Oklahoma Running Mom

Running in Oklahoma adds new meaning to the phrase "Hot Mama."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Michelle's Half Marathon Journey

I met Michelle at Strollin' Moms and she volunteered to blog about her journey to complete a half marathon. The thing that stuck out the most was the way running has improved her life in ways more than just health. Thanks for sharing Michelle. I can't wait to hear more. "A little background, first. It started about a year and a half ago when I was urged by my pastor to get out of the house to do my workouts. He suggested running…with Fleet Feet. I would’ve found a thousand guilty reasons to not take more time away from the house, but my husband was sitting right there and heard it come from the horse’s mouth. No guilt, no shame involved. It was if God himself told me to start running! I looked into it, and was turned off by the 75-dollar fee Fleet Feet charged to run in their program. So, I began my running with my friend. We set her sights on the Route 66 Half- Marathon, with goal races in between to keep us motivated. Notice I said we set “her” sights. I had no intentions on running anything more than 3 miles. Matter-of-fact, I had no intention on ever doing any sort of race. I just knew I wanted to lose weight and God gave me permission to do that outside my home so, no pun intended, I ran with it. I ran a couple of 5Ks, the Quarter Marathon, then the Tulsa Run when I got hurt. I had acquired a very bad IT band injury that put a dramatic halt to my new love of running. I hadn’t realized how much running, especially longer distances, had improved my mental health, as well as physical health. They say, ‘you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone’. Well, it’s as true for running as it is for anything else. I had to take all of November, December, and most of January off to heal and get therapy (mental and physical).
Enter Fleet Feet. As I was sitting on my couch on New Year’s Eve, I began to look for a new half- marathon to train for. I had actually even considered training for a full, since I had already been up to a 15K. I checked Fleet Feet’s website for upcoming races and training events and noticed they were hiring and applied that night. I was hired in mid-January. I can’t even begin to tell you how badly I wish, now, that I had listened to my pastor that day he encouraged me to run with Fleet Feet. I can honestly say that had I been properly trained and out-fitted, I may have never had to drop out of the 2009 Route 66 Half-Marathon. I may have made some lasting friendships. I may have even been dramatically encouraged as I crossed my first 5K finish line. I fit many new runners in shoes and gear and I am privileged to watch them go from not being able to walk a mile, to running their first 5K. They laugh and cry at the same time. They do it, many times, without injury, but with a gain of health and self worth. They accomplish something they never imagined they would; all with Fleet Feet’s help.
With all that in mind, I decided to give Fleet Feet’s tried-and-true training methods a try. On July 10th, I began my latest journey to complete a half-marathon. Since I work at Fleet Feet, I had to choose a race other than the Route 66 Half (I have to work at it), so I have chosen the Dallas White Rock Half in early December. I plan to blog on my training experience for this event. So far, it has been fun and refreshingly easy."

Jul 10 – Training schedule says we are running 4 miles. I show up at the wrong location, end up running hills, and only running (and walking some) 2.83 miles. Not looking good.
Jul 13 – Had an easy walk with Strollin’ Moms in the a.m. Scheduled to go to the TU track and do 4 miles. Way too hot for TU track at 6pm. Take myself to Sapulpa H.S. track at 9:15pm to do (4) 200m repeats, with a 400m warm-up and a 400m cool-down. That only equated to 2.5 miles according to my Garmin. I didn’t care – it was HOT.
Jul 14 – Cross training day. I’m wondering if push-mowing my thick lawn with an old-timey reel mower will count as cross training? It has to.
Jul 15 – Due to run 3 miles tempo or hills from the store, at 6pm. Ran 3 miles with Strollin Moms in a.m. Skipped the 3 mile run in the p.m., but did walk at 9pm for 1 mile.
Jul 16 – Nothing on schedule. Stayed really active all day.
Jul 17 – My 36th birthday! Scheduled to do a long run of 5 miles downtown. Ran with the full marathon group for 8.19 miles and loved it! What a great birthday present! Now have a new dilemma…half or full?
Jul 19 – Supposed to run 3 miles, easy from the store…toooooo hot! Ran 1.5 miles from home (the same distance they ran from the store).
Jul 20 – Decided to have a great time running my first half. There’s no way I have the time to devote to training for a full this go-round. Ran almost 3 miles with Strollin’ Moms. Chaffing occurred and was still too bad later in the day to go to the track. Was going to have to skip TU track due to the heat, anyway. When will the heat give?
Jul 21 – Cross training day. Did a whole lot of it lying beside my great friend’s pool!
Jul 22 – With the weather still being unbearably hot, I planned in my head to do 3 miles of hill training with Strollin’ Moms. The three of us made it, but I wanted to DIE and I wasn’t even pushing a stroller!
Jul 23 – Rest or cross training day. I took my kids to Turkey Mtn and we hiked for 1 hour. I ended up carrying Lauren up the paved uphills; for some reason she could get up the uphills on the dirt trail. Next time, will stick to dirt trails only! Also kept really busy the rest of the day.
Jul 24 – Scheduled to open the store at 7:30…1 hour into our run (from the store). Made alternate plans to run alone on Sapulpa roads early Sunday morning (sunrise). I LOVE that run. God meets me right there and runs with me the whole way! I did have to propel myself outta bed – was really wanting to sleep. Sure am glad I did! Ran 6 miles, not including the .5 mile warm up walk and .5 mile cool down walk.

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