My mind thinks I’m a runner…

…but my body has other thoughts.

I was running rather well for about 6 weeks before I came down with a cold 3 weeks ago and have since slacked off. Between leaving social media, where I felt motivated and shared a TON of my workouts, to winning that head cold lottery, I haven’t fully regained my composure to get back out there running regularly, until now.

That’s all changing, as I’ve been itching to run a road or trail race. The two I’m eyeing up in the next month are 6 miles and 4.35 miles. The first is a Hashathon trail race I’ve completed in 2007. While I wasn’t fast, I fear how slow I might finish this race today, at least 15-20 minutes slower I presume.

It was a rough trail = they give out awards for the muddiest and bloodiest finishers. I loved the race a lot and have secretly been hoping to do it again for years, but I’ve just been too wimpy to try it again.

Should I do it? I don’t know. It fits my frugal mindset for $13 for the distance in a beautiful park. So what if I’m last? It’ll make for a really nice run (though the trail is super unmarked and you can easily get lost!) and a good story after.

The second race I am planning to do with my new neighbor friend, Kate! It’s a train run – as in choo-choo! You hop on the train at one station, ride it to whatever station you’d like (1, 2.6, 4.35, or 6.5 miles away) and then run back along the beach to the first station and a pub for the post-race party. Sounds fun, ridiculous, and up my alley. Sign me up.

Mentally, I feel as though I’m still the same runner from 5 or 10 years ago. I feel like I can easily complete these races, but my body clearly has changed; I’m overweight, out of shape from having babies, and just not able to focus as much a time and attention to my running as before. If I knew what I know now, I would’ve definitely put in more time and energy into getting faster back then!

I was never a fast runner, hovering around a 10-minute mile pace for most of my races, though I had a speedy PR with 8:30 pace in a 5k once! I just don’t have the desire to run all out and harm my body anymore either. Jeff Galloway makes so much sense to me these days.

While I’d like to get to around an easy 12:00 pace for a run-walk-run long distance race (I’m currently around 13-14 min in training, but completed previous 5ks at 12:00 pace), I’m not sure I will get there anytime soon. Right now, it’s about getting in the mileage, the hours, and the training without injury and still having some gas left over in the tank for playing with my Monkey and Crab when I get home.

When I used to run over 5 miles, I’d come home sore and useless for the rest of the day. Since working with Galloway’s program, I’ve been able to get from 0 miles to 7.5 miles on a long run in a short 6 weeks and still function just as before the rest of the day after. That to me is #winning especially when coupled with no injuries in such a quick increase for this tired old body.

Halloween begins a new full training plan to get me to race day next spring. I am super excited to begin this journey, while terrified at the same time. Good thing I have Chris, and my Monkey to support me; telling me to “go for your run!” when I mention it’s on the schedule. The six weeks I did run, prior to this layoff, was a good primer for going the distance to reach my goal and meeting all expectations of the plan I’ve chosen.

Get ready for more musings on running to come…