In the spring, I planned to run a fall marathon. However, one Saturday night in June, when I considered my husband’s work schedule and the needs of my boys, as well as my own desire to run well, I was compelled to reevaluate my goals. As a family, we planned on a fall half-marathon – although the date and place were undecided. Then, I set 3 realistic goals: (1) a 1:42 half-marathon; (2) increasing mileage over the summer, gearing towards a spring marathon; (3) keeping everyone happy. For me, each goal was equally important and finding that special balance to achieve each became a weekly challenge.
Almost every run was done with a child in tow, one on his bike and one in the baby jogger. Even though he is almost 4, #2 was always happy to jump into the baby jogger – staying at home and being excluded was simply not an option for him (and CAS frowns upon 4 year olds being left alone). My older son is a mini-CEO, a planner, a visionary; knowing that I had goals to meet was all that was needed to motivate him to ride along, no matter what the distance. He saw himself as providing an essential service; he was a pace bunny, a water boy, and fantastic company.
Between the support of my boys and delicately planning long runs and races around my husband’s work schedule, I was able to boost my mileage and decrease my run times. Getting up for early races became easier for everyone as they saw the improvement in my running. Daddy measured this by time, #1 looked at my rankings, and #2 started counting the medals hanging above my desk.
As I started racing more and more, each one became a goal towards running a 1:42 half; I figured that to run a strong half-marathon, I needed to be able to run a good 10K. It wasn’t long before I discovered that each 10K race prepared me for the next; I learned how to pace myself at the start, how to find my spot in the first few kilometres, how to pick up my pace once I found my groove, and how to fight for the finish. As each 10K race became easier than the one before, it became obvious that I needed to practise running a half-marathon in order to meet my primary goal – a 1:42 half. The next rung on my ladder, then, became The Run for the Grapes, held in St. Catherine’s.
Coming up: Race Report: Run for the Grapes