Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I Ran a Half Marathon. Now What?

Two days ago I ran the race I'd been training for 4 months to run.  I put in 99,572,390,571 training hours and 200,369 miles.  I even had to buy new running shoes because I wore my 6 month old Brooks Ravenna's down (I'm kinda known for holding onto gym shoes for a good 5 years before tossing them out).

During this time,I learned how to fuel my body by researching pre-workouts and endurance fuel.  I saw a nutritionist who convinced me my body needed more vegetables (blech!).  I took countless tests to check my body for inflammation, food allergies and sensitives.  Turns out I have a lot of those although the level of inflammation in my body went way down from a year ago.  After learning how many foods my body doesn't like, I actually considered becoming a vegan.  Yes, me Sabrina, the red meat loving pro high fat, high protein lifestyle lover considered, at one time, just eating plants and veggies. I'm not sure how smart that would have been considering how many vegetables and fruits I am actually highly sensitive to now.

For awhile I woke up an hour early before work, 4:30 am people, to get 5-6 mile weekly endurance runs in.  That worked out well until I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue and couldn't sleep even when it was before my alarm went off although I could have put my head down on a table and taken a nap around noon every day.

Slowly, my weekly long runs grew from 6 miles to 11.  I once ran 11 miles on my rickety old treadmill because I just couldn't take one more run in the cold.  It was hell.  I watched movies, listened to music and podcasts to pass the time and all of it was mind numbingly awful.

Speaking of running on treadmills, I can't remember how many times I would put in 5 miles prior to a race just to get in my weekly long run that day.  Yes, you read that right.  I once ran 5 miles before a 5K that I ultimately PR'ed in.  Before my first 10 mile race I put in one mile on the treadmill to get my long run of 11-13 miles in.  Who was I?  I couldn't even run a mile in high school!

The point is, I was dedicated, and committed. I had a plan outside of my other daily hum-drum commitments. I had a goal that I spent 4 months working on achieving.

On Sunday, I ran my first 13.1 miles ever in the Gate City Half Marathon.

The longest run I ever got to in my training plan was just 11 miles.  Miles 11-13.1 were uncharted territory for me during this race.

To say that terrified me was an understatement.

But I did it.  I had put in the time and work to train for a half marathon and I did it.

I'm a highly organized, detailed oriented person.  I like plans.  The Train Like a Mother 13.1 challenge that I followed from Another Mother Runner spoke to me.  It kept me on track, it held me accountable, it gave me a clear goal to achieve.

Turns out I really like goals.

On Sunday, I met that goal.  I am very proud of that fact.

Now what?

As much as I cursed that plan when it had me out there running 10 miles on a Sunday when I really just wanted to stay in my cozy pajamas or 6 miles on a Wednesday when snuggling on the couch sounded so much more fun, I needed that plan.

Dare I say I'm kind of lost without it?

I think I am actually feeling a little sad that it is over.

Do we mourn the loss of achieving our goals?  Is that a thing?  Is that what I am feeling?  I'm definitely having a hard time sticking to my nutritional plan and I am a classic emotional eater.  I really just want to stuff my face with pizza and ice cream while pouring myself another glass of wine.

When I'm ready I'll find another goal race to train for.  Until then, pass the bottle of Pinot Noir.

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