Half Marathon- Race #3 in 2014

 

So thankful my half marathon goal has been completed–it’s getting hot out there! I ran in the Women’s Fitness Festival’s first ever half marathon, previously it has only been a 5K event. It was also the first race I have run by myself, a milestone in itself. The course wound around downtown Sacramento, through the neighborhoods of East Sacramento and then back to the Capitol building where the finish line waited.

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Thankfully the race started at 7:15AM while the temperature was still bearable outside. As we ran through the neighborhoods of East Sac, it was so encouraging to see so many people out on their sidewalks holding motivating signs and even offering water from their hoses and sprinklers to help cool the runners off. For a brief time I was able to catch a up to a friend running with her daughter, she was an encouragement and even offered a posture tip to help my breathing efforts. I felt pretty good on the course until about mile 11 when it took a bit more effort to move my feet. Since I knew I wouldn’t be setting a personal best time, I decided to run without stopping. Near the end of mile 12, as I was getting close to the finish line, I saw a familiar Pilot in the lane of traffic ahead of me. Mel rolled down the windows and I got some encouragement from my little family as I was in the home stretch. I even felt good enough to sprint for the last .10 of a mile. Later I found out that it had taken Mel about an hour to get to the race as he sat in traffic from the construction on 50 and road closures due to the race. What an expression of love from him, to wrangle all three kids by himself and make the tedious drive to the finish line to show me support. In case you ever wondered, he’s a keeper! Once he found a place to park and made his way to the steps of the Capitol building I was greeted by all four of them and quickly handed over my medal to be inspected by the boys–I’m pretty sure they think that is the reason I run races!

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Almost exactly a year before this race I decided to stop running while pregnant with Daelynn. Both with her pregnancy and with Blessing #3, I experienced a distinct cramping no matter how hydrated I was. I attempted to run again at 14 weeks and felt great during the short run but then was grounded to the couch with 30 minutes of contractions. I didn’t try again after that. My friend Toniya helped me refocus and from the end of my second trimester through my third trimester I worked out with a prenatal workout DVD. I really wanted to complete a half marathon as soon as I could so reasonably. It was a “scary” goal to set while still pregnant, but one that offered me great motivation. I signed up for my 5k while in my second trimester and made tentative plans for a 10K and half marathon following. I am thankful that I was able to start running as soon as I was, and I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to have completed my “scary” goal! On difficult days while I was training, envisioning the finish line and my three kids waiting for me gave me extra incentive to push harder. I finished with a time of 2:20:46, which is 14 minutes slower than my first and best finish time half marathon.

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I don’t have any more racing plans for this summer, but I do intend run at least 2-3 times a week to be ready for a couple of races with friends this fall!

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Tips for Running with Kids

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Running with kids sounds difficult, and let’s face it–It’s not easy most of the time.  However, this last year I decided that I would lead a more active lifestyle and find a way to make it work with my stage of life. Since I’m with my kids just about all day every day I needed to find a way to make my activity of choice work for all of us. My excuses for not running in the past were still there and seemed to grow exponentially now that I was mom.  So, I found a way work through those challenges. I didn’t have all of the answers in the beginning, I learned a lot of these tips from other running moms, and learned some through trial and error. So if you are thinking about running with kids or are looking for solutions to the common challenges…this list is for you!

The following is a list of solutions to the challenges I have faced while running with my kids:

1. It’s Too Hot:

-Dress kids in breathable clothing but pack a light jacket just in case

-Pack a spray bottle filled with water

-Bring a stroller or handheld fan

-Supply frozen yogurt tubes, or other cool snacks

-Provide ice water in sippy cups

-Bring accessories to keep sun out of eyes: hat, sunglasses, adjustable stroller shade

-Run near a water park so EVERYONE can have fun when the run is done

2. It’s Too Cold/Rainy:

-Dress the kids in layers, hats, gloves and blankets over laps, pack a couple extra blankets just in case

-Invest in a rain cover for your stroller, it will also keep your phone protected

-Bring a warm snack, hot chocolate for older kids

3. It’s Too Dark:

-Everybody dresses in bright colors

-Attach flashing lights to your stroller

-Purchase headlights for the kids to wear

-Willing parties can wear glow stick necklaces, bracelets etc

-Run on streets with Christmas lights during December

3. Running is Too boring:

-Play the “Stop Sign” Game (enter in quotes whatever visible landmark is available), as soon as a kid sees a stop sign yell “go mommy go!”

-Bring the kids books to read

-Bring handheld game device, phone, ipad, etc

-Find other moms to run with so you can support and encourage each other…they understand how hard yet rewarding it is too

-If your kids to tend to fight while in the stroller: run with another mom with kids and pair up personalities that get along with each other.   Joel actually asks me to run so he can ride with his friend, lol

4. Too much of a hassle:

-Pack up everything needed in car or stroller for the run: clothing, snacks, drinks, entertainment items ahead of time,

-At the end of a run have a special treat for everyone to look forward to: a healthy protein filled “chocolate milkshake” is what we call that treat in our house

-Kids can watch a special show while mom showers

-Days that I run become Crockpot dinner days

The Goal: Make it as enjoyable for everyone as possible so you are more likely to keep running!

What challenges/tips do you have to add to this list?