THE MIGHTY TURTLE
We’re in the elevator of the hotel, on our way up from the race -
Random guy: Did you race today?
Random guy: Did you win?
Me:...Me? No...I”m slow like a turtle
Jared: But she finished strong!
Me (a smile creeping on my face): Yea, I guess I did.
When Avi was born I thought I would easily get back into my workouts. But it was much harder that I had expected. I was cleared to work out at 6-weeks postpartum, but I was just so tired. I went for a few runs here and there, but I couldn’t get myself into a routine. I went back to work when Avi was 12 weeks and I thought that for sure this would be my moment! But instead, my free time went to taking Avi to various doctors because he had chosen my first weeks back at work to stop gaining weight. It was a good excuse, but I was frustrated with myself and knew I needed to figure this out.
A few years back, I realized that I do well with rules and structure. I like having a schedule to follow, even if I’m the only one who knows about it. I also knew from previous experiences that having a specific training schedule for a race helped to keep me on track and accountable for my workouts. I had done half-marathons in the past, but I wasn’t ready for that. Besides the strict training schedule, it also required longer workouts than I felt ready to commit to. I realized that at this point in my life, I needed a goal to work to, a structure to keep me accountable, and workouts that were realistic within my daily schedule. I searched around and found an app called Aaptive. I signed up for their 2 week trial and found that this was a great solution for me. The app provides audio based workouts by personal trainers in many different areas - including outdoor running, elliptical, rowing machines, treadmill and strength training. The workouts are filtered by level AND you can filter by time. I was able to find all kinds of workouts that were between 15 and 30 minutes long! And they had a 10K training program with runs that fit right into that time range.
I did a quick search and found a 10K not far from home, in Atlantic City. I signed myself up right away and I even blogged about it here - in an effort to give me a little more accountability. If the world knew I was doing this, I couldn’t slack off. I went into planning mode, following the program and scheduling my workouts at least a week in advance. I started by doing them during my lunch break, but as the weather got warmer and my runs got sweatier, I realized this wasn’t going to be a sustainable option for me. The only other option was early morning, before my family woke up. I had been waking up at 5am regularly to pump so I knew I could do it. I set my alarm and gave it a name, “ No 5am Negotiatons!” This also became my mantra when I heard the alarm go off each morning. I used every trick in the book to make those early mornings happen - lay out your clothes the night before, have your workout planned so you don’t have to make any decisions, visualize your goal, etc. And I did it. There was one week when a personal situation kept me from running, but after that week off I jumped right back in. And each run made me feel stronger - not just physically but mentally too.
This past weekend, Jared and I left Avi with our nanny and went to Atlantic City for the big day. We had a delicious sushi dinner the night before and while I tried to go to sleep early, I was a mess of nerves. I tried to eat something and have a cup of coffee, but my stomach wasn’t having it. And I'll be honest, it was a hard race. I was used to running at 5am when the sun is much less bright and hot than at 7:30am. I was also used to running under the shade of trees, not on the unforgiving boardwalk. But I did it. I didn’t stop and I didn’t walk. I may have been huffing and puffing, but I crossed that finish line. Slow and steady, like a mighty turtle.