Last year, when I did the Philadelphia Half Marathon in November, my day was all about finishing the race. I had completed more than a half a dozen 13.1 mile journeys, but this was my first attempt since having my children. Acutely aware that races are littered with women mere weeks after childbirth, I operate at a different pace. This was challenging enough.
I enlisted my sister in law as a running buddy. She was and is far more disciplined in her training and workouts than I was. Infinitely patient, she put up with me and my ambivalence about the race. On and off, I followed a very rough plan to get me to the necessary mileage.
On Race Day, we showed up, we ran and we finished. Despite being slower than ever, it was the most enjoyable half marathon I have completed. Crossing the finish line was a huge personal victory for me. The feat was mine. I had carved out a space in time that was for only me. I had not anticipated how powerful it would be to be reminded that I was still a person, a mother, of course, but a person first and foremost.
Armed with my taste of personal victory, I vowed to maintain my mileage so that next year would be less of an uphill battle. I would practice and train all year.
Well…not so much. Here I am again. The Philadelphia Half Marathon is 7 weeks away. And I am once again, piecing together my training to get myself to the finish line on race day. Not ideal, it’s just where I am, again. I struggle to accept my next sentence. It is okay.