Today I’m sharing my thoughts about signing up for a half marathon when I know I won’t PR and how I define health and fitness — and how that’s changed over the past few years!
Happy fall y’all! I started my day with a 7 mile drizzly run. Well, drizzly for most of it – there were about 2 miles of an absolute downpour. I actually don’t mind running in the rain if it’s not cold, and it definitely wasn’t today – 70 degrees!
My legs were crazy sore yesterday after intervals on Tuesday and then heavy back squats that night. I took yesterday entirely off to rest, but my legs were still sore last night and felt heavy this morning. I told myself I could run as slow as I wanted, but to just get out there and start running.
It definitely didn’t feel easy, but it was a pretty slow pace for me. I started out around a 9+ minute pace (I usually run an 8:30 minute pace on easy days), and I kept that pace until the downpour started. And then miraculously, my legs decided they wanted to run faster. 😉 I ended up averaging an 8:40 pace for 7 miles, with the last few miles in the low 8’s.
Anyway…while I was running, I was thinking about training for and running a half marathon.
But I haven’t raced in over 2 years…
I didn’t take an intentional break from racing, but life just happened and time flew by – moving to Charlotte, starting crossfit, getting addicted to crossfit, moving back to Winston-Salem, getting a quad strain, etc.
Signing up for a race has been on my mind for a while, but a few things have held me back.
- I’m still trying to figure out how to balance running and Crossfit.
- I haven’t run more than 7 miles in a long time. I don’t have a running bud for longer distances, and honestly, solo long miles are hard for me — especially after getting used to working out with so many friends at Crossfit.
- A PR is very unlikely. My previous half PR is 1:34 (or, 1:33 unofficially), which is an average pace of 7:10 miles. I’m not anywhere near that speed, even for distances much shorter than 13 miles.
That last one is where I’ve really been hung up. I’m nervous to run a race and I’ve been trying to figure out why. I know I’ll be able to finish if I put in the training and am not dumb about overtraining/avoiding injuries. I’ve run over a dozen half marathons (I’ve lost count). So I think what it boils down to is that I won’t PR and that bothers me. For a while, when I was racing so much, I PR’d at nearly every race. And that felt good – really good. I kept making improvements and I loved that.
I was texting with my blog-reader-turned-friend Erin about this, and she mentioned how her running isn’t at her peak but that she’s the happiest she’s ever been. And that really resonated with me. My running definitely isn’t at my peak – but I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, and I think I’m the fittest I’ve ever been. I used to solely define my fitness by my running speed, and now fitness is so much more multi-faceted for me.
It’s more about overall health.
I define fitness by the amount of weight I can squat or deadlift, or by progress towards a tough move in CrossFit, like toes to bars or strict pull-ups. Health is more about the amount of sleep I’m getting and my level of stress. (I talked about nixing multitasking to reduce stress in my last email newsletter!) Health is about strong relationships with God, Tommy, my family and friends. And Maizey, of course. 😉
So, am I the fastest version of me? Nope. But I’m the healthiest and happiest version of me. And that matters more than a PR.
(Please remind me of this when I’m upset that I don’t PR at the Mistletoe Half Marathon. 🙂 )
(Photo with Maizey was taken by the talented Holly!)