It's beginning to dawn on me: if I splurged on new running shoes last weekend and got excited about this purchase today
I'm probably going to have to fess up about my running habit.
In order to survive the transition of moving countries, the lack of direction with not having a job, the failing at being a housewife (if not exactly failing at the doing, at least failing to do it without simmering resentment) I've taken to running almost daily. Not that I'm completely new to running. I wrote about it way back in June 2014, and have mentioned it on the odd occasion since then.
The half marathon I ran last year seems so long ago, and if I'm honest I wasn't particularly happy with my result. My training had suffered because of niggling back issues and I wasn't in peak physical fitness. While I did complete the distance, I didn't feel pride in my accomplishment and I knew I could do better. And once we moved to California I needed something in my life to work towards, and something I could be proud of.
A while ago I came across the Another Mother Runner (AMR) blog and podcast. And no, this isn't a secret revelation that I've decided to have kids. Its more that I felt I could identify with these people. Most running sites are full of people saying things like "I'd hoped to run my 5k in 23:2 but I only achieved 23:7" and "I was feeling lazy today so I only went out for a 10 miler". While these people are hugely impressive I'm just not in their league. Seeing other people achieve can be great motivation, but not when it's so far beyond what you are experiencing yourself. I love AMR because the people seem normal. Of course there are a few super speedy ones out there, but it is a community of women who are working towards getting fitter, are endlessly supportive, and who understand that sometimes life just gets in the way. And though for me it's not kids/family that gets in my way of a run, I love the sense of community and the advice that is tailored for the not-hard-core runner. These feel like my people.
All this is a long way of saying that in January of this year I signed up their No Limits 1/2 marathon challenge. It's a 15 week training plan, and everyone on the plan started around the same time so the sense of community is great. And though I haven't signed up for an actual 1/2 marathon race, I find that having the plan and sticking to it gives me the sense of progress that I need. Not that some runs don't completely suck, but getting out there each day helps to give my day a sense of accomplishment. And it seems almost ridiculous not to run when the weather is constantly amazing - instead of cancelling runs because of the rain, I now struggle to run in the heat.
2 months into the new regime I'm seeing positive changes. I may not be losing any weight (being at home all day leaves me alarmingly close to the refrigerator) but I'm definitely getting stronger and more toned. My average running speed has increased, and my mileage is going up. I ran over 45 miles in February, the most I've ever run in a month. I've worn out my old running shoes, joined a running club, and tried trail running. And I finally feel like I can truly call myself a runner.