for storing away the fuel that I’ll munch on during my 13.1 mile trek, my mp3 player (I need something to keep my mind occupied during the almost two-hour journey), and my brand new Boston Strong BIC Band. I recently discovered the awesomeness that is BIC Bands and knew that I wanted to wear their limited edition Boston Strong band to show my support for those affected by the bombings. I also decided to buy some blue and yellow tech gear to match my new band and to show that the running community will not be bullied by acts of terrorism. I am really pumped for race day. As of right now, our trusty local weatherpersons are forecasting possible showers on Sunday morning. Although I’m a little bummed at the thought of running in the rain, I’m still really excited to get the race underway and see how I place. Since this is a personal challenge, I already have a goal finishing time in mind and am hoping that the next couple of days of rest, along with some healthy carbo-loading, will help me reach (or perhaps surpass) my goal. Fingers crossed!
I’ll begin my fourth Mother’s Day bright and early on Sunday morning with a little 13.1 mile jog around Providence. As I take the scenic race route through the city’s historic neighborhoods, I know I’ll take time to reflect on some of my proud and not-so-proud mommy moments, the past three-and-a-half years of motherhood and how grateful I am to have gotten the opportunity to parent two beautiful daughters. And as I hear the roar of the crowd at the finish line, I will take a moment to remember those mothers whose lives were forever changed on April 15th. Their challenges go beyond anything I’ve ever faced. On Sunday, I will run for them and for all mothers who have confronted hardship, pushed through and have come out stronger on the other side of the finish line.