Before I start with my current training let’s back up a bit. All the way back to 1990 when I was in 4th grade and had to complete the mile fitness test in school. I wasn’t athletic growing up, having peaked at 6 years old on my AYSO soccer team. I can’t remember much athletic activity after that outside the normal riding my bike around our neighborhood. To be honest, I’m not sure if I wasn’t good at it or just didn’t like it. So when we had to run four laps around the track to complete the mile in 4th grade I had a hard time keeping up with the other kids. Each lap we would pass by a teacher and put up a finger for what lap we had just finished. As I struggled through my third lap I realized that nearly everyone else was done. In my 10 year old mind the obvious conclusion was to stretch that fourth little finger up too so I could be put out of my misery. Done. I was a 10 year old Rita Jeptoo and won the Presidential Award in Fitness that year (anyone remember that?). I may have only been able to run 3/4 of a mile, but I had one heck of a sit-and-reach.
Some how along the way I found myself married to a naturally gifted athlete. Through spectating at his marathons I fell in love with – no, not running – running expos! The excitement, booths filled with tech shirts, sports beans and gus – I wanted to buy it all. What can I say, I’m a marketer’s dream! My husband convinced me that I could, and should, run a half-marathon. Always up for a challenge I signed up for Boston’s Run to Remember Half-Marathon. We ran it together and finished in 2:01:17*. Yep, that’s an asterisk. The year I ran it the lead car took a wrong turn somewhere along the way and the course ended up short at 12.955 miles. Womp womp. While at 10 years old I was relieved to get out of running the full distance, at 29 it bugged me that my half-marathon wasn’t a true 13.1 mile race.
Soon after the race I was pregnant with our first child and pretty much stopped running until 2012. Once I rejoined a gym the nagging 12.955 and how close I had come to 2 hours gave me the motivation to start running again. I filled out an excel sheet with my training plan that would hopefully lead to breaking 2 hours in the half-marathon and stuck to it diligently. The data geek in me loved filling out the cells with my plan vs. actual performance and seeing my weekly and yearly mileage add up. I completed my 2nd half-marathon in 2013 in 1:50:00, faster than I ever imagined I could run it! I was hooked.