An Open Letter to My Son : Running Your First Half Marathon

At 13 years old, you're just one day away from running your first half marathon.  You've always been an overachiever.  Potty trained before you were 2, skipping the baby babble and going straight to complete sentences.  You can't just solve a rubix's cube, you can solve it in under 30 seconds.  Kendama, guitar, card tricks, algebra, reading, drawing, the list goes on and on.  You've excelled in all you set your mind to do. 

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Except running. Because all those other things have come easy to you, but not running. Running has been hard.  It's been slow.  It's been chock full of complaints, struggles, and failures.  Running has beaten you down.  It has irritated you.  Running has made you hurt.  It's frustrated you.  Running has made you feel less than. It's humbled you.  And for this I say, thank you, to running.  I thank running for teaching you that it's not always easy to reach your goals.  Running requires discipline and endurance and grit.  These are all things I hope you've learned through running.  

You complained about waking up early during summer break to run, but you did it anyways.  We argued along the road many mornings, but it never stopped you.  During moments of frustration, you still endured.  So many times you wanted to give up, to turn around, but you never did.  You kept going.  May this be a lesson you take with you always.

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I hope that running will always stay with you.  I hope you find a love for running, as I have.  But, if you don't, that's ok too.  But I do hope you never forget the lessons learned during your training.  Because, whether you realize it or not, running has taught you so much about life.  It's taught you to never give up.  Wether you go fast or slow, what matters is that you are moving forward.  Never forget that.  Never forget that although there may be pain and it may be difficult, chasing your dreams is always worth it.  Life won't always be easy, but sticking to your goals and being true to yourself will always be worth it.  Never forget that feeling of accomplishment you get after a long or difficult run.  Let that stay with you and let that guide you. There is power in perseverance.   

Running alongside you all these weeks has not always been easy, but neither has being your mom and I wouldn't trade any of it for the world. I am so proud to be running with you tomorrow and sharing 13.1 miles with you.  Crossing that finish line together will be a moment I never forget. I love you beyond words.   

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PS. I can't forget to give a shout of of thanks and appreciation to the hubs for all those early mornings of driving him up to meet us at the mountain so he could get his long runs in.  And to Valerie for all the rides up the mountain and encouraging him and me along the way.  To all our friends and family who've also encouraged him, it doesn't go unnoticed! XO 

Half Marathon Training with a Teenager

Last year, my then 12 year old son said he'd like to run a half marathon.  I thought he was just being funny or talking in the distant future, but no.  He was serious and insisted on it.  We researched some races and talked some more about it.  I gave him the good and the bad, but honestly, mostly the bad because I wanted to paint a truthful picture and the truth is that training for a half marathon is not easy.  He acknowledged that it was going to be hard work, but that he really wanted to challenge himself and run his first half marathon at the age of 13.  So, we did it.  We signed up for the Cedar City Half Marathon on September 8, 2018.  I explained that he would be training for a half marathon all through summer break and even into his first weeks of back to school but he was not deterred. 

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While he was still in school, we started with 2 mile once a week runs.  Then, last month, we started the actual 14-week training plan and he's been training pretty consistently for the past 6 weeks.  We have 8 more weeks to go and I couldn't be prouder of this kid! But please, don't get me wrong.  He is no super kid.  He is after all, a 13 year old boy and oh have we had our arguments.  It's been hard being mom and coach.  I feel like because it's been me giving him running advice, it's been hard for him to accept it and we butt heads a lot.  He's cranky at 6am and when I remind him that he signed up for this on his own, I get attitude.  I then have to remember he is still just a 13 year old kid and take a deep breath.    

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It's been hard, but it's also been rewarding.  I've been learning to be patient and let things go.  I'm learning to go at his pace and enjoy our time together regardless of our pace and whether I think he could do better or go faster.  I remind myself that I just ran my first half marathon 5 years ago at the age of 36! This kid is 13 and about to run his first half marathon.  I am so proud of him already! I'm not too mushy or sentimental, but I did cry after my 1st half marathon and after my 1st full marathon.  I'm pretty sure I will cry for the 3rd time again after I cross the finish line with my son in September.  But until then, there will most definitely be more cranky early mornings and arguments, and I'll just have to be ok with that.

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What races are you training for this summer? Any tips on running with a teen? EEK!! 

Rock n Roll Half Marathon Nashville : Race Recap

I can summarize my trip to Nashville in two words: running + eating! What could be better, right? 

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If you read my last post, you know that I was nervous about running the Nashville Rock n Roll Half Marathon because the course promised to be hilly and I am not a fan of hills! Plus, my friend was running it too and it was her first half marathon, so I was nervous I wouldn't be able to support her like I wanted to. Well, to make a long story short, we rocked that run! I felt strong throughout the entire race, which I was nervous about due to the hills. Plus, I paced my friend and we made it right under her goal time! I was so happy I felt good running those hills and it was proof that you have to trust the process.  I made it a point to train hills and it paid off! 

My flight to Nashville was super early in the morning, but it gave us the opportunity to grab some yummy lunch at Husk when I arrived and still make it in time for packet pickup afterwards! As usual, the process was smooth and easy.  There were all the usual, easy to follow signs and awesome volunteers.  The actual expo didn't seem as big or as busy as some other cities, though.  I didn't mind this, as we don't stay too long at the expo.  We got our beer wristbands for our free post-race beer and picked up our parking pass, that I prepaid for online.  Since we were driving ourselves in the morning and this was my friend's first experience, I didn't want her to feel overwhelmed with having to search for parking and deal with the traffic too! It was a great option and one I think I will use again for sure if I plan to drive and park for a race and not get dropped off.  

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After checking-in to our hotel and relaxing for a bit, it was time for our carb loading dinner! I traditionally have pizza before a race so I looking for some Yelp suggestions and found Slim + Husky's .  The reviews were amazing and it did not disappoint! They have local, fresh, ingredients and all the pizzas are made to order.  They also carry local craft beers, which is also part of my carb loading dinner ;) 

Like I mentioned above, the race itself was amazing! It was fun and we enjoyed the music, the scenery, and all the folks who came out to cheer us on! Running through some of the neighborhoods and seeing the residents making a morning out of it reminded me of the vibe from the San Diego Rock n Roll Half Marathon last year.  They too were out cheering us on, drinking mimosas, and even handing out drinks and snacks to us runners too! 

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After the race, we spent our day exploring some of the neighborhoods and of course, eating some delicious food to celebrate our race finish!  I highly recommend this race for it's fun atmosphere, challenging course, and who doesn't want to enjoy all the Nashville has to offer both before and after the race!