Half Marathoning WHILE on the Whole30
I feel as if life has been literally go, go, and go the past couple of months! Back in January I posted my New Year’s Resolutions and goals for 2016. I may have stated something about running a half marathon. NEVER IN MY LIFE WOULD I HAVE IMAGINED DOING SUCH A RIDICULOUS THING. But back in February I hit “submit” on the registration for the Historic Half and it was a done deal.Running has NEVER been my thing. It still isn’t, but I have a different mentality about it now. You see, I was pretty scarred by “The Mile” back in school. You know, that dreadful sunny day around the May/June timeframe where the gym teachers give you no warning and suggests you run 1 mile as fast as you can and if you don’t make it under the 10 minute mark you failed and had to do it all over again! I was always one of the last kids. ALWAYS. My shins were on fire, I could taste blood in the back of my throat, and the whole time I felt horrible about myself. About how I couldn’t do it like the rest of the other kids.
Looking back on it; it appears to be some sick joke to expect kids to run 1 mile as fast as you can when they don’t make you practice running with the correct form, breathing techniques, or make you do anything other than play pin dodgeball for everyday of the week. Needless to say I have always associated running as a very painful and unnecessary experience.
But secretly, deep, deep, deep, ok; way down I wanted to be a runner. I wanted to know their secret. I wanted to be that girl who pulled up her hair in a cute ponytail and could jog endlessly with no pain, worries, just the road ahead and actually enjoy the experience.
Last year I took my very first steps to becoming a runner. I signed up for the shorter version of the race we did this year. The Historic 10k. It was the farthest I have ever ran. I was SO proud of myself when I crossed that finish line and they placed a medal around my neck.
And I learned to not hate running so much. I learned proper form from endless YouTube watching and/or people watching at the track or around our neighborhood. So I signed up for the Christmas Town Dash this past December.
Jake, being the awesome husband he is, took the plunge with me. We began a 14 week training plan back in February. We added at least 1 mile each week. I began to look forward to our runs together. I began looking forward to my “me” time.
And there were days I pretended to not see my running shoes in the corner…because I really didn’t feel like it. But I had this HUGE goal ahead of me. I begrudgingly laced my shoes and headed for the road.
Now, to make things slightly more complicated. The race day happened to coincide with my current Whole30 round (Round 5). Yeah. I know. Double crazy. But, I was up for the challenge. Naturally. 😉
I did research and planned out the best fueling course. We packed high sugar high carb fuel sources for our run such as raisins and plantain chips. We also packed some coconut water for the electrolytes. Since we weren’t able to drink the sports drinks or have any more carbs we started our day with a banana and almond butter.
Also, we began our day at 4:30 AM since I couldn’t sleep anymore. I was too nervous/excited. And before we knew it, we were at the start line. The gun went off and so did we. And I felt and did GREAT for the first 8 miles. We really only stopped once to use the restroom and slowed down a few times to get some water. I loved taking in some of the sights of our city that I normally don’t get to see. I also find myself reflecting on the men and women who fight for our country. That’s what this race was about; to honor the living who are still fighting for our freedom and the fallen who gave their lives to protect ours. I couldn’t help but get misty eyed seeing the countless pictures of the fallen. The ultimate sacrifice they made, the families that were left behind. This was a huge motivator to keep going. I work with Marine Corps veterans and I thought about them too during my run.
It wasn’t really until mile 10 did I hit the “wall”. And I thought of the “Blerch”. It’s a really funny comic by an artist called “The Oatmeal” how he refers to this “wall” as the “Blerch” which is “a fat little cherub who follows me when I run. It tells me to slow down, to walk, to quit. A wall is an obstinate, immovable object. You cannot silence it, You cannot outrun it, and you cannot beat it. The Blerch however, can be outrun, He CAN be silenced.” I had a hard time beating my “Blerch”. It came suddenly and was pretty irrational.
Mile 11-12 was essentially a nightmare. My feet weren’t working right. My legs were starting to cramp up and I felt like I had nothing left to give. But Jake kept me going. We pushed past the evil “Blerch” and found our way to the finish line!
I honestly couldn’t believe we did it. I saw the finish line, I crossed it, got a medal over my head, and still I was in disbelief. My legs were jello and honestly, totally worth all the effort. All the pain and time we put into training was really worth it. And doing the Whole30 on this journey has truly changed the way I feel about food. I have had many physical changes (I have lost over 25” on my body and 3 dress sizes in one year since starting my Whole30 journey) but my “Non-Scale victories” meant so much more. I have so much more confidence in myself. I have learned to love myself more. And most importantly I do not doubt what I can and cannot do. I can do ANYTHING. It all starts with the mantra I repeat to myself every day, “How bad do you WANT this?”