No, it’s not the first half marathon I’ve registered to run in. It’s my sixth, maybe my seventh – I’ve lost track. The last half marathon that I registered for was the Army Run in Ottawa in September 2011. It only seems fitting that this same race would be the first one I register for after my…hiatus, for lack of a better word.
I ran the Army Run in 2011 and a few months after that I got pregnant with Odin. I ran while pregnant, but with a due date near the end of November in 2012, a fall half marathon wasn’t really in the cards for me. The last race I registered for was when I was 6 months pregnant. It was a 5km race back home in Brockville that my cousin organized for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and I ran the race with my sister (it was her first one!). I haven’t registered for a race since then. I was hesitant to register for any races in 2013, as I wasn’t sure how much training I’d be able to fit in with a newborn, then I hesitated again when it came to registering for a spring race, as I wasn’t sure how realistic my “running at 4am” plan was going to be when I returned to work in December 2013.
Turns out, I would have been totally fine running a race last fall, or this spring. I was the only one stopping myself. I was chickening out – big time.
I wasn’t sure what running would be like after having a baby. Would I lose my endurance? Would I even enjoy running? How in the world would I find time for running, let alone a stretch of time needed for a long run?
The more I thought about it, the real reason I was afraid to register for a half marathon was that I was running better than I’ve ever run before and the expectations I’d placed on myself were much more than they were before. Prior to having Odin, my regular runs were around a 5:00min/km pace and my fastest half marathon was in the 1:47 range. I’d come close to reaching my goal of a 1:45 half marathon, but still hadn’t achieved it. Since having Odin, my regular runs are at a 4:30min/km and I’ve run a few half marathon distances on the streets in my neighbourhood, with this being my best result:
I’m constantly afraid that I’m going to hit a wall before the Army Run. I’m afraid that it’s going to be one of those days where I just have a bad run – which is disappointing when you’ve been working up to something for so long. I need to drop these fears and run my own race, do what I’ve been doing to get the results I’ve been getting, and stop beating myself up over “what ifs”. I know I’m capable of certain things, and it’s tough if you don’t perform to a certain expectation on a specific day, but the flip side of that is just that – it’s one day. I am lucky to be running, to be healthy, and for so many other things, that I can’t let a few “what ifs” hold me back.